In Saudi Arabia the mutaween — more properly known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice — are the religious police. Their job is to keep an eye on the citizenry and enforce the strict Wahhabist version of sharia that functions as the law of the land in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One of their more infamous deeds was to force a group of schoolgirls back inside their burning building because they were not properly veiled. Better to burn to death than to shamelessly expose their flesh!
At last weekend’s Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan, a combination of the Dearborn police and private security cops acted as the mutaween for the Arabs of Dearborn. It seems that four blasphemous Christians — Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood, Paul Rezkalla, and Negeen Mayel — had the effrontery to proclaim their faith on the public sidewalk outside the festival, and all four were arrested for “breaching the peace” of Dearborn.
I heard about this disgraceful incident a week ago. I’ve been waiting for the confiscated video footage to appear so that I could post a full account of what happened, but the police have not as yet returned the cameras taken from the people they arrested. The video below — which shows the moments immediately prior to the arrest — was evidently not among the confiscated materials:
It’s important to realize that these cops were enforcing the law against defamation of Islam as prescribed by sharia. Anyone who proclaims a faith other than Islam to a Muslim is guilty of slander or defamation of Islam. However — and this is important — this law applies only within Dar al-Islam, territory that is under the rule of Islam.
In other words, the Arabs of Dearborn have declared their sidewalks to be official Islamic territory, and the Dearborn police are the de facto enforcers of sharia law in that territory.
WorldNetDaily charted the course of events at the Arab Festival, beginning with an article on June 18, just prior to the arrests. A different Christian group was able to get judicial approval for its plans to hand out materials at the festival:
Court: Christian Tracts Allowed at Arab-Fest
City police had threatened arrest for handing out information
An emergency motion has been granted by a federal appeals court in order for a Christian to hand out information about his faith at the annual Arab Festival in Dearborn, Mich., this weekend without being arrested.
A three-judge panel from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals today granted the motion requested by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Pastor George Saieg, a Sudanese Christian who has been trying to get permission to distribute literature and talk about his Christianity to Muslims at the festival.
The event is Friday through Sunday in Dearborn, where an estimated 30,000 of the city’s 98,000 residents are Muslim.
According to the law center, Judge Paul Borman just a week ago had affirmed the city’s ban on handing out Christian material near the festival. It was last year when Dearborn police threatened Saieg with arrest if he handed out information on Christianity near the festival.
But the judges’ ruling was of no avail to the “Dearborn Four”; they were arrested anyway. As WND reported on June 21:
‘Allahu Akbar!’ Shouted as Christians Cuffed
Four Christians were arrested and thrown out of a public Arab festival in Michigan — and at least two people claim a crowd cheered “Allahu Akbar!” while the Christians were led away in handcuffs for doing nothing more than engaging in peaceful dialogue and videotaping the event.
Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood, Paul Rezkalla and 18-year-old Negeen Mayel attended the 15th annual Dearborn Arab International Festival on June 18 in Dearborn, Mich., where an estimated 30,000 of the city’s 98,000 residents are Muslim.
The American Arab Chamber of Commerce announced the event was expected to draw “over 300,000 people from across the country, Canada and the Middle East.” The festival covers 14 blocks and is free and open to the public.
Qureshi and Mayal are former Muslims who are now Christians. Mayal’s parents emigrated from Afghanistan. Wood is a former atheist. All are from a Christian group called Acts 17 Apologetics.
In the following video after the arrest, Qureshi said his group took “extra precautions” to prevent disruptions by not handing out pamphlets and to speak only to people “who first approached us”:
“This was to limit accusations of instigation and disruption,” he explained. “We knew people have a tendency to accuse us of being disruptive, of inciting and instigating. So we wanted to make sure we did absolutely nothing of the sort.”
According to his post, the video footage was confiscated by police. Versions posted online had been removed at the time of this report.
“[W]e will post footage when the police give us back our cameras,” he wrote.
