Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees

Update:  Be sure to read the comments from Johnny Simpson, the author of the story on the IRQR, and see his comment I have highlighted here.

Homosexuals are persecuted in Muslim countries and I find it annoying that whenever someone writes about gay refugees and asylees wishing to come to the West, the connection to the intolerance of Islam is never made.

An interview with Arsham Parsi published in The Digital Journal.

Arsham Parsi, a gay Iranian activist, fled Iran for his life in 2005. He settled in Canada in 2006 and founded IRQR [Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees], an NGO that helps LGBTs flee Iran or fight their deportation back to certain death.

In early 2005, Arsham Parsi was engaged in perhaps the most hazardous profession in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Then a 24-year-old native of Shiraz, Iran’s sixth-largest city, Mr. Parsi was working secretly in the city of his birth as a gay activist promoting LGBT rights in the Islamic Republic.

Mr. Parsi says in the interview:

IRQR is working on about 250 Iranian queer asylum cases worldwide at the moment.


Though IRQR has no paid staff, we have a great success rate. More than 70% of IRQR’s refugee clients have gained asylum status or are in the middle of the resettlement process. IRQR is currently the only progressive Iranian NGO working on behalf of the Iranian LGBT population around the world.

Somali Jihadists could attack within the US

I was away over the weekend and missed this alarming news from Fox News Catherine Herridge.    The Director of the FBI told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that indeed Somali-trained terrorists were capable of attacking within the US.   Although I missed it, Jihad Watch was on top of the story here?

That news from the FBI is a far cry from what they told this same committee back in March, here, where they assured Senators that the recruitment in the Somali American refugee community was all about patriotism and defending the homeland against Ethiopian invaders.

Do we really want to bring back those ‘youths’ who went to Somalia last year for terrorist training as the President of Somalia pledged to do yesterday in Minneapolis, here.

Better Business Bureau reports on the Top Ten federal refugee contractors

Your tax dollars:

We frequently mention the Top Ten government contractors* which get to divvy up among themselves and their 300 or so subcontractors the federal grants and contracts that fuel the majority of the nearly $1 billion Refugee Resettlement Program of the US State Department.  That nearly $1 billion in funding for these contractors, also called Volags (short for voluntary agencies), does not, however, include the full cost of resettling refugees who are eligible for many forms of welfare one month after they arrive in the US.

Among the most interesting bits of information in the reports from the Better Business Bureau are the CEO salaries and the amounts of federal and state grant money they get.  Don’t ask me why all the Volag non-profits don’t have a report available!

Here are the Top Ten (follow the link to the reports that are available.)

Church World Service

Ethiopian Community Development Council (NONE AVAILABLE)

Episcopal Migration Ministries (NONE AVAILABLE)

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (NONE AVAILABLE)

International Rescue Committee

US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (NONE AVAILABLE)

World Relief Corporation

State of Iowa, Bureau of Refugee Services (NONE AVAILABLE, presumably because it is a state agency).


I have searched on many previous occasions to see if I could find out how much the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is receiving from the federal government each year.  However, unless someone tells me otherwise,  I assume all their refugee funds are divided up between Catholic Charities groups throughout the US.  That is the type of accounting ‘shell game’ practice that ACORN is accused of using—moving money from agency to agency within a vast network of agencies so it’s hard to follow what the money is used for.   I was especially interested in the Catholic Bishops when I first saw their connection to ACORN here and more recently here.

* To find subcontractors, follow the link at the Health and Human Services (Office of Refugee Resettlement) site to the Volag’s website and then search for either “partners” or “affiliates.”

Revisiting ‘Refugee Resettlement Support’

I first told you about this excellent blog here.   This church group in Wisconsin is resettling refugees the old fashioned way—one family at a time.  It has been our reform suggestion from the earliest days of writing this blog that we go back to this method of refugee resettlement.   Although these Wisconsin Burmese refugees are still linked and still get some funding from federal government contractors and the taxpayer, at least they have the best chance of assimilating by being helped at every step of the way by a caring group of people.

Most refugee resettlement these days is done by federal contractors (10 major contractors who monopolize the program and their approximately 300 subcontractors) who bring in large groups of refugees and care for them to varying degrees.  We hear reports of refugees virtually being dropped off in communities by agencies too overloaded to give them a proper support system.

Scroll down the blog postings by Jeffrey Kirk and notice the detailed accounting of how much volunteer time and church donations are going into helping their limited number of families.

Also, take note that Mr. Kirk is working on a “how-to” guide for refugee resettlement. You might want to sign up to be notified when it becomes available.

Somali President in Minnesota yesterday to urge Americans to NOT join Al-Shabaab

Update:  Here is a story I missed on Friday.  FBI director says Somali terrorists could attack within the US.

We reported awhile back (here) that Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, would be visiting US cities with large Somali populations to look for support for his beleaguered government and to urge former Somali refugees* not to return to Africa and join the jihadist Al-Shabaab terrorists that are trying to bring down his “moderate” Muslim government.

Here is what AP says about his speech in Minneapolis yesterday:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The president of Somalia on Sunday denounced the recruiting of young men from Minnesota’s huge Somali community for terrorist activity in his war-ravaged homeland, and said he plans to work with the U.S. government to bring those still alive back home.  [So, if the US brings back trained terrorists, then what? Do they get prison time or a slap on the wrist and release?]

President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed spoke with The Associated Press while visiting the Minneapolis area, where authorities believe as many as 20 young Somali men — possibly recruited by a vision of jihad to fight — returned to the impoverished nation over the last two years.

At least three have died in Somalia, including one who authorities believe was the first American suicide bomber. Three others have pleaded guilty in the U.S. to terror-related charges.

“We believe this is a wrong action, that these young men were wronged, they were robbed out of their life. Their parents were wronged,” Ahmed told the AP through an interpreter. “The laws of the United States were violated. The security of Somalia was violated. So we condemn (them) without reservation.


Ahmed is in Minnesota for three days as he tries to build support for his struggling government. He’s met with scholars, university students, former Somali leaders, women, elders and others.

Sunday evening, he spoke to about 5,000 people at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The crowd cheered when Ahmed again condemned the terrorist recruiting.

Then this comment is questionable.

Ahmed told the AP that the young men who left the area “were stolen and taken without the knowledge of their parents and imams.” He said he met with imams from area mosques and “we agreed that they were really sorry with what happened, which tarnished their image and that of our religion.”

The FBI investigation is not yet complete.  Authorities are attempting to find out just what role the local mosques did play in the Jihadist recruitment scheme.  Some parents of dead “kids” still believe the mosques were involved.

I wonder why Ahmed is going to Chicago and not Seattle.  Seattle is another recruitment site where the FBI is still trying to determine if the remains of a blown-to-bits suicide bomber are those of a former refugee from Seattle, here.  Also, one of those already indicted in the case was living in Seattle, here.

*For new readers:  The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.