“Please don’t let me be like the Christians or the Jews”, is the verse in the Al-Fatihah recited by any Muslim student who is excused from class to pray during the school day. If this same student completes all five daily prayers, they will have recited the Al-Fatihah multiple times in the same day.
Authoritative Islamic scholars refer to the Al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Quaran, as containing “the meanings of the entire Qur’an”. The Al-Fatihah is considered so central to a Muslim’s prayer that if it is not recited, any and all other prayer is considered invalid.
A sampling of what some of Tennessee’s imams preach was addressed in Newsletter #47. What they preach is a reflection of what they pray and it is reinforced each and every time the Al-Fatihah is recited:
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists,
the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
the Owner of the Day of Recompense.
You we worship, and You we ask for help.
Guide us to the straight path,
The way of those upon whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (that) of those who
earned your anger nor of those who went astray.”
Jews “earned your anger” and Christians are “those who went astray”
Ibn Kathir was a highly respected Muslim scholar (1301 CE – 1373 CE) credited with writing a commentary on the Quran that has been translated into several languages, including English. This commentary titled “Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Adhim” is reported to be popular because it uses the hadiths (sayings of Muhammad) to help explain the Quran. Ibn Kathir’s commentary explains the meaning of the last verse of the Al-Fatihah daily prayer that demeans and denounces Jews and Christians as follows:
“Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray, meaning:
These two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why `anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as `led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians. Those who know, but avoid implementing the truth, deserve the anger, unlike those who are ignorant. The Christians want to seek the true knowledge, but are unable to find it because they did not seek it from its proper resources. This is why they were led astray. We should also mention that both the Christians and the Jews have earned the anger and are led astray, but the anger is one of the attributes more particular of the Jews.” Quran Surah (Sura) Fatihah Tafsir Ibn Kathir, (scroll down to see all highlighted sections towards the end)
School “anti-bullying” policies typically include harassment, intimidation, bullying and cyber-bullying and specifically address these actions directed at students because of religious identification. For example:
Discrimination/Harassment (Sexual, Racial, Ethnic, Religious)
Students shall be provided a learning environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic and religious discrimination/harassment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee or any student to discriminate against or harass a student through disparaging conduct or communication that is sexual, racial, ethnic or religious in nature. Discrimination/harassment is defined as conduct, advances, gestures or words either written or spoken of a sexual, racial, ethnic or religious nature which:
1. Unreasonably interfere with the student’s work or educational opportunities; or
2. Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment;……
Students shall be provided a safe learning environment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any student to bully, intimidate or create a hostile educational environment for another student. Bullying and intimidation are defined as either physically harming a student or damaging his/her property, or knowingly placing the student in reasonable fear of such, or creating a hostile educational environment.
Bullying – Conduct that meets one or more of the following criteria: (1) act directed at one or more individuals that is intended to harm or embarrass; (2) repeated over time; and (3) involves an imbalance of physical, emotional, or social power. Bullying may involve, but is not limited to, the following: unwanted teasing, threatening, intimidating behavior, cyberbullying, physical bullying, theft, sexual, religious, or racial harassment and public humiliation.
Harassment –Conduct that meets one or more of the following criteria: (1) act directed at one or more individuals that is received as harmful or embarrassing; (2) substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more individuals; (3) substantially affects the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the school district’s educational programs or activities by placing the individual in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress; (4) based on an individual’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any distinguishing characteristics; (5) repeated over time and is severe, persistent, and pervasive; and (6) causes mental duress or psychological trauma to the bullied.
A truly unbiased application of the anti-bullying policies would bar the Al-Fatihah’s overt anti-Christian and anti-Jewish dogma within the school environment even though it is executed under the color of religion.
Would a school’s anti-bullying/harassment/discrimination/intimidation policies permit the Al-Fatihah if the word “gay”, “homosexual” or “lesbian” were substituted for the references to Jews and Christians in the prayer?
For all the diversity training, conflict resolution, anti-bullying assemblies, etc which school districts spend time and money on, isn’t it antithetical to then allow certain students to recite religious doctrine that by its every word undermines these other efforts?
And what about the relationship between the Al-Fatihah foundational prayer and the narrative about Islam that is being sold to non-Muslim students in schools? A narrative in fact, that the TN American Muslim Advisory Council’s (AMAC) Islamic Speakers Bureau has said it wants to populate in schools throughout Tennessee.
The Muslim American Center for Outreach (ACO), claims to stand against anything it deems “anti-Muslim”. When the ACO organized the “Clergy for Tolerance” did they tell them that they pray every day, several times a day, that they will never be like these clergy? Did the ACO tell the “Clergy for Tolerance” that it is solely a one-way street?
