By WILLIAM MAYER, BEILA RABINOWITZ
October 16, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a September 19 piece Muslim Taxi Drivers At Minneapolis International Airport Subjecting Fares To Sharia we detailed the controversy surrounding airport taxi drivers who were in growing numbers, refusing to transport passengers whom they suspected of carrying beer, wine or other products containing alcohol, using as their justification that such was contrary to Islamic law.
The program that the Metropolitan Airports Commission had devised to deal with the problem - segregating the taxi fleet into two groups, those willing to take alcohol bearing fares and those who were unwilling and identifying each group by a colored beacon to be placed on the roof of the vehicle - was ultimately rejected under the pressure of a withering outpouring of negative comments from the public and media. This is a positive development, since the airport's "solution" actually represented a capitulation to Muslim strong arm tactics and thus a victory for the radical Islamists whose unstated goal remains the implementation of sharia in America under the guise of multiculturalism.
Largely obscured by the outlandish nature of the cabbie story lies a more sober tale, one that has its origin in a little known and even less discussed aspect of a social experiment being conducted by the U.S. Dept. of State known as the U.S. Refugee Program which found its origin in the Refugee Act of 1980 and the earlier Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, both a reflection of sentiments expressed by the United Nation's High Commission for Refugees' "Refugee Convention."
The idea behind this program is a noble one - as is often the case with these things - granting asylum to significant numbers of foreign nationals - refugees - who have been abused in various ways by circumstances including actions taken by their governments.
As defined by the State Dept., a refugee is one who meets one or more of the following criteria:
has a particularly compelling history of persecution;
is a member of an ethnic or religious group that is considered by the United States to be of "special humanitarian concern" (for some groups, only those with relatives in the United States are eligible).
is the spouse, unmarried child, or parent of a refugee who has been resettled or is a U.S. permanent resident or an asylee in the United States.
Under this program and especially since 2003, tens-of-thousands of Somalis have migrated to the United States via the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, PRM.
"The total number of Somalis living in the United States is estimated at 150,000, of whom about 40,000 are Somali refugees from the dominant clans. With tens of thousands of Somalis, Minneapolis has the largest Somali community in the United States. Other metropolitan areas with large numbers of Somalis include Columbus, Ohio, New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, Atlanta, and Detroit. (For more information on Somalia in general, please see the Center for Applied Linguistics' Culture Profile on Somali refugees.)" - Link
The breakdown of the number of Somalis recently granted asylum to the United States is as follows:
Various publications have been assembled to explain and implement this program, one of which is available for purchase on the Dept. of State website - Muslim Refugees in the United States A Guide for Service Providers, by Patricia S. Maloof, Ph.D.and Fariyal Ross-Sheriff, Ph.D.
From the preamble of this work:"For some Muslim refugees, religion is a powerful determining factor in life, while for others it may be less important. This guide presents information on the needs that arise from the practice of Islam, such as the need for an appropriate space for prayer, consideration during the month when fasting is observed (Ramadan), and the need to observe dietary laws. It also outlines behaviors that may arise as responses to the fear that Muslims experience when they encounter anti-Muslim sentiments and actions in the United States."
Such passages though not immediately alarming suggest however a Muslim-centric approach in which accommodation goes but one way and which inculcates in Muslim refugees an expectation of dhimmitude on the part of the host culture.
More to the point, one must wonder what forms of "anti-Muslim sentiments" exist in a nation reaching out to haggard Islamic populations who might reasonably be expected to perish in squalid refugee camps in Somalia absent the intervention of the United States?
Maloof and Shariff's treatise presents a storybook version of Islam in which every potential area of concern is glossed over, such as their handling of jihad, defining it as, "the struggle; refers both to the individual's inner struggle to follow the way of Islam, and the struggle on the side of what is right," and this non-reality based declaration of gender equality, "Islam emphasizes the equality of all people, and, according to the teachings of Islam, men and women are equal in the eyes of God."
Aside from such minor encumbrances, the Somali refugee program is controversial from a number of standpoints:
- The impact that the importation of essentially alien cultures has upon the locales they are settled in.
- Since Somalia is a nation with a history of Islamic radicalism, support of terror and clan/warlord based violence, any expedited pathway into the United States [the asylum process] might be exploited as a vector for those inclined towards terror.
