Isn’t the Gülen Movement antagonistic in character?


No. The collective action of the Gülen Movement may put pressure on the political market, but this pressure is not necessarily demand-oriented or antagonistic. In the Gülen Movement, there appears the dimension of offering, a kind of action which develops and anticipates new models of social rationality. This action concerns cultural codes, not confrontation and conflict with the political system. It allows ordinary people to take back responsibility for a variety of different roles in service to society. Indeed, the very identity of the Movement depends on its success in providing services for communities.

The principles and goals of the Gülen Movement do not permit any sort of aggressive or non-institutionalized mobilization. The Gülen Movement does not permit impractical and incompatible demands or expectations, or anything transgressing boundary rules – either in the Turkish or the international arenas – that could trigger conflict. Movement participants are encouraged to reflect upon and compare their action in different situations at different times; there is an open process of working out costs and benefits, of measuring effort and outcomes, that enables them to criticize and amend policy, to predict likely outcomes, to learn from mistakes, etc. In this way, the institutions, the services given and their success, do not belong to any single individual. Instead they remain oriented outward to the real world.

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