Prof. Earle H. Waugh is a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Alberta. He serves as the Director of the Centre for the Cross-Cultural Study of Health and Healing, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta. He lectures and consults widely on health-care and culture.

The Hizmet Movement at least has been an articulate voice of a Sunni sort, that speaks out of a spiritual vision, and tries to articulate, for the population at large, a stance of what we would call a spiritual perspective on all of these things that have been happening. So the Hizmet Movement, then, has tried to articulate and be a spokesvoice for a more moderate vision of what it is that Islamic sensitivities are. So I think that’s probably the best way of putting it.

And I would say that Mr. Fethullah Gülen expresses a moderate view of Islam. One that still has political content, but that does not see the state as an Islamic entity. So that for him, what we’re really talking about is a spiritual empire, not a physical or a political or a state empire.

There are some countries in the world who don’t have any kind of support at all. So what the Hizmet Movement tries to do, then, is to tap into the concern that people have for these natural disasters, and for these kinds of terrible catastrophes, to try to help people cope with them.

What is important, I think, is that they have decided that they will make it a world movement. In other words, they won’t just stick it to Turkey, right? And just won’t look into things in, let’s say, the Balkans. You know, they will do things all over the world. And I think that’s quite admirable.