Muslim in Maine: Coping with mistrust, counting on faith, community

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PORTLAND — On the morning of Nov. 16, 2015, Fahmo Ahmed walked from her apartment on Bartlett Street in Lewiston to a downtown bus stop.

It was a Monday, and like so many other Americans, she was already bracing herself for the week ahead. It was cold outside, and she had to get up early that morning for classes at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston campus.

But it was no ordinary Monday. The Friday before, three coordinated groups of terrorists had killed 130 people, and wounded hundreds others, in a brutal attack on the city and suburbs of Paris, France. The Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, later claimed responsibility.

Paris was on Ahmed’s mind as she waited at the chilly bus stop.

Ahmed, 28, is originally from Somalia. On that day, as on all days, she was wearing a headscarf, which is traditional for Muslim women from her country.

She was soon approached by two middle-aged women she did not know. They were both white, and they started pointing at her headscarf and screaming at her.

“They said to me, ‘why are you wearing this, what are you hiding?'” Ahmed recalled in an interview.

“They called me a terrorist, a daughter of ISIS,” she said.

Ahmed, who often says “you’re never going to meet an American prouder than me,” wasn’t going to take it.

“If you’re ignorant enough to associate all Muslims with ISIS, I’m not ignorant enough to associate all Christians with the KKK,” she fired back.

“They went on and on,” she said, yelling close to her face and pointing to her headscarf. “(Eventually) I’m like, not my circus, not my monkeys, I’m outta here.”

The women continued to follow her as she walked away, she said, hurling Islamophobic slurs in her wake.

She waited until they got on the bus, and then took the next one to school. She was late to her classes.

Fahmo Ahmed, 28, adjusts her coat to protect her hijab from the rain April 2 in downtown Lewiston: “You’re never going to meet an American prouder than me.” (Roger S. Duncan / For The Forecaster)

Ahmed is a Somali in a city that is almost 90 percent white, in a state that is famously the “whitest” in the nation. Fear and suspicion, fueled by domestic politics and events abroad, make her an easy target.

But Maine is evolving. New storefronts, restaurants, and names on election ballots reflect a new type of Mainer, and they are changing the fabric of the state in their effort to build a home.

‘New Mainers’

According to the latest Census data, people identifying as white make up 95 percent of Maine’s population. But the number of residents from other countries is climbing.

The state’s foreign-born population, 2.9 percent in 2000, grew to 3.5 percent, in 2014.

The increase is driven primarily by immigrants from Asian and African countries; from 2000 to 2014, their numbers increased by 73 and 513 percent, respectively.

Reza Jalali, a writer and professor at the University of Southern Maine, estimated there are between 5,000 and 6,000 Muslims in Maine. The majority are immigrants who fled conflict zones like Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Ghana, Afghanistan, Iran, Kenya, Bosnia, and Kosovo, Jalali wrote in a recent paper for the Maine Policy Review.

These “new Mainers,” to use Jalali’s term, are creating new institutions. There are now 10 mosques in Maine, and Jalali estimates there are 12 Muslim student associations across the state, at the major public universities and at Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby colleges.

Muslims hold public office, serve in police departments, and are recruited by some of Maine’s largest private companies.

But the change has not come without these new immigrants – like generations of newcomers from Canada and Europe before them – being targeted by people who do not understand or look like them.

In May 2011, after the death of Osama bin Laden, unknown vandals spray-painted phrases like “Go Home,” and “Osama Today Islam Tomorow” (sic) across the walls of the Maine Muslim Community Center, a mosque on Anderson Street in Portland.

In the summer of 2006, a man rolled a frozen pig’s head into a Lewiston storefront mosque while several men were kneeling in prayer. He was charged with desecrating a place of worship.

Last April, an unknown man wearing a black hoodie was seen spray-painting a vulgar slur referencing Allah on the walls of the Portland Halaal Market on St. John Street.

These acts of hate are rooted in pervasive stereotypes. In reality, the day-to-day lives of Maine’s new Muslim residents are as routine as any, rooted in patterns of family, faith, community, and work.

73 Portland St.

Just before noon on a Friday in February, hundreds of people begin to descend on a building on Portland Street marked only by its number, 73.

They park their cars on the surrounding side streets, or come on foot, from offices, stores, and restaurants in downtown Portland. Two yellow taxis are stopped out front.

For Muslims in Portland, and around the world, Friday at noon marks Jumu’ah, the most important prayer of the week.

Men enter the main room of the Islamic Society of Portland, after taking their shoes off at the door. They kneel on the soft red and gold carpet, facing east towards Islam’s holy city, Mecca. The aroma of sweet incense fills the air.

On the far end of the room, a man wearing traditional robes and a Carhartt beanie bends to the floor, softly whispering prayers. Women and children are here, too, but in a separate room. It is common for men and women to pray separately, although it is not a religious requirement, according to Muslim scholar Jalali, who said the practice is based in cultural views of male and female modesty.

By the time the group prayer begins, about 300 people fill the building, according to Ahmad Yusef, the Islamic Society’s president.

“We are about more than 10 nationalities (here),” Yusef said after the prayers. “What gathers us is Islam.”

Leading prayers that day was Ibrahim Sarag, of Sudan. He wore white robes and spoke to the packed crowd in Arabic and English.

Ibrahim Sarag, from Sudan, delivers a sermon Feb. 12 at the Islamic Society of Portland. “When we promote tolerance,” he said, “we prevail.” (Roger S. Duncan / For The Forecaster)

Sarag began his sermon, or khutbah, with an anecdote. He spoke of his 12-year-old daughter, who just came to Maine from Sudan. She has started learning English in public school, and recently came home puzzled.

“She said … ‘why do people keep wasting time and money on us? We are not even American,'” he recalled. He asked her what she meant by “waste,” and if she wanted to return to Sudan.

“‘No,'” he said she replied. “‘I want to go to Harvard and work for the government.'”

“This is a family story that has religious dimensions,” Sarag told the worshippers.

The “name of the game,” he said, is to be “hard working … and (get) a good education for your children. … When we promote tolerance, we prevail. Only by ethics and morality Islam was spread.”

After the prayers, worshippers gathered in another room to purchase $1 brown bags of samosas, small fried pastries stuffed with spiced meat.