Qureshi recounted his experience:
– – – – – – – – –
At one point, we came across a festival volunteer who seemed to take issue with us simply being at the festival. We could tell he had a problem with us, and so we asked “What are we doing wrong?” He said, “Put the camera and microphone down, and I’ll tell you.” (By the way, there was more to this conversation, but when you see the footage, I think you’ll see I’m being fair in my summary.) So I obliged, handing the microphone to David and asking him to not record the man. I then approached him and said, “No camera, no mic, tell me what we’re doing wrong.” He said “Get away from me!” (or something to that effect). Again, I obliged, and walked away.
About 20 minutes later, to shouts and cheers of “Allahu Akbar!” we were all being led away from the festival in handcuffs. From the brief description we were given by the police of why we were being arrested, it sounds like the festival volunteer said we surrounded him and didn’t give him an opportunity to leave, thereby “breaching the peace.” This is as blatantly false as an accusation can get.
One witness named Steven Atkins, a resident of Toronto, Canada, said, “I never thought I would see this in America.”
“When Dr. Quereshi was arrested I heard people clapping and applauding, and some said ‘Allahu Akbar,’“ he said. “It was an intense discussion, but it was not unruly. … There was no threat of violence.”
Atkins added, “It’s becoming more restrictive here than in Canada.”
Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad, an officer who was recently appointed to serve on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, told the Detroit Free Press the four Christians were arrested for disorderly conduct.
“We did make four arrests for disorderly conduct,” Haddad said. “They did cause a stir.”
Haddad told the paper he’s not taking sides, but he said officers must keep the peace at the event that draws 300,000 people over three days.
“Everyone’s space should be respected,” he said. “It’s Father’s Day weekend…. People are here to have a good time, and it’s our job to ensure security.”
From the next day’s follow-up report:
America, 2010: Christians Hauled to Jail for Preaching Jesus
‘Apparently the Constitution carries little weight in Dearborn’
One of the nation’s top legal teams regarding civil and religious rights has stepped into a dispute stemming from last weekend’s Arab Festival in Dearborn, Mich., where police are accused of enforcing Islamic law.
“Officers arrested four Christian missionaries and illegally confiscated their video cameras which were recording the events surrounding their arrests,” said a statement today from the Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Officials in the police department with the city of Dearborn declined to comment to WND.
But the law center announcement said the incident has been described as “police enforcement of Shariah law.” The organization said it would represent the Christians.
“These Christian missionaries were exercising their constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently the Constitution carries little weight in Dearborn, where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.
The Arab event was June 18 in Dearborn, where an estimated 30,000 of the city’s 98,000 residents are Muslim.
On June 24, the Christians themselves, who are members of a group called “Answering Muslims”, posted their own report on what happened at the Arab Festival:
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad Appointed to Homeland Security Advisory Council
In Dearborn, we were arrested for having a peaceful dialogue with Muslims. The police claimed we were being disruptive. We invited them to view the video footage, which would prove our innocence. They refused, preferring to take us to jail when we had indisputable proof against the false charges. Police seized our cameras illegally, and have to this day refused to share the footage with us, footage that will completely exonerate us. Police Chief Ronald Haddad refuses to return our cameras, despite the fact that he knows we are innocent. He is responsible for the persecution and oppression of Christians in Dearborn.
So guess who should be appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council? You guessed it: Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad:
DEARBORN — Police Chief Ronald Haddad was recently appointed to serve on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which provides advice and recommendations to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on matters related to homeland security.
The council is comprised of leaders from state and local government, first responder communities, the private sector, and academia.
“It’s an honor, a privilege and a tremendous responsibility,” said Haddad, who traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this month to meet with his fellow council members.
The group’s efforts, Haddad said, will be focused on sharing information and improving communication on the national stage.
In addition to Haddad, the group currently has more than two-dozen individuals listed on its membership roster, including Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, Community Engagement Officer Omar Alomari with Ohio Homeland Security, Acting Professor of Law Asli Bali of the UCLA School of Law, President and CEO Richard Cohen of Southern Poverty Law Center, Sheriff Doug Gillespie of the Las Vegas Police Department, Senior Analyst and Executive Director Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, Executive Director Dan Rosenblatt of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and Director Nadia Roumani of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute. [emphasis added]
“Our job is to identify what type of training would suit front line law enforcement, officers, and to improve their ability to work more effectively with community members to mitigate threats or actual crime,” Haddad said.
