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Culture wars Richard Falknor on 17 Jul 2012 06:11 pm

Islam and Our Schools: Will We Follow The UK By Capitulating?

Yesterday the Gatestone Institute spelled out with chapter and verse “How Political Correctness Is Transforming British Education.”

Declared Soeren Kern

“In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class.

In Scotland, 30 non-Muslim children from the Parkview Primary School recently were required to visit the Bait ur Rehman Ahmadiyya mosque in the Yorkhill district of Glasgow (videos here and here). At the mosque, the children were instructed to recite the shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith which states: ‘There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.’ Muslims are also demanding that Islamic preachers be sent to every school in Scotland to teach children about Islam, ostensibly in an effort to end negative attitudes about Muslims.

British schools are increasingly dropping the Jewish Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, according to a report entitled, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills.”

Also yesterday Mark Tapson revealed in his “Muslim Congressman: Islam in America Must Not Retreat” (FrontPage Magazine) –

“In a May 26 address before the Islamic Circle of North America/Muslim American Society (ICNA/MSA), both Muslim Brotherhood front groups, André Carson commiserated with his audience over how difficult things have been for them since the World Trade Center attacks at the hands of al Qaeda jihadists: ‘9/11 was tough on Muslims.’

Carson is America’s race-baiting, confirmed socialist and second Muslim Congressman (Keith Ellison is the first), who had a lot of interesting things to say at this event. In video clips surfacing on the internet, Carson made the above comment as well as this eyebrow-raising pronouncement, to the applause of his Muslim-American audience:

‘America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Koran. And that model that we are pushing in some of our schools meets the multiple needs of students… America must understand that she needs Muslims.’”

Conservatives themselves in Maryland and Virginia must become vigilant about the curricula in taxpayer-supported schools. 

We have noted how unrealistic it is to expect the GOP to do so, and the Left as we have written sees public education as a sovereign way to transform America.

Charter Schools in Maryland and Virginia

Charter schools have promise for many more young Americans, but these taxpayer-supported enterprises must not become the means of advancing a political agenda. 

Islamist watchers have raised questions here (Stephen Schwartz) and here (Janet Levy) about those charter schools affiliated with the Gulen network.

Writes Stephen Schwartz (American Thinker) –

“Americans should ask both why and how the Islamist Gülen movement has managed to establish such a large presence for Turkish religious political indoctrination in publicly financed education — and should unite to oppose it.”

Janet Levy (American Thinker) declared

“Beginning in the 1970’s, Gulen began establishing a worldwide network to promote Islam and Turkish nationalism. His followers have since established hundreds of schools in over 110 countries.  Gulenists operate an Islamic bank with over $5 billion in assets and own significant print and broadcast media properties, NGOs, think tanks and a publishing company. Gulen recruits Turkish youth by providing housing and education and grooms them for careers in the legal, political and academic professions.  In recent years, the AKP passed legislation allowing graduates of Islamic high schools entry into Turkey’s universities, guaranteeing Islamist leadership in the future.  Gulen controls the majority of schools, universities and dormitories throughout Turkey.  His followers remain loyal and donate up to one-third of their income to the movement.  In Turkey, Gulen and the AKP together control the police, the intelligence services and the media and actively recruit diplomats for their utility as foreign intelligence satellites. Overall, the holdings are valued at up to $50 billion.”

Levy is not convinced by the Gulen schools’ claims of academic excellence —

“As for their reported academic excellence, the Gülen schools show high performance on school-administered state tests but lackluster results on college admission tests such as SAT and ACT.  The Gülen schools’ SAT average score of 1026 falls short of the 1100 considered to indicate college readiness.  Former Gülen schoolteachers have reported state testing violations, lack of test monitors, and unqualified individuals administering tests.”

And Stephen Schwartz reports – –

“But while Fatih Karatas, principal of the Sonoran Science Academy middle school in Tucson, flatly denied any connection with the Gülen movement, Beehive principal Muhammet ‘Frank’ Erdogan in Salt Lake City admitted such links in the case of his school. The Salt Lake Tribune quoted his admission that along with him, ‘many of Beehive’s teachers and founders also support Gülen’s ideals.’ The paper also described how ‘Adam Kuntz, a first-year history teacher at Beehive, was fired [in spring 2009], he alleges, for taking academic freedom concerns to the state board. Earlier in the school year, Kuntz had a run-in with Erdogan over a lesson plan on World War II and the Holocaust. Erdogan wanted Kuntz to revise the plan and during a tape-recorded meeting, questioned conventional accounts of the genocide.’”

Readers need to weigh all the evidence, both on performance and political affiliation, on Fetulla Gulen and American charter schools. We know one education reformer close to a Gulen school genuinely enraptured with their performance among minorities.  But the same advocate was unwilling to talk to the critics and reporters in Arizona and Utah to get more information when we suggested doing so over two years ago.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more on school curricula, and we’ll try to help with more facts and informed opinion.

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