Nader Hashemi is an associate professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and continues with his studies on Middle East and Islamic affairs, religion and democracy, secularism, Islam-West relations… Hashemi has been serving as the director of the Center for Middle East Studies since 2012 and is the author of Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies.

“I view Fethullah Gulen as one of the leading Muslim intellectuals and scholars of the contemporary period and actually wish that more people—both Muslim and non-Muslim—would become familiar with his ideas.”

“Unfortunately in the West, after 9/11, the one interpretation of Islam that most Americans, most Westerners, are exposed to is a radical, violent, extremist version of Islam that has its roots in Wahhabi Islam and Al-Qaeda. So, you read Fethullah Gulen’s interpretation of Islam and the Hizmet Movement’s interpretation, and it’s completely the opposite.”

“…having a prominent Muslim leader, in this case Fethullah Gulen who is Turkish, condemn terrorism without any qualifications, without any ambiguity is, I think, a contribution to reducing the level of Islamaphobia in the United States, in the West and presenting an image of Islam, a face of Islam that is more moderate and more peaceful.”

“There’s too much violence and justification for violence, on religious grounds, among different Muslim groups in the Middle East. And to have an alternative narrative that is trying to condemn that interpretation and provide an alternative interpretation of Islam that is rooted within Islam’s own authentic religious heritage, in and of itself, is an important contribution and it’s an important task.”

“When I think about the Hizmet Movement and I compare it to other social movements and groups within the Muslim world, the immediate difference that I see is that the Hizmet Movement has a strong emphasis in education and in engaging with the modern world, not running away from it.”