The West hides Mevlana's relation with Islam'

One of the latest events to focus on the 13th century philosopher and Sufi saint Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi took place in the French city of Strasbourg at an international panel .

The West hides Mevlana's relation with Islam'

One of the latest events to focus on the 13th centuryphilosopher and Sufi saint Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi took place in the Frenchcity of Strasbourg at an international panel where Mevlana's humanism and hiscontributions to dialogue between religions were discussed.

The meeting, which included academics from France and Turkey, underscored the view thatMevlana's philosophy cannot be assessed separately from Islam and the traditionof the Prophet Mohammed. Organized by the Strasbourg Intercultural DialogueFoundation, which was founded by Turkish academics, the panel featured onescholar of Sufism, Professor Eric Geoffrey, who asserted that due to today'sjudgmental stance towards Muslims Mevlana's Islamic roots were being ignored bymany.

Geoffrey explained that though the work and thinking of Mevlana had gainedprominence in the West over recent years, most Western sources took Mevlana outof the context of his Islamic roots. The professor also noted that in both the US and the EU,Sufism was being stripped of its links with Islam and being presented as a sortof "new age religion." Geoffrey referred to these efforts as a formof "religious racism" and noted that it was the Prophet Mohammed andthe Koran which had provided the sources for Mevlana's humanist understanding, onewhich is so universal as to still be fitting in today's world.

He emphasized that one could not think of Mevlana independently from Islam."Mevlana is today presented as someone broken off from his Islamic roots,like a new spiritual leader. Even today many people have no idea that Mevlana'sfirst name was Mohammad. In many western books on his life they don't have thecourage to use this name." Geoffrey also mentioned Mevlana's good friendand teacher, the scholar Semsuddin i-Tebrizi, who in Western writings isportrayed as being a "wanderer and hippie-type person," but who wasactually a respected Islamic thinker. Professor Cihan Okuyucu from Istanbul's Fatih University talked about traces of Mevlana'sphilosophy in modern Turkey,pointing to Fethullah Gülen's efforts at encouraging intercultural dialogue asan example. Okuyucu noted that Gülen's activities aimed at promoting toleranceand dialogue were inspired by the philosophy of Mevlana.

Sorbonne Universityfaculty member Fabio Ambrosio spoke about the importance of Mevlana for theChristian communities living in Anatolia,while Leili Anvar-Chrendorff from the French National Eastern Languages andCivilizations Institute (INALCO) focused on the basic elements of Mevlana's"spiritual humanism," which embraces all religions. Later, ProfessorÝlhan Özkececi from Fatih University presented ashort concert of Mevlevi music. The end of the program was marked by poetryreadings from the Mesnevi and a concert of religious chanting. Guests at thepanel included local government officials, as well as consular officials andmembers of the European Council.

Today's Zaman

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16