Gulen Schools Worldwide

Gulen Schools Worldwide
Restore the Ottoman Caliphate. Disclaimer: if some videos are down this is the result of Gulen censorship which filed a fake copyright infringement to UTUBE.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Turkish investor linked to Gulen Schools in Zimbawae swindled out of $100K This Gulen Educational fund in Zimbawae Africa uses SAME name as the Horizon Schools in Ohio, Illinois Turkish Schools in Zimbawae A TURKISH investor, Yuksel Bayrak, was allegedly swindled of over $100 000 in a fraudulent land deal by local prominent business people in a matter that has sucked in the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and stirred a nasty diplomatic tiff between Harare and Istanbul. CHARLES LAITON Bayrak, who is Horizon Educational Trust director, was allegedly duped into buying a non-existent piece of land for the construction of a primary and secondary school by businessman Louis Chidzambwa and chairman of the Harare West Development Trust Michael Mujeyi. Bayrak is regional representative of the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkiye, Tuskon and also a representative of Turkey’s biggest non-governmental organisation, KimseYok Mu, accredited by the Economical and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). Chidzambwa and Mujeyilast week appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei charged with fraud and were remanded out of custody to August 26 on $500 bail each. Allegations against the two men are that in early 2012, Bayrak met Mujeyi after he was introduced to him by one Marah Hativagone, former president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI). The State alleges Hativagone told Bayrak that Mujeyi could assist him in obtaining a piece of land to build primary and secondary schools in the Westgate area. Chidzambwa and Mujeyi, it is alleged, took the Turkish investor to Stamford and Goodhope Farms owned by Duncan Lawrence Annott along Lomagundi Road in Harare where they asked him to choose from two pieces of land measuring 20 hectares each and he chose one at Goodhope Farm. The two men then asked Bayrak to pay $50 000 for the land and $10 000 to Mujeyi for facilitating the deal. Mujeyi, it is alleged, then produced a document he titled “Proposed Funds Disbursement Plan” and promised that the agreement and title deeds for the land would be ready in two months. Bayrak, it is alleged made the payment through the two men’s personal accounts between September 12 and October 19, 2012. The State alleges, early March last year, Chidzambwa and Mujeyi again approached Bayrak and told him the land needed to be surveyed first before any development took place. They asked him to pay $40 000 into the UZ’s Department of Geo-informatics and Surveying to facilitate the land survey to which he allegedly complied on March 5 last year. The alleged offence came to light on May 24 this year when Bayrak made follow-ups and Arnott informed him that the land in question had never been put up for sale.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Gulen Schools Evacuate Mosul Three Days Before Invasion

