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Prof Greg Barton – “Inspired to Serve: Islamic Philanthropic Movements in Turkey and Indonesia”.

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Prof Greg Barton – “Inspired to Serve: Islamic Philanthropic Movements in Turkey and Indonesia”.

gregBartonAffinity Intercultural Foundation hosted Prof Greg Barton from Monash University for the June Lecture on Friday, 24th of June. The title of Prof Barton’s talk was “Inspired to Serve: Islamic Philanthropic Movements in Turkey and Indonesia“.

Prof Barton has a number of titles, which include, “Herb Feith Research Professor for the Study of Indonesia”, “Acting Director Centre for Islam and the Modern World (CIMOW)”, “Deputy UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations–Asia Pacific” as well as “Politics program, School of Political and Social Inquiry (PSI) Faculty of Arts, Monash University”.

In recent times, the political matters of the Muslim World seem to hit the airwaves more so often than their philanthropic work. Prof Barton opened his speech by talking about Islam’s rich history of providing service to their fellow human beings in the areas of health care, welfare and education to name a few. These focus areas were a central part of the Muslim community’s work, for it allowed the community to play their role in advancing humanity. Prof Barton then covered two of the largest Islamic movements in the World with the largest in Turkey called the “Hizmet” movement and the largest, not only in Indonesia, but in the World, called “Nahdlatul Ulama”.

Whilst the Nahdlatul Ulama only exists in Indonesia, the Hizmet movement is more wide-spread and has centres in 140 countries around the World, including Australia. When talking about the Hizmet movement, Prof Barton not only explained some of the far reaching philanthropic work that they have been conducting in many Third World Countries but also the role they play in creating socially cohesive society’s in the many countries they are present in. The Hizmet movement is inspired by the teachings of contemporary Muslim scholar Imam Fethullah Gulen, who is currently based in Pennsylvania, USA. Gulen is described as a modern day Rumi by many people around the world.

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