Mohamud Barre, a prayer attendee and the founder of the Maine Access Immigrant Network, said that every week different families make and donate the samosas.

The sales “help us pay the mortgage,” he said, smiling. Barre comes from his office on Oxford Street to pray at the mosque, or masjid, two or three days a week.

Yusef, the Islamic Society’s president, said the mosque has been on Portland Street since 2007. It draws the biggest crowds for Friday prayers, and on Islam’s holy days, like Ramadan.

The majority of the worshippers are Sunni Muslims, he said, though some Shia Muslims come in occasionally for one of the five daily prayers.

The masjid is a “community,” he said. “We feel safe.”

But prayer does not look the same for all Muslims in Maine.

Qur’ans, backpacks, neuroscience

On another Friday afternoon, about 30 miles up the coast, a small group of Bowdoin College students gathered for Friday prayers. Their place of worship is not a mosque, but a small room in a college-owned building.

The school’s Muslim Student Association received permission last year to convert the room, barely larger than a walk-in closet, into a prayer space.

“It was literally just like this old, grungy room last year, but we worked hard to make it very comfortable,” said Mariama Sowe, a sophomore at Bowdoin and the association’s president.

Sowe, who plans to major in neuroscience and minor in classics, was born in Sierra Leone, and grew up in Atlanta. She and her classmates repainted the walls of the prayer room, brought in a bookshelf of Qur’ans, and hung strands of string lights.

On this Friday in late January, five students squeezed into the prayer room. They left their backpacks out in the hall, and laid out rugs diagonally across the floor.

A group of Bowdoin College Muslim students gather in a small prayer room at 30 College St. for Friday prayers Jan. 29. Reza Jalali, left, is an adviser. He calls gathering places like this one “homesick mosques.” (Roger S. Duncan / For The Forecaster)

Irfan Alam, a sophomore from Austin, Texas, said usually no more than eight students gather to pray on Fridays, depending on their class schedules.

“The idea is to congregate with a few other Muslims,” he said. “(Friday prayer) helps clear your thoughts, and reminds you of … what faith means to you.”

With the all the stresses of college, “you don’t think about your faith as much here, normally,” he added.

Sermons are delivered by Mohammad Irfan, a computer science professor at the college.

“One finals week,” Alam recalled, “Professor Irfan talked about what the Qu’ran says about excellence … and tied that into motivating us for finals.”

Sowe estimated there are about 30 Muslim students at Bowdoin. A little less than half are active in the MSA.

Apart from praying together on Fridays, the MSA organizes events like henna parties and movies to share their traditions and experiences with those who may not know much about Islam.

After the Paris attacks, the MSA organized a panel of professors and students to discuss “how Islamic is the Islamic State.”

The event was held in one of the college’s old fraternity houses and, according to Sowe, it was standing-room-only.

‘Homesick mosque’

Jalali, the USM Professor who also serves as an adviser to Bowdoin’s Muslim students, calls Maine’s places of worship “homesick mosques.”

“(They) are best described as makeshift, since prior to being purchased or leased … (they) were used as retail spaces and warehouses,” he writes in the Maine Policy Review.

The Islamic Society of Portland certainly meets Jalali’s description.

Unadorned and unidentified on the outside, inside its carpets, incense, and many languages recall more traditional mosques overseas. Many attendees are first-generation immigrants, older men dressed in traditional robes like the jellabiya or the kurta.

But the prayer room at Bowdoin reflects a different kind of homesickness. Here, young men and women pray together, and although the traditional prayers are in Arabic, for some, English is a first language.

They come hauling pounds of textbooks, and catch up about tests, meals, and friends before and after the prayers.

If Bowdoin’s prayer room is a “homesick mosque,” its worshippers are also homesick for other American homes in places like Atlanta or Austin.

It reflects a new generation of Muslims in Maine.

‘To be known’

Generations are on display at Babylon Restaurant, 1192 Forest Ave.

The 3-year-old Middle Eastern restaurant is owned by Nagham Rikam, 29, whose five brothers and sisters all pitch in to keeping things running.

On a recent Thursday, her younger sister Angam, a third-grader at Hall School, followed Nagham through the preparations for the dinner rush. She said she wants to someday take over the restaurant from her sister.

“I’m ready to get busy,” Angam proclaimed.

Babylon is growing, and is expanding its menu. The next day the restaurant would introduce an all-day buffet.

It’s not an easy thing to do in a city with one of the highest restaurant densities in the country. But Rikam believes she is up to the challenge.

Angam Rikam, 8, looks on April 3 as Ali Al Chachany and Methaq Atiyah make falafel at Babylon Restaurant, 1192 Forest Ave., Portland. (Walter Wuthmann / The Forecaster)

Her family fled Iraq when she was a teenager. She grew up in Jordan, and then Mobile, Alabama. Before coming to Maine in 2010, “the future was black for me,” Rikam said.

“(But) if you know your path, know where you’re going, and have the passion … America is an open door,” she added.

Rikam sought legal and marketing advice through Coastal Enterprises, a nonprofit community development corporation, and the Service Corps of Retired Executives, a volunteer business mentoring organization.

Her family sold their home in Iraq, and with some help from her uncle, Rikam used the start-up capital to rent the restaurant space on Forest Avenue.

She’s quick to share her business philosophy.

“Trust is a good thing, but do not trust everybody,” she said. “Customer service is key.”

Rikam’s goal, she said, is “to be known,” to have Babylon become a household name among the nearly 400 restaurants that pack the city.

As the restaurant began to fill, Rikam moved between the tables and the kitchen, speaking English and Arabic.

She plugged the new buffet to all her customers. The word – buffet – is the same in both languages.

Public office

Though less than half a percent of the state’s population, Maine’s Muslims are beginning to hold prominent public offices, representing neighborhoods and broader constituencies of old and new Mainers alike.

In 2013, Pious Ali, from Ghana, became the first African-born American, and Muslim, to be elected to public office in Maine. He is an at-large member of the Portland School Board, and a candidate for City Council.

Shortly after Ali’s election, Jama Mohamed was elected to Lewiston’s School Committee, becoming the city’s first Somali elected official.

Another Somali-American, Zam Zam Mohamud, has also served on the Lewiston School Committee, appointed by the city’s mayor.

