Is Nashville “Music City, USA” or “Little Kurdistan” – you decide.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said the needs of “new Americans” were a top priority, so he established the city’s Office of New Americans:
“The number of foreign-born residents in Nashville has more than doubled over the past decade. And today our city is the proud home of the nation’s largest Kurdish population, as well as growing enclaves of immigrants from Somalia, Sudan and all over the world.”
Mayor Dean refers to the two out of three groups that have brought political Islam and sharia law to Nashville; Kurds and Somalis. They have been brought to Nashville through the federal refugee resettlement program.
Immigrants – turned – advocates talk about “Nashville for all of us” but instead choose to live like the Mayor’s office said, in enclaves. They complain about being treated as “the other,” but through self-segregation, guard against assimilating into and adapting to the American culture.
When they self-segregate its called preserving their culture. When native-born Tennesseans self-segregate, it’s called racism.
Kurdish Islamist agitator Remziya Suleyman whines endlessly about being thought of as “the other.” However, she was quick to appropriate Nashville’s generous spirit for her community’s political purposes, calling it “Little Kurdistan.”
Drost Kokoye, an activist Nashville’s Kurdish activist community, is known for her Jew-hatred and pro-Hamas politics. She worked in Suleyman’s organization, TIRRC, the ACLU and helped establish and is a board member of the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC). She’s now at UTKnoxville where she agitates with the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and has led pro-Ferguson rallies.
Ironically, Drost’s mother is a Parent Ambassador to new immigrant families as part of Mayor Dean’s Office for New Americans, even while her daughter Drost doesn’t want to be called a “new American” or even an “American.”
Enclaves in Tennessee?
Early on, the federal policy for resettling refugees advised scattering them across the country as a way to disperse the impact on receiving communities. In 1981 the federal government reversed this practice and instead started placing refugees of similar ethnic groups in the same area. Today, migration patterns upon arrival in the U.S. either for jobs, welfare benefits or to join an established ethnic community, help fuel the growth of the enclaves described by Mayor Dean.
There are enclaves like the Muslims of American (MoA) compound in Stewart County, Tennessee.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says Muslims of America (MoA) is linked to the Jamaat ul-Fuqra Pakistani militant group.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes MoA as “virulently anti-Semitic,” attributed also with anti-Christian and anti-American rhetoric and tied to “a terrorist organization that has carried out firebombings and murders in the United States.”
There is also evidence of enclaves in the U.S. governed by sharia law.
Importing sharia law and terrorism into the U.S. via Islamic enclaves
According to a Pew Research survey,, “the estimated share of legal Muslim immigrants entering the U.S. each year has roughly doubled, from about 5 percent of legal immigrants in 1992 to about 10 percent in 2012.” The Obama administration has helped accelerate this increase. Legal immigration in the form of refugee resettlement contributes to this growth.
A 2012 poll found that 40% of Muslims living in the U.S. want to be governed by sharia law and 32% want sharia to govern all Americans. Almost half surveyed said “Americans who offer criticism or parodies of Islam should face criminal charges,” while “one in eight” called instead for the death penalty.
Where will this take our Nation?
Because of the U.S. refugee resettlement and asylum program, and Washington’s refusal to stop importing people from terror-sponsoring countries, we have experienced the Boston marathon bombing, the Portland Christmas tree bombing threat, and the New York Times Square bomb threat, to name a few.
How did two Iraqi refugees get to Kentucky when their fingerprints were on an IED that killed five soldiers in Iraq? Because our security screening is lax two jihadis and their radical Islamist ideology, were brought to the U.S. as refugees. Watch the video clip about the case.
In December 2013, liberal California Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein spoke about the Islamic terrorist threat to the U.S.. She acknowledged that there is a, “real displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist jihadist Islamic community, and that is that the West is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that the only thing that’s going to solve this is Islamic sharia law and the concept of the caliphate.”
Sen. Feinstein suggests a connection between jihadists and sharia law.
The Tie Between Minneapolis and Nashville – “Little Mogadishu”
The vast majority of Somalis living in the U.S. have been brought by federal contractors paid by the U.S. refugee resettlement program; 9,000 in 2014 and over 2,800 so far in 2015.
The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis is called “Little Mogadishu” because it has the largest concentration of Somali Muslims living in the U.S. In August 2014, mainstream media also referred to it as “fertile ground for Islamic terrorist groups recruiting new fighters.” The report cited at least 40 residents who went to fight with ISIS, a pattern similar to the Minneapolis Somalis who joined al-Shabaab in 2013.
