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From Gandhi to Gülen: The Habitus of Non-Agressive Action

by Mustafa Gurbuz & Bandana Purkayastha on . Posted in Alternative Perspectives of the Gülen Movement

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In Mohandas Gandhi's terminology, truth (satya) implies love, which should engenders firmness/dedication (agraha)- thus, satyagraha refers to the "firmness in a good cause." Gandhi's philosophy of satyagraha is often conflated with the passive resistance in social movement literature, though a better descriptor would be dedicated nonviolent resistance. In this study, we compare the Gülen movement's philosophy of action, called hizmet, with the notion of satyagraha. We argue that hizmet and satyagraha refer to similar cognitive perceptions of the movement activists. In Bourdieuan sense, the movement activists have a unique habitus, which made them very different from the passive resistance activists in the Islamic revivalist movements and the New Social Movements (NSM) in the post-industrial societies.

Both hizmet and satyagraha define collective action in a distinctive way: First, they are based on the assumption that truth and love have transforming power. This specific belief make movement activists focus on attributes rather than a physically objectified enemy. Second, the social movement success is not defined in terms of cost-benefit calculations; rather, the success is seen as cooperating with the opponent to meet a just end that the opponent is unwittingly obstructing. In this sense, the Gülen movement's definition of a trio of enemies (i.e., ignorance, poverty, and disunity) is important to note. Third, both hizmet and satyagraha see the means and the ends as inseparable in collective action. Therefore, use of violent, coercive, unjust means to eliminate the problems is rejected. In the final analysis, this paper maintains that the Gülen movement's collective action that is based on notion of hizmet has distinguishing features, which makes it remarkably different from the passive resistance movements.

A Cartesian dualism that suggests the false dichotomy imposed on reason and emotion is still prevailing in the social movement studies. The separation of reason from emotion, however, is not value-neutral; research on emotionality of social movement participants is discredited at the expense of conceptualizing the world in alternative ways (Ferree 1992: 41-42). As the dualistic approach regards emotions as the "other" of reason, the defining "emotions" becomes very difficult given the fact that rationalistic models consistently ignore ideas, values, identities, and culture in collective action. Rational choice theory a priori assumes that unemotional calculation is the preferred mode of collective action, and therefore, identities and interests of social movement activists are given. This structuralist bias is most explicit in the explanation of collective identity in rational choice perspective: "…collective identities function as selective incentives motivating participation" (Friedman and McAdam 1992: 157). Thus, formulated as "incentives," collective definitions of social actors are reified to define a set of preferences in rational decision-making process. In this framework, the determinants of collective identity such as emotions, values, ideas, and shared meanings are considered as incentives to motivate people; they do not constitute the structure.

Contrary to Cartesian theories of collective action, Polletta (1999b) argues that collective identities and shared meanings constitute the structure as they guide not only the actions of insurgents but also institutional arrangements in society. In fact, the Neo-Marxist approaches have long been interested in the linkage between shared meanings and the material structure. Yet, the shared meanings have not been systematically assessed as a constitutive factor in shaping the material structures in the literature. As Tarrow puts it (1992: 186):

(T)he problem is wrongly posed if we begin by claiming that ideology didn't matter to earlier students of movements and that to us it does. The real problem is not that earlier students didn't recognize the importance of ideation but that they concentrated only on what they could see – the grievances, demands, and symbols put forward by social movement organizations in actual mobilization campaigns – and left to one side the vague and evanescent factors that link these symbols to their societies. Since mentalities and political cultures are seldom visible in the actions of collective actors, there was little attempt to study them systematically or to link them to the strategies and successes of social movements.

