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Tennessee lawyer files free speech lawsuit after being fired for ‘anti-Islam’ and pro-Trump tweets

Jerry Morgan gave the details of this case in an exclusive Jihad Watch article HERE. Get more background on this case HERE, where Robert Spencer stated:

What disparaging remarks did Morgan make? Did he say that Muslims were “the most vile of created beings”? No, that’s what the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, calls non-Muslims (98:6). Did he call Muslims “apes and pigs”? No, that’s what the Qur’an calls Jews (2:63-65, 5:59-60, 7:166). Did he say Muslims were “unclean”? No, that’s what the Qur’an says of non-Muslims (9:28).

So what egregious statements did Morgan actually make?

As it turned out, he has been forced to resign for “praising President Donald Trump for ‘stopping Muslims’ and ‘talking big against Muslims,’” and “said Islam was not a peaceful religion and made comments linking the faith with violence and ‘Muslim terrorists.’”

To our dhimmi overlords, however, all that matters is that anything offensive to Islam/Muslims, even if it is true, must be shut down in accordance with Sharia blasphemy laws, which are well on the way to becoming mainstream in American society, despite the First Amendment. Jerry Morgan is one of the few who have had the courage to fight back, and we wish him well.

“Tennessee: State Lawyer Fired for ‘Anti-Islam’ Tweets Files Speech Suit,” 

Bloomberg Law, April 6, 2021:

An attorney alleges the Tennessee Supreme Court’s board of professional responsibility unlawfully fired him for posting Tweets that an opposing party said displayed anti-Muslim bias, arguing his social media posts were constitutionally protected political speech similar to that of former president Donald Trump.

The board of professional responsibility regulates licensed Tennessee attorneys. Jerry Morgan handled appeals to the state supreme court regarding attorney discipline, according to his complaint filed Monday at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Attorney Brian Manookian, who was undergoing disciplinary proceedings, filed a motion to disqualify Morgan, claiming he was an anti-Muslim bigot. Manookian cited multiple Tweets Morgan had posted that, among other things, praised then-candidate Trump for “talking about the #1 issue of our time—stopping Muslims” and disparaged Muslims and Democrats.

Manookian claimed Morgan had an anti-Islam bias that could prejudice him, because his wife was Muslim and his children were being raised in a Muslim household.

Morgan says his posts were “indisputably political in nature,” concerning matters that were controversial but part of the national debate. “Many were views publicly expressed by Trump” and agreed to by the Tennessee voters who “overwhelmingly” voted for him in 2016, Morgan says. There were no accusations against him of biased conduct in the Manookian case or any other, Morgan claims.

Morgan was fired in December. He sued the board and chief disciplinary counsel Sandra Garrett, alleging he was unconstitutionally punished for Tweets that were made in his private capacity and were about matters of public importance.

Cause of Action: First Amendment.

Relief Requested: Damages, injunctive relief….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Secrecy surrounds refugee program in Tennessee and in your state too!

This is an opinion piece published in The Tennessean yesterday and posted in its entirety here with permission from the author.

Barnett is an expert on the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program and its history having followed its progression for literally two decades.

From The Tennessean:

Before the Refugee Act of 1980, refugee resettlement was the work of true sacrificial charity, where sponsors and charities committed to maintaining and supporting the refugees with housing and employment, even medical care if needed. There was an explicit bar to the access of welfare benefits. The sponsor was responsible for all costs. This helped to guarantee assimilation and is how we absorbed post-WWII refugees, those fleeing communist oppression in Eastern Europe, the Hungarian Revolution and other upheavals.

Don Barnett 2

Don Barnett

With the 1980 Refugee Act and related laws, the charities morphed into money-making federal contractors whose main job is to link the refugees with social services and welfare benefits. The 1980 act made all welfare available to refugees upon arrival — for life, if eligibility is maintained.

Originally, the Refugee Act included three years of federal refugee cash assistance and medical insurance. As well, state governments were reimbursed for their expenditures on welfare used by refugees, such as Medicaid (TennCare), for three years. By 1991, reimbursement from the feds for state welfare expenditures had been completely eliminated and the three-year period of refugee cash and medical assistance for refugees was limited to eight months.

According to the most recent government data, even those refugees in the country for five years are largely dependent on taxpayer largesse. Sixty percent of this group receives food stamps and 17 percent are on the cash welfare program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). A nationwide U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study shows 44 percent are still in Medicaid and 29 percent of families who have been here for five years have one or more members on the lifetime cash welfare program Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

This gives an idea of the costs to the federal taxpayer and of the unfunded federal mandate placed upon state taxpayers by this program.

Because of the byzantine structure of Tennessee’s program, there is no way to get exact costs. Both the state refugee coordinator and state refugee health coordinator, who are supposed to represent the state and its taxpayers, are actually employees of Catholic Charities, the federal contractor whose income rises in direct proportion to the numbers of refugees resettled. Further, the salary for both of these positions is paid not by the contractor, but by the feds. How’s that for a conflict of interest?

