Aaron Tyler is Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at St. Mary’s University. He chairs the International Relations Graduate Program at St. Mary’s University. He received his doctorate in religion, politics and society from Baylor University. His areas of interest are religion and politics, ethics and global security, conflict resolution. Tyler is the author of “Islam, the West, and Tolerance: Conceiving Coexistence”.

“So Fethullah Gülen, through his teachings of love, and compassion, and coexistence, has inspired the development of this faith-based organization, known as the Hizmet Movement. And this Hizmet Movement, as I’ve seen it, and as it’s been inspired by Fethullah Gülen, is really focused on positive change. Positive change that’s predicated on faith-based values like love, faith-based values like empathetic acceptance, and faith-based values like hospitality.”

“I think it’s very important that a group like Hizmet exists to demonstrate the power of a community that is as rooted in its faith, but holds onto a humane and authentic understanding of its faith. An understanding that’s focused on a spiritual renewal. That’s focused on coexistence. Focused on tolerance and dialog. So I think its work around the globe has been pivotal as an alternative to those conservative, even fundamentalist and extremist ideas of faith that are out there.”

“I think also within the Muslim world, the Hizmet Movement is at the forefront in terms of quality, integrated, and comprehensive education. Making sure that students from all parts of society, from all economic classes, from all races and all ethnic and tribal and religious traditions have access to quality education, so that they, individually, have an opportunity to contribute to the common good in the communities where they belong.”