Hiding behind the benign sounding label, “Mokapu STEM School”, a religious cult with billions of dollars in assets is secretly trying use the charter school conversion process to take over Mokapu Elementary School located in Kaneohe on Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Mokapu STEM School organizers Kazim Gumus and Adam Oksuz propose to transform Mokapu into a K-12 school with 1,400 students in an effort backed by the Turkish Gulen Movement, sometimes referred to as the Risale-I-Nur movement. But parents at other Gulen schools—many of whom originally chose the schools specifically to expose their children to Islam—are having second thoughts. For many of the teachers, parents and even school board members, just discovering their schools’ hidden Gulen links took years of research. And after years of experience with the Gulen schools, parents and teachers are reporting that Holocaust denial, 9-11 conspiracy theories, and denial of the Ottoman Turkish WWI era Armenian genocide are part of what a Tucson, Arizona newspaper describes as a “hidden agenda”.
It wasn’t easy to unearth the links between the Mokapu STEM School proposal and the Gulenists. Gumus, a Texas Tech researcher recently hired at UH Manoa, is the only Hawaii resident named in the Mokapu proposal. An email inquiry to the Mokapu STEM School drew no reply. A contact number listed on the Mokapu STEM School brochure is a disconnected Waikapu, Maui cell phone. Nobody returned a message left at Gumus’ Lubbock, TX cell phone number which was also provided as a contact number. An item in the Mokapu STEM proposal titled “Letter of Support from Kaneohe Marine Base” is blank.
An item titled “Charter” was on the agenda of the Mokapu Elementary School Community Council November 17 and December 13 and it looks like the Gulenists will be back to try again this year. Ruth Tschumy, Chairwoman of the Charter School Review Panel tells Hawai`i Free Press, “Mokapu STEM withdrew its application for a charter, saying it might apply for the next round of chartering. The next round began in December, 2010, and the Panel did receive a letter of intent from the group.”
Movement leader Fethullah Gulen has espoused a Machiavellian approach to democracy, saying to his followers in a message broadcast on Turkish TV in 1999 that "every method and path is acceptable [including] lying to people." Shortly thereafter Gulen fled Turkey into exile after being indicted for trying to overthrow the secularist Turkish state and replace it with an Islamic state. Gulen movement schools are outlawed in Russia, Uzbekistan, and other Central Asian countries with Turkish populations…
Gulenists have been accused of stacking the boards of Gulen Charter schools in order to maintain control. An email exchange between Gulenists in Ohio shows them illegally planning the agendas and preparing the votes for several Gulen school boards in violation of open meeting statutes. As in Ohio, the Mokapu STEM Interim Board is 100% Gulen. In addition to Gumus, the members are Arizona residents Metin Yildirim M.Sc., and Mehmet Argin PhD, Superintendent of the Sonoran Science Academy. Not mentioned in the Mokapu application, Yildirim is a board member of Paragon Science Academy, a Chandler, AZ Gulen school. Also left out: Gumus formerly taught science at the Gulen-controlled Harmony Science Academy in Austin, TX…
I read your article about the Gulenites trying to establish a charter school on the Marine base. Your research was outstanding. I worked for Horizon Science Academy Denison Middle School in Cleveland, Ohio as a Dean of Students for two years. I was formerly an assistant principal who retired from the Cleveland Municipal School District. I had no idea what I was getting into until I started searching the web. I was non-renewed or terminated after two years. I was 59 years old at the time and I and another Dean, Gloria Catalusci, filed EEOC complaints that finally wound up as a lawsuit. Gloria won a sex discrimination lawsuit which was settled out of court. She was being paid much less than I for the same work being done…
I can personally vouch for discrimination on the part of the Gulenites running these schools. They are not even citizens nor do they desire to be. I wondered from the beginning why a group of Turkish people would even want to start schools here in Cleveland. When I asked that question I was told that they were "building bridges". I now understand what they were trying to do.
Best regards,Ron GehrleinCleveland, Ohio