Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, joined Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon with a breaking news update about the ongoing battle between the Turkish government and the followers of Islamist guru Fethullah Gulen.
“The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Turkish government, through a law firm it’s retained in the States, has filed complaints against a group that most of us have never heard of. It’s known as the Gulen movement,” said Gaffney.
He described the Gulenists as “kind of a Turkish Islamic supremacist cult,” centered around Fethullah Gulen, who is based in the United States.
“Talk about ‘Clinton Cash,’” said Gaffney, referring to Peter Schweizer’s book. “As a result of the Clintons allowing this guy into the United States some years ago, he is running a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, some of which has to do with real estate development, and construction, and media operations around the world, particularly in Turkey.”
Gulen also runs about 150 schools around the world, according to Gaffney, many of them located in the United States.
“They’re known by various names,” he explained. “In Texas, where there are something like 40, I believe, maybe 45 by now, they’re called Harmony schools. And the thing that will make your head blow up is, these are basically Turkish nationalist operations, which is kind of a patina for Islamic supremacists – pedagogy that oftentimes is sold to Americans, sold to school districts, as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM program. But at its core, it’s really about promoting, I’m afraid, this kind of doctrine that is going to be very problematic, of course, for freedom-loving people in Texas, and a lot of other places.”
“The Turks are trying to shut it down. There’s kind of a Mafia war going on between two former allies – Fethullah Gulen on the one hand, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now the president of Turkey,” said Gaffney. “They’ve turned on each other. It’s kind of like the old Iran-Iraq War, remember, Henry Kissinger said we’d like them both to lose. Well, this is what you’d like here.”
“Unfortunately, I’m afraid what’s going to be losing in the process, if this isn’t rolled up – in Texas, in California, and across the country – are the American people, and their kids,” he warned.
Gaffney described Gulen as a “cult leader” who “lives in an armed camp in the Poconos Mountains.” Although the reclusive Gulen doesn’t usually grant interviews to American media, Gaffney noted there was a fairly thorough “60 Minutes” profile of him several years ago.
“I think primarily by selling this idea that we all need to have our kids learn more about science and technology and so on, these STEM schools have been very popular. The Gulenists have figured out that if they package this thing properly, they can go get these schools set up as charter schools, which means that the government basically pays for them,” Gaffney said.
“They’ve used them – and this is the focus of the complaint – as means of bringing in lots of Turks as teachers in these schools, in many cases violating the H1-B visa program,” he charged. “And they’ve used them to provide kickbacks to Gulen, because something like 40% of those Turks’ salaries are then turned back over to the ‘mother ship.’ So it’s a racket, really, and they’ve managed to do this primarily, I think, by giving school board members, city council members, state legislators, even some federal representatives, all-expenses-paid trips to Turkey, that they use as a means of basically promoting the schools, promoting Turkey.”
Gaffney noted that the Turks have long been an important member of NATO, regarded as U.S. allies. “That isn’t the case any more,” he argued. “They’re still nominally our allies in NATO, but they’ve become, more and more, an Islamist anti-West operation. Witness what’s happening as their hand is in Europe these days, with the migration there.”
“This is an internecine struggle for control of power within Turkey, that just happens to have now this very important outlier in the United States, that I believe really is a problem for American educators, and for those who have enabled this kind of program to take place,” he said.
Bannon asked if it was certain that Gulen’s U.S. schools were receiving state and federal funding.
“Oh, for sure,” Gaffney replied. “We’ve got a new book on the subject at SecureFreedom.org, you can get it for free, it’s called Gulen and the Gulenist Movement: Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Cult and Its Contributions to the Civilization Jihad. Which, as you know, is the term of the Brotherhood. It’s getting money from taxpayers. You bet.”
Bannon marveled that Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy are so often targeted for abuse in the media and dismissed as alarmist “screwballs,” when their solid research is ultimately repeated by mainstream outlets like the Wall Street Journal months or years later, driven by unfolding news events like the Texas lawsuit.
“I’ve been called a lot of things over forty years,” Gaffney chuckled. “I think the basic answer is, it’s a lot easier to try to suppress what you’d just as soon not look at, than it is to look at it, and recognize what a problem it represents.”
“This point about civilization jihad is, of course, the term that the Muslim Brotherhood has used to describe – not in some fantasy conspiracy of mine, but in their own playbook, which was introduced as evidence in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history,” he continued. “They talk about how they’re going to destroy Western civilization from within, by our hands. And this is an example of it. What the Gulenists are up to in our schools is just one manifestation of this kind of Islamic supremacist agenda.
“I’m going to continue calling them out on it,” Gaffney vowed. “We’re going to continue documenting it. People can look at it themselves, at SecureFreedom.org – again, for free. Just download the PDF. Judge it for yourself. But I think most rational, sensible, certainly pro-American folks, they’re going to look at this and say, this is the straight poop, and we’ve got to do something about it.”
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