The council, he said, was formed in the wake of a growing number of attacks on American soil, including the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day in 2009 and the arrest of the Hutaree militia group charged with plotting to levy war against the U.S.
“When you look at those things, it’s clear that we can ill afford to work in a vacuum,” Haddad said. “We need to reach out to members of the community and open up the lines of communication.”
The city of Dearborn and its police department has already established several similar advisory committees to facilitate communication between different cultural and religious groups, as well as various groups and organizations throughout the city.
“We’re engaging the community in a way that’s never been done before,” Haddad said…
Well, Christians have been persecuted by Muslims for centuries, so Haddad’s not actually engaging the community in a new way. Perhaps he means that he’s engaging the American community in a new way, e.g. by taking away the Constitutional rights of Christians. But he needs to be clear about that. People might get the idea that he believes in American values.
If anyone would like to contact the Homeland Security Advisory Council, you can reach them here.
So what about the Homeland Security Advisory Council? What kind of organization is it?
Its job is to provide advice and recommendations to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on matters related to homeland security. In other words, it sounds like one of those benign-but-meaningless federal adjunct groups that provide patronage jobs to political cronies and suck up our tax dollars. However, a cursory glance at its personnel immediately reveals the tentacles of ISNA, and thus the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of the first things you’ll notice is a prominent connection with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left NGO with a notorious fondness for people affiliated with Islamic terrorism. To give you an idea of the SPLC’s reliability, it is a preferred source of information for Charles Johnson when he focuses his attention on “right-wing extremists” and “racists”.
Many thanks to Dymphna for doing the research into the roster of names from the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Let’s take a closer look at some of the worthies who have been deputized by Ms. Napolitano to make sure that Americans sleep safely in their beds at night:
President and CEO Richard Cohen of Southern Poverty Law Center
According to the Center for Immigration Studies:
Immigration and the SPLC: How the Southern Poverty Law Center Invented a Smear, Served La Raza, Manipulated the Press, and Duped its Donors
By Jerry Kammer
This report examines the efforts by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to smear the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and, by extension, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA.
With no serious analysis, the SPLC in late 2007 unilaterally labeled FAIR a “hate group.” That poisonous designation became the centerpiece of a “Stop the Hate” campaign launched by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), also known as La Raza, to call on Congress and the media to exclude FAIR from the national debate on immigration.
The campaign gathered strength as newspapers across the country reported that FAIR had been “designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” While the news stories generally included FAIR’s denial of the charge, thereby providing a semblance of balance, the designation’s taint lingered. The SPLC, presenting itself as a non-partisan, public-interest watchdog, never acknowledged — and no reporter ever disclosed — that the center was an active ally of the NCLR in the campaign.
The evidence presented here demonstrates that the SPLC became a propaganda arm of the NCLR. The SPLC’s decision to smear FAIR was the work of a kangaroo court, one convened to reach a pre-determined verdict by inventing or distorting evidence. The “Stop the Hate” campaign would more accurately be labeled as a campaign to “Stop the Debate.”
As this report notes, FAIR, CIS, and NumbersUSA have raised questions about the social, economic, and fiscal costs of the “comprehensive immigration reform” sought by La Raza and such allies as the National Immigration Forum and America’s Voice. Rather than engage in a debate, La Raza and its allies have waged a campaign to have the other side shunned by the press, civil society, and elected officials. It is an effort to destroy the reputations of its targets. It also seeks to intimidate and coerce others into silence. It undermines basic principles of civil society and democratic discussion.
We examine the SPLC’s work in the campaign against the background of the law center’s history, acknowledging that the SPLC has done admirable work in attacking the Ku Klux Klan and in representing immigrant workers who have been exploited by employers.
But we also review two decades of work by investigative reporters that has exposed SPLC hate-mongering and deception of the donors on whom it depends. Indeed, the SPLC’s hometown paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its nine-day exposé of the SPLC and its founder, Morris Dees, in 1994. The current attack on FAIR is consistent with the duplicity documented by that series and by other journalists who have investigated the SPLC.
