Why so many Somalis in Minnesota?
Church “volags” brought them to welcoming Minnesota.
The Somalis are here as legal refugees, largely. The Somalis Minnesota story tracks to 1991, when civil war broke out in Somalia. Millions fled to refugee camps, many in Kenya.
Two years later, the first wave of Somali refugees were sent to Minnesota. The church again.
“In the beginning the U.S. federal government assigns people,” said Samatar [Dr. Ahmed Samatar, dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College].
To qualify as a refugee, there is a process. The U.S. State Department ultimately decides where refugees will live, but it has to do with the voluntary agencies, called VOLAGS, [Voluntary Agency] that contract with the State Department. [The volags play the largest role in deciding where refugees go, there is no careful analysis of your city, resettlement locations are just determined with pressure from the volags. If there is a problem and people in the community make waves, the State Dept. may step in and stop the resettlement to that city.—ed]
Federal agents served warrants on a handful of money transfer businesses around Minneapolis and eastern Missouri last week. People close to the investigation said the searches were related to the disappearance of about two dozen young Somali-American men and teenagers from the Twin Cities in the past two years.
The Somali community in Minneapolis is the largest in America. Some 70,000 Somalis have settled in Minnesota after they were sponsored by the Lutheran Church in the 1990s. To send cash to their impoverished relatives back home, Somalis typically use money transfer businesses. The FBI fanned out last week to a number of those operations, trying to follow a money trail that might give them an idea of who is behind the disappearance of the young men.
Somali families in the Minneapolis area approached the FBI last year to report numerous instances in which their sons simply vanished one day and emerged in Somalia the next. Typically, the boys disappear and then parents receive phone calls from the young men in Somalia, telling them not to worry.
FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a recent speech to the Council on Foreign Relations that the bureau believes the young men were radicalized and recruited in this country and went to join forces with a group called al-Shabab. Al-Shabab is a Somali militia [pirates] that was put on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups last year.
The implication here is that the Lutheran Church is entirely responsible for sponsoring Somali refugees and resettling them in Minneapolis. In fact the United Nations and the US State Department (and now Homeland Security plays a role) make the decisions about which refugees come to the US. Then ten FEDERAL CONTRACTORS (volags in refugee lingo) including Lutheran Immigration and Social Services divvy up the refugees and spread them out in the US—to your towns and cities.
Those agencies agree [and are paid by the US taxpayer—ed] to help the refugees get settled, to learn English, find housing, get health care, and begin a new life.
Andrew McCarty writes:
There are several news stories making the rounds today expressing great surprise that young Muslim men who reside in Minnesota – particularly those having ties to the state’s substantial Somali community – are fighting for the Islamic State terrorist organization (aka “ISIS” or “ISIL”). Two Minnesota Muslims have reportedly been killed. What surprises me is that anyone is surprised. In my 2010 book on the Muslim Brotherhood, The Grand Jihad, I devoted a chapter to the Islamic supremacist infiltration of Minnesota. Even then, that infiltration was marked by ties to al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as a concerted effort to implement sharia principles in U.S. law and institutions, including the classroom and the economy. The chapter is reproduced below.
The questions came rat-tat-tat at this townhall meeting for Amy Klobuchar. A member of Minnesota’s hard Left Democratic Farm Labor Party, she was campaigning as the Democrats’ nominee for the United States Senate. Her answers sounded like babble, or perhaps clipped laughter: Haa, haa, haa. But she wasn’t laughing. Klobuchar was speaking Somali.
And she was saying “yes”: Yes to “comprehensive immigration reform”; yes to foreign language programs; yes to helping Somali money-service businesses that her constituents used to send the American dollars they earned back “home”; yes to meeting regularly with the Somali community so they could monitor that she was producing on the commitments that, absolutely haa, she was making.
The two hundred Somalis in the audience seemed pleased. They were no doubt happier still when Klobuchar won in a landslide. She rode the same wave that carried Keith Ellison into Congress. Another Farm Labor Party member, Ellison became the first Muslim to sit in the House of Representatives. He credited his victory to the enthusiastic support of Somalis. He took the oath of office, swearing on the Koran, to represent Minnesota’s fifth congressional district. In that district lies the entire City of Minneapolis. It is the Muslim enclave.