The Somali community complained to the Secretary of Home Land Security that their young men had no jobs, nor training or economic opportunity or “an appropriate place to live.” This is why they became “disillusioned and influenced by terrorist organizations” and then leave to go fight with ISIS.
How does this explain the FBI’s newest “Most Wanted Terrorist” a Somali who became a naturalized U.S. citizen through the refugee resettlement program. He drove a taxi cab in D.C. and Virginia while he was recruiting for terrorists.
So, the Obama administration agreed to spend millions of dollars for job training and after-school activities.
The Somali enclave Mayor Dean admires comes with a Somali gang problem. This also connects Minneapolis and Nashville in ways the Mayor likely never envisioned as the price his city would pay for its Somali enclave. Part of Somali gang activity includes human sex trafficking and prostitution. The largest Somali sex trafficking ring which operated out of Minneapolis, Nashville and few other cities, was prosecuted in the federal courthouse in Nashville.
“Little Kurdistan” – Another Nashville Islamist Enclave
Since 2007, federal contractors have been paid to bring approximately 200,000 Iraqis to the U.S.. Catholic Charities brought the first Kurds to Nashville in 1976. They were joined by some Iranian Kurds and then Kurds fleeing Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Between refugee resettlement and “secondary migration” (resettling in one place and moving to another), Nashville has the largest Kurdish community in the U.S. The number is estimated at about 11,000. Their mosque is the Salahadeen Center.
Programs like Nashville Public Television’s series titled “Next Door Neighbors,” just like the “Welcome to Shelbyville” detailing the arrival of Somalis to the town, go to great lengths to characterize these refugees as “hardworking and grateful” to be in this country.
In 2007, the Kurdish Pride Gang (KPG) which grew out of the Nashville refugee Kurdish enclave, shined a different spotlight on the Kurdish community. Police described gang members as “increasingly vicious and brazen.” Gang experts warn that gangs made up of people that come from war-torn countries pose a “unique problem” because they are desensitized to violence and dismissive of authority.
As of 2012, Metro police used a new tactic to break the KPG gang. A judge ruled the gang a public nuisance and issued an injunction that prevents the gang from gathering together in public places.
What the propaganda pieces don’t disclose is that most of the pro-Islamist activism has been initiated and led by members of the Nashville Kurdish community actively abetted by Nashville’s Somali community.
For example, shortly after launching the American Center for Outreach (ACO), Remziya Suleyman aligned her organization with Muslim Brotherhood CAIR. Suleyman brought CAIR to Nashville to train young Muslims in advocating for political Islam. She mentors them in leading a sharia-adherent lifestyle despite admitting “she never knew the concept of sharia.” She has ceded leadership of ACO to former CAIR-Houston director, Paul “Iesa” Galloway.
ACO’s Civic Engagement Coordinator, Drost Kokoye, another member from the Kurdish community helped start the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and to organize and lead anti-Israel rallies in Nashville. Kurdish Islamist Jihan Abdullah worked for ACO, while her sister Kasar, serves on the AMAC board.
Can Mayor Karl Dean explain again why we should be excited about these enclaves in Nashville?
An August 2014 Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) analysis of Tennessee’s employment growth since 2000 shows that the jobs have gone to legal and illegal immigrants.
“Tennessee’s working-age immigrant population grew 176 percent from 2000 to 2014, one of the highest of any state in the nation. Yet the number of natives working in 2014 was actually lower in 2000.”
CIS used the same data the government uses to determine labor market participation.
Who are legal immigrants in Tennessee?
Refugees are legal immigrants that are brought to Tennessee by federal contractors like Catholic Charities. They come with work authorization and access to all forms of public assistance including TennCare, SSI and cash welfare, if they meet the eligibility requirements. Federal contractors like Catholic Charities always say that the federal government pays the full cost of the resettlement program. That is not true. The federal government has admitted many times that they have shifted the bulk of the program’s cost to the States.
The FY2015 “Key Indicators for Refugee Placement” is a report providing information to help the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and its federal contractors decide where to send refugees in the coming year. In the report is information about whether a state has decided to expand its Medicaid program because this is a program with high refugee enrollment.
Federal contractor, Tennessee Office for Refugees (TOR), a department of Catholic Charities of TN, has run the refugee resettlement program in Tennessee since late 2008. During the first 3 years TOR ran the program, they brought approximately 4,500 refugees to the state so TennCare enrollment within this group more than doubled.
