Minnesota Muslims “waking up” and expect to make gains in voting today

From NPR:

Muslims Hope To ‘Wake Up’ At The Ballot Box This Year

On a recent Saturday afternoon in an office in St. Paul, Minn., a flurry of calls went out to Native American and Latinos voters reminding them to vote Nov. 6. And there was a new group added to the list: Muslims.

Until last year, ISAIAH, a multi-racial coalition of faith communities in Minnesota, was mostly made up of churches. Now, 24 mosques have joined the voter turnout effort. The group is focused on getting communities of color to vote this year in reaction to what it describes as politics of fear and a rise of white nationalism.

 

Ellison and Imam Asad Zaman
Pals! Imam Asad Zaman (left) with Rep. Keith Ellison.  Will Ellison be Minnesota’s next Attorney General after today?

 

With Muslims and immigrants used as boogeymen in political rhetoric, Imam Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, said, getting his community to the ballot box is vital. Zaman is leading the local Muslim effort to get out the vote and has been a leader on political engagement in the community for more than 15 years.

And there are more Muslims now running for office, hoping to be part of a “blue wave.” In Minnesota, nine Muslims are on the ballot for state, federal and local offices.

“Many candidates running for office are using Islamophobia as a means to get to political power. That is absolutely un-American,” Zaman said. “The community is under assault. Fortunately, most of us are beginning to wake up.”

The community is under assault. Fortunately, most of us are beginning to wake up.

(Imam Asad Zaman)

He points out that in Minnesota there are 50,000 registered Muslim voters. Though Muslims make up a small voting bloc — they’re about one percent of the nation’s population — those votes can matter in close elections. Many feel a renewed sense of urgency to choose leaders that will represent them.

[….]

About two-thirds of Muslim voters identify as Democrats according to the Pew Research Center and about 13 percent as Republican.

Muslim populations growing in key battleground states

“What’s interesting is that they are clustered in key areas including battleground states such as Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and especially in urban areas,” Alzayat says. “So, for example you have about 120,000 registered Muslim voters in the state of Michigan. You have about 120,000 registered in Florida. You have about 100,000 registered in Virginia and those numbers really matter because in close elections … just a few votes can make a difference let alone tens of thousands, if not 100,000.”

It is a long ‘glowing’ story, read more here.

I have a huge Minnesota archive, go here if you have some time to read!

Michigan story about refugee slowdown reveals what citizens really think

Today when I saw one more story about some gathering somewhere meant to tell the public how bad the Trump administration is as it slows the flow of third worlders to unsuspecting middle America towns, my first thought was: blah! blah! blah!

However, for a change I had a good look at the comments to the story at Michigan Live, and I am glad I did!

‘America looks terrible’ with record-low refugee admissions, panelist says

ANN ARBOR, MI – The U.S. accepted a record low number of refugees in 2018, and now Michigan resettlement agencies are questioning their future.

 

Hetfield at NY protest
This is Mark Hetfield of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society protesting the Trump presidency at a rally in New York shortly after Trump was inaugurated in early 2017.  Last I checked he was pulling down a salary and benefits package of nearly $350,000 a year as HIAS CEO.  Good work if you can get it!  https://refugeeresettlementwatch.org/2018/06/27/hebrew-immigrant-aid-society-urges-followers-to-take-to-the-streets-in-wake-of-supreme-court-decision/

 

 

Right now America looks terrible because we are no longer out there defending the most vulnerable people in the world,” said Mark Hetfield, CEO of HIAS, the world’s oldest refugee resettlement agency, based in Maryland. “That’s something that we have done consistently across Republican and Democratic administrations, and we have stopped doing that and thrown refugee protection into reverse.”

Hetfield participated in a panel discussion on present and future challenges related to refugee resettlement on Monday, Oct. 22, at the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School.

The panel was part of a two-day “Keeping Our Door Open” symposium in Ann Arbor coordinated by UM’s School of Social Work, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County.

Needless to say  the panelists go on to complain about how the refugee program is being diminished by this president.  See more here.

If readers simply look at the title and read a bit of the story one would think that the propagandists might actually be reaching people.

That is, until one looks at the comments.

Get a load of these (and this is just a sampling!):

 

  • Space Ace
  • 5 minutes ago
Don’t we have our own poor people to be concerned about? Since when is it our moral imperative to alleviate all the suffering of the world? Homelessness is up 50%, FIFTY PERCENT, in many parts of the country from 15 years ago. How about we deal with that first, then maybe consider importing more poor people?
  • Xchips
  • 8 minutes ago
“Right now America looks terrible because we are no longer out there defending the most vulnerable people in the world,” said Mark Hetfield, CEO of HIAS who’s nearly $350,000 compensation package is nearly wholey paid for by taxpayers.

So here’s a guy getting taxpayer dollars to help other people get taxpayer dollars. Nice racket.

  • Tom
  • 1 hour ago
Refugee (noun): a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

How many of these “refugees” are actually falling into one of these categories? How many are coming here because they just don’t like where they live and they heard you can get in by claiming refugee status.

