Misrepresentation of Fethullah Gulen in English-language media

Even the most sophisticated mind struggles when the possessor of that mind tries to write about a subject without due research. Fethullah Gulen is a figure about whom much has been said and written. Some of that material is based on hearsay and carries identifying expressions such as “been said to be, been described as, is feared to, etc…” One would expect an article to be well researched and full of facts if it is about a global phenomenon like Mr. Gulen. We are not suggesting that everything that is put out there should be in favor of Mr. Gulen’s ideas or praise his work, but to be held up to more adequate standards. Editors of publications are supposed to be watch-dogs not to let pieces find places of their media unchecked.

Mehmet Kalyoncu points out such allegations and their inconsistent discourse. Mr. Kalyoncu analyzes the perception (rather misperception) of Fethullah Gulen in the English-Language media by examining some obvious misrepresentations.

For an average American and European reader, the name Fethullah Gulen may not necessarily be a familiar one. That Gulen is a scholar who has inspired millions of volunteers across the world to engage in educational and intercultural initiatives, that he publically denounced Osama bin Laden for the shame that the latter brought upon Islam, and that he advocated Turkey’s full membership in the European Union at time when his counterparts opposed it by simply viewing the EU as a Christian club with Zionist touches, are not something that the average reader would know, either.

Recently, it seems, the English-language media, and particularly American and European media, are increasingly covering Gülen and the worldwide civil society initiatives he has inspired.

However, the language in general and the way certain politically significant words are used in some of this media coverage are somewhat problematic in the sense that they fail to present the full picture about Gulen, if not deliberately create doubts and prejudices about him.

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