In a healthy and open environment, information would be made available from these two sources, which would help in evaluating program success and program costs, such as use of TennCare by refugees, rates of infection with communicable disease and so on. Alas, because of incentives and disincentives built into the refugee coordinators’ jobs, the best strategy for them is to withhold information.

Secrecy surrounds all aspects of the program. We have no idea what it is costing Tennessee. Statistics about medical conditions among refugees are secret. Even the numbers of refugee arrivals proposed for next year is a secret. And when arrival numbers are reported, after the fact, they are routinely reported as lower than actual numbers by conveniently neglecting to include categories of resettlement that are not official refugees, but that have the same entitlements — and benefits to the contractor — as refugees.

Orwellian use of language allows for absurd claims about refugee economic integration. For instance, refugees are considered officially “self-sufficient” even if they receive every federal welfare benefit except TANF. Refugees in temporary jobs or training programs are counted as “employed.” An unpublicized federal audit from 1999 obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request found that Memphis Catholic Charities was dropping refugees off at a day labor lot and reporting them as “employed.”

It was never intended that the sponsors, known as “Voluntary Agencies,” would be purely federal contractors with all the behavior, untoward incentives, money and influence peddling that this brings. Yet, that is what we have today.

There would be no issue with this program if refugees were resettled in the traditional way America has always absorbed refugees. As long as the current resettlement model persists, it is imperative that Tennesseans have a say in how state resources are used. The state attorney general should proceed with SJR 467 challenging the federal government’s presumed authority over state resources.

We have previously posted op-eds by Don Barnett or written about his work, click here for posts mentioning Barnett.

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Tennessee to become first state to sue over U.S. Muslim Refugee Resettlement program

Michael Patrick Leahy has a much more understandable story on what the governor has done (or not done), and what it means.  Click here for more.

The Tennessean titles this breaking news today a lot more optimistically (from our point of view) than the article actually indicates:

Haslam will allow Tennessee to become first to sue feds over refugee resettlement

Stephanie Teatro

Regular readers know that the Tennessee legislature overwhelmingly resolved to sue the federal government on 10th Amendment grounds and rather than sign the measure, the governor is going to let it go forward by not vetoing it either.

No matter! The reaction of the refugee industry activists tells me it must be good news for us!

Tennessee Immigrant Rights spokeswoman [Stephanie Teatro]: “… the governor has helped secure Tennessee’s reputation as the most unwelcoming state in the country.”

Here is just a bit of the story, read it all:

Despite having concerns, Gov. Bill Haslam will allow Tennessee to become the first state in the nation to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement on the grounds of the 10th Amendment.

On Friday, Haslam announced his decision to allow the measure, which directs Attorney General Herbert Slatery to sue the federal government for noncompliance of the Refugee Act of 1980, to become law without his signature.

[….]

Explaining his decision, Haslam noted the provisions in the bill that allows the General Assembly to hire outside counsel if Slatery refuses to pursue the case.

“I trust the Attorney General to determine whether the state has a claim in this case or in any other, and I have constitutional concerns about one branch of government telling another what to do,” Haslam said. “I am returning SJR 467 without my signature and am requesting that the Attorney General clarify whether the legislative branch actually has the authority to hire outside counsel to represent the state.”

Slatery’s office has not indicated whether he would follow the legislature’s directive.

Haslam also questioned whether it was the “proper course” for the state to attempt to dismantle the refugee act. [Shouldn’t it be a Republican governor’s job to stand up for states’ rights?—besides, the state isn’t dismantling the act, it is only asking the courts for a ruling—ed]

Read on here to get the full flavor of the waffling going on!

Regarding Ms. Teatro’s comments about “unwelcoming” states, it would be so much fun to have a competition for the most unwelcoming state in the Nation!  You could all send in your nominations!

They think that just by uttering the word “unwelcoming” you will be shaking in your boots and begging for forgiveness.

Come on Kansas, come on New Jersey!

Does the Islamic State have the Right to Recruit on U.S. College Campuses?

A Tennessee lawmaker proposed the Islamic State be granted the right to recruit on campus during a debate on a new law to defend free speech on campus.

Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville) was speaking in favor of the “Tennessee Student Free Speech Protection Act” (which he sponsored) when he was asked by Rep John DeBerry, Jr. (D-Memphis) whether he supported the right of ISIS to recruit on campus.

“Yes,” Daniel replied. “So long as it doesn’t disrupt the proceedings on that campus. Yes sir. They can recruit people for any other organization or any other cause. I think it’s just part of being exposed to differing viewpoints.”

Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville)

Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville)

DeBerry challenged Daniel, arguing that students are not ready to handle such dangerous ideas.

“There are young people who are not ready yet,” he said “they’re half-baked, half-cooked — who are recruited to work against their own parents, their own nation, and I would be concerned as a parent and as a citizen.”

