Friday, April 25, 2014

Gulen On The March In Wisconsin

Do you remember that weird Praise-be-to-Fethullah Gulen resolution passed by the Illinois House in 2011 (sponsored by Turkish-junket recipient and then-Representative Susana Mendoza)? I wrote about it at length.

Well, it turns out that our cheese-enthusiast neighbors to the North, the good people of Wisconsin, have a similar resolution pending in their legislature, although it's clearly been watered down to eliminate the name of a certain international man of mystery.

Looks like it might be having tough sledding in their Senate; it's hard to know. I'm not an expert at following Wisconsin bills. Clearly they've taken out any reference to Fethullah Gulen from the Wisconsin language, now that the elected prime minister of that corruption-ridden nation, Turkey,  is making ominous threats in the press against Mr. Gulen and it's more important than ever to obscure relationships.
 "They say that if the person in Pennsylvania says something, it should be true. No, such a notion can lead a person to heresy. This was only true for our Prophet," Erdoğan said.
In an apparent reference to leaked wiretaps of Turkey's massive graft investigation, Erdoğan said: "those who violate the privacy of Muslims, those who watch their houses, disrespected all the honorable values of humanity, let alone the ones of Quran and [Prophet Mohammad's words]. Muslims don't stab their brothers in the back. They don't complain about their brothers to Western countries."
"No betrayal went unpunished," Erdoğan said. Musaylimah, who was killed in Mohammad's time for being a false prophet, was among the historical examples Erdoğan gave.
Whoever wrote the Wisconsin resolution was careful to phrase it in such a way that seems to honor Turkey in general and praise a couple organizations that most Wisconsinites have never heard of, which are of course, Gulenist organizations,  all without actually using the G-word.

The actual government of Turkey is pretty much in a Corleone vs. Tattaglia type of war with the members of those organizations at the moment. I'm sure the legislators have no clue. They probably think they've been dealing with the Turkish government. I'm also sure that someone who can identify faces can probably find one of the legislators who sponsored the Wisconsin resolution in this photo taken from a Gulen-sponsored junket to Turkey for Wisconsin legislators:

These people probably have no idea that they're posing in front of the house organ of the Gulen Movement, or that inside Turkey, the Movement functions as a parallel state, having infiltrated the judiciary and fallen into horribly tense row with their erstwhile allies in the arch-conservative Turkish government. These Wisconsinites, innocents abroad, may or may not read the New York Times but they probably skipped the Turkish coverage. 

The Niagara Foundation is having one of its awards ceremony in Milwaukee tonight (3/25/14). Looks like they're going after the new Marquette president and the editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I wonder when the Gulen people started showing up in the offices of these honorees. Let me just note that I see no mention of anyone from the Turkish government -- you know, the one the State Department deals with--- in attendance at tonight's event. The nearest person, the Consul in Chicago, appears to be staying away.

As for the Wisconsin resolution, well, there are a lot of these Gulenist-written resolutions around the country. The Movement has been very busy running a sort of parallel foreign policy operation in state capitols around the U.S., and for a time, they had the tacit support of their allies in the Turkish government. It's just that those days are over.  And down the road, when the details come to light of all the trials where people were railroaded into prison by the people in the Movement, well, I suspect the relationship will only continue to deteriorate.

This account of things from The Guardian continues to disturb me.

I would care much less about any of this if public schools weren't involved. Foreign sects are probably working state legislatures all the time; our democracy is supposed to be able to figure things out and deal with them.  But this particular movement has started to gobble up public education in several states, and the people watching over our public schools seem to constitutionally unable to countradict the charters-are-Nirvana narrative that has gripped the country.   Wisconsin is down to one Gulen-linked charter school, but they're clearly running the same playbook they've run everywhere else. They'll get more schools in Wisconsin. As for the spectacularly failed Wisconsin Career Academy, founded by one of Fethullah Gulen's closest associates, well, I've write about that before.

Many thanks to Sharon Higgins  and C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S for tweeting about events in Wisconsin.

New to the topic? Please see some of my previous posts.

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