The Problem of a Radical Imam at Wake Forest University
The troubling connections of WFU's Assistant Chaplain Khalid Griggs.
_Editor’s note: Below is a letter written by Donald L. Woodsmall (Class of ’77, J.D. 81) to Mr. James T. Williams, Jr., the Chair of the WFU Board of Trustees, in regards to _the troubling connections of WFU’s Assistant Chaplain Khalid Griggs. The Dr. Hatch that he refers to is Nathan O. Hatch, the President of Wake Forest University.__
For those readers who become inspired to take action after reading the letter below, you can notify Jim Williams and Dr. Hatch about your support for Wake holding a symposium/debate on Shariah law. Jim Williams’ email is [email protected] and President Hatch’s is [email protected].
February 13, 2012
Mr. James T. Williams, Jr.
Chair, WFU Board of Trustees
P.O. Box 7656
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27109
Re: Your letter of January 31, 2012 to the undersigned
I am responding to your letter, which was in response to my request for a meeting with you. In the event you are not aware of the events surrounding my request to meet with you, allow me to recap.
On August 5, 2011, I wrote to Dr. Hatch informing him that Assistant Chaplain Khalid Griggs has a very troubling background. Specifically, I pointed out and backed up with over 50 pages of evidence that Imam Griggs is: a radical Islamist, affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood organizations, a Shariah supremacist who believes Shariah law should supplant the U.S. Constitution, and an adherent to a philosophy that violence is an acceptable means to accomplish his goals. I also requested a meeting with Dr. Hatch to educate him further on what I knew and how I knew it.
Dr. Hatch wrote me back on October 4, 2011, with the politically correct response speaking to the need for religious diversity. However, he did not say my facts were wrong, contradict anything I said, take issue with my evidence, or present any evidence to the contrary. He also refused my offer to meet.
I wrote again to Dr. Hatch on December 7, 2011, and this time suggested that if he were truly interested in educating Wake students and following the truth wherever it leads, if Wake were truly intellectually honest and open and supportive of diversity, that a symposium/debate on Shariah law and the threat it poses to western, liberal principles would be a good vehicle to let both sides air their evidence and let students, alumni and others decide for themselves. On December 16th, Dr. Hatch declined my offer in a letter back to me.
In requesting a personal meeting with you, I was hoping that I would find an intellectually honest guardian of Wake Forest that would listen to what I had to say. After all, you are a trustee of the University, which makes you a fiduciary of the school, the students and its Pro Humanitate mission. Instead, I received the following reply from you (which I will quote in its entirety for the benefit of others that will be reading this letter):
“I am writing in response to your voice message of January 30, 2012, requesting to meet with me. You have said what you had to say in a most public and harmful way. We disagree with your methods, your premises and your conclusion. As far as Wake Forest is concerned, this matter is closed. Accordingly, I decline your invitation to meet.”
It has become obvious to me from my dealings with the press and insiders at Wake that the administration and the trustees are blatantly ignoring the hard facts and evidence presented to them in an effort to circle the wagons and adopt a uniform strategy of branding anyone who criticizes Imam Griggs as the “Old Wake Foresters” (read intolerant, bigoted and not wanting diversity), in the hope that this issue will go away when people decide they don’t want to be branded with these malicious labels. It is a sad effort that discredits a great University.
Mr. Williams, you say you disagree with my premises and conclusions, but I would ask you if you possess any information, evidence or facts that contradict what I have provided to Dr. Hatch? If so, I would ask that you share it with me.
Mr. Williams, have you taken any time to educate yourself on Islam and specifically the nature and ideology of Shariah law? Do you have any familiarity with the Texas Holy Land Foundation case, the largest terrorism financing case ever brought by the U.S. Justice Department? Have you reviewed any of the Muslim Brotherhood operational documents that the Justice Department captured and posted online? Have you reviewed the unindicted co-conspirators’ list from this trial? Have you ever spoken personally with a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was sent to this country to wage cultural jihad before converting to our side and going to the FBI and CIA with his story? Have you done any research on Imam Griggs and the radical, Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups that he belongs to? I can answer “yes” to all of the above questions. Can you answer yes to even a single one?