In January, the Portland Police Department hired Officer Zahra Abu, who grew up in Somalia and Kenya. She is the first Somali, and likely first Muslim, police officer in the state.

Reza Jalali calls Abu’s hiring symbolic. More than just shattering a “glass ceiling,” he said, Abu is “shattering the ‘hijab ceiling.'”

“That’s how progress happens,” he said. “And sometimes progress happens with symbolism.”

The list of elected officials in Maine may soon include Lewiston’s Fahmo Ahmed.

On March 12, Ahmed graduated from Emerge Maine, an organization that provides a six-month training in campaigning, fundraising, and leadership for women interested in running for office as Democrats.

Ahmed was the featured graduation speaker at the event, held at SPACE gallery in Portland.

Democratic politicians packed the room, including Attorney General Janet Mills, state Rep. Sara Gideon of Freeport, who is the assistant House majority leader, and Shenna Bellows, a former U.S. Senate candidate and past director of the ACLU of Maine.

Women Ahmed describes as her mentors were there, too: her adopted godmother, Sonya Sampson of Auburn; Jill Barkley, executive director of Emerge; Molly Ladd, of Portland, her first friend in Maine, and former State Sen. Margaret Craven, D-Lewiston.

“I never thought I would see a day like this,” Ahmed told the crowd, wearing a red blazer with her black headscarf.

Born during a war in Somalia, raised in a refugee camp in Kenya, and educated in Lewiston, on that Saturday night Ahmed stood on stage addressing some of the most powerful Democratic officials in the state.

As the first Muslim graduate of Emerge Maine, “I’m paving the way for women who look like me,” she said. The crowd gave her a standing ovation.

About a week later, Ahmed was walking down Birch Street in Lewiston.

She said she felt an eerie sense of deja vu. That morning, March 22, three terrorists connected to the Islamic State killed 31 people in Brussels, Belgium.

Like clockwork, a man passing her saw her headscarf, and paused.

“Terrorist,” he said.

Ahmed thought for a second, smiled, and ignored him.

“I will never react to what people say to me,” she said. “Enough is enough.”

Walter Wuthmann can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or wwuthmann@theforecaster.net. Follow Walter on Twitter: @wwuthmann.

 

 

A man holds prayer beads during Friday prayers at the Islamic Society of Portland Feb. 12. (Roger S. Duncan / For The Forecaster)

 

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Brunswick/Harpswell reporter for The Forecaster. Bowdoin College grad, San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow for municipal, school, community, and environmental news from the Midcoast.
  • SteveWoodsME

    Let me be the first to comment on this excellent piece by Walter Wuthmann. With so much hate and fear in the world, ignorance is both the chicken and the egg in this seemingly endless cycle as it relates to Islam, a religion practiced by more than 1.6 followers (Muslims.) Here in Maine we have approximately 5,000 Muslim residents – a number that will undoubtedly grow.

    Wuthmann’s article provides both voice and perspective from a few of our neighbors, students, colleagues, and community leaders here in Maine that are Muslim. A little insight & understanding can go a long way to bring light to any subject where the darkness of negative thoughts, prejudice or actions live.

    Maine has many challenges – most rooted in our old-economy (inefficient) infrastructure – trying to function in a new-economy world. Any person, or group of people (Muslims, Christians, Atheists, etc.) who are honest, hard working and law abiding – should be welcomed here in Maine.

    We are a nation of immigrants. My grandparents crossed the ocean many years ago to provide themselves and ultimately, me and my family, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness here in the U.S.

    Welcome to all.

    • Charles Martel

      But, your grandparents as well as mine and many others came here to assimilate, not to establish Sharia law and subordinate or dismantle completely our U.S. Constitution.

      • James Cradock

        Charles,

        I call horse mittens on that. No one came to this country to assimilate. They came here, my grandparents came here, for example, to escape civil war, extreme poverty and persecution. My family happened to be from Western Europe, but there you go.

        There’s a lot of talk about assimilation, but assimilation happens in degrees. And it’s not incomplete because immigrants, or second or third generation family, do not love and appreciate the opportunity our country provides.

        Irish-Americans are well known for keeping connections with the old country. Are the descendants of immigrants from Ireland guilty of not assimilating?

        • Charles Martel

          Ask the Irish firefighters and policemen who were Ground Zero.

          • James Cradock

            Muslims were killed on 9/11. I don’t think the firefighters and policeman trying to save the people in those building were discriminating. I’m certain they were not.

            Classy, Charles.

          • Charles Martel

            Correct, the firefighters and policemen weren’t discriminating, but it wasn’t the Irish who flew the planes into those buildings.

          • James Cradock

            Charles,

            There were Muslims murdered on 9/11.

            Not all people claiming Irish Catholic descent are Provisional IRA. Not all people of Italian descent are mafia.

          • Charles Martel

            You are a master of the obvious. But, in my simple world view, I’d rather let the experts point you in the right direction:
            http://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/04/was-islam-really-more-tolerant-than-christianity

          • James Cradock

            Sorry, Charlie.

            While I am interested in what the bigoted set is up to and what makes you tick, there are faster ways to kill brain cells than to take what http://www.jihadwatch.org says as gospel (to borrow a word).

          • Charles Martel

            We have a word for people such as yourself: apologists. Btw, if you didn’t know that Charles Martel is a pseudonym for Charles “The Hammer” Martel from the 732AD Battle of Tours, then how can I expect to have a reasonable discussion with you?

            All you and other apologists do is resort to personal innuendos which are not going to work. I’m not one of your typical left-wing milk toasts who sit around singing kumbaya songs.

          • James Cradock

            Thanks, I know who Charles Martel was. My “I thought Martel was a French name” was intended to be humorous. Humor gets lots on these online platforms. Subject matter doesn’t help. Positions commenters take on subject matter helps even less.

            My apologies.

          • Yeah, nineteen Moslems died on 9/11 while murdering 3,000 innocent, unsuspecting people.

            There are even memorials dedicated to those nineteen murderers.

          • James Cradock

            Jim,

            There were Muslims in the buildings who were murdered. They, too, were victims.

        • Assimilation means (among other things) joining with mainstream society, letting your daughters meet and even marry men in that community who are not Moslem. For many Moslems, their daughters’ daring to get involved with men in the community can mean their death.