The local Somali population that has been estimated at 100,000, representing somewhere between half and two-thirds the the total number of Somalis now living in the United States. There may be many more. The actual population size is unknowable because of rampant illegal immigration, widespread identity and documentation fraud, and what the FBI gingerly describes as “a cultural reluctance to share personal information with census takers [that] has prevented an accurate count of the ethnic Somali population inside the United States.”
Somalis began pouring into America in the mid-Nineties thanks to the State Department’s refugee resettlement efforts, such as the “Africa Priority Three Program” that gives special attention to Somalis, Ethiopians and Liberians. These initiatives were robust and incompetently supervised. They targeted dire African countries without any evident concern about cultural differences that made assimilation unlikely. In 2008, State was forced to concede that there had been immigration fraud on a massive scale: nearly 40,000 aliens admitted into our country after falsely claiming family ties to immigrants already here. If Klobuchar delivers on her promises to push for an immigration “reform” package that would not just legalize aliens who are here unlawfully but streamline the process for importing their chains of family members, the numbers could increase geometrically.
The Somalis are the dominant Islamic group in Minnesota, but hardly the only one. As we’ve seen [in a previous chapter on Congressman Ellison], CAIR was a prominent player in Ellison’s campaign, which appealed to Muslims across the board, including American- and Arab-born Muslims, as well as to the Islamists’ reliable allies on the Left. But the Somalis are an especially potent, aggressive force. That is the case here as it is in their war-torn homeland, where life-expectancy for men is less than forty-eight years (for women, it hovers just above fifty-one), where the dead-end of Islamism is thriving, and where the scourge of piracy is again on the rise.
Besides Minneapolis, insular Somali communities have sprung up in Seattle, San Diego, Columbus, Atlanta, and—it almost goes without saying—Washington. There are other pockets throughout the country. The Tennessee town of Shelbyville is one. Hundreds of Somalis found work there in the local Tyson’s Chicken plant, and two were soon elected to the union’s eight-member board. When it came time for a new collective bargaining agreement to be struck in 2008, the union pressured the company to abandon Labor Day. In its place, the Somali workers demanded a Muslim holiday: the Eid (Eid ul-Fitr), which marks the end of Ramadan. The company capitulated, to much gnashing of teeth by the majority, non-Muslim employees.
It is in Minneapolis, though, where the greatest political and legal strides are being made by Somalis, and thus by Islamism. The Fifth District has become such a safe seat for Ellison that, on the campaign trail, he is more needed than in need. In 2008, he stumped vigorously for Al Franken’s Senate bid. During his Minneapolis appearances, by his side was Abdullahi Ugas Farah, described in one press account as a “highly regarded prominent Somali traditional leader”—which, my friend Diana West acidly observed, translates to “a Somali leader from Somalia, not Minnesota.” Farah urged the faithful that “in order for Keith to be helpful to the situation in Somalia, you must also elect Al Franken to the Senate.” That’s the job of the U.S. Congress, right? To fix the situation in Somalia.
What exactly is the situation in Somalia? Well, the failed state has been engulfed in a civil war for well over a decade, going back to the shattering “Black Hawk Down” days of the early Nineties. Islamists seek to take over the country and impose strict sharia law under the auspices of leadership known as the “Islamic Courts Union,” together with the local al Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabaab (“the lads”). As Diana West found, Abdullahi Ugas Farah was one of two speakers who presided in 2003 over the opening ceremony for a new sharia court in Mogadishu’s Shirkole area. It was apparently a short distance from there to Democratic Party politics in Minneapolis. [ACM note: After ruling much of Somalia for a time, the Islamic Courts Union was driven from power by U.S.-backed Ethiopian forces, with many of its militant members formally joining their al-Shabaab allies. See Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio, “Shabaab fomally joins al Qaeda” (The Long War Journal, Feb. 9, 2012).]