Finally, we examine the SPLC attack on John Tanton, the Michigan environmental activist who founded FAIR in 1979. We document repeated distortion and exaggeration and show that many of Tanton’s concerns about immigration, though cited by the SPLC as proof of bigotry and intolerance, also have been raised by respected scholars and journalists.
But we also discuss how Tanton has undermined the movement by adhering to a big-tent philosophy that embraces some figures who do not play a constructive role in the immigration debate.
In a civil society, proven racists, bigots, and hate mongers deserve rejection. This report shows that the SPLC, while claiming to hold high the banner of tolerance, failed to observe basic standards of responsible judgment, honest reporting, and simple human decency. It preferred to engage in character assassination.
The SPLC is entitled to its opinion. But it cannot pose as a non-partisan watchdog when it fabricates and distorts evidence to delegitimize one side of the immigration debate while it is actually working as an ally of the opposing side. Claiming to act in the name of tolerance, the SPLC has tried to destroy it.
Tom Barry, director of the TransBorder Project at the liberal Center for International Policy in Washington, DC, noted that the SPLC’s “hate group” designation of FAIR “provided highly explosive ammunition for the character assassination campaign.”
Barry, who supports “comprehensive” reform, offered this assessment of the “Stop the Hate” campaign: “Trying to stick a label of ‘extremist’ on institutes that have massive memberships, good relations with the media, and good standing on the Hill is a measure of how desperate and isolated the pro-immigration forces that have embraced this strategy really are.”
I. Anatomy of a Smear
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s December 2007 announcement that it had decided to designate the Federation for American Immigration Reform as a “hate group”1 was a dramatic move by the Alabama-based organization, which claims to be “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry.”2
The designation placed FAIR, one of the most prominent organizations that favor reduced immigration and oppose a sweeping legalization of illegal immigrants, on an SPLC list occupied by notoriously bigoted groups of racist skinheads, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan.
What prompted the move? After all, the SPLC had been writing critically about FAIR for years without taking the extreme measure of branding it as a hate group.
Surely, the SPLC, which presents itself as an advocate of tolerance and which touts its dream of “peace, respect, and understanding,”3 would not take such a step without damning new evidence.
But that is what it did.
The SPLC’s move was not an act of conscience. Nor was it the bark of a public-interest watchdog. It was a publicity stunt in the service of the National Council of La Raza, which was about to launch a campaign intended to drive FAIR from the arena of public debate on national immigration policy.
The law center, while claiming to be non-partisan, served as a propaganda arm of La Raza’s effort to shape immigration policy. The NCLR has been grateful for the assistance. The website of its “Stop the Hate” campaign lists the SPLC as one of its six allied organizations.4
The campaign’s strategy was to portray FAIR as an extremist organization, so tainted by hatred and racism that it should be excluded from the public discussion of immigration. La Raza president and CEO Janet Murguia personally led the attack. Appearing on the Lou Dobbs show in early 2008, she cited the SPLC’s designation and declared, “FAIR is a known, documented hate group.”5
Another NCLR ally in the campaign was a new organization called America’s Voice, whose work to influence public opinion on immigration policy is being funded by a $6 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, a philanthropic foundation. America’s Voice is directed by Frank Sharry, who for 17 years was executive director of the National Immigration Forum, which bills itself as “the nation’s premier immigrant rights organization.”6 Its board of directors includes representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the National Immigration Law Center, and the American Nursery & Landscape Association.
As reported in the Carnegie Corporation’s magazine, America’s Voice was launched as a “communications effort designed to more directly challenge those who oppose immigration reform.”7 The organization sponsored full-page ads that touted the SPLC’s “hate group” declaration in Politico and Roll Call, Capitol Hill newspapers that are widely read by congressional staff and other members of the Washington political establishment.8
“The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is Designated a HATE GROUP by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” said the ad, using red capital letters to highlight “FAIR” and “HATE GROUP.” It added, “Extremist groups, like FAIR, shouldn’t write immigration policy.”9
Highlighting the gravity of the charge, and the disgrace it intended to inflict, the America’s Voice website noted: “Other SPLC ‘hate groups’ include: the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazi Party, and the Aryan Nations.”10 It urged supporters: “Tell Congress, Don’t Meet with FAIR!”
