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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Houston, TX: Eagle Forum taking on Fethullah Gulen Charter schools

Perhaps the most dangerous Islamist in America - Fethullah Gulen - has watched as Harmony charter schools - modeled after his teachings - have sprung up all over the world, many in the United States. One particular hotbed for those schools is Houston, TX.

Vice President of Texas' Eagle Forum, MerryLynn Gerstenschlager is calling for legislation that will require all charter schools to be operated by U.S. citizens exclusively.

Via Houston Chronicle:
With 36 campuses, Harmony has become the state’s largest charter school system.

“Thousands of American children are becoming sympathetic to the Turkish way of life,” MerryLynn Gerstenschlager told the House Public Education Committee last week.

She is vice president of the Eagle Forum, which is concerned about the influence of Turkish billionaire Fethullah Gulen, whom she cast as the driving force behind Harmony schools.

Gulen lives in Pennsylvania but controls Turkey TV stations and newspapers, Gerstenschlager told the committee. She also views him as someone who desires to turn Turkish government into an Islamist system.

“If Gulen’s control can reach across the seas to Turkey, how much easier would it be for him to ask allegiance from the impressionable children educated in Turkish charter schools within our borders?” she asked.
Amazingly, state lawmakers seem to be oblivious to this very real threat.
House Public Education Committee members did not share the Eagle Forum’s concerns about Harmony charter schools.

Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston, says she has “a large Turkish community in my district and several Harmony schools in my district. I think they are fabulous. I don’t think they teach religion.”
It ain't just Democrats who don't get it:
Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, told Gerstenschlager the Harmony charter school in his district is immensely popular.

“They are lining up trying to get into that school. Parents are thrilled. I am just not hearing anyone saying that there’s some problem in the school related to the issues you are talking about,” the physician-lawmaker told her.

 She repeated her standard refrain: “They are learning Turkish culture, and I believe these impressionable young children will become sympathetic to Turkey.”
A simple search of Fethullah Gulen will reveal why these schools are so dangerous. Yet, politicians are out to lunch on the issue. Last year, the Texas state legislature passed a resolution, without objection, that honored Gulen.

Read it all.

h/t DG

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