Newsletter #55 – The United Methodist Church and the Muslim Brotherhood

Just as some of Tennessee’s Jewish leadership and organizations are either knowingly or unknowingly interacting with and connecting with Muslim Brotherhood entities in Tennessee (see Newsletter #44), so too has the United Methodist Church (UMC) become entangled.

Mercy-USA for Aid and Development (Mercy-USA), a 501(c)(3) incorporated in Michigan in 1988, is a relief and development organization “dedicated to alleviating human suffering and supporting individuals and their communities in their efforts to become more self-sufficient.”

The last Guidestar abstract available is for FY2010 and shows total revenue of $7,014,034.  A published comment included in the same listing states:

“Seems like a great charity, the CEO’s pay is a lot lower than other Islamic charities and also one of the only Islamic charities that I found to be working directly in Somalia.”

Mercy-USA is identified on any number of Islamic information websites as an Islamic charity, (see e.g., and is even included on one as among the top seven Islamic charities.

Mercy-USA and Mercy International

Mercy International (MI) is listed in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood “Explanatory Memorandum” which laid out the plan for destroying America from within and turn it into a Muslim nation.  Mercy International is listed as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s likeminded “organizations of our friends” that would join in this endeavor.

Branches of this charity in different countries have slightly different names such as Mercy International-USA and Mercy International Relief Agency (this is the legal name of the Canadian office).  During the 1980’s the U.S. arm of the charity was called Human Concern International but in 1989 changed its name to Mercy International-USA and moved its office to Michigan.

Along with Mercy International’s identification with the Muslim Brotherhood, it also appears to be tied to al-Qaeda.  During the mid-1990s MI’s Pakistan branch was headed by Zahid Shaikh Mohammed, brother of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.  The Phillipine branch was discovered to be tied to Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law.  And the Kenya branch was tied to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing there.

During the course of the trial involving the 1998 East Africa embassy bombing, Mercy International Relief Agency was identified as one of the entities that had served as a front to aid the attackers.  During the investigation leading up to the trial, Mr. al-Ali, a fundraiser for the International Islamic Relief Organization (a charity headed by bin Laden’s brother-in-law), admitted that two years prior to the bombing “he had sent almost $200,000 to Mercy International in Canada…”.

It has been claimed that the U.S. branch has no connection with the terrorism-related branches. However, this claim is refuted in the National Review Online article:

In response to news reports implicating “Mercy International” in the embassy attacks, Umar al-Qadi, president of Mercy in Michigan and founder of Mercy International Relief Agency in Canada, has publicly insisted that his organization had no relation to the organization in Kenya or the bombings themselves. Qadi explained that his group was named “Mercy International-USA” while the group in Kenya was “Mercy International Relief Agency.” However, in July of 1995, Umar al-Qadi himself registered a “Mercy for International Relief Agency” in Ontario, Canada, which he described as a sister organization.

So it looks like Mercy-USA is very connected to Mercy International.

Mercy-USA and the Muslim Brotherhood

In addition to Mercy International being named in the Muslim Brotherhood document, Mercy-USA has its own connection to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The current chair of the Board of Mercy-USA is Mrs. Iman Elkadi, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Tampa, Florida.  Both her father in Egypt (Mahmoud Abu Saud), and her husband in the U.S. (Ahmed Elkadi), were top leaders involved in advancing the Muslim Brotherhood.  In fact, her husband Ahmed Elkadi, an Egyptian-born physician (reputed to have been the personal physician to Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal), is credited with having led and established the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. even serving as its president in 1984.

The lengthy Chicago Tribune article titled “A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America”, details the Muslim Brotherhood commitment in which Mercy-USA’s chairman was raised and lived in as an adult in the U.S. (included in the article is information provided by Mustafa Saied who was recruited to the Muslim Brotherhood while he was a student at the University of Tennessee).

As Mrs. Elkadi says, “Everyone’s goal is the same – to educate everyone about Islam and to follow the teachings of Islam with the hope of establishing an Islamic state.”

