Mevlana's first visit to European Parliament

Mevlana Muhammed Jelaluddin Rumi was commemorated at the European Parliament with a panel discussion focusing on his message of tolerance.

Mevlana's first visit to European Parliament
Organized by the Brussels-based Intercultural Dialogue Platform (IDP) and members of the European Parliament Cem Özdemir, Emine Bozkurt and Sajjad Karim, the panel focused on the relevance of Mevlana's message to today's Europe. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared 2007 Year of Mevlana and the European Commission has already earmarked 2008 as Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Despite lasting several hours, the panel discussion generated a lot of interest and whirling dervishes who came from Konya, the central Anatolian city where Mevlana taught, performed a sema (whirling ceremony) afterwards.

Dr. İhsan Yılmaz of the University of London, Georgia University's Dr. Alan Godlas and Professor Marc Luyckx Ghisi, the director of the Vision 2020 think tank, spoke at the panel titled "Rethinking Mevlana: What if Mevlana Lived in Today's Europe." Yılmaz emphasized that Mevlana's teachings were represented today by a group of renowned Islamic scholars, among them Fethullah Gülen and Seyyid Hossein Nasr, both famous prolific writers whose works are read by millions. Godlas read Persian lines from Mevlana's masterpiece, the Mesnevi, attentively listened to by the audience.

Bozkurt, one of the hosts of the night, pointed out that Mevlana had begun his dialogue efforts centuries before the EU declared 2008 the Year of Intercultural Dialogue. "Europe sorely needs Mevlana's message, which comes from centuries before and never gets old, more than ever," noted Bozkurt, adding that she was particularly happy to see the hall where the panel discussion was being held filled to capacity.

Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ankara deputy Zeynep Dağı, Jerzy Montag, a federal MP from the German Green Party and Mahinur Özdemir, a member of the council in Schaerbeek Municipality also attended the Mevlana night at the European Parliament. Dr. Mehmet Refii Kileci captivated the guests by showing his paper-marbling (ebru) skills during the four-hour-long program.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Kasım 2007, 10:01