And it makes us dizzy with dismay
As we know, the boys running the “Gulen-inspired” schools refuse to acknowledge any direct association with Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish Imam living in the United States.
In an attempt (once again) to minimize the negative publicity that keeps creeping up with respect to their alleged Gulen alliance, the boys have interviewed staff members to deflect the criticism. But their little filmmaking adventures might just backfire on them – (once again).
Their ongoing and steadfast blanket denial of their association with Gulen might just be – because -- the schools are publicly funded with American tax dollars -- and as such -- are prohibited from introducing any form of religious instruction or influence (it’s a silly constitutional issue involving the separation of church and state).
So why is it that when one of their schools hosted its “Turkish Olympiads,” did some of its students perform a “Whirling Dervish” performance?
The history behind the Dervishes and their twirling – whirling dance is based on religious beliefs and is not intended solely for entertainment purposes. So were the students performing a religious ritual or simply twirling like tops for the amusement of the crowd and the Turkish boys?
And as a side note, we know of one "Gulen-inspired" school, Horizon Science Academy Denison, who paid for the transportation of some Whirling Dervishes with school funds and while using the school van. The Dervishes-- the real deal-- not the students -- were transported to and from Chicago to Cleveland by one of the Turkish school employess, and performed in Cleveland (wonder who paid for the actual performance fees).
Here’s an excerpt from the Whirling Dervish website that explains some of the Dervishes history:
“The origin and roots of Sufism lie in the life and practices of the Prophet of Islam and the Qur’an. Sufism espouses a well-founded and thoroughgoing interpretation of Islam, which focuses on love, tolerance, worship of God, community development, and personal development through self-discipline and responsibility. A Sufi’s way of life is to love and be of service to people, deserting the ego or false self and all illusion so that one can reach maturity and perfection, and finally reach Allah, the True, the Real.
Through the Whirling Dervishes program we hope to bring to you a hint of one of the remarkable ways of achieving this: the way of Rumi, the great Muslim mystic and poet.
The Order of the Whirling Dervishes is one branch of the vast Sufi tradition of Islam. The universal values of love and service shared by all Sufis are very much relevant to the social and political realities of today, and this ritual, which is only performed by the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, has come to symbolize these values in the hearts and minds of millions throughout the world.”
Below are a few links; one is a link to the history of Whirling Dervishes and the other is a Youtube video that someone sent us about the staff interview and the students’ “whirling dervishes’ performance at the Turkish Olympiads.