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Re: “Not an expert: Peggy Littleton

What about the following text, which an Arizona newspaper found on a Gulenist website, as well as in an article in the high-circulation Turkish newspaper Sabah?…

"It is estimated that the disciples of the Gulen movement have established approximately a thousand schools in 140 countries. ...Because lately, the number of Turkish schools in the United States have been increasing rapidly. The reason for this is the transfer of the so-called “charter schools” to the Service. The Government of the United States subsidizes these schools in lucrative amounts per student with the aim of generalizing educational opportunities in the less affluent districts where many residents are low-income families.

"We discussed the subject among ourselves: If 600 schools are bought this way in the United States – and that’s what the members of the Gulen movement are striving to do, - and if 200 students graduate from each one of these schools, then 120 thousand sympathizers of Turkey join the mainstream out there every year. We are trying to lobby against the Armenian genocide resolution every year. And yet, through education, we can teach tens of thousands of people the Turkish language and our national anthem, introduce them to our culture and win them over. And this is what the Gulen movement is striving for."

(The word "Service" in this text means the Gulen Movement, which is often called "Hizmet"="service.")

What do you think of such a text appearing in a widely-read Turkish newspaper?

Posted by CASILIPS on 03/11/2011 at 1:49 AM

Re: “Not an expert: Peggy Littleton

Mr. Hardin:

Your frustration that Ms. Littleton could not back up her statements with sources is understandable. You have a legitimate complaint there. You are quite correct that her contention regarding the President makes little sense and is concerning, given her position.

What is much harder to understand is why you proceed to state that you could find "no concrete evidence anywhere ..... that proves that Gulen or his adherents are secretly starting ... charter schools." How hard did you look? A comment to your other article on this subject lists many pieces of evidence for this; there's no point in copying it again here but please look it over.

To answer your question, a Gulen charter school is a school whose key aspects (finances and hiring) are controlled by members of the Gulen Movement. Since the Gulenist modus operandi all over the world is to deny any affiliation with the movement, your desire for some sort of certified, notarized paper trail leading from Lotus to Gulen is not reasonable and is similar to expecting the Mafia to provide you with a membership list.

But here is something you could ask Mr. Doyuran: how much money is Lotus sending to the "Accord Institute for Educational Research" in California? The application for a proposed second Lotus school shows it is around $160/student/year. You could ask what the school gets in return. If you dig a little deeper you'd probably find the answer is not that much. Accord is doing teacher evaluations, running the home visit program, and providing 'curriculum." But why would a Colorado school have its teachers evaluated in California? And if you look at the Lotus curriculum, you'll find it consists mostly of the use of standard textbooks. The one exception is the Turkish textbooks - you'll almost certainly find they come from AntOnline, a Gulenist business in NJ. So why the need to transfer all this Colorado money to the Accord Institute?

Accord was (and may well still be) housed in the same building as the Pacifica Institute, a California-based organization that openly espouses Gulenist ideals and is run by Gulen's followers. This is not coincidence. Once Lotus' money has passed to Accord, it is not difficult to transfer it to any other Gulenist entity.

Many other examples could be given of how Gulen schools' dollars go to Gulenist businesses or non-profits, often not in ways that best serve the student body.

Posted by CASILIPS on 03/11/2011 at 1:44 AM

Re: “Message of fear from Littleton

Mr. Hardin:

(1) You say the connection between the listed charter schools and Gulen is "tenuous."
(a) In Dec 2010, Dr. Joshua Hendrick of the University of Oregon gave a talk at the Baker Institute, in which he connected these schools to Gulen and noted that their ongoing denial of the connection is causing a backlash.…
(b) In Oct 2010, a conference was held in Amsterdam on the Gulen Movement, mainly attended by its sympathizers. Prof. Helen Rose Ebaugh of the University of Houston, who has written a book in the Movement, said at one point "Do you know in Texas we have 25 Gulen schools. They’re called charter schools - totally financed by the state and it’s causing problems."
(c) The New Republic ran an article in Nov 2010 in which Suzy Hansen used the term "Gulen charter school" to refer to schools of the Harmony Science Academy chain in Texas and Magnolia Science Academy in California.
(d) The Pew Forum issued a report in Sep 2010 stating that "In addition, followers of the movement have established several dozen publicly funded charter schools in the U.S. that cater primarily to non-Muslims."
(e) STRATFOR, a highly respected Austin-based think tank, released a report in 2010 stating that "The Gulenist international footprint comprises 1,000 private schools (according to Gulen estimates) spanning 115 countries, including 35 African countries. These Gulenist schools can be found in small towns everywhere from Ethiopia, Bosnia, Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Azerbaijan – and even the United States, where according to some estimates, the movement runs more than 90 charter public schools in at least 20 states."
After this, I don't see how you can dismiss the connection of the schools to Gulen. If you want specific evidence for Lotus, that can be provided too.

(2) Regarding your very sunny view of the Gulen Movement, you might want to view this page which contains some quotes from very recent mainstream newspaper articles:…
It is now being acknowledged by the mainstream US press that journalists and authors who are critical of Fethullah Gulen are being targeted for arrest in Turkey.
The main reason that Bill Clinton made one favorable remark, once, about Gulen was that Gulenists had collectively made a substantial contribution to his wife's campaign. You can see the details at…
The Texas resolution was passed for similar reasons - a systematic effort to win over Texas politicians with campaign contributions and other favors…

(3) You require definitive proof and legal documents before you are willing to consider the possibility that anything unethical or illegal is transpiring in the Gulen charter schools. Think about how many years passed between the time that various individuals first starting raising concerns about Bernie Madoff, and when legal action was finally taken. When people first started warning the authorities, their warnings were ignored. If you have a genuine interest, we can supply you with massive evidence that things are not right in these schools. We can also show you the ingenious methods the Gulenists have used to make it appear that everything is fine.

(4) Nobody is saying that the problem has anything to do with "terrorism" or "Islamic indoctrination." The problem is that the school is set up to benefit the Gulen Movement, not the students. Just for starters, what do you think of the fact that Lotus board members made personal loans to the school, with interest rates as high as 8.5% to 9.5%? Do you know any bank where a private individual can get that sort of return on their money? There's much more that could be said on this subject. The only question is, would you be willing to listen?

(5) The opponents of the Gulen Movement's involvement in our charter system span the entire political spectrum. They include individuals who disagree with Littleton, Gaffney and Coulter on just about everything.

Posted by CASILIPS on 03/10/2011 at 11:31 PM

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