Are participants drawn from people on the margins of society?

Fethullah Gülen

Neither newcomers nor existing participants are unintegrated, excluded, marginal or rootless people. Research shows that participants are people who are active and integrated into the community. This contradicts the common supposition that mobilization is a phenomenon involving those who are most affected by social disintegration and exclusion. In fact, availability for mobilization is weak among such marginal and rootless groups. Those who become participants in a movement generally have a more solid collective identity and closer ties to a network of social affiliations.

The individuals who form the service-networks in the Gülen Movement include a very high percentage of people from a middle-class or higher socio-economic position. They develop a broader vision of the world. They become sensitive to particular and global concerns and causes. They acquire information and necessary skills and competencies to deliver service-projects that meet real social needs.

Participants very openly engage in projects for education, culture, interfaith dialogue, societal peace and civilizational co-operation. This brings them recognition as bearers of universal ethical values, not ideas or orientations that are narrow, marginal or exclusive.

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