UMCOR partners with Mercy-USA

Partner agencies listed on the Mercy-USA website include for example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor, several United Nations agencies and programs, and the following non-governmental organizations – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) 

Committee for the Coordination of Volunteering Organizations (COSV)

 Land O’Lakes
 and the 
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

UMCOR is a ministry of the United Methodist Church and describes itself as the “humanitarian relief and development arm” of the UMC.  There are a variety of ways money from UMC congregants reaches UMCOR.  UMC funds its ministries through “apportioned funds”, a method by which all money received is then allocated proportionately to the work of the churches ministries and individual churches.  These “general funds” include a ministry called “World Service” which is the core of UMC’s global outreach ministry and one of seven “apportioned funds”.  It includes the UMC “Global Health” initiative which is currently focused on the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign, an UMCOR Global Health Program.

There are also “Churchwide Special Sundays” with one specially designated for giving to UMCOR (scheduled for March 10, 2013), and anytime designated giving to UMCOR.

When queried, the Assistant Secretary General of UMCOR indicated that he “didn’t even know what Mercy USA is.”

According to the Mercy-USA newsletters posted on its website, UMCOR was working with Mercy-USA as far back as 1997.

UMC Maintains Its Connection to the Muslim Brotherhood

“At the national level, the Islamic Society of North America has found a close ally in the United Methodist Church”.  This 2010 statement by the Muslim Brotherhood Holy Land Foundation trial unindicted co-conspirator, was made in reference to the Chicago area UMC call to boycott and divest from Israel.  For this action, Methodists’ National Council of Churches chief Michael Kinnamon received ISNA’s Interfaith Unity award.

More recently the United Methodist Church has signed onto a letter calling on Congress to review U.S. aid to Israel in a continuing anti-Israel UMC campaign reflected in resolutions the church adopted in 1996 and 2000 and then readopted in 2008.


John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church on Islam:  

”Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it…have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth; that numberless cities are raised from the foundation, and only their name remaining; that many countries, which were once as the garden of God, are now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished from the earth! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of human kind.” “The Doctrine of Original Sin, Works” (1841), ix 205

How ironic.


Newsletter #54 – Should public money be used to fund student Muslim Brotherhood groups?

While the answer should be “ABSOLUTELY NOT”, exactly the opposite is happening at Tennessee’s state-funded universities.  One of the most aggressive Tennessee schools in this regard is Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) although other schools such as the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UT Knoxville) and the University of Memphis also have distinctive Muslim Brotherhood credentials.

At MTSU for example,  “Registered student organizations” qualify for university funded student activity fee money.  The MSA at MTSU states on its website that it is both a “registered student organization” and is affiliated with the National Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada.

The core of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology is spread at the college level through the Brotherhood’s very first U.S. creation – the Muslim Students Association (MSA).  The MSA is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood whose  credo states: “Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our Leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the path of Allah is our highest hope.”  The MSA “pledge of allegiance” videotaped at a recent regional conference concludes with “I will fight against oppression. And I will die to establish Islam.”

MSA at UT Knoxville

UT Knoxville MSA’s website comes the closest to acknowledging the origin of the organization:

“The first Muslim Student Association was founded on the campus of the University of Illinois, Ann, Urbana-Champaign in 1963. From the minds of a few students came an association that has spread to myriad universities across North America. The MSA of UT has been blessed with a colorful fifteen year history…”

UT Knoxville’s MSA “colorful” history includes the experience of Mustafa Saied who told the Chicago Tribune in 2004 that in 1994 during his junior year at UT Knoxville, he was recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood.  “After Saied attended numerous prayer sessions, a fellow Muslim student took him to a quiet corner of a campus cafeteria and asked him to join….Saied says he left the group after several years because he disliked its anti-American sentiments and its support for violence in the Middle East.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s U.S. Muslim Students Association  – just another student organization?

The archives of the Muslim Brotherhood in North American were discovered during a 2004 FBI raid of a leading U.S. Muslim Brotherhood member’s Virginia home.  Among the documents was the 1991 MB “Explanatory Memorandum” that was introduced by federal prosecutors during the Holy Land Foundation trial, the biggest terrorism financing case in the U.S.  It is important to remember that during the trial the defense stipulated to the Muslim Brotherhood’s U.S. plan.