Tom Barry, director of the TransBorder Project at the liberal Center for International Policy, questioned not only the wisdom of the campaign, but also its integrity.
“Is seeking to undermine the influence of these groups in the media and on Capitol Hill by throwing (them) in the same lot as the Ku Klux Klan and National Socialist Aryan Order [something that can] really be considered an effective and principled political strategy?” he asked in his Border Lines blog in late 2008. “Will smearing the restrictionist policy institutes and their leaders in campaigns of character assassination bolster the possibilities of passing a liberal immigration reform bill?”11
It would also be reasonable to ask how such a campaign fits the mission of the Carnegie Corporation, whose $6 million grant to America’s Voice helped finance the inflammatory ads. Its mission statement says its work “honors Andrew Carnegie’s passion for … the health of our democracy.”12
La Raza is also lavishly funded, primarily by foundations and corporate donors. Its annual report for 2008 listed 38 donors who had contributed at least $200,000 that year. They included the Bank of America, Citi, ConAgra Foods, Freddie Mac, General Motors, and Wal-Mart, as well as the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its grants for 2008 totaled $28.3 million, including $5.1 million from the federal government.13
Crossing the Rubicon, SPLC Style
An organization that claims to offer expertise in the business of identifying hate groups, as the SPLC does, might be expected to work with precise, rigorous criteria. The SPLC has no such standards.
Heidi Beirich, the law center’s director of research and special projects and a frequent contributor to its Hatewatch blog, acknowledged in an e-mail that “we do not have a formal written criteria.” When a radio host asked her in late 2007 how an organization qualifies for the label, Beirich offered this explanation. “You qualify as a hate group if you treat an entire group of people for their internal characteristics, or their inherent characteristics, as less, or you demean them in some way.”14
A definition this flexible and imprecise could summon the SPLC Hate Patrol to the door of nearly any group of football fans, political activists, or Apple computer enthusiasts. It is an invitation to just the sort of mischief that gives the SPLC’s designation of FAIR the odor of a made-to-order, politically expedient smear. It was delivered in December 2007, the month before La Raza launched its “Stop the Hate” campaign. The SPLC showed all the precision and care of gang members spraying obscenities on a warehouse wall.15
In his roll-out of the “hate group” designation, the SPLC’s Mark Potok acknowledged that his bill of particulars against FAIR consisted almost entirely of information that had been known for years. So to make the timing of the announcement seem plausible, Potok needed something new and powerful. Indeed, he claimed to have found proof that FAIR had crossed “the Rubicon of hate” in an act of self-revelation so stark and shameless as to require the SPLC to take action.16
Their Rubicon-crossing evidence was a sham.
Potok pointed to a FAIR meeting with Belgian elected officials who belonged to a right-wing political party whose predecessor had been banned by a Belgian court. This charge, elaborated in Hatewatch blog posts about an obscure and insignificant meeting, would be laughed out of any credible forum of public opinion. But for the SPLC’s kangaroo court — where Potok and Beirich were prosecutors, judge, and jury — it was good enough.
Potok hyped his case by erroneously reporting that FAIR “officials” had met with the Belgians. Beirich erroneously added that “a senior FAIR official sought advice” from the Belgians.17
In fact, the FAIR official who met the Belgians was Jack Martin, a retired State Department diplomat who regularly meets with the Spanish-language press because of his fluency in Spanish. Martin said he met with the Belgians because they had asked for a briefing on how FAIR sought to influence U.S. policy on illegal immigration.
“I’ve met with visitors from dozens of foreign countries who are traveling here,” said Martin. “The fact that I met with them does not mean that I agree with their politics. I’ve met with officials from Communist China, and that doesn’t mean I’m a communist.”18 Martin calls the SPLC “members of the flaky left who have a tendency to engage in McCarthyite techniques” of guilt by association.