In November 2013, Haslam admitted that increased TennCare costs “threaten to gobble up to 60% of all new revenue in the state’s upcoming 2015 budget.”
Another “key indicator” included in the report is refugee employment data by state. Federal
contractors uniformly report that a high percentage of their refugee clients are employed within the first 3 – 6 months of having arrived and become economically self-sufficient shortly thereafter. The following Tennessee employment data was reported:
- out of 1809 refugees brought to Tennessee by contractors, only 52% were eligible for employment
- of the 952 eligible for employment, only 2/3, or about 618 entered employment
- 90 days after entering employment, about 506 were still employed
Federal contractors are supposed to report 90 and 180 day employment retention outcomes to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement ORR). This report did not include the 180 day employment retention information. “Friends of Refugees,” is a non-partisan volunteer watchdog group that includes former refugee resettlement agency volunteers. A recent story about Tennessee federal contractor Bridge that resettles refugees in Knoxville and Chattanooga, says the employment data is not accurate:
“A former case manager also sent us information about the agency and pointed out that the refugee employment figures are dishonest as most of the refuges have only temporary employment that does not help them to pay rent and be self-sufficient. The nature of the temp jobs also means that the refugees will be unemployed just a short time after the agency reports them employed to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at 90 days and 180 days.”
Economic self-sufficiency is supposed to be a guiding principle of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. But federal law says that refugees can use every public assistance program such as Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, and public housing, and still be considered “economically self-sufficient” as long as they don’t receive cash welfare.
“Welfare use is staggering among refugees. Welfare usage is never counted by officials as part of the cost of the program. Yet, when it is included, the total cost of the refugee program soars to at least 10-20 billion a year”. (see Fact Sheet)
Of 58,238 refugees resettled in the U.S.,the 2012 ORR report to Congress shows that the unemployment rate is the highest it has been since 2007, 73% receive food stamps, 24% use public housing, 19% are on SSI, 46.5% receive cash welfare and 60% are enrolled in Medicaid or have received 8 months of medical assistance if non-Medicaid eligible.
The Chamber of Commerce Inside and Outside the Governor’s office
In 2001 the Nashville Chamber of Commerce took money from the ORR for the “Building the New American Community” pilot program of ‘gateway’ refugee resettlement. The US Chamber of Commerce and its member chambers like the Nashville and Tennessee Chambers, support refugee resettlement. So while crony capitalists exploit ‘serf’ labor from other countries, U.S. and Tennessee citizens can line up for work.
The TN Chamber of Commerce also supports Medicaid expansion and can work the inside track to the Governor’s office. Leslie Hafner, Haslam’s director for legislation is also the business partner of the Chamber’s chief lobbyist, David McMahan.
So whose economic interests does Governor Haslam really represent? Unemployed Tennessee citizens or the imported refugee “serf” labor? Who eneded up with the 170,000 new jobs?
Part 2 to come.
It’s no news to anyone listening in Tennessee, that Governor Haslam is warning that projected revenue shortfalls will mean budget cuts.
Speaker Harwell acknowledged that with “revenues down a little this year, [balancing the state’s budget] will be tough. But we will stick to the principles of fiscal responsibility and balance it responsibly.”
On January 2, 2014, The Tennessean reported: “The governor has argued that the annual growth in Medicaid spending has put the squeeze on other programs the state would like to spend money on. ‘Medicaid takes up all of our new dollars, and that’s just the hard fact,’ the governor told reporters after a Rotary Club speech last month.”
The week of January 20, 2014, the newspaper ran a series titled “Broken Trust” about the 7,100 most vulnerable Tennesseans with developmental disabilities who are forced to go without needed services because of the state’s failure to allocate the funds.
The funds needed to provide these services are Medicaid funds. These are dollars that the State spends and the federal government matches.
Rep. Bill Sanderson believes that these state Medicaid dollars should NOT go to Tennesseans with developmental disabilities, but instead, to refugees who don’t even live in Tennessee yet. He’s referring to the refugees that are eventually brought to Tennessee by Catholic Charities, a federal contractor that gets paid a lot of taxpayer money to bring refugees to Tennessee.
When refugees are brought to Tennessee by the federal contractors, they are immediately enrolled into any and all public assistance programs, including, state-funded TennCare, SSI, and cash welfare. The federal government used to reimburse the state for 3 years worth of what it cost the state to provide these benefits. But typical of the federal government, they broke their promise to the states and stopped reimbursing the states for what the federal program cost.
