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Turkey’s Gülen movement under criminal investigation in the US: The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2011 p 7. April 21, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Terrorism, Turkey, Washington.

Fethullah Gülen

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has commenced an investigation into the activities of Turkish Muslim leader Fethullah Gülen and his educational and charitable network.

Called the “world’s top public intellectual” in 2008 by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines, Gülen is a controversial figure.  Considered an inspirational religious leader by millions of Turks and Muslim followers around the world, he has also been called the “world’s most dangerous Islamist” by US investigative journalist Paul Williams.

In 1998 Gülen left Turkey after the government sought to arrest him for seeking to overthrow the government.  He fled to the United States and currently lives in a 45-acre compound in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Over the past decade Gülen has built a network of schools across the world that allegedly call for the creation of a global caliphate.

In the United States, the Gülen movement has opened 125 schools that receive government assistance under the “charter school” system.  The federal investigation, according to the March 21 Philadelphia Inquirer report, is not linked to terrorism but to allegations that Gülen school employees, granted visas to enter the United States to teach at the schools, are forced to kick back 60 per cent of their salaries to the Hizmet, or Service, movement Gülen founded.  Prosecutors have declined to comment, however, as the investigation is on-going.

A spokesman for Gülen told the Inquirer the reclusive imam has no relationship to the schools, though he might have inspired the people who founded them.

Since his arrival in the United States, Gülen has cultivated media, religious and political leaders.  At a Jan 20, 2011 meeting hosted by the Rumi Forum, a Turkish think tank in Washington, the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, the Rt. Rev. John B. Chane praised Gülen as a “magnificent man.”

“In the 50 books he has written he has probably been one of our greatest voices. He is a scholar and communicator who has really addressed — not only the role of religion — but the place of religion as an antidote to violence throughout the world, stressing the importance of the need to come to the table for dialogue and conversation,” the bishop said.

The bishop added to his postprandial encomium saying “I really want to make a point in recognizing him and honoring him for the work he continues to do for global peace among all of God’s children.”

However, diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks and published in the Turkish newspaper Taraf on March 17 show US government officials in Washington and Ankara were concerned with the growing influence of the Gülen movement.

One 2005 cable said the Gülen community seems to espouse “moderate Islam,” but  as it had a global mission of fostering Islamism, it was an open question how the movement would act once it consolidated its hold on power.  “It is not possible to confirm the Turkish police are under the control of the Gülen community members, but we have not met anybody who denies it,” one cable said.

Turkish analysts in the West have also questioned the motives and methods of the Gülen movement.  On Dec 3, 2010, Dr. Sebastian Gorka of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies linked the Gülen movement to the “soft jihad” campaign waged by Islamists who seek to use Western institutions and liberties to bring about the mastery of the world by Islam in an interview with WABC’s John Batchelor Show.

Bishop Chane told The Church of England Newspaper he was “troubled by references that have been made about Gülen being a soft jihadist. Clearly the use of the word jihad demonstrates a significant lack of understanding of the term and a baffling use of the word soft.”

“If in fact there is an investigation underway that links Gülen to radical, religiously motivated terrorists then let the facts of the investigation be known,” the bishop said.


1. Nurat - May 24, 2011

There is an open investigation in the United States of these Gulen Schools. In Ohio there have been several news reports of their ongoing importation of Turkish teachers and their spending of taxpayers dollars. It is unclear what their agenda and motives really are. They say they are building bridges. It is very vague what they are trying to do. Is this some kind of cult or some kind of educational Jihad ?

2. The Gülen Movement: an Islamic Opus Dei? « Tendance Coatesy - May 25, 2011

[…] He has been  ’voted’ “Top Intellectual” , but now faces investigation in the USA over his state-funded religious schooling network. – here. […]

3. Ozgur Cengiz (@GooseNetworkUSA) - November 6, 2011

Gulen Movement is attempting to get Gulen a Nobel Prize and have linked his name with Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Ghandi. Via their numerious NGOs and Foundations they have established in the USA via the money laundering of American tax money intended for education.
The funny thing is Gulen only has a 5th grade education and fled Turkey in 1999 during his infamous speech “you must work into the arteries of the system until you reach all power centers”

This group has accomplished nothing for education and in fact, Turkiye has the worst education on the planet earth. They are only good at marketing, public relations and propaganda.

4. Harun - December 2, 2011

What about the american, french, german schools in turkey even in yakutia- siberia and all over the world? What is the motivation of those schools? Soft or hard jihad?;) Gulen don’t open cami in Africa but christians do that? is that a soft crusade or hard?;)))

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