How does the Gülen Movement contribute to the public space?
Whenever the collective action of the Gülen Movement openly addresses the central issues affecting society, it redefines the public space. This process affects political life, everyday lives, mental codes, and interpersonal relationships. The Gülen Movement, as a collective cultural action, symbolically reverses the naming, the way of interpreting our reality and experience, that is imposed on society by the dominant protectionist interests, and it reveals the arbitrariness of that naming or interpretation. It interprets and restructures reality using different perspectives, which lead to the crumbling of the minority’s power to interpret reality for everyone else in a way that hurts or oppresses all those who are not part of the elite.
However, no sooner does the Gülen Movement raise a new theme in the public sphere than it meets new limits. The mechanisms of the political system become selective, excluding and suppressing some of the dynamic components of the issue.
Nevertheless, some hopeful shifts in attitude have been observed, both in the political arena and among the general public as a whole. For example, as the Movement’s discourse has gained influence through the visibility of its actions and platforms, there has been a change in the public perception of Islam. Previously, there had been efforts, in the service of short-sighted interests, to propagate and manipulate negative images of Islam. Yet, through the action of the Gülen Movement, these images have gradually been modified.
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