The U.S. Department of State’s Special Representative to Muslim Communities Shaarik Zafar visited Istanbul on December 14-17.
Following his presentations on “Gapping the Bridge”, he held lively discussions and Q&A sessions with academics and students at Kadir Has University/Faculty of Communications and Marmara University/Faculty of Theology. Sharing his experiences as a Muslim American, he answered questions on Muslim life in the U.S., negative effects of violent extremism on Muslim communities around the globe, and religious freedom issues.
Special Rep. Zafar paid a courtesy call on the Grand Mufti of Istanbul Rahmi Yaran with Consul General Hunter. He also met with Doğan Bermek, President of the Alevi Philosophy Center; Professor Raşit Küçük and scholars at the Centre for Islamic Studies (ISAM); and Dr. Halit Eren at the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA).
The Special Representative also visited Süleymaniye Mosque and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.