Right under our nose – the Muslim Brotherhood Affiliates and Allies in Tennessee
MSA (Muslim Students Association)
Chapters are listed at the following Tennessee colleges and universities: UT Knoxville, UT Martin, UT Chattanooga, University of Memphis, ETSU, MTSU, TSU, Tennessee Tech, Nashville State, Rhodes College, Vanderbilt, Sewanee and even MLK magnet high school in Nashville.
Should public money be used to fund these Muslim Brotherhood MSAs?
IIIT (International Institute for Islamic Thought)
The IIIT not only seeks to influence higher education, but also teachers and textbooks. They published textbooks written by Susan Douglas, a “principal researcher and writer” for the Council on Islamic Education (CIE) and on the editorial board for ISNA’s publication “Islamic Horizons.”
Douglass is most noted for drafting standards for teaching about religion in public schools; she co-authored the “Teacher’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools” which has been adopted and published by the Freedom Forum in Nashville. Douglas trains teachers how to teach about Islam using curriculum guides she creates. CIE influences textbooks by helping to write state standards.
CIE is credited with influencing textbook publishers to omit “anything that would enable students to understand conflicts between Islamic fundamentalism and Western liberalism.” In 1992 CIE sponsored an “Islam in textbooks conference” for publishing company representatives and their writers which according to the CIE website reported that this “marked the beginning of a sustained relationship between CIE and K-12 publishers.”
The same funders that helped establish CIE also helped establish CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
The Muslim Brotherhood affiliates are so embedded in our educational institutions that Dr. Ron Messier, former professor at Vanderbilt University and now MTSU Director of International Outreach, spoke at IIIT in 2011.
His co-panelist Yaqub Mirza was publicly linked to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other questionable involvement with al-Qaeda financiers. His other co-panelist, Louay Safi was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism trial of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s, just deported, Sami al-Arian.
In 2012, two of IIIT’s leaders posted a picture of themselves at a meeting with then President of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi. The IIIT website (picture now removed) says that Morsi, “welcomed the participation of IIIT in the reform [sic] of higher education in Egypt.”
Examples of Tennessee properties owned by Muslim Brotherhood front groups
Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN)
The warranty deed shows that ICN shares a P.O. Box address with the unindicted co-conspirator ISNA.
Believing that their numbers were sufficient to start impacting the community, the ICN’s March 1998 newsletter tells Nashville’s Muslims that “[t]he time is right for us to reach beyond the boundaries of the Masjid, to the fullest extent possible, and attempt to establish Islamic principles into the society where our children will be raised. We must attempt to influence the future direction of this society….” (emphasis added)
The same newsletter also solicited money for the Holy Land Foundation.
Before leaving the ICN to form another mosque, former CAIR chapter leader Awadh Binhazim was on the ICN board from 1999 – 2007. Binhazim conducted his dawa (proselytizing) through his Olive Tree Education project which promoted on-line writings by al-Qaeda’s Anwar Awlaki. Binhazim worked through the MSA at Tennessee State University (TSU), and served as a self-appointed Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt University. During his tenure in this position, he publicly admitted that Islamic law mandates capital punishment for homosexuality and that “as a Muslim he does not have a choice of whether to accept or reject what Islam teaches.”
Excerpts from some of Binhazim’s lectures are included in the “Losing Our Sons” documentary.
“Losing Our Sons” documents the radicalization of Memphis native Carlos Bledsoe who attended TSU and the ICN. He converted to Islam, taking the same name as the ICN imam, Abdulhakim Mohammed who is believed to have been mentor. Carlos went to Yemen to supposedly teach English at a school. It was discovered that Carlos attended a Yemeni school. Carlos returned to the U.S. as a jihadi who killed Pvt. Andrew Long at the Little Rock Army Recruiting Center.
Abdulhakim Mohammed was the imam at ICN from 1999-2007. Abdulhakim Mohammed was born in Yemen but spent much of his early childhood in Detroit, Michigan. He spent approximately eight years at the University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia, then returned to Yemen to work managing Islamic schools and other educational programs.
Mohammed was the imam at the Islamic Center in Ann Arbor and later at the radical Brooklyn Al Farooq mosque. Al-Farooq was called the “al-Qaeda mosque” because in the 1980’s and 90’s it served as a conduit for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. This is also the mosque attended by the “blind sheik” who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Mohammed helped ICN set up its private Islamic school, the Nashville International Academy.
He left the ICN suddenly in 2007 and went to Texas. After Nashville where for a short time, was the imam at Masjid Al-Hedayah in Ft. Worth, Texas. Right before that he and Awadh Binhazim rejoined their efforts and launched an outreach program “Muslimnama.”