          Assimilation does not mean that “I can say whatever I want” but you should be killed if you offend me and the ideology that I follow.

          • James Cradock

            Jim,

            These people who Charles insists are not assimilating are starting small businesses and engaging in our political systems, as the article notes. These seem like good, positive indicators these people who are becoming part of our communities.

        • Joleen Estabrook

          I can’t get past the horse mittens. Love it.

  • Charles Martel

    Just a few quick comments since these apologetic articles seem to be the norm despite ALL the evidence that Islam is NOT a “religion of peace”.

    * The MSA (Muslim Student Association) is the oldest Muslim Brotherhood front group in the country dating back to the 1960s. There are a total of 29 “civil rights” organizations including CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, NAIT, IIIT and so on infiltrating our military, government, financial and educational systems. There is even a religious based political group USCMO (U.S. Conference of Muslim Organizations) promoting cultural jihad to our political “leaders”..

    * Back in September of 2010, a homemade bomb went off in the parking lot of the mosque at 73 Portland Street. In October of 2011, Obama, in all of his infinite Messsianic wisdom, scrubbed all references to Islam and jihad from the FBI training manuals and made it difficult for law enforcement to profile Muslims and mosques. In June of 2014, ACT for America-ME hired, at their own expense, Dave Gaubatz, author of the “Muslim Mafia”, to investigate several mosques in Maine. It so happens he chose this same mosque and found it had a SAR (Sharia Adherent Rating) of 83 for sedition and dangerous activities.

    * There is a mandate by Mohammed that requires Muslims to emigrate and colonize the lands of the infidel known as the “hijra”. When there a few, blend in, make friends, run for office and use “taqiyya” (deception). When there are more immigrants/refugees/asylum seekers, make demands such as prayer rooms, halal food products in restaurants such as McDonalds and wear, as employees, the hijab in stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch or grow a beard when a company has a dress code, and then sue the company for religious discrimination. When Muslims become dominant such as in a “No-Go Zone” in Europe, implement Sharia law.

    Finally, please note that Islam can NOT be reformed according to the 14C book, “The Reliance of the Traveller”. And, according to the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith, jihad is MANDATORY. Not just violent jihad like acts committed by barbaric groups such as IS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Al Shabaab, Hamas, etc. but stealth jihad is a required principle.

    All the above is verifiable for those willing to understand that Islam is not just a religion, but a totalitarian, supremacist, political ideology

    • Nunya Biz

      Brilliant…thank you for writing this.

  • Chew H Bird

    I will start by saying that I welcome people of all beliefs and wish we would all respect each other regardless of those beliefs.

    That said, I am unable to know if a person is Catholic, Christian, Atheist, Lutheran, Protestant, Jewish (except for orthodox), Presbyterian, Methodist, or any host of other denominations or whatever by the way someone appears in public.

    I can recognize a priest if he is wearing a collar, but not is he is in flip flops, a t-shirt, and shorts…

    Our media has focused on acts of violence around the world and at home and whenever a person of Islamic faith is involved the images involve the dress of that person. It is human nature, regardless if it is good or bad, to associate appearance with what we primarily see when specific garb is associated with specific acts.

    If we see a baseball uniform we think of baseball. if we see a hard hat we think of manual workers. If we see a police uniform we think of law enforcement. If we see a burka we think of violence because it is primarily all we are inundated with through national media.

    I am not blaming the media, but I do believe is is human (for right or wrong) to associate a particular dress with particular acts when we have seen it for more than a decade. With Maine being a white state with an older population and a very small Muslim population that is mostly new, to assumption of fear is understandable.

    I am not saying this fear is good or bad. I pass no value judgement upon it. I simply wish we were better able (as people) to give everyone the benefit of a smile regardless of how they dress, how they look, or how they appear.

    • Charles Martel

      Wearing the hijab, abaya, burqa or niqab, for women or the galabiyya or kufis for men is a form of “tamkeen” (empowerment). It’s the stubborn refusal of Sharia-adherent Muslims to assimilate and make a statement while playing the victim card in our country. Do some research on Islamic doctrine. Start with Jihad Watch, for example. Better yet, visit the website Bare Naked Islam. Then, maybe you might “pass judgment” using knowledge as a basis for your opinions.

      • Chew H Bird

        Nuns also wear specific clothes, however I do not recall ever seeing Nuns inciting violence. I learned long ago that to assume too often creates problems where none exist. Also we need to consider that Maine is probably not overly high on the list of potential hit lists for those who wish to do us harm… Common sense can sometimes be helpful.

        • Charles Martel

          I guess you missed the violent beating to death of Freddy Akoa, a Christian, by three Somali Muslim men last August?

          I also believe that two of the 9/11 Muslim hijackers passed through the Portland Jetport.

          Did you read my comments below?

          • Chew H Bird

            Sure. However quantifying violent acts by people who are of a minute Maine population is like quantifying vehicle accidents by blood alcohol content (it can easily be done). How many acts of violence in Maine are caused by Catholic, Christian, Atheist or other faiths or (non-faiths)? While tragic, quantifying a small amount of violence in Maine (no matter how horrific) to the Muslim community does not begin to approach the abuse so many Mainer’s suffer from in terms of family violence, (for example). To pick out an issue and condemn an entire religion (locally) is, (in my opinion), wrong.

            I have a good friend who is a Sikh (in a different state), who unfortunately has an old pet dog named Isis… While he jokes about the looks he gets, and lets it roll off his back, the reality is people think he is Muslim and he is a terrorist. He is actually a pacifist and our failure to even understand the differences in headgear speaks volumes about the dangers of “assumption”.

          • Charles Martel

            I’m guessing you aren’t familiar with the “Tears of Jihad”. Over 270 million have been left dead in the 1400 years of Islamic jihad which includes 80 million Hindus.

          • Chew H Bird

            I thought we were speaking of Maine’s reality? Religions the world over have committed atrocities for thousands of years while claiming a devine basis for their actions…

          • Charles Martel

            Isn’t Maine somewhat a microcosm of reality? You are correct in your statement of religions committing atrocities but no religion except Islam perpetually calls for jihad against and the annihilation of non-believers since Mohammed became a warrior prophet 1400 years ago. It’s rather fruitless to discuss this issue since you have little or no knowledge of history or of Islam.

