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Tuesday, March 1, 2011
WND Launches Unsubstantiated Attack On Charter School Funder
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl is one long attack on Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish billionaire who lives a reclusive life in exile in the United States. Carl asserts that Gulen is helping to fund "a large network of jihad-preaching schools" across "the American landscape"; the headline of Carl's article states, "Islamic indoctrination on U.S. taxpayers' tab."

But there's one thing missing from Carl's article: any actual evidence there is any "jihad-preaching" or "Islamic indoctrination" going on in any U.S. charter school connected to Gulen. Carl serves up no examples of that happening.

In fact, evidence not tied to WND's fantasies appears to back that up: An August 2010 USA Today article notes that while there have been issues at some Gulen-linked schools regarding preferences for hiring faculty of Turkish descent and other issues in individual schools, "there's no evidence the schools teach Islam."

Carl's main source for his attacks on Gulen is Paul Williams, who we last saw suing WND and its previous book-publishing partner over a retraction it issued for a claim in a WND-published book by Williams that resulted in a lawsuit against Williams by a Canadian university. So perhaps he's not the most credible source Carl could have chosen.

Indeed, Carl quotes Williams as claiming that Gulen has "created a network of Islamic charter schools in Turkey," suggesting that maybe "jihad-preaching" is going on there. But Wikipedia notes that Gulen schools in Turkey were among the first schools there to insist that female students not wear headscarves. And the New York Times reported that Gulen-linked schools in Pakistan have a heavy emphasis on a Western curriculum and a moderate approach toward Islam that offers an alternative to Islamic extremists.

With such a reliance on Williams -- a source with an apparent anti-Muslim ax to grind -- and opposing views all but ignored, Carl has servedup the severe bias that is apparently a requirement to be a WorldNetDaily reporter.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EST

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