The anti-Semitic group Nation of Islam, led by minister Louis Farrakhan, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to teach “religious study programs” to federal prison inmates, according to a report by the Washington Examiner.
The Examiner reported Wednesday that leaders of the organization have been awarded at least $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice.
Money from U.S. taxpayers was used to conduct “Nation of Islam religious services,” “Nation of Islam spiritual guide services” and “Nation of Islam study services.”
The anti-semitic group led these types of services starting in 2008 in prisons across the country, including those in Michigan, South Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Arkansas.
Republican Rep. Peter King of New York criticized this use of government funds as “beyond the pale.”
“Categorically, no group or entity or individual associated any way with Farrakhan or the Nation of Islam should receive any federal funding,” King told the Examiner.
“What Farrakhan preaches is hatred and anti-Semitism and racism, and to use any federal money for any group that’s he’s involved with that do any type of teaching or proselytizing is just wrong,” he said.
The report said the Bureau of Prisons failed to give any details about the contracts. “Contracts are retained six years after final payment, so we are not able to provide details regarding the original contract on which the Nation of Islam began contracting with the Bureau of Prisons,” a representative told the Examiner.
The representative added that the contracts are well within federal regulations that say prisons “may contract with representatives of faith groups in the community to provide specific religious services which the chaplain cannot personally deliver due to, ordinarily, religious prescriptions or ecclesiastical constraints to which the chaplain adheres.”
Because of these regulations, King said, there must be a better vetting process for chaplains so that prisons don’t become a hotbed of Islamic radicalization.
“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,” he said.
“To me, once you’re associated with Farrakhan, that, to me, would end the vetting right away,” King added.
Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have taught that Jews are a “synagogue of Satan” and that white people are “blue-eyed devils.”
The Nation of Islam has also been labeled as a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Additionally, Farrakhan received criticism for a trip to Iran in November where he led chants of “Death to America.”
He told the Iranian people that he would stand firm against “plots” from America, saying, “I understand how the enemies have plotted against the Iranian people, and I would like to stay alongside you to stop their plots.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.