In 2008, Imam Mohammed joined Mohamed Elibiary’s Freedom & Justice Foundation Board. Elibiary has a long and public relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. He admits having a relationship with an official of the Holy Land Foundation who is now in jail for helping to finance HAMAS. Elibiary also served on the Board of CAIR’s Dallas-Fort Worth chapter.
Paul “Iesa” Galloway also has a close relationship with Elibiary and also served on Elibiary’s board. Galloway arrived in Nashville during the summer of 2014 to take over as Director of Tennessee’s American Center for Outreach (ACO). Galloway was the founder and Executive Director of CAIR’s office in Houston, and still serves on MuslimMatters.org leadership team with Memphis Imam Yasir Qadhi.
The next imam to lead ICN was Mohamed Ahmed, a graduate of the preeminent teaching center of sharia law, Al Azhar University, in Egypt. In 2011 Imam Ahmed gave a lecture in Nashville in which he defended the Egyptian police forced virginity tests performed on the female protesters in Tahrir Square. (starting about minute 37:03)
The ICN’s ad in the January/February 2015 Islamic Horizons (Muslim Brotherhood ISNA’s magazine) indicates that they are still looking for a new imam.
Masjid al-Salam Mosque, aka, The Muslim Society of Memphis
The mosque’s warranty deed shows that the property is owned by NAIT (North American Islamic Trust), another Muslim Brotherhood front group named in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum. NAIT is an affiliate of Muslim Brotherhood ISNA. NAIT also owns many other properties in Memphis along with properties surrounding the property that contains the mosque.
“NAIT is reportedly largely funded from overseas, particularly from Saudi Arabia.” NAIT is reported to hold the deeds to well over 25% of the mosques and Islamic centers in the U.S. including the Bridgeview mosque near Chicago. The Chicago Tribune did an expose about how this mosque became dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, including a prayer leader partially paid for by the Saudi government.
The Masjid Al-Noor (Memphis)
A property also owned by NAIT which houses both the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis and the Muslim Students Association.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM)
Even though the warranty deed of the ICM does not show a Muslim Brotherhood owner, the mosque in words and actions, reflects the Brotherhood’s ideology.
In December 2008, Israel launched “Operation Cast Lead” against HAMAS to stop the increased rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. In downtown Murfreesboro, members from the ICM led by Imam Osama Bahloul, protested the “war on Gaza” in support of the terrorist group HAMAS. Signage used the “Palestine will be free” slogan that reflects the HAMAS and Muslim Brotherhood goal that there would be no Israel between the Jordan River and Mediterranean, that the State of Israel would cease to exist.
Prior to construction of the new mosque, it was discovered that the ICM was using and distributing literature published by Brotherhood front groups and recommending literature written by individuals openly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
For example, MAS, the Muslim American Society was acknowledged in 2004 by its Secretary-General that MAS had been founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Institute of Islamic Information and Education is part of ISNA (green brochure). Ahmad Sakr of The Foundation for Islamic Knowledge was a founding member of the MSA, and a Board member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s North American Islamic Trust (NAIT.) He also served as the first director and representative of the Muslim World League (MWL), a group that has reportedly been involved in the funding of Hamas, al-Qaeda and other terrorist outfits.
It was also reported that the mosque’s reading list posted on its now scrubbed website, recommended works by known Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Jamal Badawi and Taha Jabir.
At around this same time, research exposed ICM board member Mosaad Rawash’s public support for HAMAS and participation at a MAS (Muslim American Society) summer camp. His now deleted MySpace page (scrubbed for internet archive as well), had a picture honoring HAMAS co-founders Ahmed Yassin, and Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi over a crowd of armed Hamas militants.
After a short suspension, the ICM cleared Rawash and reinstated him to the board.
Since occupying its new building, CAIR director Nihad Awad has been a welcomed visitor and senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, HLF unindicted coconspirator, Jamal Badawi was invited as part of an interfaith program. Badawi is listed in the Explanatory Memo and in the Brotherhood telephone directory also introduced into evidence during the HLF prosecution.
Ossama Bahloul has been the imam since 2008. He is a graduate of Al Azhar University in Cairo, the center for Sunni Salafism. Bahloul has a degree in Dawa (prosletyzing for Islam.) His thesis was the establishment of a Dawa curriculum aimed at secularists, atheists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Al Azhar is credited with starting the Islamist movement with training from Islamic radicals and closely tied to Muslim Brotherhood and stands for the propagation of Islam and Sharia as a complete way of life.
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.
TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) profiles cont’d
One small postscript to Newsletter #4 –
Mention of one of the Institute’s more high profile graduates was omitted – Muneer Awad who is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma CAIR chapter. He sued and enjoined the Oklahoma constitutional amendment banning Sharia law in Oklahoma.
