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Tennessee anti-Islam Fanatics: Fire Muslim Economic Development Officer

14 June 2012 General 8 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Tea party and anti-Muslim activists are taking aim at a recent hire by the administration of Gov. Bill Haslam, targeting one of its top economic development officers based on her religion and past work experience.

The Center for Security Policy, a Washington, D.C., organization that has frequently attacked Muslims for perceived ties to Islamist groups, and the 8th District Tea Party Coalition, an umbrella organization of West Tennessee tea party groups, have urged their members to pressure Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty to dump Samar Ali, an attorney appointed last month as the department’s new international director.

The groups depict Ali as an Islamic fundamentalist with close ties to President Barack Obama. The claims are spurious and ECD has no intention of firing Ali, said Clint Brewer, a department spokesman. “She’s eminently qualified to do the job,” Brewer said. “We are lucky to be able to have her.”

The pressure campaign, which began last Thursday with a posting on a Center for Security Policy blog, does not appear to have been effective. Brewer said ECD has received fewer than two dozen emails and phone calls. David Smith, a spokesman for Haslam, said his office had received 18 emails and 13 calls, all of them before Tuesday.

The Center for Security Policy has frequently involved itself in Tennessee politics in recent years. Its head, Frank Gaffney, testified in litigation seeking to stop construction of a Rutherford County mosque. An attorney associated with the organization drafted legislation that would have let Tennessee officials label as terrorist any organization that follows Shariah, a loosely defined set of rules and religious laws.

Tea party and anti-Muslim activists have zeroed in on one aspect of Ali’s resume: experience as a corporate lawyer in helping Muslim-owned companies structure deals so they fit Islam’s ban on collecting interest and comply with other religious rules. In their calls to action, opponents portray her as working, now and in the past, with “financial jihadists” who “seek to embed Shariah law into America’s financial system.”

Ali’s duties have nothing to do with Shariah law – or even finance – Brewer said. As international director, Ali oversees the department’s TNTrade program, an effort to boost the state’s exports. She also supervises the department’s four branch offices, in Canada, China, Germany and Japan.

Original post: Islamophobes call on Tennessee governor to fire Muslim economic development officer


  1. good for her. sounds like a fun job. but i still don’t understand why muslim defend sharia. “Islam’s ban on collecting interest” one of the top ten stupid laws in islam.

    but clearly she is destined for the great fire. no hajib. plus she maybe looking directly at a man? she should lower her gaze.

  2. Oh..mike u again,n neg comment..dats different..hahahahaha…bigot

  3. Mike,
    Perhaps u don’t know the harm interest has on the economy? Of course, banks will say it is a good thing (becuz the Bankers become rich) but the fact is that it cripples people with debt (even if you don’t understand). Investments are better, for people and the economy. And btw, interest was banned first in the Bible, go educate urself. Poking fun at the hijab? As expected of Robert Spencer’s cronies.

  4. m bennet,

    “Perhaps u don’t know the harm interest has on the economy?” no explain it to me
    “Of course, banks will say it is a good thing (becuz the Bankers become rich)” u an occupy wall street type? lol. your understanding of macro economics is clearly not as strong as your understanding of islam.
    “but the fact is that it cripples people with debt (even if you don’t understand).” is this your explaination? lol. i understand some people are stupid enough to run up credit card debit, go to pawn shops, title loans, even loan sharks. always bad to pay such large interest rates. but you do know most people with good credit ratings barrow at much lower rates then those. you do know may people barrow at prime plus one. or even better rates. you do know businesses often barrow to buy inventory, to make payroll for bad months, etc etc.
    “Investments are better, for people and the economy.” so you don’t recommend t-bills? how about certificates of deposits? you didn’t buy facebook, did ya?
    “And btw, interest was banned first in the Bible, go educate urself.” yeah i knew that. the christians have lots of bad ideas too.
    “Poking fun at the hijab?” i do poke fun alot. especially at ancient stupidities. so do you think she would be a better muslim if she wore a hijab?
    “As expected of Robert Spencer’s cronies.” lol. is this now standard to your comments now?

    you should watch “it’s a wonderful life” next time it’s on around christmas. don’t worry it’s from the 50s. black and white. no swearing or nudity, nothing to send you into the lake of fire. maybe read adam smith’s “wealth of nations”

  5. so you think you will cure the economy by disallowing people from barrowing at interest to buy and build houses? no car or boat loans? home inprovent loans or business loans? you’re going to but alot of people out of work.

    leviticus: 36 Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. 37 You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.

    that’s going to put a damper on food production. truely silly.

  6. Nill,

    sorry i keep missing your comments. so what is it that makes me a bigot? i think it is bad law to eliminate interest? or my hijab comments? so do you believe that all muslim women should wear a headscarf? can a woman look a man in the eye?

  7. 24:1

    سورة أنزلناها وفرضناها وأنزلنا فيها آيات بينات لعلكم تذكرون

    [This is] a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember.

    doesn’t seem to clear???????????

  8. sorry to repeat myself but i already had this typed up at work when i got sidetracked.

    m bennet,

    always good to here from you. but really? “Perhaps u don’t know the harm interest has on the economy?” you’re right there. please explain.

    interest incentivizes people to make capital availiable for business expansion. also, homeownership wouldn’t be as easily available to so many people without interest. also, some of us make money from interest payments from banks.

    “Of course, banks will say it is a good thing (becuz the Bankers become rich)” really. so just buy stock in banks. you are truely funny. can i ask you how old you are? how many businesses you have run?

    “but the fact is that it cripples people with debt (even if you don’t understand).” lol. the old , i’m paraphrasing: mike does’t unserstand. you are nothing if not persistant in your spin.

    “Investments are better, for people and the economy” lmfao. your macro economics is hilarious.

    “And btw, interest was banned first in the Bible, go educate urself.” yes i’m well aware. the bible is full of non-sense. please do me one favor. explain to me why muslims always go, it wa in the bible first to justify their stupid laws?

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