Dr. Sally Ann Baynard, Georgetown University

Gulen gave the anticommunist, nationalistic, and activist sentiments a different content. While he obviously developed in close association with the radical rightist groups in terms of ideals, values, and personal affiliation, he steered this movement into a different direction. Under his leadership, action and activism were put into a framework of pietism that excluded all violent means. He and his adherents not only disassociated themselves from political violence, but they also turned their backs on politics altogether, concentrating instead on projects outside the political sphere proper. The revolutionary force of his action program therefore was used in the building of schools and economic enterprises, while other youth from the same potential base of supporters joined violenceprone groups that turned the streets into battlefields.


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