He recently posted about Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Muslim “scholar” who has his compound not in Turkey, but in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. For several generations the Poconos were known for their Jewish vacation spots, and for resorts which catered to newlyweds. These latter places drew lower middle class Americans who had modest amounts of money to spend on a honeymoon.
Evidently things have changed in western Pennsylvania. But before we get to the real deal, here is his own Interfaith Dialogue Center’s assessement of the man:
Honorary President of IDC, Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker and sufi who has inspired the Turkish community to get involved in especially educational and interfaith-intercultural activities, both of which are critical for a bright future and for peace on our earth.
Yeah, my antennae went up with that description, too. We know how much Turkey enjoys its “interfaith dialogues”. I have several descriptions of their Turkish-style ideas but “inspired” isn’t one of them.
So what is this guy selling, you ask? Well, the Middle East Forum has some ideas about what they call his “grand ambition”. They label him “Turkey’s Islamist Danger”.
The essay, written by Rachel Sharon-Krespin, gives his background in Turkey before he settled into his manse in the Poconos. Reading it, one doesn’t get the sense there are any “bright futures” if you’re not on Islam’s side. She notes that since the dominance of AKP in Turkish politics, Turkey is losing its reputation as a secular and democratic country:
The AKP has conquered the bureaucracy and changed Turkey’s fundamental identity. Prior to the AKP’s rise, Ankara oriented itself toward the United States and Europe. Today, despite the rhetoric of European Union accession, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned Turkey away from Europe and toward Russia and Iran and reoriented Turkish policy in the Middle East away from sympathy toward Israel and much more toward friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria. Anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic sentiments have increased.
Turkey is counting on the fact that Western politicians don’t pay attention. Thus it can ride for quite a while on the fumes of its former status. Being anti-American and/or anti-Christian wouldn’t affect its position vis-à-vis the EU. Nor would its intransigence regarding the Armenian genocide.
Ms. Sharon-Krespin leads us into a description of the real Gülen lurking beneath the sufi-scholar pose:
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Behind Turkey’s transformation has been not only the impressive AKP political machine but also a shadowy Islamist sect led by the mysterious hocaefendi (master lord) Fethullah Gülen; the sect often bills itself as a proponent of tolerance and dialogue but works toward purposes quite the opposite. Today, Gülen and his backers (Fethullahcilar, Fethullahists) not only seek to influence government but also to become the government.
A proponent of tolerance and dialogue but works toward purposes quite the opposite? Where have we heard that before? It’s an Islamic thing, this kind of deceit. According to the precepts of Islam, such deception is simply part and parcel of dealing with the world — even dealing with other Muslims.
So how did we inherit this guy and what is he doing while he’s here in the US?
In 1998, Fethullah Gülen left Turkey for the United States, reportedly to receive medical treatment for diabetes. Since his voluntary exile, Gülen has resided on a large, rural estate in eastern Pennsylvania, together with about 100 followers, who guard him and tend to his needs. It is from his U.S. base that Gülen has built his fame and his transnational empire.
And the country he left is sinking ever more deeply into Islam’s mire. The essay has impressive statistics about the decline of Turkey as a polity. Her information makes the push for Turkey’s admission into the EU look rash and dangerous:
Today, Turkey has over 85,000 active mosques, one for every 350 citizens-compared to one hospital for every 60,000 citizens-the highest number per capita in the world and, with 90,000 imams, more imams than doctors or teachers. It has thousands of madrasa-like Imam-Hatip schools and about four thousand more official state-run Qur’an courses, not counting the unofficial Qur’an schools, which may expand the total number tenfold. Spending by the governmental Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet Isleri Baskanligi) has grown five fold, from 553 trillion Turkish lira in 2002 (approximately US$325 million) to 2.7 quadrillion lira during the first four-and-a-half years of the AKP government; it has a larger budget than eight other ministries combined. The Friday prayer attendance rate in Turkey’s mosques exceeds that of Iran’s, and religion classes teaching Sunni Islam are compulsory in public schools despite rulings against the practice by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Turkish high court (Danistay). Both Prime Minister Erdogan and the Diyanet head Ali Bardakoglu criticized the rulings for failing to consult Islamic scholars.
