New York Times’ Exposé: Imam Gulen’s Charter Schools

Is the Media Catching Up with the Turkish Imam’s US Operations?

gulenFor the last two years I have been pounding on Imam Fethullah Gulen’s web of organizations and his charter schools empire in the US. For years I have been marveling about the consistent media blackout on the Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen’s past and present nefarious activities and highly suspicious partnerships with various US government agencies and elected officials. And of course for almost two years I have been writing and discussing Gulen with you over here at Boiling Frogs Post. Now the New York Times appears to be catching up; at least with a fraction of this notorious Imam’s multi billion dollar network of organizations and businesses. Yesterday, the Times ran a fairly detailed and long exposé on Gulen’s dubious and highly secretive penetration of US school systems via his rapidly growing charter school operations; let’s start with the attention grabbing intro:

TDM Contracting was only a month old when it won its first job, an $8.2 million contract to build the Harmony School of Innovation, a publicly financed charter school that opened last fall in San Antonio. It was one of six big charter school contracts TDM and another upstart company have shared since January 2009, a total of $50 million in construction business. Other companies scrambling for work in a poor economy wondered: How had they qualified for such big jobs so fast?

The secret lay in the meteoric rise and financial clout of the Cosmos Foundation, a charter school operator founded a decade ago by a group of professors and businessmen from Turkey. Operating under the name Harmony Schools, 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.

Some of the schools’ operators and founders, and many of their suppliers, are followers of Fethullah Gulen, a charismatic Turkish preacher of a moderate brand of Islam whose devotees have built a worldwide religious, social and nationalistic movement in his name. Gulen followers have been involved in starting similar schools around the country — there are about 120 in all, mostly in urban centers in 25 states, one of the largest collections of charter schools in America.

And this is what the paper says it is attempting to examine:

But an examination by The New York Times of the Harmony Schools in Texas casts light on a different area: the way they spend public money. And it raises questions about whether, ultimately, the schools are using taxpayer dollars to benefit the Gulen movement — by giving business to Gulen followers, or through financial arrangements with local foundations that promote Gulen teachings and Turkish culture.

I suggest you visit the site and read the entire article. It is definitely worth reading. You may also want to read a few select pieces from BFP on Gulen:

Did You Know: The King of Madrasas Now Operates over 100 Charter Schools in US?

Turkish Intel Chief Exposes CIA Operations via Islamic Group in Central Asia

Additional Omitted Points in CIA-Gulen Coverage & A Note From ‘The Insider’

The Sanitized Gulen Coverage Continues

And here are some appetite inducing excerpts from the Times’ article [All Emphasis Mine]: [Read more...]