An American politician and lawyer, Senator Roger Katz is a Republican State Senator from Maine’s 24th district. After serving as the Mayor of the state capital, Augusta, Senator Katz was first elected to the Maine State Senate in 2010. Katz is also a former President of Maine Trial Lawyers Association and has been named one of the “Outstanding Lawyers in America”. In appreciation of his community service, he was awarded the “Citizen of the Year” award by Le Club Calumet.

“… a couple of summers ago, I had the great honor of going on a trip to Turkey that was run from the Maine Cultural Center, spending a week in Turkey and learning a great deal more about the Hizmet Movement. And I didn’t really have any preconceptions before I went. What I saw was a religious based organization, whose mission it is to encourage tolerance, to encourage diversity, and to do good work, whether it’s in education or health care or other fields. And I came away with a real appreciation for the Hizmet Movement.”

“… as we all realize these days, there’s almost a battle for the minds and hearts of Americans about, you know, what does Islam really mean? As we’re taping this today, we’re dealing now with the crisis of the ISIS factor over in Syria and Iraq, and to many people, I think that’s the face of Islam to them. Well, there’s a very, very different face, and that’s the face I saw with the Hizmet Movement, that takes.. that looks to the best in people, not the worst.”

“I think the Hizmet Movement was different, because frankly, when I went to Turkey, I was kind of expecting that I would be proselytized. I don’t know if that’s a word you generally use, but that there would be, that the Muslim religion would be subtly sold to us while we were there. That wasn’t true at all. We were free to express contrary points of view, we were free to ask any questions we wanted, and the entire emphasis was on the good social justice, freedom of religion, tolerance of other religions, freedom of thought, that the Gülen Movement and the Hizmet Movement is, I think, noted for.”

“… when I went to Turkey and saw the warehouses of goods, and medical supplies, and food, and medical equipment, and emergency vehicles that was about to get shipped off to various continents where it was really needed, it changed my view of the country of Turkey. It changed my view of the Hizmet Movement. And it changed my view of Islam.”