And is it funded by taxpayers?
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – In recent months the American public has been made increasingly aware of a secretive foreign network of Islamic radicals that operates dozens of charter schools on U.S. soil. These schools are linked to an extreme Islamist, Fethullah Gülen, who was charged with trying to create an Islamic state when he tried to overthrow his own Turkish government and enforce Sharia Law.
He came to the United States and lives in self-exile in rural Pennsylvania where he controls his transnational empire.
The core of his network is his educational institutions, which include primary and secondary schools, universities, and student dormitories. This vast international network has been instrumental in the advancement of the Islamist political agenda in Turkey.
In a 2006 interview on Kanaltürk TV Nurettin Veren, Gülen’s right hand man for 35 years, said, “These are like shop windows. Recruitment and Islamization activities are carried out through night classes….Children whom we educated in Turkey are now in the highest positions. There are governors, judges, military officers. There are ministers in the government. They consult Gülen before doing anything.”
Are the charter schools Gülen’s shop windows in the U.S.? Why is Fethullah Gülen so dangerous?
Charter schools are nonsectarian publicly funded schools of choice that are privately managed. They operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools.
For an organization that wants to expand its “educational vision” and serve a special population with increased autonomy, a charter school provides that vehicle as well as a front for those wishing to infiltrate our public education system.
In 1999 on Turkish channel ATV Gülen revealed to his followers his goal for an Islamist Turkey ruled by Sharia Law and his strategy for achieving that goal. He preached about the necessity of patience and deception as a means of overcoming the infidel when the infidel was more powerful than the Islam community.
This practice of “taqiyya”, or deception to protect Islam, is being used globally by radical Muslims to conceal their mission.
Gülen employs taqiyya when denying that he has any connection to the schools. Top school administrators also say they have no official ties to Gülen. However, documents available at various foundation websites and federal documentation for the non-profit groups show that virtually all of the schools are linked to Gülen through groups that promote Turkish culture.
Photos taken at a Harmony Science school in Texas during a 2007-2008 National Turkish Festival indicate that emphasis is placed on the celebration of Turkish customs and language.
Deception also is found in the friendly-sounding names of the Gülen schools like Harmony Science Academies, Beehive Science & Technolgy Academy, and Pioneer Charter School of Science.
When critics assail the schools the Gülen organization is quick to point out that the schools are often among the top-performing public schools in their towns. However, Gülen school administrators are deceptive about the reason for this success.
In the USA Today article published August 17, 2010, “Objectives of charter schools with Turkish ties questioned,” the Texas charter schools came under scrutiny. According to Ed Fuller, a University of Texas-Austin researcher, Harmony schools in Texas show a pattern of “extraordinarily high” student attrition rate of about 50% in grades six through eight.
Parents at one Harmony school in Texas accused the school of “pushing out” underperforming students, which the TEA confirmed.
Fuller continued, “It’s not hard to be ‘exemplary’ if you lose all the kids who aren’t performing.”
This policy of keeping only the brightest to be recruited, Islamized, and educated in the Gülen schools is consistent with Nurettin Veren’s statement that, “Children whom we educated in Turkey are now in the highest positions….They consult Gülen before doing anything.”
Although the schools advertise that they employ American teachers, the reality is those teachers are soon replaced with Turkish teachers recruited from Turkey and central Asian republic with American taxpayer money.
Other countries have become suspicious about Gülen indoctrination and have taken steps against his education network. Uzbekistan has banned the schools for encouraging Islamic law while the Russian government has banned the Gülen schools and all activities of the entire Nur sect in Russia.
The Netherlands has taken steps to cut funding to any Gülen associated organizations and is investigating the activities of the Gülen group.
Islamic extremists are using our First Amendment rights to their advantage to Islamize our nation and forcefully impose Shariah Law while Americans sit idly by and watch Rome burn.
Where is our outrage? Why are Americans not uniting to oppose this assault on our Constitution and our way of life? When are we going to stand up and say, “Enough! We have had enough!”
These radical Islamic school store fronts cannot be allowed to continue operations and indoctrinate our children while American taxpayers pick up the tab. Even if taxpayer money is not used, allowing Gülen schools to operate in the U.S. poses grave danger to our freedom and founding principles.