- That too little consideration has been given to the degree to which these refugees are asked or even willing to become acculturated.
"Somalia's lack of a functioning central government, protracted state of violent instability, long unguarded coastline, porous borders, and proximity to the Arabian Peninsula made it a potential location for international terrorists seeking a transit or launching point to conduct operations elsewhere." - U.S. Dept. of State Country Report On Terrorism, April 2006
Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) a Somali jihadist group, was designated as a terrorist organization under Executive Order 13224 Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups Identified Under Executive Order 13224 and it is believed that the "Union of Islamic Tribunals," Ittihad al mahakem al Islamiya or UIT, the ascending power in Mogadishu has ties to al-Qaeda, so the area remains of high concern.
There are many troubling signs that all is not well within the expatriated Somali community in the United States.
Shortly after the September 11 attacks, the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury added the Al-Barakaat network of money transfer to the "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" list, under the Office of Foreign Asset Control, OFAC.
Barakaat was founded by Ahmed Nur Jumali a Somali and had at the time operated in 40 countries worldwide, encompassing more than 180 offices and was the primary method of transferring money to Somalia.
The State Dept. has estimated that "worldwide cash flows could be as high as $300 to $400 million per year."
Barakaat was in especially heavy use amongst the Minneapolis Somali community - as would be expected given Somalia's nonexistent banking system - both for the purposes of sending money back to family and friends still in East Africa and in some cases to fund terrorism as well as the sectarian and clan-based warfare that has plagued Somalia."But Abdi Samatar, an author of two books and many articles on Somali culture, said not all of the money is humanitarian aid. "Some people are sending money to warlords," he said. "That's a human rights violation of major proportions, and it's a criminal act, in my opinion." Collections in Minnesota for warlords in Somalia have fueled "the very violence that has brought them here in the first place seeking refuge," said Samatar, who grew up in Somalia and is a geography professor at the University of Minnesota. "It's absolute madness," he said." Minnesota Somalis send millions back to East Africa
Intelligence sources suspect - though no concrete proof has yet been provided - that part of the proceeds of Al-Barakaat's transactions found their way into the coffers of the terrorist group Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) who then might have in turn, passed a portion of it directly on to al-Qaeda.
Upon the demise of Al-Barakaat an alternative to it - Dalsan - was created in August of 2001.
As terrorism expert, Peter Pham, Ph.D., writing for The Family Security Foundation, Inc. points out:"The Dalsan firm's co-founder and chairman was none other than Mohamed Sheikh Osman, onetime spokesman of Al-Itihaad al-Islamiyya ("Islamic Union"), the radical Somali Islamist group from which today's ICU directly descendant operated in a manner similar to Al-Barakaat until it ceased operation without warning in May of 2006, taking with it possibly as much as $50 million in unredeemed shares in the enterprise and unconsummated money transfers. - Financing Somalia's Warlords
As noted in the Minneapolis Safe City Initiative, crime is a significant problem within the Somali community - "Somali gang members loitering in the area and committing crimes (auto theft, shootings, robberies, assaults, etc.)"
Then there is the case of Somali refugee Nuradin M. Abdi who is currently under a four count federal indictment involving his participation in a 2003 al-Qaeda plot to blow up a Columbus Ohio shopping mall.
One of the Minneapolis Somali communities' oft pointed to "success stories" is Hassan Ali Mohamud, who emigrated to the U.S. nearly 20 years ago, having obtained a number of college degrees.
