Newsletter #41 – Teaching v. Promoting

AMAC co-chair Daoud Abudiab wants the law enforcement audience to know that we are Americans, just like you.  But AMAC board member Sabina Mohyuddin says something very different.  Speaking to the press about a charter school bill from the 2012 legislative session:

“This bill was designed to exclude immigrant parents and teachers from participating in charter schools, frustrating efforts to tailor our kids’ education to meet the needs of our communities.”

And AMAC’s lobbying arm, the American Center for Outreach (ACO), intern Jihan Abdulla (any relation to AMAC board member and ACO founding board member, Kasar Abdulla?), says that as a Muslim, she believes she has more rights than American women.  This was her comment quoted in The Tennessean after listening to ING founder Maha ElGenaidi speak in Nashville about women’s rights under Shariah. Will this be Ms. Abudlla’s message as an ING-certified speaker in Tennessee public schools?

Now when the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) contacts another Tennessee state agency or a middle school to offer their free services, they can say:

-we are a recognized affiliate of the Islamic Networks Group (ING);

-we have been trained by ING and are certified to present the ING’s prepared scripts

-just like ING, our certified speakers can help “supplement the curriculum”

In fact, the Dalls-Fort Worth and Atlanta ING affiliate websites offer the same listing of canned ING presentations.  The Minnesota affiliate offers the same scripts although listed in a more elaborate format and with additional offerings such as form letters for marketing their services to school superintendents, principals, teachers, law enforcement officials, etc.

ING tailors its offerings and rationale for its services to each sector it seeks to address.  For example, it justifies its efforts in schools under the bullying prevention umbrella and/or as a resource to supplement curriculum standards.  For Law Enforcement, the rationale is to supplement cultural diversity training and for media audiences, it is to influence how they report about Islam.

In other words, flood all systems using whatever rationale necessary to gain access.  And once accessed, the goal is to influence the system.  This is precisely the foundation needed to enable the embedding of political shariah.

The comprehensive – uniform –scripted – messaging of ING’s approach, has the same “aura” as the Muslim Brotherhood’s systemic political plan for North America detailed in the 1991 Memorandum discovered during the Holy Land Foundation trial. 

Given the organizational affiliations of ING Board members and it’s founder, Ms. ElGanaidi’s documented appearances with CAIR national leadership and appearances at Muslim Brotherhood ISNA’s conferences, and the written affirmations of standing partnerships between ING and Muslim Brotherhood named organizations, the ING approach makes sense.

The recent May 5, 2012 ING Program in California included a book signing by the former imam of the Ground Zero mosque, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and a detailed report by ING President, Ms. ElGenaidi.  Page 5 of her report states (emphasis added):

“[ING has] also received letters of support from national organizations which reflects our partnerships and good relations with these organizations as well as our reach across the country. These include:

• Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)

• Muslim American Society (MAS)

• Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

• Council on Islamic Relations – California (CAIR)”

ISNA’s letter of support attached at page 24 of Ms. ElGenaidi’s report states:

“We have seen the positive impact of these projects on our community through our years of work with ING, especially during the Annual ISNA Convention, and training webinars, which we were proud to co-sponsor with ING.”

ICNA and ISNA were specifically named “like-minded” organizations in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum.  ISNA was also named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing prosecution.  Similarly, CAIR and Jamal Badawi, founding incorporator of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and former U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Board member were also listed as unindicted co-conspirators.

In July 2009, Judge Solis ruling on ISNA’s request to be removed from the list of unindicted co-conspirators ruled that “the Government has produced ample evidence to establish the association of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT [North American Islamic Trust] with HLF [Holy Land Foundation], the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”   (Interesting note here – Islamic Association for Palestine was another Sami al-Arian organization; see Newsletter #39 & 40 for more about al-Arian’s follow-on organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad).

Recall that Ms. Suleyman, now the Director for AMAC’s organization the American Center for Outreach (ACO), joined with CAIR in a press conference opposing the 2011 anti-terrorism bill.

ICNA shares ING’s pursuit of dawah in U.S. public schools:

ICNA reported in 2005: “Reaching the youth has not always been an area explored by those in the Dawa field. Our representatives visit public schools sharing knowledge of Islam as an attempt to correct the misrepresentations often found in secular reading materials. Alhamdulillah, 877-Why-Islam can provide powerpoint presentations for school children.”  To this end, ICNA formed an affiliation with the DawaNet website.  DawaNet lists ING among the Dawa organizations.  

