In the wake of the  Kentucky case, the U.S. halted the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time, officials told ABC News in the 2013 investigation.
– ABC News Report
The current debate over the admission of Syrian refugees focuses on the possibility that it will help facilitate the entry of terrorists into the U.S.
This view is based on the growing trend of Islamist immigrants in the U.S. that have been involved in terrorism in the last few years. The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Natural Interest reports that it has identified at least 26 foreign-born individuals inside the U.S. who have either been charged with or convicted of terrorism in the last year with even more examples going back to 2013. From an AL.com article by Leada Gore:
Sessions said U.S. officials have no access to Syrian government data to vet refugees and no capacity to predict whether those seeking refuge are likely to join militant groups. As proof of that, the Immigration Subcommittee, which Sessions chairs, provided a partial list of apprehended foreign-born terrorists or terror suspects since 2013:
- A Kazakhstani immigrant with lawful permanent resident status allegedly conspired to purchase a machine gun to shoot FBI and other law enforcement agents if they prevented him from traveling to Syria to join ISIS.
- An immigrant from Saudi Arabia, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, swore allegiance to ISIS and pledged to explode a propane tank bomb on U.S. soil, prosecutors said.
- A Uzbek man in Brooklyn encouraged other Uzbeki nationals to wage jihad on behalf of ISIS, and raised $1,600 for the terror organization.
- The Boston Bombers, who killed three and injured more than 250, were invited in as refugees. The younger brother applied for citizenship and was naturalized on September 11th, 2012. The older brother had a pending application for citizenship.
- A Moroccan national who came to the U.S. on a student visa was arrested for plotting to blow up a university and a federal court house
- 6 Members of Minnesota’s Somali-American refugee community have recently been charged with trying to join ISIS. The Washington Times reported that “the effort [to resettle large groups of Somali refugees in Minnesota] is having the unintended consequence of creating an enclave of immigrants with high unemployment that is both stressing the state’s safety net and creating a rich pool of potential recruiting targets for Islamist terror groups.”
- An Uzbek refugee living in Idaho was arrested and charged with providing support to a terrorist organization, in the form of teaching terror recruits how to build bombs. He was later convicted three terrorism-related charges.
- An American citizen whose family is from Syria was sentenced to up to five years in a juvenile prison for plotting to support ISIS and rob a gun store to kill members of the American military.
- An immigrant from Syria, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was accused by federal prosecutors of planning to “go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.”
- A college student and Somali immigrant, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, attempted to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon. He is serving a 30 year prison sentence.
- An immigrant from Afghanistan, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, and a legal permanent resident from the Philippines, were convicted for “join Al Qaeda and the Taliban in order to kill Americans.”
- An Iraqi immigrant, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was arrested for lying to federal agents about pledging allegiance to ISIS and his travels to Syria. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott referenced the case when announcing his state would fight against accepting Syrian refugees.
- Two immigrants from Pakistan, who later applied for and received U.S citizenship, were sentenced to decades-long prison sentences for plotting to detonate a bomb in New York City.
- An immigrant from Yemen, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was arrested for trying to join ISIS. He was also charged with attempting to illegally buy firearms to try to shoot American military personnel. He is currently awaiting trial. He faces additional charges related to assaulting deputies while in custody.
- An immigrant brought here by his family from Kuwait at a young age, and who was later approved for U.S. citizenship, carried out the Islamist attack that recently killed 5 military personnel in Chattanooga. The gunman was killed by police.
Sessions said these incidents are just a few of those identified by his committee. They should serve as a warning against any plan for relocation of immigrants, especially those from Syria, he added.
The concerns have not been limited to the GOP. Several days ago, 47 House Democrats broke rank and joined with Republicans, voting for a bill aimed at pausing admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by adding requirements to an already lengthy screening process. In the Senate, the Washington Post reported:
Longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Senate intelligence committee, warned in a statement Tuesday “we need to be very careful about Syrian refugee admissions.”
The Hill reports that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signed a letter to President Obama calling on him to not allow any more Syrians into the country “unless federal authorities can guarantee with 100 percent assurance they are not connected” to the Islamic State.
At least one Democratic was among the governors asking for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed.
