Aug 27, 2015
Ambassador David Shinn talked about the activities of Gulen Movement in Africa on May 14 2014.
Ambassador David Shinn discuessed activities of Gulen/Hizmet Movement in Africa on May 14, 2014.
Ambassador Shinn touched on the implications of the multifaceted activities in Africa of the followers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in rural Pennsylvania since 1999. In 2008, Foreign Policy magazine named Gülen as the world’s top public intellectual. Gülen and the followers of his philosophy refer to the movement as Hizmet or “volunteers service” while others tend to call it the Gülen movement. The discussion looked at Hizmet in both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. There are more than 100 Gülen-inspired primary, middle and secondary schools in Africa and the number is growing rapidly. Some African cities have a Gülen-affiliated dialogue or interfaith center 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 organizations based in Turkey and New Jersey is also reaching out to Africa.
David 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 an Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (2013). He serves as adviser to or on a half dozen non-governmental organization boards. Ambassador Shinn has a PhD in political science from George Washington University and blogs at http://davidshinn.blogspot.com.