“Allah says in this ayah [verse in the Quran] not to take non-Muslims as protectors. (3:118,4:144) Only fellow Muslims you can rely on should have authority or power over you. Because in the end, a non-Muslim who knows you, and who doesn’t accept Islam, is a rebel against Allah’s way of life and will harm you in the end or try to make you like him or her.” p.366
“Muslims know that Allah is the Supreme Being in the universe, therefore, His laws and commandments must form the basis for all human affairs. If we didn’t follow Allah’s commandments, but then still called ourselves Muslims, we would be hypocrites like the Christians, Buddhists and Jews are today.” p.381
This textbook is shown in the 2013 promotional video* for Annoor Academy Islamic school in Knoxville and helps us understand how young Muslims in Tennessee are being taught to think about the Jews and Christians that live in their communities.
Muslim American Center for Outreach (ACO) Director, Remziya Suleyman who is regarded as the voice of Tennessee Muslims, is a fan of Annoor Academy.
Even though Suleyman routinely criticizes and fights against Tennessee’s Republican legislators and their initiatives, she is a fan of Republican Senate District 21 candidate, Mwafaq Aljabbary, aka Mwafaq Mohammed, the president of her Kurdish mosque.
Is Suleyman compromising her political principles to support of a Muslim Republican candidate or is she simply following Quranic doctrine? Could it be that Suleyman understands what Aljabbary aka Mwafaq Mohammed’s end goal is?
The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) has addressed the situation Aljabbary/Mohammed will confront should he actually be elected to the TN General Assembly. AMJA issues legal opinions and interpretations of Islamic law specifically for Muslims living in the U.S. These rulings are issued by highly respected sharia scholars. AMJA also hosts the annual Imams training conference; Memphis imam Yasir Qadhi, spoke at the conference in 2012.
On the question of “Is Islam expandable enough to tolerate political parties?” AMJA responds:
“Tenth: There is no problem in making alliances with moderate secular trends in the stage of pursuance of establishing the Islamic State, on condition that the subject of alliance is legal, and that it must not comprise any bindings that would harm the message of the religion, or that would tie the hands of the people who are involved in the Da`wa works and prevent them from spreading the truth and from marching towards the objective of establishing the Islamic State.”
Just the grown-up version of what Muslim students in Tennessee are taught:
“The way of life known as Islam is a complete code of life. It was revealed by the Creator of the Universe as a guide for people to live their lives thereby. This being the case, Islam provides answers for individuals, families as well as societies and governments. There is no separation of Masjid and state for the object of the Islamic state is the establishment of the Deen of Allah. …. The basis of the legal and political system is the Shari’ah of Allah. Its main sources are the Qur’an and Sunnah. People do not make the laws, Allah does.” (What Islam Is All About, p.381)
Is this where we want to take the State of Tennessee?
*Use of this textbook at the school was exposed last year which may account for the reason that it is not seen anywhere in the school’s 2014 promotional video.
Until now, little has been written about the Knoxville Muslim community. Considering the Muslim Brotherhood ties and extremist associations of some Tennessee community leaders, no one should be surprised about what is being taught to Muslim students in the Knoxville Islamic school.
In 1984, Rafiq Mahdi helped establish the Annoor Mosque also known as the Muslim Community of Knoxville Community (MCK). It works in “close cooperation” with the Annoor Academy Islamic school, the UT Knoxville Muslim Students Assocation (MSA) and the Islamic Education Foundation of Knoxville. Services listed include the “Roots (Muslim Youth of Knoxville)” program, “Convert Connection” and “Friday Sermon.”
Mahdi, (formerly known as William Henderson), is a black American convert to Islam who first joined the racist and anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Later he left the NOI and completed his Islamic training in Saudi Arabia at the University of Medina, the same school where Memphis Imam Yasir Qadhi (who calls Christians spiritually flithy), was trained.
Before becoming the “unofficial Imam of the MCK,” Mahdi led the Masjid Al-Iman in Florida, after his colleague Raed Awad, stepped down. This “small fundamentalist mosque,” gained national attention because it was the spiritual home of the “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla who had ties to al Qaeda and was convicted of planning a jihad attack in 2002.