Is it appropriate for schools to side-step their policies and allow anti-Jewish and anti-Christian doctrine to be recited on school grounds, during the school day, simply because someone claims it is their religious right to do so?
Both the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and its lobbying organization, the Muslim American Center for Outreach (ACO), have established connections to the imams and the mosques around Tennessee. For example:
Imam Mohammed Ahmed from the Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) is pictured in the June 2011 Muslim Rapid Response Team group which gave rise to the AMAC, and has been active lobbying down at the Tennessee legislature (not sure the mosque’s 501(c)(3) allows for that).
By letter dated February 28th 2012, the AMAC informed the mosques, including the ICN, that they were up and running, had been working with the TN Department of Homeland Security and were now ready to branch out as an independent organization. (see Newsletter #34)
The ACO posted Imam Yasir Qadhi’s (Memphis Islamic Center) message on the ACO website promoting the Memphis ACO launch this past April.
The AMAC website now includes a listing of the mosques in Tennessee. The AMAC claims to represent Muslims across the state of Tennessee. The Muslim ACO is working to try and unite Muslims across the state behind a variety of “campaigns” broadly addressing anything it deems “anti-Muslim”.
The interconnectedness between the AMAC, the Muslim ACO, their members, imams and mosques, raises a troubling question. Newsletter #31, detailed some of the fundamentalist Islamist imams leading Tennessee mosques. The recently released full-length documentary “Losing Our Sons” includes footage of what some of these imams preach. If we have this information, then surely, the “American Muslims” involved with the AMAC and the Muslim ACO are also aware of the anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, pro-political Shariah and pro-jihad vitriol offered by these imams.
Do the members and leaders of the AMAC and the ACO condemn the “scholarship” of Tennessee imams who exhort their congregants to remain separate and apart lest they be negatively influenced by the kafir Christian and Jews but whose interfaith message is one of telling their audience about the similarities among the “Abrahamic faiths”?
Following is a sampling of what American Muslims are told in Tennessee mosques by their imams.
The Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) mosque – Imam Abdulhakim Mohammed and Imam Mohammed Ahmed
From 2002-2004, Abdulhakim Mohammed served as the Imam of the ICN as well as the Education Director for Olive Tree Education. He is featured in the “Losing Our Sons” video:
Regarding the U.S. he said, “This country will not be the richest country on earth because it is the worst country on earth.”
Regarding Christians he said, “Christians have lost much of their basics and tenets of faith. The truth of Christianity was lost at its earliest stages.” “Tomorrow they’ll celebrate Christmas assuming that Christ is a god or son of god. There is no greater lie than this. The greatest lie of all time.”
Regarding Jews he said, “Jews believe that everyone created on the face of the earth was only created for their service. They became as vicious as the Pharoah throughout history til today. The true evil today is the existence of one state [Israel].” “Aren’t we this near for a mass battle and war against the Jews? Aren’t they gathering themselves in Palestine?”
Attendees at the June 2011 meeting of the Religion Communicators Council listened to ICN’s current Imam Mohammed Ahmed defend the Egyptian police forced virginity tests performed on female protesters in Tahrir Square. The imam explained:
“Why? It’s a very interesting fact that the police giving you a heads up, ‘oh, those people are not virgin’. That’s mean they are not good people”.
The imam also talked about honor killings and confirmed that they do occur throughout the Muslim world and even suggested that they used to occur in the U.S. but no longer because of how “crazy our moral ethics have become.”
The “Losing Our Sons” video also showed several books available in the ICN library:
“Islam & Chrisitianity” by Mrs Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad (available now through Amazon):
“Christianity is too other-worldy..The outcome of such a teaching can only be the production of stunted and contorted hypocrites instead of full grown human beings.
“Christianity is seen as a corruption of Christ’s message and Islam as the true religion of Jesus”
“Towards Understanding Islam” by Abdul A’la Mawdudi (also available through Amazon)
“…jihad is as much a primary duty of the Muslims as are the daily prayers or fasting…The greatest sacrifice made in the way of God is jihad. In it man sacrifices not only his own life and belongings, but destroys those of others as well”.
“Veiling & Un-Veiling” by Hala Bint Abdullah (also available through Amazon)
“The veil shall cover the whole body of the woman including the face and palms of the hands….Unveiling is a heresy, error and a violation of both the Islamic religion and the purified tradition (Sunnah). It is an evidence that a woman who uncovers herself has a weakness in belief as it strips her from chastity and modesty…Additionally, uncovering takes away dignity and the granted legal rights from the woman, revealing of her private parts, exposing her shortcomings (faults)..A woman being unveiled will be in a state of rebellion against Islamic society…
Islamic Center of Tennessee – Imam Abdullah Al Ansari (imam as of April 2010 but who has been taken off their website):
“He [Allah] told us to fight the Jews and Christians. Fight them until they give jizya. They give this protective tax from their hands and they are humiliated and subdued. If Islam, true Islam and true Muslims do not rule there will never be justice. Don’t think that Barak Obama can give you justice. No one can give you justice except a just Muslim ruler”.
