CAIR Asks DOJ to Probe Arkansas Business Declared ‘Muslim-Free Zone’ by Owner
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/7/14) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said it has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate a Hot Springs, Ark., shooting range that has been declared a “Muslim-free zone” by its owner.
The owner claims the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agrees with her claimed right to bar customers based on their faith.
The full text of the CAIR letter can be found HERE
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: When the original story of the range being “Muslim Free” by owner Jan Morgan came out, it was just a matter of time before CAIR would get involved. CAIR’s letter requests a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation noting that the range owner is discriminating based on race and religion. We are not sure what race a Muslim is, but CAIR has been increasing efforts to embrace a “race card” as of late. The religious discrimination argument tends to be in CAIR’s favor.
Ms. Morgan comments on CAIR’s request to the DOJ are addressed in this post, Islamic Organization With Ties to HAMAS Asks Holder to Investigate Me. She brings up some interesting points, but we suspect Ms. Morgan may be out gunned (pardon the pun) in regards to this issue.
Her blog entry of Sep 28 , 2014 is now titled, “Why I Want My Range to be a Muslim Free Zone” , but when it was originally posted it read as, “My Business is a Muslim Free Zone“. The later is what was picked up by the media and brought to the attention of CAIR. It may be too late to try and defend the post as simply expressing her opinion … in other words an issue of constitutionally protected free speech.
The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range is located in in Hot Springs, AR about an hour south of Little Rock.
“Public officials, and that includes public school officials, violate the free speech clause of the First Amendment whenever they censor speech merely because it offends someone… Unfortunately, we are seeing this trend grow as Muslim activists play the victim card.”
– William J. Becker, Jr., Freedom X’s president and general counsel (8/12/2014 Examiner.com)
At issue was an April 24, 2014 after-hours town hall meeting at a local area high school planned by the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America . The event was to feature Dr. Bill French (aka Dr. Bill Warner), an expert on Islam, and Matt Bonner of Crescent Project, a Christian ministry reaching out to Muslims with the Gospel.
In late 2013, the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America had requested and received approval to use Farragut High School for the planned event. In March 2014 a press release was sent to the local newspaper promoting the event.
Around April 8, 2014, the County School offices received an email from AbdelRahman Murphy, the University of Tennessee (UTK) Muslim Chaplain and director of “Roots” a Muslim outreach program. Murphy’s email characterized ACT! Knoxville as an organization with a history of engaging in hate speech
Around that same time as Murphy’s email, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper sent a letter to Farragut High School Principal Michael Reynolds expressing concerns about the event calling ACT! for America a hate group and characterizing French as a bigot. The letter closed with:
We support the First Amendment right to free speech — even the kind of hate speech used by these speakers — but believe, because of the need for a safe and inclusive learning environment, that a school is not the proper setting such an event.
I therefore respectfully request that you review district policies to determine whether you high school is an appropriate venue for a potentially hate-filled program.
On April 11, 2014, the School system sent a letter to the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, rescinding the agreement for the April 24th event:
The administration at Farragut High School has express ed concerns to me about the disruption your event scheduled for April 24th is causing to the educational environment at the school.
The primary purpose of our school facilities is to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable learning environment for our students. When other uses of the facility begin to impinge on or interfere with the administrations ability to provide a suitable educational atmosphere, it is necessary for us to reconsider that use.
A local news station reported on the cancellation indicating the decision to rescind approval was because “some” said the event discriminated against Muslims.
On August 4, 2014 , a lawsuit was filed by the nonprofit law firm Freedom X on behalf of John Peach, president of the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, and Bill French against the school system in U.S. District Court, for violating their First Amendment right of free speech and their Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection and due process.
On October 1st, an out of court settlement was reached. According to wbir.com:
The sides officially reached an agreement Wednesday night. Under the terms, the county will pay out roughly $17,500 in attorney fees, administrative costs and monetary damages tied to advertising for the event.
In addition, the school board on Wednesday – under the terms of the settlement – amended its policy regarding the community’s use of school facilities.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: CAIR frequently attempts to silence critics of Islam through intimidation or legal proceedings. In this case they managed to coerce the school system to do their bidding. CAIR’s input to the school system was most likely arranged by AbdelRahman Murphy, who served as an intern with the Communications Department at CAIR-Chicago in 2006. Murphy worked under the guidance of then communications director, Ahmed Rehab – the current executive director for CAIR-Chicago.
In addition to his work with “Roots” and as the Muslim chaplain at UTK, Murphy is the primary advisor to UTK’s Muslim Student Association and youth director of the Muslim Community of Knoxville (MCK). He makes appearances on the Muslim “talk circuit” and maintains a close relationship with Imam Suhaib Webb, of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC).
Group claims pro-Palestinian students in US tied to terror
Clip produced by advocacy group Hamas On Campus purports to show growing Islamist influence in universities
From: The Times of Israel, October 5, 2014
A new YouTube video is targeting two of the most vocal pro-Palestinian student bodies active on US campuses, attempting to expose the alleged ties between the groups and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as to out several of the organizations’ leading members as supporters and initiators of terrorist activities across the globe.
