The Protest That Wasn’t (…in the News)

18 07 2013

While all of America’s Mainstream Media (MSM) outlets had their cameras trained on the George Zimmerman trial in Florida awaiting the jury’s decision, and just a few hours before Americans across the country streamed into the streets in protest of that verdict, there was another protest under way in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

130 people, many of Turkish origin or Turkish descent, were protesting Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric, who came to the US in the late ’90’s to escape the then secular government who wanted him for sedition. Gulen had been arrested and served jail time previously for the same charge many years prior.  I have written a series called “Turkish Connection”  which give some background and history on Turkey’s once secular government established by Kemal Attaturk in the early 1920’s, which has now been Islamized since Gulen’s AKP party took control of the Parliament  in 2007 and both the President and Prime Minister are AKP as well.  Charges were dropped against Gulen in 2008.

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(You may have heard of the recent protests in Istanbul and Ankara which have lasted for weeks and still continue in some degree, regardless of lack of American media attention, to protest Erdogen’s Islamist government which is dragging the country back under Sharia Law.)

You see, up until WW1 the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) dominated all the Middle East and was the seat of the Islamic Caliphate.  The Islamists are now in power in government once again and want it back!

fethullah-gulen

Fethullah Gulen

 

Fethullah Gulen has been very influential in the Islamist movement in Turkey, in spite of his residence in the US for the last 14 years.  He owns many media outlets there and organized and established many schools there. But his influence does not stop in Turkey.  He has established a plethora of Turkish groups and charter schools in the United States as well as many other countries.  This excerpt from a previous article I wrote in 2010:

“The Gulen Institute, Institute of Interfaith Dialog, Turquoise Center, and more locally the Raindrop Turkish Houses, along with others either directly or indirectly affiliated with Gulen have, as their apparent mission, to seek out leadership positions and officials at all levels of government and shape bonds of friendship and trust by providing a myriad of social functions from breakfasts to award dinners, to summit meeting with dignitaries and civil servants alike. One of the frequent provisions to these folks is the all expense paid trip to Turkey for the official and family members for a vacation of a lifetime. Some elected Kansas legislators recently returned from one such junket.

On the world stage, the Institute has hosted many high profile names such as James Baker, Kofi Annan, Madeline Albright, and received praise from Bill and Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and others.

FGC (Fethullah Gulen Community) built and runs hundreds of schools and seven universities around the world. Just one phalanx of what is known as “education jihad”, these schools mainly focus on secondary and college level students, imposing and inciting discipline and good social order, (that’s all good, but…) all the while extolling the virtues of the Islamic religion. This is a calculated effort and will indeed have huge effects on American culture and society in a generation or two. There are currently 130 such schools inside the United States.” 

These are mostly, if not all, in the form of charter schools, utilizing US taxpayer money for funding scattered across 26 states.  Other funding comes from international foundations such as Cosmos Foundation, based in India and according to this article in the NY Times, contracts for building them mount into the scores of millions of dollars for contractors, many with roots in Turkey.  Many of these schools, such as the 42 in Texas, operate under the Harmony Public Schools name.  Several of these schools have fallen under Federal investigation for misuse of funds.   The teachers are also Turkish and come here on H1B visa’s specifically to teach in Gulen’s schools.

The Saylorsburg protests were reported only locally as in the Pocono Record:

“Protesters came from across the U.S. to draw attention to Gülen’s residence in Saylorsburg. He is a polarizing figure in Turkey whom critics accuse of trying to turn the country into an Islamic regime from a secular democracy.

Men, women and children waved Turkish flags, often emblazoned with the face of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the republic and secular hero in Turkey. Some also held American flags and posters with slogans in English and Turkish.

“USA wake up, sharia is here,” read one, warning of sharia law. “Stop stealing our taxes for your jihad,” another said.

Birgul Oncu, of New York, said she hoped the protest would make Americans more aware of who Gülen is and his influence in Turkey and in America through charter schools affiliated with the Gülen movement…

Protesters said they were in favor of a secular Turkey, and in solidarity with protesters on the streets of major Turkish cities over the last few weeks who have criticized Turkey’s leader for what they see as an Islamization of the country.

Huriye Altan, of Long Island, said she is an American citizen of Turkish origin whose husband fought in the Vietnam War. She said the protesters were not anti-American, but fighting what she said is Gülen’s misuse of tax dollars from charter schools connected with the Gülen movement…

Ersin Bayraktar said he came with family from New York City and is an American citizen.  “He is trying to control the politics and the future of Turkey,” he said. “And he is using our country, the United States, as his base.”

Armagan Yilmaz, who organized the protest, led Turkish chants and held up posters of young people he said had been killed by forces under Gülen’s control.”

The commanding State Police officer at the protest commented of his appreciation for the peaceful attitude of the group, and one protester thanked the officer for the troopers’ attitude saying “In Turkey the police are violent”.

