Another view of the release of the Uighurs

The Center for Constitutional Rights approves of the court decision that the Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo should be released in the United States. I don’t understand the timeline of what has happened, since this is dated July 21. At any rate, it begins:

July 21, 2008, New York — Today, for the first time, a federal court ordered the release into the United States of 17 innocent Uighur men who have been imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay for nearly seven years. The men are refugees who would face persecution and imprisonment, if not death, if returned to their native China.

The story this group tells about the Uighurs is different from the government’s.

The 17 men currently imprisoned at Guantánamo left China amid increasing political oppression and found their way to Afghanistan, where they lived in small Uighur communities. In late 2001, they were forced to flee the aerial bombardment of the surrounding areas. Eventually, they made their way to Pakistan in the belief that they would be safer there. After crossing into Pakistan, the Uighurs were welcomed and fed by Pakistani villagers who then turned them over for generous bounties offered by the United States.

As I quoted in a previous post,

The government has asserted that the Uighurs were members of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and trained at camps affiliated with the Taliban or al-Qaeda. The Bush administration designated ETIM a terrorist organization in August 2002, after the Uighurs were taken into custody.

And Andy McCarthy, who has more experience than practically anybody at prosecuting jihadists, wrote :

Jihadists — and there is not question that the Uighurs are jihadists — do not recognize distinctions based on the Westphalia world of nation-states. In their view, it is Dar al Islam or Dar al Harb: i.e., you are either part of the realm of the Muslims or the realm of war, and the goal is to turn Dar al Harb into Dar al Islam by any means necessary. Releasing trained jihadists into the United States on the theory that their beef is with the Chinese and they have no problem with us would be a delusional act of suicide.

I wouldn’t give much credence to the alternative view — those who want the Guantanamo prisoners released usually portray them as a just short of misunderstood angels — but the article says Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has called for the U.S. to grant protection to the imprisoned Uighurs, and he is someone whose views I usually respect. Still, I remain skeptical.

Playing whac-a-mole with these get-out-the-vote groups

Just as you were heaving a sigh of relief that maybe, just maybe, ACORN was going to be exposed for voter fraud across the US comes news that there are probably hundreds of groups like ACORN busily scurrying around registering who knows who.

Here is news from the Assoicated Press that the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights has launched a concerted campaign to sign up voters in Obama’s neck of the woods.  I wonder if the Obama campaign is helping fund this effort as they reportedly are with ACORN?

CHICAGO — The state’s largest immigrant rights group launched a voter mobilization project on Tuesday that includes a focus on northern Illinois communities with large immigrant populations and tight congressional races.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights plans to contact more than 144,000 immigrant voters statewide by mail, through phone calls and door-to-door visits. The goal is to get at least 50,000 to the polls on Nov. 4.

The effort is nonpartisan, but the project’s message is comprehensive immigration reform, said Juan Salgado, the coalition’s board president.

Non-partisan, my foot!    Read on:

The coalition, which has registered about 26,000 immigrant voters this year, plans to concentrate on Illinois’ 10th and 11th Congressional Districts. Both are longtime Republican districts that experts say may be trending Democratic, based on recent presidential elections.

I looked into this group last spring when I did some research on Obama and his taxpayer money trail.  This non-partisan Immigration cheerleading group is largely funded by the taxpayers of Illinois, maddening isn’t it?  But it had also gotten grants from none other than the Woods Fund, Obama’s old outfit. 

Here is what I said in March:

Next I wanted to know what is this Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). See what they do here. And, while you are reading think about the fact that in 2005 you funded this group to the tune of $5,276,202 as part of an overall income of $6,779,751. YOU are paying 78% of what they do. To be completely accurate, if you live in Illinois you are paying much of this.

Oh, what a tangled web they weave—an investigative reporters dream (if we had any investigative reporters, that is!).

Read more on Obama and ACORN here.   Watch this film on youtube with Obama and ACORN.

Release of Chinese Muslims delayed a week

CNN reports:

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court Wednesday blocked the planned release of 17 Chinese Muslims from the U.S. military facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, granting the government more time to argue against the plan.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals granted the Bush administration’s motion for an emergency stay and set up a schedule for briefings over the next week to address the complicated issues of the case.

