Female BAM may be on collision course with IMMs

Recently I wrote about a schism in the American Muslim community between the BAMs (Black American Muslims) and the IMMs (Immigrant Muslims).   Seems the BAMs feel the IMMs, who control most mosques and are usually Arabs or Pakistanis (and some Palestinians too), are trying to keep the BAMs down.  Read the whole post here.

Now comes a BAM convert who is a seeker of empowerment (social justice too) for women through Islam named Aisha. If you didn’t know,  Aisha was Mohammed’s favorite wife.  He married her at 6 years old and consumated the marriage when she was nine.  So much for empowered women.   Anyway, Aisha says at the Middle East Online:

Many of us have come to feel that Islam has been a vehicle of empowerment for African Americans, and African American women specifically. We can thus speak concretely about the vast potential the religion offers not only to women, but all humanity, in the realm of personal spirituality, community, equality and justice.

But, here is where she will run into trouble with the powerful IMMs: 

Given our unique perspective on history, we are prepared to engage in struggles for social justice both within the Muslim community as well as for all Americans, and indeed, every global citizen. But we cannot call for constructive change in the larger society and not address the social ills within our own ranks.

Issues such as honour killings and domestic violence must be addressed and resolved. We must help break down the cultural barriers that prevent all Muslim women from seeking education, attending mosque, and participating in Islamic organisations and civic projects. Failing to do so would be in direct contradiction to the examples of those very women we have taken as our mentors.

Aisha, good luck, I’ll be rooting for you.  While you are at it try to get them to give up polygamy, female genital mutilation, and forced marriages (you know, like Aisha’s).

Answering Mike: Volag employee sends a comment worth talking about

This is a comment we received last week (before my lengthy power outage) from a reader named Mike who says he is a convert to Islam and works for a refugee agency.  He posted it at the Fact Sheet at the top of our site where it wouldn’t get many readers and I thought it was important enough to put up as a post and answer his allegations and questions.

Mike begins:

I work in refugee resettlement. I’m a born American (white) and a convert from Christianity (Protestant) to Islam. I served in the US Air Force as a linguist during the first war in Iraq. I’m married to an east African woman.

After reading much of this site, I can’t tell exactly what the point is. Refugee resettlement in the US is undoubtedly flawed. You will get no argument from me on that.

Mike says that Refugee resettlement is flawed but he doesn’t see the point of our blog.     The point, Mike, is that because it is flawed the program must be discussed.   If people can’t openly talk about the flaws, then they will never be rectified.    The program has existed under a sort of halo.  Just because some say they are doing good works— discussing the programs flaws, especially in the mainstream media, has become taboo.

Mike goes on:

But is what upsets you so much the fact that many families being resettled in the US are Muslim? If you are against Muslims and/or Islam, that is your right but there would be no reason to argue about it. You must judge an individual and, if you’re Christian or Jewish, you have more than enough of your own issues to confront.

We have no problem with Muslims who want to accept American culture and government and have no desire to bring Shariah law to the US.    As for your statement about judging people, it doesn’t fit with another comment you sent us.  I gotta be honest this (from Mike!) sounds a tad bit prejudiced (in response to Judy’s post about Germany taking Christian Iraqis):

Iraqis, whether Christian or whatever else, do not have a European mentality. They still sit on the floor, eat with their right hand and wash their butts with their left hand. Iraqi refugees, no matter what religion, will still be spoiled and expect too much. They’ll yell a lot, smoke a lot, and want to hang out with each other only. They’ll take up German real estate to build a church of their own so they can have sermons in Arabic or Assyrian, so they can marry each other and not assimilate with Germans. Don’t kid yourselves.

Back to Mike’s first comment:

The reformation of resettlement in the US is something that should be discussed openly, as it is incredibly flawed. Contrary to what many think, the US gvt should not resettle people for purely humanitarian reasons. There must be some economic benefit to us as a nation or we’re waisting time and money.

So Mike agrees that we should discuss reform of Refugee resettlement.  Good!  We are on the same wavelength.   Then Mike tells us something we have been guessing at—refugee resettlement is not all about America being a humanitarian nation—it is or should be about economics.   I think Tysons Food agrees there.

This from Mike is all very revealing:

The problems are, of course, rooted in policy at the highest levels of federal gvt. Current policy states that factors such as age, physical/mental disabilities, education, and work experience should not be considered when considering an individual for resettlement. I don’t think this is wise.

Recently the agency I work for resettled a single Burundian man, 74 yrs old, without relatives or friends in this area. He had health problems and couldn’t speak a word of English or Swahili (a common language among east and central Africans). The man died alone in his apartment less than two months after being resettled. It was a tragedy, first and most importantly, on a human level, as he was alone and far from anything familiar. It was also tragic that so many people spent so much time and money to fly him tens of thousands of miles to die alone. One example of how age and health should be considered when processing (the term used) a refugee for resettlement.

