False Prophets Disarmed at a Vanderbilt University Presentation

by Jerry Gordon and David J. Baldovin[1] (October 2016)

On September 9, 2016, the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) presented a first in a projected series of presentations at Vanderbilt University. The event was hosted by the Vanderbilt Muslim Student Association chapter. The audience of upwards of 125 who attended was mainly students with a mix of Muslim community organizers. The event was moderated by Paul Galloway, executive director of AMAC. The first in the series was entitled “False Prophets: Marginalizing Extremists.” The Muslim cleric who was the lead off presenter was Shaykh Waleed Basyouni, Vice President at the AlMaghrib Institute, who has connections to the disgraced former member of the US Department of Homeland Security Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism, Mohammed Elibiary. Elibiary was a student of Basyouni.

The other participant was Ms. Patricia Villafranca, an ex-FBI special agent whose last post before retirement was in Houston as outreach coordinator. As we will see, Ms. Villafranca was upstaged by another ex-FBI special agent, a former trained negotiator and swat agent, who happened to be in the audience wearing a ball cap with the inscription, “life is good.” All of which was caught on video. Galloway, who introduced the presenters, told the audience that he and Basyouni were graduates of the Houston FBI Citizens Academy.

The ex-FBI agent who came up from Houston was Ms. Patricia Villafranca. Note this from an ADL event in Houston in September 2013 about the background of Ms. Villafranca. She is a 28-year veteran of the FBI who had been involved in overseas evidentiary assignments in Latin America on criminal cases; the 1992 Buenos Aires Israeli Embassy blast and Joint Terrorism Task Force assignments in Boston, New York and Houston. The ADL event in Houston noted Ms. Villafranca’s FBI experience:

Ms. Villafranca is in charge of Congressional Affairs and outreach for the FBI, and that involves interacting with federal legislators, the FBI Citizens Academy, which brings average citizens to the FBI to learn about what the FBI does and acquaint them with ways the FBI can serve them.

The Tennessean had an announcement a day before the AMAC event with a quote from current AMAC head, Paul Galloway, an American Muslim convert who was the founding CAIR chapter executive in Houston. He decamped from a profitable public relations business in Houston and moved to Nashville to head up AMAC. There are currently no CAIR chapters in Tennessee. According to informed sources AMAC functions as the equivalent of a local Muslim Brotherhood affiliate.

Paul Galloway, Executive Director of AMAC promoted this first event in the Tennessean, saying:

“We designed this event so that the public could hear from real, credible experts who have actually worked against extremists first-hand,” said Paul Galloway, Executive Director of AMAC. “It is our hope that events like ours will help steer these important conversations away from ill-informed rhetoric and towards relationship building and improved safety for all Tennesseans.”

Shaykh Basyouni and Ms. Villafranca addressed the truth behind ISIS and analyzed counterterrorism policies. Basyouni will talk about how ISIS is theologically deviant, while Pat Villafranca, a retired FBI agent, will address how encouraging massive profiling and/or surveillance of entire ethnic and/or religious groups is counterintuitive and detrimental to security.

In actuality, the presentation was a very sophisticated forum for Da’wah, or proselytizing, the call to Islam. It provided some brief discussions on why the Islamic state is not in their view normative Islam and that Islamophobia in this country and profiling of local Muslim communities actually spurs radicalization. 

We suspect that a Muslim Brotherhood hub from Houston was spreading its agenda to a receptive location in the Bible belt. In the June 2012 New English Review, we published what amounted to a dossier on AMAC, its advisory role to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), and network connections with other Muslim Brotherhood and immigration advocacy groups, “Does Muslim Blasphemy Trump Free Speech in America?” 

AMAC and local Somali Community Representatives at the Event

That was reflected by local AMAC leaders present in the audience.

Awadh Amir Binhazim. Binhazim is a member of the faculty at the Meharry Medical Center in Nashville, a former President of the Austin, Texas Chapter of CAIR. He is an adjunct Professor of Islam at Vanderbilt and volunteer Muslim Chaplain. He was famously seen in a 2009 video explaining to a Vanderbilt Student who questioned Islamic doctrine towards homosexuals that as a Muslim, “he had no choice but to go with what Islam teaches, “which is that homosexuality is punishable by death.”

Mohamed Shukri Hassan. Hassan is a major figure in the local Somali émigré community, a member of the Al Farooq Mosque in Nashville. Shukri is a 2012 Tennessee State University graduate in Political Science and Non-Profit Management. Hassan began his career as a staff member for the Tennessee Immigration Refugee Rights Council. He was the advocate for local Somali cab drivers. He moved on to become a Senior Fellow at the AMAC affiliate, The America Center for Outreach. In December 2015 he was appointed to the Nashville Mayor’s New Americans Advisory Council. He functions as Program Director at AMAC.