Import Somali Aliens, Export Islamist Militants
In Somalia, the Islamist factions are linked to the al Qaeda cells that bombed the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. They also maintain ties with al Qaeda leaders in Northwest Pakistan. Somalia has thus become crucially important to bin Laden’s network as both a rich recruiting vein and a staging ground for regional and global terrorist operations—including strikes against the United States. Reciprocally, al Qaeda training has proved critical to the Somali Islamists. Recruits, who have often been led to Somalia from mosques or diverted there while on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, are steeped in Salafist ideology while being trained in military assault tactics and the use of machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and other explosives. Terror tactics apt to intimidate civilian populations are stressed. In late 2008, for example, Shabaab “produced a videotape depicting the slow decapitation of an accused spy,” according to the FBI.
Incorporating familiar al Qaeda tactics like simultaneous bombings (frequently using suicide attackers), the campaign has been frightfully successful. The Islamists took over much of Somalia in 2006 before being beaten back by U.S.-backed Ethiopian forces. By 2009, the Islamists had surged back as Ethiopia retreated under the usual pressure from “human rights” groups—ever notice how they always seem preternaturally interested in the humans doing the killing versus the humans being killed? Shabaab terrorists and the Islamic Courts Union seized much of the country’s south again, including the strategically important port city of Kismayo. (See here and here.) Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy, was moved to proclaim that Shabaab gains were “a step on the path of victory of Islam.”
The offensives had significant, U.S.-based help. Our Somali immigration pipeline, you see, is far from a one-way street. We not only import Somali aliens, including their “traditional leaders.” We also send back aspiring Islamist militants, including suicide bombers. Since 2006, the FBI has detected that many Somalis are returning to fight on behalf of al-Shabaab, and more are launched from Minneapolis than from any other U.S. haven.
Despite the extensive history of Muslims flocking to any “field of jihad” where Islamists are in combat, the Bureau was instinctively quick to rationalize that “the primary motivation” for their travel to Somalia was “to defend their place of birth [i.e., the place they couldn’t get out of fast enough] from the Ethiopian invasion.” But the criminal charges filed by the Justice Department tell a different story: one of a call to jihad that sounded in mosques from Minneapolis to Mecca. Thus, even the FBI has had to concede, however grudgingly, that “an appeal was also made based on their shared Islamic identity.” You don’t say? In fact, Somali Islamists have been bold in stressing their attachment to the global Islamist project. They’ve issued public statements of solidarity with their allies in al Qaeda’s rambunctious Yemeni satellite (al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula). Moreover, on New Years Day 2010, a Somali Islamist in Denmark attempted to murder Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who drew one of the riot-inspiring depictions of Mohammed in 2005.
Shabaab recruitment drives have become intense in the United States and Canada. Some relatives of the young men who’ve gone missing from Minneapolis point to the Abubakar as-Saddique mosque as the catalyst that radicalized them. And then there is the familiar Muslim Brotherhood route. Omar Hammami grew up as a Baptist in Alabama before converting to Islam while studying at the University of South Alabama. He became president of the Muslim Students Association [the first building block in the Brotherhood’s American infrastructure], duly opposed “terrorism,” and was quick to express his “shock” at the time of the 9/11 attacks that “a Muslim could have done this.” In short order, though, the young American gravitated to Somali areas of Toronto before joining al-Shabaab, taking on the nom de guerre Abu Mansour al-Amriki. He is now a top Shabaab commander who regularly appears in recruiting videos, denouncing democracy and Western notions of human rights as being implacably set against sharia principles. (See here, here and here.)
The recruitment drive is taking its toll. Shirwa Ahmed, a twenty-seven-year old Somali who had lived with his family in Minneapolis, blew himself up at a UN checkpoint in 2008, killing twenty-nine people. In September 2009, another Somali immigrant left his Seattle community to return home and carry out a truck bombing in Mogadishu, killing twenty-one people. The case of Ahmed is especially grating. Thanks to the State Department’s refugee resettlement mania, he’d become a naturalized American citizen. So, after his mass-murder attack against U.S.-supported allies in northern Somalia, the FBI, at the expense of the American taxpayer, had his remains (which had become evidence in the Bureau’s terrorism-support investigation) transported back to America so he could be given a proper Islamic burial at “home.” (See here, here and here.)
