Book Launch: Hizmet in Africa

Hizmet Studies
9 March 2016 17:00 22/02/17 6:23:37 PM GMT+0000
Centre of African Studies (SOAS)
Centre for Hizmet Studies
  • Khalili Lecture Theatre
  • SOAS, University of London, London, WC1H 0XG

Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gülen Movement is the only book-length work that analyses the multifaceted activities in Africa of the followers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in rural Pennsylvania since 1999. The book includes Hizmet in both North Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa.

There are more than 100 Gülen-inspired primary, middle and secondary schools in Africa and the number is growing. Some African cities have a Gülen-affiliated dialogue or interfaith centre and organization of businessmen who follow Gülen’s principles. There is a global charitable organization—Kimse Yok Mu—that has extensive operations in Africa. The Gülen-affiliated media empire based in Turkey and New Jersey now reaches out to Africa. Gülen-inspired projects include a university in Nigeria, the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere in South Africa, a hospital in Somalia, and student dormitories in Morocco.

This Movement did not exist in Africa twenty years ago. Relatively few Africans and outsiders are aware of its activities in Africa. The schools, for example, are often known as Turkish schools. Few people understand they are linked to Hizmet or the Gülen Movement. The book documents Hizmet activity based on visits in 2012 and 2013 to South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, and Turkey and meetings with a wide range of Hizmet representatives working in other countries in Africa. It also draws on journalistic reports of Hizmet activity and that which has been published in academic books, journals, and papers. The book analyses the significance of the Movement for both Turkey and Africa and explores the link between the Movement and Turkish business persons, who provide most of the funding.

Speakers Biography

Ambassador David H. Shinn has been teaching in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University since 2001. He served for 37 years in the U.S. Foreign Service with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. The author of numerous book chapters and articles in academic and policy journals, he is also the co-author of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (2012) and Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (2013). Ambassador Shinn has a PhD in Political Science from George Washington University.

Prof Mashood Baderin (Chair) is currently Professor of Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His publications include International Human Rights and Islamic Law (OUP, 2003, 2005), Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Action (OUP, 2007), International Law and Islamic Law (Ashgate, 2008), International Human Rights Law: Six Decades after the UDHR and Beyond (Ashgate, 2010), and several articles in different international academic journals.

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