Professor Ori Z. Soltes is a Goldman Professorial Lecturer in Theology and Fine Arts at Georgetown University. He currently teaches courses on theology, philosophy and art history at Georgetown University. He previously worked as the director and curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, DC. He has authored many books including; Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source and Mysticism in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Traditions: Searching for Oneness. Prof. Soltes has been interviewed for many different programs on religious, art, literary and historical topics on CNN, the History Channel and Discovery Channel.
” My general view of Hizmet is that it’s an extraordinary phenomenon, in two ways. One, I am of course impressed by how far-flung the movement is. How you find individuals and groups involved with it everywhere you go. … But more important is what the word hizmet means, and how the Movement expresses that word. And of course, hizmet means “service,” and without a single exception, everywhere I’ve been, every school I visited, every individual I’ve had more than a five-minute conversation with exhibits the same sort of qualities of an interest in doing things for others. Altruism. Helping. Making the world a better place. So my view of Hizmet is a very strongly positive one.”
“… part of my impression of him [Fethullah Gulen] is based on his writing. And I see it as a writing that leads in all kinds of positive directions. And I see it as writing and thinking that’s informed by a variety of different kinds of thinkers. From Socrates and Plato to even Arabi and Mevlana Rumi to Einstein. He’s got a very broad repertoire of sources, and he integrates them in a very unique kind of way.”
” The second way in which I judge him is all of the people whom I’ve met who are inspired by him. And they are so singularly, unusually, positive, gentle, humble, actively engaged in helping others and doing things for others… ”
“….. So here is a Movement and its schools inspired by a very specific set of religious principles, and yet in effect these schools are secular schools. And you know what? It won’t matter in the end whether the students coming out of those schools are Muslim or Jewish or Christian or Hindu or agnostic or atheist or whatever they are. If they have gained what hopefully they will gain from their education and they become altruistic exempla of Hizmet in the world, then that’s the point.”