Gülen Gang Schools Evacuate Mosul Three Days Before Invasion

Gülen Gang Schools have reportedly abandoned Mosul three days before the ISIS invasion.
Turkish Kanal TV Executive Editor Süleyman Sarılar tweeted that the schools belonging to Gülen Gang in Mosul, Iraq were evacuated 3 days before the attacks by the ISIS.
Here are his tweets regarding the issue:
“We should have known that Mosul’s invasion was coming. Fethullah Gülen’s schools were evacuated 3 days before. But, it is like Turkish Embassy was waiting for the invasion.”
“Even Gülen Gang foresees what will happen. The embassy cannot. Is there no intelligence at all?”
 AKP’s Ally al-Hashimi Called Mosul’s Invasion a Revolution
The al-Nujayfi family, reportedly linked to the AKP government, has justified the invasion of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Iraqi politicians Usama al-Nujayfi and Tariq al-Hashimi, also known for being close to the USA and AKP government, have allegedly opened the Mosul border gate to the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The governor of Ninewa state where Mosul province located, Atheel al-Nujayfi, is the brother of Usama al-Nujayfi who had a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
The al-Nujayfi family, being close to the AKP government, has condoned the invasion of Mosul by ISIS, while Tariq al-Hashami, Iraq’s fugitive vice-president currently living in a villa provided by the AKP in Turkey, commented on the Mosul invasion by Islamist fundamentalists as a revolution.
Governor Atheel al-Nujayfi sent a memorandum to all state departments on the 6 June ordering the destruction of all the documents bearing his signature, telling them to also not resist ISIS militants, and prohibiting mobile phones in offices.
The editor-in-chief of the Turkish branch of the Moroccan Biladi TV, Cevat Gök, claimed that ISIS was not alone in the gradual invasion of Iraq.
“Major Sunni tribes, in particular Naksibendi, support ISIS. They paved the way for ISIS so that they can invade Mosul easily. ISIS is just the tip of the iceberg.” stated Gök.
Gök also pointed out the claim that the main goal of the ISIS is to conquer Baghdad as the army withdraws.
Governor Atheel al-Nujayfi sent a memorandum to all state departments on the 6 June ordering the destruction of all the documents bearing his signature, telling them to also not resist ISIS militants, and prohibiting mobile phones in offices.
The editor-in-chief of the Turkish branch of the Moroccan Biladi TV, Cevat Gök, claimed that ISIS was not alone in the gradual invasion of Iraq.
“Major Sunni tribes, in particular Naksibendi, support ISIS. They paved the way for ISIS so that they can invade Mosul easily. ISIS is just the tip of the iceberg.” stated Gök.
Gök also pointed out the claim that the main goal of the ISIS is to conquer Baghdad as the army withdraws.
He went on to say: “ISIS is the new neighbour now that it seized a big portion of oil fields, including the ones from which Turkey imports oil.”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gulen Schools in Azerbaijan CLOSED - All that Azerbaijan lobbying a waste of money

Gulen started his schools in the oil rich country of Azerbaijan some 20 years ago.  More correctly we should say the CIA Gladio B operation used the Gulen schools to infiltrate the politics, oil, education of Azerbaijan.  This was to gain a strong foothold in the Central Asia and Caucaus countries to destabilize the interests of Russia and China.  President Aliyev isn't so much about being anti-Gulen as he is CIA and their terrorism sponsored thirst for oil.  3 days before ISIS invaded Iraq, the Gulen Turkish schools were vacated.  More on that later. 

Azerbaijan's government-run energy company has announced that private schools formerly run by a movement led by U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have been closed down.

From February to April, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) took over dozens of private high schools, university exam preparation centers and universities run by a Turkish education company called Çağ Ögretim which is allegedly linked with the Gülen movement.
SOCAR announced June 18 that it decided to close these schools, which had been operated by the company now known as Azerbaijan International Education Center, due to high maintenance costs and difficulties in project management.

Turkish government accuses Gülen-led 'Hizmet' (Service) movement of forming a shadow structure within the Turkish state and of plotting to topple the government.

In March, Azeri media reported that Azerbaijan sacked Elnur Aslanov, head of President İlham Aliyev's Political Analysis and Information Department, accusing him of having links with the movement.

Newspapers had said Gülen's network had also infiltrated state institutions in Azerbaijan and found cohorts among some politicians.



From Turkish Press


From Haberler news





·         Daily Sabah

·         Updated : 19.06.2014 14:55:07


Schools and educational institutions affiliated with the Gülen Movement in Azerbaijan have been closed due to numerous reasons including additional costs, financial problems and management issues.

The closure was announced by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) which has in the past year acquired schools owned by the Gülen Movement called Çağ Öğretim İşletme (Çağ Educational Enterprise). The Azerbaijani International Education Center (UEM) had a meeting and decided that the operation of schools would be a financial burden for them.

Thirteen branches of prep schools, 10 high schools, one gymnasium and Kafkas University used to be a part of the Çağ Educational Enterprise. SOCAR has said that the institutions will continue their operations until the exams for higher education institutions are finalized. Moreover, it was stated that the students and staff at these institutions would be transferred to other schools and institutions until the upcoming school year.

