Prof. Mahmoud Sadri is a Professor of Sociology, Texas Woman’s University. His major expertise includes Comparative Sociology of Religion, Sociology of Culture, and Theoretical Sociology. His area interests are Middle Eastern and Iranian studies, and Islamic Reformation. One of his books is “Migration, Globalization, and Ethnic Relations”.
Fethullah Gülen is a disciple of the great and prolific Islamic author and mystic, Bediüzzaman Sa’id Nursî. Just like Bediüzzaman Sa’id Nursî, Fethullah Gülen has a vision of Islam that is a vision of service to humanity. A vision of selflessness. And a vision of the ultimate unity of all mankind.
The Hizmet Movement is a necessary corrective to the view of Islam that unfortunately has been painted by Puritanism, extremism, and violence. Hizmet Movement, diametrical opposite of those characteristics. It’s a movement dedicated to service, dedicated to tolerance, and dedicated to service to humanity.
From what I understand, there are 700 Hizmet schools in, only in that area of the world. Judging only by that contribution, what Hizmet Movement has done is unprecedented. And Muslims, of course, in places that are deprived. Deprived of health services and educational services, and therefore they become prey to extremism. To desperate acts. Direly need the services of a mainstream, tolerant Islamic care. And that is what the Hizmet Movement offers.
The fact that the Hizmet Movement has devoted so much of its resources to open schools, and excellent schools, schools with very high standard of education, in conflict zones, in areas of the world that are deprived, that are poor, it speaks loudly for what Hizmet stands for. I know that there is a long waiting list to enter these schools. And I know the efforts of the right-wing activists to label Hizmet schools as some kind of a missionary, as some kind of a Fifth Column, have all come to naught. Because there is nothing that anybody can detect or discover that would indicate that Hizmet is anything but a movement genuinely spiritual, but completely innocent of preaching and proselytizing in wherever it goes.