UN records show a four fold increase (850,000) so far in 2015 of refugees entering Europe through the Mediterranean area compared to 2014 (216,000) with Syrians accounting for about 52% of the numbers. From the trend, the numbers will most likely be significantly higher by the end of 2015. While the vast majority will most likely settle in Europe, U.S. allocations have been steadily increasing.
We noted last year in “Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?“, that according to U.S. Department of State refugee statistics, in 2007 Muslim countries accounted for about 20% of U.S. refugee admissions. In 2008 there was a marked increase, with well over 50% (35,000+) of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries. This repeated in 2009-2013 and the 2014 allocations authorize the increased level. For 2015, 12,000-15,000 Syrians alone, are projected for admission.
The Paris bombings raised the possibility that forged Syrian passports are being used by terrorists and this certainly brings up concerns as to the actual identify of those being processed as Syrian refugees. Earlier this week Bloomberg reported:
A Syrian passport found next to a suicide bomber in the Paris terror attacks may have been planted, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.
Reports that the identity in the passport may have been registered in several countries along the so-called Balkan route raise the suspicion that it could be a deliberate attempt to implicate refugees and “make people feel unsafe,” de Maiziere said.
“There are indications that this was a planted lead, but it still can’t be ruled out that this was indeed an IS terrorist posing as a refugee,” he told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, referring to Islamic State, which France blames for organizing the violence.
Any link between France’s worst terror attack since World War II and Europe’s refugee crisis would raise the stakes for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she defends her open-door policy for asylum seekers in Germany’s debate over immigration and security.
Syrian refugee proponents are proclaiming there has not been one terrorist act by a refugee in the United States. When presented with the case of the Boston Bombers, these proponents counter that the Tsarnaev brothers were not really refugees.
An example of this can be found in a recent article on Reason.com that attempts to label GOP politicians as “Fearmongers”. Ronald Bailey writes:
Note: Several commenters suggested Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, were refugees. Strictly speaking, they were the children of asylees. As Bloomberg News explained the two were given “derivative asylum status” and didn’t come through the refugee admissions program. Apparently the legal distinction is too fine a point for some readers. So be it, but they should nevertheless keep in mind that the brothers were two people out around 1.8 million people who were granted refugee or asylee status between 1995 and 2013.
This dismissal conflicts with a recent Dailymail.com article that notes:
Six Bosnian immigrants, three from Missouri, two from Illinois and one from New York, were charged in February with sending money and military equipment to extremist groups in Syria including ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front.
Last year we reported on the case of Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington, VT (a naturalized U.S. citizen) who was facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery.
In 2013, an ABC news report detailed the 2009 discovery of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq:
An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home — a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.
An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.
This week, ABC reported that, “Of the 31 states that have declared their opposition to taking in Syrian refugees, one state, Kentucky, has a specific reason to be wary of the background check process.” This caused the U.S. to halt the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time.
Earlier this month we mentioned the Canadian website Point de Bascule in our report, Islamist Propaganda: The Montgomery County Model, WORDE and the Muslim Brotherhood . It was regarding Hussein Hamdani, an advisor to a Canadian security agency, who has been suspended pending an investigation into his alleged ties to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas related organizations.
The Canadian National Post (NP) just published an article by Catherine Solyom that focuses on possible motivations behind Hamdani’s suspension titled, “Hero or extremist“. It devotes a good amount of time on attempting to discredit the credibility of Point de Bascule’s author, Marc Lebuis. It fails to fully explore the validity of reports that Hamdani has ties to Islamist groups, relying instead on statements made by Hamdani that he is simply a victim.
Another version of the article appears in the Montreal Gazette titled, “Hussein Hamdani: Vetted by the feds, felled by a blog“ with additional references to Pamela Geller and Steven Emerson along with an expanded history of Hamdani’s community involvement. This version also includes a statement by researcher Seigfried Mathelet calling Lebuis a “militant”.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) has labeled the NP article a “hit piece” and we agree. GMBDW defends Lebuis, responding in depth to the four issues Solyom raises. Recommended reading.
A key point to all this: Hamdani was not suspended until after a televised report by French language TVA network journalist Michel Jean was made about Hamdani’s questionable ties. Solyom acknowledges this in her article yet makes no attempt to question any motives that TVA or Michel Jean might have pertaining to the broadcast.
