Islamist Gülen Movement Runs U.S. Charter Schools

Right Side News

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.

polls_religionofpeacevt1zo7_0655_675143_poll_xlargeGülen has been criticized as the puppet master for the current Turkish government headed by the “soft Islamist” Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish initials as the AKP, in its slow-motion showdown with the secularist Turkish military. But Gülen is also known in Muslim countries for his network of 500-700 Islamic schools around the world, according to differing sources favorable to his movement. A more critical view of Gülen’s emphasis on education asserts that his international network of thousands of primary and secondary schools, universities, and student residences is a key element in solidifying an Islamist political agenda in Turkey.

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.

Earlier in 2009, the Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a high school in Salt Lake City, came under similar critical scrutiny from the Salt Lake Tribune. That major daily’s writer, Kirsten Stewart, reported that the Utah State Charter Board had begun an investigation of the Beehive school, following complaints from a former teacher and an alarmed parent. The complainants asserted that while “Beehive advertises itself as a public charter school offering college-bound seventh through 12th graders a foundation in math and science … the school has another mission: to advance and promote certain Islamic beliefs. They point to questionable financial transactions and hiring practices as proof of the school’s covert ties to Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen.”

But while Fatih Karatas, principal of the Sonoran Science Academy middle school in Tucson, flatly denied any connection with the Gülen movement, Beehive principal Muhammet “Frank” Erdogan in Salt Lake City admitted such links in the case of his school. The Salt Lake Tribune quoted his admission that, along with him, “many of Beehive’s teachers and founders also support Gülen’s ideals.” The paper also described how “Adam Kuntz, a first-year history teacher at Beehive, was fired [in spring 2009], he alleges, for taking academic freedom concerns to the state board. Earlier in the school year, Kuntz had a run-in with Erdogan over a lesson plan on World War II and the Holocaust. Erdogan wanted Kuntz to revise the plan and during a tape-recorded meeting, questioned conventional accounts of the genocide.”

Kelly Wayment, a parent of three children in the school, was removed from his post on the Beehive administrative board after he emailed other parents about Gülen movement influence in the school. Wayment told the Salt Lake Tribune that, as in the Tucson case, teachers “tend to be from Turkey and central Asian republics living here on work visas.”

Americans should ask both why and how the Islamist Gülen movement has managed to establish such a large presence for Turkish religious political indoctrination in publicly financed education – and should unite to oppose it.


10 thoughts on “Islamist Gülen Movement Runs U.S. Charter Schools

  1. Please inform parents to do their research on the numerous Gulen schools and their foundations popping up in the USA. Our tax dollars go into promotion of Turkish nationalism. the Schools have Turkish Olympaids in the USA and Turkey where our children perform on stage with the Islamic Flag of Turkey flying. 2 web links..1 is by an ex-teacher of Gulen’s the other is by parents of ex-students.

  2. Also for the Texas people, the West Texas Patriots are exposing the Harmony Science Academy’s in Texas. Please lend a hand to them.

  3. UtahMom, would love to talk with you and trade secrets 🙂 We need to all unite and stop the islamic move in this country.

  4. A collection of addititional lies by Sonoran Science Acadmey. Mr. Karatas , the board and the teachers are liars !!

    SSA News Letter November 2009
    “The news is filled with budgets cuts at the state and national levels and we certainly been impacted by those cuts.
    I sincerely hope you will join me in making your Tax Credit to SSA wonderful extra-curricular programs. ”
    Mr. Karatas Principal

    Arizona Republic Newspaper November 24, 2009 (three weeks later)

    “Lawmakers leave charter schools untouched in cuts”
    Arizona lawmakers gathered this week long enough to cut $144 million from state K-12 schools. Make that $144 million out of district K-12 schools. State money going to charter schools was left untouched. “Where’s the equity in all this?” Rep. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, asked his fellow legislators.

    The Marana Explorer April 14, 2010
    “We’re currently at capacity on our campus and have a waiting list on 80 percent of our grade levels,” Karatas pointed out. “We have up to 100 students in some grades waiting. We could admit more students if we had more space, but physically we can’t.”
    Mr. Karatas Principal

    The Arizona Daily Star May 6, 2010
    We have over “300” students on a waiting list waiting to be taught !!
    Cheri Norris Teacher

    Lies lies lies !!
    “What?? Karatas said 100.

    Daisy Education Board Meeting February 4, 2009
    “Deb Davis states that she has been working increasing enrollment for the last six years….”
    * There is no waiting list. Other Sonoran Science Academy Schools are below occupancy.
    * It is a common sales tactic to create urgency and value. We call this the “Bandwagon Closing”
    * Sales tactics do not belong in education.

