Although under investigation by the FBI, these Islamist-linked, American-taxpayer-funded Gulen charter schools continue to open and expand all over the U.S. Now, the Harmony Schools in Texas have been accused of indoctrinating Muslim religious beliefs in their curriculum.
GulenNews In the past, the Ottoman Empire could not defeat the West by the sword, so now Fethullah Gulen’s community systematically employs very different tactics to bring the West under Islamic rule. For profoundly anti-democratic goals they use America’s democratic values-freedom of speech, political correctness, tolerance, and multiculturalism-as tools for disseminating Gulen’s ideology. “You move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers…until the conditions are ripe… If you do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads. The time is not yet right. You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey… The work to be done is in confronting the world.
Harmony Charter Schools are being accused of ties to Islamic movements in Turkey
KTSM The Harmony Schools are charter schools in Texas that (claim to) focus on Math and Science. There are two in the El Paso area which have been attracting attention for their success rates with the students.
The Cosmos Foundation is the parent organization to the Harmony Schools. It is a charter school operator founded a decade by a group of professors and businessmen from Turkey. Cosmos has moved quickly to become the largest charter school operator in Texas, with 33 schools receiving more than $100 million a year in taxpayer funds.There are about 120 schools across the country that teach over 20,000 students.
In the last few years, the schools have been garnering negative attention for their supposed link to the Gulen Movement, a Muslim following. Many of the staff and some of the founders of the schools are from Turkey and happen to be followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher of a moderate brand of Islam.
The Superintendent of the schools and one of the Co-founders, Soner Tarim, is a Turkish-American and came to the United States in the early 90’s to study at Texas A&M. He says the schools do not reach religion at the schools. ” Because I’m the head of the school people should not look at me and label the school…all of our teachers and parents know that we do not teach religion obviously, this is a public school.”
CBN News takes an exclusive look at Turkish imam Fetullah Gülen — a man who some have called the world’s most dangerous Islamist. Gülen directs his global Islamic movement not from the Middle East, but from Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
Not everyone in the school system is happy with Harmony. Donna Garner, a former teacher in Texas, has been studying these schools for years. She says the schools are a front for an Islamic movement. “They have brought in all these teachers from Turkey, how are they going to teach students about being a good solid American patriot, to learn about the U.S. Constitution, to honor our forefathers, to study the declaration of independence.”
Tarim refutes this and says that some of the teachers are international, but 85% are hired locally. (But how many of those are Muslims?)
Garner also recalled a situation at a Harmony School performance in Texas, when students stomped on an American Flag. Whether this is true or not, Harmony Schools insist that they do not teach any Anti-American beliefs.
Gulen’s grandiose vision is the restoration of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of a universal caliphate. In his public statements, Gulen espouses a liberal version of Sunni/Hanafi Islam and promotes the Muslim notion of hizmet – – altruistic service to the common good. In private, Gulen has stated that “in order to reach the ideal Muslim society ‘every method and path is acceptable, [including] lying to people.'” With assets in excess of $30 billion, Gulen has wielded political allegiances in Washington that have resulted in the placement of Turkish Muslims in the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other national security organizations. He has created well-heeled lobbies to promote the cause of Islam and to develop Islamic candidates for political office. He has formed close friendships with Bill and Hillary Clinton, former Secretaries of State James Baker and Madeleine Albright, and George W. Bush.
FBI Investigating Gulen Charter Schools, parents pulling kids out
HFP Fethullah Gulen is a major Islamic political figure in Turkey, but he lives in self-imposed exile in a Poconos enclave and gained his green card by convincing a federal judge in Philadelphia that he was an influential educational figure in the United States. Followers of Gulen have opened the network of charter schools across the U.S., and that federal authorities are investigating claims that school workers are donating portions of their salaries to a Muslim movement founded by Gulen.
As evidence, his lawyer pointed to the charter schools, now more than 120 in 25 states, that his followers – Turkish scientists, engineers, and businessmen – have opened, including Truebright Science Academy in North Philadelphia and another charter in State College, Pa.
The schools are funded with millions of taxpayer dollars. Truebright alone receives more than $3 million from the Philadelphia School District for its 348 pupils. Tansu Cidav, the acting chief executive officer, described it as a regular public school. “Charter schools are public schools,” he said. “We follow the state curriculum.”
But federal agencies – including the FBI and the Departments of Labor and Education – are investigating whether some charter school employees are kicking back part of their salaries to a Muslim movement founded by Gulen known as Hizmet, or Service, according to knowledgeable sources. In Turkey, Gulen’s followers have been accused of pushing for an authoritarian Islamic state.
Religious scholars consider the Gulen strain of Islam moderate, and the investigation has no link to terrorism. Rather, it is focused on whether hundreds of Turkish teachers, administrators, and other staffers employed under the H1B visa program are misusing taxpayer money.
