The multicultural transformation of Idaho will continue with a planned infusion of hundreds of refugees from Muslim countries over the next one to three years.
A local newspaper in Twin Falls reported that city will receive 300 mostly Syrian refugees over the next fiscal year starting Oct. 1.
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But WND has learned the numbers will be much larger statewide and include refugees from Syria, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo and possibly Somalia.
Sources tell WND that community leaders learned of the plans for up to 2,000 refugees at a recent conference at Boise State University attended by church groups, social services providers and other "stakeholders."
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"That's the number they put out that they're planning for, a total of about 2,000 over the next one to three years, with 70 percent going to Boise and 30 percent in the Twin Falls area," said Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor in eastern Washington who said he spoke with a conference attendee.
WND reported two weeks ago that Spartanburg, South Carolina, has also been selected for the seeding of a Syrian refugee community.
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Unlike Boise, residents in Spartanburg have mustered an organized opposition to the infusion of 65 Syrian refugees over the next year, saying the town already has high crime and poverty and isn't prepared to absorb hundreds of poor Syrians.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding answers to 17 questions about the refugee program, such as what benefits will be expected to be offered and what the cost will be. That was two weeks ago. WND contacted Gowdy's press secretary, Amanda Duvall, Thursday and was told he has still not received a response from Kerry, whose State Department heads up the refugee program nationwide.
Christina Jeffrey, who ran against Gowdy in the 2010 Republican primary and is a former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives, has joined with a group called Spartans for Biblical Immigration.
"Biblical immigration is certainly not going and bribing them and getting them to change countries," Jeffrey said.
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Jeffrey said Gov. Nikki Haley has come out in favor of the resettlement plans, which hasn't helped Gowdy's effort to see it scaled back. A promised resolution by the area's legislative delegation opposing the resettlement plans also fizzled after Haley issued a letter of support.
"When the governor came out in favor of the refugees, our (Republican) legislators said it would all turn out OK and that they had faith in the vetting process," Jeffrey said. "But this refugee thing makes us all very nervous, especially if the governor's office is on board. It's pretty well known around Spartanburg that there's a lot of unhappiness about it, and surprise, especially since she was so strong on some other issues like Medicaid expansion. It could be she looks at this with a little bit of identity politics, seeing that maybe immigrants will soon have an advantage over native-born Americans. Look how many immigrants we have running for president. I think she's moving on. I don't think South Carolina is her intended destination."
Residents of St. Cloud, Minnesota, have also been organizing and seeking information on exactly how many more Somali refugees they will be asked to absorb over the next few years. Lutheran Social Services has been working with the federal government to resettle hundreds of Somalis in the St. Cloud area.
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The mayor of Athens, Georgia, requested information on refugees being sent to her city late last year and also complained that such information was difficult to obtain.
Chinks in the armor, FBI says
The world's displaced persons are assigned to various countries by the United Nations high commissioner on refugees. The countries are responsible for vetting the refugees, and screening those from Syria has been a particularly difficult task due to the ongoing civil war there between warring Islamic factions.
As WND previously reported, the FBI's deputy assistant director of counter-terrorism, Michael Steinbach, testified before a House Homeland Security committee in February and said it was virtually impossible to screen refugees from a "failed state" like Syria, where the U.S. does not have boots on the ground and does not have access to reliable police or intelligence records.
Unlike Minnesota, which has seen dozens of radicalized Somali refugees leave to fight for terrorist organizations al-Shabab and ISIS while dozens of others have been convicted of providing material support to overseas terrorists, Idaho appears to have done a somewhat better job of assimilating its Muslims. However, it has had some bad apples.
In May 2013, a 31-year-old Muslim refugee from Uzbekistan, Fazliddin Kurbanov, was indicted on terrorism charges for allegedly recruiting Muslims in Utah and teaching them to build bombs that would target public transportation and military bases.
The Russian-speaking Kurbanov is one of more than 650 Uzbeks who have been resettled in Idaho since 2003. He arrived in 2009.
Kurbanov, whose trial has been delayed, told an informant before his arrest that a military base would be his preferred target for a potential bomb attack, according to court documents.
