Sheikyermami.com 13 November 2012
Only in America: how is it possible that a radical Turkish headbanger could find refuge in America and set up hundreds of radical Islamic schools?
How was it possible that his schools remained a front for the Islamic revolution, financed by unsuspecting taxpayers and rubber-stamped by clueless officials for so long?
How did this cunning old snake manage to get every corrupt politician (are there any others?) including the Klintoons, to sing his praises?
Americans may not realize it yet, but Turkeys regression from a secular democracy into an Islamic state may be based on an educational movement that has also taken root in America. Imam Fethullah Gülen and his Gülen Movement (GM) have had enormous influence in setting the increasingly Islamist agenda of Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Much of this is due to GMs vast empire of media entities, financial institutions, banks and business organizations. But the most critical component of this empire is educational institutions. In Turkey, 75 percent of the nations two million preparatory school students are enrolled in Gülen institutions. In America, GM runs the largest charter school network in the nation. Such an empire is slowly receiving the kind of scrutinyand pushback from concerned Americansthat it deserves.
The principals and school board members of GM charter schools are primarily Turkish men. Hundreds of Turkish teachers have been admitted to the United States using H-1B visas, because the schools claim qualified Americans cannot be found. Moreover, an examination of federal tax forms and school documents reveals that GM charter schools tend to purchase a substantial portion of their goods and services from Gülenist businesses.
This symbiotic relationship is occurring in many areas around the nation. For example, a trio of GM schools in Georgia are currently in the spotlight because they defaulted on a $19 million bond issue. An audit revealed the schools improperly granted hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts for purchases like T-shirts, teacher training, and video production services from organizations with connections to school officials, or Gülen followers, or to businesses and groups with ties to the Gülen Movement. In some cases, bidding requirements were ignored. "I would just question how those vendors were selected when price in many instances wasnt part of the decision making, said Fulton County superintendent Robert Avossa.
In Texas, similar allegations have been aimed at the Cosmos Foundation, a charter school operator founded a decade ago by a group of professors and businessmen from Turkey. The group, currently using the name Harmony Schools, has become the biggest charter operation in the state, and while its primary mission is educating schoolchildren, it has forged ongoing relationships with a close-knit network of businesses and organizations run by Turkish immigrants. Some of those founders, as well as school operators, and many of their business suppliers, are followers of Fethullah Gülen. (continue reading...)