A recent op-ed in The Tennessean notes: “The federal government assumed there would be a cost to states when it established the resettlement program in 1980. That’s why it promised three years of support for refugees, reimbursing states for their social-service costs. That period quickly shrank from three years to eight months, and there is no longer any reimbursement for state costs. The federal government has repeatedly documented the fact that refugee program costs are being shifted to states.”
In fact, the federal government acknowledged in multiple reports, that they were simply “passing these costs onto the state.” During an August 2013 legislative hearing it was disclosed that when Catholic Charities took over the program, the number of refugees being brought to Tennessee increased pretty dramatically and that in 2011, for example, 58% of over 2000 people they brought to Tennessee, were enrolled into TennCare (that’s a little more than 1,000 people).
Last year, a bill was brought to Rep. Sanderson’s committee that was designed to help Tennessee figure out how much it was costing the state to pay for the federal program, a program that the state withdrew from in 2008 and is now run by a federal contractor.
But Rep. Sanderson who scathingly accused the bill sponsors and advocates of going on a “witch hunt against Catholic Charities,” related how he had watched a “60 Minutes” segment about refugees and it convinced him that they needed our help. He enthusiastically joined up with the federal contractors and led the effort to not pass the bill out of the committee.
The lobbyist for Catholic Charities was also the lobbyist for the TN Disability Coalition supported Sanderson’s position. Isn’t this Disability Coalition supposed to advocate for the needs of the 7,100 people with disabilities waiting for services? Did this lobbyist have a conflict of interest? The lobbyist may have had a conflict of interest since she is no longer the Disability Coalition lobbyist.
But how does the Governor propose a budget and how does the legislature pass a budget if they don’t know what everything costs? What if they knew how much money the federal contractors were racking up for the state and then decided not to spend that money on that program? Could they use that state money instead for some of the 7,100 Tennesseans with disabilities?
Maybe Speaker Harwell needs have a heart to heart with her House colleague.
Maybe Sanderson hadn’t read about or met one of the 7,100 Tennesseans with disabilities. Maybe they need “60 Minutes” to help them get his attention.
Better yet, let him and Speaker Harwell know what Tennesseans think:
“Kurdistan, the safest and most prosperous region of Iraq. But for years, the country harbored a secret. Many of its women have been cut in the name of religion. Few in the outside world knew that female genital mutilation existed here until a charity launched a campaign with the help of local filmmakers to tell women’s stories.”
The documentary addresses the social, cultural, and religious beliefs that support the practice of FGM. The film pointedly asks whether “enough is being done to end the practice in Kurdistan” since only very recently have steps been taken to halt this savage, dehumanizing practice.
Studies by the Human Rights Ministry of Iraqi Kurdistan, WADI (a German-Iraqi human and women’s rights organization) put the numbers anywhere from 40.7% – 57% of girls that have been mutilated. A more recent and larger study conducted in the city of Erbil found a self-reported incidence of 70% but a lower 58.6% upon examination but nonetheless concluded that “[p]revalence of female genital mutilation among Muslim Kurdish women in Erbil city is very high.”
Women interviewed for a 2010 Human Rights report on FGM in Kurdistan gave the following reasons for FGM:
It is linked to Kurdish cultural identity [of tribal honor/shame]
It is a religious imperative [a practice permitted by Islam]
It is necessary to control women’s sexuality; and
It is carried out as a result of social pressure [of Islamic mores]
The report notes that while FGM is not addressed in the Quran [but is in Hadith or the traditions of Mohammed], some interpretations of Islamic law followed by the majority of Iraqi Kurds, makes FGM permissible for girls. The report includes reference to a hadith that “mentions the Prophet Muhammad telling a woman who had been circumcising girls ‘to cut only a little’ thus, according to these clerics, Mohammed did not ban the practice and FGM is permitted.
Although FGM was banned in 2011, Human Rights Watch reported one year later that the Kurdistan Regional Government had done nothing to enforce the law. More recently though, there have been reports that awareness raising campaigns are having a positive impact.