The 1991 Memorandum clearly shows the Brotherhood’s overarching goal of converting the U.S. into an Islamic state and laid out a detailed plan for the “civilization jihad from within.” The memo also listed 29 organizations working in the U.S. to further this goal; the MSA was second on the list because the MSA is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood working in furtherance of the  plan to offer Islam as a “civilization alternative.”

The MSA created in 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus is an Islamist organization with an Islamist agenda.  Investigative journalist Patrick Poole notes the following:

“Toward that end, the organization has published an MSA Starter’s Guide: A Guide on How to Run a Successful MSA, which states:

‘It should be the long-term goal of every MSA to Islamicize the politics of their respective university … the politicization of the MSA means to make the MSA more of a force on internal campus politics. The MSA needs to be a more ‘In-your-face’ association … For example, the student body must be convinced that there is such a thing as a Muslim-bloc.” The Guide further advises: “Aim to rise within the ranks of the Union [student government] and to get on selected executive committees … I cannot stress this enough, the Union has vast powers that Muslims need to control.’

The Islamization of Tennessee’s university politics a.k.a. the “red –green alliance” and the example of MTSU

Looking at the MSA’s activity on various Tennessee campuses, it looks like they take the MSA Starter Guide seriously and have overlaid a contemporary element. The MSA’s reach has been extended by shrewdly embedding their objectives in the leftist jargon of “human rights” and “minority rights”.  This strategy is better known as the “red-green alliance”.

In this manner, using the often subversive and less than honest discourse of the liberalized left, they have convinced the Latino community to join forces despite having to carefully veil their otherwise conservative and dogmatic doctrine.

The MTSU MSA faculty advisor is Saleh Sbenaty who joined MTSU in 1993.  Available records show that he has been the MSA advisor since at least 2007.  He has been discussed at length in Newsletter #50, who left Syria for the U.S. at the same time that the Muslim Brotherhood was expelled from his country.  It was noted by Sbenaty’s daughter that he has not returned to Syria in 30 years for fear of being jailed there.

As far back as 2004, the MTSU MSA welcomed Awadh Binhazim, the Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt who confirmed Islam’s capital punishment for homosexuality.  Binhazim’s many affiliations including having been a CAIR chapter president in Texas, have been detailed in Newsletters #11 & 12.

Much more recently, the MTSU MSA along with the MSA Latino student organization FUTURO, have sponsored a program featuring Arsalan Iftikhar and AMAC member, Kasar Abdulla:

Combating Islamaphobia: Your Questions Answered

Invite-Only Event · By Anya Alicia Cardoso and MTSU MSA

Monday, November 12, 2012

6:00pm until 8:00pm

                          MTSU Student Union Building Room 220
                          This event is a discussion forum featuring Arsalan Iftikhar and Kasar Abdulla. The topic will be about Islam and common misconceptions or stereotypes revolving around Muslims. After a short presentation the floor will be open the audience to ask any questions they might have.This event is sponsored by FUTURO and the Muslim Student Association of MTSU. There will be free food and lots of great discussion! Please join us and invite your student or faculty friends. This is meant to be more intimate–students and faculty only so that more questions can be answered, however, if you have a religious leader that would like to come and participate in the discussion, please invite them! Thank you!

An open-to-the-public event featuring Arsalan Iftikhar followed on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.

Given that the event was co-sponsored by a Muslim Brotherhood organization, it is no surprise that the co-presenters each have deep involvement with Muslim Brotherhood groups.  AMAC member Kasar Abudlla’s involvement with Muslim Brotherhood groups has been covered in Newsletters # 4 & 5.

Arsalan Iftikhar

Arsalan Iftikhar is another MSA “graduate” who later served as CAIR’s National Legal Director, a position and affiliation he omits from his resume and seems to go to great lengths to disown.  However, a picture is worth 1,000 words especially when speaking at the 2006 Muslim Brotherhood ISNA convention:

Iftikhar was also the CAIR lawyer involved with the “flying imam” case against U.S. Airways.  Attached is his letter to U.S. Airways along with CAIR’s internal memo detailing the proposed propaganda and lawfare campaign.

