By Gadi Adelman
The story of the U.S. State Department funding mosques overseas was uncovered in July 2010 when reporter Justin Farmer from ABC affiliate WSBTV Channel 2 in Atlanta Georgia did an investigative report. Farmers’ story focused on how the U.S. was spending its tax payer dollars while supposedly trying to cut the budget.
I’ve written on this in the past, but I think it needs a re-visit. I don’t think that at a time when our own administration, Congress and Senate have to fight just to come to a 2 month budget agreement we as American taxpayers need to be funding mosques overseas.
What’s more, I would bet my Burqa that most Americans have no idea that there hard earned money is going to rebuild mosques.
President Barack Obama announced on January 5, 2012 his administration’s new military strategy, saying it will include cutting at least $487 billion in defense spending.
The U.S. budget is so bad that we need to cut $487 billion in defense spending, but Hillary Clinton signed a check for $770 million from the U.S. State Department’s USAID program to rebuild Egypt’s sewer system. Funny I thought our own infrastructure here in the U.S. is in dire need of repair.
The Saleh Talai Mosque in historic Islamic Cairo, dating back to the 10th century, is now active, and open for prayers and tourists. This mosque suffered for decades from rising groundwater contaminated with sewage. USAID, as part of its $770 million Cairo Sewerage Program, allocated $2.3 million for lowering the groundwater at the mosque area, replacing the old sewage collector, and providing a healthier environment for people living in the area.
The Washington times reported on other mosques in August 2010 and emphasized how we are paying for “Muslim triumphalism”,
Americans also may be surprised to learn that the United States has been an active participant in mosque construction projects overseas. In April, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso E. Lenhardt helped cut the ribbon at the 12th-century Kizimkazi Mosque, which was refurbished with assistance from the United States under a program to preserve culturally significant buildings. The U.S. government also helped save the Amr Ebn El Aas Mosque in Cairo, which dates back to 642. The mosque’s namesake was the Muslim conqueror of Christian Egypt, who built the structure on the site where he had pitched his tent before doing battle with the country’s Byzantine rulers. For those who think the Ground Zero Mosque is an example of “Muslim triumphalism” glorifying conquest, the Amr Ebn El Aas Mosque is an example of such a monument – and one paid for with U.S. taxpayer funds.
The Same report brought up what can only be called the most important question in this argument. Is it legal for our tax dollars to be used for religious purposes of any kind? The article reported the answer, yet it never received any traction in the media,
But Section 205.1(d) of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations prohibits USAID funds from being used for the rehabilitation of structures to the extent that those structures are used for “inherently religious activities.” It is impossible to separate religion from a mosque; any such projects will necessarily support Islam.
Well, call me doubtful, but I like to see things for myself so I went and read 205.1(d) of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, it states plainly,
(b) Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from USAID under any USAID program may not engage in inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, as part of the programs or services directly funded with direct financial assistance from USAID.
One does not have to be an Iranian nuclear scientist to understand the above law. It is illegal, period.
What I have uncovered is unacceptable, obscene and should be fought at all levels by the American people. Our State Department is using undisclosed amounts of US tax dollars to build and renovate Islamic Mosques in 27 different countries. They do this under an ‘outreach’ program with the purpose of fostering ‘good will’ in Muslim countries. The state department will not reveal just how much they spend on overseas, foreign programs but a very reliable source told me most likely it is in the hundreds of billions.
Oh, so now it’s only hundreds of billions, no big deal when we are in debt for trillions.
My own research found more than just 27 countries. According to the Associated Press also August 2010,
This year, the Obama administration will spend nearly $6 million to restore 63 historic and cultural sites, including mosques and minarets, in 55 nations, according to State Department documents.
So now it’s 55 countries not 27, but really, what are a few more minarets anyway.
Former Egyptian Muslim and author Nonie Darwish stated during an interview about the U.S. rebuilding mosques, that trying to buy respect in the Middle East only shows our weakness,
“This part of the world has a lot of respect for power and America is not showing its power, it’s showing its appeasement. They are laughing all the way to the bank.”
“We are rebuilding mosques to support the radicals, not to support the moderates. We are building mosques to issue fatwas of death against people like me.”
State Department documents also show that it is providing funding to buy inter-net computer service for the mosques. Darwish had this to say,
“They call us the Great Satan. So, we’re giving them access to really get together against America.”
