Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Coordination Meeting with Turkish Religious Leaders (Imams)


Diyanet imams and female chaplains who serve Turkish American and broader communities in more than 25 religious centers across the United States gathered in Diyanet Center of America between Friday, March 17 and Sunday March 19 for the bi-annual Religious Services Coordination Meeting. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss different aspects of religious services, alongside the educational and social activities organized in these centers.

In the first day of the program, all imams and female chaplains were received by HE. Serdar Kilic, Ambassador of Republic of Turkey at the Embassy building in Washington, DC. In his address, Ambassador Kilic allegorically named all religious leaders as “ucbeyleri/frontier chiefs” to highlight the importance of their mission to help Turkish immigrants in the United States.

Following the commemorations for the Canakkale Martyrs, the delegation visited the main campus of All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling, VA, a leading Muslim center with over eight satellite mosques in the DMV area. At ADAMS Center, board member Mr. Robert Marro gave a presentation about the history and current work at the Center. Also joined by Imam Mohamed Magid, executive imam of ADAMS Center, the meeting produced mutual exchange of information about issues concerning religious and pastoral care in today’s atmosphere.

The visiting Imams, accompanied by DCA Imams and researchers from Diyanet Islamic Research Institute, lastly visited International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) of Herndon, VA, a pioneering intellectual and educational institute established in 1981. Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, Director of Research and Academic Programs at IIIT, received the Diyanet Imams and explained the history and current work of IIIT. Dr. Sinanovic also introduced the Imam and Muslim Community Leadership Graduate Certificate program, a collaborative project of IIIT and Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. The visit concluded with a vibrant question and answer session.

At the last session of first day program held in DCA, Dr. Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, a research fellow with the Diyanet Islamic Research Institute (DIRI) gave a presentation titled “Religious Life in the US and the Muslim-American Experience: Historical Processes and the Indigenization Debate.” Dr. Tekelioglu presented information about demographic sketch of American Muslim communities and different institutions the American Muslims have established. The presentation included a broad discussion of African American Muslim experience and the session concluded with an emphasis on the work of DIRI and the need to exchange experiences and challenges.

During the second day of the program all imams had the opportunity to converse about their experiences in their local communities and ask questions to Dr. Yasar Colak, Religious and Social Affairs Counselor and Fatih Kanca, Deputy Counselor about the challenges they confront.
Family members also had the opportunity to participate in various social and cultural events held at the DCA complex throughout the meetings.

TURKISH
2017 yılının ilk “Din Görevlileri Koordinasyon Toplantısı 18-19 Mart 2017 tarihlerinde Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nin farklı eyaletlerinden gelen bay ve bayan 32 din görevlisinin katılımı ile Amerika Diyanet Merkezi’nde gerçekleştirildi. İki gün süren programın ilk gününde, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Vaşington Büyükelçisi Serdar Kılıç ile bir toplantı yapıldı. Büyükelçilikte yapılan “Çanakkale Şehitleri Anma Programına katılan din görevlileri, ardından bölgenin en önemli islami kuruluşlarından All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) ve Uluslararası İslam Düşünce Enstitüsü’ (IIIT) adlı düşünce kuruluşunu ziyaret ederek yetkililerden yürütülen faaliyetler hakkında brifing aldılar.

Toplantı kapsamında Diyanet İslam Araştırmaları Enstitüsü araştırmacılarından Dr. Ahmet Selim Tekelioğlu, “Amerika’da Dini Hayat ve İslam Tecrübesi: Tarihi Süreç ve Yerlileşme Tartışmaları” başlıklı sunum yaptı.
Programın ikinci gününde; Din İşleri Yüksek Kurul Uzmanı ve Müşavir Yardımcısı Fatih Kanca, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nde Güncel Fıkhi Meseleler konulu seminer verirken, Müşavir Dr. Yasar Çolak, son Başkanlık seçimi akabinde oluşan yeni şartlar ve yükselen İslamofobik olaylar karşısında izlenmesi gereken stratejiler hakkında görevlileri bilgilendirdi. Din görevlileri ise kendi bölgeleri ve yaptıkları calışmalar hakkında bilgiler sundular.
Toplantıya aileleri ile katılan din görevlileri, toplantı sürecinde DCA Külliyesinde yapılan çeşitli sosyal ve kültürel etkinliklere de katılma fırsatı buldular.
Toplantı çekilen aile fotoğrafı ile sona erdi.


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