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”.
“The Hizmet Movement, from my understanding, is a moderate movement within Islam, that Fethullah Gülen was influenced by Said Nursî. And so, the movement of trying to relate Islam to the modern world, especially the scientific part of the modern world, is something that I think defines the Movement for me, the Hizmet Movement.”
“There’s a lot of Islamic extremism and radicalism and terrorism in the world. Unfortunately, people in the United States and in other countries, I think, have not understood that that is a minority in Islam throughout the world, and then has bought into those stereotypes and therefore been afraid and sometimes hostile to any Muslims that they encounter. So I really feel like the Hizmet Movement is one, in terms of its outreach–and really a courageous outreach, it seems to me, into all different kinds of religions and governments and political parties and charitable groups and so on–to go to and reach out and say, “we would like to share who we are, and we would like to listen to who you are, in the name of creating more global peace.”, that that’s really something that is important…. ”
“I think that there was some evolution, as I understand it, in terms of the Hizmet Movement, toward more of a commitment to democracy as being the necessary form of government at our time and place, in order for there to be peace and security. And so I think that that’s really an important part of what happens in terms of the education.”