The article includes:
Seigfried Mathelet, a post-doctoral researcher at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said he knows of Lebuis as a “pseudo-expert” who has worked for years to gain influence with political decision-makers and the mainstream media, even though he has no links to academic research.
His modus operandi, like that of numerous anti-Islam bloggers and organizations based in the U.S., Mathelet explained, is to take anything problematic associated with Islam – like the Boko Haram or ISIS attacks – and link them to people in Canada.
Matthew Duss, the lead author of Fear, Inc. 2.0. — a report published by the Centre for American Progress on anti-Islam organizations and their sources of funding – says Muslim-bashing is a very lucrative business in the U.S., and it may be in Canada, too.
Duss believes Point de Bascule may be part of an international “Islamophobia network.”
These two above sections are mentioned to highlight the fact that even so called “experts” miss the mark when dealing with these terms …
- Islamist –
- Muslim: a follower of the religion of Islam
The following opinion piece provides some interesting “food for thought” in regards to current events impacting the Middle East and Europe, particularly the flood of refugees from North Africa. In the U.S., similar concerns have been voiced regarding refugee immigrants as we reported in Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?.
Some view these concerns as being far fetched conspiracy theories promoting bigotry and are simply dismissed as Islamophobia. Others point to the social problems affecting some European nations that have experienced an influx of Muslim immigrant populations attracted by liberal social programs.
Islam lies in wait for Europe
From: Israel Hayom
By: Dr. Ephraim Herrera, May 21, 2015
The demographic trends are clear: Europe is committing suicide. The fertility rate to maintain a country’s population, known as the replacement rate, is generally considered to be 2.1 births per woman. The average fertility rate in Europe is 1.6. In Germany and Italy, it is 1.4. To increase its population, Europe has let in immigrants, to the point that they comprise some 10 percent of the population in Spain, the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany. In Austria, their proportion is 15 percent.
A significant number of those immigrants are Muslim. They hail from the lower rungs of society in their countries of origin and decided to leave in search of a life of comfort in the West.
But the influx of millions of immigrants from Asia and Africa is more than just about their socio-economic plight. Islamic thinkers have tried to capitalize on this wave. Although these thinkers are still lying in wait, they hope they can eventually use the immigrants as a means of conquering Europe. This strategy has been propagated by Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi for the past 30 years. Qaradawi has tremendous clout in the Sunni Arab world, to the point that his rulings are considered authoritative by the Muslim Brotherhood. The strategy is terribly simple: Tap into the local Muslim community and lure its teens to the “real” Islam, then go up the rungs of power in the major parties and seize the reins of government through the democratic process.
Rest of Article: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12655
Is the Boca West Country Club being “Islamophobic” in fearing a Muslim attack?
Safety concerns lead Boca club to cancel GOP event with Islam foe
From: Palm Beach Post
By: George Bennett, May 7, 2015
The Palm Beach County Republican Party will have to find another venue for a fundraiser featuring the Dutch politician and Islam critic who spoke at Sunday’s “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Texas.
The local GOP booked Boca West Country Club for the $125-a-plate “Lobsterfest” dinner on Aug. 15 featuring Geert Wilders, leader of a right-wing party in the Dutch parliament. But the country club announced Thursday it has canceled the event because of safety concerns.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: This was to be a private event and whether you agree with Geert Wilders or not, he and the event sponsors have a Constitutional right to present their views. This decision works as a “win” for Islamists in using fear and intimidation to silence those that oppose them. From the Sun Sentinal:
But representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations expressed outrage at the Republicans’ decision to have Wilders as a speaker.
“On the international level he is probably the most notorious, anti-Muslim bigot in the world,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the Washington-based national communications director for CAIR.
“He is the worst of the worst. This is the Islam-is-evil-and-must-be-destroyed school of thinking,” Hooper said. “And for the Republican Party to host him, I can’t imagine that any Muslim voter in the state … would not hear about it and judge accordingly.”
Michael Barnett, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, told the Sun Sentinal that to back out in hosting an event with Wilders would “go against everything we stand for” pertaining to our freedoms of speech and religion. The Sun Sentinal continued with:
CAIR representatives said the free speech argument sounds good but is disingenuous. “Will they be hosting neo-Nazis and anti-Semites and other race-baiters and bigots? Or is it just anti-Muslim bigots that they host?” Hooper said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Nezar Hamze, CAIR-Florida regional operations director, said he’s heard the freedom of speech argument before. “It’s not about freedom of speech, it’s about spreading hate.”