Here is how Stephen Pollard, a respected British journalist writing in The Times of London, described the Belgian party that sent a delegation to Washington:
The banned party is VlaamsBlok (VB). The Court of Appeal in Ghent — notorious for its left-liberal bias — deemed it to be an “undemocratic and racist” organization because of its policy that immigrants should be given only two choices: “to assimilate or to return home.”
Maybe such a policy is indeed racist; maybe it isn’t. … But in a democracy, surely, that is a decision which voters should make, not judges.
But the VB’s racism was merely an excuse. The real reason why the Belgian authorities have been bent on banning the VB for years has nothing to do with racism and the rights of immigrants. It is that the party advocates secession from Belgium and the establishment of a Republic of Flanders. Worse still, as Belgium’s only conservative party it upsets the country’s cosy political applecart. The Belgian Establishment has responded not by defeating it in argument but by banning it.19
Lacking the authority to banish FAIR, the SPLC set out to delegitimize it, setting the stage for allies who would call on the press and elected officials to banish FAIR from the national immigration debate. As the SPLC’s Mark Potok rolled out the “hate group” designation, he said the law center had “decided to take another look at FAIR” after the meeting with the Belgians. Said Potok, “When our work was done, it was obvious that FAIR qualified as a hate group.”20
The claim that an inconsequential meeting would jolt the SPLC into a reevaluation of an organization it had been denigrating for years is implausible. But for La Raza’s “Stop the Hate” campaign, the timing was perfect. The campaign was launched the following month. Beirich said in an email that the “hate group” announcement “was our decision alone and had nothing to do with NCLR.” She did not respond when asked whether the SPLC knew at the time of the announcement that planning for the campaign was in an advanced stage. The SPLC’s work was a central part of that campaign.
Acting Professor of Law Asli Bali of the UCLA School of Law
Last year, when she was an associate research scholar at Yale Law, this was the blurb for her at a UCLA event:
Asli U. Bali is an Associate Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School. She has lectured on Comparative Political Systems of the Middle East at Princeton University and served as an Associate at the firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York and Paris. She engaged in extensive pro bono work relating to immigration, civil liberties, and international human rights. Bâli’s research interests focus on issues of non-proliferation, human rights, terrorism and the Middle East. Recent work includes Interventionism and its Discontents in the Middle East (co-authored working paper with Aziz Rana); From Subjects to Citizens? The Shifting Paradigm of Electoral Authoritarianism in the Middle East (forthcoming in the Journal of Middle East Law and Governance). Ms. Bali received a B.A. summa cum laude from Williams College, a M.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. J.D., Yale, 1999. Her Ph.D from Princeton University will be conferred later this year.
The Progressive Conservative mentions her participation in the UCLA event:
FULL STORY: A conference at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on April 16, 2010, offered “Critical Perspectives on the Criminalization of Islamic Philanthropy in the War on Terror.” Co-sponsored by the UCLA International Institute, the Critical Race Studies Program, and the UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law — and including speakers from UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) — the conference proffered the usual apologist fare.
It was also an echo chamber. Of the approximately 30 people in attendance, 20 of them were academics. Several students showed up, in addition to the usual assortment of aging Leftist revolutionaries.
The thrust of the conference was simple: The war on terror has led to a crackdown on Muslim charities, which has had a chilling effect on Muslims by rendering them unable to engage in Zakat (charity), one of the five pillars of Islam.
Unmentioned throughout this eight-hour infomercial was that the majority of the charities that have been investigated for financially aiding terrorism were found guilty and that decent Muslims are capable of giving to charities that do not foment bombings and beheadings.
Asli Bali, Acting Professor of Law at UCLA, organized the conference and acted as one of the principal moderators. She responded to challenging questions from the audience by stating: “We will take three questions from presenters; others will have to wait.”
She is also listed as an endorser for Code Pink:
Asli Bali, Board Member, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Discover the Networks has a summary of this “Committee”, which is anti-Israel:
ADC is notable not only for its programs and campaigns, but also for its open expressions of support for some controversial figures. For instance, in 1987 the Committee honored filmmaker Michael Moore for his “courageous efforts in journalism.” A decade and a half later, when University of South Florida professor Sami-Al Arian was indicted on terrorism-related charges, ADC’s Hussein Ibish depicted FBI investigations of Al-Arian “a political witch hunt, a vendetta, and a kind of very, very ugly post-9/11 McCarthyism.”
