How can the apparent unity in the Gülen Movement be explained?

Fethullah Gülen

The Gülen Movement is oriented toward action and goals. This orientation builds in the Movement a fairly cohesive and homogeneous identity. It strengthens the face-to-face human and psychological interaction and, in turn, facilitates collective action of all kinds, including SMOs. Many collective actions have different orientations, components and levels relating to different socio-historical levels or layers in a given society. The collective actor of the Gülen Movement too identifies and recognizes specific levels and a plurality of levels within the construction of collective action and identity. However, it does not negate and attempt to eliminate people’s differences, but tries to bring them around mutually acknowledged similarities and references so that they can serve their communities and humanity. It does not focus on secondary, contradictory and ambivalent differences which have little significance for universally accepted projects, such as education. So the message of the Gülen Movement carries a complex articulation of meanings, relations and values for peaceful coexistence and co-operation of civilizations. Hence, to reduce the Movement to just one of its many levels, to conflate all these elements into the unity rendered by ideologists or into only the dimensions of collective action that are visible at first sight, is either an error or reduction.

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