“Allah is the one who commands me and tells me what to do. This is number one. This requires removing from ourselves any personal opinions. One must always remember that Islam is not about personal opinions.”
“The idea that you can separate Islam to become an individual experience to everyone, that Islam is a private matter, and that it cannot be a state matter, and a community matter – that is not the teachings of Islam.” (Awadh Binhazim)
“In its original sense, Muslims have a problem with Westernization. Science and technology are accepted in our culture and our tradition, but they are to be subordinate to Islamic beliefs and values in order to guard against the secularization of Muslim societies.” (Awadh Binhazim)
Recall that Awadh Binhazim’s organization Olive Tree Education was created and his dawah pursued to allegedly help non-Muslims learn about Islam. The above statements were never made to non-Muslims – only to Muslims and specifically, to members of the Vanderbilt Muslim Students Association by Binhazim in his capacity as their volunteer chaplain.
The Middle East Media Institute, better known as “MEMRI”, (http://www.memritv.org/content/en/about.htm), has exposed this very same pattern – one message for the non-Muslim, another for Muslims.
Awadh Binhazim’s “Muslim messages” communicate the very same message as that of CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad that, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”
As noted in Newsletter #11, three Tennessee American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) members are each individually linked to Binhazim.
Rashed Fakhruddin, the AMAC Regional Coordinator for Middle Tennessee, was originally from Bangladesh but grew up in Nashville since 1970 and attended high school in Nashville. Along with Awadh Binhazim, Fakhruddin has been an Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) Shura Council member since it started in Nashville in 1998. The Shura is a council of men in high standing in the community who act essentially as an informal “court” to carry out Sharia law. Fakhruddin also served as the President of the ICN Board from 2003-05.
He is reported to work for NES as a Senior Engineer in System Protection and Communications. He worked with the ACLU to organize opposition to the Tennessee anti-terrorism bill.
As information has been accumulating and the distribution list growing, it became apparent that Tennessee 4 Political Justice needed a way to archive the newsletters so that “late-comers” could access prior newsletters. It seemed especially important to put this system in place because the information from one newsletter to the next, is highly integrated.
Please consider passing along the link to this blog and encouraging concerned Tennesseans like yourself, to start getting informed about what their state government is doing and who they are doing it with.
TCPJ Newsletter #12 – May 18, 2012
Awadh Binhazim cont’d
It was documented last year that Binhazim’s organization, Olive Tree Education, promoted online writings by Anwar Al Awlaki, who was a top propagandist and recruiter for al-Qaeda. An American born radical imam living in Yemen, Awlaki consistently urged Muslims world-wide to commit jihad against Americans and the West. The U.S. government considered him a grave enough threat to U.S. security that he was on the “kill or capture” list. He was killed in a drone strike in 2011.
Other jihadists in the U.S. such as the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan, were discovered to have communicated directly with Awlaki, and Carlos Bledsoe the Little Rock Army recruiting station shooter is reported to have had Awlaki’s literature in his possession.
So it is no small matter that Awadh Binhazim was promoting Awlaki.
Binhazim also chose to partner with Imam Abdulhakim Mohamed, another Yemeni cleric who served as the Imam at the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) from 1999 until 2007. Mohamed was also the Imam at the ICN when Carlos Bledsoe changed his name to of all things – Abdulhakim Muhammed presumably because of his relationship with the imam.
Imam Abdulhakim Mohamed came to Nashville from the radical Brooklyn Al Farooq mosque where he served from 1996 until coming to Nashville in 1999. The Brooklyn mosque had a documented history of raising money for terrorists and is the same mosque attended by the “blind sheik” who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
After Nashville, Imam Mohamed turned up in Texas for a very short stint as the imam at the Masjid Al-Hedayah in Ft. Worth, Texas. Sometime shortly before arriving there he and Awadh Binhazim rejoined their efforts and launched “Muslimnama” (http://muslimnama.org/muslimna/Main/index.php/who-we-are). Imam Mohamed’s controversial and troubled past caught up with him last year in Texas.
