Dr. Michael Zaccaria is adjunct faculty member at both Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. He teaches courses in the history of the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He taught courses in European history and geography at Cumberland County College in Vineland, New Jersey. He received his Doctor of Arts degree from Carnegie-Mellon University.

“Regarding Mr. Gülen, I feel that he has provided a great degree of leadership for the Muslim world overall, even though he’s a Turkish spiritual leader, so that his impact has been very positive. I am always impressed by the fact that Time magazine identified him as one of the most, the 100 most influential people in the world, so I very much honor the accomplishments that he’s been able to facilitate, in a way which seems that it’s rather subtle, and yet very powerful.”

“In my view, the Hizmet Movement is at the core of the Islamic faith. That Islam, particularly the Sufi dimension of it, is very much about love. So that to me, it’s the essence of what the Muslim faith is about. It’s about concern for love of individual people, regardless of their religious affiliation, and through that love of people, a love of God comes through, so that to me, Hizmet and Islam are one and the same. It is at the core of the basis of the Islamic religion.”

“I think that people sometimes are skeptical, cynical about what they see, and they don’t understand that there are people in the world who are extremely motivated by the good, and who are out to improve the world for positive reasons, not for some sort of hidden political agenda, so I think it’s a matter of ignorance, and I think that the Hizmet Movement has worked very hard to overcome that, but they have a long way to go.”