The bill was brought forward to challenge a wave of restrictions on free speech which have come into being on campuses across America and which are the subject of much controversy in the media.

Free-speech advocates hold that free speech is only meaningful if it applies to one’s political enemies as well as one’s friends.

This is not to downplay the problem of Islamist extremism. It is vitally important to challenge the Islamist ideology wherever possible and act to prevent radicalization. Yet free speech is one of the cornerstones of a flourishing democracy. To give it up in order to combat Islamism – an ideology that wishes to dismantle our way of life – would be to forget what we are fighting for.

Daniel’s stance that even ISIS should be allowed to speak may be in breach of existing laws, which prohibit incitement to violence, although such laws are very tightly defined. Since ISIS is a group which carries out violent attacks against Americans around the world, it can be considered to be a security risk to allow it to openly recruit on college campuses.

Nevertheless, the ideology of Islamism is shared by ISIS and non-violent groups such as Hizb-ut Tahrir or the Muslim Brotherhood. They too wish to establish a global Islamic caliphate and implement sharia law as state law, they just don’t support the use of violent means to do so.

Those people must be allowed to speak.

Clarion Project has opposed blasphemy codes that prevent criticism of religion and we have supported the campaign to free the blogger Raif Badawi who is a prisoner of conscience in Saudi Arabia. But we have also interviewed UK-based Islamist Anjem Choudary, in order to show our readers the truth about Islamism. For the same reason we provide our readers with an opportunity to read the Islamic State’s propaganda magazine Dabiq on our website.

In denying free speech to Islamists, we would not only betray our own values, but also undermine our struggle.  Preventing Islamists from speaking would allow them to claim the mantle of victimhood, while preventing those who are attracted to the ideology from accessing all the counter-arguments against it. We also open ourselves up to accusations of hypocrisy, which would be deserved.

It is only in allowing them to air their views and robustly countering them, in speech, in print, in media and in debates, that the Islamist ideology will be shown up for the regressive and totalitarian worldview that it is and confined to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

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Tennessee: Refugee agency places Muslim migrants in jobs Americans would love to have!

And, adding insult to injury, the biggest chunk of their funding comes from you—the taxpayer!

Update!  National layoff numbers skyrocket! Breaking story.

This story from The Tennessean is meant to give the impression that this program of World Relief (National Association of Evangelicals) is doing wonderful humanitarian work by helping immigrants and refugees with advanced degrees find good paying jobs.

But, if you are like me, you reacted to this story by immediately asking these questions:

What about Americans who have advanced degrees and no work?  What about all of our children, recent college graduates (with big student loan debt), who can’t find jobs? Shouldn’t they come first?

Not according to World Relief’s REACH program or The Tennessean.

As is too often the case, one must read through refugee sob stories and eventually the reader learns that there are 10,000 immigrants in Tennessee who need high level jobs—-ahhhhhh!  10,000!  I wonder how many Americans with advanced degrees are competing with them for limited job opportunities?  Of course The Tennessean would never give us that number!

And, the American job seekers don’t have the services your tax dollars provide the immigrants through REACH. Here is what World Relief (a so-called Christian charity) does for the immigrants according to The Tennessean.

REACH, in Nashville, connects immigrants to mentors, who seek to introduce them to local individuals in their field, and coaches them through licensing processes. The organization also offers training on resumes and interviews. Between licenses and networking, it typically takes between nine and 12 months for an individual to move from a survival job to a professional one.

REACH, launched in 2011, has been able to help as many as 100 people a year. Among them are Coptic Christians fleeing Egypt, Kurds from Iraq and those coming from Congo after fleeing ethnic persecution in Rwanda.

Watch an unidentified REACH employee explain how they helped ‘Ahmed’ get a $93,000 a year job!

Here is what a reader said this morning about this story:

I have a very close friend, also an Ivy League masters graduate who is struggling to find a job in the Middle Tennessee job market. In fact, I have several friends, middle-age, well educated, intelligent, hard-working contributors to their communities who live in Middle Tennessee, and who are either unemployed or underemployed.

But the newspaper and the Chamber of Commerce isn’t taking up their cause.

Neil-MacDonald-3112161-220

Neil MacDonald of the Chamber of Commerce told The Tennessean: “If we want to continue to compete on an international basis, it’s essential we continue our growth in diversity.”

Nor do my friends have federal contractor agencies helping them find jobs.

And my friends aren’t wired-in either. They too are struggling.

At least the refugees and their federal contractors can blame the receiving community for not being more “welcoming” and ensuring that new arrivals get the jobs they thought would be waiting for them when they arrived.

According to this article, there are 10,000 refugees in Tennessee who can’t find the jobs they want. Predictably, federal refugee resettlement contractor World Relief and the refugees themselves blame the receiving community as “unwelcoming” because circumstances haven’t unfolded as they had planned.

