EMISCO – European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion, together with FLUX Student Association, the Belgian Think Tank ThinkOut, the Association of Young International Democrats – AYID and in cooperation with the Center for Turkish Studies of the University of Gent and with the kind support of the Presidency for Turks Abroad, held its launching Seminar on the theme; Awareness of New Europe and Academic Responsibilities!
The seminar which aims to discuss the role of academics in the creation of an inclusive and inter-faith Europe was held at the Gent University Campus, a spacious seat of learning for 34000 thousand students in the heart of this beautiful Belgian city, 50 km. from Brussels.
It was attended by students, academics and inter-cultural NGOs that are working on the issue of inclusion and participation, especially of Muslim communities. Eminent scholars and historians at the university and NGO representatives presented their valuable views on the subject that was followed by a lively Question /Answer session.
The main message from the presentations and discussions was that when it comes to altering the prevailing negative narrative relating to ethnic and religious minorities, educationalists – teachers, lectures and academics – can fill the intellectual gap that is very obvious in public discourse dominated by the populist politicians and the negative media.
Educators can be a great source to instill a sense of fairness, mutual respect and accept as well as critical and objective interaction among their students that would lead to a more inclusive society and a harmonious living.
This was the first EMISCO seminar of its kind that would be followed up by events in France and Germany and at different universities in large European cities.
We are of this conviction that education is the best tool to foster better relations between Muslim communities and the majority societies in Europe, particularly at this critical juncture of history that seems to be full of turmoil.
Eda OZTURK – Chair of FLUX
Bashy QURAISHY – Secretary General of EMISCO
Hilmi KAÇAR – Center for Turkish Studies- Gent University
Dr Jozefien DE BOCK – Postdoctoral Researcher – Migration studies
Murathan TURHAN – Association of Young International Democrats
Betul DEMIRKOPARAN – THINKOUT