Sound Vision, listed as an ICNA subsidiary and DawaNet have both posted the attached information about dawa in public schools. All of this is consistent with ICNA’s goals as stated in its 2010 handbook.

Even if ING’s scripts claim to “teach about religion rather than promote it”, shouldn’t we be questioning whether there is a political agenda housed in their “outreach” activities?  Shouldn’t ING’s partnerships with organizations committed to the Muslim Brotherhood objective as stated in the plan for North America call into question ING’s motivation?  And if these relationships do raise a concern, should ING affiliates like AMAC, using the prepared ING scripts, be ineligible to present in publicly-funded forums?

Shouldn’t Governor Haslam and Commissioner Gibbons be asking these same questions?  Given the established Muslim Brotherhood presence in Tennessee, Governor and Commissioner Gibbons should take note.

877-Why-Islam dawah projectDawaNet—to link • to serve_ Dawa in public schoolsEducation_ Dawa in Public Schools


Newsletter #40 – AMAC Coming your way

“I’m here to explain to you about us, American Muslims”     Daoud Abudiab, co-chair, TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC), February, 2012 speaking to law enforcement and safety personnel in Nashville at the invitation of Commissioner Gibbons.

“I actually feel like I have more rights than American women. I don’t have to live by the standards of beauty.  This is just me.”   Jihan Abdulla, student MTSU, intern American Center for Outreach, commenting after hearing Islamic Network Group (ING) speaker Maha ElGenaidi on women’s rights in Islam

“..this experience [of living in the U.S.] is an experience of shaping a new identity in Islam….It has been a process to question some of the practices that are connected with the Muslim culture.”     Dr. Sayyid Syeed, National Director, Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), speaking at an interfaith event in Nashville, November 2011

“ ING [Islamic Network Groups] affiliates seek individuals who can speak in a variety of public venues to diverse audiences, including middle and high schools, universities, faith-based and community organizations and other venues.  We seek to educate about American Muslims and their faith as a means of promoting religious literacy, mutual respect and understanding….ING provides not only presentation scripts but also guidelines for speaking in a public forum and answers to frequently asked questions.”    TN American Muslim Advisory Council Speaker Training by Islamic Networks Group, August 25, 2012

A few interesting observations about the above quotes (none of which are taken out of context):

They all self-define as American Muslims but Jihan Abdulla says, as a Muslim, she feels she has more rights than American women.  Immigration without assimilation has been cited as one source of the rise of “shariah no-go areas” in parts of Britain.  Is ING’s message about the religious supremacy of Islam and is this the message it intends to have the newly trained AMAC members take into “middle and high schools, universities, faith-based and community organizations and other venues”?  Is this the message of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim Students Association at MTSU where Jihan Abdulla serves as V.P.?

Is Dr. Syeed claiming that when American Muslims demand concessions in the public sector to accommodate objectives of political Sharia (eg, segregated swimming in municipal pools, forcing cartoonist Molly Norris into hiding because of death threats over “everybody draw Mohammed Day”, overriding amusement park ride safety rules to allow hijabs, using a miniature guide-horse at a public university, the New Jersey “cultural defense” to spousal rape), that this has somehow redefined Muslim culture rather than the other way around?  How does Dr. Syeed credibly reconcile his statement with the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America who issued a statement in 2007 that the only legitimate law according to Islam is the Shariah?

Neither Dr. Syeed, nor the director of ING ever disclose their organizational affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Dr. Syeed represents the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and has served on CAIR’s Advisory Board.  Both organizations were named unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history so far.  In July 2009, Judge Solis ruling on ISNA’s request to be removed from the list of unindicted co-conspirators, ruled that “the Government has produced ample evidence to establish the association of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT [North American Islamic Trust] with HLF [Holy Land Foundation], the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”

The Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) was co-founded by Sami al-Arian who later founded Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).  See Newsletter #39 for more information about the relationship between the founder of the Jerusalem Fund (which is now chaired by Samar Ali’s father), and the founder of PIJ .