Mahdi’s buddy Raed Awad, described as “an Islamic fundamentalist Palestinian” was also the registered agent in Florida for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) during the time HLF was funneling money to Hamas, the military branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Awad was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF prosecution and identified as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2002, Mahdi helped fundraise for the KindHearts Foundation which was shut down under suspicion of raising money for Hamas.
Mahdi “envisions an Islamic empire, a place where, if you don’t follow Muslim rules, you are free – to leave the country….[he says], Islam is Islam, and it has been since it was revealed 1400 and some odd years ago, and it is not the right of any individual to take it upon themselves to change it based on their own rationale or want or desire. We want to keep it in the truest form.”
He claims that most Muslims do not see Hamas as a terrorist organization, and he would like to hear Osama Bin Laden’s “side of the story” because he’s not convinced he was behind 9/11.
Mahdi back in Knoxville
Mahdi returned to Knoxville in 2005. In 2010 he became Director of Community Development at ICNA Relief USA, the charity arm of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) named by the Muslim Brotherhood as a likeminded “organization[s] of our friends” in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum plan for North America. ICNA is also closely linked to a Pakistani Islamist group.
The Muslim Brotherhood “friends” were identified as groups that could help teach Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
ICNA has long held its annual conferences in conjunction with the Muslim American Society, also an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mahdi and ICNA share the same vision of a U.S. governed by sharia law. Is that why ACO Director Remziya Suleyman asked him to help promote her organization? Or do they simply share a fundamentalist’s belief of how to live by sharia law?
In 1999 ICNA’s President welcomed attendees with this message: “We have a culture and civilization which once ruled the world and still has the viability to rule the world again.” Any denial by Mahdi of the ultimate goal is simply taqiyya (Islamically sanctioned lying).
Mahdi and ICNA – made for each other
ICNA’s pursuit of establishing Islam as the “sole basis of global society and governance” was published in its 2010 Member’s Hand Book which also sanctioned deceit while proselytizing their way to this goal.
In 2012 ICNA got serious about its dawa (proselytizing) with a $3 million dollar campaign to promote sharia law in America including “Got Questions?, Get Answers” billboards in 20 cities, radio spots, college campus sharia seminars and a 25 city “education tour” to help Americans better understand sharia law and feel better about its encroachment into the public domain.
Did ICNA representatives tell their audiences that it’s now scrubbed website feature “Great Leaders of the last 100 Years” included Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and Sayyid Qutb the Muslim Brotherhood leader whose writings were the inspiration for al Qaeda?
Maybe they handed out copies of ICNA’s magazine which featured Muslim Brotherhood extremist leader Sheik Al-Qaradawi (banned from entry into the U.S. since 1999) who said democracy is permitted only when it complies with Shariah law.
Just like Annoor Academy’s textbook, ICNA promotes hatred of Jews and Christians: The curricula for ICNA’s women’s organization also promotes jihad, Sharia rule and warns of the “dangers of secular Western thoughts and ideas.”
In addition to ICNA Relief which Mahdi heads, ICNA has a youth division called Young Muslims and a multimedia division called Sound Vision that helps ICNA pursue its goals through dawa in U.S. public schools: “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.”
A TN American Muslim Advisory Council member, claimed that ICNA is one of the those organizations “that help American Muslims stay true to their religious values while being uniquely American.”
Naeem Baig, ICNA’s President serves in a leadership role with Religions for Peace USA (RFPUSA). TN ACO Director Remziya Suleyman is also a RFPUSA representative. Speaks volumes about this organization doesn’t it?
Mahdi Influences Tennessee’s young Muslims
Mahdi speaks at the UT Knoxville Muslim Students Association events and has the opportunity to influence even younger students when speaking at the Knoxville ROOTS programs (more on this later), and the Nashville-based Muslim Youth Network of TN (MYNT) retreats. In keeping with its Muslim Brotherhood themed training, MYNT had Dawud Walid from CAIR at their 2013 summer retreat.
It seems that Knoxville’s Islamic school Annoor Academy has followed Mahdi’s lead by choosing to use Yahiya Emerick’s textbook “What Islam Is All About.” Like Mahdi, Emerick also fantasizes about “How to Make America an Islamic Nation.” One of his books has been adopted into the curriculum of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the preeminent teaching center of sharia law and the institution that authenticated the English translation of “The Reliance of the Traveller, The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.”