Al-Maghrib Institute aka ‘Jihad U’

A decade ago noted counterterrorism analyst, Patrick Poole, published an article in Front Page Magazine about Al-Maghrib Institute, “Jihad U.” He characterized it as:

A rapidly growing and extremely popular Islamic studies program bringing Wahhabi extremism and Muslim Brotherhood activism into mosques and Muslim student groups throughout North America. The Al-Maghrib Institute features motivational-style speakers, aggressive marketing, savvy use of the Internet and slick multi-media presentations as part of their college-credit courses leading to an Islamic Studies degree offered at mosques in at least 18 cities in the US.

According to the Al-Maghrib website the Institute has 40 chapters in as many cities across the globe. It alleges it has given courses on Islamic ‘science’ and religious doctrine to more than 80,000 attendees since its establishment in 2002. It is endorsed by the American Open University and by Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the Sunni ideological bastion of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But then there is another agenda:

The concerns over Al-Maghrib’s teachings extend much further than their Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabi influences. Anti-Semitic diatribes and Holocaust denials are regular themes preached by Al-Maghrib’s instructors.

One of the exemplars of this hate mongering is, Sheykh Waleed Basyouni. Poole noted:

Waleed Basyouni in a speech entitled “What Have You Done for the Deen of Allah," identifies the behavior of Jews during Mohammed’s era as the reason that Jews do not and cannot know Allah:

Seven years the prophet and his companions suffered from the Jew in Medina. Seven years, the Jew tried to destroy this, a new Muslims' country. . . . They try everything. They try to kill him. . . . They try to make deals with the Kuffars, so they could attack Muslims. They support the hypocrites. They start everything. Seven years, suffering from them. He went outside Medina to one of the Jews' city, full of money, full of farms, gold, and foods. They went out from Medina, they are poor.

Shayk Waleed Basyouni is Imam at Ta’leemul Islaam Masjid (Mosque) in Houston. He holds a Bachelor degree in Islamic Sciences from the Wahhabist Al-Imam Muhammad University (KSA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He completed his Master’s in Islamic Theology, World Religions and Modern Religious Sects from Al-Imam Muhammad University, and achieved a Doctorate in Theology from the Islamic Studies Department of the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana. He is a director of the Texas Da’wah Convention. Basyouni is a leader of the extremist Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America and issues fatwas in that position. Noteworthy was his recent preaching that Hamas, a State Department designated foreign terrorist organization, is not one. In 2011, Basyouni joined the Freedom and Justice Foundation with Mohamed Elibiary to analyze the arguments about Islamic Jihad War doctrine articulated by former US Joint Special Operations Command consultant and principal in Unconstrained Analytics, Steve Coughlin's Master's thesis. Elibiary is a former student of Basyouni.

The Presentations

Sheykh Basyouni gave a 20 minute power point presentation entitled, “The Future Our Children Inherit,” one that he had delivered the day before on September 8, 2016 to the Houston, Texas Kiwanis Club. It was a series of charts drawn from Pew Trust survey findings endeavoring to convince any audience that in both Europe and especially here in the US among the young millennials that the majority were unaffiliated as to religious beliefs whether Christian or Jewish. The insinuation was that Islam might offer an attractive alternative - patent proselytizing. The migrants and refugees fleeing hot conflict zones from Syria and elsewhere in the Muslim Ummah were simply reflecting the Dar al Hijrah so-called migration imperative. He contested arguments by Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump that banning further Muslim immigration to the US would result in diminution of the Muslim demographic “youth bulge” globally and in this country. The expectation is based on demographic trends showing the global Muslim population doubling by 2050. The inference was that Islam might be an alternate belief system to attract converts from the millennial demographic groups in both Europe and here in America.

Villafranca’s presentation lasted approximately 20 minutes. She recalled that she was in the Houston FBI office working cases when she was approached to become involved in outreach to the Muslim community in Houston on behalf of the Houston FBI office, and as a part of the Houston Joint Terrorist Task Force. Her presentation included her understanding of words used by everyday Americans, as well as the news media, such as “extremist” and “terrorist.” She advised the audience that in her new capacity she came to know both Paul Galloway and Basyouni. A question arose as to whether Villafranca considered a self-proclaimed Jihadi to be an “extremist?”

Villafranca referred to two terms during her presentation, “hate speech” and “Islamophobia.” The question that came to mind was whether Villafranca believed in free speech, and if she considered truth to be “hate speech,” and whether she considered the Koran to contain “hate speech?” In connection with her use of the term “Islamaphobia,” Villafranca referred to previous training conducted at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, on this subject matter, as conducted by an “Islamophobe.” She insinuated that this type of training at the Academy had ceased. The matter arose of Villafranca’s possible involvement, if any, in the purging of manuals at the FBI Academy concerning Islamic doctrine.

The Exchange with Villafranca during Q&A

Galloway stated that there would be a question and answers session at the end of the presentation and requested that any questions be directed to either one, or both, of the presenters.