The Memphis Islamic Center – Imam Yasir Qadhi
Imam Yasir Qadhi’s book “A Critical Study of Shirk” (shirk is defined as polytheism), explains that the term “Wahhabi” or “Wahhabism” is simply a reference to the “pure teaching of the Quran and Sunnah” and not some separate, orthodox sect of Islam. [Note: Saudi Arabia where Qadhi was educated, is often referred to as the home of Wahhabism]. Consistent with the earlier discussion in Newsletter #31 of Qadhi and his description of Christians as “filthy”, and here his book includes the following:
p.18 – tells the reader that all children are born Muslim – “… and, had he been left without any outside factors, he would be a Muslim. However, a person’s parents then corrupt the child’s fitrah, [innate knowledge of right and wrong] by making him a Jew or Christian, or a believer of any other faith.”
p.44 – “Thus we see that the Jews and the Christians were destroyed due to exaggeration. Both exaggerated the status of their rabbis and saints, such that they allowed them to change the Law of Allah. The Christians in particular were guilty of transgressing the rights of Jesus, the son of Mary, when they considered him to be the son of Allah. This belief, which of course is shirk in itself, then led them to attribute powers of lordship to him, such as their belief that Jesus Christ can forgive and grant salvation to his believers. This belief, in turn, caused them to direct acts of worship to him. Therefore, the Christians are a perfect example of how exaggerating the status of pious people leads to shirk, for they commit shirk in all three types of tawhid
p.54 – “On the Day of Judgment, Allah will separate mankind based on their religious beliefs. Color, caste, gender and ethnicity will play no role in this division. The adherents of each religion will stand by themselves…So every single nation that worshipped other than Allah will be shown the idols and icons that they used to worship, and they will then follow these objects as they lead them to the Fire of Hell…In other narrations of this hadith, the Prophet also described that the Christians and Jews will follow each other into the Fire of Hell – the Christians being led by a cross.”
p.63 – “He also forbade the Muslims from imitating the disbelievers in any practices that are particular to them. This is because imitating them outwardly leads to imitating them inwardly. By allowing their non-religious habits and customs to become a part of our own culture, the Muslim society actually makes it easier to transfer their religious beliefs and practices as well. The Prophet said, “He is not of us who imitates other than us. Do not imitate the Jews or Christians.”
p.103 – “Since this matter is one which requires a certain level of knowledge, in general it is not permissible for the lay-Muslim to pronounce takfir on anyone once that person has claimed that he or she is a Muslim. Note: Obviously, a person who admits that he is a Christian or Jew (or follower of any other religion) has himself admitted that he is a kafir [infidel], so there is no danger here of claiming that he is a kafir.”
p.181 – “And one of the last phrases that came out of his [Muhammad’s] mouth, hours before his death, was the warning, “Allah has cursed the Jews and the Christians, for they took the graves of their prophets as places of worship. Verily do not do so, for I forbid you from it.”
p.200 – “As for the Jews, and some of the Christians, they knew that the Prophet Muhammad was indeed the very prophet that they were waiting for, and they recognized him just like they recognized their own children. Yet, out of sheer arrogance and disdain, they refused to subject themselves to believing in a prophet from amongst the Arabs. Even before the coming of the Prophet, the Jews would sell their religion for a miserable price. So the money they earned by selling their religion was in fact the reason why they refused to worship Allah.”
Al Farooq Mosque (Nashville) website (now removed):
“…to serve as a Da’wah center for the Somali community in Nashville. The permissiveness of the Western society is having devastating impact on their Islamic identity. Their morals have been gradually attacked. Needy families are falling into the hands of the churches. The most vulnerable members are the youth, women and children. Some have already fall prey to the blind imitation of kufur system”.
So when the Governor – empowered AMAC Islamic Speakers Bureau presents their Islamic Networks Group (ING) canned script to government agencies or in Tennessee classrooms or to Tennessee teachers, understand, that that is the political manifestation of what their imams are talking about.
Governor Haslam – are you listening? Their message applies to you also.
$70,000 worth of TV ads have aired in Pakistan with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doing their best to make amends for the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video.
