About the Speaker
Journalist and Human Rights Activist
Kerim Balci is a former columnist with Zaman Daily, a newspaper closed down by the Turkish government. He regularly contributes to Centre for Hizmet Studies.
Centre for Hizmet Studies organised a roundtable discussion and book launch event entitled “Being Muslim in the Modern, a case study: The Hizmet Movement” on Wednesday the 23rd of October 2019, with Professor Anwar Alam.
Since the 2013 corruption scandals in Turkey, the Hizmet Movement has been under intensified scrutiny and persecution, both in Turkey and elsewhere. As a result of this renewed promulgation, the philosophy and theology of service has been critiqued and extrapolated as to having ulterior, political, motives. Yet Professor Alam will take an alternative, longue durée, approach and provide a comprehensive study illustrated in his latest book of the transnational Hizmet Movement as essentially a postmodern phenomenon – deviating from the primary lens of analysis used by those studying the Movement; shifting the debate away from security discourse to a focus of study of political sociology, Islam and Muslims in “the Modern”.
Primarily, Professor Alam will open discussions surrounding the contributions of Gulen in the areas of poverty, ignorance and disunity -the three areas Gulen adopts as being critical in contending for the betterment of society – , his proactive “human- values” oriented theological stance, and thus, a product of this struggle, enjoining religiosity and “the Modern”.