Following Tarrow's claim, we might argue that non-rationalist attitudes of certain social movements have been discredited in the literature because of little interest in linking collective identities of the actors with the strategies and successes of the movement activism. How should we understand, for example, Gandhi's philosophy in action and/or the Gülen movement's emphasis on altruistic action? If we explain these movements either their humane philosophies or environmental factors, i.e. political opportunity structures, we might easily fall into the trap of what Melucci (1988) calls "actor without action." Explaining these movements by pure factuality of collective action in historical retrospect, on the other hand, also misleads us to emphasize "action without actor," which refers to "an accidental sum of individual events" (Melucci 1988: 329). Therefore, we need to theorize the complex relationships and the processes in the Gandhi and the Gülen movements in order to assess the "actor with action." Given the idealistic views of these two social movements, we might ask how activists produce and develop the shared meanings in a way that the movement actors' own identities become strategically constructed. Investigating on identity-strategy link would provide an insight on how mentalities and values are interlinked with the strategies and successes of the social movements. To develop our argument on identity-strategy linkage, we shall briefly overview the social movement literature and then examine the cases of the Gandhian Chipko movement and the Gülen movement.

Identities and Strategies in Action

Recent works on social movements have criticized the longstanding tradition of classifying social movement types as "strategy-oriented" versus "identity-oriented" (Touraine 1981; Cohen 1985; Rucht 1988) and "identity logic of action" versus "instrumentalist logic of action" (Duyvendak and Giugni 1995) by regarding identities as a key element of a movement's strategic and tactical repertoire (see Bernstein 1997, 2002; Gamson 1997; Polletta 1998; Polletta and Jasper 2001; Taylor and Van Dyke 2004). Bifurcation of identity versus strategy suggests the idea that some movements target the state and the economy, thus, they are "instrumental" and "strategy-oriented"; whereas some other movements so-called "identity movements" challenge the dominant cultural patterns and codes and are considered "expressive" in content and "identityoriented." New social movement theorists argue that identity movements try to gain recognition and respect by employing expressive strategies wherein the movement itself becomes the message (Touraine 1981; Cohen 1985; Melucci 1989, 1996).

Criticizing these dualisms, some scholars have shown the possibility of different social movement behavior under different contextual factors (eg. Bernstein 1997; Katzenstein 1998). In contrast to new social movement theory, this work indicates that identity movements are not always expressive in content and do not always follow an identity-oriented approach; instead, identity movements can synchronically be strategic as well as expressive.

In her article on strategies and identities in the Black Protest movements during 1960s, Polletta (1994) criticizes the dominant theories of social movements, which a priori assume challengers' unified common interests. Similarly, Jenkins (1983: 549) refers to the same problem in the literature by stating that "collective interests are assumed to be relatively unproblematic and to exist prior to mobilization." By the same token, Taylor and Whittier (1992: 104) criticize lack of explanation "how structural inequality gets translated into subjective discontent." The dominant social movement theory approaches such as resource mobilization and political process regard these problems as trivial because of their assumption that identities and framing processes can be the basis for interests and further collective action; however, they cannot change the final social movement outcome. Therefore, for the proponents of the mainstream theories, identities of actors are formed in evolutionary processes wherein social movements consciously frame their goals and produce relevant discourses; yet, these questions are not essential to explain why collective behavior occurs (see McAdam, McCarthy, and Zald 1996). This reductionist view of movement culture has been criticized by a various number of scholars (eg. Goodwin and Jasper 1999; Polletta 1997, 1999a, 1999b; Eyerman 2002).

In fact, the debate over the emphases (interests vis-à-vis identities) is a reflection of the dissent between American and European sociological traditions. As Eyerman and Jamison (1991: 27) note, the American sociologists focused on "the instrumentality of movement strategy formation, that is, on how movement organizations went about trying to achieve their goals," whereas the European scholars concerned with the identity formation processes that try to explain "how movements produced new historical identities for society." Although the social movement theorists had recognized the deficiencies within each approach, the attempts to synthesize these two traditions in the literature failed to address the empirical problems and methodological difficulties.

