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Dr Alok Mukherjee speaks on Gulen Movement (Hizmet) – Fethullah Gulen

Canada News

Alok Mukherjee

Alok Mukherjee says: ” This philosophy of the Hizmet Movement, of contributing to society voluntarily, people helping each other is what I think, for me, is the most important aspect of Hizmet Movement.”

” I’ve done some reading of the words of Mr. Fetullah Gülen, and I think he brings a breath of fresh air. There’s so much doctrinaire debate, and so much antagonistic debate. And his idea of building amity, building understanding through dialog, his idea of bringing the positive side of Islam through that kind of interfaith, intercultural exchange, is so very, very critical.”

“… the view, or the aspect of Islam, that is being promoted through Mr. Fetullah Gülen’s work, through the Hizmet Movement, is so very essential to say, you know, “don’t paint all of Islam in one particular way. Don’t believe that only the negative things you hear are the essence of Islam,” that Islam is a humanistic religion, that Islam has a philosophy of service to humanity..”

” I was absolutely, pleasantly surprised, when in Turkey, to be told, you know, “You’re going to meet this person. Feel free to ask any questions, including any doubts that you may have about the Hizmet Movement, or Gülen.” That willingness to engage and to respond is so critical. Because if people begin to have true understanding of each other, as opposed to understanding based upon stereotypes, or bias, or prejudice, or ignorance, then I think we can hope to have world peace, much more than is the reality right now.”

“… that combination of good education in good environment, with a focus on citizenship, on qualities of citizenship is what makes the approach to education by the Hizmet Movement so very interesting.”

“…. when we combine dialog, on the one hand, to build understanding, with on the ground service–reduction of poverty, elimination of poverty, imparting good-quality education–and do it globally, there are many, many advantages in terms of building a better world, in terms of breaking down the barriers of suspicion and hostility among peoples in the world, and in then bringing harmony in the world, while at the same time, building good followers of the Islam, within the Islamic community.”

Dr Alok Mukherjee – Bio

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Dr Alok Mukherjee

Dr Alok Mukherjee is the Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board and the President of the Canadian Association of Police Boards. A human rights and equity advocate who is well-known across Canada and the world, he has previously served as the Vice Chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Dr Alok Mukherjee  has also taught courses on South Asian and Indian cultures and languages at York University, Toronto.

Dr Alok Mukherjee  was originally appointed by City Council to the Toronto Police Services Board for a term effective September 28, 2004 to November 30, 2006. In 2004, he became Vice-Chair of the Board and in 2005 became Chair, succeeding Pam McConnell. After his original appointment, he was reappointed for the following term February 8, 2007 to April 13, 2010. Subsequently, he was appointed by the Province for the next three year term and on its completion, he was re-appointed for another three year term effective April 14, 2013.

With this record of service, Dr Alok Mukherjee  has become the second longest-serving board chair of this institution. Only Charles O. Bick, the first chairman of what was then called the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, had served for a longer period of time with a tenure of twenty-two (22) years.

In 1971, Dr Alok Mukherjee  had emigrated to Canada from India intending to pursue an academic career. He was sidetracked from this goal for several years when he assumed a position as a School Community Relations Worker with the Toronto Board of Education, from which he went on to become the Toronto Board’s Race Relations Advisor with a determined focus on helping to build an educational system that was grounded in ensuring outcomes of Equity, Human Rights and Anti-Racism for all staff and students.

Following his stint at the Toronto Board of Education, Dr Alok Mukherjee  returned to the academic arena when he became an Instructor in South Asian Studies at York University — and where he subsequently received a PhD. During this period, he designed and taught some courses in South Asian cultures, languages and literature as well as in Native Canadian literature. In addition, he published two books – “Towards an Aesthetic of Dalit Literature”, which is a translation of a work on the literature of India’s untouchable writers by one of the foremost untouchable writers, and “This Gift of English” which proposes a new analysis of the rise of English education in India as a convergence of British and Indian ruling class interests. He also served as an advisor to Mayor David Miller.

Over these many years since his arrival in 1971, Dr Alok Mukherjee  has built a sound professional reputation as a human rights and equity advocate, community organizer and race relations consultant in Toronto, across Canada and internationally. He has been a partner with the consulting firm, Partners in Equality and was a member of the Doris Marshall Institute for Education and Action.

Among his other public service appointments, Dr Alok Mukherjee  has been the Acting Chief Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He has also been a member of the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services and has served on the Board of Governors of Centennial College.

At the federal level, Dr Alok Mukherjee  currently serves as President of the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB). This national organization of police boards/commissions represents civilian oversight of municipal policing across Canada. Its members are involved in validating trends for most of Canadian policing directions. Its work focuses on research on—and the airing of—issues related to public safety that should be of concern to all Canadians. To this end, CAPB works with representatives of the federal government, Members of Parliament and other stakeholders that value the safeguarding human rights and public safety.

Intercultural Dialogue Institute

Intercultural Dialogue Institute is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to advance social cohesion via(through) personal interaction by promoting respect and mutual understanding among people of all cultures and faiths through dialogue and partnership. Intercultural Dialogue Institute aims to promote enduring interfaith and intercultural cooperation, tolerance and dialogue by sharing our differences and similarities in an effort to enhance civil society, to promote the development of human values, and to advance diversity and multiculturalism in the society. The Institute aims to eliminate or reduce false stereotypes, prejudices and unjustified fears through direct human communication. By this mission IDI aims to contribute to improvement of diversity, pluralism and multiculturalism throughout Canada. In this regard, IDI organizes social, educational and cultural activities such as lectures, seminars, conferences, discussion forums, luncheons, informative dinners, programs for students and youth, intercultural exchange trips, courses, outreach programs.

It was founded by Turkish Canadians inspired by the teachings and example of Fethullah Gulen. The Institute is not a religious or ethnic organization. It aims to facilitate dialogue on a whole range of social issues, regardless of any particular faith or religion. It stands for democracy, human rights, the non-instrumentalisation of religion in politics, equality and freedom of speech.

Source: Gulen Movement