Representatives from the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation visited Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on Sunday. Immediately, I knew it was a good thing I passed up the Greek baklava the night before, because they brought the Turkish version to share with the attendees at adult education. FYI, Greek baklava is made with honey, Turkish baklava does not use honey. It was delicious!
More important than the baklava was the opportunity to freely discuss Islam and Christianity, to ask questions and to get answers. After an initial slide show from the foundation representatives, there was a free-wheeling discussion that touched on sharia law and the allegations of some politicians that Muslims wanted to impose sharia law on various cities. Sharia law, and this is an oversimplification, includes the suggestions and commandments from the Koran. They are religious in nature and would make no sense to impose on a non-Islamic population. There were questions about the position of women in Islam. I could have answered that Islamic women are some of the strongest and most influential in their religion that I know, but, by remaining silent, I learned something new -- that when Islamic women work outside the home, the money they earn is theirs alone. They may choose to share it with the family, but they need not do so.
Generally, the people from Good Shepherd who attended had ample opportunity to ask questions and receive honest answers. What a pity that some I know have fears of Islam chose not to participate in the discussion and learn what might ease their fears of Islam.
The Multicultural Mosaic Foundation is just one of the MANY Gulenist organizations which have been established in the U.S. Their website states: "Our foundation is inspired by Fethullah Gülen, a prominent Turkish Islamic scholar.” http://www.mosaicfoundation.org/mosaic/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=41ReplyDelete
To learn more about the foreign-nationalist and religious-based Gulen movement, may I suggest you read the 8/2010 STRATFOR Global Intelligence report: “Islam, Secularism and the Battle for Turkey's Future.”
The GM is a secretive brotherhood with strategic global political ambitions. It has now stealthily opened 122 U.S. charter schools, supported by the unknowing American public's tax dollars, and more are on the way.
The schools import Gulenist Turkish and Turkic teachers on H1B visas who, as the STRATFOR report explains, “live far away from home in foreign lands for what they see as the greater mission of the Gulenist cause.” The Lotus School for Excellence (LSE) in Aurora (your local Gulenist school) applied for 25 visas (!) in the four years from 2006 to 2009. This organization is hoping to open another school in Longmont next year. http://www.myvisajobs.com/Company.aspx?ID=326631
One of the Gulen movement's tactics is to charm local government officials, religious leaders, reporters, and other community leaders. They do this by providing food, trips to Turkey, special awards, etc.
Linkages can be found between the school leaders and overt Gulenist local organizations, such as with Umit (AKA Matt) Yapanel who is on the board of LSE and was MFF's director in 2005, or with Zhandos Utegulov, who is on the board of LSE and was a MFF representative at a 2006 event at Atonement Lutheran. Because the GM has an overarching strategy; the patterns can be found repeating themselves again and again across the U.S.
Baklava is delicious and Gulenists are good at being extremely charming, but now that you are informed, you need to help your community become aware of the nature of the Gulen movement. Next time they call on you, I advise you to gently shut the door.