ING’s Board includes any number of members who either served on the board of other Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as NAIT or worked for other Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as ISNA and CAIR.

Now that AMAC will be ING-trained, they can use the ING “presentation scripts” and canned answers to frequently asked questions, to ensure uniformity in messaging.

When Governor Haslam approved the partnership between the TN AMAC and the TN Department of Homeland Security, did he realize that he had sanctioned implementation of the (Muslim Brotherhood) Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) plan “Building Bridges to Strengthen America: Forging an Effective Counterterrorism Enterprise between Muslim Americans and Law Enforcement”.

Nor did he realize, that the AMAC’s agenda perhaps, was to use the state to establish their credibility.

Nor did the Governor realize that by legitimating the AMAC, he was also legitimating Muslim Brotherhood propaganda in Tennessee.  Perhaps the Governor forgot that the organizers of what became AMAC, had invited CAIR to Tennessee to work with them against the anti-terrorism legislation and that some AMAC members have been active in other Muslim Brotherhood organizations.

Nor did the Governor realize that when AMAC said they just wanted to “tell their stories”, they would ultimately double-cross him with their double-speak.


Newsletter #39 – Dr. Subhi Ali and the Jerusalem Fund

Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey recently took the opportunity to remind Tennessee leadership that among the reasons the administration was justified in hiring Samar Ali, were the impressive Tennessee credentials of her father, Dr. Subhi Ali.

However, just as with the administration’s repeated omissions with regard to Ms. Ali’s Shariah Compliant Finance credentials, the administration has also neglected to inform Tennesseans about Dr. Ali’s long-standing involvement with the Jerusalem Fund (the Fund).

Research at this time documents that Dr. Ali joined the Fund’s Board in 2000 and in 2004 served as Vice Chair alongside the Fund’s principal founder and Chairman, Hisham Sharabi (discussed below).  From 2005 until the present, Dr. Ali has served as the Chairman of the Fund’s Board.

While couched in the context of “cultural programming”, a review of the genesis of the Jerusalem Fund, its founders and their connections, and the continued political platforms, activities and current day governing board members highlights that nothing has changed – they remain as committed today as they were when the Fund was established, working toward the same objective of turning the U.S. away from its support and alliance with Israel.

I. What is the Jerusalem Fund?

As stated on its website:

The Jerusalem Fund for Education & Community Development is an independent, non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization based in Washington, D.C.  Funding for operational expenses is derived from investment income. This, together with donations from private individuals throughout the U.S., supports our humanitarian grants.”

The Jerusalem Fund (the Fund) in its current configuration, is comprised of 3 programs – “The Palestine Center”, “The Humanitarian Link” and “The Gallery”.

Despite the Fund’s self-description as “non-political”, a review of its leadership, programming, and issues of focus, reflect overtly pro-Palestinian/pro-Hamas/anti-Israel positions.

“The Palestine Center”, noted as the educational arm of the Fund, offers (with disclaimers displayed), Information Briefs such as the one written by its 2010 intern titled  “Rising support for Hamas and the Roots of its Success in Palestine “ (“One of Hamas’ more distinctive qualities is its emphasis on Islam. In addition to its self-proclaimed role as a legitimate and honest replacement to Fateh, Hamas also acts as a religious alternative to the secular Fateh.”)

In addition to making grants for social services in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” as it is referred to on the website, “The Humanitarian Link” supports the Palestine Diabetes Institute.  As reported in her White House bio, Samar Ali served as the transatlantic liaison during the development of this project.

(Originally named the “Occupied Land Fund”, recall that the Holy Land Foundation was the largest Islamic charity in the U.S., which also claimed it was needed to bring humanitarian relief to needy Palestinians in the occupied territories.  The Holy Land Foundation was successfully prosecuted in 2007 for funding Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations).

“The Gallery” is solely focused on promoting “..the rich culture and national heritage of the Palestinian people, as well as that of surrounding Arab societies.”

II. The Genesis of the Jerusalem Fund –(Sharabi – WISE – PIJ – IIIT – Muslim Brotherhood)

In 1977 Dr. Hisham Sharabi, PhD. founded the American Palestine Education Foundation (APEF) which in 1981 was renamed The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development (the Fund).   Sharabi served as Chairman of the Board until he died in 2005.

