Joyce M. Davis is the President of World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She is the former foreign editor and director of news staffing at National Public Radio. She published “Between Jihad and Salaam: Profiles in Islam,” a collection of profiles and interviews with Islamic leaders around the world in 1997. She also published “Martyrs: Innocence, Vengeance and Despair in the Middle East” in 2003. She is the former senior fellow with the United States Institute of Peace and a member of the board of advisers for Women in International Security.
“I think the most important contribution of the Hizmet Movement is basically helping people, first of all to have a better impression, especially in the United States, of Islam and the Muslims. And then educate. People cannot learn to be tolerant unless they first know something about the rest of the world. So to engage people, to help them become more educated about other countries, to help them become more educated about the Islamic world, this is extraordinarily important right now in our world, and it’s probably one of the most crucial facets of peacemaking.”
“I think many of the people who come into contact, especially with the Turks and the members of the Hizmet Movement, see what they think is a different view of Islam. They see people who are friendly, who are easygoing, who are not militant and not ready to attack, you know, they see people who are laughing, having a good time, who are enjoying life, who enjoy their communities, who are ready to reach out and pitch in, even if it’s hard work. I mean, that’s a very good image, and unfortunately it’s not an image that many people in the West have of the Muslim world.”
“If the Hizmet Movement weren’t here, if they were not spreading their goodwill, and their friendliness, I think first of all you would not have this growing warmth and appreciation of Turkey amongst American people. And you definitely would not have so many, basically, American leaders, at local levels and at national level, really disposed and friendly toward Turkey and the Turkish people. This is important for world peace. I can’t tell you how important it is, that you not only focus, as the Hizmet Movement is, on those bilateral relations amongst the countries at the top, diplomatic, but that it’s deep, it sinks, and it combines the people.”