The most dangerous Islamist in the world is neither Afghani nor Arab. He comes from neither Sudan nor Somalia. And he resides in neither the mountains of Pakistan nor the deserts of the Palestinian territories. This individual has toppled the secular government of Turkey and established madrassahs throughout the world. His schools indoctrinate children in the tenets of radical Islam and prepare adolescents for the Islamization of the world. More than 90 of these madrassahs have been established as charter schools throughout the United States. They are funded by American taxpayers. One of these charter schools – Tarek ibn Zayed Academy (TiZA) in Minnesota – is so radically Islamic and subversive in nature that the Minnesota Department of Education issued two citations against it and the American Civil Liberties Union is suing it. Dozens of his universities, including the Faith University in Istanbul, train young men to become lawyers, accountants, and political leaders so that they can take an active part in the restoration of the Ottoman Empire and the Islamization of the Western World. He also allegedly operates compounds to train jihadis in the tactics of guerilla warfare. This individual has amasssed a fortune – over $30 billion – for the creation of a universal caliphate.
His name is Fethullah Gulen and he resides not in the wilds of southern Turkey – but the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
An Islamic Armed Fortress Emerges in the Pocono Mountains.
From his fortess headquarters, located on 28 acres at 1857 Mt. Eaton Road in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, Gulen plots the overthrow of secular governments and oversees the spread of education jihad throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States.
Gulen is surrounded by an army of over 100 Turkish Islamists, who guard him and tend to his needs. The army is comprised of armed militants who wear suits and ties and do not look like traditional Islamists in cloaks and turbans. They follow their hocaefendi’s (master lord’s) orders and even refrain from marrying until age 50 per his instructions. When they do marry, their spouses are expected to dress in the Islamic manner, as dictated by Gulen himself.
The Saylorsburg property consists of a massive chalet surrounded by numerous out buildings, including recreational centers, dormitories, cabins for visiting foreign dignitaries, a helicopter pad, and firing ranges.
Neighbors complain of the incessant sounds of gunfire – including the rat-tat-tat of fully automatic weapons – coming from the compound and the low flying helicopter that circles the area in search of all intruders.
The FBI has been called to the scene, the neighbors say, but no action has been taken to end the illegal activity.
Sentries stand guard at the gates to the estate to turn away all curiosity seekers.
Within the sentry hut are wide screen televisions that project high resolution images from security cameras.
Fethullah Gulen’s fortress in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania
Before the hut is a sign that reads “Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center.”
It’s hard for the local residents to understand that the Muslim who operates this compound is not an American political or intelligence official – but rather a radical Islamist from Turkey.
Gulen fled Turkey in 1998 to avoid prosecution on charges that he was attempting to undermine Turkey’s secular government with the objective of establishing an Islamic government. Since his arrival in Pennsylvania, the Department of Homeland Security has been trying to deport him. But in 2008 a federal court ruled that Gulan was an individual with “extraordinary ability in the field of education” who merited permanent residence status in the U.S.
The ruling remains quizzical because Gulen has no formal education or training.
Gulen, according to the Middle East Quarterly, was a student and follower of Sheikh Sa’id-i Kurdi (1878-1960), also known as Sa’id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement. After Turkey’s war of independence, Kurdi demanded, in an address to the new parliament, that the new republic be based on Islamic principles. He turned against Atatürk and his reforms and against the new modern, secular, Western republic.
How powerful is Gulen? And why is he such a threat to America and the Western world?
Turkey is now ruled by the Justice and Democratic Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma, AKP)- – a party under the Gulen’s control. Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s first Islamist President, is a Gulen disciple along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Yusuf Ziya Ozcan, the head of Turkey’s Council of Higher Education.
Under the AKP, Turkey has transformed from a secular state into an Islamic country with 85,000 active mosques – one for every 350- citizens – the highest number per capita in the world, 90,000 imams, more imams than teachers and physicians – and thousands of state-run Islamic schools.
Despite the rhetoric of European Union accession, Turkey has transferred its alliance from Europe and the United States to Russia and Iran. It has moved toward friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria and created a pervasive anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, and anti-America animus throughout the populace.
Speaking on Monday at the inauguration ceremony of “TRT al Turkiye,” the new channel of the state run TV station TRT, Prime Minister Erdogan said Turkey will always be on the side of Muslims wherever they are.
Gulen’s tentacles stretch throughout the country since his followers, known as Fethullahists, have gained control of the country’s media outlets, its financial institutions and banks, and its business organizations.
According to Bayram Balci, a Turkish scholar, the Gulen schools that have been established throughout the world 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.
Several countries have outlawed the establishment of Gulen schools and cemaats (communities) within their borders – including 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 activities in the United States, including the establishment of an armed fortress in the midst of the Pocono Mountains, have escaped national press attention.
In his public statements, Gulen espouses a liberal version of Sunni/Hanafi Islam and promotes the Muslim notion of hizmet – altruistic service to the common good.
Despite the paramilitary training at his Pocono fortress, Gulen has condemned terrorism and called for interfaith dialogue. He has met with Pope John Paul II, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos, and Israeli Sephardic Head Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron.
In private, Gulen has stated that “in order to reach the ideal Muslim society ‘every method and path is acceptable, [including] lying to people.’”
In a sermon that was aired on Turkish television, Gulen said:
You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers … until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria … like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt. The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it … You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey … Until that time, any step taken would be too early—like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside. The work to be done is [in] confronting the world. Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all—in confidence … trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here—[just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here.
Why has the federal government opted to turn a blind eye to Gulen and his mountain fortress?
Why have Gulen’s madrassahs been kept under the radar screen of Homeland Security?
Why have the CIA and FBI allowed Gulen to wreak havoc and topple secular governments without interruption or intervention?
The questions beg answers.