As to my methods with which you disagree, what should I have done? As someone who spent seven of the best years of my life at Wake Forest, should I have ignored this issue and allowed Wake Forest to continue to be used as a jihadist recruiting ground by a radical Islamist? I wrote to Dr. Hatch and gave him over 50 pages of evidence and asked for a meeting, which he declined. I wrote again and suggested a vetting of this issue through a public symposium or debate. Again, declined. I then turned my letters and evidence over to Radicalislam.org. They assigned Claire Lopez to do further research and write an article on this issue, which has now gone viral on the Internet (her article, my letters to Dr. Hatch and my evidence presented to him can be found at http://www.radicalislam.org/analysis/wake-forest-universitys-radical-imam). Mr. Williams, do you believe that you know more about Imam Griggs, Islam, Shariah law, and the Muslim Brotherhood than Claire Lopez? In case you are unaware of Ms. Lopez background, let me enlighten you, as she is a heavyweight in this field. Here is her bio:
Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense, WMD, and counterterrorism issues. Specific areas of expertise include Islam and Iran. She began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving domestically and abroad for 20 years in a variety of assignments, and acquired extensive expertise in counterintelligence, counternarcotics, and counterproliferation issues with a career regional focus on the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She has served in or visited over two dozen nations worldwide, and speaks several languages, including Spanish, Bulgarian, French, German, and Russian, and currently is studying Farsi. Now a private consultant, Lopez also serves as Vice President of the non-profit forum, The Intelligence Summit, and is a Professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre), where she teaches courses on the Iranian Intelligence Services, and the expanding influence of Jihad and Shariah in Europe and the U.S. She is affiliated on a consultant basis with DoD contractors that provide clandestine operations training to military intelligence personnel. Lopez was Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee, a Washington, DC think tank, from 2005-2006. She has served as a Senior Scientific Researcher at the Battelle Memorial Institute; a Senior Intelligence Analyst, Subject Matter Expert, and Program Manager at HawkEye Systems, LLC; and previously produced Technical Threat Assessments for U.S. Embassies at the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, where she worked as a Senior Intelligence Analyst for Chugach Systems Integration.
I would also respectfully ask you if you know more about these issues than James Woolsey (former director of the CIA), General Harry Soyster (former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency), General William Boykin (former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence), Joseph Schmitz (former Inspector General of the Dept. of Defense) or Andy McCarthy (former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the “blind Sheik” for the first bombing of the World Trade Center)? All of whom agree with Ms. Lopez and me and who were also the authors, along with Ms. Lopez, of “Shariah: The Threat to America.” If you haven’t read their work, I would suggest that you do so, in order that you might have a basic understanding of the subject matter and the people that you are trying to protect and thereby providing a recruiting ground for this radical Islamist ideology at Wake Forest.
As a Wake Forest trained lawyer, I would have expected that you would have done all of the above research before writing your curt letter to me implying that I am the bad guy in all of this. I understand that you believe you are protecting the institution that we both love by framing this issue as one of bigotry (old, close-minded Wake Foresters versus the new, open-minded Wake Foresters). But let me assure you, this is NOT an issue of bigotry or diversity. To believe it is, one has to be either very naïve or intellectually dishonest. However, this is a matter of ideology and I am trying to lift the burka and expose this radical, anti-American, anti-liberal ideology. You are covering up and hoping the issue will go away. Let me assure you, it won’t. The original misfeasance of hiring someone like Imam Griggs without checking him out has been compounded into gross malfeasance by the cover-up and obfuscation that you and the administration are engaging in.
Understanding that you are a very busy lawyer, perhaps you could have had one of your associates or paralegals do a modicum of research on this issue before painting yourself into a corner. Since you obviously haven’t done much research, allow me to give you a primer on the basics of Shariah law. And please understand, that one of the main tenets of Shariah law is that it is not served up a la carte. A Muslim must make a choice to either be all in for Shariah, the 7th Century Islamic law set out by Mohammed or, if the Muslim has entered the age of reason and enlightenment, opt not to be a Shariah supremacist. Wake Forest, if they had done the proper vetting, could have chosen a 21st century Imam who was a non-Shariah supremacist and we wouldn’t be having this dialogue, but they didn’t.
Here are some basic tenets of the Shariah law ideology that you are trying to defend in the name and guise of diversity:
- All laws were handed down by Allah. There are no man-made laws such as the Constitution. Shariah is, to quote Andy McCarthy, “not merely a set of religious principles for spiritual guidance but a full-scale, authoritarian governmental system, regulating every aspect of political, social, and economic life.” Please note the quote from Imam Griggs in number 6 below whereby he gives voice to this belief.
