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Author Topic: Fetullah Gulen universities in Europe and North America  (Read 32487 times)
astaa
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« on: July 21, 2012, 6:27:02 pm »

There are more than a dozen Gulen universities in Europe and North America. A (perhaps incomplete) list is below, which comes from this site: http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/every-continent-but-antarctica.html

Many of these universities do not openly admit their affiliation with the Gulen movement though. However, the question is another: Do these universities provide any academic quality or are they merely vehicles to achieve the Gulen movement goals of religious and political dominance?

One of these universities, Fatih University in Istanbul, has been thoroughly exposed in this forum as a primarily religious school, which disguises itself as an institution of higher learning: http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php?topic=29236.0  

Does the same hold true for the other universities in the list? If so, first hand accounts of working conditions, religious environment, gender roles (treatment of female staff), student quality, etc. would be much appreciated to help unaware recent PhD graduates who might be lured into teaching positions by these outfits.

For more information, see this piece: http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/are-gulen-schools-secular.html

Albania
Beder University www.beder.edu.al
Epoka University www.epoka.edu.al

Bosnia
International Burch University www.ibu.edu.ba

Cyprus
Eastern Mediterranean University www.emu.edu.tr

Macedonia
International Balkan University www.ibu.edu.mk

Montenegro
Mediterranean University www.unimediteran.net

Romania
University of Southeast Europe / Lumina University www.lumina.org

Turkey
Antalya International University www.antalya.edu.tr
Gediz University www.gediz.edu.tr
Fatih University www.fatih.edu.tr
Meliksah University www.meliksah.edu.tr
Mevlana University www.mevlana.edu.tr
Zirve University www.zirve.edu.tr

USA
Virginia: Virginia International University www.viu.edu
Illinois: American Islamic College www.aicusa.edu
Texas: North American College www.northamerican.edu
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 6:28:39 pm by astaa » Logged
drmau
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 11:14:08 am »

Burch is not awful, but I would not encourage folks to work there, mainly because getting paid was a pretty onerous monthly task. Was told how grateful I should be to educate. Said I tended to do my best work while eating and living indoors, and would they like to explain their point of view to my grocer and landlord? Still in touch with fellow workers there: to get your pay, you have to act like a real jerk, in which case you get paid, but nicer folks just wait, and wait, and wait.
Oh, and you have to be there from 8:30 to 5:30, and no leaving campus even for lunch, and the food really was dreadful.
Curriculum sucked in my department. OK, I guess it was awful, though I hear the food is better these days.
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astaa
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 2:12:02 pm »

I have some info on the Gulen universities in Albania. The practices of these universities seem creepy and are very unusual for Albania, which is a totally secular country, and has a tradition - inherited from communism - of men and women working alongside each other as equals. However, I have heard this stuff second hand from Albanian journalist friends and colleagues. Accounts of personal experiences would be much more accurate I expect.

Beder University is out and out Islamic, with a department of Islamic sciences, Turkish language and literature, etc. Only Muslim students are accepted and many female students wear headscarves. Beder University and Epoka University share many instructors and administrators. In both universities faculty are required to be present in their offices from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (including summers), and are often asked to work late and on weekends for no extra pay.

Epoka University disguises itself as secular. For this purpose, it hires a few - unaware - Western, and/or Western-educated, faculty members, to whom it offers high salaries. Religious subjects are not openly taught. However, most faculty members are Turkish Gulen followers. Most Albanian faculty and most students are alumni of local Gulen high schools. Most female teachers wear long skirts and long sleeves, and those who don't are ostracized. Male and female faculty do not mix - i.e. they even dine in separate sections of the cafeteria. Male employees often refuse to shake hands or make eye contact with, and take orders from, female employees. There are no female department heads and no women in upper management.

Both universities are closely affiliated with, and promote themselves in, two Islamic newspapers, also owned and operated by Gulenists - Gazeta Start: www.gazetastart.com and Gazeta Jone: www.gazetajone.com

An Albanian forum dedicated to atheism has made an effort to denounce the religious practices of these universities: http://ateistet.org/forum/t1000297   |    http://ateistet.org/forum/t1000298
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lerasmus
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 6:05:18 pm »

It's not exactly "Fetullah Gulen universities," but I've also seen a frightening number of spurious requests from "scholars" to present "research" on "contemporary issues related to political modernism in Turkey" at 2 universities where I've taught. A foil for a thinly disguised Gulener promotional speech, the list of credentials reads long, but notably doesn't include any that would be recognized by any veritable department of Middle Eastern studies. It seems that they go after programs where they hedge their bets that no one on the faculty would recognize the odd journal titles.