But, this, of course, doesn’t stop World Relief from keeping their own cash flow going by bringing ever more refugees to the area.

And the Nashville Chamber of Commerce is telling us that businesses here value “diversity” over workers that are raised, educated and have roots in our Tennessee communities.

Speaking of World Relief’s financial position, World Relief Nashville directs people to its national headquarters where we can examine recent financial documents and their Form 990s.

Here we learn that in 2014, World Relief (National Association of Evangelicals) is a $61 million a year operation and that $41 million comes directly from U.S. taxpayers.

They could not supply all of these benefits to job-seeking immigrants if you (or the good-for-nothing Congress!) weren’t willing to pay for it.

Go here to see who else is funding World Relief’s REACH job hunting program.

More on MacDonald, here.

See 83 previous posts on Nashville by clicking here.

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Tennessee: Muslim Army Reservist kept wife virtual prisoner under Sharia law

UPDATE: Madina Sall is also apparently the victim of a forced marriage:

“Ba is the city of Oak Ridge electric project manager and has been employed by the city since May 2009. He is also a reserve officer with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Court records state he is also in the Army Reserve. Documents filed in the pending breakup include allegations that Ba essentially kept his spouse captive for three years under Islam’s Sharia law in their Oak Ridge home. Sall and Ba are second cousins, according to records, and she ‘did not consent to the marriage but was forced to follow through with the marriage due to her families’ (sic) Islamic beliefs.’”

Source: “Divorce: Wife held captive under Sharia law,” MyInforms.com, November 7, 2015 (thanks to Robert).


According to Islamic law, “the husband may forbid his wife to leave the home.” This is based on a hadith in which Muhammad is depicted as saying: “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to allow someone into her husband’s house if he is opposed, or to go out if he is averse.” (Umdat al-Salik, M10.4).

So here again we have a confrontation between Islamic law and American law, while in the public discourse only racist, bigoted Islamophobes question the compatibility of the two. And we are constantly told that no Muslims, none, want to bring any aspects of Sharia that are recognized as incompatible with American law to the U.S. Yet it keeps happening.

“Court records: City of Oak Ridge employee kept wife virtual prisoner under Sharia law,” by Bob Fowler, Knoxville News Sentinel, November 7, 2015 (thanks to Creeping Sharia):

CLINTON — A city of Oak Ridge employee paid the bride’s father $2,000 for his daughter in a forced marriage in Africa, court records allege, and then kept her as a virtual prisoner in their Oak Ridge home. Documents filed on behalf of Madina Sall state she and Ardo Isma Ba were married in Senegal in May 2007, but Ba didn’t register the marriage with the Senegalese government. The couple are natives of Senegal.

The divorce papers filed on Ba’s behalf in Anderson County Chancery Court state their marriage occurred in Knoxville in August 2012. Ba is the city of Oak Ridge electr…

The rest of the story is behind a subscription wall.

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Why Tennessee Forces Seventh Graders to Learn Islam by Kevin Currie-Knight

How big is the distinction between education and indoctrination? Not terribly, if you ask some Tennessee lawmakers. They are pushing to remove any mention of religion from Tennessee’s State Academic Standards. At issue is an apparently controversial unit in seventh grade world history class that spends some time exploring Islam. At some point, the students even need to commit the five pillars of Islam to memory.

Needless to say, this issue has generated a lot of heat on all sides. State Representative Sheila Butts (R) believes that exposing students to Islam threatens to indoctrinate them. Others argue that students can’t effectively learn about world history without developing an understanding of the religions that shape that history, which includes Islam. (And for the record, the Tennessee State Academic Standards cover Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Shinto; it just so happens that in seventh grade world history, students cover Islam before other religions.)

Let’s put aside the question of what the right way to teach history is, at least for a moment. What worries me, as a school choice advocate, is that within a public school system, whatever decision is made will be a political one, and the results will apply to all public schools across the state. There will be a winning side and a losing side, and the losing side — throughout the entire state of Tennessee — will have little choice but to send their children to public schools that teach in a way they see as unsatisfactory. And who will choose what side prevails? The state’s department of education.

Within a public school system, whatever decision is made will be a political one, and the results will apply to all public schools across the state. 

Religion has always been a thorny issue in US schools. In the early 1800s, American “common schools” were very Protestant, which led to a stand-off in New York by Catholics who understandably didn’t want their tax money going to Protestant public schools. (Eventually, many frustrated Catholics formed their own private Catholic schools.)

In 1922, the state of Washington outlawed all private schools (a law the Supreme Court found unconstitutional), largely motivated by a desire to eliminate Catholic schools. Since then, we’ve had legal battles over school- led prayer and student-led prayer, over whether schools can or should teach creation accounts of human origins in biology classes, and even over whether schools can allow “released time,” where students can leave school premises to learn about a religion of their choice during the school day.

