Prof. Donald A. Beecher is a Professor of English Language and Literature at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He received his M.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara and Ph.D. from University of Birmingham, U.K. His research interests include Renaissance medicine, Italian theatre, and the cognitive sciences and literature. Throughout his academic career he has received many honors and awards.

“The Hizmet Movement. Do you know, it’s a really remarkable conception, when you think about it. It is, I think, the, very largely the idea of Fethullah Gülen, and the Hizmet Movement, which was founded on several different fronts, […] but one of the wings of this Movement was to open up a dialog between the cultures and the religions of the world, simply because many of our misconceptions of each other are based on a lack of knowledge and lack of information. […] I thought the entire movement was well-placed, well-timed, and certainly something that deserves our encouragement and our support.”

“He is a very complex individual. A man, I think, with a remarkable perspective on the world, but he has taken, I think, quite an innovative stride. In wanting to move through his own spirituality, which is absolutely based and grounded in the Islamic faith, grounded in Sufism, grounded in his studies in Muslim theology, all of these things. But out of this, he has developed an international perspective, he has developed an intertheological, an interfaith perspective, and therefore he, I think, has become a real intellectual leader, a real spiritual leader, now on a worldwide basis.”

“I think that the spirit behind this [giving international experiences to students] is an extension of Fethullah Gülen’s interest in developing international connections, international contacts, and this can be useful, not only in terms of the interfaith, intellectual encounters that we’ve talked about before, but also in terms of making contacts between nations on the basis of scientific investigations and the sharing of scientific interests, and also, economic. Also, in the development of our economic contacts, so that we can encourage trade amongst our respective nations.”