Muslim Organization in Nashville, Tennessee: An Overview
by Rebecca Bynum and Elizabeth Noble (Jan. 2008)
Nashville, Tennessee has one of the fastest growing foreign-born populations of any major US city. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, “The 2000 data showed an increase of 210.1 percent in the immigrant population since 1990, which compared with a 6.5 percent increase in the native-born population (which includes children born to immigrants) over the same period. That meant that immigration accounted directly for 45.4 percent of the overall population increase of the city.” Though much of this increase is comprised of immigrants from Southeast Asia, for our purposes we will focus on the Muslim population which accounts for up to half of all immigrants claiming refugee status to the United States.
A majority of the Muslim population of Nashville is concentrated in two ethnic groups, Iraqi Kurds and Somalis.
The Kurds began arriving in Nashville after the Gulf war in 1991, when there was a massive exodus of Kurds fleeing Iraq and Saddam Hussein who sought vengeance for the Kurdish uprising. America’s heart went out to the Kurds, a people who had seemingly been betrayed and abandoned by our government. We had encouraged the uprising after all and Americans recoiled at the thought of another gas attack against the Kurds as occurred in 1988.
After he took office in 1992, President Clinton directed the US Office of Refugee Resettlement in association with the State Department and the United Nations to settle refugees within all 50 states, relieving the burden on traditional gateway cities such as New York and Los Angeles. Many of these Kurds settled in Nashville and they in turn, attracted others from around the country until today Nashville has the largest Kurdish population in the United States at 11,000. Over 100,000 Kurds have been settled in the U.S.
Another reason for the large concentration of Kurds in Nashville has to do with the work of two church organizations: Church World Service (which includes American Baptist Churches USA; the Southern Baptist Convention; the United Methodist Church; Presbyterian Church USA; Christian Church -Disciples of Christ; Church of the Brethren; the Episcopal Church; Seventh-day Adventist Church; Christian Reformed Church; Reformed Church of America; and the United Church of Christ) and Bethel World Outreach, headquarters of Every Nation (an offshoot of the now defunct Maranatha movement). Many parishioners, especially in the Church of Christ and its breakaway denominations like Belmont Church, have either served as missionaries to Kurdistan or serve as active sponsors of Iraqi Kurds, facilitating their resettlement in Nashville. The missionaries serve an estimated 10,000 Kurdish Christians in Iraq. The Kurdzman Church of Christ was established in 2000.
Douglas Layton of Bethel Outreach has proselytized in Iraqi Kurdistan for 35 years. His efforts to re-connect the Kurds with their pre-Islamic Medes civilization is certainly a worthwhile goal, and one the American government should adopt as well, but the Kurds coming into Nashville as a result of the work of these churches are mainly Sunni Muslims who have no intention of jettisoning Islam when they reach Tennessee.
In fact, Fadi Ezzeir, the president of the Nashville Chapter of the Muslim American Society, a well-known front organization for the Muslim Brotherhood, is a Kurd who grew up in Jordan.
A 1991 strategy paper for the Muslim Brotherhood, often referred to as the Ikhwan in Arabic, found in the Virginia home of an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding case, describes the group's goals for America:
"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 God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." This process requires a "mastery of the art of 'coalitions,' the art of 'absorption' and the principles of 'cooperation.' "
Fadi Ezzeir is a also Board member of the Salahadeen Center (the Kurdish community center and mosque). He runs their Youth Education Center and is a Muslim Boy Scout leader.
A Kurdish woman, Kasar Abdullah was a past President of the Muslim Student Association (a radical Muslim student group financed by the Saudi Arabian government) at Tennessee State University. She now works as an Administrative Specialist for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and is a Girl Scout Leader as well.
In 2001, the Muslim girl scouts handed out prayer cards and packets of information about Islam to Mayor Bill Purcell and other guests along with a poster called “Helping Hands are the Petals of God’s Flower.” In Dearborn Michigan, a girl scout troop actually held a ceremony for little girls taking the Islamic veil.