In 1991 Sharabi founded the Centre for Policy Analysis on Palestine (CPAP), which was added to the Fund, to “represent a Palestinian perspective in Washington, D.C.”  One example of CPAP’s activities was its 2003 annual conference entitled “Israel’s Policy of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing”.  As reported by the NGO Monitor, “Hisham Sharabi, chairman of CPAP, set the hostile tone for the daylong seminar with his opening remarks…”  In 2002 CPAP was renamed The Palestine Center.

Sharabi  advocated a Palestinian “armed struggle” if necessary, to end “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza”.  His 1998 paper “The Palestinians: Fifty Years Later”, called for Americans of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim backgrounds to organize using their “constitutional rights as Americans” to “influence a dangerously biased [toward Israel] American policy in the Middle East.”

III. Sharabi and WISE

Equally revealing about Sharabi is his membership on the Board of Trustees of the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE).  WISE was incorporated by Sami Al-Arian as an Islamic think tank designed to organize seminars and share libraries.

Al-Arian was sentenced on May 1, 2006, to 57 months in prison to be followed by deportation.  At his sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James Moody called Al-Arian a “master manipulator”, adding, “[y]ou looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  This trial exposed that as a lie.”

WISE was named in a federal indictment as part of a “criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, extortion, money laundering, fraud and issue of visas, and operated worldwide including the Middle District of Florida.”

WISE is related to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).  PIJ and Hamas are related in that they share the same outcomes but often have not been successful working together in that direction.   

Tarik Hamdi, identified as an officer/staff member of WISE is listed in a federal affidavit as providing material support to Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden and the PIJ.  He left WISE to work for IIIT.  He subsequently left the U.S. and relocated to the Middle East.

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) was identified as one of the funders of WISE.  The IIIT was named in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s likeminded “organizations of our friends.”

Other WISE Board members include:

Taha Jabir al Alwani -President, IIIT; cited as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Justice Department’s terrorism prosecution against al-Arian.

Basheer Nafi – was charged with “conspiracy to murder, maim or injure persons outside the United States.” and a significant leader of the PIJ. In 1996 he was deported from the U.S. back to England for visa violations. In 2003 the FBI indicted Bashir Nafi in abstentia, in connection with the U.S. PIJ  cell.

Mazin an Najjar a founding member of WISE, was arrested on secret FBI evidence that he was supporting terrorism and was deported from the U.S. in 2002. In a one-sentence summary, Judge McHugh stated that al Najjar was “associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a threat to national security.”

Ramadan Abdullah aka Ramadan Shallah – Currently on the FBI Most Wanted List, co-founder of WISE, and listed as a “Specially Designated Terrorist”.  He was named the leader of PIJ in 1995.  Shallah was indicted in a 53 count indictment in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. The Rewards For Justice Program, U.S. State Dept., is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Shallah.

The Jerusalem Fund:  

Subhi Ali – Sharabi – WISE – PIJ – IIIT – Muslim Brotherhood

 


Newsletter #38 – Deputy Ramsey’s letter

In a letter dated August 15, 2012, Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey defended Commissioner Bill Gibbons’ relationship with the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and the administration’s decision to hire Samar Ali. (see attached at http://wpln.org/?p=40556)

This letter was addressed to Chris Devaney, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party who in turn forwarded it to State Executive Committee members.

As stated in Deputy Ramsey’s letter with regard to the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC):

“The promotion or advancement of religious ideology is an inappropriate role of state government that is unacceptable and will not happen during this administration.”

“…we’ve heard specific concerns about the creation of an American Muslim Advisory Council.”

“It [the Council] has no official status with the State.”

“The Department of Safety and Homeland Security was invited by the Council to participate in discussions of community issues and Commissioner Bill Gibbons found that to be a useful dialogue for law enforcement officials.”

“…the Department [of Children’s Services] asked AMAC to offer a specific training related to these cultural, not legal differences.”