A day earlier, a lower court in Washington ruled the detainees — who had been in U.S. custody for nearly seven years — were to brought to the court by 10 a.m. Friday so a judge could set them free.

In an emergency motion filed overnight, Justice Department attorneys said only the executive branch — not the courts — may decide whether to admit an alien into the United States.

The government further argued the lower court’s decision to free the detainees “threatens serious harm to the interests of the United States and its citizens by mandating that the government release in the nation’s capital 17 individuals who engaged in weapons training at a military training camp.”

This is a welcome move. Background on this case is here and here.

Somali leaders: Tyson is great so come on over to Lexington, NE

According to this story in the Lexington Clipper-Herald, a job at Tyson is waiting for all the Somalis who would like to come to this welcoming town.

Ismail Ibrahim, treasurer of the Somali Community Center in Lexington, and an interpreter at Tyson said that since the walkouts and firings at the JBS Swift & Co. plants in Grand Island and Greeley, Colo., hundreds of Muslim workers, mostly Somalis who walked off the job alleging they weren’t being allowed to pray and break their daily fast, have traveled to Lexington to apply at Tyson.

“Tyson respects our race and religion,” said Ibrahim.

He said that about 150 people from Swift in Grand Island who have traveled here to apply at the Lexington Tyson plant, are awaiting interviews, and more are on their way.

In case you didn’t get how great Tyson is the first time you read it, the reporter tells us again:

Ibrahim says that right now Muslims are coming every day from other factories in other towns. He says that this is because of the faith-based accommodations Tyson makes.

“Tyson is the best company that respects our religion,” said Ibrahim. “They’re faith friendly, and we appreciate that.”

Lexington, NE is a “welcoming” city:

Mohamed said that there are around 200 people in Lexington right now who are homeless and are staying with others who have been helping the community center with the influx of Somalis. In some cases, he explained, there are more than 10 people in one room.

Mohamed said that Lexington’s Tyson human resources manager has been “extremely helpful” and that he is optimistic that most will find jobs here in Lexington, but transition will be tough.

According to Ibrahim and Mohamed the Somali community in Lexington has not experienced the prejudices that others have seen in other parts of the country, and that so far the community has been very welcoming.

A gold star to the first reader who sends us a link when Lexington turns “unwelcoming.” 

And, btw, it would be interesting to know how much taxpayer money is going to the Somali Community Center.

For new readers, here is our archive on the problems experienced by Swift in Greeley, CO and Grand Island, NE that Mr. Ibrahim refers to above.

World Relief: Iraqis come from an “in-your-face, demand culture”

Here is an article from Christianity Today about the influx of Iraqi and Burmese refugees in the past fiscal year.   Looks like World Relief (Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals) is having a bit of a problem with those pesky Iraqi refugees demanding new stuff.

The stream of African refugees to the United States has slowed to a trickle, but the number of refugees from Iraq and Burma has recently exploded. For U.S. resettlement ministries, that change requires adapting to new crosscultural challenges.

Under strong domestic and international pressure, the U.S. accepted more than 12,000 Iraqi refugees between October 2007 and October 2008. The country let in only 1,608 the previous year, the Department of Homeland Security says. But unlike most refugees, Iraqis must at first adjust to a lower standard of living.

World Relief works with local churches to resettle refugees in 23 U.S. cities. The government gives it and like organizations $850 for each refugee. Half of that goes for case management, the other half for direct settlement aid. Since many Iraqi refugees are doctors, professors, and other educated professionals, the amount falls far short of expectations, said Barbara Cocchi, south regional director for World Relief’s U.S. ministries arm.

“They expect new furniture, new clothes; they expect more than almost any other refugee group we’ve had,” she said. “And because their culture is an in-your-face, demand culture, it doesn’t always go over well here.” 

Check out World Relief’s financials here.   Notice that World Relief received $24,597,581 in 2007 from you, the American Tax Payer!   What happened to the separation of church and state?

Be sure also to read Chris Coen’s (Friends of Refugees) comment at the Christianity Today story about how World Relief should be putting more of its own money in the pot to care for refugees.

For everything you want to know about Iraqi refugees see our category on the subject here.  But be forewarned!   We have written 244 posts on that subject alone.