This is the same CAIR whose connection to Hamas is well documented, was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, and whose co-founder, Omar Ahmad stated during a 1998 speech:

“If you choose to live here [in the U.S.] … you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam.” “Islam isn’t in America,” he continued, “to be equal to any other faith, 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.”

The same CAIR whose co-founder, convert to Islam, Ibrahim Hooper in 1993 expressed his desire that the U.S. be an Islamic government.

This sentiment, expressed and manifested in many ways, represents the core of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology and the end goal of all of the Brotherhood’s groups including the MSA.

As stated in January 2005 by a former UCLA MSA leader, “The only justification … that Muslims have to live in this country is da’wa…. [I]f we are not doing something to invite people to Islam, Muslims and non-Muslims, then we are missing the point what Islamic Movement is about…. The end goal of everything I was talking about is the establishment of, the reestablishment of, Islamic form of government.”

No different in objective than the da’wa discussed in Newsletter #41 being offered up by other Muslim Brotherhood associated and inspired organizations active in Tennessee including the American Center for Outreach (ACO) and the AMAC.


In 2009 a federal judge confirmed the existence of ample evidence tying groups like CAIR and ISNA to Hamas, a fact the MTSU’s students and faculty do not let get in their way.  One can speculate that the reason it does not give them pause is because they are aligned to the anti-Israel, anything but America and the West, pro-Hamas and Hezbollah agenda.

How much background on Arsalan Iftikhar and the MSA for that matter was provided to the FUTURO organizer?  How about program attendees?  Isn’t a university supposed to be about higher education?

Someone might even want to clue Governor Haslam in about what his AMAC is helping out with on Tennessee campuses.  After all, he demonstrates over and over again, that on this issue he is either clueless or willingly blind.

See the many pieces written about MSA activities around the country


Newsletter #53 – Civic engagement is where it’s at!

The Somalialand Sun newspaper article written by Heidi Hall of The Tennessean also quoted Nashville resident Abudlkadir Gure, described as a Somali who came to the U.S. on a visa in 2003.  He works as a “court translator, driving instructor and Arabic teacher.”

Ms. Hall omitted information about the other activities with which Mr. Gure is involved, including:

-Middle Tennessee organizer for the TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)

-active protester against the TN anti-terrorism material support bill

-president and spokesman for the Nashville Metro Taxi Drivers Alliance which offered free rides from two Nashville mosque locations to Legislative Plaza, to those who wanted to go and protest against the anti-terrorism bill

-volunteer with the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee (CRIT)

-attendee 2011 Rights Working Group Training, Washington, D.C.

A word about TIRRC

Formed in 2001, TIRRC was a result of a U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement grant awarded to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce for the “Building the New American Community” pilot program.  The program was designed to “foster the successful integration of refugees and immigrants at a community level.”  This goal was believed to best achieved through “economic self-sufficiency and meaningful civic participation”, including the development of refugee and immigrant leadership.

By TIRRC’s own description, their focus is to “empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice…”.  Sort of like a labor union model for immigrants and refugees except propped up with public funding.  A review of TIRRC’s policy positions and description of its accomplishments presumes that Tennesseans and Tennessee policymakers are anti-immigrants/refugees.  However, there is nothing in TIRRC’s advocacy that acknowledges that what concerns Tennesseans and policymakers is the militant insistence that cultural and religious demands made by “new Americans” must be met, regardless of anything else– period.

But query – is it unreasonable for Tennesseans to question TIRRC and its progenies’ activities that bring yet more Muslim Brotherhood presence to the state?  What about programs and policy positions that promote more Islamist dominance? Remember when the then-TIRRC policy coordinator, Remziya Suleyman brought unindicted co-conspirator Hamas-CAIR to Tennessee to lobby against the anti-terrorism legislation?  And then more recently when CAIR Executive Director and founder Nihad Awad came to visit leaders of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, which includes Saleh Sbenaty, a member of the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC).

