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, a 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 had other questionable involvements 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, the 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 the 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 his mentor. Carlos went to Yemen, supposedly to 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 1980s and ’90s 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’s leadership team with the 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’s forced virginity tests performed on the female protesters in Tahrir Square (starting about 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 explanatory 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 exposé 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 of the ICM led by Imam Osama Bahloul, protested the “war on Gaza” and in support of the terrorist group HAMAS. Signage used the “Palestine will be free” slogan that reflects HAMAS’ and the Muslim Brotherhood’s 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, it was acknowledged in 2004 by its Secretary-General that MAS, the Muslim American Society, 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 the 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 from the 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 the senior Muslim Brotherhood leader and HLF unindicted co-conspirator 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.