So too, when Islamists in Tennessee protested against the anti-terrorism bill, James Cotter, (then a regional advisor for the TN Office of Homeland Security), on behalf of the Haslam administration, was quick to meet with “Muslim representatives from across the state” and support their organizing into the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC).
Commissioner Bill Gibbons then memorialized the administration’s support for the AMAC with his November 7, 2011 letter of congratulations.
To ensure that the newly formed AMAC understood that the Haslam administration was sincere in its amends, AMAC members were invited to participate in a December 2011 law enforcement training and another in February 2012.
And to further prove how much the Haslam administration appreciates the work of Mr. Cotter, he has been promoted to the position of “Training Advisor” for the state’s Office of Homeland Security.
While Deputy Ramsey and Chris Devaney (despite all evidence to the contrary), disavow any connection between Mr. Cotter’s actions with regard to the AMAC and the Governor, it has been reported by someone who has listened to Mr. Cotter, openly and proudly talk about taking his idea of supporting the AMAC formation up through his agency’s hierarchy and then on to the Governor’s office for approval.
This is the same James Cotter, who in 2009 was more concerned with the white supremacist terrorists, attributing their activity levels to the economy’s ups and downs. Presenting with Tony Weaver of the FBI to local law enforcement and elected officials about post-9/11 counterterrorism tactics, Mr. Weaver stated that “[terrorist upswings] ebbs and flows with the economy.” To which Mr. Cotter added:
“That’s when we start seeing an increase in right wing activity. It’s predominantly white supremacists. We also see it from black supremacists, black separationists, but it’s predominantly by the skinheads, Aryan Nation, the Nazis.”
When the talk apparently got to the question of “foreign threats” and the implied Islamist issue, Mr. Cotter stated: “Anything that they do over there can happen here, and will.”
But what seems reflected in the rest of the article (and perhaps confirmed later by Mr. Cotter’s actions), is the “apologist” and moral equivocating of the Obama administration with statements such as, “… there are “right wing terrorists [who] call themselves ‘Christian’” and you can take Biblical passages out of context the same way terrorists have allegedly done with the Koran.
Citing citizen input as a counterterrorism tool, Mr. Cotter told his audience about the TN Department of Homeland Security’s new outreach program for Bedford County; “building a relationship with the Somalians living [there]”.
Two years later in 2011, consistent with the 2010 Muslim Public Affairs Council’s report “Building Bridges to Strengthen America: Forging an Effective Counterterrorism Enterprise Between Muslim Americans and Law Enforcement”, Mr. Cotter broadened that scope to include Muslims from across the state. (A 2009 preliminary version of this report which is no longer available on the internet, described the Muslim Brotherhood as a conservative group that poses a “long-term strategic threat to violent extremists by siphoning Muslims away from violent radicalism into peaceful political activism”. The 2010 version reworded the reference to the Muslim Brotherhood as “conservative but more politically engaged”).
Since Mr. Cotter believes that citizen input, particularly input from religious communities from whose ranks terrorist actors might emerge is helpful to ensuring the safety of Tennesseans, perhaps he should have considered organizing a Tennessee American Christian Advisory Council.
At this juncture, however, the AMAC must be thrilled with his promotion to state Training Advisor – especially since they now have all the (Muslim Brotherhood partnered) Islamic Networks Group (ING) prepared scripts.
In the political storm over the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video, the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) has come down on the side of the 1st Amendment’s protection for free speech, posting the following statement on its website (http://www.amactn.com/#!press-release), which says in part:
“AMAC is committed to upholding the right to freedom of expression, and we unconditionally condemn any use of violence as a means to protest offensive or hateful speech. In the United States, this fundamental, inalienable right is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The answer to speech we find deeply offensive is more speech — speech that tells the true story of Islam — not censorship or violence.”
The AMAC finally gets it right – it’s not Islamophobia, it’s free speech.
But where AMAC gets it wrong, is that neither the video nor the 1st Amendment justifies AMAC’s (Muslim Brotherhood inspired) Islamic Speakers Bureau going into publicly funded forums to either promote their religion and/or advance their political agenda.
Nor does the video or the 1st Amendment justify Governor Haslam endorsing the Islamist AMAC as the exclusive voice in Tennessee on matters involving political shariah.
If, as the AMAC states the answer is “more speech”, then why not let the Koran tell the “true story of Islam”? And why limit the “true story” to only the first 13 years in Mecca? The AMAC statement continues:
“Those who responded [to the film violently] in such a manner would do well to instead study the Prophet Muhammad’s example in the face of harm. On a daily basis, Prophet Muhammad was exposed to demeaning abuse for 13 years during the early years of his mission. His response was not to return insult for insult or hurt for hurt but to pray for his persecutors and overlook their insults.”
