A retired pastor, Reverend Keith Thompson retired in 2010 after having serving in the First United Methodist Church in Boulder, CO for six years. He was active in trying to reconcile religious fatih and politics, occasionally leading discussions on the topic. Active within the community, he lead book discussions and educational seminars at various occasions. It was during the time Rev. Thompson served in a church in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah (mid-1980s) that he started organizing interfaith dialog meetings and programs. As a human rights activist, he describes himself as “a Christian who wants the world to be a better, more loving and peaceful place”.
” My views are very positive about the Hizmet Movement. I consider them to be really oriented towards world peace through interfaith dialog and intercultural dialog.”
” I think that the emphasis in the Movement on generosity, which is grounded in Fethullah Gülen’s understanding of Islam, has been one major thing that has impacted the world. And the commitment of his followers throughout the world is an important way in which, indirectly, he has touched the world for the better.”
” … the Hizmet Movement to me is unique in terms of other social movements, Islamic social movements in the world, in that there’s a real emphasis on religiously motivated service that has made the individuals related to this movement extremely generous people, people who are really at work in very concrete ways, and wherever they are in the world, to create a more just and peaceful world.”
” I think that a Muslim-inspired movement, as Hizmet is, going to other countries and establishing schools for the purpose of education, and education in a general sense and not just proselytizing education to be Muslim or a particular kind of Muslim, is a very, very important thing and is a unique thing in terms of my experience. I really had to have long discussions with people in the Hizmet Movement to get my head around that, because I think it’s very unusual in the United States.”