It will be interesting to see if the local GOP actuall does find another venue or simply cancel Wilders’ planned appearance.
Side thought: Is the Boca West Country Club being “Islamaphobic” in fearing a Muslim attack?
The irony comes from claims of harmful “Islamaphobia” by two lawmakers associated with groups supporting antisemitism, destruction of Israel, and destroying the Western civilization from within.
Several members of the U.S. Congress are taking a cue from the Muslim Student Association (MSA) tactic of banning speakers they find offensive.
On Apr 28, 2015, The Daily Caller reported …
The two Muslim members of Congress have called on two U.S. Cabinet members to block Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders from entering the U.S. because they believe he is “Islamophobic.”
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison and Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson penned a joint letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson last Thursday. Foreign Policy reported it on Tuesday.
“We write to raise our deep concern regarding the visit of Mr. Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker known for perpetuating Islamophobia,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote, citing a 1998 law, the International Religious Freedom Act. The law allows the State Department to deny foreign leaders guilty of “severe violations of religious freedom” from entering the U.S.
Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, is scheduled to speak at several events throughout the US. His stance on “Islamisation” of the Netherlands is quite clear – calling for an end to Muslim immigration and a ban on the building of new mosques. His political party considers Islam a violent ideology rather than a religion. Islamists have called for his death.
A copy of his scheduled speech to the Conservative Opportunity Society in Washington D.C. can be viewed here.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Rep. Ellison was a past representative/member of the Nation of Islam. From an article in an October 2006 edition of the Weekly Standard:
Having spoken out over many years as an advocate of the Nation of Islam under guises including Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad, Ellison might reasonably prompt Fifth District voters to wonder where he really stands. His recent account of the nature and extent of his relationship with the Nation of Islam cannot be squared with the public record. During his congressional campaign, Ellison has nevertheless held himself out as a friend of the Jewish people and of Israel. As if to shore up his identity as a Muslim activist, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, flew to Minneapolis to appear as a featured guest (along with Ellison himself and Guantánamo chaplain James Yee) at an Ellison fundraiser in suburban Minneapolis on August 25. Awad is notable, among other things, for his past expressions of support for Hamas.
From April 2006 to November 2014 it is reported that Rep. Ellison has received over 212 separate political donations totaling over $212,000 from Islamists. From January 2008 to October 2014, Rep. Andre Carson reportedly received 60 separate political donations totaling over $36,000. The vast majority of the these donors are affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood front groups that include the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
The sad part is witnessing educational institutions – described as bastions of free speech – submit to the the will of the MSA. Meet the “Brown shirts” of this century.
‘American Sniper’ derailed by Muslim complaints at University of Maryland
From: The Washington Times
By: Douglas Ernst, April 24, 2015
The University of Maryland joins the University of Michigan in the ranks of educational institutions with an “American Sniper” controversy.
Muslim student protests prompted the University of Maryland at College Park to announce the cancellation of the movie about deceased Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
“American Sniper only perpetuates the spread of Islamophobia and is offensive to many Muslims around the world for good reason. This movie dehumanizes Muslim individuals, promotes the idea of senseless mass murder, and portrays negative and inaccurate stereotypes,” the university’s Muslim Students Association said in its petition, Fox News reported Thursday.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The cited Fox News article notes that this is not the first time that Muslims and their supporters have made an effort to silence this movie. The University of Michigan cancelled a screening only to reverse the decision after national outrage and as of this writing a petition drive was made to ban the film at George Mason University.
The the Muslim Students Association (MSA) frequently moves to silence people/concept/ideas that it finds offensive on campuses (i.e. appearances by Ayaan Hirsi Ali). The sad part is witnessing educational institutions – described as bastions of free speech – submit to the the will of the MSA. Meet the “Brown shirts” of this century.
As noted by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, The MSA was founded in 1963 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood fleeing their home countries and leaders of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), another U.S. Brotherhood organization, played instrumental roles in its founding and early years.
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.
The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.