You could take that paragraph alone and build a whole book on why an Islamic form of government impoverishes the countries where it reigns (if they don’t have oil, anyway) and hurts the citizens unfortunate enough to be captive there.
Gülen is immensely wealthy and he used his wealth toward building the Ummah, controlling
[a] vast media empire, financial institutions and banks, business organizations, an international network of thousands of schools, universities, student residences (isikevis), and many associations and foundations. He is a financial heavyweight, controlling an unregulated and opaque budget estimated at $25 billion. It is not clear whether the Fethullahist cemaat (community) supports the AKP or is the ruling force behind AKP. Either way, however, the effect is the same.
Yes, indeed. The “effect” is to build Islam in the world.
In an earlier essay, the Middle East Forum described Gülen’s work here in the U.S.:
A secretive foreign network of Islamic radicals now operates dozens of charter schools — which receive government money but are not required to adopt a state-approved curriculum — on U.S. soil. The inspirer of this conspiratorial effort is Fethullah Gülen, who directs a major Islamist movement in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora, but lives in the United States. He is number 13 among the world’s “50 most influential Muslims” according to one prominent listing.
But in startling news for Americans, the Gülen movement operates more than 85 primary and secondary schools on our soil. A roster of the Gülen schools and of the numerous foundations that support them has been released to the public by the patriotic group Act! for America. The Gülen schools are often designated as “science academies” and are concentrated in Texas, Ohio, and California — with others scattered across the rest of the country.
Two states that host Gülen charter schools are Arizona and Utah. In the former, the Daisy Education Corporation (the Gülen movement loves friendly sounding institutional names) operates three schools in Tucson: one serving kindergarten through the eighth grade, another designated as an elementary school, and a middle-high school, all under the rubric of the Sonoran Science Academy. In Phoenix it runs a satellite kindergarten-to-10th-grade campus with the same name.
The appearance of Gülen charter schools in Tucson has produced critical attention in local media. The Tucson Weekly published a report at the end of 2009 noting that the Sonoran Science Academy in the southern Arizona town had been named “charter school of the year” by the Arizona Charter School Association. But writer Tim Vanderpool reported that according to one dismayed parent, who declined identification while pointing out the Gülen movement’s history of intimidating critics, “the Sonoran Academy seems constantly to be bringing Turkish educators into the United States, and subjecting students to substitute teachers while the teachers await work visas. … She says several Sonoran Academy parents believe the school has a hidden agenda to promote Gülen’s brand of Turkish nationalism, advance sympathy for that country’s political goals such as winning acceptance into the European Union, and discourage official acknowledgment of Turkey’s genocide against the Armenians during World War I.” Such issues are exotic, to say the least, for Tucson parents.
“Exotic” is a good word for this. Most Americans don’t pay attention to what goes on beyond our borders (we have the emails to prove this sad fact). People like Fethullah Gülen know this very well. They use our pervasively provincial mindset to their advantage.
Read that whole essay. It is cross posted at American Thinker, and sponsored by Islamist Watch.
The links supplied in the post lead us to Act for America, which has been following the breadcrumb trail to the funding of these schools throughout the country. Again, very thorough work:
For some time we have been researching a Turkish-based Islamist movement that has a significant network here in the United States. Given Turkey’s history of secular, democratic government, and some of the remarks made by President Obama in his recent speech there, many of our members and other readers will likely be surprised by what we have found.
I suspect that even many who are well-read on the issue of Islamism are unfamiliar with the Fethullah Gülen Community (FGC), a movement a February 2009 article in the respected Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst labeled “Turkey’s third power.” Indeed, the article noted in its Key Points: “Turkey’s Islamist Gülen movement, while a powerful political force, is largely an unfamiliar entity to the West.”