That said, the Fetullah Gulen primary/secondary schools in Turkey do seem to have a deservedly good reputation, at least regarding academic quality.
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astaa
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 7:40:05 pm »

... Fetullah Gulen primary/secondary schools in Turkey do seem to have a deservedly good reputation, at least regarding academic quality.

This thread is not about Gulen primary / secondary schools, but rather about Gulen universities. It is my understanding that:

1. Gulenist grade schools are typically located in, or recruit pupils from, areas which are disadvantaged / remote / under-served in terms of public services - including education. This is not the case with Gulen universities.

2. Gulenist grade schools, like Gulen universities, are deceptive about their true motives (the propagation of Gulen's Islamic cult). However, grade schools are at least filling a gap in education provision which is left over by government. This is not the case with universities either.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 7:41:20 pm by astaa » Logged
astaa
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 5:36:12 pm »

Three forths of faculty @ North American College: http://www.northamerican.edu/ in Texas are Turkish. Why do you think that is?

Total Faculty = 17

Turkish Faculty = 13
John C. Topuz
Osman Nal
Can Dogan
Coskun Cetinkaya
Ibrahim H. Suslu
Ozgur Ozer
Bulent Dogan
Elife Dogan
Blerina Xhabli
Dundar Karabay
Ozgur Ozer
Halil Tas
Kudbettin Aksoy

Non-Turkish Faculty = 4
Lawrence Clark
Nicole A. Temple
Lori Lehtola
Barbara J. Baethe
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 5:37:59 pm by astaa » Logged
astaa
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 5:48:12 pm »

Read on the New York Times about the American Islamic College in Chicago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/us/29cncislamu.html?pagewanted=all

"The American Islamic College, closed since 2004 when the state revoked its operating authority, is expected early next month to win approval to reopen. Supporters see the opening of the Chicago college, founded in 1981 in the Lakeview neighborhood, as an important step for Islamic instruction in the United States. But its detractors point to the college’s ties to a secretive and far-reaching international movement that has been accused of Islamism in some countries and of an overuse of non-immigrant work visas to hire foreign teachers in its schools in the United States."
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 5:49:02 pm by astaa » Logged
astaa
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 4:56:02 pm »

Read about Gulen universities on the Middle East Quarterly (an admittedly right-wing publication): http://www.meforum.org/2045/fethullah-gulens-grand-ambition

Gülen now helps set the political agenda in Turkey using his followers in the AKP as well as the movement's vast media empire, financial institutions and banks, business organizations, an international network of thousands of schools, universities, student residences (ışıkevis), and many associations and foundations...

The movement, its proxy organizations, and universities—including Georgetown, to which it donates money—hold conferences in the United States and Europe to discuss Gülen. In October 2007, the British House of Lords feted Gülen with a conference in his honor...

He controls thousands of top-tier secondary schools, colleges, and student dormitories throughout Turkey, as well as private universities, the largest being Fatih University in Istanbul. Outside Turkey, his movement runs hundreds of secondary schools and dozens of universities in 110 countries worldwide.

Gülen's aim is not altruistic: His followers target youth in the eighth through twelfth grades, mentor and indoctrinate them in the ışıkevi, educate them in the Fethullah schools, and prepare them for future careers in legal, political, and educational professions in order to create the ruling classes of the future Islamist, Turkish state. Taking their orders from Fethullah Gülen, wealthy followers continue to open schools and ışıkevi in what Sabah columnist Emre Aköz called "the education jihad." ...

The overt network of schools is only one part of a larger strategy. In a 2006 interview, Veren said, "These schools are like shop windows. Recruitment and Islamization activities are carried out through night classes ... Children whom we educated in Turkey are now in the highest positions. There are governors, judges, military officers. There are ministers in the government. They consult Gülen before doing anything."
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astaa
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 5:03:13 pm »

Three forths of faculty @ North American College: http://www.northamerican.edu/ in Texas are Turkish. Why do you think that is?

Virginia International University has a diverse staff, but the president is Turkish, and likely a Gulen follower, considering his past affiliations: http://viu.edu/our-university/about-viu/office-of-the-president/about-the-president.html
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lerasmus
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 5:05:04 pm »

Astaa, since you seem to be passionately into this issue, curious if you've read the works of Jeremy Walton at NYU - his dissertation and some of his subsequent articles deal with "the relationship between Muslim piety and secular governance," with a specific focus on the Gülen movement? If so, what is your take on his research? Thanks...
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astaa
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2012, 5:22:56 pm »

Astaa, since you seem to be passionately into this issue, curious if you've read the works of Jeremy Walton at NYU - his dissertation and some of his subsequent articles deal with "the relationship between Muslim piety and secular governance," with a specific focus on the Gülen movement? If so, what is your take on his research? Thanks...