Few of these controversies would have been as heated in a system of private schools. With markets, what goes on within one firm doesn’t dictate what must go on in another. If Chick-Fil-A wants to stay closed on Sundays, that doesn’t mean that Burger King can’t choose to remain open. Back in the days when video stores were a thing, Hollywood video could choose to carry “racy” films, but that didn’t mean that Blockbuster (which took a “family values” approach) had to. People are free to shop at stores that are most in line with their values.

But that is not how disagreements play out in public schools. In the government’s school system, curricular and other decisions apply across a large territory, usually the entire state. When textbooks for science classes are chosen, all public schools in the state must use those textbooks. When the courts decide that schools cannot lead students in prayer, that decision applies to all public schools across the state. And when curricular standards for seventh grade world history are revised for the state of Tennessee, the resulting standards apply for all public schools in the state.

In a private market, these decisions could be what economists call non-zero-sum situations. If you are appalled that your child must memorize the five pillars of Islam in our children’s history class and I am not, you can decide to take that up with the school and, if you still don’t get your desired result, you can try to find a school that better aligns with your values. But that won’t negatively affect other families who are fine with their children learning about Islam. Neither of us is in a position where a central department of education makes those decisions for everyone. All of us are free to find or start schools in line with our values.

These differences turn into heated conflicts when you and I disagree in a public school system, because for either of us to get our way, the other will have to lose. Instead of taking the issue up with the school, we take it up with the school board for the entire state to see who can garner the most favor.

Imagine if Chick-Fil-A could only close on Sundays if it got enough support to sway the Board of Rapid Dining Establishments to force Burger King and all other restaurants to do the same.

Historian of education Charles Glenn has written about the noisy history of religion’s place in America’s public schools. He writes of the difficulty American public education has had in finding one approach that accommodates all of our rich religious and cultural diversity. He concludes, “We have reason to hope that America may achieve a degree of pluralism in its schools, but important changes are needed. American public education should be disestablished and demythologized.”

But wait, critics might say; if we disestablish public education and allow for robust school choice, doesn’t that mean that some will choose educational forms that I regard as abhorrent?

Yes, I am sure that will happen. But in the world we inhabit, there is vast and persistent disagreement about what the proper elements are for a good education, a very complex issue. Until the day when we reach a truly voluntary consensus on what a good education looks like (not, as we do today, a consensus forced on us by legislation), the better path is to allow individuals to opt out of schools they believe teach inconsistently with their values.

That means you can go your way, I can go mine, and the state department of education never has the thankless task of deciding who is right.

Kevin Currie-Knight

Kevin Currie-Knight

Kevin Currie-Knight teaches in East Carolina University’s Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research.

Tennessee: Teaching Islam in Public Schools

A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced a bill into the state legislature to prevent courses containing “religious doctrine” from being taught before tenth grade. The bill is in reaction to objections by parents to a three-week curriculum under the topic of world religion for middle-school students that covers the “Five Pillars of Islam.”

The bill is the result of a grass-roots campaign by parents reacting to course requirements that obligated their children to write assignments about Islamic principles of faith, such as “Allah is the only God.” Parents have called it indoctrination.

Parents particularly objected that no other religion was taught at the same time, and that the amount of time spent on Islam was considerably more than that which will be spent on Christianity, Buddism, Hinduism and other religions.

The bill also states that any teaching of “comparative religion” does not focus on one religion more than another.

Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, who introduced the bill, agrees. “I think that probably the teaching that is going on right now in seventh, eighth grade is not age appropriate,” said Butt. “They are not able to discern a lot of times whether its indoctrination or whether they’re learning about what a religion teaches.”

The parents asked for help from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a law firm that addresses constitutional and human rights worldwide. In the course of its investigation, ACLJ ask to looked at the teaching materials from the course but school districts refused to hand them over.

Tennessee law states that the Bible may be used in class, as long as the course doesn’t include the “teaching of religious doctrine or sectarian interpretation of the Bible or of texts from other religious or cultural traditions.”

“If you’re teaching the Middle East, then of course you’re going to mention the religion that was prevalent in that area,” commented Butt, a long-time Sunday school teacher. “But to teach the doctrine is another thing. It’s just a bill about balancing the teaching of religion in education.”

Based on her experience, Butt said, “Junior High is not the time that children are doing the most analysis. Insecurity is in Junior High a lot of times, and students are not able to differentiate a lot of things they are taught.”

Charges of indoctrination by Tennessee parents are reminiscent of a case in California where a federal lawsuit was filed against the Byron Union School District concerning a three-week course about Islam seventh-graders that used the workbook, Islam, A simulation of Islamic history and culture.

In the California school, 12-year old students were told:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling marked “Not for Publication,” decided that course did not contain “overt religious exercises” that violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Although Islamist organizations have argued that the Tennessee bill is “anti-Islam,” it is reasonable for parents to be concerned about such curriculum. Separation of “church and state” is foundational principle and primary right in the U.S. and should be enjoyed by every individual.

