Scott Alexander is an Associate Professor of Islam at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He chairs the Department of Intercultural Studies and Ministry. He is also the Director of the Catholic-Muslim Studies Program at Catholic Theological Union. He is the Co-editor of a Dictionary of Christian-Muslim Relations.
“I think the great genius of the Hizmet Movement, as a movement of renewal and reform in the Muslim world, is that it focuses on that which is most important in Islam and that is the individual Muslim’s relationship to God and how that informs his/her relationship to the world around him/her.”
“Hocaefendi comes under a lot of criticism because he keeps his focus always on central human values, always on what God wants, in terms of building up the solidarity of the human family. And, as those of us of faith know, what God wants is often times not what people want, at least not in the short term. So, any person like Hocaefendi who stands for these kinds of values and who is committed to being a peace-maker is always going to come under criticism from a variety of different factions that would prefer people remain separate or at odds with one another.”
“…..here I was in the presence, very humbly, of my Turkish sisters and brothers—I’m a Catholic, they’re Muslims—who had come great distances from their homes, at great personal cost, making great sacrifices every day… why?… to give my young Catholic brothers living in Soweto—and actually my young Catholic sisters in the girls school—the opportunity at a better life.
Nothing for me sums up Hizmet values and ideals, nothing for me sums up Hizmet’s commitment to dialogue, nothing for me sums up Hizmet’s commitment to service and the deepest of Islamic values than that.”