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

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.