"For me the best … a military base," Kurbanov told an FBI source during a secretly recorded conversation, reported KTVB 7 in Boise. "If I have every stuff … like bomb, like this and this one. I want to kill a lot of military or every. I don't know, whatever."
Kurbanov is accused of funneling personnel, software and money to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Members of the IMU fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan and seek to overthrow the government of Uzbekistan and replace it with an Islamist caliphate, according to the National Counter-terrorism Center.
Idaho a magnet for refugees
While Idaho remains largely a rural farm state, it is not new to the refugee business. The Agency for New Americans, an arm of Episcopal Migration Ministries, operates from an office in Boise doing the organizational work on the ground needed to resettle refugees and get them "integrated" into the community. The International Rescue Committee, whose top executive is former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, also resettles refugees in Idaho.
Miliband recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying the U.S. needed to take in at least 65,000 Syrian refugees to fulfill its "duty" as the world's largest haven for the displaced.
Muslim refugees began arriving in Boise in large numbers around 1995. Since that time, 11,000 refugees have been integrated into the city, according to city officials. While there have been reports of culture-clashes between Muslims and non-Muslims in the school system and elsewhere, an April 27 blog post from Mayor David Bieter said the city welcomes the refugees with open arms. "Diversity is essential for Boise's prosperity and livability," according to the mayor's blog.
"Diversity isn't a buzz word. It's our birthright," Bieter wrote in the blog for Welcoming America, an organization that received $150,000 in seed money from billionaire George Soros' Open Society in 2010 and now works with the White House Task Force on New Americans to integrate new immigrants and refugees into cities across the U.S. Obama formed the task force Nov. 21 following his unilateral granting of amnesty to more than 5 million illegal aliens.
Boise's mayor, along with mayors in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio, San Antonio, New Orleans, San Fransisco, Nashville, Atlanta, Wichita, Houston, Boston and dozens of other cities, work with an organization called the Partnership for a New American Economy. This group includes a mix of progressive mayors, executives from some of America's largest corporations and Chambers of Commerce all working to influence Congress to allow more immigrants into the country, both skilled and unskilled, claiming that more immigration leads to more economic prosperity for Americans, a claim that is rejected by think tanks such as the Center for Immigration Studies and the Economic Policy Institute.
Boise, a self-described "Welcoming Community," has seen waves of refugees sent its way by the United Nations in recent years from Afghanistan, Somalia, Turkey, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Congo, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bosnia. With the exception of Bhutan, which is Hindu, most of the refugees from these countries are Muslim.
The greater Boise area already has several mosques, the largest of which is the Islamic Center of Boise, with plans unveiled recently for a large mega-mosque on the outskirts of town in Kuna, Idaho.
Twin Falls schools currently have more than 100 refugee students and more than 20 languages are spoken. That may sound daunting, but it's nothing compared to another city in America's heartland -- Wichita, Kansas.
Kansas another hotbed of refugee resettlement
The Wichita school district, already one of the most diverse in the state, is now trying to cope with a new influx of immigrants from Central America and the Middle East. The new arrivals don't speak English or Spanish, requiring costly interpreters and tutors to be brought in to help the immigrants learn.
The Wichita district has more than 350 students from other countries and 160 from other U.S. states who speak minimal English. Currently, 81 languages are spoken in the district, the Wichita Eagle reported. It has 11 classrooms spread throughout the district devoted to teaching recent immigrants and refugees.
"Wichita is definitely a diverse district, and it's becoming more so," Stephanie Bird-Hutchison, a teaching specialist at the district's Multilingual Education Service Center, told Fox News Latino. "Every continent except Antarctica is represented in Wichita schools."
Because federal law requires schools to provide information to parents in their preferred language, an Arabic speaker is on call to help teachers and others communicate with families, Fox reported. And the district contracts with Propio Language Services, an interpreting service that helps teachers and parents who speak any language to converse by phone through an interpreter.
The number of students speaking Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian has decreased while students speaking languages from Africa and the Middle East have increased dramatically in recent years, Dalia Hale, director of multilingual services for Wichita schools, told Fox. Many in the latter group are refugees from camps in central Africa, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan.