A letter leaked online earlier this month revealed Gülenists' financial power and influence in Azerbaijan. In the letter, a follower presented a "financial report" of the movement's activities in Azerbaijan for 2013 to the movement's U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gülen.

The report shows that the movement controls assets of over $2 million (TL 4.28 million) in the country and "presented gifts to influential people in Azerbaijan" worth $732,000, implying bribery, as well as expenses for "friends in state agencies." The letter states that the movement has trouble transferring finances to Turkey "for obvious reasons," possibly referring to the fallout between the government and the movement, and asks for Gülen's advice on the matter.

The Gülen Movement is an influential group that evolved from a religious congregation to a network of followers united by anti-government ambitions. It operates schools in numerous countries around the world, including Azerbaijan. Following the Dec. 17 operation, during which Gülenists launched a campaign against the government under the guise of a graft probe, the government moved to purge members of the organization in state and government agencies.

According to unconfirmed media reports, the administration in Azerbaijan, which maintains close ties with Turkey, allegedly sacked a senior presidential adviser to President Ilham Aliyev over his ties to Gülenists and launched a probe into the activities of Gülenists in Azerbaijan. Currently there is a case investigating the Gülen Movement's involvement in the infiltration of state institutions and media sources claim witnesses pour in to the courts to give testimony about their experience.

It is expressed that a number of witnesses, some of whom are senior police chiefs and military officers of the Turkish Armed Forces request to remain anonymous and they give crucial information about the movement's connections with public services and institutions. Three prosecutors in the Counter terrorism Department collect and record the information and files given by witnesses while some claim Fethullah Gülen who is the leader of the movement could be facing extradition charges in the case that he is convicted

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gulen Charter Schools in America subject of FBI investigation Search Warrant for 19 Schools in 3 states under Concept Schools

Turkish news having field day with FBI raid on Gulen operated American Schools.
Hocaefendi Fetos in front of ill-fated and FBI raided Indiana Math and Science Academy

The FBI and two other federal agencies conducted raids in Illinois and two other states at charter schools run by Des Plaines-based Concept Schools, FBI officials said Tuesday.

READ MORE about links to Turkish Gulen Movement:

and here is the article on FBI raid at Quest Charter Academy in Peoria, IL

 PEORIA — Quest Charter Academy was the subject of a multi-state raid last week in an investigation of charter schools run by Des Plaines-based Concept Schools, according to the FBI.

Read more:


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gulen Turkish Schools teaching as CIA Cover, Dan Burton and State Secrets

The following continues Doug Martin’s look into the Gülen charter school movement, which began with Islam and the Free Market of Privatized Education: “Friending” the Gülen Charter Schools. It first appeared at Common Errant.

Besides noting U.S. charter school connections to the Fethullah Gülen Movement during her testimony in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case in Ohio on August 8, 2009,* former FBI language specialist-turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds—an Iranian raised in Turkey before becoming a U.S. citizen—alleges a 1990s U.S./ Gülen al-Qaeda operation in Central Asian and a bribery scheme involving Indiana’s own U.S. House member Dan Burton.

Edmonds testified in candidate David Krikorian’s defense case before the Ohio Election Commission when Rep. Jean Schmidt, an Ohio Republican, filed charges against him for claiming, during a 2008 campaign bid, that she accepted money illegally from people with Turkey interests.

Edmonds’ deposition held many bombshells, since she had been translating wiretap conversations between those associated with the Turkish lobby.