Deputy Ramsey’s letter omits the following relevant information:

-the June 2011 picture caption of the Muslim Rapid Response Team (from which the AMAC was created), indicated they were envisioning the same type of continuous and permanent working relationship with TN DHS similar to the arrangement endorsed by Sheriff Baca in Los Angeles (note here that Sheriff Baca, an open advocate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), has implemented the MPAC plan of creating partnerships between Muslim Americans and law enforcement);

-Commissioner Gibbons wrote a letter dated November 7, 2011, thanking the AMAC for their partnership with the state and the DHS and his support for “long-term trusted relationships”;

-as late as December 2011, the DHS and Mr. Devaney denied a relationship or even knowledge about the AMAC even though DHS Regional Advisor James Cotter had been helping the Council form since June 2011, details of which Mr. Cotter shared widely and the fact that the DHS included the AMAC in a December 2011 law enforcement training in Paris Landing;

-the DHS again included the AMAC in a February 2012 law enforcement training in Nashville;

-immediately following the February training, the AMAC sent a letter dated February 28, 2012 to the Islamic Center of Nashville Shura Board stating AMAC’s understanding that they “began as a collaboration between the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and Muslim leaders across the state”

-with regard to the May 2012 DCS training, AMAC’s presentation is deliberately mischaracterized as “cultural” despite the AMAC’s own admission that they speak about their faith as a means to promote “religious literacy” since they are the “Muslim American Advisory Council” and only followers of the religion of Islam are called Muslims;

With regard to the letter’s discussion and review of Samar Ali’s credentials, Deputy Ramsey never explains why the administration (unlike all other sources of published information about Ms. Ali), has consistently, from the very beginning, redacted all references to her work in the field of Shariah Compliant Finance from any and all communications issued by the administration.  This seems to contradict the ECD’s Redefining Government “Transparency 2012” campaign.

The credentialing of Ms. Ali’s father is irrelevant (as well as incomplete as to his more “interesting” political activity and connections), if as the administration says Ms. Ali was hired on her own merit; otherwise it sounds like cronyism.  Recall that Commissioner Hagerty told the June First Tuesday audience that Ms. Ali’s father called him to ask him to look at his daughter’s resume.

Presumably, the growing number of County GOP resolutions calling these issues into question prompted the letter written by Deputy Ramsey.  Legitimate questions have been raised which deserve truthful answers, not more political obfuscation.


Newsletter #37 – TN Attorney General opinion and AMAC

TN Attorney General Opinion 12-29 (March 2, 2012), answers the question of whether it is “constitutionally defensible” for the TN Department of Homeland Security to NOT enter into “partnership or contractual agreements” with religious or political nonprofit organizations, including any affiliated organizations.    The short answer – the state of Tennessee can and should exclude these groups.  http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/op/2012/op12.29.pdf

As stated in the AG Opinion, the rationale is simple –  “The Establishment Clause [of the 1st Amendment] prevents the government from promoting any religious doctrine or organization or affiliating itself with one.”

The State is supposed to be neutral when it comes to the matter of religion.

The AG Opinion goes on to conclude that “On its face, this exclusion does not appear to be based upon any hostility toward religion, but rather can be characterized as an attempt to avoid an excessive entanglement or improper affiliation with religion.”

The TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC), is an organization designed to promote the religion of Islam:

-the organization’s very name self-describes a religious orientation; only adherents to the religion of Islam can be labeled “Muslim”

-the content of the training provided by AMAC is grounded in and derived from religious doctrine but misrepresented as “culture”

-the AMAC’s most recent announcement about their Islamic Speakers Bureau states that they present information about “their faith as a means of promoting religious literacy”

The TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) is a political organization and/or affiliated with a political organization:

-four AMAC members established and sit as the governing board of their alter ego organization, the American Center for Outreach (ACO)

-another AMAC member serves as a Fellow with the ACO

-the ACO’s Director lobbies the TN General Assembly

-the ACO and AMAC issue joint press statements commenting on pending legislation and other community political activities

Either way you cut it, the TN Department of Homeland Security cannot partner with the AMAC.

For that matter, neither can nor should any other state or local governmental entity.

The very law that Commissioner Gibbons brought to the legislature and testified in support of, (and as opined by the state Attorney General), bars his Department from partnering with AMAC.

But if the Governor’s administration won’t follow the law, why should anyone else?

 


Newsflash -AMAC’s Islamic Speakers Bureau

AMAC is now an officially established affiliate of Islamic Networks Group (ING).  On Saturday, August 25, ING will be training speakers for AMAC’s Islamic Speakers Bureau.  The training will be held at the Nashville International Academy, an Islamic school in Nashville.