Hi lerasmus - In response to the type of research that you mention, I'll take the liberty to re-post here a few comments on the Gulen movement by witness from this thread: https://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,29236.90.html I think they are very accurate. Thank you witness!

"As to the Gulen movement, all I can say is secretive and paranoid, politically motivated religious sects are not my thing, be they Islamic, Christian or whatever.  Seeing the Gulenists fairly close up, but as very much an outsider, they put me in mind of the Freemasons (though I fear they are rather worse than that, for the Masons don’t want to make the rest of us indulge in funny handshakes and all the rest of it).  Political Islam does want to tell you how to live your life and will probably blow you up or behead you if you attempt to resist...

... I am not fooled by the smiling and kindly face of progressive Islam that they, with the aid of careful airbrushing and skilful PR, display.  Even the briefest summary of Gulenist views show that whilst on the one hand, they believe that Islam must embrace technology and modernity and so forth, if it is to grow in the present, on the other they also believe that politics and political decision making processes should be influenced by religious principles and beliefs.  In a broader Islamic context, that sounds to me a lot like theocracy and sharia of some form or another, and thus not at all the type of regime that I would like to live under...

.... A quick Google search will find a great many hagiographic websites telling the world about what a great guy Fethullah Gulen is and how he has been sent to us by Allah to spread a message of peace and humanity.  Well, one can only assume, on the basis of attitudes and activities of Gulenists at Farty [Fatih University], that peace is not intended for anyone who does not buy the Gulenist propaganda and holds views that are not in line with those pumped out by the Gulen PR machine, and that humanity does not include gays, lesbians, secularists, liberals, women who don’t cover themselves, and so on...

... And I have to hand it to them; if there is one thing that ... the Gulen Movement [is] good at, it’s PR.  I dislike the duplicity of that, and I am alarmed at the easy ride they are given by Liberal organs in Western countries (such as the UK newspaper The Guardian in a recent feature) that allow them to make the case for themselves as the friendly face of progressive Islam, without question.  It seems that liberals in Western Europe and North America are so desperate to find an alternative Islam to the Hizbollah, Al Qaida et al variety that they will seize upon an organization like the Gulen Movement and hold it up to detractors.  And that is exactly what the Gulenist PR machine is exploiting.  All I say to those who might take them at face value is; take a closer look.  Of course there is such a thing as progressive and modernizing Islam, that don’t seek (one hopes) to mix religion with politics), but on the evidence of everything I have seen, it is not the Gulen movement...

... For an alternative view from the one espoused by the Gulen worshipping websites, check out jihadwatch.org ..."
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 5:25:25 pm by astaa » Logged
astaa
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 2:36:32 pm »

More on Gulen schools from Canada Free Press: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/34651  (Caveat: CFP is an extremely right wing paper)

"The latest documents from Wikileaks shows growing concern among U. S. officials over Fethullah Gulen’s attempts to create a New Islamic World and the “braining washing of students” that takes place at his charter schools within the United States and throughout the Muslim world.

The cable that speaks of the “brain-washing” was written in 2009 by James Jeffrey, the U. S. Ambassador to Turkey. ...

According to Bayram Balci, a Turkish scholar, the Gulen schools seek to expand “the Islamization of Turkish nationality and the Turification of Islam” in order to bring about a universal caliphate ruled by Islamic law.

Because of their subversive nature of these institutions, these schools have been outlawed in Russia and Uzbekistan.

Even the Netherlands, a nation that embraces pluralism and tolerance, has opted to cut funding to the Gulen schools because of their imminent threat to the social order.

But Gulen’s 140-plus schools in the United States which advance the establishment of a New Islamic World Order have received little national attention. These schools bear such innocuous names as the Magnolia School, the Beehive Academy, the Sonoran Science Academy, the Lotus School for Excellence, and the Pacific Technology School. All of these schools are funded by U.S. taxpayers.
"

« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 2:36:57 pm by astaa » Logged
tinyzombie
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 3:23:37 pm »

You should start a blog.
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astaa
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 11:47:27 pm »

You should start a blog.

I prefer this forum to a blog b/c it's widely read by academics.
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tinyzombie
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elevate from this point on - chuck d


« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 12:01:12 am »

You should start a blog.

I prefer this forum to a blog b/c it's widely read by academics.

You missed my point. Looks like the only person you've caught so far is ireasmus. Might want to rethink your strategy.
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I think we have three of them, but the smallest one seems to be the leader.
Quote from: dolljepopp
Who needs real life when Sandra Bullock is around?
Quote from: systeme_d_
You are all my people, and I love you.
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