What is generally left unsaid is that Mohamud also has a significant leadership role - Vice President of the Minnesota branch of the Muslim American Society - a radical Islamist group."Hassan Ali Mohamud, Director of the MAS Freedom Foundation Office in Minneapolis, MN, gave a workshop to the Somali community on April 30 in the Tobin Community Center in Boston entitled, "Somali Muslim Identity in America Today". The workshop was given in Somali and English and focused on immigration laws and civil rights issues affecting Somali immigrants in the U.S. Mr. Mohamud is also the Imam of Al-Taqwa Masjid in St. Paul, and serves as the Vice President of the Minnesota MAS Chapter. In addition, he is an immigration lawyer, who was also appointed as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Mr. Mohamud serves as the Immigration Law Project Advisor for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, and serves as Senior Advisor to the Minnesota Muslim Council." - MAS FF Gives Somali Empowerment Workshop
As Dr. Daniel Pipes observes about MAS in The Muslim American Society's Goals:"I wrote about the Muslim American Society in The Islamic States of America? and how it seeks to replace the Constitution with the Koran. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross takes this further today in MAS' Muslim Brotherhood Problem here he looks closely at the MAS Minnesota website and notes that it calls on members to fulfill their "duties as outlined in the Message of the Teachings by Imam [Hasan] Al-Banna." Gartenstein-Ross then takes a look at "The Message of the Teachings" and finds that it instructs Muslims that they must work on reforming their government:"so that it may become a truly Islamic government...By Islamic government I mean a government whose officers are Muslims who perform the obligatory duties of Islam, who do not make public their disobedience, and who enforce the rules and teachings of Islam. Al-Banna also instructs that Muslims should "Completely boycott non-Islamic courts and judicial systems. Also, dissociate yourself from organisations, newspapers, committees, schools, and institutions which oppose your Islamic ideology." Al-Banna also condones in this book spreading Islam with violence: "Always intend to go for Jihad and desire martyrdom. Prepare for it as much as you can."
It is especially worth noting that even such mainstream media sources as the Chicago Tribune are claiming - and backing up with voluminous data - the connection between the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim American Society A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America - Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe and Laurie Cohen, September 19, 2004
Mohamud in addition to his duties at MAS is also the Imam at St. Paul's al-Taqwa mosque, presumably serving much of the area's Somali Muslim population."Hassan Ali Mohamud is the Imam at the Masjid Al Taqwa Mosque in St. Paul, the mosque associated with the new Islamic Center of St. Paul on North Snelling Avenue. Mohamud, who previously worked for the St. Paul Public Schools, is employed by the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, where he works on immigration cases. He is also the president of the Somali Family & Youth Association of Minnesota....He earlier received a bachelor of laws degree from Somali National University and a master's degree in Islamic Law from the Higher Islamic Institute of Cairo."
Islam is taking to politics in a big way in Minneapolis, with Keith Ellison [Mumammad] a disciple of Louis Farrakhan's much discredited anti-Semitic Nation of Islam, mounting a strong campaign [featuring reprehensible local media coverage] as a Democrat, for the U.S. House of Representatives
In what amounts to a cheerleading piece by the Christian Science Monitor - Contender may become first Muslim in US Congress Amanda Paulson notes:"When Keith Ellison arrives at the Karmel Square, one of Minneapolis's Somali malls, a rock star might as well be walking by the bustling stalls of bright fabrics, jewelry, phone cards, and videos."As Powerline details:
"Moreover, Ellison's long commitment to and advocacy of the Nation of Islam is reflected in the various aliases he used over a period of ten years: Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad. Ellison's involvement with the Nation of Islam includes his support of "the truth" of Joanne Jackson's condemnation of Jews in 1997 as "the most racist white people...Ellison's involvement with the Nation of Islam is not the most offensive of his public associations and commitments. That distinction must belong to Ellison's work with Minneapolis gang leader and murderer Sharif Willis following the 1992 murder of Minneapolis Police Officer Jerry Haaf...Ellison's February 2000 speech on behalf of domestic terrorist Kathleen Soliah/Sara Jane Olson picked up this reprehensible aspect of Ellison's career and united it with his missionary work on behalf of the Nation of Islam. In that speech Ellison called for the release of Soliah/Olson and spoke favorably of cop killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur." - Keith Ellison for Dummies
Now whether or not the majority of Ellison's Somali supporters intimately understand his background is really immaterial. Their strong support for him stems from the mere fact that he is a Muslim and thus we are returned to the question of acculturation, the so-called melting pot and if these people came to the United States because they wanted to become Americans or whether the U.S. is just another stop along the way and reflective of a mindset that rests heavily upon their previous nomadic existence and attitudes."When I use the term transnational nomads, I refer to a nomadic way of life rather than nomadism in the strict sense of a livelihood. What I call the Somali "nomadic heritage" includes a mentality of looking for greener pastures, a strong social network that entails the obligation to assist each other in surviving, and risk-reduction through strategically dispersing investments in family members and activities. In my opinion, this also means that Minneapolis will not necessarily be the final destination of the many Somalis who live there. Rashid comments: "Somalis always have an idea of temporality; they always have the option of looking for greener pastures in mind." - "New Issues In Refugee Research - Somalis in Minneapolis, family responsibilities and the migration dreams of relatives," Cindy Horst, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo Norway, June 2006
It also brings us full circle to the airport taxi confrontation, which is by no means a unique occurrence as these things seem to happen wherever America's Islamist organizations intersect with Somali immigrants.