Read the piece below carefully – it makes it clear that AMAC trainings are about religion.

Is it appropriate that the TN Department of Homeland Security is partnering with a religious group to provide religious training (under the misnomer of “cultural training) to law enforcement and safety personnel?

(An interesting side-note: the administration’s TN DHS partnership bill which Commissioner Gibbons testified in support of, prohibits the TN DHS from entering into contractual arrangements with religious, political and organizations affiliated with religious or political organizations.  Even if the TN DHS partnership with the AMAC has not been reduced to a contract, this law clearly expresses an intent that the TN DHS will steer clear of entanglement with religious and/or political groups.)

It also makes clear that AMAC intends to spread its reach to “middle and high schools, universities, faith-based and community organizations, and other venues. We seek to educate about American Muslims and their faith as a means of promoting religious literacy, mutual respect, and understanding.”

FYI – ING founder Maha ElGenaidi will be speaking in Nashville at a Family of Abraham event titled “Women and Sharia”.  Also speaking are local clergy Rev. Judi Hoffman and Rabbi Shana Mackler.  The event will take place at Lipscomb University, Thursday August 23 at 7 p.m.

And on Saturday, August 24 Ms. ElGenaidi will be speaking at Belmont University.

http://www.ing.org/181-events/903-american-muslim-advisory-council-speaker-training


Newsletter #36 – The AMAC spreads its influence

First the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) entered into a Governor-approved partnership with the TN Department of Homeland Security.

Shortly thereafter, four AMAC members formed a second organization to lobby the General Assembly– the American Center for Outreach (ACO).  Current AMAC members serve as the governing board: Danish Siddiqui,  ACO Chairman, Kasar Abdulla, ACO Director, Soyab Malani, ACO Treasurer, and Sehrish Siddiqui, ACO Secretary.

But remember, the AMAC claims that the only thing they do is provide “cultural training”. Do they disclose that AMAC members also comment on pending legislation or that AMAC members promote political activities around the state?

AMAC’s training at the TN Dept. of Children’s Services (DCS)

Why would the TN DCS need Middle Eastern Culture training?

Dana Clegg, Regional Training Coordinator and Absconder Program Representative, contacted the AMAC to request this training. (The Absconder Program deals mostly with runaway minors).  Documents from an open records request state that, “The Davidson region’s Child Protective Service teams had requested this training due to the population that they work with in investigating allegations of abuse and neglect.”

How did the training coordinator find out about the AMAC?

The Training Coordinator, Dana Clegg, contacted the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department which then recommended the AMAC to provide the training.

Recall, that the AMAC’s February 28th letter (see Newsletter #34) stated that they had started as a  “collaboration between the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and Muslim leaders across the state” and the “AMAC has now broadened its reach to other government agencies…”

May 22, 2012 DCS sponsored the AMAC training

Thirty-three (33) DCS staff and three (3) staff from the Davidson County Juvenile Court attended a two – hour panel discussion presented by the AMAC chair Ms. Zulfat Suara and AMAC members Ms. Drost Kokoye and Mohamed Shukri Hassan.  As also stated in the open records response, because cultural training is required for the DCS staff biennially, the training coordinator requested that the panel only provide information about “… types of foods, religious holidays, practices, customs, and special ages for boys and girls.”

But then the AMAC provided a list of the Islamic Centers in the Nashville area “to be used by DCS workers as a resource.”

Self-described  “cultural” training by the AMAC raises several relevant questions:

1)    Muslim authorities say over and over again that Islam is a complete way of life. (see attached document from the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro).  Given that instructions for living a Shariah-adherent life cover everything from cradle to grave and everything in-between, can the religion of Islam be practiced as a “complete way of life” if the culture within which it is practiced doesn’t also conform to the religious doctrine?

In other words, if Islam is a complete way of life, is it also the blueprint for the “culture” presented by the Muslim representatives of the AMAC?

2)    For purposes of their training, does the AMAC explain where their “culture” stops and their religion begins?  Stated another way, do they disclose the source from which the cultural practices derive?

3)    Should accommodations in public life be required for subjectively determined “cultural practices” that have neither a doctrinal nor religious basis?

Culture?  Religion?  Ideology?  Mixed message?

 teachers_guide1