It seems Gülen and the U.S. State Department, from 1997 to 2001, had been training al-Qaeda in Central Asian, with the help of the Turkish military, Pakistani ISI, and Azerbaijan officials (96), Edmonds says in response to questions from Krikorian’s attorney, Dan Marino. In a subsequent interview with retired CIA-counter-terrorism specialist Phil Giraldi (who believes her story),  Edmonds details Gülen /U.S training missions and Turkish drug-smuggling into Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey, two hot-beds of the Gülen Movement, each containing Fethullah’s followers’ charter schools:

GIRALDI: You also have information on al-Qaeda, specifically al-Qaeda in Central Asia and Bosnia. You were privy to conversations that suggested the CIA was supporting al-Qaeda in central Asia and the Balkans, training people to get money, get weapons, and this contact continued until 9/11…

EDMONDS: I don’t know if it was CIA. There were certain forces in the U.S. government who worked with the Turkish paramilitary groups, including Abdullah Çatli’s group, Fethullah Gülen.

GIRALDI: Well, that could be either Joint Special Operations Command or CIA.

EDMONDS: Maybe in a lot of cases when they said State Department, they meant CIA?

GIRALDI: When they said State Department, they probably meant CIA.

EDMONDS: Okay. So these conversations, between 1997 and 2001, had to do with a Central Asia operation that involved bin Laden. Not once did anybody use the word “al-Qaeda.” It was always “mujahideen,” always “bin Laden” and, in fact, not “bin Laden” but “bin Ladens” plural. There were several bin Ladens who were going on private jets to Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. The Turkish ambassador in Azerbaijan worked with them.

There were bin Ladens, with the help of Pakistanis or Saudis, under our management. Marc Grossman [Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs at the time and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey] was leading it, 100 percent, bringing people from East Turkestan into Kyrgyzstan, from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, from Azerbaijan some of them were being channeled to Chechnya, some of them were being channeled to Bosnia. From Turkey, they were putting all these bin Ladens on NATO planes. People and weapons went one way, drugs came back.

GIRALDI: Was the U.S. government aware of this circular deal?

EDMONDS: 100 percent. A lot of the drugs were going to Belgium on NATO planes. After that, they went to the UK, and a lot came to the U.S. via military planes to distribution centers in Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey. Turkish diplomats who would never be searched were coming with suitcases of heroin.

Edmonds, before this interview took place, had been fired from the FBI in 2002 for revealing to higher ups security breaches and Turkish espionage at the bureau’s language division. This Turkish-American conspiracy included, as well, paying off U.S. officials to leak secrets and allow nuclear weapons technology to be sold on the Pakistani, Iranian, and North Korean black markets. Besides Dan Burton, others she implements include Illinois Republican Dennis Hastert, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, and Marc Grossman, Bush’s Deputy Undersecretary of State.

Edmonds has been gagged under a “state secrets privilege” order by the Bush Administration’s attorney general, John Ashcroft, from disclosing detailed information to the public, but her finger-pointing has been backed up or deemed credible by many, including the government’s own Department of Justice’s Inspector General and Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley.  In fact, former Turkish Intelligence Chief  Osman Nuri Gundes, in a recent memoir, writes that Gülen, in his Central Asia charter schools in the mid-1990s, gave cover to over 130 CIA agents posing as teachers, an irony given that today Turkish men on H-1B visas pose as educators in the US charter schools run by Gülen followers.

Why was the CIA interested in Central Asia?  Oil and gas, according to Edmonds.

It turns out, one of the Turkish groups being wiretapped was the American Turkish Council (ATC). When Edmonds told higher-ups that an ATC spy was working as a translator in the FBI and attempting to conceal ATC’s illegal activity, Edmonds was fired. The spy, Jan Dickerson, Edmonds told officials, had tried to buy her out. Dickerson’s husband was an Air Force official.

As part of the Turkish lobby, the ATC is a big-player in D.C. Its board is made up of and funded by U.S. weapons contractors and energy companies (including Imagine Schools’ Dennis Bakke’s former company AES Energy, Eli Lilly, and Lockheed Martin). It is believed that Valerie Plame Wilson’s outing, among other things, was a result of her investigation into the ATC. At the time of the conspiracy, Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser, was ATC’s chair. Lincoln McCurdy, who we will soon meet, was ATC’s CEO.