We indicated in our original report that a quick search did not disclose a mosque/masjid or Islamic center in the town of Winooski. A 2010 census indicated the city population was 7,267. Several days later, Peter Wilson wrote in the American Thinker:
Unfortunately, Winooski is home to a number of Muslims whose religion teaches them that pigs are filthy animals. Like Jules in “Pulp Fiction,” they do not dig on swine.
Winooski’s Muslim population is mainly Somali Bantus, originally black Africans from southeast Africa, brought north by Arab slave traders (but that’s another story). Many Bantus fled to Kenya during the Black Hawk Down period of anarchy in the early 1990s, and in 1999, the United States admitted 12,000 as refugees.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program resettled the majority of Somali refugees in Winooski, which has “a large number of relatively inexpensive rental units near jobs and public transit.” In 2009, “About a third of the students in the Winooski public-school system [were] English language learners… up from about 20 percent of the student population four years ago.” Note that ten years after their arrival, the refugees’ children remain “English language learners.”
A more detailed search on our end disclosed the following:
Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont, Inc.
325 Main Street, Suite 8
Winooski, VT 05404
Islamic Society of Vermont
Suite 1, 182 Hegeman Ave
Colchester, VT 05446
Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
462 Hegeman Ave, Suite 101
Colchester, VT 05446
While Wilson’s article focuses on Somali refugees, the area’s Muslim population is more diverse. The town of Colchester is about 5 miles north of Winooski, VT and is the location of the Islamic Society of Vermont and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. According to a 2014 news report, there are about 3,200 Muslims living in Vermont, many being refugees from Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and Syria. Most arrived under U.S. resettlement programs and reside in Chittenden County, VT. This county includes the cities of Colchester, Winooski, as well as Burlington – the state’s largest city.
Vermont media coverage of the state’s growing Muslim population tends to have a positive spin, usually focusing on cultural diversity. There have been a few exceptions:
• Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington (a naturalized U.S. citizen) is currently facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery. The Burlington Free Press reported:
A Bosnian war crimes suspect living in Burlington has been accused of trying to bribe people in his homeland who witnessed what he allegedly did, federal prosecutors in Vermont say in a new court filing.
“The government has been informed by some of its Bosnian witnesses that defendant attempted to bribe witnesses through intermediaries for testimony favorable to the defendant,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles and Matthew Singer, a senior federal trial attorney in Washington D.C. claim in a motion filed with U.S. District Court in Vermont last week.
Edin Sakoc, 54, is facing charges he lied to immigration officials by denying, when he entered the United States in 2001 as a refugee, that he committed any crimes while in Bosnia.
He also allegedly repeated the lie in 2007 when he applied to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. If found guilty, he could be deported. Sakoc has pleaded not to the charges.
According to court filings, Sakoc raped a Bosnian Serb woman in July 1992, aided in the murders of two elderly men who were under her care and set fire to their family home.
• In 2010 Ali Abdi, a Somali refugee residing in Burlington, was convicted of sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl. Of note is that part of his defense was based on having a “different cultural background”. According to www.wcax.com:
Ali Abdi was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years to life in prison for sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl, despite pleas to the judge from two of his children.
Abdi had taken off during his trial, and was captured out of state. The jury was not told he ran away. He was convicted.
Abdi’s lawyer argued that the case has to be viewed as different from others, because Abdi comes from a different cultural background– he is a Somali Bantu. His lawyer, Erik Smart, told the judge that Abdi fled Somalia and spent 13 years in a refugee camp before arriving in Burlington. Smart says the Somali Bantu community has forgiven Abdi.
“I would venture to say this community views this crime differently than our own community would,” Smart told the court.
Following an appeal, in 2012 a new trial was ordered for Adbi because the Vermont Supreme Court opined that, “a juror might have been influenced by information about Somali culture he found on the Internet.”
• A 2012 article in Seven Days Vermont reported that despite being listed as one of the “safest cities in America”, crime is increasing in the city of Burlington, VT. One of the instances cited:
In one case, a 24-year-old Somali immigrant was robbed and stabbed by his alleged accomplices over their share of the loot from a series of thefts. On August 19, Ahmed Hirmoge stumbled into the Champlain Farms at South Winooski Avenue and Main Street at 4:20 a.m., bloodied from stab wounds. He told the clerk someone had “jumped” him behind the convenience store and took his cellphone, bicycle, leather jacket and $130 in cash.