The “true story of Islam” however, also includes the years in Medina, as summarized at www.politicalislam.com, “In Mohammed’s life, he preached the religion of Islam for 13 years and garnered 150 new followers. When he went to Medina and became a politician and a warlord, when he died every Arab was a Muslim. Jihad violence was what made Islam successful.”
The AMAC’s half-truth with regard to the very subject matter for which it insists it speaks authoritatively, should place AMAC’s credibility in question.
Whether using the rationale of “offensive speech begets more speech”, or “supplementing curriculum”, or “correcting alleged misinformation” or “preventing bullying in schools” or even telling “the true story of Islam”, AMAC is, always has been and always will be a political entity. The AMAC was created as a political response to the anti-terrorism bill. Its new affiliate status with the Islamic Networks Group (a Muslim Brotherhood connected organization discussed in Newsletter #41) establishing the AMAC’s Islamic Speakers Bureau, only further exposes its political objective to influence any and all societal systems. This is precisely the foundation needed to enable the embedding of political shariah.
If the AMAC were to let the Koran tell the “true story of Islam”, then we probably wouldn’t need the AMAC….oh, yeah.
Previous newsletters have addressed how Governor Haslam, Commissioner Gibbons and TN DHS Regional Advisor James Cotter have helped legitimize the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) which functions to actualize the Muslim Brotherhood strategy in Tennessee. The Haslam administration has been joined in their efforts by The Tennessean.
Equally acquiescent in advancing the Islamist agenda is the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee (Jewish Federation), its Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC), and the religious and lay leadership of the Nashville Jewish community. (The Methodists in the Nashville area, also very active in supporting Muslim Brotherhood affiliate activity, especially dawah in public schools, will be addressed in a future newsletter).
The JCRC is described on the Jewish Federation website as the “central public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Nashville.” The JCRC has paid staff assigned by the Jewish Federation but the JCRC’s board is composed of and chaired by community volunteers. Ms. Judith Saks, recently retired Director of the JCRC, can be seen in the “Losing Our Sons” video. The JCRC’s current chairman is Nashville lawyer, Mr. Irwin Venick. The immediate past chairman is Mr. Avi Poster.
On August 22, 2012, a letter to Governor Haslam signed by Mr. Venick, and Ms. Saks, along with Jewish Federation Executive Director Mark Freedman and Board President Martin Ted Mayden, appeared in The Tennessean. The letter applauded the appointment of Shariah finance facilitator, Samar Ali to the Department of Economic and Community Development.
Rabbi Kaliel Rose has also been active in helping the Muslim Brotherhood plan take root in Nashville. In March 2011, the TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)’s lobbyist Remziya Suleyman organized opposition to the anti-terrorism bill. (see Newsletter #2). The “Muslim Rapid Response Team” and CAIR responded to her call, as did Rabbi Rose who likened the pending anti-terrorism bill as being similar to the type of laws passed by the Nazis. His speech can be viewed in the ““Losing Our Sons” video.
The ““Losing Our Community” YouTube video trailer which preceded the full “Losing Our Sons” documentary, also documents Rabbi Rose’s engagement with The Olive Tree Education organization in the form of interfaith dialogue. Becoming even further involved with interfaith dialogue, Rabbi Rose sent his synagogue’s religious school students to visit the Islamic Center of Nashville Muslim Brotherhood mosque. Olive Tree Education was started in 1999 by Awadh Binhazim, whose associations with CAIR and the Islamic Center of Nashville are detailed in Newsletter #11. Coincidentally, the Olive Tree website was taken down after the release of the “Losing Our Sons” documentary.
Olive Tree Education’s engagement with the Nashville Jewish community can be dated as early as 2008. The “Losing Our Community” video documents that Rabbis Phil and Laurie Rice of Temple Micah in Nashville, brought Olive Tree Education leaders including its outreach director (whose website at the time promoted Anwar al-Awlaki’s teachings) to speak to the Temple’s students.
The Wayback site shows that former JCRC chairman Avi Poster has been a member of TIRRC’s Board of Directors since at least 2009 and remains listed on its Board today. He is identified on the TIRRC Board as “Community Relations Committee, Jewish Federation of Nashville”. Currently TIRRC’s board also includes the co-chairs of the Governor-approved TN American Muslim Advisory Council – Daoud Abudiab and Zulfat Suara.
On July 13, 2011, the first Nashville “Family of Abraham” event was held at the University School of Nashville. A large host committee included Avi Poster and Irwin Venick and featured Mark Pelavin from the Reform Judaism Religious Action Center. It was reported by an attendee that Mr. Venick spoke against the anti-terrorism bill. Mr. Venick is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Ohabai Shalom in Nashville.