There is ample evidence that Boy Scouts are likewise openly used as Islamic indoctrination centers for Muslim youth. In Nashville, Muslim Boy Scout troops are run by the Muslim American Society.
Tahir Hussain is a Kurd from Iraq who came to the U.S. in 1997 and works for the Metro or State Public Health Dept. Hussain is president of the Nashville Kurdish Forum. He partnered with Abdelghani Barre (more on this man later) to produce a Guide for Nashville Employers: The International Workforce through the auspices of the Nashville New American Coalition, a coalition of private employers and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. He served on the Board of the local PBS television station and is a graduate of Leadership Nashville. He is now on the Board of Vanderbilt’s Center for Nashville Studies.
“Mastery of the art of 'coalitions,' the art of 'absorption' and the principles of 'cooperation.'”
The second major ethnic group of Muslim refugees being settled in Nashville are Somalis. Somalis comprised roughly 25% of the total number of refugees allowed into America from 2003-2006. There are roughly 5,000 Somalis in Nashville. Their immigration is mainly facilitated by Catholic Charities whose Nashville services are devoted by 77% to Somalis and the State of Tennessee administered a grant from the ORR of $150,000 given directly to the Somali Center of Nashville.
Both groups are involved in crime. The Kurdish youth have evolved gangs that are among the most violent in the nation and have been involved in drug-dealing, robbery, rape, murder, the intimidation of witnesses, and the attempted homicide of a police officer. The Somalis have been involved in drug-dealing (especially of khat), medicare fraud, grant fraud, money laundering, robbery, attempted murder, and are suspected in a series of rapes involving rogue taxi cabs. Somalis in Shelbyville, TN., and Emporia, Kansas working in Tyson foods meat processing plants have also been found to be infected with tuberculosis. One Somali employee in Emporia Kansas has died of TB, but a large proportion are also infected with AIDS and intestinal parasites. In addition, the townspeople of Shelbyville have had a crash course in what Hugh Fitzgerald terms the "attitudes and atmospherics" of Islam from their burgeoning Somali population.
In March 2005, 30 Somalis walked off the job at Dell Computers in Nashville demanding that they receive time off for sunset prayers (an ever-changing time schedule) en masse. They were reinstated with back pay and given accommodation after Metro Human Relations and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) stepped in. CAIR is linked to both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Nevertheless, Catholic Charities of Tennessee received $1,270,716 from the state and $131,774 from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement in 2006-2007, almost all of which ($1,359,000) was used directly to benefit majority Somali refugees. This is, of course, not counting health care benefits and welfare aid that these charities instruct refugees to apply for. These costs dwarf anything these charities receive from the state.
In 2000, Garrett Harper of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce applied for and received a grant for $375,000 from The Office of Refugee Resettlement for the Building the New American Community initiative, a pilot program designed to facilitate immigration and integration in three American cities: Portland, Oregon, Lowell, Massachusetts, and Nashville, Tennessee. The main focus of this initiative is to train new immigrants to take over the reigns of immigration themselves. They are trained on how to sit on coalition boards and how to apply for all manner of government grants and services.
This in turn spawned the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) which was formed in 2001. The TIRRC is a lobbying group that pushed a law to allow immigrants to obtain drivers licenses without social security numbers, a law that was eventually overturned after four years, and boast of having defeated over 19 “anti-immigrant bills” in 2005-2006. The Tennessee Department of Safety today gives drivers license tests in Arabic due their lobbying. Among their principles is stated the will “not to compromise the rights of the few for the rights of the many.”
Although Catholic Charities engaged in outreach to the Hispanic population to prepare them for the influx of immigrants from Africa, the average Nashvillian was never consulted about who he would like his neighbors to be. Thus, a very basic principle of self-determination is being usurped by elites who think a “vibrant, diverse and globalized” Nashville is a Good Thing. For example, the Nashville New American Coalition a partnership with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce is headed by Abdelghani Barré, also the Refugee Coordinator for the Metro Government, who is a member of the infamous Barré clan of Somalia and is rumored to be a Somali warlord.