From Steve Emerson’s site, March 16 2010:
Witness Omar Alomari is the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Department of Homeland Security multicultural relations officer. Since taking the job in 2006, he wrote a 40-page Culture Guide related to Arabic and Islamic Culture. In this document, Alomari defined jihad as the benign pursuit of personal betterment. It may be applied to physical conflict for Muslims, but only in the arena of Muslims defending themselves when attacked or when attempting to overthrow oppression and occupation.
Jihad as a holy war is a European invention, spread in the West, he wrote.
Alomari also authored a two-page brochure called “Agents of Radicalization” for the Ohio Department of Homeland Security. In it, he lists several grievances driving terrorism in the Muslim world, including Israel’s occupation and oppression of the Palestinians, U.S. support for Israel, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Muslim lands and support for repressive regimes. Alomari goes on to explain that such terrorism also stems from the expected societal reaction of the once proud and thriving Arab/Muslim culture, now in decline and conflict because of the stronger and aggressive West.
The material Alomari’s agency is putting out is “classic Islamist propaganda” which suggests that “these thugs who kill people in restaurants and shopping malls will stop if we solve the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Jasser said. “In fact, they’ll find another grievance in a year or two.”
Alomari acknowledges that some Muslim communities do, in fact, provide support for the radical jihadists, who he labels “the opposition.” He also describes Islam as a “politicized religion” in terms of terrorism and how “it’s easier for extremists in Islam to convince youngsters to join in their extremist organizations.”
But the brochure ends with a list of seven Muslim organizations the Ohio agency works with. All the groups have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or have their own history of extremist rhetoric.
The Jawa Report discovered that Mr. Alomari liked to sleep with his students, and was fired for doing so:
June 14, 2010
Ohio Homeland Security official Omar Alomari under investigation after Jawa Report investigation
The wheels of justice grind slowly, as the saying goes. But they (along with the establishment media) are finally catching up with the Jawa Report.
Exhibit A is a front page article in the Columbus Dispatch on Saturday concerning a story we broke here back in April concerning the various follies within Ohio Homeland Security; specifically, our reports about their multicultural affairs/community engagement director Omar Alomari being previously fired from a state college for sleeping with one of his students — whom he later sued (unsuccessfully) for defamation after she reported him to the school; and another top official, Olen Martin, who padded his resume with not one, but two fake college degrees.
State official under scrutiny for job history
An Ohio Homeland Security official is being investigated for failing to disclose his former employment at Columbus State Community College, where he was fired after an improper consensual sexual affair with one of his students.
Omar Alomari, the department’s community engagement director, did not list his tenure at Columbus State from 1990 to 1996 when he applied to work for the state and submitted background-check materials in late 2006.
Department of Public Safety officials began an administrative investigation into the accuracy of Alomari’s paperwork last month after a terrorism-related website began digging into his background.
Alomari, 59, a native of Jordan, was a full-time humanities instructor at Columbus State. He disputed his dismissal, filing a national-origin discrimination complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He also sued the woman with whom he had an affair, accusing her of slander and seeking damages.
The civil-rights commission found no probable cause of discrimination and dismissed Alomari’s complaint. The lawsuit against his former student also was dismissed.
Senior Analyst and Executive Director Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies
This is from Steve Emerson’s site:
Dalia Mogahed: A Muslim George Gallup or Islamist Ideologue?
April 15, 2010
Few American Islamists receive the kind of glowing media coverage given to Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, who is sometimes described as the “most influential person” shaping the Obama Administration’s Middle East message.
Mogahed, who claims to have played an important role in the drafting of President Obama’s historic Cairo speech to the Muslim world, was appointed to serve on the President’s Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The council released its final recommendations last month.
When European Islamist Tariq Ramadan kicked off his U.S. tour last week at Cooper Union in New York City, Mogahed and two journalists joined him for a panel discussion. Her remarks emphasized polling data showing that Muslim Americans are more affluent and socially content than their European counterparts.
