Too good bad to check: Federal gov't paying Farrakhan group to preach in prison?

We knew that the Women’s March had a Louis Farrakhan problem. Who knew that the federal government had a worse one? The Washington Examiner’s Alana Goodman reports that Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam has received hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide religious education in federal prisons over the past ten years.


Do they teach about “termites,” or is that an advanced study program?

The Nation of Islam and its leaders have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government since 2008 to teach religious study programs for federal prison inmates, according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

A black nationalist group led by Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam preaches that white people are “blue-eyed devils” and Jews are “the synagogue of Satan.” Its leaders have received at least $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 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.

First off, why is the federal government paying anyone to provide any religious instruction, let alone a group like the Nation of Islam? Most faiths have prison ministries that serve prisoners at all levels, but they do so voluntarily and on their own dime. The US government (and state governments too) spent the last several decades chasing religion in general from education and other functions on the basis of a First Amendment bar on endorsement of any particular religion. Now we find out that they’re paying the Nation of Islam to conduct classes in government facilities? How does that survive a “separation of church and state” doctrine, especially given that prisoners are detained against their will?


Needless to say, it’s not just the principle in this case but also the principals. Farrakhan is a raging bigot, a font of anti-Semitic hate, and as Goodman notes the NoI is recognized as a hate group even by the SPLC. The closest analogue one would have to these payments is if the federal government paid Christian Identity to proselytize in prisons. So how in blazes did the NoI get hundreds of thousands of dollars to push their own poisonous hate?

Rep. Peter King would like to know that too, especially after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported in 2010 that prison conversions to radical Islam creates a pipeline for terrorism:

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 not just foreign terrorism, either. Jeff Dunetz reminded readers of Farrakhan’s history and his other efforts at, er, education:

  • Molotov cocktails After a grand jury correctly cleared the police officer involved in a Ferguson, Mo incident, Farrakhan called for parents to teach their children how to throw Molotov cocktails and demonstrated himself how to do so.
  • US Government Crimes In 2014 Farrakhan claimed he had a national security memo dated April 24, 1974, titled, “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for the United States Security and Overseas Interest,” Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State under George Herbert Walker Bush.  According to Farrakhan, the memo stated that America needed to fight overpopulation, so they had the CIA invent Ebola to kill off Black people.
  • Olfaction In 2011, the Pastor of Putrid Hatred compared life in the US to life in Gaddafi’s Libya. According to Farrakhan, Libya had no poverty or homelessness. But as for America, “Your Record America Stinks In The Eyes of God”
  • Jews: “These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral strength. … It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality. It’s the wicked Jews, false Jews, that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!”— Louis Farrakhan, Saviours’ Day speech, Feb. 26, 2006
  • His own brand of Patriotism: During as November 2018 speech in Iran celebrating the 39th anniversary of 1979 US embassy takeover Farakahn led chants of “Death to America” and “Death To Israel.”

Lovely. The money has slowed down, anyway, over the last couple of years, but it should be stopped completely. The Women’s March has finally taken some steps away from Farrakhan and the NoI. It’s long past time for the federal government to distance taxpayers from the hateful stench as well.

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