While criticizing the mainstream American collective behavior approaches that treat the collective identities as given, many leading European scholars fell into a similar trap by a priori assuming that the collective identities are socio-historical products rather than cognitive processes (see, for instance, Touraine 1981). New Social Movement (NSM) theory, which is an offshoot of European tradition, has lately been involved in the debate over "cognitive praxis" (Eyerman and Jamison 1991), "signs" (Melucci 1996), "identity as strategy" (Bernstein 1997), protest as "art" (Jasper 1997), "moral performance" (Eyerman 2006), and "storytelling" (Polletta 2006). In general, these new formulations attempt to bring cognitive structures of social actors and symbolic nature of social action back in the study of collective behavior. The cognitive structures of the actors should be considered seriously because they have a potential to change the social movement behaviors, tactics, strategies, timing, alliances and outcomes. This work aims to contribute the growing literature on cognitive worlds of the social movement activists by examining the non-aggressive philosophies of the Gandhian Chipko movement and the Gülen movement.

Gandhi and Non-Aggressive Activism

In Mahatma Gandhi's terminology, truth (satya) implies love, which should engenders firmness/dedication (agraha)- thus, satyagraha refers to the "firmness in a good cause." Gandhi's philosophy of satyagraha is often conflated with the passive resistance in social movement literature, though a better descriptor would be dedicated nonviolent resistance. In this study, we compare the Gülen movement's philosophy of action, called hizmet, with the notion of satyagraha. We argue that hizmet and satyagraha refer to similar cognitive perceptions of the movement activists. In Bourdieuan sense, the movement activists have a unique habitus, which made them very different from the passive resistance activists in the Islamic revivalist movements and the New Social Movements (NSM) in the post-industrial societies.

According to Bourdieu (1977: 8, 95), habitus are "generative principles of distinct and distinctive practices" that are directly linked with being immersed and imposed by a certain culture and social norms, and thus, operate as unifying force between "the intrinsic and relational characteristics of a position" and "a unitary set of choices of persons, goods, practices." Drawing a theory of praxis based on his ethnographic research in Kabyle community in Algeria, Bourdieu calls attention to collective "embodiment" processes. The principles, norms, and regular practices in social life are em-bodied "beyond the grasp of consciousness" and the body as a memory is constructed in a way that is "capable of instilling a whole cosmology, an ethic, a metaphysic, a political philosophy" (Bourdieu 1977: 94). Bourdieu (1977: 86) argues that "the habitus could be considered as a subjective but not individual system of internalized structures." Perhaps, what makes Bourdieu's theory relevant for a social movement analysis is his attempt of linking micro system variables such as framing and cognitive schemes with macro power structures.

For Gandhi, any system that used violence, psychological or physical, blunted a society's moral sensibility and rarely achieved lasting results. Every successful use of violence inured people to that level; increasingly larger amounts of violence would be required to achieve the same results. As an alternative, Gandhi offered the idea of satyagraha, a process by which marginalized groups could confront the opponent by first trying to work out a mutually agreed upon solution, and if that failed, by disobeying the law, refusing to carry out the opponent's orders or co-operating with the opponent, including "patiently and uncomplainingly suffer[ing] whatever violence was done to him (…) [h]is opponent saw him as an enemy (...) he refused to reciprocate (…) since his sole concern was to evoke a moral response in his opponent" (Parekh 1997: 55). Gandhi's idea of non-violent conflict resolution rose from a deep appreciation of the idea of oneness/interconnectedness of the universe. He marked out a new domain of public intervention by insisting that the method of fighting an objective was an integral part of the objective, and the goal did not exist at the end of a series of actions, but was part of it. Thus no action for a just society could be conducted by unjust/violent means. Non-violent means of conflict resolution (satyagraha) described above, was the only way which reflected unity of belief and conduct, and therefore the ethical way of resolving social differences.