          • Carowal

            One or two incidents of stranger on stranger violence in an otherwise tiny sample of people is a statistical anomaly.

      • James Cradock

        Charles,

        It probably would drive you crazy walking around Boston’s North End and hearing Italian spoken openly, loudly by people who still have not assimilated.

        • Charles Martel

          Absurd. My heritage is Italian and I’ve been there many times especially to Mike’s Bakery. Is the North End a “No-Go Zone” for non-Italians? No. Is Dearborn, MI for non-Muslims? Yes.

          • James Cradock

            Charles,

            Funny. I thought Martel was a French name.

            Back that statement up. Not with an Islamophobe website or YouTube video, please. Otherwise, I call horse mittens.

          • Charles Martel

            The word Islamophobe was created at a IIIT (Muslim Brotherhood) meeting to silence any detractors of Islam or Mohammed by labeling them racists (Islam is not a race), bigots and fear mongers. It worked with homophobe and it worked well with Leftists….except Bill Maher.

            There is plenty of evidence about the numerous “No-Go Zones” in Europe. They’re starting here in Dearborn and in Hamtramck. If I’m not allowed to cite a source or video, you’ll have to do the research yourself.

          • James Cradock

            Horse mittens it is then.

            Thanks, Chuck.

  • Lisa Savage

    Social studies education has been neglected now for years under the odious No Child Left Behind test and punish regimen. This contributes to the ignorance displayed in many of these remarks. In fact, our state was settled via genocide targeting native people and practiced by those who professed to be Christians. Violent Christians. There are still plenty of people practicing violence in the name of their religion, but they are the minority. People like my friend Fahmo Ahmed are the majority. I’m proud of her integrity and role modeling. I wish she was not in the Democratic Party which is a warmongering party, but I respect her freedom to associate with whom she chooses. This was an excellent article on the contributions of immigrants to modern day Maine.

    • Charles Martel

      No Child Left Behind has morphed into Common Core which is another Federal disaster which will dumb down our kids even further. When, by the way, are you going to let go of the genocide of the native American Indians? Throughout the history of the world, civilizations have dominated and conquered one another.
      Muslims all read from the same playbooks and are required to perform jihad which comes in several levels: Jihad al-nats (against oneself), bil-lisan (being vocal), bil-yad (using action) and bis-saif (using the sword and waging war). It’s all a matter of numbers and time. As soon as the “peaceful” Muslims increase their population in a host country they are obligated to establish Sharia law. Because our dimwitted leaders don’t understand that Islamic doctrine is the motivation behind Islamic terrorism doesn’t mean that those who study the Quran ad Sunna don’t.
      The reason Leftists cater to Muslims and other immigrants by providing them with generous benefits is that they want them to eventually become Democrats and to vote for that party.
      What contributions have Muslims made to this country or to the world for that matter? Don’t confuse wanting to get an education with making bona fide contributions. For example, Jews comprise only 14 million in number globally but have received 156 Nobel Prizes. Muslims are 1.5 billion but have only received 7 and Arafat’s Peace Prize is a joke. (The numbers vary on the source).

      • Carowal

        I do not think our politicians are too dimwitted to understand what they’re doing, I just have figured out exactly why they’re doing it yet.

    • Carowal

      Funny, you call the European settlement of Maine genocidal, but the lightening fast Muslim settlement of America is what? No one voted to increase destitute immigrants and refugees to our already dying towns. This on top of all the other stresses: high unemployment, too few good jobs, family disintegration, stressed children, etc.

      Elite think tankers and politicians decided we need thousands of Muslims relocated to dying towns all over the country. People whose values very different than even the most conservative Americans. Plus, if one has the guts to say, ‘Wait a minute, there’s something wrong with this picture,’ were called, well you know all the pejoratives.

      Muslim women in their home countries have on average 6-8 children. American women average: 1-2. Do you know what that does to the ratio of Muslim to non-Muslims in say 20 years time, 30 years, 50 years?

      What about 9-11, and the too-many-to- count-on-your-fingers-and-toes terrorist attacks in the USA since then? Doesn’t that sound any alarms? Meanwhile, we have troops in Afghanistan, fighting Muslim insurgents. This does not add up.

  • James Simpson

    Wow. Quite a convincing case. Not really. Personally, I am skeptical of the story put out by Fahmo Ahmed. Too many similar stories turn out to be astroturf operations conducted by the “victim” him or herself, or a premeditated act by some group. For example, virtually all of the recent KKK-type incidents and Swastika symbols plastered on college campuses turn out to be the work of campus leftists trying to forward the “racist America” narrative. It is a pity they are not jailed for such activity. Leftist administrators at Oberlin College for example, used a recent Swastika fraud as a “teachable moment” about American racism AFTER it was revealed that the entire thing was orchestrated by leftist students.

    Unfortunately, most of the darkness resides in the silence among Muslim communities about the terrorism and radicalism of Islamism and Sharia. While I don’t doubt that the majority of Muslims don’t engage in such acts, many mosques in Maine and elsewhere are promoting Islamic extremism. Law enforcement acknowledges that instead of helping police, most Muslims remain silent at best and even actively hide information about terrorists in their midst, as they have in Brussels.

  • Zoomie72

    Most Muslim civil rights complaints have been false. Most “attacks” on Mosques and on individual Muslims have turned out to have been perpetrated by other Muslims if they happened at all. Concerning the “Syrian Refugee” issue. I have read that we could support 11 refugees in the Middle East for the same cost as caring for ONE here in the US. So let’s support more refugees without the potential problem of Islamist terrorists posing as refugees to get into the US.

  • PatnTrucks

    I think that story of two middle aged women shouting “Islamophobia phrase” at that Muslema is made up bullshit.

  • American

    “When we promote tolerance, we prevail. Only by ethics and morality Islam was spread.”
    Islam does not practice tolerance, it only preaches tolerance when they are the minority and need tolerance for their protection. Islam was spread by the sword, Islam continues to be spread by the sword. If Islam would like to make a gesture to support what is being said in this article, then abolish the penalty of death for apostasy and see how long Islam survives.