On November 17, 2011, another Nashville “Family of Abraham” event was held at the West End United Methodist Church, but this time featuring Muslim Brotherhood’s ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) National Director, Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances, Sayyid Syeed (see Newsletter #40).
More recently, the Rabbis at Mr. Venick’s temple, have become more involved in working with Muslim Brotherhood affiliate organizations and helping to legitimate their strategy and message. On August 24, 2012, Temple Ohabai Shalom’s Rabbi Shana Mackler was part of the interfaith panel hosted by Lipscomb University which featured the Islamic Network Group presentation on women’s rights and Shariah. (See earlier post “Newsflash, AMAC’s Islamic Speakers Bureau”). The host committee again included representatives from Nashville’s clergy, the Jewish Federation and JCRC – Irwin Venick, Avi Poster, Rabbi Rose, Rabbi Rice and Judith Saks.
On Friday, September 7, 2012, Temple Ohabai Shalom’s senior Rabbi Mark Schiftan led an interfaith service to celebrate a Habitat for Humanity “Unity Build”. Imam Mohammed Ahmed from the Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Center of Nashville mosque, led the congregants in the prayer for peace. (See also Newsletter #14 regarding Kamel Daouk quoted in attached article).
Given the recent news from Egypt it does seem ironic.
Why have the Jewish Federation, the JCRC and the Nashville rabbis legitimized the actualization of the Muslim Brotherhood strategy in Tennessee?
What’s to be gained….or lost?
Special note: once research is completed, a special newsletter will be forthcoming regarding a wire transfer of funds from a major Middle East bank in Jordan to an entity in the U.S. – stay tuned.
The 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum plan (“the plan”) for North America addresses in detail all aspects of civil society that would need to be impacted in order to “’settle’” or ’enable’ Islam and its Movement in this part of the world.”
“That Islam is enabled within the souls, minds and the lives of the people of the country in which it moves”.
Newsletter #42 identified only some of the ways the Muslim Brotherhood plan has been operationalized in Tennessee. In some arenas actualization of the plan happens via seemingly unobjectionable motives, such as “preventing discrimination and bullying”, “countering prejudice”, “correcting misinformation”, “supplementing school curriculum”, interfaith dialogue and religious freedom. The TN AMAC, ACO, ING and Connecting Cultures are good examples of this strategy. (go to www.dailyrollcall.com for more on Connecting Cultures and public schools).
Regardless of its label, it all comes back to the overarching agenda – dawah, which in the political context results in the implementation of the Muslim Brotherhood plan.
The objectionable motive of transforming the U.S. as envisioned by the Muslim Brotherhood plan is being achieved in part, by slowly and incrementally chipping away at America’s standard for free speech, by acquiescing to demands in the public arena claiming religious observance and by caving to name-calling of bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, etc. so that rational, fact-based debate and analysis does not occur.
Part of the Brotherhood’s plan assigned a loose sequence to certain of its elements, including:
The stage of mosques and the Islamic centers.
The stage of building the Islamic organizations – the first phase.
The state of building the Islamic schools – the first phase.
as well as anticipating that American “society’s view of Islam and Muslims” would need to be influenced by studies their own organizations and professional members would generate.
The plan also anticipated and planned for the needs of the “children of the American Ikhwani branch”, referring to the children raised as “American Muslims”, hence, the inclusion of planning for “Islamic schools, centers to train teachers, an office for academic guidance, a council for education and scientific research, a body for authorship and Islamic curricula…and things like that.”
Is Memphis’ Pleasant View School Deepening its Muslim Brotherhood Identity?
Newsletter #42 failed to include information about the newest hire at Pleasant Valley School (PVS), a private Islamic School for grades pre-K through 8. On April 8, 2012, PVS announced the hire of a new principal – Dr. Mohammed Malley. In keeping with the Muslim Brotherhood identity of PVS, Dr. Malley’s credentials include having served as the President of the Georgetown University Muslim Student Association and later with another Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Muslim American Society, Austin Chapter.
Dr. Malley was introduced at a PVS fundraiser keynoted by Kifah Mustapha, an active member of the Chicago-area Muslim community. Mr. Mustapha was an interesting pick for a speaker given that he was dismissed from serving as the first Muslim chaplain for the Illinois State Police after his ties to the Hamas-support network was discovered. It was disclosed that he had been a paid employee for the Holy Land Foundation.