Co-author, former FBI special agent Baldovin, raised his hand, (remember he was the person in the white ball cap) and was the first to be afforded the opportunity to ask questions. Galloway approached Baldovin up the steps in the amphitheater lecture hall. Baldovin rose, stood and accepted the microphone handed to him by Galloway. What follows is the exchange with Villafranca: 

Baldovin:  I would like the presenter (Villafranca) to know that we have something in common. (Baldovin noted that Villafranca immediately seemed to know what he meant by this as also being a retired FBI Special Agent.) Yes, ma’am, 31 years.

Villafranca:  Really? Are you the guy I’ve been hearing about or reading about? (She began to approach Baldovin up the steps, and Galloway, who was either seated or standing next to Baldovin on steps.) She made a reference to Lenny Hatton (an Agent who lost his life at the World Trade Center on 9/11), but it is not recalled how she was relating that to this exchange.

Baldovin:  No, I don’t think you have heard about me. Villafranca extended her hand to Baldovin, shook hands, and she thanked him for his service. 

Baldovin:  What years did you serve?

Villafranca:   She responded, 1987 to approximately 4 or 5 months ago.

Baldovin:  I would like to ask you specifically about your counter terrorism training in connection with your assignment to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and if this training included reading Islamic Doctrine, the Koran, Sira, and Hadith?

Villafranca:  Yes. Very good question. She then qualified her answer by uttering, in essence, “we were spoon fed various sections of the Koran by approved Islamic sources.”

Baldovin:  So, you have not read the Koran cover to cover?

Villafranca:  No, I have not.

Baldovin:  Who was the name of the person you referred to at the FBI Academy regarding training?

Villafranca:  Oh, I don’t recall his name, he was from Virginia.

Baldovin:  When you were assigned in the Houston office, did you know Mr. Galloway as being the Executive Director of CAIR?

Villafranca:  No, he was not in that position when I was there.

Baldovin:  Do you know what CAIR is?

Villafranca:  She responded to the effect that CAIR is a community relations organization. The FBI no longer has a relationship with CAIR.

Baldovin:  Do you know that CAIR and AMAC (American Muslim Advisory Council) are essentially front groups for Hamas, a terrorist organization?

At this point Villafranca stated that we needed to let others in the audience ask questions, and Galloway acknowledged Villafranca’s request. She began to descend back down the steps and away from Baldovin. Villafranca suggested to Baldovin that she could discuss more in detail later after the presentation allowed others to ask a few questions. Baldovin then handed the microphone back to Galloway and several others were allowed to ask their questions.

Galloway, just before ending the event, approached Baldovin and handed him his business card and requested further contact “over a cup of coffee.”

When the presentation was over, Baldovin approached Villafranca in an attempt to engage her further. Villafranca began to walk away from Baldovin uttering the words “I’ve heard all of this before.” Baldovin then handed Villafranca an article stating he was giving her reading material for her plane trip back to Houston. The article concerned a speech by a Czech woman member of their parliament. The speech suggested that Islam and the West were not able to co-exist. Villafranca avoided further engagement and then departed the area.

In the process of departing the Vanderbilt lecture hall, Baldovin was approached by a young male member of MSA and challenged to recite verses from the Koran. Baldovin departed the building.

Galloway had stated at the outset that this event was being streamed live. That video was recorded by Vanderbilt and available on YouTube. Watch it here.

Villafranca, as a retired FBI Special Agent, appears to be actively engaging with AMAC and CAIR, both Muslim Brotherhood front groups in Houston. This relationship began by her own admission when she was an on-duty FBI agent. This relationship may have been sanctioned at the highest levels of the FBI. Further, by her own admission, the FBI no longer has a relationship with CAIR, and yet she does. This despite CAIR having been designated as one of several unindicted co-conspirators in the federal Dallas Holy Land Foundation Trial of 2008. The Holy Land Foundation was found guilty of funneling milions of dollars from its charity fund to Hamas.

Conclusion

The Houston Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force appeared to ex- FBI Special Agent and co-author Baldovin to have been penetrated and compromised by agents of the Muslim Brotherhood. As we know from our research into the organization of AMAC/ACO, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has been penetrated by local Muslim Brotherhood operatives engaging in training with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. AMAC scheduled an event in Manchester, Tennessee in June 2013, with both US Attorney for Eastern Tennessee, Bill Killian and FBI special agent Kenneth Moore. The latter was exposed as having compromised FBI training by redacting training materials. Retired FBI Agent Villafranca apparently disavows the Muslim Brotherhood threat and in retirement has become a facilitator of outreach to CAIR and other Muslim advocates. There are two more in the projected Series by AMAC at Vanderbilt. False Prophets sent a warning that we can expect more propaganda in the same vein heard on the evening of September 9, 2016.

 

[1] David J. Baldovin is as retired FBI Special agent. He is self taught & educated on Islamic Doctrine, who has read the Koran, Sira, & Hadith. The co-authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions to this article by a Tennessee based, retired Law Enforcement Intelligence officer.

 

_____________________________________

 

Also see Jerry Gordon's collection of interviews, The West Speaks.

 

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