To be fair, the Bureau, however ham-handedly, is trying to ingratiate itself within the community for intelligence purposes. The palpable fear of American and Canadian investigators is that the young men who leave North America with a jihadist fervor will return as trained, lethally capable terrorists, committed to carrying out terrorist strikes against the West. As David Harris, the former chief of strategic planning for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service starkly puts it, “it is just a matter of time before someone who went abroad comes back to North America in an effort to carry out an attack.”
Beyond what they hear from al Qaeda in Kismayo, Somali immigrants certainly get plenty of stoking once they get here. Besides agitators like Congressman Ellison and the “traditional leader” Abdullahi Ugas Farah, there are such priceless academics as Abdi Sheikhosman, a professor of Islamic law at the University of Minnesota. “We have a saying in Somalia,” he said to the Star Tribune in 2008. “He who approaches the lion does not know what a lion is.” That’s how it is for Somali immigrants, the good professor groused. They “arrive here not knowing the history of racial divide in this country. They don’t know the lion they are up against.” And what abuse had the lion heaped on them that might make them long once again to be in the placid bosom of Mogadishu? It seems the tortilla factory in New Brighton adopted a company uniform, which Muslim workers decided was a violation of their religious beliefs. “For me,” said Fatuma Hassan, a twenty-two-year-old Somali immigrant, “wearing pants is the same as being naked.” The company was also resistant to accommodating prayer breaks throughout the work day. But Minnesotans would have to adjust to such novelties, opined another academic, Bruce Corrie, of Concordia University. “The Somali community is highly assertive and politically engaged. . . . It’s part of who they are as a people.”
American travelers found that out soon enough. At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. That, by the way, is the same place where the Flying Imams decided it was opportune to play out their hijinks. [ACM: These were Islamic prayer leaders who frightened airline passengers and crew by imitating some of the 9/11 hijackers’ preparations, covered in an earlier chapter.] Somali taxi drivers, who make up three-quarters of the busy terminal’s 900 cabbies, began refusing service to passengers who were carrying alcohol (shopping bags from the duty free are a tell-tale sign). (See here, here and here.)
The ball, it turned out, got rolling in 2006 when the local chapter of the Muslim American Society issued a fatwa admonishing Muslim taxi drivers that transporting passengers with alcohol in their baggage was a violation of sharia. As one learns to expect, the resistance soon expanded to other sharia culprits: passengers accompanied by dogs, and even some who appeared overtly homosexual. The reluctance to ferry dogs—which are often needed by passengers with disabilties—was predictable. In 1997, Daniel Pipes has reported, a New Orleans taxi driver, Mahmoud Awad, was so incensed when a passenger tried to bring a dog into his cab that he yanked her out of the vehicle by her broken arm screaming, “No dog, no dog, get out, get out!” CAIR rushed to his defense, helpfully pointing out that “the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual purity needed for prayer.” Good to know that.
The transportation authorities, who would not for a moment countenance a driver’s refusal to serve Muslim passengers (to name just one form of discrimination), reacted to this affront by . . . consulting the [Muslim American Society (MAS) – as explained in an earlier chapter, it is the Muslim Brotherhood’s quasi-official presence in the United States]. With their sensitivity thus enriched, the authorities opted to respond not by withdrawing licenses but by engaging the cabbies on the finer points of sharia. To wit, Muslim law, they counseled, proscribed the consumption of alcohol, not its transportation. Of course, this fecklessness served only to imply that, in clearer cases of sharia violation, American equal-protection principles would yield as necessary to give sharia its newfangled due. Adroitly, the MAS had first provoked a controversy, taken the measure of the spineless opposition, and come away with a precedent that American law could be trumped by sharia—which, it cannot be stressed enough, is a corpus of political and social directives, not just religious commandments.