In the video, which was produced by the advocacy group Hamas On Campus, the narrator claims the Muslim Brotherhood has been bankrolling student bodies and effectively using them as proxies in order to spread a message of radical Islam throughout American universities. The video then highlights the Gaza-based terror organization Hamas’s connection to the Brotherhood.
The narrator goes on to assert that the Muslim Students Association and the Students for Justice in Palestine organization have served as hotbeds for potential terrorists, citing several former members of the student bodies who had gone on to join and establish terror groups in the Middle East.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: We recently posted a story about a Students for Justice in Palestine event, “The Hidden Genocide: The Story of Palestine. A Banquet.” scheduled for September 2014 at the University of South Florida (USF). It was to feature motivational speaker Monzer Taleb, a former Hamas fundraiser who had sung with a band** called Al Sakhra (“The Rock”).
It appears the The Story of Palestine USF event was cancelled but promotional material indicated the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Muslim Connection (TMC), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of South Florida and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) were the sponsors. The participation of these groups seems to validate the Hamas on Campus contention that the Muslim Brotherhood is,” bankrolling student bodies and effectively using them as proxies“.
The Muslim Connection (TMC) is a local Islamist group based in Tampa Florida. According to it’s corporate filing, TMC focuses on “bring youth closer to Allah”. It is affiliated with the Islamic Community of Tampa-Masjid Al-Qassam (ICT). The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports:
Al-Qassam mosque was incorporated by Sami Al-Arian in 1992 under the name “The Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc.” Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Federal investigators say that, at the time, Al-Arian was the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
An initial member of the Board of Trustees of Al-Qassam Mosque, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, has been the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Syria since 1995. In addition, Al-Arian’s brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar was a founding board member and served as mosque imam until 2001. Al-Najjar appears on the Islamic Community of Tampa’s annual reports up until 2001, when he was arrested by the INS for a visa violation. Al-Najjar was deported by the U.S. in 2002 for staying in the U.S. after his student visa lapsed. In addition, he served on the PIJ’s Shura Council, or governing board, and was indicted along with Al-Arian for providing material support to the PIJ. Since he was deported, Al-Najjar never stood trial on those charges.
Sami Al-Arian was a former tenured USF computer science professor.
One of the current directors of the Islamic Community of Tampa is Osama Kayali. Kayali is listed a business associate with several businesses of the Elkadi family. Former Muslim Brotherhood leader, Ahmed Elkadi was based in Panama City, FL during the 1980s – 90s. He later moved to Northern Virginia then to Tampa, where he died in 2009.
**The Investigative Project on Terrorism has a copy of one of the band’s performances (with a transcript) calling for death to Jews. Taleb is featured singing “I am Hamas” on a second video, around the 3:47 mark. In a 2006 Weekly Standard article, “HAMAS Rock Stars,” Dallas-based investigative reporter Todd Bensman described the band as follows:
It wasn’t exactly feel-good music in the conventional sense. Mufid’s Al Sakhra (“The Rock”) band crooned a gospel of death and hatred toward the Jews at Hamas fundraisers, while the collection plates moved through wildly enthusiastic Arab-American audiences.
… we wonder how much of the security funding will be used to hinder counter-terror and law enforcement efforts.
A recent announcement from the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) / Masjid Al-Rahmah advised that it will be receiving a grant from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program administered through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA):
ISB will be receiving $74,675.00 which will go towards upgrading, enhancing and adding to our security infrastructure. Over the next several months you will see contractors on-site conducting these security enhancements.
The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is nationwide and overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Part of DHS’s Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), it has been in effect since 2005. To be eligible the organization must be, ” determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security to be at high risk of terrorist attack due to their ideology, beliefs, or mission”. For fiscal year 2014, $13,000,000 was set aside for NSGP. The maximum amount that can be awarded to a single group is $75,000.
Since 2007, CAIR has urged Muslim non-profits to apply for the federal security grants. From the CAIR website:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/17/14) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging mosques and Muslim institutions nationwide to consider applying for funds available through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).
The program is designed to assist nonprofit organizations that are vulnerable to terrorist attacks with procuring and installing security equipment to enhance safety.
As for the ISB, it has received several federal security grants in the past:
With the 2014 $74k+ amount, that totals out to over $212,000 in the last nine years – $147,000 just in the last two years.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) is only one of several mosques that have received past security grants but mosques are not the only groups having tax dollars awarded for security. A 2011 Judicial Watch report noted that the majority of 2011 grants for ‘target hardening” went to Jewish centers and added:
All 30 of the grants distributed in Illinois went to Chicago-area nonprofits, including a politically-connected college foundation with more than $5 million in assets and several Catholic hospitals.
With the current Islamist push towards establishing mosques as “safe places“, we wonder how much of the security funding will be used to hinder counter-terror and law enforcement efforts.