Iowa: Governor signs proclamation for ‘Muslim Recognition Day’, opens with Muslim prayer at Capitol

Video added, h/t reader Martin. Muslims might be celebrating another step towards conquering the infidel but it’s not clear what non-Muslim elected officials were celebrating in Iowa. via Muslim Day celebrated at Iowa Capitol with pastries, proclamation.


It was Iowa Muslim day at the Iowa Capitol on Monday with Muslims sharing pastries and other ethnic foods in the Rotunda while providing information about their faith and work in Iowa.

Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation for Muslim Recognition Day in Iowa, something the Republican chief executive first did in 1992 during his previous tenure as governor.

About 50 Iowa Muslims joined him in the governor’s formal office and applauded during a signing ceremony.

The Muslims who gathered at the Capitol included native-born Iowans, and Muslims who have immigrated to Iowa from Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Egypt and other countries.

And elected officials continue failing to vet those with whom they continue to meet and be seen with.

More on Iowa here.

Allowing prayers for their own destruction?

Iowa: Two more Muslims indicted in Islamic halal money laundering scheme

An update on the First Muslim to join Peace Corps charged in “halal” export scheme. It seems his sons were in on it too. via Midamar corporate officers indicted on 92 counts involving misbranding Halal beef products – TheGazette.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Corporate officers of Midamar Corp. and Islamic Services of America in Cedar Rapids were indicted on 92 federal charges Friday, involving mislabeling of Halal beef products and falsifying documents.

Jalel Aossey, 40 and brother William “Yahya” Aossey, 44, both of Cedar Rapids, and each of the businesses are charged with one count of conspiracy to make and use materially false statements and documents; sell misbranded meat; and commit wire fraud.

Their father William Aossey, 73, founder of Midamar, was charged with 19 similar counts last month. His trial was just reset to March 9.

According to the indictment on the sons, each is also charged with three counts of making false statements on export applications; 44 counts of wire fraud; 44 counts of money laundering; and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.

The indictment also contains two forfeiture allegations, seeking proceeds and property involved in certain offenses.

Jalel Aossey wasn’t available for comment Friday afternoon. He did say in a previous interview regarding his father’s charges last month that they were “regulatory infractions” that had been corrected. He said he and his brother supported their father and he didn’t understand why this “mislabeling issue” turned into a criminal investigation.

Jalel Aossey pointed out last month that money was seized from the company accounts in 2012 by federal authorities and then were returned with no wrongdoing found.

If convicted, the conspiracy charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, each count of making a false statement on an export application is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Each count of wire fraud, money laundering, including the money laundering conspiracy, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. A fine of up to $250,000 may also be imposed on each count, along with a term of supervised release following prison time.

Iowa: First Muslim to join Peace Corps charged in “halal” export scheme

The entire halal industry, like sharia finance, is a corrupt and lucrative modern-day industry. via Midamar founder charged in “Halal” beef export scheme – TheGazette.

A 73-year-old Cedar Rapids businessman was indicted Thursday in federal court on 19 counts involving the sale of misbranded “Halal” beef products and falsifying export documents and certificates.

William B. Aossey, Jr., owner and founder of Midamar Corp. and registered agent of Islamic Services of America, both operated from 1105 60th Ave. SW, is charged with one count of conspiracy to make false statements, sell misbranded meat, and commit mail and wire fraud; seven counts of making or causing false statements to be made on export applications; seven counts of wire fraud; three counts of money laundering; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

His initial appearance and arraignment is set Oct. 30 in U.S. District Court.

According to the indictment, Midamar sells and distributes food products throughout the world and markets its products as meeting the strictest Halal beef slaughtering standards. Islamic Services of America certifies food products as Halal for customers throughout the world.

Malaysia and Indonesia restrict the import of Halal beef to products that had been certified by a specifically approved certifying entity, according to the indictment. Indonesia and Malaysia also restricted the import of Halal products since May 2008 to those products that have been slaughtered at a facility approved by each country. Islamic Services of America is one of the few organizations approved by Malaysia and Indonesia to certify Halal beef for import into those countries.