In promoting the idea of satyagraha, Gandhi rejected the abstract, rational, institutionalized violence that is central to the structure of nation-states. Instead, Gandhi drew on "feminine" principles for action in the public arena, particularly the "superior capacity for suffering and self-sacrifice rather than forceful intervention to protect self interests" (Menon 1999: 10). The two central symbols associated with Gandhi in the antiimperialist struggle – spinning khadi and making salt – were quintessential "domestic" tasks. Gandhi effectively used these symbols to breach the symbolic dual spheres divide, legitimate the participation of women and other peripheral groups into the public political arena, and demonstrate a process by which marginalized people could resist psychological and political colonization in a non-violent manner. He popularized these ideas through mobilization of the masses, who, lacking weapons of violence or access to legal channels, would engage in non-cooperation as a means for expressing dissent and/or resolving conflict. "It has become disloyal, almost sacrilegious to say no to the government. This deliberate refusal to co-operate is like the necessary weeding processes that the cultivator has to resort before he sows" (quoted in Bhattacharya 1997: 26). According to Gandhi, by refusing to co-operate with marginalizing forces, by resisting without violence, and by becoming victims of state sanctioned violence, the dissenters could wrest the moral power from the ruling elite, and restore some dignity and power of their communities.

Moral performance and Non-Aggressive Action

Both the Gandhian Chipko movement and the Gülen movement have actively engaged in non-aggressive strategies and moral performance. Ron Eyerman (2006) provides the basic principle for moral performance in social movement activism as the following:

If the first step in dehumanization is to reduce an other to a simple phrase, an enemy, a parasite, or a terrorist, the first step in moral performance or empathy is attentiveness to the complexity of another's status and situation, something which can be viewed as an attribution of subjectivity. This may involve seeing the other as an agent or victim of historical or natural forces and "forced" to act in certain ways.

Eyerman gives the example of diversification of the opposition movements in France against the French government policies during the war with Algeria between 1954 and 1962. There were two groups that opposed to French invasion: reformists and Marxists. According to the reformists, associated with L'Express, Algerian rebels were potential partners in a dialogue to renegotiate the relationship between France and a somewhat independent Algeria. On the other hand, Marxists associated with Les temps modernes viewed the rebels as historical agents of "world historical dimension ushering a new stage of development," in which violence is accepted as a necessary means. Therefore, Marxists had a morally more tolerant view of the other, the Algerians (Eyerman 2006: 201).

The Gandhian Chipko Movement and the Moral Performance

The Chipko movement, which developed in the Garhwal Himalayas in northern India, was triggered by the rapidly declining access to resources necessary for survival of the hill communities. Environmental degradation and withdrawal of lands from public use – both the creation of reserve forests by the state and appropriation by individuals – formed the context within which activists organized a movement against the state. In the late 19th and early 20th century, swaraj and sarvodaya were part of the nationalist agenda. In the hill areas of India, the programs to implement these ideals led to several environmental protest movements, some of which included protecting trees. Nevertheless, the name Chipko ("cling"), is now most associated with a multi-pronged environmental movement that began in the early 1970s. The following account of the Chipko movement is gleaned primarily from the writings of Vandana Shiva (1999; 1993), Radha Kumar (1993) and Vimla Bahuguna (1990).

The move of several disciples of Gandhi, in the first half of the 20th century, to the Garhwal Himalayas, led to the initiation of a number of decentralized efforts to promote swaraj among the hill communities. Listening to the local folk songs that described forests with multiple species of trees, the Gandhian activists started to draw explicit connections between floods, droughts, and shrinking resource base with deforestation and the spread of plantations in the hill areas. Colonial forest policy based on British needs for wood promoted both deforestation and the planting of species such as pine or eucalyptus which were ill-suited to provide fuel, soil conservation, flood control and resource needs of the local people. In addition, the British attempted to create reserve forests which excluded indigenous people from gathering forest resources. Similar trends were apparent after India's independence, as the needs of the large urban centers and "the nation" became more important than the needs of the local people. The social forestry programs, with their focus on single species, single commodity production plantations, best served the needs of those within the sphere of formal markets and the money economy. The effect of activism, from 1930, on part of Gandhian workers challenged and changed, to a certain extent, the discourse around forests so that protecting forests was redefined as a sacred task rather than a rational economic activity.