- Denial of freedom of conscience, religion and speech. If you are a non-Muslim in a Shariah dominant state, you have three choices, convert to Islam, be a dhimni (a second class citizen with less rights and more obligations than a Muslim), or death.
- Death to apostates (Muslims who leave the faith). Have you seen the recent Pew poll taken in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak where a full 80% of Egyptians stated that it was their belief that apostates, those renouncing their Islamic faith, should be put to death?
- A caste system where everyone is segregated by creed and sex. A society where men’s rights are superior to women’s rights and where a Muslim’s rights are superior to a non-Muslim’s. This obviously includes polygamy with men allowed up to four wives. A woman’s testimony is only worth ½ of a man’s testimony in Shariah courts (which Britain now has).
- Death to homosexuals. Did you ever wonder why Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, when speaking at Columbia University said there were no homosexuals in Iran? At least those students had enough common sense to laugh and boo him for this comment, instead of defending him in the name of diversity.
- Women must cover all of their skin. Here is a website with a Question and Answer with Imam Griggs describing why women should cover up. One quote from Imam Griggs says it all: “I think it’s very important to understand that the parameters of dress for Muslim women and Muslim men are parameters that were established by the creator of the universe, by Allah, and those parameters do not change.” (See No. 1 above) I encourage you to read this article in order to gain an understanding into this man’s ideology, at least what he will admit to publicly, so that you will know what you are defending.
- Zakat – Islamic charity, of which 1/8th must go to fund jihadist violence by non-military Muslim actors on non-Muslims;
- Taqiyya – lying to non-muslims in order to spread their faith.
- The permissible use of violence to impose Shariah law. You really should read the notebook of information that I supplied to Dr. Hatch in my August 5th letter as it sets all of this out clearly and in great detail. But I will summarize it for you. Imam Griggs touts extensively, including on the website for his mosque, his membership in the Islamic Party of North America (IPNA). He wrote the definitive history of IPNA. He is an officer in IPNA. I bought their instructional manual entitled “Taking Islam to the Street: The Daw’ah of the Islamic Party of North America” in which Imam Griggs is quoted extensively. In other words, he is a big player in IPNA. Page 66 of this manual recites their eight-line motto…line five of which is “Jihad, all out struggle, is our means” …to impose Shariah Law everywhere. In all schools of Sunni and Shia jurisprudence, Jihad is obligatory and means to wage warfare against non-Muslims. There is no other legal definition of Jihad in Islamic Law. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you could have one of your associates do a little legal research on this issue. You may want to rely on someone who has a little more expertise than the Southern Poverty Law Center. The classic and authoritative manual of Islamic Sacred Law, which is available on Amazon, is “Reliance of the Traveller” (sic). This is the leading text on Islamic Jurisprudence and it has a very unambiguous definition of Jihad, which is clearly set out in the opening sentence of the section on Jihad.
So Mr. Williams, do you believe that this is an ideology worth defending, worth circling the wagons for, worth implying that I am a bigot or Islamaphobe because I want the Wake community to know about it, worth castigating those who don’t want to give their money to Wake as along as this is protected and kept hidden at Wake? Do you really believe that Wake should allow this ideology to use its campus for more jihadist recruits who want to pull our society down from within?
I ask you, if Wake Forest’s motto, “Pro Humanitate (for humanity), is at the heart of the University’s identity and reflects a dedication to making a difference in the world,” then who is best supporting that mission? You, who are trying to support yet hide this hideous ideology, or I, who am trying to expose it?
I firmly believe that unless all Americans understand Shariah Islamists, then they cannot begin to understand what is happening in the world, why non-Muslims are murdered in the millions by Muslims in Shariah Islamic countries, why the Arab spring is turning out to be the Arab Winter, or why Iran wants to destroy Israel and can never be allowed to posses nuclear weapons.
I believe that what is best for Wake Forest, its students and alumni, and what I would encourage you to get behind, is the symposium/debate which I have proposed. Shouldn’t it be a hallmark of a great institution to be open-minded, to embrace dialogue and debate on difficult issues of national and worldwide importance, to eschew political correctness and follow the truth wherever it leads? If I, and the others mentioned above, are wrong, then why not engage in a debate for everyone to witness? What are you and the administration afraid of, other than educating the Wake community on the nature of Shariah law and the ideology of Imam Griggs?
Donald L. Woodsmall
Class of ’77, J.D. 81
Board of Trustees
Old Gold and Black
Wall Street Journal
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