May 14, 2012, - 10:19 am
America is finally waking up to Islamic charter schools, an issue I’ve been complaining about for at least two decades. It’s a problem created not by liberals, but by conservative Republicans.
I’ve long marched to a different beat than the blind-faith conservatives who sing the siren song of charter schools. When I was in grad school in Wisconsin in the early to mid-1990s, I watched as the primary driver behind that state’s charter schools was a female Black Muslim legislator, hailed by the conservative masses without any critical thinking skills. And soon after her work was passed, Milwaukee had Nation of Islam charter schools. And so did Detroit, after Michigan passed its law. And Arab Muslims took advantage, too, in Michigan and Minnesota and many other places. But, whenever I’d raise the questions about these schools to conservatives, they didn’t want to hear it. They insisted there was oversight, but in fact there isn’t. In Michigan, for example, most of these schools are “supervised” by small state colleges hundreds of miles away, with those colleges rubber-stamping the charter schools’ qualifications and collecting oversight fees. In recent years, conservative state legislators from various states have contacted me to consult on how to regulate and prevent these Muslim charter schools. My answer: get rid of charter schools. There is no other way. And the Gulen Islamic charter schools, which often go by the name “Harmony Schools” or “Horizon Schools,” are Exhibit A of my argument. The Islamic charter schools are the fault and creation ENTIRELY of the right and conservative Republican legislators around the country. Remember, liberal Democrats opposed charter schools. And even though it was for the wrong reasons, they were right.
In case you did not see CBS News’ “60 Minutes” last night, I recommend that you watch the video report below, which ran on yesterday’s show. The report, about the Gulen charter schools, run by the Turkish imam, doesn’t really cover any new ground, since I’ve been hearing from concerned parents and citizens about these schools for years, and the story has been covered in places like the Wall Street Journal. But, per usual and like most of the mainstream media reports, CBS News’ Leslie Stahl largely whitewashes the schools, which are basically Islamic charter schools funded by American taxpayer dollars. And they are also mills for immigration fraud by Turkish Muslims and kickbacks to the Gulen Islamic machine.
(Read the transcript of the report here.)
Even though Stahl mostly gives the Gulen schools a pass, I have to say she points out more criticism of the schools than I’ve seen from the mainstream media so far. The most marked point, aside from those I just mentioned, is that the schools get special talent visas for Muslim teachers teaching subjects for which there are many unemployed, qualified American teachers currently seeking work, including math and . . . ENGLISH!
Still, some of her statements are ridiculous. Stahl says that she and CBS News confirmed that Islam is never taught in the schools because that would violate the law. Um, how does she know this? Has she simultaneously been in all of the dozens of Gulen schools in 22 states across the United States for every hour on ever day the schools are opened? Nope, she spent a few hours at a few schools. That’s it. And they gave her their best show, just like the Nazis did with their few model concentration camps they showed the Red Cross. I mean, this is supposed to be an “investigative” journalism news outfit. And, yet–par for the course–she makes a blanket statement absolving the schools with absolutely no evidence to back that statement up.
Regardless, even if Islam isn’t taught in the schools, it’s about exposing children to Muslims who run a school and propagandizing them to think that Muslims are the best teachers, best preparers for adult life, etc. That was, in fact, the propaganda you got from Stahl as she gushed over the teaching at these schools and showed Black students excelling. When you have schools run by Islamic religious figures, where the education is imparted mostly by Muslim teachers, there is a positive propaganda effect. And, not looked into by Stahl or raised in her piece, there are many important questions, including: how many non-Muslim teachers are employed? Where is the Justice Department looking at discrimination practices against non-Muslims in the hiring statistics at the schools? There clearly seems to be a distinct and overwhelming pattern against non-Muslims. That’s illegal.
Stahl mentioned that federal immigration officials are seriously looking at the charges of immigration fraud. And if you believe that, I have some land in the Pacific Ocean to sell you. They might be looking, but that’s it. And they aren’t looking “seriously.” Mark my word: you will never see the Justice Department or ICE–whether under Barack Obama or Mitt Romney–do anything. I know for a fact that many concerned citizens, including even some parents who contacted me after removing their kids from the schools, contacted federal authorities with a lot of evidence long ago. The Bush Administration knew about the schools’ fraudulent and illegal practices for eight years and did nothing. The Obama people did nothing. And the Romney people will be exactly the same. We can’t go after Muslim lawbreakers, because they might hate us. It’s the same old BS.
Stahl wasn’t permitted to interview Gulen, because he’s allegedly too sick to talk to her. But it would make no difference, had she been able to interview him. She didn’t ask any critical questions to his assistant, who seems to be running the show now. It was all softball stuff. And the story was mostly puffery.
For the record, in some ways, Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Turkish imam who is behind the schools, is more moderate than other Muslims. (But all things are relative in Islam.) For example, he condemned the Turkish HAMAS flotilla of 2010 and said it shouldn’t have set sail. He disagreed with the Turkish government in its condemnation of Israel over the aftermath. But that Turkish government is controlled by many of his followers and adherents, most of whom are far more radical than he is. And since he is very old and very sick, his followers, who will soon take over, are a scary development. The chain of schools in the Midwest that copied his chain and is affiliated, is run by extremist Arab Muslims who teach hate. It’s a slippery slope.
Remember, your tax dollars are paying for this. And they wouldn’t be if these were Christian or Jewish “charter schools.”
As I always say, the Establishment Clause of the Constitution is in the garbage when it comes to Islam. We’ve already established that religion reigns supreme to our laws on our own soil.
Tags: 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes Gulen Schools, CBS News, Fethullah Gulen, Gulen English taachers, Gulen immigration fraud, Gulen Islamic movement, Gulen Islamic schools, Gulen movement, Gulen Muslim movement, Gulen Muslim schools, Gulen schools, Harmony Schools, Horizon Schools, Immigration, Immigration Fraud, Islam, Islamic charter schools, Leslie Stahl, Leslie Stahl Gulen Schools, Muslim charter schools, Sixty Minutes, Turkey, Turkish Muslims