The Chipko movement against commercial forestry, which destroyed forests and water resources in the hill areas, began in 1972, at Purola, the site of an earlier "anti reserve forest" agitation. When part of the forests were auctioned off to private owners for lumbering, the women from the villages confronted contractors and guards and declared that they would embrace the trees and prevent them from being cut down. In an interesting analogy some of the women explained that they would cling to the trees just as they would hug their children to protect them against a wild animal: by offering themselves as first victims. The movement spread across the Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayas as the news of non-cooperation filtered through the decentralized networks of the hill women. The activists organized padayatras (marches on foot) like Gandhi's salt march, to mobilize public opinion against cutting of trees. For instance in 1975, in Reni, villagers heard that a portion of the local forest had been auctioned. The men in the village, already alerted by movement activists, decided to protest to the authorities in town. While they were away the contractor decided he would start cutting down some of the trees. He was confronted by a band of women chanting religious hymns. The women also tied sacred threads around the trees as a token vow of protection. When the contractors returned with armed police, each tree was being guarded by three volunteers, and the outsiders had to turn back. Through the 1970s, in village after village, the women faced down armed guards and legal authorities. The non-cooperation movement grew to include other ecological issues that destroyed the resource base of marginalized people to serve the interests of those at the center.

While contractors used the legally sanctioned violence – armed police or guards – the women used non-cooperation as a means of conflict resolution. Accused of not knowing the value of forest products, i.e. timber and resin, the women argued that they were very aware of resources the forests produced i.e. soil, water and pure air. A crucial aspect of this conflict was focused on whose knowledge, ownership, and expertise would count. The attempts at homogenization by the state meant that outside experts, outside knowledge, and imported seeds devalued and replaced indigenous knowledge, local seed stocks, and local expertise. The forces of centralization, as Tagore had predicted half a century earlier, directly impinged upon the freedom and rights of the local people (see Purkayastha 2002 for a detailed discussion on this issue). Nevertheless by attempting to control the power of symbols and meaning making, the Chipko movement successfully created a terrain of resistance, a geographical area of contested control (Routledge 1993).

As Itwari Devi, a Chipko activist, stated:

"Shakti comes to us from these forests and grasslands, we watch them grow (…) all this gives us not just nourishment for the body but a moral strength, that we are our own masters we control and produce our wealth (…) our power against Gujral comes from these inner sources and is strengthened by his attempts to oppress and bully us (…) we have offered ourselves, even at the cost of our lives, for a peaceful protest to close this mine, to challenge and oppose the power Gujral represents." (quoted in Shiva 1993: 250)

The discourse of the Chipko movement embraced multiple issues relating to work and life. The relations of human beings and the environment, the separation of the secular and the spiritual – all became central issues in a movement striving for swaraj through noncooperation. Their example inspired similar movements, among those without access to formal power in society, in places such as Karnataka, Santhal Parganas, and Chattisgarh. Sarala Behn, one of the earliest organizers of rural upliftment in the Garhwal Himalayas, reflected on the Gandhian legacy in her 75th year.

"From my childhood experience I have known that the law is not just; that principles that govern humanity are higher than those that govern the state, that a centralized government, indifferent to its peoples, is a cruel joke in governance, that the split between public and private ethic is the source of misery, injustice, and exploitation in society. Each child understands that bread is not just a right to one who has money in his pocket. It is a fundamental right of one whose stomach is hungry. This concept of rights works within the family but is shed at the societal level. Then the ethics of the market reigns, and men get trapped in it." (Quoted in Shiva 1999: 49-50.)

The message of Chipko activism has attracted a great deal of attention within the ecofeminist movement. The theoretical perspectives of deep ecology and ecofeminism which decry the frenetic plunder of ever more resources for ever more unequally distributed economic gain to dominate nature is very similar to the indigenous knowledge of the Chipko activists such as Itwari Devi. Although there are debates about the philosophical underpinnings of ecofeminism vs. feminist environmentalism (see Agrawal 1997) the general nature of the conflict, which groups have the right to define knowledge, access resources, and garner power is becoming a common theme around the world. Ecology is being claimed as people's concern, and in the process there is an attempt to link issues of health, resources, rights of marginalized people, justice and peace, in ways that challenge the current separation of these issues within nation-states and at the international level.