Newsletter #2 explains more fully the relationship between TIRRC and AMAC and just to bring it full circle, the co-chairs of AMAC now are both Board members of TIRRC.

The Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee (CRIT)

CRIT was formerly named the Somali Community Center.  In 2007Abdirizak Hassan, the Center’s Executive Director until sometime in 2011, was charged with and sentenced to 2 years federal probation for making false statements in connection with a federal grant for the Center.  Despite these charges, he was still able to apply for and have the Center receive federal grant money throughout this time period.

The federal charge relates back to his indictment in 2001 for felony illegal banking.  Prior to serving as ED of the Somali Community Center/CRIT, Hassan ran a hawala money changing business out of a convenience store.  As reported by WSMV in Nashville and recorded by New English Review:

“Hassan’s Nashville bank was shut down by counter-terrorism investigators because they said the bank was linked to Al-Barakat…….Al-Barakat is a bank and wiring transfer service that is linked to al-Qaida, according to investigators.  Hassan was arrested and charged with felony illegal banking.  While out on bond, Hassan and the Somali Center were awarded a grant in the amount of nearly $500,000 by the same federal government that indicted him.”

The CRIT/Somali Community Center, is what is known as an “ethnic based organization” that receives taxpayer money from the Tennessee Office for Refugees to provide refugee resettlement services.

CRIT and refugee job placement

A page on CRIT’s website details for potential employers all the advantages of hiring refugees.  Among the reasons listed:

“You [employer] could qualify for tax incentives by hiring refugees: Since many refugees receive public assistance, your company could qualify for tax credits and training incentives when you hire them.

Our job placement services are FREE: Rather than spend money placing job advertisements, contact the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee. Let us help you find qualified workers FREE OF CHARGE.

Refugees are flexible about what shift they work and what days they work: Many refugees will work second or third shift or weekends and holidays. Many of our refugee workers can work on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day.”

What the CRIT doesn’t say, however, is that it comes at a cost of employee demands to impose Shariah requirements related to prayer time, dress codes and days of religious observance.  (With regard to the negotiated drop of Labor Day in favor of Eid al-Fitr the retraction there was a significant nationally based “objection” voiced to Tysons.)

And why is Tyson’s Human Resource Manager, Gary Denton, on the CRIT Board?

The Rights Working Group

As stated on their website, the Rights Working Group (RWG) is “a diverse coalition of 340 local state and national organizations that works strenuously to protect the civil liberties and human rights of everyone irrespective or race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.”

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) is a member of RWG’s steering committee.

Member groups include some nationally based organizations such as the ACLU.  There are also state-based member groups.  Along with TIRRC and the TN ACLU, some of Tennessee member groups include the Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Center of Nashville, the Nashville Kurdish Forum, the Somali Students Association of TN, CRIT, and Black Unity which is located in Nashville.

Provisions included in the Code of Conduct posted on the Black Unity website:

         NO SNITCHING– The Police, Capitalism, the State etc. are an enemy to the people and to work with them is criminal, Ancestral Treason! Loose lips sink ships, snitching is unforgivable.

         WARRIOR CODE – Security first! Protect Women, Children, & Elders. Train; work out get your fighting skills up to par. Police your own community. We don’t need pigs overseeing us.

         NO FALSE FLAGGIN’ – Red, white, and blue ain’t never did sh*t for you. Don’t be a star-spangled slave. Get on the right team; rally round the flag on some Red, Black, and Green.

         BUILD SURVIVAL PROGRAMS – The people come first. You are your Brother/Sisters keeper. Capitalism teaches individualism, which is anti-African. We have to create programs that are for the best interest of the people (especially Food, Clothing and Shelter).

The Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE)

NICE is another Tennessee based Rights Working Group member group.  It is also another voluntary refugee resettlement agency.

Governor Haslam’s State Chief of Staff for the TN Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), Mr. Will Alexander (Sen. Lamar Alexander’s son), serves as an officer on the NICE Board in the position as Treasurer.  And NICE’s President & CEO, Gatluak Thach is on the Board of TIRRC alongside the co-chairs of Governor Haslam’s Muslim Advisory Council.

Full circle.  Very full circle.