Act for America has a different reason for Gülen’s arrival on our shores. Gone is the diabetes, having been replaced with a more reasonable explanation:
He fled Turkey in 1998 to avoid prosecution on charges that he was attempting to undermine Turkey’s secular government with the objective of establish an Islamic government. Since Gülen’s arrival here the Department of Homeland Security tried to deport him, but he successfully fought the effort in federal court because it was ruled he was an individual with “extraordinary ability in the field of education” — although he has no formal education training.
Sadly, that reasoning by some judge in our federal court system is not surprising.
Act for America says that Gülen has been the man behind the curtain in Turkey for thirty years, and it reports what we suspected — i.e., that taqiyya is part of his program:
According to the Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst piece, Gülen stated that “in order to reach the ideal Muslim society ‘every method and path is acceptable, [including] lying to people.”
Act for America retrieves more material from Ms. Sharon-Kreskin on the origins of Fethullah Gülen’s “Grand Ambition”:
Gülen was a student and follower of Sheikh Sa’id-i Kurdi (1878-1960), also known as Sa’id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement. After Turkey’s war of independence, Kurdi demanded, in an address to the new parliament, that the new republic be based on Islamic principles. He turned against Atatürk and his reforms and against the new modern, secular, Western republic.
The ultimate goal, per Act for America and the Middle East Forum, is the reality of Turkey as an Islamist state governed by Sharia, and oriented toward Iran[my emphasis — D].
Gülen is an excellent strategist, immensely wealthy, and oversees a global network of schools, businesses, “foundations”, etc. His goal may be “the resurrection of the Ottoman Empire so as to reinstate the Islamic Caliph”. Here’s a quote from a 1999 televised sermon from Imam Gülen:
You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers … until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria … like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt. The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it … 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 … Until that time, any step taken would be too early-like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside. The work to be done is [in] confronting the world. Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all-in confidence … trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here-[just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here.
Act for America targets Gülen’s work in the U.S. They have first-hand information:
Here in the U.S. the FGC runs over 90 charter public schools in at least 20 states. This was brought to our attention by ACT! for America members who actually have relatives who teach in one of these schools, an illustration of the growing reach of ACT! for America’s “eyes and ears” across our country. For obvious reasons we cannot reveal the identity of our sources.
Our readers may be familiar with the numerous emails we have released regarding the operation of the Tarek ibn Zayed Academy (TiZA), a publicly funded charter school in Minnesota that is so blatantly Islamic in nature that the Minnesota Department of Education issued two citations against it and the ACLU is suing it. FGC schools appear to be very different, and reflect the Gülen’s exhortation to “move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers…”
Indeed, the fact that so little has been written about the FGC schools here in the U.S., as well as the accolades that have been accorded the FGC as a model of “moderation” by some in our government, would appear to confirm that the FGC and its schools are doing an excellent job of heeding Gülen’s exhortation and masking their true intent.
During several discussions and emails with our sources inside FGC schools, I asked specifically if the schools promote Islam in the way that the TiZA school in Minnesota does. I was told that this was not the case in the schools these sources were familiar with. However, one particular school (and likely numerous others) appears to be in violation of state law because the school’s affidavit for its charter does not acknowledge that it is connected with a religious institution or group. In other words, those who chartered this school practiced taqiyya by hiding this fact. (Enterprising readers may want to research this with respect to FGC schools around the country. For a list of the FGC network in America and its schools, click here).
From the .pdf I pulled the states where Gülen’s schools have been established:
Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and Washington.
Act for America says the schools are also a resource for other work,
such as summer camps, which would be in keeping with the pattern of recruitment of members and followers that FGC employs worldwide, according to both the Jane’s and Middle East Quarterly articles.
As a further example of the use of taqiyya, the Jane’s article gives examples of how FGC’s Turkish language media outlet Zaman runs stories with information and headlines that are missing from the English language media outlet Today’s Zaman. This practice of two different messages, one to the indigenous Islamic population and one to the West, is common in the Islamic world, and has led many in the West, including political leaders and academics, to be misled as to the true intentions of Islamists.