Sharia, the Muslim aversion to canines, and the traditional Islamist focus on dominating the education system proved to be too toxic a brew for Tylar Hurd. Because the twenty-three-year old St. Cloud State University student was prone to seizures, he attended school in the company of his service dog. The black lab, called “Emmit,” was specially trained to protect Hurd, toting a pouch that contained items that would help passersby aid him in the event of an episode. Hurd was enrolled in a teacher-training program that required field work at local high schools. At Technical High, this brought Hurd into communion with scores of Somali students. Their Muslim faith, the St. Cloud Times deferentially reported, “forbids the touching of dogs.” As a result, there was much taunting and, finally, threats to kill the dog.
Fearing for himself and his animal, Hurd complained to officials at his college. St. Cloud State bravely resolved . . . to waive Hurd’s remaining training hours: giving him credit for completing the course without doing the required work in order to avoid a confrontation with menacing Muslims. A university official, the paper recounts, opined that it was “important to respect different cultures and the rights of disabled students.” He added, “I think this is part of the growth process when we become more diverse.” [The St. Cloud Times removed its report from the Internet after I cited it in a post at National Review.)
The growth process also includes suspending students out of fear for their safety. That’s what happened to an Owatonna High School senior who, in an assignment to write a class paper, chose the topic “Somalian Privileges,” complaining that the Muslim students were not required to adhere to various school rules. He and his mother were promptly summoned to the school and advised that he would be suspended, officially for “language and inappropriate comments,” but unofficially because school officials feared he would be attacked. After a few days that officials hoped would be a “cooling off period,” the boy returned to school . . . and was mauled by a gang that grew to somewhere between twenty and forty Somali students. He had to be hospitalized for head injuries. (See here and here.)
Jihad in the Classroom
In the classroom, Islamicization is seeping into the learning process as well—and not only in Minnesota. The American Textbook Council (ATC) has released a jaw-dropping study called “Islam in the Classroom.” (See Gilbert T. Sewall, Director of the American Textbook Council, “Textbook Lies about Islam” and five-part series “Islam in the Classroom: What the Textbooks Tell Us”, available at Family Security Matters, here.) History and “social studies” texts routinely indoctrinate children of middle and high school age that the prophet of Islam was a trader who “taught equality” and was animated by the desire to “help the poor.” The texts “feature manifold contributions of Islam to the arts and science”—including “textiles, calligraphy, design, books, city building, architecture, mathematics, medicine, polo, and chess.” Students are informed that music, and particularly singing, was “an essential part of Muslim Spain’s musical culture”—which is said to have “undoubtedly influenced later musical forms in Europe and North Africa” . . . though the text in question later admits that this music is “lost,” so just how much “undoubted influence” it actually had can only be imagined.
The concept of jihad is whitewashed in a way that would surely bring an envious smile to government experts. Gone is the once straightforward recitation that Islam spread by the sword. Now, as the pages turn, Islam “moves peacefully with traders.” It is “brought” to seemingly willing populations and spontaneously “spreads” throughout the Middle East to people who simply “become” Muslims. A McDougall Littell volume explains, “There was much blending of cultures under Muslim rule. Over time, many peoples in Muslim-ruled territories converted to Islam. They were attracted by Islam’s message of equality and hope for salvation.” Islamic tolerance is a leitmotif. Students are informed, for example, that “[a]nother factor in helping the Arabs [in the “spread of Islam”] was their tolerance for other religions.” As the study summarizes, “Once non-Arabs have been conquered, students learn, those societies and civilizations with non-Islamic systems of belief live in a wonderland of interreligious cooperation.” A teacher’s edition of the McDougal Littell text poses the “Essential Question”:
Q: How did the caliphs who expanded the Muslim empire treat those the conquered?
A: They treated them with tolerance.
Q: Why were the caliphs tolerant of the people they conquered?
A: Because the Qur’an did not allow Muslims to force people to convert to Islam.