The teaching of religion as religion has no place in America’s public schools.

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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Defended: Term Limits in Nashville, TN

Don’t you just love when citizens take a stand against slippery politicians? That’s what happened last week in Nashville, when U.S. Term Limits helped citizens defeat two anti-term limits proposals foisted on them by the city’s Metro Council.

Nashville Council members have now tried five times to weaken their two-term limit, failing each time because voters are too smart to allow it.

Councilwoman Emily Evans thought she had finally figured out how to trick the people, combining weaker term limits and a smaller Council size into one ballot measure. But thanks to the efforts of local activists and USTL on the ground, that was not to be.

A late yard sign campaign informed citizens at every polling place that Evans’ amendment was crooked, and it was beaten in a landslide 26-point margin. The special interests that funded her campaign were shocked!

USTL assists in local term limits campaigns because elected officials at all levels will veer into corrupt and self-serving behavior. When this happens, the wealthy lobbyists and donors who prop up politicians will do everything they can to beat term limits.
We cannot let it happen.

Thank You,

Nick Tomboulides
Executive Director, U.S. Term Limits

Presidential Candidates, Members of Congress, and Governors Call for Military Right-to-Carry

Following the murder of four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy sailor by a terrorist in Chattanooga, presidential candidates, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R), businessman Donald Trump, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (R), and former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), have called for a change in federal law to allow stateside military personnel to carry firearms for protection. In addition, the governors of Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas have directed the adjutants general of their National Guards to authorize Guardsmen to be armed in their states.

Before the attack in Chattanooga, congressional Armed Services Committee Chairmen Sen. John McCain and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) had been planning to include legislation in the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act to clarify an Army post commander’s authority to allow the carrying of personal firearms for protection. Now, numerous other senators and representatives have stated their support for legislation to allow military personnel to be armed for protection of themselves and their fellow troops here at home.

The outpouring of support for allowing military personnel to protect themselves is more than justified by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which included an attack upon the Pentagon, and events related to other military facilities thereafter.  In 2009, a terrorist killed 12 military personnel and one civilian, and wounded 30 others on Fort Hood, Texas. That same year, another attack occurred upon a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas, resulting in the death of one soldier and the wounding of another. Over the next two years, law enforcement authorities foiled planned attacks upon military facilities in Baltimore and Seattle. In 2013, 12 people were killed and four were wounded in an attack upon the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard. And only eight months ago, the FBI issued a warning that ISIS was recruiting extremists to attack our military personnel here at home.

Military personnel are effectively prohibited from carrying personal firearms for protection by a Department of Defense Directive of 2011, which states:

Arming DoD personnel with firearms shall be limited and controlled. Qualified personnel shall be armed when required for assigned duties and there is reasonable expectation that DoD installations, property, or personnel lives or DoD assets will be jeopardized if personnel are not armed…

That directive traces back to another Directive from the early 1990s, which contains similar language.

EDITORS NOTE: We encourage readers to contact their U.S. senators and representatives, to voice their strong support for legislation to allow our military personnel to carry firearms for their protection.

ACT for America Defeats CAIR and Government Bureaucrats in Court

In February an ACT! For America chapter in Knoxville, Tennessee, was wrongfully denied the use of public facilities for a counter-sharia event due to the improper actions of CAIR and local school district bureaucrats. Our ACT! Chapter pursued litigation aggressively and this week won a settlement in its suit against the school district. Below are the details from Freedom X, the fine legal team who successfully litigated the case.

This should serve as a warning to government officials everywhere not to take legal advice from, or ally with, CAIR, an organization that openly promotes sharia and was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest successful terrorism financing prosecution in US history, the U.S. vs. the Holy Land Foundation.

Lawsuit forces Tennessee school district to allow after-school speech critical of Sharia

KNOXVILLE – After canceling a town hall meeting at the request of Muslim activists, a Tennessee school district and two school officials have settled a lawsuit over the public’s right to voice concerns about the growing acceptance of Islamic law, known as Sharia law, spreading through American communities. The settlement was finalized Wednesday evening when the district approved a policy barring school officials from selectively determining which subjects can be discussed by members of the public using school facilities.

In February, the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, an organization opposed to Sharia, planned an after-hours town hall meeting at a local area high school.

John Peach, president of the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, and Bill French sued the school district in U.S. District Court on August 4, 2014, for violating their First Amendment right of free speech and their Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection and due process. The county agreed to settle the lawsuit [Peach vs. Knox County Schools] just 21 days after it was filed. In addition to revising its facility use policy, the county will pay attorney’s fees and costs.

The new facility use policy states in part that “[a]pproval for use of school buildings and property will not be withheld based upon the content of the message or viewpoint of the applicant.”

