How does Fethullah Gülen believe civil initiatives can bring about positive change?

Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen encourages non-confrontational, non-conflictual efforts to serve one’s community, nation or the whole world. He asks people to persevere without modification in these positive efforts, despite peculiarly difficult conditions or adverse situations. He holds that this will allow Turkey to participate in the world system, not in a merely dependent position but with some capacity to exert influence and engage in dialogue and negotiation. By the same token, he sees this as a condition also for making a contribution to democracy on the world scale.

To Fethullah Gülen, the democratization process may thereby draw attention to critical weaknesses and inadequacies in political initiatives aimed at the problems and issues facing us today. It is therefore one of the roles of social movements to bring these issues to public attention, through the proliferation of information and its novel forms and alternative projects and altruistic services. Fethullah Gülen believes that cultural activities and non-violent forms of action, provided they find the proper channels, can sometimes reach out to address the world and make the difference. He maintains that today such positive change can only be brought about partially and in a piecemeal fashion.

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