According to police, Hirmoge said he knew the guys who robbed him: They were all breaking into cars the weekend before and scattered when a Burlington police cruiser rolled by. Hirmoge told police he went to the gas station to “get a drink” and ran into his cohorts there, who collected their share of the “proceeds” by force.
Within hours, police had arrested two teenagers for assault and robbery: Connor Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old high school senior from South Burlington with a tattoo on his neck that reads “wild boy”; and Tam Mai, a 16-year-old with a criminal record that began when he was just 10.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: As we previously reported, since 2008, refugees from predominately Muslim countries have accounted for over 50 percent of refugee admissions to the U.S. each year. Emergency allocation increases are being requested based on the current situation in Syria and Iraq. It would be a safe assumption that Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program will be handling a share of the future influx of refugees, placing them in the Chittenden County, VT area. The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.
We recently reported on a story about Sneakers Bistro and Cafe, a Vermont restaurant that took down an ad for bacon after a Muslim woman complained that it it offended her. The sign read, “Yield for Sneakers Bacon”.
Now several days later, the restaurant is feeling quite a backlash. From USA Today:
A Winooski restaurant’s decision to take down a bacon advertisement has become the center of an online backlash.
“It’s blown up beyond all imagination,” City Manager Katherine “Deac” Decarreau said in an interview Monday.
Last week, Sneakers Bistro and Cafe removed a sign reading “Yield for Sneakers Bacon” from a garden at the Winooski Rotary after a woman who described herself as “a vegan and a member of a Muslim household” called the sign offensive in a post on Front Porch Forum.
“Given the large number of Muslim families in Winooski, as well as many others who do not eat pork for a variety of reasons, it seems unnecessary for this insensitive business sign to be at the city’s main crosswalk,” she wrote. The woman also complained that the sign “clutters an already dangerous crosswalk.”
The volume of negative comments over the decision to remove the sign was apparently significant. The restaurant’s phone voicemail was full early Monday afternoon and the owner found it necessary to remove their Facebook page. In response, an individual apparently not affiliated with Sneakers created a page named, Tell Sneakers Bistro How You Really Feel.
The Burlington Free Press reported:
The restaurant’s reviews on Google and Yelp have also taken a hit, with more than 50 recent one-star reviews referencing the controversy. Some of the Yelp users hail from as far away as California and Hawaii.
In regards to the original complaint about the bacon ad, Decarreau made the statement:
As I read her post, her request came as a vegan, not as a Muslim
** 8/27/2014- FOLLOWUP II
Islamic activists count on this attitude to make inroads towards the goal of reshaping western society to reflect their vision of what it should be.
VERMONT RESTAURANT REMOVES BACON SIGN DUE TO MUSLIM OPPOSITION AND SAFETY CONCERNS
by Michelle Moons, August 23, 2014
Local Winooski, Vermont restaurant Sneakers Bistro has removed a sign that read, “Yield Sneakers Bacon” citing opposition from a Muslim community member and safety concerns.
The sign was put up as part of a city program that allows businesses to post an advertisement in an area where they have helped maintain city flowerbeds. The sign that read “Yield Sneakers Bacon” was removed after a woman, identifying herself as a Muslim, posted in an online community forum, stating she was personally offended by the sign, according to a WPTZ News report. WPTZ wrote that the woman who complained online called the sign “insensitive to those who do not consume pork.”
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: This incident is only a small bump in the news cycle but demonstrates a trend in the U.S.: appeasement of a small Muslim minority. While the restaurant stated that there was also a safety issue involved in the decision to remove the sign, what triggered the removal was a complaint by a Muslim woman. In a broader scope, Islamic activists count on this attitude to make inroads towards the goal of reshaping western society to reflect their vision of what it should be. Once again, political correctness is being used as a weapon.
On a side note, a quick search did not disclose a mosque/masjid or Islamic center in the town of Winooski. Current estimates place the Muslim population in the U.S. at around 0.6%. It would be a safe assumption that it is significantly less in Winooski, Vermont. The 2010 census indicated the city population was 7,267
** 8/26/2014- FOLLOWUP
** 8/27/2014- FOLLOWUP II