Emerick’s textbook, following the dictates of the Quaran, warns students about getting too friendly with non-Muslims and denigrates Jews and Christians and their religions and beliefs. More than anything, Emerick offers Islam as a civilization alternative without warning students about the loss of individual freedom and liberties (especially for women), under sharia law.
These are the same ideas that Rafiq Mahdi brings to the Muslims of Knoxville who proudly proclaim him their “unofficial imam.”
What would happen if public schools stopped trying to teach morality and social justice? What would happen if our public school classrooms became depoliticized?
The Pew Forum and the First Amendment Center ask – “Teaching About Religion in Public Schools: Where do we go from here?”
A conference in 2003 was convened by The Pew Forum and the First Amendment Center to continue the discussion of teaching about religion in public schools. Haynes co-authored the forward of the conference report. Both “Finding Common Ground” and this report use 9-11 to discuss why religion needs to be taught in public schools:
“In the days following the terrorist-inspired tragedies, students everywhere came to school with questions about what they had seen and heard and read in the news media. How could a U.S. public school teacher respond to those questions without mentioning religion? Or without putting in context religious extremism by a small group of fanatics? Or without explaining that the Islamic faith of all but a few extremist Muslims would reject the taking of innocent life – any innocent life anywhere?…” (Finding Common Ground”)
“Educators struggle to teach students about Islam in the wake of the attacks. Schools do not present accurate lessons on Islam, said Warren Nord, a professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. (He, along with Charles C. Haynes, is the author of Taking Religion Seriously Across the Curriculum.) Nord said Islam is virtually ignored by most history books from its inception up to the late 1970s, when the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to power in Iran and American citizens were held hostage there. “Religion still shapes much of the world’s thinking, yet it is left out of the curriculum,”
Nord said. “We don’t understand Judaism if we filter it through Christianity. The same is true of Islam. It’s a moral notion to take people equally on their own terms. This isn’t easy. We should use primary sources: literature and art.” (“Teaching About Religion in Public Schools: Where Do We Go From Here?”)
As to Nord’s suggestion about using primary sources, why not use the Quran? Or use the Hadith which contains examples from Muhammad’s life which is what Sharia law is based on.
Thanks to the diligence of the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), social studies textbooks no longer ignore Islam although two in-depth studies have exposed the bias and inaccuracy in material that is included. Anecdotally we hear about more instances where teachers have brought in speakers to provide unvetted and imbalanced information about Islam. Or as recently happened in Florida, where a CAIR representative spoke to a history class.
In 2010, the Texas State Board of Education raised the issue of how Christianity and Islam are portrayed in public school textbooks. The Board passed a non-binding resolution stating its intent to send “a strong message” to textbook publishers that the Board would reject future textbooks that were pro-Islamic and biased against Christianity. (www.tea.state.tx.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=2147487008&libID=214748700)
The resolution details concerns related to the influence “increased investment” by Middle Easterners might have with regard to textbook publishers, which in turn, “could encourage biased treatment of religion in the texts used in Texas schools.” Appendix III of the resolution includes information about a past investment by the Dubai royal family in the Education Media Group, which controls two of the largest U.S. textbook publishing companies. Appendix I A-C cites specific excerpts from textbooks to support the resolution and Appendix II cites to more comprehensive textbook reviews in this regard.
Citizens for National Security (CAN), a Florida based 501(c)(3), recently issued an extensive report titled “Islam in Florida’s K-12 Textbooks” prepared by their Task Force on Islamic Influence in Florida K-12 Public Schools. The 29 – page report lists the “flawed” History and Geography textbooks currently in use in Florida public schools and explains in detail the nature of the flaws. The report can be accessed at https://cfns.us/CFNS-Textbook-Report-Signin.php
Additionally, ACT for America has prepared a comprehensive review of U.S. textbooks detailing the bias with which they discuss religions, in particular, Islam. ACT has mailed copies of the executive summary to school boards across the country. http://www.actforamericaeducation.com/textbook-project
Tennessee will adopt new social studies textbooks in 2014.
When asked recently about how he defines “liberty of conscience”, Haynes replied: “It is the right of each individual to follow his or her conscience, to live according to principles that shape one’s life. For people of faith, liberty of conscience is the freedom to do what they believe God requires.”
Isn’t that what the 9-11 terrorists claimed? How communitarian of them.