Islam’s legacy of dhimmitude and enslavement is assiduously suppressed, as is its official sanction of booty-taking. Indeed, what the Koran did and did not allow is left a mystery. On sharia, children are vapidly taught that Islamic law “makes no distinctions between religious beliefs and daily life,” and that “Shari’ah sets rewards for good behavior and punishments for crimes”—but they are informed neither of how profound a departure the melding of mosque and state is from Western traditions of religious freedom, nor of the particular rewards (such as an orgiastic paradise for martyrdom in the cause of jihad) and punishments (such as stoning, decapitation, dismemberment, for such offenses as apostasy, a woman’s refusal to enter an arranged marriage, and petty theft).
Since the mid-1990s, the message that it is a “common misrepresentation” to frame jihad as “holy war” has been drummed into students. A widely used Prentice-Hall high school text says: “Some Muslims look on jihad, or effort in God’s service, as another duty. Jihad has often been mistakenly translated simply as ‘holy war.’ In fact, it may include acts of charity or an inner struggle to achieve spiritual peace, as well as any battle in defense of Islam.” Seventh graders in California and Arizona are schooled that jihad represents the human struggle to overcome difficulties and do things that are pleasing to God. Muslims strive to respond positively to personal difficulties as well as worldly challenges. For instance, they might work to become better people, reform society, or correct injustice.
As the ATC incisively observes, since jihad is so often described as a “struggle against oppression,” how can students who hear of repeated calls to jihad against Christians and Jews not consider that the United States and Israel are likely the culprits?
ACM note: Reliance of the Traveller, the sharia manual endorsed by scholars at al-Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood’s American think-tank (the International Institute of Islamic Thought), explains that “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” As the “Mapping Sharia” study elaborates, jihad is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish Islam. For more on the manual and the repressive elements of sharia, see here and here.]
As combustible as the clash of cultures is, it may be the least of the education problem. There is also the elevation and subsidization of the single Muslim culture. To accommodate Muslims, the state of Minnesota is using its charter school law to operate an Islamic public school, a benefit accorded no other religious group. Taxpayers foot the bill for the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy in suburban St. Paul, to the tune of nearly $4 million per annum. That is the allegation of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, which has filed a suit, claiming a breach of the First Amendment’s proscription against establishing a state religion.
Besides information derived from the lawsuit, much is known about the school because of dogged investigative reporting by the Star Tribune’s Katherine Kersten. “TIZA,” as it is known for short, is named after the Muslim general who conquered medieval Spain in the Eighth Century. It was founded by a pair of imams who doubled as top leaders of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota: MAS-MN Vice President Asad Zaman served as principal, while MAS-MN President Hesham Hussein chaired TIZA’s board until being killed in car accident in Saudi Arabia. The school is physically located in the MAS-MN headquarters, as is a mosque. Besides the MAS-MN, the most important backer of TIZA is its sponsor, Islamic Relief-USA. While Islamic Relief is likened to the Red Cross in several TIZA documents, the Israeli government observes that its parent organization, Islamic Relief Worldwide, “provides support and assistance” to Hamas.
Minnesotan law requires its public schools to be nonsectarian. Visitors to TIZA, however, found themselves greeted by a Muslim prayer posted in the entryway. The school sports a centrally carpeted prayer room, and the ACLU alleges both that MAS-MN has conducted prayer sessions there during school hours, and that—after teachers encourage students to partake in Islam’s pre-prayer ablution ritual—the school breaks for a half-hour of prayer service on Fridays (time that is not made up). Moreover, the MAS-MN runs a Muslim studies program for an hour immediately after school has officially concluded for the day. In effect, this makes Muslim studies part of the regular curriculum: Although school officially ends at 3:30pm, buses don’t depart from TIZA until 4:30. Further, the school requires girls (but not boys) to cover their bare arms, and the uniform for older girls (as well as the dress code for female teachers) calls for them to be covered from the neck to the wrist and ankle, with virtually all wearing headscarves. Students refer to their teachers as “Brother” or “Sister.” The cafeteria serves halal food only, and students fast from dawn until dusk during Ramadan.