At this point in our fight against being overrun by Islamists, it is past time for the government to fight off this parasite by sponsoring heavy-duty immersion courses in Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, and Urdu so that we are not left out of the loop. The American government is the main prop for higher education in the U.S. It is dereliction of duty not to demand that colleges begin to protect us in the most basic manner: learning the language of our enemies.
Act for America makes a telling point:
In building a sophisticated and well-funded worldwide network, including a substantial presence here in the U.S., Fethullah Gülen is following in the footsteps and exhortations of Mohammed, who counseled patience and deception as a means of overcoming the infidel when the power of the infidel was greater than the power of the ummah, the Muslim community. In a very real sense this is as or more sinister than the frontal assault strategy of Islamist organizations such as al Qaeda and Hamas, because, like the proverbial “frog in the kettle,” we are incrementally “boiled alive” without realizing it.
Unfortunately, our current president was boiled long ago, though he hasn’t a clue that this is the case. He seems to sincerely believe that his Kumbayah philosophy will work in creating a robust foreign policy.
And so back to the beginning, tex6|a post by Paul Williams on Gülen’s compound in Pennsylvania. As he points out, the Kwazy Kwistians have been infiltrated and taken down by the FBI while Gülen’s “Muslim Militia” continues on without interference:
… a well-armed Muslim militia — composed not of American citizens but foreign militants — operates under the noses of federal and state law enforcement officials.
If you doubt it, pay a visit to Saylorsburg, PA, in the heart of the Pocono Mountains.
“These guys use fully automatic weapons — AK-47s — for target practice,” one local businessman says. “We called the FBI but nothing has been done to stop them.”
“The Muslims have been here for years,” another resident says. “They’ve been engaged in training for guerilla warfare.”
The Muslims in question are Turks who occupy a 45 acre compound that is owned and operated by Fethullah Gülen.
Entrance to the compound is forbidden to outsiders.
Sentries remain on duty — day and night — at a hut before the wide metal gate. Within the hut are high definition televisions that project images from security cameras.
Residents complain of a low flying helicopter that circles their community in search of any un-wanted intruders to the property.
From his base in Pennsylvania, he has been responsible for the replacement of the secular government in Turkey with an Islamic regime.
With assets in excess of $30 billion, he 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.
He has also established over 90 Islamic schools (madrassahs) throughout the United States, where students are indoctrinated in the tenets of political Islam. These charter schools are funded by American taxpayers.
One school — Tarek ibn Zayed Academy (TiZA) in Minnesota — has been so radically Islamic and subversive in nature that the Minnesota Department of Education issued two citations against it and the American Civil Liberties Union is suing it.
The purpose of every Gülen school, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, is train Muslim students to become lawyers, accountants, and political leaders so that they can take an active part in the restoration of the Ottoman Empire and the Islamization of the Western World.
Gülen also imports thousands of graduate students from Turkey — at the expense of U.S. taxpayers — to study at American universities. More foreign graduate students in the U.S. hail from Turkey than from any other country.
Williams doesn’t just write about it. He goes to the compound, where the guards are in business suits with white shirts and ties. And what he has to say about the Gülen empire, the American presidents and organizations who have helped him establish the FGC (Fettulah Gülen Community — beware anyone who names his empire after himself), and Gülen’s doctrine of Sufi Ottomanism is most disturbing.
Please visit Dr. William’s site. Scroll down to see the pictures of his visit to the Poconos. Interestingly, he says of the hearing which attempted to deport Gülen, “three of the letters attesting to his ‘extraordinary ability’ came from CIA agents”. Later on you read that the CIA helped him establish “hundreds of madrassahs and cemaats (Islamic communities) not only in his native Turkey but such places as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan”.
Most telling of all, Williams says:
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a Gülen disciple — as is Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul.
Williams points out that Clinton and Bush administrations thought that Gülen’s ideas about the restoration of the Ottoman Empire were less destabilizing than Iran’s mullahs.
Lord preserve us from our own ‘leaders’.