Tags: Ayaan Hirsi Ali | prisons | Islamists | radicals | Kevin James

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: US Tax Dollars Fund Islamist Prison Radicalization

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: US Tax Dollars Fund Islamist Prison Radicalization
Activist and writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (Peter Jones/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 April 2015 12:11 PM

Less than a year after former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali moved to the United States, a Pennsylvania imam objected to the fact that she had been invited to speak at the University of Pittsburgh.

Fouad El Bayly of the Johnstown Islamic Center once declared that Hirsi Ali, who rejected Islam and became an atheist, had "been identified as one who has defamed the faith," Hirsi Ali wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

Bayly added that "if you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death."

After a local newspaper reported his comments, Bayly was forced to resign from the Islamic Center, and Hirsi Ali figured she had heard the last of him.

She turned out to be very wrong.

Earlier this month, the Daily Caller reported that federal records show the Federal Bureau of Prisons awarded Bayly a $10,500 contract in February 2014 to provide "religious services, leadership and guidance" to inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland. In December, Bayly received another federal contract, that one worth $2,400.

The problem goes far beyond one radical imam and one poorly run prison, Hirsi Ali wrote. Other U.S. prison chaplains have been exposed in recent years as sympathetic to radical Islam. These include Warith Deen Umar, who helped run the New York State Department of Correctional Services' Islamic prison program for two decades, until 2000.

In a 2003 interview with The Journal, Umar praised the 9/11 hijackers.

Testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee in June 2011, Patrick Dunleavy, retired deputy inspector of the New York state Corrections Department's  Criminal Intelligence Division, stated that prison authorities often rely on groups such as the Islamic Society of North America for advice about Islamic chaplains.

Dunleavy testified that there "is certainly no vetting of volunteers who provide religious instruction, and who, although not paid, wield considerable influence in the prison Muslim communities."

And, once released from prisons, radicalized inmates may seek to wage jihad.

Hirsi Ali cites the example of Kevin James, who formed the Assembly of Authentic Islam while incarcerated in the California state prison system and recruited fellow prisoner Levar Washington to his cause. After being released, James "developed a list of possible targets including an Israeli consulate, a Jewish children's camp in Malibu, Los Angeles International Airport and a U.S. military recruiting station in Santa Monica," she wrote.

The pair pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. In 2008, Washington was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment and James received a 16-year sentence in 2009.

Washington and James are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to prison radicalization. For example, an Islamic convert who had been radicalized in the Illinois prison system sought to blow up a federal government building and discussed the need to attack members of Congress. In 2011 he was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Also in 2011, the "Newburgh Four" — ex-inmates who converted to Islam and were radicalized in prison — each received 25-year sentences for plotting to bomb New York synagogues and shoot down military aircraft with Stinger missiles.

The fact that Fouad El Bayly, "an imam who publicly called for my death, was chosen to provide 'religious services, leadership and guidance' at a federal prison shows that U.S. authorities haven't learned the right lessons from a growing list of prison-convert terrorists," Hirsi Ali concluded.

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U.S. prison chaplains have been exposed in recent years as sympathetic to radical Islam, according to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, prisons, Islamists, radicals, Kevin James
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 12:11 PM
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