Consider the March 2005 case in which 30 Somali Muslims chose to quite their jobs at Dell Computer's Nashville, Tennessee plant over a dispute involving a claim that the company had refused to allow them to stop work and pray five times a day while facing Mecca.
The job action, directed by the Saudi funded Wahhabist front group the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] led to a series of lawsuits that eventually bullied Dell into reinstating the workers with back pay rather than continue to face the bad publicity associated with a Jewish owned [Michael Dell] firm being pilloried in the press for being "anti-Muslim," a fact which no doubt caused endless satisfaction among CAIR's leadership.
Similar cases have occurred in the Nashville area such as that of Whirlpool Corporation which - rather than knuckling under - chose to fight a similar dispute taking it to the federal court system which found on behalf of the employer, affirming that the practice of stopping entire production lines for evening prayer caused undue hardship on the company.
Dell's record on recognition of religious diversity is exemplary, probably one of the reasons it allowed itself to be rolled by CAIR's thuggery.
As the company's spokesman Mark Drury stated, ''Dell values diversity in all areas, and that includes religious beliefs...The company's practice is to accommodate religious beliefs, so long as the accommodations are reasonable."
Drury further stated that not only does Dell accommodate minority religious beliefs, it goes to such great lengths that, "Employees are allowed time off with pay to pray. We have traffic-free areas for them to use for prayer.''
He stressed however that reasonableness must be taken into account, claiming that, "granting time off during a shift on a manufacturing line would be disruptive.''
In yet another legal case, this one also involving Minnesota Somali refugees, a group of nine has brought a federal discrimination suit against Gold'n Plump, a Cold Spring based poultry processor.
The suit alleges that the plant refused to permit the litigants enough break time to allow them to pray.
Gold'n Plump spokesman Peggy Brown stated that the company has made considerable effort to accommodate its Muslim employees since 2003. Characterizing the demands being made by the litigious Somalis, Brown said, "modifications of this nature affect and possibly disrupt the lives and schedules of other employees." - Somalis alleged discrimination at Cold Spring poultry plant Associated Press, October 9, 2006.
Looking at the totality of the evidence in this matter a number of aspects stand out:1. In general, American society has made a tremendous effort to accommodate tens of thousands of these Somali refugees and their perceived needs into the mainstream, offering them jobs suitable to their skill level along with housing, social welfare assistance and a cultural support structure.
2. For its part the federal government has expended hundreds of millions of dollars on plucking these people from East Africa, most likely rescuing them from early death. It has taken extraordinary steps to be understanding and accepting of the refugee's culture and religion.
3. Unfortunately, in large part many of these refugees seem to have less than total devotion to the idea of actually becoming Americans as distinct from Somalis who happen to be currently sojourning here.
4. In many cases American hospitality has been repaid with a refusal by the Somalis to integrate into the larger society that hosts them, bringing lawsuits and allying themselves with radical Islamist organizations.
5. In fact many Somali Americans seem be intent on reproducing nothing more than "little Mogadishus" wherever they have been resettled."A parallel economy was created [in Minneapolis] that enables Somalis nowadays to do everything "the Somali way": there are Somali shops, malls, NGOs, travel agents, hairdressers, restaurants, Quranic schools, mosques etc." - "New Issues In Refugee Research - Somalis in Minneapolis, family responsibilities and the migration dreams of relatives," Cindy Horst, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo Norway, June 2006
The track record of America's Somali refugees so far suggests that these people are largely unappreciative of the stunning commitment which has been made to them by the people of the United States.
We therefore strongly recommend that the U.S. Dept. of State reevaluate the entire refugee program as it applies to both to Somalia and also to other African Muslim countries.
What has been demonstrated so far is that - for whatever reasons be they cultural or religious - the Somali refugees who have been granted asylum here, are unwilling to live as full citizens, demonstrating a singular lack of commitment to making the necessary accommodations that are required to live in a pluralist, secular Western society.
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