The Gülen Movement and the Moral Performance

The Gülen movement, from its very beginning, has expressed a moral tolerance toward the secularist power center. This non-confrontational engagement can be called as "moral opposition" (Gurbuz 2007). As a challenging movement, on the one hand, the Gülen movement has launched an opposition to the center; however, on the other hand, the movement's use of non-confrontational means and its deployment of educational identity distinguished it from other social movements.

Unlike political Islamic movements in Turkey, the Gülen followers believe that their actual enemy is the triple monster that was defined by Said Nursi: (1) ignorance of the Muslims in religious as well as scientific terms (2) poverty of the ummah, Muslim nation, in general (3) disunity among the believers. Therefore, their perception of the oppositional cultural domination led them to employ cultural and educational means to overcome the problems in Turkey.

Pointing out the vicious circle that Islamic community has found itself for centuries, Gülen (2005: 22) believes that the problems can only be solved by "the inheritors of the earth," a cadre of "physicians of the soul and reality whose hearts are open to all fields of all knowledge: perspicacity, culture, spiritual knowledge, inspirations and divine blessings, abundance and prosperity, enlightenment; from physics to metaphysics, from mathematics to ethics, from chemistry to spirituality, from astronomy to to subjectivism, from fine arts to Sufism, from law to jurisprudence, from politics to special training of religious Sufi orders." Gülen calls this ideal type of man as the "new human model"[1] and employs "the inheritors of the earth" concept interchangeably with some other concepts such as "golden generation," "hero of thought and action," and "devout" to refer this new model throughout his writings.[2] In this regard, the Gülen schools have played an important mission and envisioned a "new society" that is full of "new humans."

A typical reader of Gülen can understand that there is a Divine mission in the course of history and this mission will be accomplished by "the inheritors".[3] Becoming an inheritor, however, is not that being "chosen by God." Indeed, this is where Gülen's philosophy of action, i.e. hizmet, comes to the picture. Gülen specifically mentions the different ontological implications for the notions of "becoming" and "being", where he explains meaning of one verse in the Qur'an.[4] Since becoming depends on the conditions that should be fulfilled rather than being chosen-ness beforehand, the state of "becoming" can be lost in future if the necessary duties ignored. This belief implies that there are no God-favored people; instead, there are God-favored attributes. Therefore, "inheritors of the earth" as personalities are intentionally remained ambiguous in Gülen's thought; but, the characteristics and attributes of the inheritors are clearly described.[5] True inheritors are those who live "at the expense of their own selves in order to make others live"; who never claim that they are inheritors; who "do not ever desire that the masses follow them" (Gülen 2005: 95). Nobody knows the genuine "inheritors of the earth" because it resembles an ideal form of a true believer who is very open to worldly affairs and science, while seeking the hereafter and spiritual nobility:

To reach such a degree of spirituality and saintliness is dependent on being open to perception, logic, and reasoning, and thence to thoughts and inspiration from the Divine. In other words, it is very difficult for a person to reach this peak, to acquire such a state, unless experience has been sieved by the filter of the reason, reason has surrendered to the greatest intellect and foresight of the prophets, logic has turned completely into love, and love has evolved into love of God (Gülen 2005: 62).

Thus, the Gülen movement has defined the enemy as "attributes" rather than the "objects." In other words, bad attributes such as selfishness, ego-centrism, and fraudulence that sustain the triple enemies of ignorance, poverty, and disunity in Muslim world specifically, and the world in general, can only be solved by the "new human" attributes such as love, saintliness, and perceptive reasoning. In this sense, the Gülen thought is not a utopian vision[6]; instead, it refers to a dualistic situation of an ideal human, "whose world of thought stretches from the material to the immaterial, from physics to metaphysics, from philosophy to Sufism" (Gülen 2005: 64). Gülen perfectly describes this paradox as the following:

