Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology at Odessa State University, Ukraine in 1994. She is a fellow of the European Research Center of Migration and Ethnic Relation (ERCOMER). Her research topics include identity conflicts, conflict resolution, reconciliation, and peace-building.

“I think what Fethullah Gulen is doing is an excellent work of formulating the same ideas of dialogue, of impediment to peace, of ideas about why people hate each other and what should be done about it.”

“But, he is formulating from his point of view, introducing religious views, introducing more cultural views, and I think the reason I really like his books and I write about it and present at conferences is because I see a wonderful fusion that we connect what we know Western theoretical perspective and what Gulen puts in his writings. It really gives us a strong idea on how different groups, religious and ethnic groups, can come together and how they can create dialogue. For example, Gulen is very honest. He says that negative perceptions actually exist on both sides, There are negative perceptions of Muslims in some societies but Muslims also believe that the West is trying to overpower them and trying to use them. And he is honest in telling that we have to come together and we should stop hating, we should start perceiving.”

“What usually really impresses about what Fethullah Gulen is doing is that he is really bringing ideas of social dialogue. And, dialogue is sometimes misunderstood. In many cases, people believe that if we are involved in dialogue you have to finally come to some common ground. And this is why sometimes people are afraid to come into dialogue, because they think they will be forced to agree with something, with people they do not understand, or people they do not like, or they do not share particular values with.”

“What Gulen is doing through the education—it’s a very well-rounded education—is that he really creates those values of being tolerant,the values of being accepting, the values to be open to different points of views. And this is what I think is most important because when do we have violence, we have violence when people think that the only way is their way.”

Advertisements