You can read the entire story in the Pocono Record and view accompanying photos here.  H/T Pocono Record and H/T Creeping Sharia





Turkish Connection I

24 04 2010

Note: This will be too lengthy a study to develop in one post, so I will break it up a bit into more digestible portions. This is the first in a three part series entitled “Turkish Connection”. When finished with this post be sure to read II and III.

Will Turkey Replace Israel as America’s Chief Ally in the Middle East?

The evidence confirming that possibility is becoming too great to ignore and I intend to expound upon it from a couple of different approaches.

After several months of hinting to Israel that the newest American administration may not be so supportive of the Jewish State, recent weeks have clarified that point with stark contrast to previous administrations going all the way back to Harry Truman and the declaration of Israel’s independence in 1948.

President Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with Joe Biden, James Baker and others in the Cabinet, have made it clear that Israel can no longer depend on the backing of the US Government.

The Left in the United States has long been known for its anti-Israel sentiment, even to the point of parroting “Palestinian” propaganda demonizing the Israeli response to repeated terrorist attacks upon civilians in schools, café’s , buses, and nightclubs not to mention random “potshots” by Palestinian rockets numbering in the thousands before Israel finally responded. The standard sentiment in the media is ‘Jews are fair game but Israel is not allowed to respond’.  The Jewish State of Israel has become the “redheaded stepchild” of the West, and world leaders are loathe to utter a sincere sympathetic statement or any such moral support on her behalf.

The “Palestinian problem” is now Israel’s to solve unilaterally.  The problem is not Israel’s handling of the situation. Nothing she does will be acceptable. The problem is this.  Israel exists.

This sentiment is exhibited by most of Europe, South America, Africa, and all of Islam. Never mind the historical fact that the “Palestinians” were mostly Jordanian or Egyptian citizens prior to the invasion of Israel by five surrounding Arab states the day after she proclaimed independence. The UN Partition Plan would have forged two states; one Jewish, the other Arab. The Jews agreed. The Arabs did not and vowed to “drive the Jews into the Sea.” The only real change is where the lines are, and that only the result of Israel’s own security provisions.

That Partition Plan of 1947 was the result of much discussion, planning and compromise which characterized the expiration of the British Mandate issued by The League of Nations back in 1922 after the breakup of the 600 year old Ottoman Empire at the end of World War One. The Mandate charged Britain with governance of the territories from the Mediterenean Sea to Mesopotamia which included Palestine, Transjordan, and modern Iraq. It also reinforced the Balfour Declaration of 1917 citing Palestine or a portion thereof to become recognized as a future Jewish State.  By the end of WW2 the Jews were more than glad to relocate to their ancient homeland of King David where Israel and Judah had prospered two millennia prior. The Jewish Diaspora expired.

The Ottoman Empire had been the seat of the Islamic Caliphate for 400 years. After the Ottoman’s (Sunni Muslim) conquered the Fatimid Dynasty (Shia Muslim) beginning in the 14th century and reaching its own zenith in the 16th century, Sunni Islam became the dominant school of theology, pushing Shiism into small pockets and containing it to Persia (Iran) where it continues to be dominant. The Ottoman Empire, allied with Germany, came to a close after the end of World War 1 when Great Britain was successful in driving the Turks from Palestine, Transjordan, Syria and most of the Arabian Penninsula., with the help of the Arab tribes who were loosely unified by Sir Thomas Edward Lawrence.

With the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Revolution, a new Republic of Turkey was established and under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Caliphate was abolished and a new secularized government began to develop a prosperous economic and political player on the world stage.  Turkey managed to remain neutral during most of WW2, finally joining the Allies in 1945.  The new Eurasian country became a strategic ally to the United States and Europe during the Cold War and has maintained good relations with the West for the most part since its inception.

Many have extolled the success of Turkey as a model for the Islamic world to emulate, successfully balancing an Islamic culture with a modern secularized government. It has, thus far, been the most Westernized Islamic country in the region.

However, a recent movement is afoot in Turkey to Islamize the government. This is not, for the most part, a radical militant movement such as Al-Qaida or Hamas, but a more subtle movement that is better served by maintaining a peaceful appearance and a smile, extending the hand of friendship and unity while educating the opponent and his children. This movement has a leader who has opposed a secular government in Turkey since the 1960’s and was arrested by the Turkish authorities in ’71 for “clandestine religious activities” after which he was harassed occasionally. He has met with Pope John Paul II, Greek Orthodox and other Christian leaders, as well as Jewish Rabbi’s in an effort to moderate, and “build bridges” between Islam and the West.

Fethullah Gulen, a Sunni Imam, has become a major figure in the United States since his ‘migration’ here in 1998, reportedly to seek treatment for diabetes. According to Rachel Sharon-Krespin writing for Middle East Quarterly, his “absence also enabled Gülen to escape questioning on his indictment in 2000 for allegedly promoting insurrection in Turkey in a series of secretly-recorded sermons.”  It is also reported that although he has not lived in Turkey for the past 12 years, he has had tremendous influence there to the point of “Islamizing” the Turkish government, so much so that all government employees are Muslim. So much for secular government in Turkey…More on that…

(Continued on next post)








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