According to the article – “Refugees are entitled to government assistance coordinating travel plans to get to the U.S. and then resettlement services that can include assistance with transportation, housing, English language classes, health care, food, education, employment and citizenship services.”

So if I lived in a very poor country – that sounds like a good deal to me.

So maybe consider those actual refugees are being turned around because they actually aren’t refugees.

  • E
  • 1 hour ago
I’d say the lovely citizens of Ann Arbor sponsor refugees and house/feed/guarantee non-reliance on government programs to show their support.
  • Freedom Lover
  • 1 hour ago
Have you noticed that most of the immigrants in the horde coming from Guatemala and Honduras are males in the 20 to 30 age group. They carry their country’s flag but refuse to stay in their country and make it better. I’m sure glad the colonialists were not like them. They stayed and fought to make a better country. Also many who are interviewed say they are coming to the USA for a job. A job is not a reason to seek asylum.
  • Shawn Letwin
  • updated 1 hour ago
Yep, you are at risk of losing your jobs and no longer living off the trough of the taxpayers…”Que Sera, Sera”
  • Rbg1
  • updated 1 hour ago
Did these opportunist mouthpieces disclose the taxpayer-funded profits (BILLIONS) involved with resettling and wrap-around assistance? This isn’t compassion, it’s greed. Everyone involved is making money off the scam. Except, of course, middle class taxpayers.

This is an encouraging example of how educated citizens are becoming about the US Refugee Admissions Program.

All of you should take the opportunity every chance you get to comment to news stories in your communities.

And, then go vote!

Maine: Dunkin’ Donuts apologizes for banning Somali social justice activist from store after altercation

This is a classic case about how change happens!

Businesses, eager to prostrate themselves out of fear once confronted by an angry demanding refugee like Hamdia Ahmed, quickly make news by backing down when activists for Muslim immigrant rights cause a stir.  The message to the public: be silent.

Hamdia Ahmed
Social justice activist Hamdia Ahmed 

Even as it is clear, when you do a little reading about Hamdia Ahmed, that she has a pattern of stirring up controversy, her latest stunt in Portland is now being spread widely through gullible national media outlets painting her as innocent as a dove while staring down racist Americans.

Thanks to MaineFirst Media for the tip. (See their more detailed story.)

Here is a story from Wednesday from the Portland Press-Herald which is pretty straight news, but when you read the newer articles at national news outlets you will see that her social justice advocacy and past history of creating controversy has been downplayed or not mentioned at all.

A Dunkin’ Donuts store owner met Wednesday with a Portland college student and activist who called out the business on social media after a store employee refused to serve her Somali-speaking family and then called police following an argument in the drive-thru lane.

Hamdia Ahmed, 20, said she felt that the employee discriminated against her and two relatives for speaking Somali as they waited to order coffee at the St. John Street Dunkin’ Donuts on Monday afternoon.

Ahmed said she and her relatives drove to the coffee shop around 12:30 p.m. and waited for a store employee to ask for their order. As the family chatted in Somali in the car, a woman’s voice crackled through the speaker and admonished them for yelling, Ahmed said.

“All of a sudden we heard a woman say, ‘stop yelling, stop yelling,’ ” Ahmed said “We’re like what’s happening. We’re just having a conversation. We were talking in Somali. She told us she’s not going to take our order and for us to leave and she was going to call the police.”

You know there must be more to the story.  Chatting in Somali caused the clerk to refuse them service?  Give me a break!

Ahmed, a refugee from Somalia who arrived in the United States more than a dozen years ago, has emerged in recent years as an outspoken anti-racism social justice activist and organizer.

After the argument in the drive-thru lane, Ahmed said she parked her car and went inside the store to speak with someone.

A store employee called Portland police, and after an officer spoke to Ahmed and store employees, the police issued Ahmed a no-trespass notice barring her from returning to the store for a year. The officer listed the cause of the no-trespass notice as “disturbance – yelling at staff.”

Miss Maine 2
Ahmed made the news also this year as the first hijab-wearing contestant in the Miss Maine pageant.  She said everyone there treated her just like every other American girl. So much for her latest stunt to prove that Americans are racists.     https://therefugeecenter.org/hall-of-fame/the-story-of-hamdia-ahmed-the-first-miss-maine-pageant-contestant-to-wear-a-hijab/

I repeat: Ahmed and her family members must have been doing a lot more than chatting in Somali!

The company later issued a statement:

“Dunkin’ and our franchisees are committed to creating a positive customer service experience for all of our guests,” the company’s emailed statement said. “The franchisee who owns and operates the store has confirmed he has met with the guest, sincerely apologized to her for the poor experience and is working on providing additional customer service training to his store crew.”

“I appreciate their apology but what I really wanted to get out of the meeting is I want training for their workers,” Ahmed said. “Because they can’t treat people like that, and the police should have never been called.” [Would that be shariah-compliance training?—ed]

Ahmed, a University of Southern Maine student who has been an outspoken anti-racist activist in Portland who does not shy from public demonstrations and discussions about race, said she felt compelled to speak up and publicize her encounter through social media.

“I can’t just ignore stuff like this because that would mean I’m allowing it to happen,” she said.

