The Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan have reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government for nearly a decade to teach religious studies to prisoners.
Going back to 2008, the black nationalist group led by the racist, anti-Semitic preacher received at least $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice, according to a report by the Washington Examiner.
According to U.S. Bureau of Prisons records, the funds were to facilitate “Nation of Islam religious services,” “Nation of Islam spiritual guide services,” “Nation of Islam study services,” and other services provided by the leaders of the movement.
“In total, the Bureau of Prisons contracted with over a dozen organizations and individuals to specifically provide Nation of Islam programming for inmates,” the Examiner reported. “The highest spending year appears to have occurred under former President Barack Obama in 2012, when the federal government gave over $47,000 in contracts to Nation of Islam programs. Funding has dropped under the Trump administration. In 2018, the programs received $17,000 and the total obligation for 2019 is $8,250.”
Zuhdi Jasser, the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told “Fox & Friends” Saturday that “every alarm bell should go off” over reports of the funding.
“We have a bigotry of low expectations when it comes to Muslims,” the Phoenix-based medical doctor said. “The American taxpayer should not fund the demise of our own society.”
New York Republican Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, called the funding “beyond the pale.”
“Categorically, no group or entity or individual associated in any way with Farrakhan or the Nation of Islam should receive any federal funding,” King told the Examiner. “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.”
One can only imagine the furor if it was revealed that a Christian group had received the same funding to conduct religious programs.
“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,” King added. “To me, once you’re associated with Farrakhan, that, to me, would end the vetting right away.”
The Nation of Islam defended the government funding, saying the group has a “right” to conduct business with the U.S. government.
“The Nation of Islam which is comprised of tax paying citizens has a right to do business with the American government,” the group said in a statement, according to Fox News. “The work of the Nation of Islam is a great benefit and blessing to the American penal system.”
Verbon Muhammad of Louisiana, one of the Nation of Islam’s leaders who last year said that white people are banned from the group’s meetings, received more than $60,000 to “provide Nation of Islam religious services,” records revealed.
Senior fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, Mark Potok, found it “really outrageous and remarkable,” also noting that a court ruled in 2003 that the federal government could not ban Nation of Islam reading materials on First Amendment grounds, but funding was not part of the decision.
“I can’t imagine the reason why the federal government would have any obligation to give any money to the Nation of Islam or its proponents, and it seems quite incredible if they do,” Potok told the Examiner.
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