Louis Girard says: “I was very surprised, and also my friends of the Focolare, we were very surprised when we first met Hizmet, to find how many connections we have, how many similarities. And if I tried to talk about some, maybe the most important one, significant one, is that we both work for interfaith dialog in somewhat similar ways…”
“If we look at what aspect, or how Hizmet present Islam to the world, Hizmet present an Islam that is moderate. An Islam that is faithful to the tradition, but also open to, I would say modernity, in the sense of development, evolution of the society , again, open to interfaith dialog. ”
” I think that the difference that the Hizmet school may be bringing to this country is possibly that the values that are also thought in the schools, in addition to the curriculum that is proposed by the country, is probably making a difference in the quality of the students who come out of those schools. In maybe the way they live their life with more integrity, for example.”
Louis Gerard – Bio
Dr Louis Girard is a family physician working at the Medical Clinic for Person-Centered Psychotherapy. Dr Louis Girard received his degree in medicine and completed his post doctoral studies and residency in Family Medicine at the Université de Montréal. Dr Louis Girard has been a facilitator for a program of Mac Master University’s Foundation for Medical Practice Education since 1996. Dr Louis Girard is also a member of the Focolare Movement, an international movement dedicated to peace and unity, and is actively involved in interreligious dialogue.
The Focolare Movement is an international organization that promotes the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood. Founded in 1943 in Trento, northern Italy by Chiara Lubich as a religious movement, the Focolare Movement, though primarily Roman Catholic, now has strong links to the major Christian denominations and other religions, or in some cases, with the non-religious. It is also called the “Opera di Maria,” or “Work of Mary”. The Focolare Movement operates in 182 nations and has over 100,000 adherents. The Movement’s name comes from the Italian word for “hearth” or “family fireside”.
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.