"We've never had Swahili show up before this year in our data," Bird-Hutchison told Fox. "That has come on due to the refugee population that's just emerging in Wichita."
Wichita school board members said they worry a new block-grant funding plan for schools will prevent the district from getting more funding to provide services for the refugees and other immigrants, according to the Fox News Latino report.
"That's a huge concern, because we will not be receiving additional money for those students," said Board President Sheril Logan.
Sharia-based crime problems emerge
As Muslim populations increase in American cities, communities will be forced to deal with issues common to Islamic culture, such as arranged marriages forced upon teenage girls, female genital mutilations, forced veilings and spousal abuse.
Just last week, a case of a forced marriage exploded into domestic violence in Phoenix, Arizona.
Daniel Akbari, a former top defense lawyer in Iran's Shariah courts who defected to America several years ago and lives in Texas, said spousal abuse is expressly allowed by the Quran.
"Chapter 4, verse 34, of the Quran expressly says if a woman does not comply with her husband's command he has the right to beat her up, and that is what you see happening here and what has happened over 1,400 years," Akbari said. "What is going on here in Phoenix is totally Islamic, under Shariah. Everyone in that Muslim community will agree with that except the girl here."
Akbari is author of the book, "Honor Killing: A Professional's Guide to Sexual Relations from the Islamic Sources."
He says the hadiths are just as strict on this matter.
According to the well-regarded historic Islamic scholar Ibn Majah, a woman must comply with a demand for sex even while on the back of the camel. He cites Vol. 3 Book 9 No. 1852 (English reference), which states:
"No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse."
The Phoenix case involved Mohamed Abdullahi, 30, a Muslim refugee from Somalia brought here by the U.N. and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He entered into a "Nikah," which is an arranged Islamic marriage, with the parents of an 18-year-old Muslim woman.
Phoenix police arrested him April 22 on charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. The Arizona Republic reported that his bride-to-be was brought to his apartment that day by her parents, against her will.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, told Fox News that such violence has "no basis in the Islamic faith."
Apparently CAIR has not read Sura 4:34 in the Quran or the hadiths.
Akbari said it's time U.S. media stopped falling for the "explain it away" propaganda put out by CAIR.
According to the Arizona Republic, the woman's parents arranged the marriage with Abdullahi and their daughter in November without her knowledge, according to court records. When the woman learned of the marriage, she fled the state but returned 15 days later to finish high school, police said.
The woman's parents drove her to Abdullahi's apartment. Once she was inside, Abdullahi reportedly punched her in the left eye, causing her to fall to the ground, according to court records.
Abdullahi then allegedly grabbed his future bride around the throat and began strangling her while she was on the ground.
At that point, Abdullahi dragged the woman into the bedroom and proceeded to sexually assault her, police said.
Hadian, the pastor in eastern Washington who also ministers in Idaho, believes the continued influx of Muslim immigrants, if not tempered soon, will have disastrous results for America.
Most of the Christian charities that help resettle refugees, contracting with the government or one of the nine major resettlement agencies, do not share the gospel with Muslims or consider this a part of their work, he said.
"Most of those that even claim to be Christian are usually of the interfaith variety and are not very big on evangelism," Hadian said. "Their whole thing is, be nice and do good works. When I was in Boise and presented there, I had a gal who came up afterward and she made a comment about refugees coming from Iraq and how they're so open to Jesus and it's fantastic. I said, 'So you guys had an opportunity to share the gospel?' She said no, they asked, 'If we come into the church, what benefits do we get?'"
Hadian believes this is not the best way for churches to interact with Muslims unless the aid being provided also comes with a clear gospel message.
"I said you guys are bringing these refugees in, you're giving them free housing and things, and so now even if they think they want to become a Christian, it's seen as a monetary gain," he said. "My goodness, is this what we're doing to the gospel now – accept Jesus and we'll give you free things?
"If they could be bold with the gospel, yes, but I don't see any evidence of that. They usually want to say let's be friends with them, let's have a Ramadan meal with them, and this is why I say we should have a moratorium on Muslim immigration."