This sad story reminds me of the refugee from Africa who came to our county and was profoundly unhappy, didn’t want to work, was evicted from his apartment and only wanted to go home to Africa.  I don’t know what happened to him, but I think the volags should be required to buy plane tickets home for these sad displaced people.

Mike then says he could speak for days on what we write about.  Mike we welcome your comments to our posts.

I could speak for days on some of the issues raised on this website, some of them I agree with. My last word here, however, is to implore those who are angry and resentful not to be angry at those who are being resettled. They are men and women, like ourselves, with children and a profound hope for a better future in the greatest country on Earth. If we encourage them, welcome them, and HELP THEM TO ASSIMILATE many of them will become great contributers to our local communities and our greater society.

As Katie Mathis wrote above, Jesus was a refugee. There are so many Bible passages about welcoming the stranger. It is a Jewish, Christian, and Muslim (believe it or not) tradition and a basic human virtue that we should all strive for.

Mike, when individual refugees and families are not treated compassionately in a community, the blame rests on the volags and the federal government for not preparing communities, for acting secretively, for treating communities as potential redneck (no offense to rednecks!) enclaves, and for generally not explaining to citizens the refugee programs and perks so that resentment builds. 

Finally Mike ends with these thoughts:

By the way, resettlement agencies usually do not know that a family will come to them from one of the ten volags until a month or so before that family comes. That’s when we get what’s called an Arrival Notification. We would love to have more communication with local communities where the families will be resettled but most of the time it simply isn’t possible – at least for us here.

I think a reform of the program could solve the problem of springing this on communities.  And, to Mike’s very last comment, I hope you are right and if you aren’t —I’ll hunt you down!  (Just kidding!)

 And there’s no grand scheme for Muslims to take over the country. Funny thought because we can barely organize our own mosques. As a Muslim I can promise you it’ll never happen.

Fort Wayne, IN: Volag cat fight?

I’m posting this whole short article from the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette about a second refugee agency horning in on Catholic Charities territory in Ft. Wayne, IN.   The article is revealing in several ways.  First, it confirms what we have written about in the past that the top ten volags (not really voluntary agencies because they get paid) are competing with each other for customers (refugees).

The article also helps answer a question I had from a reader just this morning.  The reader (who learned about us because I wrote a letter to VDARE) asked how are cities picked to be resettlement cities?  This article confirms another thing we have written about, that the volags (and not the federal government) choose the cities.  Volags are non-governmental organizations!  They have no power over local community governments!   

And, pay attention!  This is really important!  Once a city is deemed “welcoming” and doesn’t squawk it will receive more refugees through family reunification.  The volags take applications for family members from the refugees they have previously placed and the refugee population increases while the volags get the per head government payment.

Here is the whole article:


An international humanitarian aid organization will visit Fort Wayne next week to discuss opening a refugee resettlement office in the city.

Five staff members of World Relief Corp., one of the voluntary agencies used by the U.S. State Department to place refugees in American communities, will conduct meetings with churches, business leaders and other support agencies, said Tanya Thomas, World Relief’s north regional director.

Currently, Catholic Charities, in cooperation with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been responsible for resettling refugees in this area – including more than 600 Burmese last year, according to the agency.

National representatives of the 10 voluntary agencies responsible for resettling refugees meet weekly to discuss incoming cases. Based on criteria such as community resources, refugees’ geographic preferences or reunifications of families, the federal government assigns each case to a local resettlement office. [Editor:  and whether they have deemed the city “welcoming”]

Because Fort Wayne has one of the largest concentrations of Burmese in the U.S. – estimated at more than 3,000 – refugees in camps in Thailand often request to come to the Fort Wayne area.

The frequency of requests for placement in Fort Wayne drew World Relief’s attention, Thomas said.

World Relief’s national staff spoke with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Indiana’s state refugee coordinator about opening an office in Fort Wayne, and both expressed support, Thomas said.

The office would primarily resettle Burmese of the Karen and Chin ethnic minorities and refugees from a few African and Asian countries.

Local resettlement offices receive less than $500 per refugee from the federal government. [Editor: this is deceptive because the volags receive all sorts of other government grants from other agencies in addition to this fee from the US State Department.]

If the agency decides to open a local office, the timing of its opening would depend on funding, Thomas said.

Debbie Schmidt, executive director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, said she is uncertain whether there is a need for a second refugee resettlement office in the city.  [Editor:  Hissssss]

She expressed concern that having two offices might cause confusion among the schools, medical offices and other community agencies that work with refugees.


We have written extensively about the huge refugee community in Ft. Wayne and the problems it has created for taxpayers, especially with the health department of Allen County (the cost of TB treatment alone has been burdonsome). 

I discussed the squawk factor the other day in my post on Aurora here.  That is World Relief involved there too.