Using Rumi's expression, such a person is like a compass with one foot well-established in the center of belief and Islam and the other foot with people of many nations. If this apparently dualistic state can be caught by a person who believes in God, it's most desirable. So deep in his or her own inner world, so full of love…so much in touch with God; but at the same time an active member of society.[7]

The Gülen movement's inclusive nature in its mental structures and its wellexpressed identity for education (cf. Bernstein 1997) has provided a strong base for moral opposition toward the Kemalist organized attacks during the February 28th process. Unlike the Milli Gorus (National View) Movement, the Gülen movement did not openly criticize the regime; rather, it interpreted the Kemalist opposition as fuzzy, which includes those who have been ignorant about Islam and Muslims due to the bad representations in the media. For Gülen followers, they were "victims of the historical forces" (cf. Eyerman 2006), who should see the real lovely face of Muslims. Therefore, the Gülen movement took a mission to find a middle way to gather non-ideological Kemalists (passive secularists) and non-ideological Islamists in order to represent the allencompassing nature of the Anatolian Islam.

Conclusion

New Social Movement theory regards all cultural movements as "expressive" and "confrontational" social movements. Instead, as proved in the Gandhian Chipko movement and the Gülen movement cases, cultural movements are more prone to combine strategic and expressive elements simultaneously when they are compared to political movements.

Both the Gülen movement's understanding of hizmet and the Gandhi's notion of satyagraha define collective action in a distinctive way: First, they are based on the assumption that truth and love have transforming power. This specific belief make movement activists focus on attributes rather than a physically objectified enemy. Second, the social movement success is not defined in terms of cost-benefit calculations; rather, the success is seen as cooperating with the opponent to meet a just end that the opponent is unwittingly obstructing. In this sense, the Gülen movement's definition of a trio of enemies (i.e., ignorance, poverty, and disunity) is important to note. Third, both hizmet and satyagraha see the means and the ends as inseparable in collective action. Therefore, use of violent, coercive, unjust means to eliminate the problems is rejected. In the final analysis, this paper maintains that the Gülen movement's collective action that is based on notion of hizmet has distinguishing features, which makes it remarkably different from the passive resistance movements.

Use of non-violent methods of conflict resolution also contributes to the overall unity of a society. Research into social conflict has long indicated that violence between groups rigidifies boundaries between in- and out-groups (Simmel 1955; Coser 1956; Jayaram and Saberwal 1996; Olzak 1992). Non-violent conflict resolution, by its nature, promotes more permeable boundaries and a greater possibility of sustaining ties between groups. The success of the Chipko and Gülen movement is based partly on the ability of these movements to maintain loose networks among several sets of activists from a wide range of occupational and kinship groups. In societies with multiple cultures, leaders of disaffected groups frequently draw and strengthen factional identities as a way of garnering power. Non-violent methods, such as those described here, have the potential of bridging and/or minimizing some of these factions and diffusing emergent social cleavages.

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Footnote

[1] See Gülen 1991; Ergene 2005: 270.

[2] For the concepts of "hero of thought and action" and "devout," see Gülen 2005: 67-83, 91-97. On the concept of "golden generation," Gülen's tape-recorded conferences have been in circle from as far as 1980es, which are available from the official web-site of Gülen: www.fGülen.org.

[3] For Gülen's philosophy of history, see Gülen 2005: 129-34.

[4] The verse was translated by Gülen as the following: "You became the best of people, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah." (3: 110) See, Gülen 1998: 36.

[5] For an extensive description of the attributes of the inheritors, see Gülen 2005: 31-42. Gülen exhaustively stresses on altruism as the main characteristic: "What we are always stressing is that it is those who live their lives in sincerity, loyalty, and altruism at the expense of their own selves in order to make others live who are the true inheritors of the historical dynamics to whom we can entrust our souls" (p. 95).

[6] For a comparison of Gülen, Confucius, and Plato on ideal human, see Carroll 2007: 35-58.

[7] 7 Cited in Ünal and Williams 2000: 207. Emphases added.