As an appreciation to the cultural and intellectual heritage of Maulana Jalaludin Rumi– a 13th century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic – Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation among Civilisations (CDCC), in cooperation with Iranian Embassy, Afghan Embassy and Turkish Embassy, conducted a public discussion called A Night with Jalaluddin Rumi, on Saturday, 19 July 2014
at CDCC Office. Cooperation among the mentioned embassies is not without reason, because Jalaluddin Rumi is also a central and highly respected figure in the countries. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turkish, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims. The Muslims of South Asia have deeply appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. The speakers participated in the discussion were Prof. Dr. Din Syamsuddin (President of Muhammadiyah/Chairman of CDCC), H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Farazandeh (Ambassador of The Islamic Republic of Iran), H.E. Mr. Gholam Sakhi Ghairat (Ambassador of The Islamic Republic Afganistan), H.E. Mr. Zekeriya Akçam (Ambassador of The Republic of Turkey), Prof. Dr. Abdul Hadi WM (Indonesian Cultural Expert). Alpha Amirrachman, PhD (CDCC Executive Director) acted as a moderator during the discussion. Many dignitaries from other embassies of countries such as the United States, Palestine, as well as Indonesian audience who had strong interests in the work of Jalaluddin
Rumi also attended the very lively discussion.
is widely used, it is still a controversial term in some Western countries, where both of the term and the underlying concept have been criticized. For example, some researchers argue that the word holds in itself a prohibition or fear of criticizing of Radical Islam. Islamophobia existed in premise before the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. In the early 1900’s, the word “Islamophobia” is first used to refer to hatred of Muslims by non-Muslims, but it increased in frequency and notoriety during the past decade, especially after terror attacks. Today, more people claim that Islam is incompatible with democracy or hostile to modernity and the rights of women. Stereotypes also depict Muslims as
opposed to the West. The organisation that Ms. Hastir co-founded, Collective Against Islamophobia in Belgium helps monitor Islamophobic acts in Belgium, helps victims in administrative and legal procedures, supports recognition of Islamophobia in Belgian law, works to ensure the inclusion of women in higher education and the job market, by ways of providing an ‘hot line’ for victims and legal/administrative advices, establishing permanent contact with decision makers and the media, collaborating with scholars and lecturers to provide better knowledge on Islamophobia, and participating and initiating events to raise awareness on Islamophobia. Ms. Yayah Khisbiyah, a newly appointed Program Director of the CDCC, acted as a moderator during the roundtable discussion, which was well-attended by many inter-faith activists.