Publicly, TIZA claims to conform to the standard secular curriculum. A different picture, though, is painted for Muslim audiences. Katherine Kersten explains:
At MAS-MN’s 2007 convention, for example, the program featured an advertisement for the “Muslim American Society of Minnesota,’ superimposed on a picture of a mosque. Under the motto ‘Establishing Islam in Minnesota,” it asked: “Did you know that MAS-MN … houses a full-time elementary school”? On the adjacent page was an application for TIZA…. Meanwhile, MAS-MN offers on its web site “beneficial and enlightening information” about Islam, which includes statements like “Regularly make the intention to go on jihad with the ambition to die as a martyr.” At its 2007 convention, MAS-MN featured the notorious [Sheikh] Khalid Yasin, who is well-known in Britain and Australia for teaching that husbands can beat disobedient wives, that gays should be executed and that the United States spreads the AIDS virus in Africa through vaccines for tropical diseases. Yasin’s topic? “Building a Successful Muslim Community in Minnesota.”[ACM: TIZA was shut down in 2011 based on a new state law that disqualified out-of-state authorizers for charter schools – TIZA having been authorized by the Washington, D.C.-based Islamic Relief organization.]
Jihad in the Financial System
Meanwhile, taxpayers in the state—and, derivatively, throughout the United States—are underwriting the spread of Islam in another significant way: special Muslim mortgages, which the state housing agency refers to as Murbaha financing. It is another stealth importation of sharia into our law. As we’ve seen, Islamic law does not tolerate interest, the root of all capitalist evil. So the game is to structure transactions that would not occur absent interest payments without calling those payments “interest.” Here, the state purchases a home from a realtor and sells it to a predetermined Muslim buyer at an increased up front price that factors in what the payments (plus interest) would have been on, say, a 30-year mortgage. The payments are stretched out over the usual period but—presto!—you have something you can pretend is all payments and no interest.
Is it the most dicey financial gimmick anyone’s ever heard of? Of course not. It never is … at the start. Apologists predictably argue that it is an arm’s length transaction for a good cause, so no one is getting hurt. But we’re getting hurt! It is not a proper governmental function to buy and sell homes. Government’s job is to protect the housing market from fraud … by enforcing American law. What makes a state government think it has to, or should, use American public funds to structure financial transactions that accord with a religious code?
The initiative, moreover, is just one aspect of a comprehensive financial sector project known as “sharia compliant finance.” In increasing numbers, troubled American banks, anxious to tap into Islamic oil wealth, set up sharia advisory boards for the purpose of avoiding Islamic injunctions against not only interest, but certain forms of risk and investments in industries (pork, alcohol, investment funds, etc.) whose operations transgress Muslim law. Financial arrangements that run afoul of these standards can be “purified” by, for example, diversion of interest payments to Islamic charities under the auspices of zakat. [ACM: Zakat is a pillar of Islam often misinterpreted in the West as a benign obligation of “charitable giving.” As I have countered, it is a duty to fortify the Umma (the worldwide Muslim community – zakat can only be given to Muslims), and sharia principles provide for a portion of it to go to jihadist activity (i.e., one-eighth to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster”).]
Again, it sounds innocuous enough. Yet, there are a slew of problematic consequences. Many of the sharia advisors turn out (surprise!) to be vehemently anti-Western clerics. As we’ve seen, Muslim charities are notoriously co-opted for terror financing purposes. Sharia “compliance” bears the earmarks of fraud since it is meant to disguise the reality of interest income. The availability of such Islam-certified devices puts pressure on authentic moderates to refrain from assimilating Western financial practices—implicitly facilitating the Brotherhood’s apartheid strategy. [ACM: As the book elsewhere explains, the Islamic supremacist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood instructs Muslims to resist assimilation in the West, form Islamic enclaves, and pressure host governments to abide sharia rule in those enclaves.] The upshot of the entire scheme, finally, is to legitimize and regularize sharia as part of the American legal system—without disclosing to would-be investors (as U.S. securities laws would seem to require) that Islamic law purports to be indivisible. That is, recognition of its financial aspects invites acceptance, or at least conscious avoidance of, its suppression of freedom of conscience, its legal iniquities against women and non-Muslims, its promotion of polygamy and child marriage, its persecution of homosexuals and apostates, and its resort to violence as necessary to advance the Muslim cause.
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