Aksoy, president of the Golden Generation Worship & Retreat Center in Saylorsburg, Pa., where Gulen lives, said Gulen, who is in his early 70s, “has no connection with any of the schools,” although he might have inspired the people who founded them. (That’s a total lie, he is the founder and leader)
Another aim of the Gulen schools, a federal official said, is fostering goodwill toward Turkey, which is led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the pro-Islamic fundamentalis prime minister, whose government recently detained journalists after they alleged that Gulen followers were infiltrating security agencies.
Gulen schools are among the nation’s largest users of the H1B visas. In 2009, the schools received government approvals for 684 visas – more than Google Inc. (440) but fewer than a technology powerhouse such as Intel Corp. (1,203).
The visas are used to attract foreign workers with math, science, and technology skills to jobs for which there are shortages of qualified American workers. Officials at some of the charter schools, which specialize in math and science, have said they needed to fill teaching spots with Turks, according to parents and former staffers.
Ruth Hocker, former president of the parents’ group at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School in State College, began asking questions when popular, certified American teachers were replaced by uncertified Turkish men who often spoke limited English and were paid higher salaries. Most were placed in math and science classes.
“They would tell us they couldn’t find qualified American teachers,” Hocker said. That made no sense in Pennsylvania State University’s hometown, she said: “They graduate here every year.”
Other school parents described how uncertified teachers on H1B visas were moved from one charter school to another when their “emergency” teaching credentials expired and told of a pattern of sudden turnovers of Turkish business managers, administrators, and board members.
An English translation of Gulen’s speech to his followers. Gulen has two faces…the one he wants you to see and the one with his true Islamist agenda.
The charter school application that Truebright filed with the Philadelphia School District in 2005 mentioned that its founders helped start similar schools in Ohio, California, and Paterson, N.J.
Further evidence of the ties comes from a disaffected former teacher from Turkey who told federal investigators that the Gulen Movement had divided the United States into five regions, according to knowledgeable sources. A general manager in each coordinates the activities of the schools and related foundations and cultural centers, he told authorities.
Ohio, California, and Texas have the largest numbers of Gulen-related schools. Ohio has 19, which are operated by Concept Schools Inc., and most are known as Horizon Science Academies. There are 14 in California operated by the Magnolia Foundation. Texas has 33 known as Harmony schools, run by the Cosmos Foundation.
Report reveals that some Horizon Science Academy schools across Ohio used nearly $13,000 of taxpayer money for immigration and legal fees for teachers recruited overseas — many of them from Turkey. State auditors found some who received immigration and legal fees were never employed at the schools. In 2008 and 2009, immigration records show at least 53 H-1B immigration visas were issued to Horizon Schools.
In their investigation, federal authorities have obtained copies of several e-mails that indicate the charter schools are tied to Hizmet and may be controlled by it:
One activist sent an e-mail Aug. 30, 2007, to administrators at four schools and the president of Concept Schools in which he mentioned “Hizmet business” and several problems that needed to be addressed so that “Hizmet will not suffer.” And the disaffected teacher who described the five regions gave authorities a document called a tuzuk, which resembles a contract and prescribes how much money Turkish teachers are supposed to return to Hizmet.
State auditors in Ohio found that a number of schools had “illegally expended” public funding to pay legal, immigration, and air-travel fees for nonemployees and retained teachers who lacked proper licenses. Audited records from the Horizon Science Academy in Cincinnati in May 2009 also say that “for the period of time under audit, 47 percent (nine of 19) of the school’s teachers were not properly licensed.”
The same records show that the founder of Horizon Cincinnati was listed as the CEO of the school’s management firm and as president of the school’s property owner.
The American charter schools were a central part of Gulen’s argument that won him a green card after the Department of Homeland Security ruled that he did not meet the qualifications of an “alien of extraordinary ability” to receive a special visa.
In a lawsuit Gulen filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia in 2007 challenging the denial, his attorneys wrote: “In his position as the founder and head of the Gulen Movement, Mr. Gulen has overseen the establishment of a conglomeration of schools throughout the world, in Europe, Central Asia, and the United States.” His attorneys also referred to a letter of support from a theology professor in Illinois who described Gulen as “a leader of award-winning schools for underserved children around the world, including many schools in the major cities in America.”
Gulen Charter Schools use a lot of deception a false marketing practices in the advertisements of these schools.
On July 16, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell ruled that Gulen met the requirements for a green card. Hocker, the State College parent, said the current CEO had assured her the school had no ties to Gulen. Rather, he told her that Gulen had inspired him to go into education and that Turkey “wanted to be known for teaching, the way you would think of India” for information technology, Hocker said.
But she noted that when the school’s founding CEO disappeared, his successor arrived from the Buffalo Academy of Science, another Gulen school. The dean of academics came from a related school in New Jersey. Ulker, Truebright’s, CEO, was one of the school’s founders and is a board member.
“If you start looking at their names, you can connect them back to all the other charter schools and Gulen groups,” Hocker said. She later withdrew her three children over concerns about secrecy and finances. A sister school – Young Scholars of Western Pennsylvania – is scheduled to open outside Pittsburgh in the fall.