In an interview with Electric Politics, Edmonds also discusses the Association of Turkish Americans and its nationwide interfaith and business chapters, which have ties to the Gülen charter schools.  Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools (C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S) has traced Gülen-affiliated Magnolia Science Academy’s Dean Sumer, in California, to the Association of Turkish Americans.


Dan Burton (R, IN): “If I lived in Turkey and if I were a Turk, I would want to get those terrorists who cross the border to blow up my family, kill my kids.”

Due to the Ashcroft “gag-order,” Edmonds has not been able to say exactly what illegal activity Burton was enmeshed in with the Turkish lobby.  Supposedly, the crimes occurred from 1997 to 2002 (page 159 PDF), the same time-span in which the CIA was allegedly helping Gülen train al-Qaeda. Referring to a picture gallery she set up online exposing those entangled in the scandal, Edmonds, in her Ohio deposition, says this concerning Burton:

A. I can’t discuss the details of those individuals not legal activities in the United States, but those pictures, his and others, are there because State Secrets Privilege was mainly involved to cover up those individuals illegal, extremely illegal activities against the United States citizens who were involved in operations that were, again, against order foreign government and foreign entities against the United States’interests.

Q. And Dan Burton is a representative, member of Congress from Indiana; is that correct? Is that the right place?

A. I believe he is. (46-47)

Gülen’s name does not surface alongside Burton’s during the testimony, but as I noted in a previous article, Burton has accepted campaign donations from many individuals tied to Gülen charter schools in Indiana. Lyndsey Eksili, wife of main Indiana Gülen leader Bilal, has given Burton $1000, and Hasan Yerdelen, treasurer for the American Turkish Association of Indiana, donated $1,000 in 2010, as well.  A former Holy Dove official, Yerdelen’s new group belongs to the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA), also mentioned by Edmonds.

Burton has been getting money from the Turkish PAC, too, which has ties to the American Turkish Council implemented in the Edmonds case. In an article about a recent D.C. gala party, the Gülen-influenced Today’s Zaman details the plans of the TC-USA PAC. The TC-USA PAC goes by many names. Incorporated out of Houston, Texas, it sometimes is called the Turkish Coalition PAC, the Turkish American Political Action Committee, and the Turkish Coalition USA PAC.  Until May 2008, its name was the Turkish PAC – Turkish American Heritage Political Action Committee.  Federal Election Commission records show Burton has recently gotten $11,000 from this group.

The Turkish Coalition USA PAC is managed by the Turkish Coalition of America’s Lincoln McCurdy, a Hanover College, Indiana, graduate and former U.S. diplomat in Istanbul, who was ATC’s CEO from 1998 to 2004, during the alleged Burton bribery scandal. McCurdy’s name appears as the treasurer of the PAC in FEC documents. The Turkish Coalition of America was founded with money from Hittite Microwave head Yalcin Ayasli, which since 2004, according to the Sunlight Foundation, has received $30 million in contracts from the U.S. government. McCurdy is no stranger to Dan Burton. Burton visited Turkey with McCurdy and the Turkish Coalition of America. Plus, in a 2009 talk at the Gülen Institute Congressional Dinner, Burton praised how Dick Lugar was to be a future keynote speaker at the Holy Dove Foundation, and how he himself is treated like a “king” when he visits Turkey.

In the summer of 2010, Burton even hired Baran Cansever to go on fact-finding missions at congressional hearings.  Cansever was a former American Turkish Council intern in 2009, where he helped plan ATC-funded trips for congressional staffers and worked with the ATC “Chairman during Energy and Defense sessions at the Annual Conference on U.S./Turkish Relations.” As I and many others have noted, those associated with the Gülen-led charter schools use trips to Turkey to dupe legislators across the country into buying into the Gülen story of peace and love.

