We Organized an International Symposium in the Netherlands


We organized an international symposium titled "Inaugural Global Symposium on Confessional Education" at the Islamic University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The symposium, held on March 6-7, featured opening remarks by IUASR Rector Emrullah Akgündüz and closing remarks by Said Yüce, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IUASR, on the topic of "A worldview based on the tawhed of the cosmos." 

Arnold Yasin Mol, from IUASR, speaking in the first session, discussed four main areas where Islam is represented: mosque, school, academy, and society, within the framework of his presentation titled "The Three Publics of European Islam: Navigating Cultural Paradigms." Mol emphasized the distinct dynamics and styles of each domain, stating that delivering sermons in academic conferences or presenting topics touching on societal issues in academic platforms might not be suitable. Mol highlighted that this diversity leads to some challenges, attributing it to differing approaches to understanding Islam and the damages inflicted by the modern world, particularly the threats of secularism and liberalism.

In the second session, speaking from a Christian perspective, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Reitsma addressed the importance of creating common ground between Muslims and Christians in the face of secular threats under the title "Faith-Commitment Versus Respecting the Religious Other in the Context of Education." Reitsma advocated for the idea that education is a search for meaning and suggested that this need could be met through joint programs, citing examples of collaborative programs between his institution, the Protestant Theological University, and IUASR. 

Dr. Tubanur Yeşilhark-Ozkan from IFMT (UK), in her presentation titled "Theology to God-Talk: Changing the Narrative," focused on the significance of translating the meaning of being with Allah into everyday language, emphasizing reflection, and also warning against the dangers of the modern secular system.

Tuğba Türkoğlu from IIKV presented "An Islamic Education Project: Madrasatuzzahra," discussing Bediüzzaman Said Nursi's educational project, Medresetüzzehra, and the scriptural methodology intertwined with Nursi's educational model. 

At the symposium, Dr. Ahmet Subaşı from Edinburgh University, and IIKV, joined remotely to discuss academically how a religiously based academic system should exist in secular society, highlighting Nursi's scriptural methodology as a solution amidst examples of civilizations built upon individualism and faithlessness.

Mashid Turner from IFMT (UK), in her presentation titled "Confessional Education and Mental Well-being," addressed the role of faith in altering one's perspective and the need for this perspective in education, sharing examples from her psychological support work in England. 

Prof Necati Aydın from IIKV, in his presentation titled "5D Thinking Model: Reading the Universe Like a Book and Seeing Signs of God in Science," emphasized the importance of integrating God into the philosophy of science. Aydın briefly summarized his "5D Thinking" model, developed over twenty years based on Nursi's scriptural methodology, advocating for the addition of God to science and methodology as the fifth dimension.

In the final session, Dr. Haroon Sidat, Cardiff University, and Cambridge Muslim College (UK), presented "Performing Islam as a Bricoleur in Three Publics," discussing the madrasa system in the UK. Sidat noted that madrasas fulfill the educational needs of Muslim communities and highlighted the significance of institutions like the Cambridge Muslim College, aiming to integrate madrasa and academia. 

The symposium concluded with question and answer sessions.