“This is a victory for free speech,” said Bill Becker, president of Freedom X, a non-profit legal organization fighting discrimination against conservatives and Christians. “Sharia is incompatible with our constitutional and legal protections. That was the message Knox County school officials tried to censor. It is unfortunate we have to educate the educators about our freedoms, but we are thankful that Knox county attorneys recognized litigation would have been futile for the district.”

Knox County Schools superintendent James P. McIntyre, Jr., agreed to cancellation of ACT’s event after receiving letters from Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council for American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) and Abdul Raman Murphy, a Muslim youth chaplain at the University of Tennessee. The activists falsely labeled ACT! a “hate group” and falsely characterized French as a bigot. They speculated the town hall meeting would encourage violence at the school and would disrupt the school environment.

After receiving the letters, Farragut High School’s principal at the time, Michael F. Reynolds, contacted McIntyre fearing that allowing the town hall meeting to take place would convert the school into “a public forum for harassment and bullying practices that contradict the open-minded, academic discussion we seek to teach and foster.”

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Tinker v. Des Moines Sch. Dist. that “in our system, undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression. Any departure from absolute regimentation may cause trouble. Any variation from the majority’s opinion may inspire fear. Any word spoken, in class, in the lunchroom, or on the campus, that deviates from the views of another person may start an argument or cause a disturbance. But our Constitution says we must take this risk and our history says that it is this sort of hazardous freedom — this kind of openness — that is the basis of our national strength and of the independence and vigor of Americans who grow up and live in this relatively permissive, often disputatious, society.”

Joe Carr is the Real Deal

Mary and I made the trek from Florida to Chattanooga, TN for me to speak/sing at a rally for Joe Carr co-sponsored by “Beat Lamar” and Conservative Campaign Committee. Tennesseans have launched an enthusiastic grassroots effort to help Carr topple incumbent Obama sycophant Sen. Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary August 7th.

I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Carr the popular Tea Party conservative. Carr is down to earth, upbeat and friendly; a farmer. You can tell a lot about a leader by the way he treats those around him. Carr possesses that Ronald Reagan gift of making whomever he is speaking with feel important; giving them his full attention. A 21 year old black member of our CCC team commented about how much he liked and connected with Carr.

This is very important folks. We desperately need spokespersons to confidently present Conservatism in a positive and inspirational way to educate and attract the low-info masses.

My goal at the rally was to fire up Carr’s troops/volunteers. However, the Carr supporters and volunteers “are” fired up. Surprisingly and refreshingly, many of Carr’s volunteers are college aged. It was great to see youths who are thinkers rather than emotion-driven, MSM and liberal professor created walking dead Obama zombies.

I generally do not enter an environment and immediately start counting the numbers of minorities represented the way liberals do. However, with team Obama insidiously using race to polarize Americans along racial lines, I could not help noticing the diverse blend of Joe Carr, Beat Lamar volunteers. Voters of varying races and ages are excited about Joe Carr.

beat lamarJoe Carr truly is a conservative star who gets it. Carr knows what needs to be done and clearly has the conviction and backbone to follow through. Carr talked about the border crisis and vowed to fight the invasion. Tennessee Rep. Carr reminded the audience that his efforts helped Tennessee to enact the toughest illegal immigration laws in the country.

Joe also stated his respect for the sanctity of life. He touched on a variety of topics: lower taxes, less government regulations and restoring constitutional principles.

I got really excited when Carr expressed his eagerness to get to DC to help conservative senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and a list of others which he named off the top of his head.

Carr’s speech at the rally was unscripted folks. His bold and confident articulation of Conservatism appeared effortless as it flowed from his heart and soul without notes or a teleprompter.

Patriots, please join our Phone From Home initiative for Joe Carr at: PhoneFromHome@ConservativeCampaign.org

Mary and I are enjoying seeing a lot of the beautiful lush green state of Tennessee. On Monday, August 4th, we are driving to Maryville for me to speak and sing at another Joe Carr rally. Y’all come.

Joe Carr truly is the real deal.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of the Tennessee Report.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in trouble over anti-Israel appointee?

On Monday there was an expose of the well regarded father of Ms. Samar Ali an accomplished American Muslim appointee of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. The expose published in Frontpage Magazine concerned Samar’s father, Dr. Subhi  Ali, an esteemed member of the local and state medical community, who practices in Waverly,Tennessee, “Samar Ali: Her Father’s Organization Wants to Destroy Israel”.

Dr. Ali is Chairman of The Jerusalem Fund in Washington, DC, a pro-Palestinian anti-Israel NGO promoting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Jewish State of Israel seeking its destruction. David James, the author of the expose has limned his sources, the disclosures of which are sure to cause headaches for both Tennessee Gov. Haslam and Bill Hagerty the State Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. According to sources in Tennessee, Commissioner Hagerty, where Ms. Ali heads a state international trade office, is fighting the possibility of losing her talents and Middle East financial connections. Perhaps it may be intimidation from Muslim Advocacy groups who have penetrated the Haslam Administration Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Samar Ali(1)

Samar Ali, Director TN Trade Department of Economic & Community Development

Back in June of 2012, we posted on Ms. Ali’s impressive background. She was the first American Muslim student council President at Vanderbilt University, a graduate of its Law School, and a White House Fellow in the Obama Administration.  She was also an associate at a Washington, DC law firm with a client list that included major Saudi and Emirate financiers with a specialization in the growing practice of Shariah compliant finance.

