My introduction to Hizmet didn’t occur suddenly. I first met people from IDI, at the school in Edmonton, and also had an opportunity to go to Turkey and see some of the impact of the Hizmet Movement, and the people that were part of it. The introduction wasn’t through a paper or a book, rather it came through the experience of seeing the schools, hospitals and the people involved in the movement both in Turkey and in Edmonton.
As we see in politics, sports teams and corporations, the leader or the head of an organization or group sets the culture and the tone for an organization. He defines and reaffirms what are the principles of that organization and how decisions are made. We don’t know what is going to happen in the future, but we know the principles that we will adhere to and use to make those decisions. And while I’ve never met Mr. Gülen, I can see the results of those principles, and I can certainly know him by those principles I’ve seen articulated and manifest through decisions that were made via the organization. Their principles show in how they conduct themselves, where they choose to put their efforts, in their research institutions and in establishing places to support children. So I’ve never met him, but I’m very impressed by the results of the principles that he is the steward of. When I looked at Hizmet, I saw good people trying to do good things. They are trying to reach out of their own comfort zone or their own communities, and help other communities.