  • Fahmo Ahmed wears her headgear to show that she is a Moslem. It’s an “in your face” gesture, and for the women who assailed her (verbally), I applaud their courage. They exercised their First Amendment rights of free expression – something that Obama and the Moslem Brotherhood are striving to eradicate. Obama, Hillary, and the Moslem Brotherhood (and it’s many subordinate organizations) are working to establish so-called blasphemy laws to castigate and even to imprison anyone who dares to speak any manner of truth, fact, or honest opinion about Islam. However, Moslems and anyone else can denigrate patriots, veterans, non-Moslems without concern for being called to task for their blasphemous commentary. This is what Islam and sharia are all about, bigotry and bias based on Islam’s dogma of hatred towards non-Moslems, and Fahmo Ahmed is one of those who hate our Constitution and way of life.

    The vast majority of Islamists/Moslems have NOT come to America to assimilate. They have come here to intimidate, to bully, to threaten, and to work to establish hatefully bigoted sharia laws in place of our Constitution.

    • James Cradock

      Jim,

      There are better places to advertise your books.

      • I am a self-publisher and I promote mo books wherever i can find potential readers.

        • James Cradock

          Jim,

          Good luck then.

          Funny, whether you appreciate it or not, you are not unlike the owner of Babylon Restaurant here in Portland, Maine.

  • EABeem

    A lot of the people posting comments here should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Kevin McCarthy

      Amazing how many experts chime in regarding Islam. Their knowledge, credibility and above all, patriotism, are astounding.

      • EABeem

        These characters are about as much experts on Islam as the KKK is expert on African-Americans and Roman Catholics.

        • Kevin McCarthy

          Credibility for these folks doesn’t seem to be a concern. There must be a listserv to which they subscribe. The comments all have a very similar tone and content.

          • Charles Martel

            See Dr. Warner’s comments above. Just by saying we lack credibility doesn’t make it so.

            I’d like to add that eliminating the study of Western Civilization in many universities adds to the dumbing down of our society. Leftists prefer multiculturalism and political correctness over our culture and history.
            http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED540339

          • Kevin McCarthy

            Portraying yourself as an expert on all things Islam ( or “Moslem” as one of your sycophants prefers), requires some degree of credibility. Your previous incarnation as kafir111 established your utter lack of credibility. Changing your screen name doesn’t magically transform you.

          • EABeem

            And Dr. Warner/ Dr. French is one of the chief pretenders in the multi-million dollar anti-Muslim industry in Bible Belt Tennessee.

          • Charles Martel

            Keep talking. Why don’t you debate him?

          • EABeem

            Because I’m no more of an expert on Islam than he is.

          • Charles Martel

            And, I can claim to be a better golfer than Jordan Spieth but won’t play him because I just know it.

          • EABeem

            I am not claiming to know more than Mr. French. I’m admitting I don’t know much about it and I’m asserting, on the basis of published reports, that he doesn’t know much either. He is a well-known Muslim hater who published a bogus book under an assumed name. The fact that you regard all Muslims as terrorists says everything that needs to be said.

          • Charles Martel

            When did I say all Muslims are terrorists? That’s foolish. Ever heard of Dr. Zudhi Jasser? Did you ever live and work in Afghanistan? Saying Dr. Warner is a hater is like saying the Southern Poverty Law Center is a bunch of warm and fuzzy cupcakes who defend the Constitution.

            Study the life of Mohammed and you’ll quickly change your naïve tune.

          • EABeem

            Attacking Muslims anonymously online is not an honorable thing to do. Why don’t you tell readers who you are and the organization you represent, so they can do a little research and decide for themselves whether you and it have any validity. Dr. Warner wrote an anti-Muslim book under an assumed name and is one of several Tennesseans involved in the very lucrative anti-Muslim movement in that state. He has no credibility with me nor does the organization he represents. Always a mistake to respond to you, as other journalists in the state have found.

          • Charles Martel

            It’s always safe (and cowardly) to use one’s real name when siding with Sharia-adherent Muslims as most Leftist “journalists” do. I believe that Geert Wilders, Pam Geller, Robert Spencer and others have round-the-clock security. Most of us “on-line trolls” use pseudonyms as does as Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT for America, whose real name is Nour Semaan. I can’t afford that type of security protection.

            And, by the way, if when speaking out against the threat of Islam, which is a First Amendment right (for now anyway), why should we have to remain in the shadows?

            Answer: It’s not for fear of being called a racist, bigot or xenophobic fear monger, it’s because we could be murdered much like Freddy Akoa.

          • EABeem

            Okay, understood. No point continuing.

          • Charles Martel

            Correct. But, just keep in mind, as much as you want it to happen, we will not be silenced by political correctness.

          • Kevin McCarthy

            In addition to a complete lack of credibility, you and your cohorts have a vastly overrated view of yourselves. Delusions of grandeur wouldn’t be an overstatement. Now that you’ve explained the reasons for your cowardice, your pomposity underscores your spite.

          • Charles Martel

            Whoa! Now I guess I’ll have to roll into the fetal position and cry like a liberal snowflake. As I mentioned to your butt buddy, Beem (“not that there’s anything wrong with that”), we will not be silenced and will not be going away.

          • Kevin McCarthy

            Based on your history of anti-democratic, anti-US, anti-Obama, anti-Islam, and anti-world ravings and fabrications, I’d suggest you adopted the fetal position long ago. I would actually encourage you to continue not “being silenced” (oh you poor victim) as annoying as you may be. Although why you would want to portray yourself as a proponent of vileness and bigotry Is beyond me.

          • Charles Martel

            That is correct, I’m anti-Democrat (progressive) Party but not traditional JFK Democrat Party. No way am I anti-US, just anti-Democrat (progressive) Party, i.e. NerO and his ilk.

            I am not playing the victim card, that’s the new Democrat’s MOI. I’m actually a warm and fuzzy guy, not a bigot.

            Here’s an example of a Wuthmann article from Europe. Seems the “victim card” is played there as well.
            http://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/04/uk-hijabbed-muslima-worries-that-people-will-start-to-look-at-me-in-a-funny-way

          • Kevin McCarthy

            I used a lower case “d” intentionally. Based on your history of promoting absolute BS, any, ANY, source you link to as support for your weltanschaung is automatically worthless.

          • Charles Martel

            You also called me a “hater”. In a sense I am. See:
            https://www.politicalislam.com/hate-can-be-a-virtue/

          • Willful ignorance is blissful, isn’t it?