Dr. Hamed Ghazali, hired by PVS in 2010 (see Newsletter #42) is also connected to the Muslim Brotherhood through the Muslim American Society (MAS). One of the founders of the MAS was Ahmed Elkadi, the self-identified leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. from 1984-1994. In 2004 the Secretary-General of the MAS acknowledged that MAS was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. (Interesting side note – the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memo on p. 12 discussing “comprehensive Dawa educational organization”, references “the center run by brother Hamed al-Ghazali”).
That same year the PVS November 2010 newsletter introduced Dr. Mohamed Abedelrahman Elkadi, Imam of the Masjid Al-Noor (owned by Muslim Brotherhood NAIT), as the Islamic Studies teacher for grades 5– 8, and Arabic and Quran for 3rd grade. The newsletter provided the following details in his Q&A:
“Where did you graduate from?
I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy in Islamic Principles and Dawa’h from Al-Azhar University in Egypt.
What do you think of PVS?
With Allah’s blessing, PVS is putting a great emphasis on teaching Arabic, Quran and Islamic Studies. The Islamic Studies and Arabic textbooks have been carefully chosen taking into consideration all aspects of the Islamic way of living. In addition they are modern, easy to understand and will serve the purpose of educating our children. “
Because PVS is a private school, there is no way to verify whether it is using one of the more popular Islamic school textbooks titled “What Islam Is All About Student Textbook” by Yahiya Emerick. A 2003 New York Daily News article confirmed the book’s use in U.S. Islamic schools and a more recent syllabus from a Florida Islamic school (Al Furquan Academy) confirms that it is still being used. (There are also a variety of syllabi available from weekend Islamic schools that use the book as well as the Muslim Toronto Homeschoolers (see, Grade 7 Class_Syllabus_Spring_Sample, ISNRV.org – Sunday School, Islamic Studies Curricula « Toronto Muslim Homeschoolers).
According to its author, this particular book was written in standard English to teach Muslim children living in the U.S. about Islam. The author had expressed concerns that most instructional texts were translations from foreign-supplied sources and not written for English speaking students.
The textbook has many “interesting” entries that echo Mr. Emerick’s essays posted on his Islamic Foundation of North America website. See for example, his essay “How to Make America an Islamic Nation”.
The textbook “What Islam Is All About” includes lessons that stretch from “Understanding the Qur’an” to “Prayer” and from “The Bani Isra’il” to “The Final Messenger” and from “The Final Victory” to “Fiqh and Shari’ah” to “Islam in Society”. Excerpted lessons from the textbook are posted under the “Documents” tab and include the sections on “Who Can I Make Friends With?”, “What Is An Islamic Society?” and “What Is An Islamic State?”
Mark Durie, theologian and human rights activist, cites Mr. Emerick’s textbook in his blog post about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as the positive response the Brotherhood is receiving from Obama’s administration and other U.S. officials. Durie quotes a section from p. 378 of “What Islam Is All About” as “reflect[ing] the Brotherhood’s ideology of phases for establishing Islam. It explains that the political success of Muhammed in Medina, when Islam became politically dominant through the use of force, had to be preceded by a long preparatory phase in Mecca, during which the Muslims’ faith was built up.”
In Tennessee, the public voice advancing the ideology and the plan of the Muslim Brotherhood is the AMAC and its lobbying organization the American Center for Outreach (ACO).
Governor Haslam and Commissioner Gibbons, by their actions, have given these groups the exclusive voice in Tennessee on the politics of Islam.
What’s up with THAT?!
A contemporary theme being advanced by Muslim-centric groups across the country is “Muslims as Americans” – as if anyone ever denied that there are Americans that follow the religion and politics of Islam. In Tennessee, the “made in America” stamp is being carried by the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and its lobbying arm organization, The American Center for Outreach (ACO).
No matter the label, even the “American Muslim” one cannot conceal the fact that Islam is Islam is Islam, no matter where, it is followed. We are told by Islamic scholars considered authoritative by the Muslim world, that Islam is a complete way of life and that the Koran is unchangeable because it is the word of Allah.
Nor can the “American Muslim” label conceal the fact that the ideology and the goals of that ideology are the same no matter where it is followed. And nowhere has the plan for insinuating this ideology and its goals been more carefully detailed than in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood “An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America”. The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the leading proponents of global Shariah law and represents the quintessential expression of “political Shariah”.
To really appreciate the significance of this particular document, it should be noted that during the Holy Land Foundation trial, the Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum was stipulated to by the legal defense for the Holy Land Foundation. This means that the defense agreed with the federal prosecutors that the document was and still is what it says it is – the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan for North America and to quote the memo “present[s] Islam as a civilization alternative”.
Research to date indicates that Muslim-centric groups have not repudiated this plan. Nor does research show that any of the U.S. Muslim-centric groups, including for example the Muslim Student Association, CAIR or ISNA address the fact that they are a Muslim Brotherhood organization, or that in 2009 a federal judge confirmed the “ample” evidentiary link between groups like CAIR, ISNA and Hamas.