It seems the Board of the Al-Hedayah Islamic School became concerned about the Imam’s past connections, his current partners in Muslimnama and his actions since arriving in Texas. A blog written by someone inside the Al-Hedayah school has raised questions about Imam Mohamed and his association with Awadh Binhazim who both have a “controversial past”, directing anyone to look at both the ICN and the Al Farooq mosque. http://alhedayahfacts.wordpress.com/the-big-lie/
They further question whether the Imam and his committee are seeking a “hostile takeover of Al-Hedayah” almost reminiscent of the Bridgeview Mosque story (see, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0402080265feb08,0,3486861.story). The blog piece also discloses that last year he “disappeared to Yemen for over 4 months” and has delivered khutbas (sermons or talks) that “have many times upset the community? Has he not attacked jews and christians and constantly berating women as though they are second class citizens?”
Muslims living in Tennessee have demanded an elevated status in state politics and Governor Haslam’s administration has provided it. The most recent as discussed in earlier newsletters, has been the partnership created by Commissioner Gibbons’ Tennessee Office of Homeland Security, and the AMAC.
Some members of the AMAC have been discussed in previous newsletters – it is continued here:
Daoud Abudiab, Kamel Daouk, and Rasheed Fakhruddin, are all AMAC members, but they also share another, perhaps more troubling connection – they are individually linked to Awadh Binhazim.
Awadh Binhazim has been a central figure in Tennessee’s Muslim community. He is aggressive in Islamic dawa (prosletizing), promoting Shariah as an immutable and politically dominant way of life, and freely associates with Muslim Brotherhood organizations.
Prior to relocating to Nashville, Binhazim was working in Texas. A January 9, 1997 article in the Austin Statesman newspaper identified him as the president of the Austin chapter of the Hamas affiliate, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In 2008, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. In 2011, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld CAIR’s status as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Approximately two years after settling in Nashville, Binhazim started the Olive Tree Education organization, a propaganda arm of the Islamic movement that provided lectures and classes at Vanderbilt, Tennessee State University, to local civic groups and law enforcement. Sometime after the “Losing Our Sons” video became public, and Binhazim was exposed, the Olive Tree Education website was taken down.
A November 11, 2002 University Wire article and a March 19, 2003 AP article identified Binhazim as a spokesman and “public relations director” for the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN). The imam during this time was Abdulhakim ali Mohamed – he will be covered in a separate newsletter. Binhazim was also on the Shura Board of the ICN for many years (the shura board is a consultative body which implements Sharia law).
In 2006, Binhazim was part of a panel at the Vanderbilt First Amendment Center discussing the “Mohammed cartoons”. At that time he was identified as an adjunct professor of Islam at the Vanderbilt Divinity School. Binhazim was quoted as stating, “Islam is not something to ridicule” and furthermore “all Muslims” view the publication of the cartoons as a “provocation.” It was reported that he openly supported suppressing speech and that Muslims “do not share the value of free speech as it is recognized here”; a statement consistent with Islamic blasphemy laws and current actions by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Islamic organizations in the U.S. and Europe, to criminalize speech that Muslims find offensive.
A May 19, 2011 article about a Vanderbilt Muslim Student Association (MSA) program identified Binhazim as the volunteer Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt. Binhazim confirmed during the program’s Q&A that Islamic law mandates capital punishment for homosexuality. This was widely reported and the video posted on youtube.” When he was asked whether he accepted or rejected the Islamic punishment for homosexuality, Binhazim also confirmed, that “as a Muslim he does not have a choice of whether to accept or reject what Islam teaches.”
Note – for anyone living in Shelby Co – the information that was sent out re: the pending charter school applications in Shelby Co. involving the Cosmos Foundation – all that information was sent to all school board members and Jane Roberts at the Commercial Appeal – you may want to let them know that you know that they also have that information.
TCPJ – Newsletter #10 – May 5, 2012
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation 2011 Hate Crime Statistics
Since taking office, Governor Haslam and his administration, (specifically, Commissioner Gibbons and David Purkey, Director Tennessee Office of Homeland Security), have gone out of their way to elevate the status of Muslims in Tennessee. So has Jerry Martin, U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee.
Good examples are the public partnership with the TN American Muslim Advisory Council and the law enforcement training held this past February. See newsletters #1 & 2.
The most recent hate crime statistics released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) do not support the efforts of the administration. While buying into the myth of “Islamaphobia”, they have ignored the other groups, which are consistently subjected to an increase in “hate crimes”.
2011 data incidents reported 2010 2009
anti-Jewish 4 1 8
anti-Protestant 2 1 6
anti-Islamic 2 4 0
anti physical disability 9 4 2
anti mental disability 6 4 1
Muslims in Tennessee have demanded special attention from the state government and they have gotten it.