An exporter of these products is required to truthfully and accurately complete specific forms which account for all the products contained in the shipment and certify the products meet the import requirements of the importing country, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, Aossey conspired and agreed with others known to the grand jury to commit violations of law within the jurisdiction of Department of Agriculture by covering up material facts by a scheme, make false and fraudulent statements, to make and use false documents, sell misbranded products and make false statements on export certificates.

Aossey and others are accused of generating a variety of fabricated certificates and writings, including export documents, that contained falsified information concerning the source and nature of the beef products, according to the indictment. The false certificates and writings were created to show the shipments complied with import requirements of the countries where the beef was shipped.

According to the indictment, customer orders were taken by Midamar for the sale and export of Halal beef products to customers in Malaysia and Indonesia. Midamar placed orders by phone or email with a slaughter and production facility in Windom, Minn., which wasn’t certified by the two countries for export. The Windom facility shipped beef products to Midamar to fulfill orders placed with the Windom facility by Midamar.

The beef slaughtered and produced by the Windom facility and shipped to Midamar was marked with a USDA establishment number and those labels were removed by Midamar employees and replaced with a Midamar USDA establishment number.

The indictment also includes specific payments wired to Midamar’s bank accounts for the transactions of the products and lists USDA export certificates. Each is “alleged to constitute a separate overt act.”

The indictment also contains two forfeiture allegations for proceeds and property involved in some of the offenses. The property includes a money judgment of $134,080.

If Aossey is convicted on all counts, the conspiracy charge penalty is up to five years in prison, each count of making a false statement on an export application is up to three years in prison, each count of wire fraud is up to 20 years in prison and each count of money laundering, including the money laundering conspiracy, is up to 20 years in prison.

He also would face a fine up to $250,000 that could be imposed on each count, along with a term of supervised release.

Aossey’s bio claims he was the “first Muslim-American to join the Peace Corps”. More on the halal fraud, via Understanding Halal Certification Schemes:

Islamic organizations have estimated the value of the global halal certification market at USD 2.3 trillion in 2013, growing by 20% per year. No other religious group has imposed a similar tax-like scheme on the general public.

* Nowhere in Islamic scripture does it say Muslims should eat only halal-certified food. Most observant Muslims know perfectly well that nearly all our food is by default halal:

Koran Sura 2:173 (Al-Baqarah) reads: “He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swine flesh, and that which hath been immolated to any other than God. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Koran Sura 5.5 (Al Ma’idah) prescribes: “The food of the People of the Book (that is Jewish and Christian people) is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.”

And from the hadith narrated by Aisha (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 34, Number 273) Muslims know: “Some people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Meat is brought to us by some people and we are not sure whether the name of Allah has been mentioned on it or not.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Mention the name of Allah and eat it.”

Grand Mufti Dr Mustafa Ceric has suggested at an international conference in 2010, that Islam can conquer the world through the Halal (certification) movement.

Iowa: Muslim fugitive sought by federal law enforcement

via Fugitives being sought by federal law enforcement | KIMT 3.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Federal authorities are asking for the public’s help in tracking down two fugitives.

33-year-old Mohammad Al Sharairei and 35-year-old Melissa Al Sharairei, also known as Melissa Schermerhorn, are charged with maintaining a premises for the distribution of controlled substance analogues, money laundering and conducting an illegal gambling business. According to court documents, the premises in question was the Puff N Stuff II store in Cedar Rapids. They were indicted in June 2014.

After officially expressing an intent to plead guilty, the married couple failed to appear for federal court in Cedar Rapids on October 20.  Federal warrants have now been issued for their arrest.

The Al Sharaireis were last known to live in Pueblo, Colorado.  Anyone with any information on their whereabouts is asked to call the United States Marshals Service at (319) 362-4411.

