Dr. Frances M. Leap is an associate professor of Religious Studies at Seton Hill University. Her academic areas of interest are interreligious dialogue, Islamic studies, religion and film. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. She is a founding member of CERIS – Consortium of Educational Resources in Islamic Studies, 2003. She received Bridge Building Award from Islamic Center of Pittsburgh in 1998.

“All I can tell you about Hizmet is the people that are a part of it. And those people are some of the best human beings I know. I’m very impressed at how very hard-working, when someone puts their mind to accomplish something, it’s gonna happen. This community is very supportive of one another.”

“I think any controversy about the Hizmet Movement is probably akin to the sort of thing that American Catholics experienced. Newcomers in a land will often be seen suspiciously. And it just takes time to establish yourself, and for people to come to know you, and then you become a part of the landscape. And I’m sure that will happen, as the years go by, for the Hizmet Movement in our country, too. At least, I hope it does.”

“I was very, very pleased to find out that musalaha, or the sense of the common good, is as important, it seems to me, in Islam as it is in the Catholic tradition. And I see this sense of the common good made very real, made very embodied by the work of people who are in the Hizmet Movement. There’s a concern to bring the fruit, how can I say, the goods of the common to everyone. So there’s concern for working at the food bank. There’s concern for providing education. Probably education is one of the best gifts that the Hizmet Movement has brought to America. But that sense of the common good, I think, is one of the biggest contributions.”

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