(An interesting side note – The Jerusalem Fund chaired by Dr. Subhi Ali (Samar’s father), has published the Hamas charter on its website.)
ING is not AMAC’s only connection to Muslim Brotherhood affiliates. In March, 2011, Remziya Suleyman, stood with CAIR on the steps of the Tennessee Legislative Plaza, to oppose the 2011 anti-terrorism bill. She is the organizer of the Muslim Rapid Response Team which evolved into the AMAC, which in turn, organized the American Center for Outreach for whom Ms. Suleyman lobbies.
CAIR’s spokesman Ibrahim Hooper stated in 2003 that if Muslims ever became a majority in the United States, they would likely seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, which they deem superior to man-made law. And CAIR’s co-founder Omar Ahmad was quoted in 1998 stataing that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran … should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” CAIR seems to be showing up more and more in Tennessee, most recently at the opening of the mosque in Murfreesboro.
Bill Gibbons, Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security, recently stated that “[w]here is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane, more likely on the interstate.” In the context of the article, he was referring to the TSA participating in drunk driving arrests over the Labor Day weekend.
So while Commissioner Gibbons is driving up and down the Tennessee highways, he can learn about how some of the Muslim Brotherhood is operationalized in Tennessee:
Muslim Students’ Association (MSA)
One of the first organizations established in 1963 by the Muslim Brotherhood was the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which now has approximately 600 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. In Tennessee, MSA has chapters at Vanderbilt, MTSU, U of Tenn Knoxville, TN Tech Cookville, U of Memphis, Tenn State U, Rhodes College, East TN U, Nash State Community College and TN Tech Nashville. The MSA has been officially absorbed by ISNA – the Islamic Society of North America, a named unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial.
The MSA “pledge of allegiance” which was videotaped at a recent regional conference concludes with “I will fight against oppression. And I will die to establish Islam.”
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) – unindicted co-conspirator in HLF trial
-shares a P.O. Box address with the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN)
-shares a street address with the Muslim Students Association of Memphis in a property owned by NAIT
-shares a street address with the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis
North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) –unindicted co-conspirator in HLF trial
-reported to hold the deeds to over 25% of the mosques and Islamic centers in the U.S.
-the warranty deed for the Masjid As-Salam mosque, home for the Muslim Society of Memphis, identifies NAIT as the owner. This is the mosque where Carlos Bledsoe reported he first converted to Islam
-the deed to the Al-Noor Mosque which also houses the MSA in Memphis identifies NAIT as the owner
-deeds to at least 10 other properties including some adjacent to the Muslim Society of Memphis property, identify NAIT as the owner
-deed holder to Islamic Center of Murfreesboro tied to NAIT
Pleasant View School, Memphis
Two years ago, Pleasant View School announced on their website that Dr. Hamed Ghazali had been hired as “the new consultant for PVS Islamic Studies, Quaran & Arabic. Dr. Ghazali has a Ph.D in Education from Kansas State University. He is currently the Director of the Houston Quran Academy, Chairman of MAS [Muslim American Society] Council of Islamic Schools (MASCIS) and a professor at the Islamic American University. He is also working as a superintendent/consultant for several Islamic schools in the USA. Dr. Ghazali is a Hafiz and served as an Imam as well as chaplain for more than 20 years in Kansas and Missouri.”
The Muslim American Society (MAS) and the MAS Council of Islamic Schools are recognized as Muslim Brotherhood affiliates. One of the founders of the MAS was Ahmed Elkadi, the self-identified leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. from 1984-1994. In 2004 the Secretary-General of the MAS acknowledged that MAS was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Additionally, MAS’ own archived website details its associations with the Muslim Students Association, ISNA and NAIT – all named organizations in the 1991 Memorandum.
Family of Abraham and interfaith dialogue events
-November 2011, ICN held Family of Abraham event with ISNA, featuring ISNA’s National Director Sayiid Sayeed (who has also served on CAIR’s advisory board and as National President of the Muslim Students Association)
-Islamic Networks Group event and training of AMAC (see Newsletters #40 & 41)
Since Commissioner Gibbons considered it important for Tennessee’s law enforcement officers and safety personnel to hear AMAC’s stories, isn’t it just as relevant that Commissioner Gibbons ensure that they learn about the Muslim Brotherhood in Tennessee?
Gotta wonder if Governor Haslam even knows.Does the Governor and Commissioner Gibbons even understand the players and process they have legitimated in Tennessee?
Maybe not if the AMAC hasn’t told either one of them.