 More: Mohammad and Melissa Al Sharairei set to plead guilty

The couple is accused of submitting a cashier’s check for $96,186 to Midland Escrow, property derived from a specified unlawful activity — distribution of controlled substance analogues or synthetic drugs on May 30, 2013, according to the information filed Friday in U.S. District Court.

In the other count, the couple is accused of conducting, financing, managing and owning all or part of an illegal gambling business from Feb. 5 through September 2013, which involved video slot-type machines that are a violation of state law, according to the information. The business involved five or more people who conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed and owned all or part of the gambling operation.

There is also a forfeiture allegation for any property derived from and any proceeds obtained from operating the Puff N Stuff, according to the information. The property to be forfeited includes a money judgment of $425,000 and any proceeds or property from the couple’s business.

The Al Sharaireis previously lost four properties, one house in Cedar Rapids and three houses in Des Moines, two months ago in a default civil judgment. The civil forfeiture claimed the purchase of the real properties represent property traceable to the sale of controlled substance analogues, represent the proceeds of the sale of controlled substance analogues, facilitate the sale of controlled substance analogues and represents property involved in money laundering.

Iowa: Linn County using tax-payer funds for employee trip to mosque, Islamic dawah

Employees have a choice: get paid to go to the mosque and be proselytized by Muslims, or work. via Linn County attorney questions Mosque lecture – TheGazette. h/t halalporkshop

CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden is all for the county’s diversity education initiative for its employees.

Even so, Vander Sanden is questioning the county Diversity Committee’s invitation to all county employees to take paid time off to attend a lecture during the workday on “Intro to Islam, Including Information about Ramadan, and Muslim History in Iowa.”

The hourlong sessions on June 3 and June 4 will be conducted by Imam Taha Tawil and Sara Tawil at the Mother Mosque of America, the first permanent structure to be built specifically to serve as a mosque in the United States, at 1335 Ninth St. NW, Cedar Rapids.

Vander Sanden said the event can be viewed in a legal sense as government promotion of religion, which would be a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In essence, they are promoting a proposal where government employees are getting paid time off to go to a religious facility and learn about the history of that religion,” Vander Sanden said. “It doesn’t matter what the religion is.

I can’t state unequivocally that this is outside the bounds of the First Amendment. But it certainly is in that murky area. And I believe that the average person might look at this and consider it to be an improper use of taxpayer money.”

Lisa Powell, Linn County human resources director and a Diversity Committee member, on Tuesday said that her office came up with the idea of a Diversity Committee for county employees about three years ago. It’s an idea that she said has been strongly supported by the Linn County Board of Supervisors.

The committee tries to sponsor about three or four training events a year, and she said past events have included in-house training on stereotyping and labeling and on diversity of thought.

There has been a program on black history, and last year the county sponsored the movie, “42,” about black baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

Powell noted participation is voluntary.

“If you’re interested, if you want to be educated, fine,” she said. “But we don’t promote one thing over another. It’s just an opportunity to learn about something you might not know anything about.”

Powell said a few employees have questioned the June program at the mosque, wondering if it was promoting a particular religion.

“Which is not the case, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said.

Supervisor Ben Rogers on Tuesday said he appreciated Vander Sanden’s comments, but he said he expected the scheduled June program at the mosque for county employees to take place.

“Really, this is an opportunity for employees, if they choose, to learn about a diverse population in Linn County that we serve,” Rogers said.

“It’s not favoring a religion. It’s not putting beliefs onto people. It’s just an opportunity, if our employees choose, to learn about diverse groups in Linn County.”

Rogers said the county’s public health director, Pramod Dwivedi, and his wife, Seema, are from India, and Seema Dwivedi gave a “fascinating” talk as part of the Diversity program recently to county employees about India and the country’s culture and way of life.

“This included an open dialogue on her religion, Hinduism,” Rogers said. “Linn County has a considerable Indian population, and the information she provided gave a deeper insight and perspective on what it means to be Indian in Iowa.

Rogers said he thought Vander Sanden’s concern was more about “optics” that anything else.

