The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Nation of Islam has received $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2019.
The article reports:
The funding was designed to provide “Nation of Islam religious services,” “Nation of Islam spiritual guide services,” “Nation of Islam study services,” and other related programming led by the organization’s leaders, according to Bureau of Prison records. The Nation of Islam has been labeled a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
It scares me that I agree with the Southern Poverty Law Center on anything, but in this case they are right. The Nation of Islam is led by Louis Farrakhan. Some of his teaching states that white people are “blue-eyed devils” and Jews are “the synagogue of Satan.” That is not a message that is helpful to anyone.
The article further reports:
In total, the Bureau of Prisons contracted with over a dozen organizations and individuals to specifically provide Nation of Islam programming for inmates. One of these individuals was Verbon Muhammad, a Nation leader in Monroe, La., who received over $60,000 to “provide Nation of Islam religious services.” Muhammad told a reporter at the Louisiana News Star last year that white people are not allowed to attend Nation of Islam religious services.
“We don’t allow white people in our meetings, period,” said Muhammad.
There is a concern that chaplains in our prisons are not helping inmates in their journey to be productive citizens.
The article reports:
King (New York Republican Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence) said the funding raises concerns about the federal vetting process for prison chaplains in light of reports that prisons can be a breeding ground for radicalization.
In 2010, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report that found “as many as three dozen U.S. citizens who converted to Islam while in prison have traveled to Yemen, possibly for Al Qaeda training.” The issue has drawn recent attention in Europe, after a gunman who attacked visitors at a Christmas market in France was reported to have been radicalized during a prior stint in jail.
“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 said. “To me, once you’re associated with Farrakhan, that, to me, would end the vetting right away.”
It’s time to reevaluate our prison chaplain program to see if it is helping prisoners to become productive citizens or creating people that will not exist peacefully in society.