Newsletter #15 – How Truthful is the Information?

Muslims living in Tennessee have demanded an elevated status in state politics and Governor Haslam’s administration has provided it.  Just this past November, Commissioner Bill Gibbons (Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security), sent letters congratulating the members of the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and welcoming their partnership with his Department.

To this end, the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security (TDHS) sponsored at least two trainings for law enforcement and safety personnel to which the AMAC was invited to participate with a presentation.

An interesting side note – on November 17, 2011, just 10 days after Commissioner Gibbons sent his “Al-salaam alaikum” letter to the AMAC members, ISNA (Islamic Society of North America)a specifically named Muslim Brotherhood organization, held its second “Family of Abraham” event in Nashville.  Given the associations of different AMAC members to different Muslim Brotherhood entities, the intent and content of the AMAC presentation as discussed below, begins to make more sense.

Inquiries by an investigative journalist regarding AMAC presenters at the publicly funded February 2012 counterterrorism training were turned away.

But things like this don’t stay secret for very long.  A recording of the AMAC presentation has been transcribed.

Mr. Daoud Abudiab, Co-Chair of the AMAC was the main speaker on behalf of his organization.  (see Newsletter #14). Mr. Abudiab’s bottom line message to the law enforcement folks in attendance was that if you want to know anything about Islam you need to ask a Muslim.  Ergo, the AMAC members will tell law enforcement all they need to know about Islam.

But is knowing about the religion of Islam even pertinent for counterterrorism training?  Would it perhaps be more relevant for the attendees to have learned about the Muslim Brotherhood presence in Tennessee?  Would learning about the use of Sharia law in our courts be more instructive?  Would understanding that Islamic cultural defenses are not  compatible with either American Constitutional freedoms or state laws?

Mr. Abudiab sidestepped the central role of Koranic doctrine in dictating what Muslims do and don’t believe, and how it drives their demand in every aspect of life for accommodations by public and private entities – no matter the cost or negative impact on anyone or anything else.  Nor is the slow and incremental encroachment and chipping away at our freedoms taken into account.  The message, sometimes sublte, sometimes not, is that a self-perceived supremacist ideology must dominate.

Mr. Abudiab did not explain why for example, his religion forbids saying the Pledge of Allegiance or the status of man-made law relative to Koranic doctrine. 

Instead, Mr. Abudiab suggested to his audience that despite the Koran’s dictates, American Muslims are different.  He suggested that they have more latitude and are merely “guided” by the Koran rather than being commanded to follow its dictates.  Were this actually true, then “demands” for accommodations should be relegated to “requests without consequences” if denied.

Mr. Abudiab’s position stands in stark contrast to his colleague, Awadh Binhazim with whom he made a presentation just last year in Williamson County.  Binhazim, in an Olive Tree Education presentation stated unequivocally that “[t]he 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.”

Mr. Abudiab told his audience in February that , “I think all of us in this room agree we are talking about honesty, integrity, freedom, liberty.  We are talking about how Americans in Nashville came together after the flood to lend their hands to one another to pull through.  We are talking about to deputy sheriffs stopping and helping my daughter and son with the flat tire.  We are talking about the family that …everyone in the neighborhood brings food

We are talking about opportunity….So many raise the question is Islam compatible with American ideals?

And the answer from our point of view is a resounding yes.”

Did the AMAC actually provide any information that would help law enforcement and safety personnel in executing their functions?  It seems instead, that the AMAC communicated to attendees that Muslims in Tennessee are being given preferential treatment by Governor Haslam’s administration above any other religious or political group, a message validated by the AMAC’s very public relationship with the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security.

Training or propaganda – you decide.