In November of last year, Burton and Dick Lugar were hosts at a Turkish American Federation of the Midwest-sponsored event which also included the American Turkish Council’s James Holmes as speaker, British Petroleum’s Greg Saunders, and Fatih Baltaci, CEO of Enerco Energy, along with many government officials. The Turkish American Federation of the Midwest is a local branch of the Gülen-led Assembly of Turkic American Federations (ATAF); the Niagara Foundation, with ties to leaders of the Indiana Gülen charter school movement, is an arm of the Turkish American Federation of the Midwest.

Although Edmonds does not mention Lugar in the bribery scandal, his appearance at the ATAF’s gala party held at the Willard InterContinental Washington in May 2010 did not go unnoticed to Today’s Zaman, which noted: “It was no coincidence that Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) talked about the Holy Dove Foundation’s impressive interfaith and ethnic outreach efforts in Indianapolis.” Holy Dove, to refresh your memory, is one of the main Gülen groups behind the Indiana charter schools. Last month, Lugar, in fact, received over $9,200 in campaign donations from Indiana Gülenists Mehmet Dundar, Oznur Dundar, Ali Kemal Durhan, and Zehra Durhan at the Indiana Math and Science Academy.


Last year, the FBI began investigating the Gülen charter schools for visa fraud, so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, is done about Gülen’s U.S. campaign to profit his movement with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars. In Indiana, D.C. and across America, don’t expect legislators to have the interest/and or safety of the public or public schools in mind anytime soon, though. Despite Barton retiring (becoming a Turkish lobbyist?) and Lugar fighting re-election with another tea-party Republican, the Gülen empire in Indiana and around the world will continue. According to a 2010 piece in the Hurriyet Daily News, Gülen himself has called on all 180 of his organizations to be put under the Assembly of Turkic American Federations (ATAF) umbrella. Gülen is everywhere. When asked if Fethullah Gülen was a threat to United States interests, Edmonds, in her Ohio testimony said, “One hundred percent, absolutely.” Discussing the Gülen charter schools, Sibel had this back-and-forth with Krikorian’s attorney, Dan Marino:

Q. Did you say that Gulan had set up schools in the United States as well?

A. Yes.

Q. Are some of those in Cincinnati, if you know?

A. I’m not sure. I know of some in Texas. I know one in Virginia, but I don’t know. They are multiplying, and they’re spreading rapidly. (97-99)

They are multiplying, indeed, and more of them are being proposed in Burton’s own backyard.


* Edmonds’ Gülen testimony segment has been posted on YouTube. Video tapes of Edmonds’ whole deposition are available on Brad’s Blog. Edmonds’ own Boiling Frogs blog is well-worth a close read.

** Edmonds’ story has been mentioned on 60 Minutes and made into a documentary entitled Kill the Messenger. In January, a 60 Minutes episode on the U.S. Gülen charter schools was also filmed. No word yet on when or if it will air.

For Further Reading on the banal corruption of Dan Burton, see:

The Hypocrisy of Dan Burton.

“Two Year Sentence for Man Accused in Pakistan Spy Plot”

For more on Gülen charter schools, see Charter School Scandals, Charter School Watchdog, and Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools (C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S).

Indonesia Turkish Schools, Indonesia Students end up in Syria fighting for Jihad

Dozens of Indonesian jihadists are taking up arms in
the current Syrian war after entering the battlefield through Turkey and
Morocco. Indonesian diplomats in Turkey have in particular expressed concern
over the fact that the Indonesian jihadists include two youths who go to
religious schools in Kayseri, an industrialized city in Central Anatolia.

The number of the Indonesian jihadists is indeed minuscule compared to the
hundreds of Indonesian students currently pursuing academic degrees in many
universities in Turkey. Nobody, however, can predict the scope of these
students’ activities within the milieu of the war in Syria.

Some are anxious that they could broaden the unseen network of
Islamic militias in Southeast Asia, beyond the borders of Indonesia and
neighboring states.

Some of them may decide not to return to their homelands, just to propagate
conservative culture and sow the seeds of jihad in its infamous interpretation
of holy wars against indeterminate infidels among Muslim societies across
Southeast Asia.