Ahmed had a similar encounter in September at an Old Port Starbucks, where she said an employee laughed and rolled her eyes at her when she asked for the employee to check the alcohol content of a vanilla flavoring, News Center Maine (WCSH) reported. Ahmed, who is Muslim, abstains from alcohol.

Starbucks apologized to her after the encounter, a response she said was “adequate.”

More here.

If Ahmed thinks her Dunkin’ Donuts publicity stunt will somehow improve relations between immigrants and Mainers she is naive.  But, then again, maybe that isn’t her goal at all.

This post is filed in my ‘Stealth Jihad’ category for obvious reasons!

New readers might want to look through my huge Maine archive.

Twin Falls, Idaho welcomed nearly 3,000 refugees in ten years

I was very interested to see the list of top cities in the US that ‘welcome’ refugees when I  published The Tent Foundation/Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Refugee Hiring Guide the other day.

Where is Twin Falls?

Screenshot (1478)

Today I had a chance to look at the list more carefully and I’ll be darned, I don’t see Twin Falls, Idaho.  (If you all check for me and see if somehow I overlooked it, see page 17, 18, and 19 at the guide, here.)

You would think that since The Tent Foundation is Chobani Yogurt CEO Hamdi Ulukaya’s foundation that Twin Falls would be on the list.

Is it possible, I wondered, that Twin Falls welcomed less than 100 refugees in the ten years being analyzed by the Lutheran contractor for the hiring guide?

Important note to readers: I hear from some of you referring to refugees as illegals.  They are not.  The immigrants we discuss mostly on these pages come to the US through the Refugee Admissions Program signed in to law in 1980.  The numbers I’ll be giving you below are primary refugees placed directly in Twin Falls. The data comes from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center.  The numbers below do not include: asylum seekers, asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders, Diversity Lottery winners, etc.  They also do not include secondary refugee migrants.  Those are legal refugees placed in another location who have moved, (possibly in this case to Twin Falls) for work or to be with others of their ethnic group. Again, secondary migrants are not included below.

These are all the primary refugees placed in Twin Falls by the US State Department and its local resettlement contractor during the ten year period, 2007-2016 presented in Tent’s Hiring Guide.  Data is from Wrapsnet (Refugee Processing Center).

A total of 2,723 were placed in Twin Falls, population 48,260, from 2007 to 2016. (Boise by comparison received 6,918 in the same time period placing it at #29 on the Tent list of top resettlement locations.)

The Twin Falls number of 2,723 should have placed it on Tent’s list (where to find refugees) between Richmond, VA and Lincoln, NE

 

Screenshot (733)_LI
Twin Falls should be here. I am wondering now how accurate the other numbers are!

 

When I analyzed the data at Wrapsnet, I learned that Twin Falls ‘welcomed’ refugees from 17 different nationalities during that time period with the largest numbers coming from the following countries:

Bhutan (650)

Burma (620)

Iraq (382)

Eritrea (242)

Iran (229)

DR Congo (217)

Sudan (179)

Afghanistan (85)

Smaller numbers came from 9 other countries surely making it challenging for the school system, the health system and the criminal justice system there to deal with the language barriers and requirements for translation services (just one more cost being passed on to local and state taxpayers!).

I’ll be red-faced, but please let me know if you find Twin Falls on the Tent list of top cities in which employers can find refugee workers.

This post is filed in my ‘Where to find information’ category and in ‘Refugee statistics.’

 

 

CAIR Texas angry that refugee numbers dropping under Trump

No surprise of course, but I thought my Texas readers might like to know.

If you missed it the other day, see my post about the numbers for fiscal year 2018 that just closed on September 30th.

Texas was the number one resettlement state in the nation in FY18. 

 

From Houston Public Media:

Texas Sees Major Cuts in Refugees from Iraq, Syria in 2018

 

Texas welcomed 67 percent fewer refugees in fiscal year 2018 than in 2017, down to 1,697 people from 4,768.

Some of the starkest drops in refugee arrivals were from Iraq, Iran and Syria, majority Muslim countries.

Iraqi refugee resettlement dropped from 949 to 25 in Texas. The number of Syrian refugees went from 455 to just one in fiscal year 2018.

CAIR TX
Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR TX    https://cairtexas.com/about-us/who-we-are/

Sobia Siddiqui, communications coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Texas Chapter, said the cuts are discriminatory.

“Our president ran his campaign and one of his strongest and most vocal points is that he called for a ban on all Muslims,” said Siddiqui.

She said there are refugee families in Houston who can’t be reunited with family members facing dangerous situations abroad because of the ban.

“There’s a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about if people will be able to have their families rejoin them back here in the United States or even in Houston,” said Dan Stoecker, CEO of The Alliance, which offers refugee services in Houston.

More here.

The Alliance is a subcontractor of the Ethiopian Community Development Council, the smallest, and likely most vulnerable to a federal budget cut, of the nine refugee contractors that monopolize all resettlement to the US.

In 2016,  I excitedly reported that the State of Texas withdrew from the US Refugee Admissions Program, but you can see that without a follow-up legal challenge by the state it was a meaningless move.  The contractors now run the program in the state!