“I respect Jerry’s opinion, but we feel it (the June event) is appropriate,” Rogers said.

Vander Sanden likened the county’s plan to give county employees paid time off to attend a session at a mosque on Islam to the recent controversy at the Cedar Rapids Fire Department over Christian imagery and a Biblical verse on the bucket of the department’s 100-foot ladder truck.

The department removed the image, which had been in place since 1997, after someone complained that it favored one religion. The executive director of the city’s Civil Rights Commission said removal of the image was a good choice.

“This is something like that,” Vander Sanden said.

“I know it’s a voluntary option,” he continued. “But on the other hand, when you get right down to it, it is taxpayer-funded, and in that sense, I believe it can be viewed as government promotion of an event that has a religious purpose.

I view the role of our office is to counsel our government leaders to act in a certain way that avoids unnecessary litigation.”

…not to promote Islam at taxpayer expense. Iowan taxpayers should necessitate the necessary litigation.

Iowa: Lack of physical evidence exonerates imam in nude Islamic ritual

via Jurors announce verdict in religious ritual assault trial h/t @VinIenco

Jurors announced a verdict Friday just hours after starting deliberations in the Nermin Spahic trial.

They found Spahic not guilty on all three charges.

Spahic was emotional at hearing the verdict and was in tears.

Defense attorney Angela Campbell said the quick jury verdict may have come from the lack of physical evidence in the case.

“It’s a he said, she said case,” said Campbell.

Campbell said she didn’t know what resonated with the jury, but thought officers who said they decided not to collect evidence from Spahic’s fingernails and the victim’s body may have played a role.

They had the opportunity to pursue physical evidence and they didn’t. That resonates with me, and I assume it would resonate with anyone that’s listening to the evidence in this case,” said Campbell.

The case wasn’t without circumstantial evidence. Assistant Polk County Attorney Steve Foritano focused on the defendant’s history of performing the religious ceremony on clothed people. That night with the 18-year-old woman and her mother, he performed the ceremony with them in the nude covered only by a towel.

The 18-year-old texted her friends that she was scared and immediately following the ritual, texted about places his hands should not have been.

Closing arguments were presented on Friday morning and the case was turned over to the jury about 11 a.m.

Spahic, 41, is on trial charged with third-degree sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation by clergy. A mother and her 18-year-old daughter both reported being assaulted by Spahic during a counseling session at a Johnston home last August.

Testimony started on Tuesday and Thursday Spahic took the witness stand in his own defense.

Iowa: Bosnian mosque, cemetery plans move forward in Waterloo


via City Council moving forward with new Waterloo mosque – KWWL

Waterloo is one step closer to getting a new community center.

Monday night, the city council voted in favor of reserving a location for the construction of a new Mosque and cemetery. Plans show it will be located south of Marigold Drive and North of Memory Lane. The center will also include a soccer field and recreational facility.

Organizers say they’re just excited to have a place to call their own.

“We need to have something that belongs to us, that we have to take care of it.” Said Senad Kapic, with the Bosnian Islamic Association of Waterloo. “That’s the way that we do in our country or any Muslim communication that they actually built and take care of their own. So that’s the major thing that we want, to have everything in our hands and take care of it. “

Senad is not sure when the next step in getting this facility will begin but he hopes to see some progress this year.

via Board of Adjustment OKs Islamic mosque, cemetery plans.

WATERLOO | A planned Islamic mosque, cemetery and soccer field on the city’s southeast side has cleared another zoning hurdle.

Members of the Board of Adjustment voted 3-0 Tuesday to approve a special permit for a conceptual site plan for the Bosnian Islamic Association of Waterloo’s development near the Cedar Knoll and Southview Estates mobile home parks.

Board members also unanimously granted a key variance to the city’s required cemetery size.

Planning and Zoning staff had recommended denying the variance because the proposed cemetery would be only five acres while the ordinance requires at least 30 acres for a cemetery. The entire site, including the mosque and soccer field, is only 15 acres.


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