Donna Garner’s personal accounts of the Gulen Harmony Schools:
LIBERTY LINKED “A mother called me last week to tell me about her middle-school daughter. I guess because I was a teacher for so long and write education articles, people tend to turn to me with their concerns. The mother (I will call her “Annie”) said her daughter (“Suzie”) went to a Harmony School in Texas. Annie thought the schools would be good because they advertised their well-disciplined approach and high science and math scores.
Annie allowed her daughter to remain in the school for a year but became very concerned as the school year progressed. Annie described the Harmony School as being decorated all in Turkish furnishings, wall hangings, memorabilia. Many of the students were Muslims, Pakistanis, Turks, Asians, etc. Low-income Afro-American and Hispanic students also went there. Suzie is dark-skinned, and that is one reason Annie thought her daughter would fit in well at Harmony.
Annie said there were four American teachers who spoke good English; the rest were Turks who came from Albania. The e-mails that Annie received from the school were written in such broken English that she could hardly understand the content. Suzie received almost no instruction on English grammar/usage, and her ability to write in good English decreased in proficiency while she was there.
Students had uniforms and T-shirts from Turkey. The school held cooking classes for parents and taught them Turkish recipes. Trips to Turkey were advertised early in the year, and students and other people went on these trips for a two-week spring break. If students could not afford the trips, they were provided the money to go. The summer trip to Turkey was for one month. Students participated in the Science Olympiad that was held within the Cosmos Foundation across the United States — Cosmos students competed with other Cosmos students.
When worried Texas parents try to warn of the dangers of the Gulen schools, liberal CBS News, in its typical left wing condescending way, moves in to demonize the parents and defend the School Administrators without any investigation of their own.
The video says, “CBS 7 first reported Tuesday, a West Texas group is claiming that a charter school coming to Odessa this fall has ties to radical Islam in Turkey. But tonight’s statements from school administrators and new information seem to indicate that claim is not true.” (Seem to indicate? How about doing your own research instead of taking people working for Gulen’s word for it?)
The Harmony students took very frequent field trips during the school year and constantly put their students on display. They almost always went to places and had luncheons where elected officials could see them and did frequent performances for Congressmen, state board of education members, Texas legislators, city councils, judges, police chiefs, fire chiefs, etc.
The mother said Suzie received overly generous grades the whole time that she was in Harmony and that students whom Suzie knew were mediocre students also received inflated grades. In January students who had received F’s for the first semester were bumped up to B’s.
To prepare the students for the TAKS, Suzie told her mother that they were drilled on dates (e.g., 1492), but there was no explanation or teaching about the historical background of such dates. When they were taught history, they studied such things as a story about a Japanese (or Chinese) man who lived in California and invented “the first airplane.” Nothing was ever taught about the Wright Brothers.
Multicultural historical figures were emphasized, but the Founding Fathers had little if anything said about them. There were three mentions of Paul Revere in a textbook, but they were short sentences. The students did read a book that was supposed to be about Paul Revere and the historical figures of the time but ended up being a book about the female author. The books were dry, unengaging, and contained no traditional history with stories of American heroes and heroines.
Suzie did have textbooks, but the literary selections were about dark, depressing, negative,and disturbing subjects that referenced America with frequent examples of drugs, alcohol, and violence. Suzie and her mother both felt the literary selections did not represent wholesome American life. Because Suzie became increasingly depressed while attending Harmony, Annie decided to remove her from the school after a year.
While the Gulen Movement works to censor the Turkish internet, Gulen’s organization is involved in the internet porn industry:
What we need to remember is nobody monitors these Harmony Schools during the administration of tests. What is to prevent these H-1 visa teachers who are from Turkey and who have no commitment to the American value system to give their students the answers? The Wikileaks cable from the U. S. Ambassador several years ago revealed that the Gulenists are taking over the Turkish Security Forces by giving applicants the answers to the tests. If this is their mode of operation in Turkey, it very well could be the way they operate here. Dr. Ed Fuller’s research showed that over half of the students who start at Harmony leave. This would certainly be a major factor in raising their TAKS scores — weed out the weak students.
A friend wrote to me a few weeks ago and told me of an incident at Indian Springs Park in Waco, Texas. The Harmony Science Academy students from Waco performed at a community art festival. As reported by my friend, the students were dressed in their attractive Turkish costumes and were waving bright-colored Turkish flags. The audience was impressed with the students’ graceful movements as they flourished their Turkish flags throughout the dance; but at one point, the students took a large American flag, put it on the stage floor, and began to dance upon the flag.
When the members of the audience realized that the students were treading upon our nation’s flag, various people rose to their feet to object to this lack of respect. The dance finished up about that time, and the children hurriedly left the stage. My friend said she felt the incident demonstrated that there is a type of subtle, anti-American indoctrination that is occurring at Harmony Science Academy.
Watch out Canada, since the FBI investigations, many Turkish Gulen teachers are heading for Canada.