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Hizmet in Africa
The Activities and Significance of the Gülen Movement
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Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gülen Movement is the only book-length work that analyzes the multifaceted activities in Africa of the followers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in exile 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 book includes Hizmet in both North Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa.
There are more than 100 Gülen-inspired primary, middle and secondary schools in Africa and the number is growing. 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 empire based in Turkey and New Jersey now reaches out to Africa. Gülen-inspired projects include a university in Nigeria, the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere in South Africa, a hospital in Somalia, and student dormitories in Morocco.
This Movement did not exist in Africa twenty years ago. Relatively few Africans and outsiders are aware of its activities in Africa. The schools, for example, are often known as Turkish schools. Few people understand they are linked to Hizmet or the Gülen Movement. The book documents Hizmet activity based on visits in 2012 and 2013 to South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, and Turkey and meetings with a wide range of Hizmet representatives working in other countries in Africa. It also draws on journalistic reports of Hizmet activity and that which has been published in academic books, journals, and papers. The book analyzes the significance of the Movement for both Turkey and Africa and explores the link between the Movement and Turkish business persons, who provide most of the funding.
2. Fethullah Gülen, the Gülen Movement, and Hizmet.
3. TUSKON, Business, and Banking.
4. Gülen-affiliated Schools and Related Programs.
5. Hizmet Dialogue Centers.
6. Hizmet Humanitarian Activities.
7. Gülen-affiliated Media and Outreach Programs.
8. Hizmet, the AKP, and Turkey-Africa Relations.
Appendix: Gülen-affiliated Schools in Africa
David Shinn presents a comprehensive picture of the educational and humanitarian activities of the Hizmet Movement in Africa. He provides a balanced analysis of how the teachings of Fethullah Gülen inspire major educational projects throughout the continent. This volume provides an excellent example of the type of studies that are needed to understand the significance of nongovernmental organizations in the contemporary world.
—John Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History at Georgetown University
Hizmet in Africais a comprehensive and important work, giving the reader greater insight into and understanding of the valuable work and social investments of the Hizmet Movement in Africa. David Shinn’s book gives us an insightful testimony to the vital work being done by Hizmet Movement teachers, business people, academics, and volunteers in uplifting communities and contributing to the broader development of our societies within postcolonial Africa and, more specifically, postapartheid South Africa.
—Archbishop thabo Makgoba, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Although much has been written about the Fethullah Gülen-inspired Hizmet (Service) global movement, Ambassador David Shinn’s Hizmet in Africa provides the first book on the Hizmet Movement in Africa. Readers will find a gold mine of information on Hizmet’s educational network of ninety-five schools as well as its social, humanitarian and interfaith activities.
—John l. Esposito, Professor of Religion, International Affairs, and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University and author of The Future of Islam
David H. Shinn has been teaching in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University since 2001. He previously served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 37 years with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. Among other positions in the State Department, he was director for East Africa, Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean island countries. He has written numerous book chapters and articles in policy and academic journals. He is the co-author of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (2012) and Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (2004 and 2013), and he is Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies. He appears frequently on the Voice of America, Aljazeera, British Broadcasting Corporation, and Radio France Internationale. Ambassador Shinn has a PhD in political science from George Washington University. He blogs at http://davidshinn.blogspot.com.
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