Sophia Pandya on Hizmet Movement


Date posted: September 29, 2014

Dr. Sophia Pandya specializes in women, religion, and globalization. She received her BA from UC Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies/Arabic, and her MA and PhD from UCSB in Religious Studies, with a focus on women and Islam. She co-edited the book titled The GulenHizmet Movement and its Transnational Activities: Case Studies of Altruistic Activism in Contemporary Islam.

Dr. Pandya describes the Hizmet Movement as an “admirable new religious movement” and “humanitarian civil society movement” that seeks to “get rid of the boundaries” that separate groups from one another and instead “be able to draw boundaries around all humankind. In fact, not just humankind but animal-kind, all creations of God…”

Referring to Hizmet’s projects and operation of service as “inclusivist” rather than the “exclusivist and boundary-drying projects” which have dominated the discourse for a long time, Dr. Pandya comments, “It does make me proud as a Muslim, as a scholar of Islam, and also as a religious studies scholar to be able to see these inclusivist projects.”

She says, “This is the attempt to celebrate all of humanity. I think that’s why Hizmet is different from other religious groups.”


*Produced by Spectra Media exclusively for Irmak TV, Atlas of Thoughts (Fikir Atlasi) connects the scholars, politicians, jurists, religious figures, journalists, and academics reflecting on Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement with the audience. Each episode features a person from a different segment of the society with diverse experiences regarding the Hizmet activities and its volunteers. If you are interested to hear about the Hizmet and Mr. Gulen from these people’s perspectives, do not miss this show!

Source: Spectra Media


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