The notion of jihad is contagious among young people, and is much more
influential than the creed to dedicate their corporal bodies to the well-being
of others.

We cannot exclusively pin our hopes on Ankara or authorities in other states in
the Middle East to annihilate the growing number of jihadists from Southeast
Asia, despite the termination of funding from the Arabian Peninsula. We should
nonetheless pay close attention to their activities in our homeland.

We have certainly failed to identify how they fund their activities, because
even after access to their financiers was cut off they are still mobilizing.

It is possible that they have become more financially independent by setting up
certain businesses, taking advantage of the growing local market to finance
their activities.

It would therefore be in the country’s best interests to improve the well-being
of Indonesian students in the Middle East by curbing the infectious movement of

The Indonesian government often neglects Indonesian students in the region.
There is of course continuous minimal funding for students at Al-Azhar
University in Cairo and some other renowned institutions.

Our government does not have sufficient funds for Indonesian students
interested in languages, cultures and anything from the Middle East, especially
Islamic tradition in Arabic, Persian and Turkish speaking countries.

The majority of Indonesian students who pursue academic degrees in the region
receive aid from governments in the Middle East. Only Malaysians, perceived as
being financially capable, rarely require scholarships like Indonesians.

In 2012, the number of Malaysian students in Cairo totaled 10,000, compared
with 6,000 Indonesian students. This is possibly due to the economic welfare of
Malaysians, which has steadily improved from 1990s onward.

Thousands more Indonesian students are scattered across the Arabian Peninsula,
North and East Africa as well as Turkey and Iran. Many excellent
scholarship programs have recently been provided by the Turkish government, in
addition to programs offered by private institutions like the Gulen movement,
opening up more opportunities for students from Southeast Asia, especially
Indonesia. In Iran the government offers few scholarships to Indonesian
students, but hundreds of Indonesians can study at Qom seminaries thanks to
scholarships from religious-based institutions in the country.

The Indonesian government needs to monitor the number of students in the Middle
East cautiously. Not all of them of course need the government’s help, but in
many cases the limited funding they receive during their studies will justify
their acceptance of money from unknown sources that could organize certain
indoctrinated programs.

Expecting scholarships from Western countries for study in the Middle East is
unlikely as they typically dismiss Middle East as a potential place to study.
They frequently view the region with partial images of religious bigotry.

In our country, Middle Eastern universities have been criticized, the way many
Arabs or Turkish fellows have prejudices about our education system or culture
in general.

It has been argued that government funding for Indonesian citizens studying in
the Middle East will ease the transfer of knowledge from the Middle East with
different points of view.

Middle Eastern culture, history, geography, economy and politics are pivotal to
understanding our own history and future development.

The government can in part control the mobility of ideas and movements from the
Middle East to Indonesia by funding programs intended to understand the long
history and culture of the two different societies.

They perhaps can intensify ties between Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian
students and diplomats through cooperation in the fields of science,
technology, arts, music literature.

Other vibrant aspects of the Middle East should be covered in our news and
public spheres in order to alter the one-dimensional portrayal of Salafi

If we are proud of our history, which has produced high caliber Jawi scholars,
as Southeast Asian or Indonesian intellectuals were called in the past, in the
Middle East, the same pride can be achieved by absorbing as many enlightening
perspectives as possible.

It should be noted that Europe transferred knowledge from the Middle East in
the early modern period and now we learn about “modernity” from Europe.

So why shouldn’t we study the roots of the Enlightenment embedded in Islamic
scholarly tradition from classical to modern periods? Intellectual jihad is the
best way to defeat our ignorance.

The writer, now pursuing a
PhD in Islamic intellectual history at Freie Universitaet Berlin, is conducting
research on the foundations of modern Sunni reformism in Istanbul.

President of Indonesia at opening of new Turkish School with Turkish principal