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.

“…when it comes to Muslim communities, particularly in the West, there has been often an absence or a reluctance of Muslim communities to come out of their own small community organizations and to reach across the aisle, so to speak, and to interact with other faith communities.

So, one of the things that I’ve seen in all the cities in North America that I’ve lived in is this precise desire and focus and interest on behalf of the Hizmet Movement to engage in interfaith dialogue.”

“I think the Hizmet schools around the world, in 160 countries, are making an important contribution to democracy, simply by virtue of their existence, by virtue of the training and educating of thousands of students who would not be the recipients of a modern education and a religious education had those schools not existed.”

“I have a very positive impression of the Hizmet Movement’s going beyond just interfaith dialogue and actually doing something. … You have to be actively involved in trying resolving or contributing to solving human problems. So, to hear that people are organizing—in this case the Hizmet Movement—and going into the field where there is poverty, where there is suffering, where there is an number of important needs that need to be addressed and you’re trying to actually actively use the opportunity and the resources that you have to address human suffering, I think that’s a very important goal.”