          • Beem: I am James E. Horn – that’s not anonymous.

            you can learn about me by going to my www website and typing my name, jamesehorn (dot) com.

            Yes, I write about Islam, and I speak publicly about Islam. 99% of the reactions I get are positive. I do get negative reactions too, from some (not all) Moslems, and willfully ignorant non-Moslems.

          • That is debatable. Warner has dedicated years to the study and analysis of Islam. He is one of the premier experts.

          • Beem would fall on his prat if he debated Warner.

          • Charles Martel

            Absolutely!

          • Charles Martel

            That was kafir911, genius.

        • Charles Martel

          The following is from Dr. Bill Warner from the Center for the Study of Political Islam, a “character” who knows a lot about Islam. By simply saying there is much hate in the Bible proves YOUR ignorance, not ours.
          “Progressives talk a lot about the evil of hate. We are told that if we object to Sharia law and jihad, then we are intolerant haters.

          I hate wife-beating, yet the Sharia, Koran and Sunna support it.

          I am intolerant of child abuse, including child marriage, but the Sunna and Sharia support it.

          I hate the jihadist killings of Christians, Jews, Buddhists and apostates.

          I am intolerant of religious leaders, such as the Pope and Dai Lama, who will not condemn the jihadic killing of their groups.

          I hate dualistic ethics, which lack integrity.

          I am intolerant of face coverings, since it cuts off open communication.

          As a society, we have lost the ability to become morally outraged and are incapable of anger about the Islamic harm of innocents. I hate that.”

          • Bruce Burnham

            The Bible is merely a book of religious writings adhered to by millions of Christians. It is how it is interpreted and acted on that ends up being hate, intolerance, and ultimately violence if any Bible reader so chooses. Just like those who read the Koran, follow the religion of Islam, and promote and act on hate, intolerance, and create violence. sir.

          • Charles Martel

            Well, my friend, Islamic doctrine is based on the Quran, the Sira (Mohammed’s biography) and the Hadith (Mohammed’s customs and traditions). They are NOT open for interpretation since the 14th century book, “The Reliance of the Traveller”, codifies the verses and passages od Sharia law. As mentioned previously, the Taliban, IS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, al Shabaab, Hamas, and so on are the “good” Muslims practicing the cult as Mohammed ordered since he was the perfect man to be emulated: Quran, 68:4 and 33:21.

          • Bruce Burnham

            Ah, Mr. Martel. The differences among Muslims reflect the differences among Christians… Some Christians are fundamentalist and for them scripture is inviolable – God’s word with no question; some are conservative – inerrantists who understand that some mistakes in recording and transmission and translation have occurred; moderates – who say that God’s word is contained in most of scripture; liberals who says that God’s word is a thread that runs through Scripture; and ___ (sorry, can’t think of a title) who say all scripture is metaphor. This same range of ideas and understanding are fully present in Muslims around the world, and in our nation as well. What do you think of the declaration of the Muslim clerics back in December? http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/625619/Muslim-Fatwa-ISIS-Islamic-State-al-Qaeda-Taliban-Islam-Paris-Attacks-Daesh
            BTW, thanks for the interesting discussion.

          • Charles Martel
        • Beam: You have no idea of whom you are calling out about Islam. There are those of us, like Martel, who know and understand Islam far, far better than you.

      • James Cradock

        Kevin,

        Some of the commenters here make a living spreading fear of others. Specifically, Muslims.

        • Kevin McCarthy

          A big irony is that they are using the Koran for their purposes the same way terrorists use it for theirs. For many of these folks their portrayal of Islam is just another vehicle for them to express their bigotry, prejudice and small – mindedness. Look at some of their other comments in other publications – most are birthers, many are conspiracy obsessed, and all are virulently anti-liberal. There’s one person in particular who’s a failed con man. That they hide behind screen names because they fear for their lives is an indication of just how deluded they are.

          • James Cradock

            I don’t disagree.

            The mindset and worldview are interesting. I wish there were commenters who could express these ideas on their own instead of sharing http://www.jihadwatch.org, YouTube or Pam Geller stuff.

        • Justified fear of some (not all which you allude to) is based on knowledge, research of the subject, and experience.

          I challenge you to go to a university campus and stand in the free speech area and start talking about hating Islam. Moslems will be on you backside like stink on a turd.

          • James Cradock

            Hi Jim.

            You are free to voice your hate. Our laws protect that. Our laws also protect people who would (without violence) challenge your speech.

            National Socialists can march in Chicago, but they should be prepared for people to protest.

    • And your willful ignorance is your own bias.

  • Ryan Bonnvie

    Walter Wuthmann goes inside the lives of Muslim-Americans in Maine, and shares some very compelling stories. With only 5,000-6,000 Muslims in Maine, it is hard for them to assimilate into a state that is 95% white. Throughout history whenever there has been a new minority immigrating into a new society there has been backlash. The reason people associate the entire Muslim community with ISIS is ignorance. Fahmo Ahmed said it best, “If you’re ignorant enough to associate all Muslims with ISIS, I’m not ignorant enough to associate all Christians with the KKK,”. It is very simple, not everyone is an extremist, and the ones who do wrong should not reflect poorly on the entire religion.

    The Immigrants who come to the United States for opportunities should not be persecuted for the terrorism happening around the world. It is understandable that Americans are scared and do not know how to handle themselves, so they persecute anyone who looks like ISIS. However, you cannot stereotype a whole religion because of one group.

    This article was very persuasive and should open some Maine residents eyes of how our communities are changing, and diversifying whether we like it or not. More journalists and authors should tell the stories of these immigrants who are coming to our country in search of their own “American Dream.

    • Charles Martel

      Have you read the Quran, the Hadith and Sira? There are hundreds of verses that say otherwise. The fundamentalists such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab are considered the “good” Muslims in Islamic doctrine.

      • Bruce Burnham

        HAVE YOU READ THE HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, SIR, AND STUDIED OUR OWN CHECKERED HISTORY? Have you listened top some of the conservative Christian presidential candidates who use the faith I proclaim to say that Muslims must die? No better than the texts you imply are about violence. I know Muslim Mainers, and I count them as friends and purveyors of peace – good citizens of this USA.