This newsletter and the one to follow will profile more of the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) members.
Abdulkadir Gure – Middle Tennessee representative
Former taxi driver turned Arabic instructor at Vanderbilt University (listed as a “lecturer, Religious Studies Dept), he is affiliated with the Nashville Metro Taxi Drivers Alliance, which offered free rides last year to Muslims going to legislative plaza to protest against the anti-terrorism legislation. He is also affiliated with the Workers Interfaith Network in Memphis and is a Middle Tennessee organizer for TIRRC.
Of greater interest perhaps is his work with the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee (CRIT), formerly named the Somali Community Center. In 2007 Abdirizak Hassan, the Center’s Executive Director until last year, 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.
This 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 halwa money changing business out of a convenience store. As reported 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 even when it was named the 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.
Mwafaq Aljabary – Middle Tennessee representative
This individual also goes by the name Mwafaq Mohammed. In 2010 he was listed as the president of the Salahadeen Islamic Center (see newsletter #4 for more info about this center). He is employed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and is involved with a group attempting to start the Nolensville Academy of Science & Math charter school in Metro Nashville.
Haneef Shabazz – Middle Tennessee representative
Property records indicate that he owns property in the Jamaat ul-Fuqra (Islamville) compound in Stewart County. Jamaat ul-Fuqra, also known as Muslims of America (MoA), has been described as a “Sunni militant group”.
They follow Pakistani cleric Sheikh Gilani whose terrorist training video “Soldiers of Allah” shows Gilani explaining how to kill American infidels – “Act like you are his friend. Then kill him.” In 2006, the videos were confiscated and sealed by the Department of Justice. It is reported that Jamaat ul-Fuqra/MoA have approximately 35 compounds across the U.S.
Saleh Sbenaty – Middle Tennessee representative
Immigrated from Syria in 1982 to attend college in the U.S. and now teaches engineering at MTSU. He is a board member and on the planning committee for the Murfreesboro mosque. He was a vocal and active opponent of the anti-terrorism legislation and was quoted in the Tennessean a number of times on the issue. He also spoke out against the law during a panel discussion at the First Amendment Center in 2011. He was recently advertised as participating in a program with the Society for Universal Dialogue (SUD) on environmental issues.
Dr. Mohammed Moinuddin – West Tennessee representative
In 2008 the Director of the FBI presented Dr. Moinuddin with the Community Leadership Award. He is also a trustee of the Memphis Islamic Center and a board member of the Masjid al-Noor. Per the warranty deed, this mosque, which also houses the Muslim Student Association (MSA), is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), one of the organizations listed in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory memorandum.
It has been reported elsewhere that in 1993 Dr. Moinuddin attended an event in Virginia involving Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti. Dr. Moinuddin was later quoted speaking favorably about Al-Hanooti. In 2000 Al-Hanooti headed the Michigan CAIR office. In 2008 he was indicted on charges of spying for Iraqi intelligence. He has been identified by the FBI as a top fundraiser for Hamas (over $6 million) and is named as both an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial (identified as top Muslim Brotherhood leadership), and a conspirator in the trial of “blind sheik” Omar Rahman (1993 World Trade Center bombing). See, “Blue Suede Jihad: Major Hamas Fundraiser Welcomed in the Land of Elvis”, Patrick Poole, July 1, 2010.
In July 2010, the Masjid al-Noor posted an announcement on their website that Al-Hanooti would be speaking at the mosque that month. When the event was published by Patrick Poole in his article “Blue Suede Jihad”, the mosque scrubbed the announcement from its website and denied that the event was ever scheduled. Poole notes in a follow-up piece on August 6, 2010, that “..we’ve been provided two separate classified terror alerts that were sent to Memphis-area law enforcement agencies prior to the publication of my initial report warning them of al-Hanooti’s upcoming appearance.”
Younis Sherif – West Tennessee representative
Mr. Sherif is active at the Masjid As-Salam, another Memphis mosque owned by NAIT, and with the Muslim Society of Memphis located in another property also owned by NAIT.
Three other members, Dorothy Awayyed, Hanan Ayesh, and Zak Mohyuddin (brother-in-law to Sabina Mohyuddin in newsletter #6), are all East Tennessee representatives. All were actively and vocally opposed to the anti-terrorism legislation and lobbied legislators to that end.
Many connections between individuals and organizations; many affiliations with Muslim Brotherhood entities. We have to assume that Commissioner Gibbons and Asst. Commissioner David Purkey who heads the TN Office of Homeland Security have all the same information and simply discounted it all in order to move forward and begin working closely with this group.