The only way to correct the imbalance in Tennessee is to let the Governor hear YOUR voice.
What’s really behind the newly passed charter school bill SB3345/HB3540?
If the Memphis School of Excellence wasn’t being operated by the Cosmos Foundation….
If the Memphis School of Excellence hadn’t been sponsored by the Read Foundation…
If Matt Throckmorton, Director of the Charter School Association had done his due diligence…
If Willie Herenton hadn’t chosen to partner with the Cosmos Foundation on 9 new charter school applications….
If the Cosmos Foundation wasn’t under federal investigation for misuse of public funds and overutilization of the H1B visa program to staff the charter schools it operates….
Then maybe the bill would not have been necessary.
A few as yet unreported facts related to this bill….
No person living overseas has a right to a H1B temporary work visa. A U.S. employer must first recruit and offer a job to a person living overseas who may then apply for the visa.
- Reported by several news outlets in several states that there is a nationwide, federal investigation into charter schools and charter school operators that have high H1B visa utilization
- Cosmos Foundation is a charter school operator that is part of the investigation
- Cosmos has ranked #1 consistently among top 100 secondary school education H1B users using public funds to recruit workers from overseas in favor of bypassing qualified U.S. workers
- Bloomberg Business Week report re: the 200 companies that received most H1B visa approvals in 2007, ranked Cosmos #78 ahead of MIT and Texas Instruments
- H1B visa reports for Secondary School Education sponsors
2001-2009 Cosmos dba Harmony – #1 – 731 visas
Cosmos Foundation – #10 – 117 visas
2009 Cosmos dba Harmony – #1 – 268 visas
Cosmos Foundation – #6 – 88 visas
2011 Cosmos Foundation – #1 – 147 visas
- Examples of positions for which Cosmos recruited overseas and obtained H1B visas:
5 Assistant Principals
ESL Teacher (english as a second language)
- in 2012, a charter school operated by the Sky Foundation in partnership with Cosmos used an H1B visa to fill a “budget analyst” position (were there no U.S. accountants available?)
- The Cosmos Foundation is connected to the following TN charter schools:
o Memphis School of Excellence (MSE, opened 2010)
o Knoxville Charter Academy approved but not open yet
o 9 charter school applications approved by a Memphis/Shelby County committee, submitted by W.E.B. DuBois Consortium
Memphis School of Excellence (MSE) and Cosmos
o READ Foundation is a management company listed in the charter application for MSE
o Cosmos is represented as a “partner organization” in the READ Foundation charter application
o The application describes Cosmos’ role as offering “comprehensive school advisory services to the READ Foundation board and the Memphis School of Excellence”
o The application further states that Cosmos will “advise and provide services when necessary in…. staff hiring and management trainings including recruiting…”
o See also, Commercial Appeal 3/6/2010 and 10/3/11 for references of relationship between MSE and Cosmos
- Co-founder of the Iris Educational Foundation which proposed the Knoxville Charter Academy is also listed as a Director of the READ Foundation which is partnering with Cosmos to operate MSE
Louisiana recently revoked the charter of Abramson charter school and is investigating Kenilworth. Both schools are operated by the Pelican Foundation which has a support contract with Cosmos
Charter schools in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania all being investigated in part because of high H1B visa utilization. The Philadelphia LEA charter office is recommending to the School Reform Commission that Truebright Science Academy charter not be renewed. It is reported that almost 1/3 of the staff at Truebright are working on H1 B visas.
Millenium Education Foundation which operates charter schools in Missouri also partners with Cosmos. In 2009 it was ranked #23 within the top 100 secondary school education users of H1B visas
Sky Foundation which operates the Dove charter schools in Oklahoma also partners with Cosmos. Dove ranked as follows within the top 100 secondary school education users of H1B visas – 2009 – #13; 2010 -#12; 2011 – #10
Charter school operators that partner with Cosmos consistently ranked high in 2011 top 100 secondary school education H1B visa use including – Riverwalk Education Foundation, #3; Sky Foundation, #10; Pelican Education Foundation #12
Wherever Cosmos goes, jobs go overseas.
Why would the Governor or any other steward of PUBLIC FUNDS question a bill that would help keep these jobs in Tennessee?
Other states are closing charter schools connected to this same network – why is Matt Throckmorton backing them?