Muslim Americans are no more likely to support political violence than the rest of the nation, Mogahed said. The minority of Muslim Americans who do support attacks on civilians base this position on politics, not religion.
It’s a message that Mogahed attempts to drive home at every opportunity.
She routinely is depicted as a scholarly analyst monitoring public opinion on subjects like anti-Muslim prejudice in the United States or global Muslim attitudes toward America. On other occasions, she is treated as a pioneering Muslim celebrity or portrayed as a victim of anti-Muslim “smears.”
But the reality is much more complicated. Mogahed is not some apolitical social scientist chronicling political trends in the manner of George Gallup, founder of the parent organization for her polling center. While Gallup strived to maintain his objectivity, Mogahed has followed a very different course. As we will explain in more detail below, she works behind the scenes with radical Islamist groups to enhance their standing in the presidential council’s activities.
Mogahed is a protégé of John Esposito, executive director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and a longstanding apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood. The pair have worked together at the Gallup Center, and co-authored the book Who Speaks for Islam? What A Billion Muslims Really Think in 2007, which was subsequently turned into a film. Read the State Department website’s coverage of the film premiere here.
Mogahed has been a tenacious defender of groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), both of which are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. During a September 2008 appearance at the Religion Newswriters Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., she was asked about links between the two organizations and Islamic radicals. Mogahed replied that it would be unfair to have those groups “disenfranchised” because of “misinformation.” Without offering evidence, she claimed “there is a concerted effort to silence, you know, institution building among Muslims. And the way to do it is [to] malign these groups. And it’s kind of a witch hunt.”
Director Nadia Roumani of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute.
This is her bio from the speakers at the 46th Annual ISNA Convention (pdf):
Nadia Roumani is the Director of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, a faith-based leadership training and civic engagement program that strengthens young leaders in the Muslim community who are working towards the full participation of Muslims in American public life. AMCLI is housed at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, and works in partnership with Georgetown’s Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim- Christian Understanding.
In addition to her work with AMCLI, Nadia is the consultant program officer for the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program, and the Principal of Roumani Consulting LLC. Nadia consults regularly for several international organizations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations. Among others, she has consulted for the World Bank, UNDP, UN Alliance of Civilizations, the Brookings Institution, the Four Freedoms Fund, the Carnegie Corporation, the Rothschild Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Nadia was the interim director for the Women Leaders Intercultural Forum, and a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, where she co-founded the Global Policy Innovations Program. Between 2000 and 2004, Nadia was the Assistant Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a project directed by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and a junior associate in Stiglitz’s office at the World Bank from 1999-2000.
Nadia is the President of the Board of Directors of the Muslim Public Service Network; a Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy; and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Nadia received her master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Stanford University.
It’s difficult for most Americans to realize how thoroughly the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) has penetrated the organs of federal, state, and local government. The Pentagon and the national security establishment regularly employ Muslim “advisors” whose connections with the Muslim Brotherhood are easily discovered.
In November 2008 the directors of the Holy Land Foundation were convicted on one hundred and eight charges of terrorism financing. One of the HLF documents made public during the trial had this to say about the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood in America:
The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand 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 and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. […] It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is […]
The HLF document also named a list of its affiliates in North America, which include:
- The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
- The Muslim Student Association (MSA)
- The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) (which holds the title to a large number of mosques, financed by Saudi Arabia)
- The Fiqh Council of North America (in 1991 the ISNA Fiqh Committee; under its new name it is still a subordinate element of ISNA)
- The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
- The International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT)
These are the very same organizations that supply advisors and sensitivity trainers and liaison officials to work closely with the federal government — including the Department of Homeland Security — at all levels.
These groups were officially named by the federal government as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, yet the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon and the FBI hire them as helpers and advisors in the “War on Terror”. These are the people our own government has chosen to provide information to our elected and appointed leaders and help them form their core ideas about the “Religion of Peace”.
“Baron,” you might well ask, “how could we get any more screwed than this?”
Well, we could always elect a Muslim as our President…