Patrick Lake says : ” One of the things that’s very clear is that Mr. [Fethullah] Gulen is a very deep thinker, and that his thinking and his philosophy, if you read documents over the last twenty, twenty-five years, has really grown and developed as he’s increasingly found ways to weave together the perspectives of East and West. So my sense is that this is someone who clearly has devoted his entire life to trying to find ways to build bridges. Between cultures, between faiths, between countries and communities, and most importantly, between individuals, to make the world a better place. You can’t argue with that.”
” I think one of the most powerful things that he’s done, and that I think needs to continue to be put forward and restated, is the way in which he has repeatedly and forcefully spoken out against the violence that’s been perpetuated, supposedly in the name of Islam, by saying very clearly, you know, “this is not the work of the Muslim faith, this is the work of terrorists.” ”
” Sometimes there’s a fear that to engage in dialog and try to understand and get along, that you’re somehow watering down your own beliefs. And I think that one of the things that Hizmet demonstrates is that, in fact, the opposite is the case. That your own faith and your own personal beliefs can become stronger the more you engage with others.”
” Certainly one of the things I’ve learned is how the network of schools that Hizmet supports throughout the world act as a funnel. So that if there’s a crisis in Nigeria, or a crisis in Mozambique, or a crisis in Sudan, that there are schools that are already there, with people that already know people in that community, and already understand the problem, and can get resources out quickly. Because they already know who to talk to.”
Patrick Lake – Bio
Patrick Lake is a recognized leader in the child welfare sector with more than 31 years experience, including 19 years as Executive Director at the Children’s Aid Society for the District of Timiskaming. After attending the University of Windsor and obtaining a Bachelor of Social Work degree, Patrick Lake worked as a front line social worker in child welfare. Patrick Lake went on to complete his Master of Social Work degree in 1985. Currently a member of the Board of Directors of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, the provincial association representing the province’s children’s mental health agencies, Patrick Lake has held numerous leadership positions at both the community and at the provincial level. Patrick Lake was appointed Executive Director at York Region Children’s Aid Society in 2007.
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.