politics to go

The federal government and the pastor of putrid

Last week the Washington State’s Women’s March organization said it was disbanding because, as the group’s president told the Seattle Spokesman Review, they, “took issue with the national leaders’ ties to the notoriously anti-Semitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan.”

What they didn’t know was that an even bigger organization had ties to Farrakhan: the United States government.

An investigative report by the Washington Examiner revealed that the Nation of Islam and its leaders have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government since 2008. “Its leaders have received at least $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2019,” the report said.

The funding was designed to provide Nation of Islam religious, spiritual guide, study services, and other related programming led by the organization’s leaders, according to Bureau of Prison records.

The ADL has described the Nation of Islam as “the oldest Black nationalist organization in the U.S., has maintained a consistent record of anti-Semitism and racism since its founding in the 1930s.” It has called the group’s leader, Louis Farrakhan, “the leading anti-Semite in America.”

Knowing what an inciter of hatred Farrakhan has been, it’s frightening to think what his people might be teaching federal prisoners. Perhaps one of these subjects:

Molotov cocktails. After a grand jury cleared the police officer involved in a Ferguson, Mo. shooting, Farrakhan called for parents to teach their children to throw Molotov cocktails, and demonstrated how to do so.

US Government Crimes. In 2014, Farrakhan said he had a national security memo dated April 24, 1974, titled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for the United States Security and Overseas Interest,” by Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State under George Herbert Walker Bush. According to Farrakhan, the memo stated that America needed to fight overpopulation, so they had the CIA invent Ebola to kill off black people.

Entomology. October 2018 saw Farrakhan say, “When they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know what they do, call me an anti-Semite. Stop it, I’m anti-termite. I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.”

Jews.  During his 2006 Founder’s Day Speech, Farrakhan said, “These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral strength … It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality. It’s the wicked Jews, false Jews, that make it a crime for you to preach the word of G-d, then they call you homophobic.”

Patriotism. During a November 2018 speech in Iran celebrating the 39th anniversary of US embassy takeover, Farrakhan led chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

Those are just some of the possible lessons the Farrakhan-led group may be teaching prisoners on the taxpayer’s dime.

Long Island Rep. Peter King, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told the Washington Examiner the funding was “beyond the pale.”

He added, “Categorically, no group or entity or individual associated any way with Farrakhan or the Nation of Islam should receive any federal funding. What Farrakhan preaches is hatred and anti-Semitism and racism, and to use any federal money for any group that’s he’s involved with that do any type of teaching or proselytizing is just wrong. Since there have been too many instances of radicalization occurring in prisons, that, to me, is a public concern as to what is being taught. To me, once you’re associated with Farrakhan, that, to me, would end the vetting right away.”

A 2003 court ruling said that based on the First Amendment, federal prisons couldn’t ban Nation of Islam reading materials from their premises. But the judge didn’t rule that the government had to pay for the reading materials, or pay Farrakhan’s hate group to teach in the prisons.

The Bureau of Prisons on Wednesday declined to provide any details about the contracts, including what year they began and what Nation of Islam reading materials were used for the program. “Contracts are retained six years after final payment, so we are not able to provide details regarding the original contract on which the Nation of Islam began contracting with the Bureau of Prisons,” said a spokesperson.

The spokesperson for the bureau cited a regulation that federal correctional institutions “may contract with representatives of faith groups in the community to provide specific religious services which the chaplain cannot personally deliver due to, ordinarily, religious prescriptions or ecclesiastical constraints to which the chaplain adheres.”

While declining to comment on what the Nation of Islam provided to prisoners, the bureau cited a federal statute that said religious materials must “be previewed by [Bureau of Prison] staff, or any other staff-designated volunteers, prior to distribution” and “materials shall not denigrate or disparage any other religion or religious groups.”

This reporter contacted the Bureau of Prisons and asked why the federal government pays anyone to provide religious instruction, let alone a group like the Nation of Islam. Most faiths have prison ministries that serve prisoners at all levels, but they do so voluntarily and on their own dime. For example, one of the organizations providing Jewish teaching and services to prisons is Aleph, run by Chabad.

Farrakhan is a hypocrite as well as a hater. While his organization accepts government money, he has implored his followers not to accept money from the U.S. government. He said in a Dec. 14, 2013 statement: “If they offer you anything, look carefully into it, lest the Nation will no longer be tied to the principles that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad desired for us: to make us an independent nation on some of this Earth that we can call our own.”

The Washington State’s Women’s March group did the right thing by disassociating itself from the Farrakhan-led national organization. It’s time for the federal government to follow their lead.