    “As part of its educational aims, Karatas said, the academy fosters learning and personal development by having strict behavioral expectations, character education assemblies, small class sizes and systematic consequences for misbehavior”

    “I’ve been frustrated with many things there — failing to respond properly to a student who was bullying my son. I had to go to them a number of times.”
    Valerie Cavazos
    Parent & Head of Parent Assoc. & 21st Century Success — Classroom to Career Connection

    Response to the Tucson Weekly article “Hidden Agenda”
    “Mr. Karatas has great respect for the fundamental constitutional right of every individual to express him/herself and would never threaten a student, parent or staff member. “

    A letter from the schools attorney to a parent
    As you are aware, this firm represents Daisy Education Corporation dba Sonoran Science Academy (“SSA”). SSA has been aware for several months that you are posting defamatory, insulting and inflammatory comments about SSA on craigslist. These posts are resulting in a significant disruption of the SSA community. Furthermore SSA may be suffering potential financial damages as a result of the false statements you are circulating in the online community. SSA responded numerous times to your complaints and concerns, responded to the Arizona State Board of Charter Schools and has allowed you to continue making defamatory comments on the internet for several months. Now it must stop. If you do not immediately cease posting SSA will pursue litigation against you, including an injunction to prohibit further publication of defamatory statements and a lawsuit for damages. SSA has been tracking and collecting evidence of your defamatory statements. Including copies of your posts on craigslist and will utilize this evidence in a lawsuit against you if necessary.
    Very Truly Yours, Heather K. Gaines

    What was the parent upset about??
    * For SSA not informing the parent that a teacher acted sexually inappropriate towards a female student. The school concealed that investigation and failed by law to inform the authorities and the parent.
    * Falsifying inoculation records as an attempt to have the child removed from the school.
    *Making threats of a lawsuit prior to letter from the schools attorney for demanding those be held accountable.
    * Mr. Karatas and the board of directors will conceal dangerous activities from parents and encourages staff to do the same.

    The Parent Association has no authority over teachers or governing board.
    “Yes, they failed to properly investigate the matter, but that is a common problem with charter schools. They do not have the staff, resources or counselors to address every need. The public school system is in a better position. “
    Valerie Cavazos

    Arizona Daily Star April 27, 2010
    • “Strategic ambiguity” — That’s what sociologist Joshua Hendrick called the Gülenist tendency toward obscuring its presence one moment and highlighting it the next. That came to my mind as I thought back to an exchange with Mr. Fatih Karatas, the principal of Sonoran Science Academy’s high school and middle school, during my tour of the school. When I asked him where he had worked previously, he told me he was an administrator in “LAUSD.” I clarified that he meant the Los Angeles school district. I was surprised, because I had heard otherwise.
    But then I went back to my office, called LAUSD and otherwise checked into it. That’s when I confirmed that Magnolia Science Academy, the Turkish-run charter school chain in Los Angeles, is chartered by the Los Angeles Unified School District. So I wrote Mr. Karatas an email, and he wrote back confirming that’s what he meant: “Yes, Magnolia Science Academy is a charter school in Los Angeles Unified School District. “

    • Thanks for your comments. Looks like you did your home work. As I have stated before, Islam is not a religion, it is a CULT.

  5. it seems that Gulen’s inflitration into Turkey’s education, politics, media, and military are under investigation especially after a tell all book by a Turkish Police Chief. Next will be an investigation in America on the mismanagement of funds surrounding the 140 US Charter Schools that the Gulen Movement manages.
    The National on the Investigation of Gulen in Turkey
    USA Today a Look at Gulen and the American Charter schools

  6. These Gulen bozos are all over the Internet trying damage control, they lie, cajole, manipulate, blackmail, threaten, bribe, play victim to get their way. They are mostly men and this is what they are immigrating to the USA uncredentialed male teachers on h1-b Visas. So these Gulen followers who are possessed like the Fethullah Gulen poster above can serve their precious Fethos. The exact count of these Gulen Managed Charter schools is 122. They have been turned down on over 30 applications. as people are finding out about controversial exiled Islamic Imam Fethullah Gulen. To learn more; list of schools

  7. these “gulen” schools are a propaganda front for islam which is dangerous no matter how it is packaged. muslims do not assimilate into western society because islam is a theocracy and demands supremacy.

    the twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

    see the links in the pdf version below for more accurate info about islam

    islam is a horrible ideology for human rights

    5 key things about islam

    1. mythical beliefs – all religions have these (faith) because its part of being a religion: having beliefs without proof until after the believer dies. the problem is people will believe almost anything.

    2. totalitarianism – islam has no seperation of church and state: sharia law governs all. there is no free will in islam: only submission to the will of allah as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests. there are no moderate muslims: they all support sharia law.

    3. violence – islam leads the pack of all religions in violent tenets for their ideology & history: having eternal canonical imperatives for supremacy at all costs and calling for violence & intimidation as basic tools to achieve these goals.

    4. dishonesty – only islam has dishonesty as a fundamental tenet: this stems from allah speaking to mohamhead & abrogation in the koran which is used to explain how mo’s peaceful early life was superseded by his warlord role later.

    5. misogyny – present day islam is still rooted in 8th century social ethics: treating females as property of men good only for children, severely limiting their activities, dressing them in shower curtains and worse.

    conclusions ??

    there really are NO redeeming qualities for this muddled pile of propaganda.

    islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

    graphics version

    1 page pdf version – do file/download 6kb viewer doesn’t show fonts well, has better fonts header footer links, great for emailing printing etc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s