Dr. Bradley Hawkins teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at California State University- Long Beach. He teaches courses on Southeast Asian religions, Hinduism and other South Asian religions, and the study of small-scale religions. His current research projects include a religious history of Southeast Asia to 1500 CE, a study of Buddhist groups in the LA area, and a comprehensive overview of small-scale religions in Indochina.
Dr. Hawkins refers to Fethullah Gulen as a wise man and says, “. I think that his form of Islam is a tremendously powerful, modern form of religion and has a lot to teach the world about how we should get together.”
“I think Hizmet goes to the heart of what it means to be a Muslim. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was a man who was not teaching a set of dogmas. He was teaching a revolution of life, a whole new way to interact with the world around them, to interact with God, to interact with other human beings, to interact even with nature…”
Dr. Hawkins feels that “Islam has much to teach the world about how human beings should interact with it…” and notes that Hizmet is doing a good job of putting those principles in place, with its interfaith activities and relief work.
In response to recent allegations regarding the Hizmet Movement, Dr. Hawkins expresses his opinion quite frankly, “Hizmet isn’t a secret society. Hizmet is very straightforward about what it believes, about what it wants to do… What Hizmet is looking for is a change in people, not a change of politics. And, the idea behind Hizmet, and this is something that Gulen Efendi has said a lot, is if you change people, everything else will change with it.”
“Hizmet is just part of the development toward a new, democratic, economically secure, powerful Turkey. Hizmet is fully behind the new vision of the new Turkey. And, in time, I think people will recognize that.”