Tennessee's Troubling Islamist Network

Home to the Holy Land Foundation II?

The “red-green alliance” in Tennessee between the liberal-left and Islamists is alive and well but made even more novel with the participation of Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

Never one to shy away from Obama’s agenda for the U.S., Governor Haslam’s push to elevate the political status of Muslims in his state must leave Tennesseans wondering if their Republican governor is actually a Democrat.

Governor Haslam’s promotion of the Islamist agenda in his state progressed from having his Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security work behind the scenes to support and partner with the American Muslim Advisory Council to having the Muslim Council train state law enforcement and Department of Children’s Services staff.  Meanwhile, he appointed shariah compliant finance specialist, Samar Ali as International Director for the TN Department of Economic and Community Development.

Unfortunately for the Governor, his appointment of Samar Ali (whose donation to Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. and later the Obama Victory Fund didn’t raise an eyebrow) resulted in harsh criticism from Tennessee conservatives.  Attempting to deflect criticism, the Governor’s office publicly released Ms. Ali’s credentials but was careful to redact her extensive experience and expertise in shariah finance.  But the release included references to her father’s curriculum vitae to convince the public that this family from Waverly was 100% Tennessean.

No one can dispute the accomplishments of Dr. Subhi Ali, Samar’s father, but his very active Red/Green political life was conspicuously omitted by the Governor.  For example, Dr. Ali and his wife were multi-year donors (see here and here) to pro-Hamas/anti-Israel Democrat Cynthia Mckinney, political support consistent with Dr. Ali’s long-standing service to the Jerusalem Fund.

The Jerusalem Fund – The Holy Land Foundation II?

The Jerusalem Fund (originally the American Palestine Education Foundation) was founded in 1977 by Dr. Hisham Sharabi who served as Chairman of the Board until he died in 2005.  Despite self-description as “non-political”, review of the Fund’s leadership, programming, and issues of focus, reflects an overtly pro-Palestinian/pro-Hamas/anti-Israel posture. Documents currently available show that Subhi Ali joined the Jerusalem Fund’s Board in 2000, became  Vice Chair in 2003 and has served as Chairman from 2005 until the present.

The Jerusalem Fund is comprised of 3 programs:

1) The Palestine Center offers Information Briefs such as the “Rising support for Hamas and the Roots of its Success in Palestine “ (“One of Hamas’ more distinctive qualities is its emphasis on Islam. In addition to its self-proclaimed role as a legitimate and honest replacement to Fateh, Hamas also acts as a religious alternative to the secular Fateh.”)

2) The Humanitarian Link,which provides grants for social services in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” and supports the Palestine Diabetes Institute.

(Originally named the “Occupied Land Fund,” the Holy Land Foundation was the largest Islamic charity in the U.S., which also claimed the need for humanitarian relief for Palestinians in the occupied territories.  The Holy Land Foundation was successfully prosecuted in 2007 for funding Hamas).

3) The Gallery, which promotes the Palestinian and Arab cultures.

Fund founder Hisham Sharabi advocated a Palestinian “armed struggle” if necessary, to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  His 1998 paper “The Palestinians: Fifty Years Later,” called for Americans of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim backgrounds to organize using their “constitutional rights as Americans” to “influence a dangerously biased [toward Israel] American policy in the Middle East.”

Sharabi’s political activities also included serving on the board of World & Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), and along with Jerusalem Fund co-founder and board member, Dr. George Hishmeh, served on the Board of the American Committe on Jerusalem (ACJ).

You Are Known By the Company You Keep

WISE was founded, incorporated and led by Sami al-Arian who was subsequently sentenced in 2006 to prison and deportation because of his leadership of the U.S.-designated terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

WISE was named in a federal indictment as part of a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, extortion, money laundering, and fraud. They operated worldwide including the Middle District of Florida.

WISE Board members included:

Taha Jabir al Alwani - President, IIIT; cited as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Justice Department’s terrorism prosecution against al-Arian.

Basheer Nafi - charged with “conspiracy to murder, maim or injure persons outside the United States” and a significant leader of the PIJ; was indicted by the FBI in absentia.

Mazin an Najjar - a founding member of WISE, was arrested on secret FBI evidence that he supported terrorism and was associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a threat to national security.  He was deported from the U.S. in 2002.

Ramadan Abdullah aka Ramadan Shallah currently on the FBI Most Wanted List, co-founder of WISE, and listed as a “Specially Designated Terrorist.”  He was named a leader of PIJ in 1995.

WISE served as the U.S. “martyr kits” to make payments to suicide bombers’ surviving family members.

Samar Ali worked as a legal intern at the Arab Bank at the time the lawsuit was filed.  How did she end up at a bank being investigated for laundering money for her father’s close associate’s organization?  Does Governor Haslam know about this?

WISE was funded by the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Institute on Islamic Thought (IIIT).  Tarik Hamdi, identified as an officer/staff member of WISE is listed in a federal affidavit as providing material support to Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden and the PIJ.  He left WISE to work for IIIT.  He subsequently left the U.S. and relocated to the Middle East.

The IIIT was named in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s likeminded “organizations of our friends.”

Under Sharabi and Subhi Ali’s leadership, the Jerusalem Fund partnered with Life for Relief & Development (LIFE) which was raided by the FBI in 2006 “less than two months” after CAIR sent out an “Action Alert” asking people “to aid in collecting and sending [relief] supplies to LIFE.” The final destinations of the supplies were Lebanon and Gaza, where Israel was battling Hezbollah and Hamas. LIFE has been a “partner” organization to numerous groups with terror ties, including Human Concern International, Jerusalem Fund, ICNA Helping Hand, Islamic Relief and Human Appeal International.”

Subsequent to the raid, LIFE’s public relations coordinator, Muthanna al-Hanooti was indicted as an agent for Saddam Hussein’s government paid to manipulate U.S. officials. He pled guilty and faces a four year prison sentence. Al-Hanooti had also served as executive director of CAIR Michigan in 2000.

It should come as no surprise to anyone to see CAIR pop up given that Sami al-Arian and Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook, co-founded the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the parent organization of CAIR.  Marzook also established the Holy Land Foundation.  Is it any wonder then that once again in the 2009 federal appeal, Judge Solis confirmed that there was “ample evidence to establish the associations CAIR, ISNA, NAIT with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine and with Hamas.”

Time and again cases are prosecuted and it is proven that an Islamic charity has been used to raise and funnel money to support Islamic terrorist organizations. Looking at terrorism financing cases such as the Holy Land Foundation, WISE, Kindhearts, Benevolence International Foundation, al-Haramain Foundation, Global Relief Foundation and others, shouldn’t a prosecutor be asking whether Hisham Sharabi’s legacy, the Jerusalem Fund now chaired by Dr. Subhi Ali, is following suit?

It looks like the Jerusalem Fund is registered in every state except Louisiana.  Tennesseans and concerned citizens in other states should be looking carefully at who is doing what in their state offices.  Be assured, the Red/Green alliance is busy while we sleep.

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