We noted the following in our post on Ms. Ali’s appointment.

In mid- May 2012 Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Samar Ali, a former White House fellow and member of the international Washington, DC – based law firm of Lovells & Hogan, LLC as international director of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The Nashville Post noted this in a May 12, 2012 article about Ms. Ali’s appointment:

Ali, who is from Waverly, will serve as international director. She joins ECD after serving as a White House Fellow and practicing corporate law at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., and Abu Dhabi. Her role will include overseeing TN Trade as well as ECD’s other international initiatives, including managing the operations of the state’s four international offices.

The White House website announcement provided further background on Ms. Ali when she was appointed a Fellow for the 2010-2011 class:

Samar Ali is an Associate with the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP.  She is responsible for counseling clients on mergers & acquisitions, cross-border transactions, Shari’a compliant transactions, project finance, and international business matters.  During her time with Hogan Lovells, she has been a founding member of the firm’s Abu Dhabi office.

[. . .]

While in Nashville, Samar led the YMCA Israeli-Palestinian Modern Voices for Progress Program, and is currently the transatlantic liaison for the development of the Palestine Diabetes Institute.  She is a founding member of the first U.S. Delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum, and has served as an Advisory Board Member of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

Hogan Lovells’ website revealed how important and material their Shari’a compliant finance practice is:

Over the past four years, we have advised on more than 200 Islamic finance transactions with an aggregate deal value in excess of US $40 bn. Our team members are at the forefront of developments in the Islamic finance industry.

Governor Haslam defended his announcement of Ms. Ali’s appointment despite criticism from within Republican state party ranks. Note this exchange in a Knoxville News column of Nashville Bureau Chief Tom Humphrey in July 2012:

A resolution passed by the Stewart County Republican Party called Ali “an expert in Shariah Compliant Finance, which is one of the many ways Islamic terrorism is funded.” It also noted that she is a one-time appointee of President Barack Obama — she served in a White House fellowship program — and that her family has a long history of supporting the Democratic Party.

Speaking after his appearance before a congressional panel in Washington, Haslam said Ali is highly qualified for the state job and “we’re lucky to have her in Tennessee.”

Humphrey did a follow up column based on a Knoxville News interview with Ms. Ali in November 2012 where she dismissed the Anti-Muslim allegations, saying that, “such attacks were hurtful.” But she called them “silly and “untrue.”  Moreover as a student council president she had spoken out against ‘terrorism’ after 9/11. She was grateful for the support from Governor Haslam. Humphrey cited Clint Brewer, assistant commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development who called Ms. Ali “one of the brightest leaders of her generation from this state.”

“Her extensive work experience in international business makes her eminently qualified to serve the people of the Volunteer State,” he said.

She has been traveling the globe opening up state trade offices in the UK, Mexico, Germany, China and India to boost Tennessee exports by 10% per annum over five years. Her project is backed by a $616,000 Federal grant.

Not to be excluded from support for Ms. Ali’s appointment is the Nashville Jewish Federation. The Federation board penned a letter in 2012 to Governor Haslam applauding his decision.

ATCPJ Newsletter noted her father’s role as Chairman of The Jerusalem Fund. The Fund’s executive director Yousef Munayyer openly advocates BDS against Israel. It noted:

It seems the Jerusalem Fund’s anti-Israel bent has not wavered much since its founding. It’s very public advocacy for BDS against Israel makes this organization’s position question.

Does the Jewish Federation understand that the end goal of BDS is the delegitimization and destruction of the State of Israel?

The answer to that is no. With the revelations of FPM dossier piece accusing The Jerusalem Fund Chaired by Dr. Subhi Ali of advocating delegitimization of Israel the Nashville Jewish Federation will probably opt to remain silent. After all Dr. Subhi Ali and the leaders of the Volunteer Muslim community have ready access to both Capitol Hill and Metro government in Nashville. We are told that they have powerful friends in Washington, as well.

Will Ms. Ali think that the evidence of her father’s organization supporting BDS against Israel is “hurtful” to the Volunteer State’s Jewish community and Gov. Haslam’s Administration?  Somehow we doubt it. After all Gov. Haslam may want to take advantage of a Shariah compliant sukuk bond financing that  Ms. Ali’s Middle East financial connections would deem exemplary of ‘ethical investing’. Ethical investing with a portion of proceeds devoted to Zakat, Muslim Charity, which includes the way of Allah, Jihad.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.