I have written about Obama’s Muslim Outreach Program several times dating back to July 2010 but as usual each and every time I point out how much this current administration is trying to buy friendships with those that not only don’t like us, but quite frankly would rather see us dead, I get called an Islamaphobe.
The U.S. tax payer dollars continue to flow for projects like this and others. As Jon Christianryter’s website reported,
Fifty-five of sixty-three 2010 grants went to Muslim countries. But some of the grants to non-Muslims countries—like China—were nevertheless used to refurbish mosques or other Islamic artifacts.
My question is who over sees this money once the check is written? Do we or for that matter, our State Department really know how it is being spent?
It’s bad enough that my tax dollars are going to rebuild mosques and minarets, but I want to know that know that none of that money is being used to buy weapons that are being used against our men and women in the military.
I decided to see what I could find that was more current and came upon one such USAID audit. “The Office of Inspector General Audit of USAID/West Bank and Gaza’s Palestinian Health Sector Reform and Development Project”
The audit is the most recent I could find dated January 5, 2012, so barely two weeks old.
I figured this would be a good place to start, tax dollars going to health care in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, surely that money would go towards what it was intended and easily tracked.
In the summary it explains,
In September 2008, USAID awarded a 5-year, $56,907,081 contract to Chemonics International to implement the Palestinian Health Sector Reform and Development Project, known as the Flagship Project, to support efforts to reform the Palestinian health sector. USAID/West Bank and Gaza provided supplemental funding of $28,529,883 in September 2009, bringing the total contract amount to $85,436,964. Total disbursements for the project as of June 30, 2011, were $49,459,930. The mission had obligated $61,526,896 for the project as of June 30, 2011.
Under the ‘Audit findings’ section it explains in the first paragraph the importance of “partners” as well as the rules set by USAID,
“When contemplating an alliance approach to achieve a result, it is important to conduct due diligence on potential partners… According to ADS 18.104.22.168, “USAID Missions [Offices] should ensure that host country governments have major involvement in project and activity planning decisions.”
The title of the very first section summed it all up, “USAID/West Bank and Gaza did not establish a reliable partnership with the Minister of Health.” It stated,
Moreover, according to the mission’s health and humanitarian assistance team and the evaluation results, weak oversight by the mission allowed the project team to respond to Ministry requests that may have not been directly in line with the project’s strategic vision.
The audit continues with all the wonderful work that was achieved with our tax dollars,
The unreliable partnership with the Minister of Health developed because of the lack of focus in the original statement of work for the project. USAID/West Bank and Gaza also allowed the relationship to develop in this way by approving whatever the Minister requested, regardless of how the requests fit into the mission’s vision and focus for the project.
“Approving whatever the Minister requested, regardless”? Makes you wonder what the Minister requested. The outcome of that section of the audit, it gives 3 recommendations so it won’t occur again in the future.
The second section of the audit is simply titled “Some Reported Results Were Not Reliable”. Really? I don’t even need to elaborate on this. After explaining the importance on about budget, funding, project direction, and achieved results, it gives 2 more recommendations.
No surprise at the title of the third section, “Contractor Reporting of Achievements Was Sometimes Misleading”. Misleading, would that not be the PC term for Lies? After this section there is of course another recommendation.
Section 4 is titled “Contractor’s Vetting Information Was Incomplete”. In this section it actually stated,
Weaknesses in data accuracy also weaken the project’s efficiency and antiterrorism efforts.
Antiterrorism efforts? I thought this money was going to health reform and development. Perhaps proper health care will keep people from wanting to blow themselves up, I’m not sure on that one. At the end of section 4 as expected two more recommendations.
The final part of the audit was the ‘scope’ and it states,
We reviewed compliance by the mission and Chemonics with Executive Order 13224, “Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism,” and with USAID/West Bank and Gaza Mission Order 21, “Anti-Terrorism Procedures.” Our antiterrorism compliance testing included reviews of relevant documentation, such as USAID/West Bank and Gaza’s agreement with Chemonics and eligibility notifications for trainees, subcontractors, and grantees.
I for one am glad that the compliance of “transactions with persons who commit terrorism” was reviewed through relevant documentation, especially since that documentation was provided by the group that “did not establish a reliable partnership”, “reported results that were not reliable”, “reported of achievements that were sometimes misleading” and provided “vetting information that was incomplete”.
Yes, our debt is growing and in the time it took me to write this it has risen over 2 million dollars. But no worries, we will still give money to our enemies to rebuild their mosques, after all we are sitting down with the Taliban, right?
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “America Akbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.