Barré is an associate of Abdirizak Hassan, the executive director of the Somali Community Center of Nashville who successfully diverted $450,000 a year in grant funds away from those it was supposed to benefit (all African refugee women including Sudanese who suffer from the complications of female genital mutilation) to the Somali Al-Farooq Mosque, its imam and other Somali men who were placed on the payroll.
“[T]heir 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.”
There are six mosques in NashvilleTennessee, a Muslim graveyard and a madrassa. All of these pieces of property come under the Islamic classification of wakf, meaning the property belongs to Allah, which for practical purposes means they belong to the Muslim community in perpetuity and cannot revert to private hands. Muslims are also strongly discouraged from selling any property to non-Muslims. Control of land is central to Islamic doctrine.
The original Islamic Center in Nashville is located on 12th Avenue. It was started with seed money provided by Cat Stevens a.k.a. Yusuf Islam in 1979 after his conversion. Abdulhakim ali Mohamed (a Yemeni who grew up in Detroit) was appointed Imam in 1998. He came to Nashville after heading the education department of the al-Qaeda connected al-Farouq Masjid mosque in Brooklyn.
The Shura board is a consultative body which implements Islamic law (which includes the inequality of women and non-Muslims and allows polygamy in direct opposition to our U.S. Constitution) and gives instruction to the Muslim community. As of September 2007, the Shura board of the Islamic Center of Nashville consists of: Riyad Alkasem (a Syrian) who teaches Arabic for the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, Kaled Sakalla (a Palestinian) who teaches at the ITT Technical Institute, AKM Fakhruddin (from Bangladesh) who is a psychiatrist and also works at Meharry, Rahed Fakhruddin (Bangladesh), Qasem Abu-Ghazleh (a Palestinian), Addul Ghani Hashimi (a Malaysian), Hossam Bahour (a Palestinian), Shuaib Mohyuddin (a Pakistani), and Omar Alkatib (a Palestinian).
Sheik Abdulhakim Mohamed, no longer an Imam at the Islamic Center of Nashville, has partnered with Dr. Awadh Binhazim, a Kenyan PhD in Animal Toxicology who works at MeharryMedicalCenter, who was also on the Shura board of the Islamic Center for many years, to form Olive Tree Education. This is a very active propaganda arm of the Islamic movement that gives lectures and classes at Vanderbilt, TSU, a number of local churches, synagogues, civic groups and even to law enforcement.
Known members of the Muslim Brotherhood are often highly educated doctors and academics. Both groups gain automatic trust within the community, are well paid, and are able to circulate in the highest social circles to exert influence. They are master practitioners of what Hugh Fitzgerald has dubbed the “slow jihad,” that is, the quiet, steady, subversion of western legal and social structures from within. They are masters at manipulating western guilt, and appealing to the western sense of fairness and openness to others starting with the little demands for special treatment, like female-only swim days at the local pool, or letting boy scouts earn a Ramadan badge, and then progress to the stifling of western values, history and culture, beginning with stifling criticism of Islam.
Dr. Binhazim spoke at VanderbiltUniversity during the Danish Muhammad cartoon controversy in clear and amazingly blunt language. He prefaced his argument by asserting that most of the violence has been caused by “the poorest of the poor” who are, obviously, just looking for excuses to vent their anger and frustration concerning their unfortunate economic plight and that 99.9% of Muslims have been peaceful over the cartoons but still felt humiliated and deeply wounded to the very “core of Islam.” He also stated flatly, “Islam is not something to ridicule” and furthermore “all Muslims” view the publication of the cartoons as a “provocation.” He also stated that the 99.9% who feel deeply offended even if they have not responded violently, nevertheless, do not share the value of free speech as it is recognized here. He openly supported the suppression of speech and in one revealing moment uttered, “In European countries such as Germany, you can’t even say anything about the Jews or the Holocaust!”
“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 God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
Olive trees have deep underground root systems that allow them to survive all kinds of adverse conditions. The tree may appear to be dead, and then, because the roots still live, it will sprout anew and grow again: an apt symbol for the Brotherhood.
If Muslims are organized to this extent in Nashville, Tennessee, imagine what they are doing in your town.
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