        • Charles Martel

          Yes to 1; no to 2. Have you read about Thomas Jefferson’s encounter with the Barbary pirates? I’m not talking about individual Muslims. I’m talking about Islamic doctrine and Mohammed. See the website Bare Naked Islam, for example, and tell me how Europe is doing.

        • How many people have Christians burned at a stake in the past 100 years?

          How many non-Moslems have been torched to death in Africa? How many non-Moslem children have been crucified lately? How many people have had their throats cut at the hand of Moslems today?

          Moslem Mainers are in the minority and are practicing deception (ordained by Mohammed) pretending to be your friends, and this will continue until Moslems reach a majority and then your offspring will face the same as the Christians of Egypt faced when the Moslems took over there about 1200 years ago – near annihilation. Are you prepared to will that on your next generations?.

          • Bruce Burnham

            Mr. Horn, I respect people but not necessarily their thinking… You are saying that history is 100% predictive. It is not. And that I would be Willing that onto my children and grandchildren? My heart and mind lead me to believe that you are well-versed in what I can only call “fear mongering”, and I feel sorry for you. That is not the faith I profess and follow as a Christian. Mine is about hope, and peace, and love – 1 Corinthians 13 ends: …and the greatest of these is love. Blessings on your journey of life, sir.

  • Clarecho

    As noted below, the wearing of obviously Muslim gear like the hijab is an overt signal of non-assimilated shariah-adherence – perhaps not the woman, who may be beaten & coerced at home (as Q 4:34 dictates), but certainly in that family. The MSA is the oldest Muslim Brotherhood front organization in America, now present on hundreds of college & university campuses – and now making its appearance even at the high school level. Both shariah & the MB are antithetical to the U.S. Constitution in many ways, but specifically in the Islamic mandate to wage jihad to abolish all other forms of law except shariah.

    • James Cradock

      And Catholicism was deemed incompatible with the U.S. Constitution at one time, too.

  • maryloujb

    I hope the people commenting on this article understand what will happen to women when the Muslim men come to this country. This is horrible for American women because Muslim men value women about the same as a goat they own. Think of having you daughter bring one home from college and after marriage, having to wear a head scarf, covering herself from head to toe and not being allowed to go out in public alone. Believe me, I know this will happen and it’s shameful the men of this country are allowing it and standing up for this group. Unbelievable!

  • Charles Martel

    What could possibly go wrong with clearing 10,000 Syrians in 3 months? I highly recommend, “The Snapping of the American Mind” by David Kuperlian. We really are living in the “Bizarro World”!

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/u.s.-surge-operation-to-clear-10000-syrian-refugees-in-just-3-months-600-interviewed-a-day/article/2588019

  • Charles Martel
  • EABeem

    Re: Lack of credibility:
    Dr. BILL WARNER IS REALLY DR. BILL FRENCH
    Heads the for-profit Center for the Study of Political Islam in Nashville.

    CREDENTIALS Former Tennessee State University physics professor; author of Sharia Law for Non-Muslims (2010; under the pen name Bill Warner).

    SUMMARY French has no formal training or background in law, Islam or Shariah law — which in any case is not an established legal code, as the book title implies, but a fluid concept subject to a wide range of interpretations and applications. He garnered attention recently by leading the opposition to a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

  • Garik T

    Too often we are desensitized by a medium that does not fairly represent both sides of the story.  Case in point, The Forecaster, probably just an ugly ducking to the Portland Press Herald who constantly skew data or stories to be politically correct.  Here we go again, and the mantra of the mediums are to shed light on how good Muslims are, how they are looked at in a different light because they are fleeing war torn areas for a better life.               

    ” Matters  are made worse by the blind  spot  that  has  been  created  with  regard to this  ideological  wellspring of  the  Muslim  Brotherhood and the  Global  Jihad Movement  thanks  to  a systematic purge of  all  official  U.S.  government  training  curricula  and  vocabulary  that  might  prove  “offensive”  to  Muslims.  Among the  proscribed materials  are  accurate  descriptions  of  the inspirational  sources  of  Islamic  terror  to  be found  in  the doctrine,  law  and  scriptures  of  Islam.” (Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America, Ann Corcoran, 2015)

    Additionally, the media is constantly trying to coerce us into thinking out president is not a Muslim, but lets not forget one of his inaugurations where he had a Muslim prayer session with his fellow Muslims and has self-proclaimed himself as a Muslim.

    Thus, people who have educated themselves on this topic and have spent their time researching this subject continue to point to the following:

    “….from the Islamic jurisprudence view the immigration of the Muslims to the West is to be regarded as the most important step on the ladder for achieving the establishment of an Islamic state in the West. This is the pri-mary objective of Islamic mission in the West.”  They go on to explain that everything we see happening as the Muslim pop-ulation grows is part of a carefully crafted and elaborate plan to bring about sharia and ultimately the complete domination of our government and society by Islamic Law” (

    Or,

    From Jihad Watch: To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act. “And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance,” says the Qur’an. “And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (4:100)

    Therefore if the woman mentioned in the story is such a great American and patriotic person even though she is a Muslim then why is herself or anyone in Muslim neighnorhoods, mosques around the state not marching in the streets to demand that political Islamic terrorism be stopped immediately?  Furthermore, Why is the Black Lives Matter movement a hotbed for recruitment for ISIS?  Why is the constant (subjugation / rapings / assaults) on young children and women not reported in the media?  How about the VOLAG’s of America (Catholic Charities locally) reaping the profits of taxpayer dollars for every head brought into the United States with absolutely no recourse for the immigrants actions not reported?
    Why are these items not reported on in the enemedia?  Why are people so blind to accept the reality of where our country is going?  It is a travesty and last of all I can say is pick up a book, study, educate yourself.  I did, and I am disgusted with this human rights point of view where we have to nurture everyone from around the world.  Why cant we take care of our own people first in our own back yard?  And, rid the Government of its greed, power and out right blatant disregard for the Constitution our Forefathers adopted?

  • Charles Martel

    Comments from Brigitte Gabriel of ACT for America on Islamic clothing for females:
    https://youtu.be/bE778tuZnzg

  • Charles Martel

    UK “Equalities” Chief admits he was wrong on Muslim assimilation. Ya don’t say….
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/04/10/geller-uk-equalities-chief-admits-wrong-muslims-wont-assimilate/