FGM in Tennessee
The “Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996” was introduced by Democrats Sen. Thelma Harper and Rep. Lois DeBerry (deceased). Their bill stated the following reasons about why Tennessee needed a bill to protect women from the FGM assault:
“WHEREAS, female genital mutilation is defended by both men and women in the cultures where it is practiced as a rite of passage and a social prerequisite of marriage as well as a method to control a woman’s sexuality; and
WHEREAS, while female genital mutilation is prevalent in many African and Middle Eastern countries, it also is found in some Asian countries and among immigrant populations in Western Europe and North America; and
WHEREAS, due to the immigration of people from countries where female genital mutilation is practiced, the mutilation has continued to take place in the United States. Usually the immigrants will either send their daughters back to the native country to have female genital mutilation performed or a group of them will pay to bring a midwife to the United States to perform the painful procedure on their young daughters…”
The “immigrants” referenced in the preamble to the legislation filed by the Democrats were most likely correlated to the influx of refugees being brought to Tennessee by the refugee resettlement federal contractors.
Despite being a crime in Tennessee since 1996, 21 cases of FGM in Tennessee were reported last year. Legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly last year now requires that healthcare providers report cases of FGM to law enforcement.
We hope word has spread to Catholic Charities and the other refugee resettlement agencies as well as Nashville’s “Little Kurdistan” and that the local Muslims are aware and speaking out against this barbaric sexual mutilation, helping their community learn that some customs are better left behind in the old country.
The Tennessee legislative session has a unique way of showing the citizens and taxpayers of Tennessee who isn’t protecting their rights. It makes that old saying – “with friends like these, who needs enemies”, particularly meaningful. Some of these individuals are elected officials and some are those hired to influence the elected:
I. Sen. Brian Kelsey– newly appointed Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Kelsey worked tirelessly as committee chair to defeat 2nd amendment rights bill SB250. The 10th Amendment Center’s response to Sen. Kelsey’s first efforts is worth reading.
Sen. Kelsey saved the real show for his follow-up 22 minute monologue during the next hearing on this bill. His efforts generated a number of newspaper ads in the Germantown News, Bartlett Express and Shelby Sun Times:
Earlier in the year he lent his support to the Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Memphis as a speaker at the “Advocating for TN Muslims – Memphis fundraiser”.
He is up for re-election in 2014 – or not.
II. The next biggest showman at the Tennessee legislature this session was Rep. Bill Sanderson’s performance in the House State Government Committee as he passionately spoke against a bill that would have helped the state of Tennessee figure out how much the federal government’s refugee resettlement program costs the state. Guess he missed the lesson about the 10th amendment and the federal government not being allowed to raid state budgets.
He is up for re-election in 2014 – or not.
III. But the award for one of the most offensive remarks made this year goes to liberal Democrat Rep. Johnny Shaw who said that only “bona fide citizens” (aka non-conservatives) have the right to bring their concerns to state representatives.
No one shouldn even consider him for re-election.
Here come the lobbyists….
It’s pretty amazing how a red state’s legislature is flooded with lobbyists representing every known liberal/socialist/progressive agenda.
I. ACLU-TN (reported revenue for most recent publicly available 990 from 2010, was $501,868 with total gifts, grants and contributions from 2006 – 2010 totaling $1,211,336), director Hedy Weinberg has been a fixture at the Tennessee legislature for a long time. She is now joined by her daughter Hannah Cornfield, a “Civic Engagement Fellow” with the Muslim American Center for Outreach (ACO), Remziya Suleyman’s organization.
II. Staying true to the roots of political shariah, Ms. Suleyman recently spoke at the birthplace of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. On Saturday, April 6, 2013, Suleyman was part of the Muslim Brotherhood Student Association, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus, Spring Camp 2013. This MSA was the very first U.S. Muslim Brotherhood established organization. MSAs across the country have become the training ground for Suleyman’s jihad generation.
III. Nathan Ridley, lobbyist for the TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) just happens to be married to the legislature’s Director of Legislative Administration, Connie Ridley, who is probably a great source of insider information and an asset to Mr. Ridley’s activities as a lobbyist. Not surprising though that TIRRC can afford a highbrow firm lobbyist given that in 2011 (last 990 available), they reported $1,169,811 in total revenue. Lobbying expenditures since 2008 total $556,506 with $160,881 spent in 2011. Total gifts, grants and contributions since 2007 reported total $3,901,899.
IV. Who even knew that Jennifer Murphy was Catholic Charities Tennessee lobbyist? Some may be surprised to see that the lobbyist positions don’t follow the Catholic doctrine. In fact, a recent disclosure was made that the University of TN educated Florida Planned Parenthood lobbyist who testified in support of infanticide, was on the board of Florida Catholic Charities!
Seems like liberal/socialist/progressive causes are well-funded and well represented in the Tennessee state house.
 TCPJ is planning to publish an extensive background piece on Ms. Weinberg.