After my previous posts about Jamaat ul-Fuqra in Virginia (see parts one and two) I received a number of emails with tips and information about other Islamic locations in rural Virginia.
One of my correspondents was a man in Halifax County. He told me about a place in southern Charlotte County called “Muslim Teachers College,” just across the Staunton River from his home. He said that he had been traveling over that way a few years back and had seen the sign for it.
So, following his directions, I mounted an expedition and went looking for the place. I drove up and down Route 607 along the river a couple of times, and couldn’t see any sign for a Muslim college. So, as is my custom, I stopped in at a local country store near the hamlet of Formosa to ask about a nearby Muslim school.
“Oh, yeah, I know where it is,” said the man behind the counter. He gave me directions to it: back the way I had come.
But before I left he asked me what a “Muslim school” was. I told him it was a private religious school, like a Catholic school.
“Oh,” he said. “I always wondered what that was.”
I drove slowly back down Route 607 towards Randolph, keeping an eye out for the sign, but there didn’t seem to be one. Then, next to a driveway that led up a hill past an abandoned house, I saw what could have been a large metal sign lying face down in the weeds in front of three posts. I turned around and came back. When I put the sign upright against the posts to which it had once been nailed, here’s what I saw:
The Muslim Teachers College appears to have fallen on hard times. Here’s the sign in its surrounding context:
The little abandoned house up the hill beyond the sign looks like it has been unused for at least a decade. There are signs on all the trees and fence posts near the driveway that say “NO TRESSPASSING — Dairy Hill Hunt Club, Saxe, Virginia.” In fact, for half a mile on either side of the road, the Dairy Hill Hunt Club has the same signs posted.
I have no idea whether there is any connection between the College and the Jamaat ul-Fuqra compounds in Red House and Meherrin. But, if you look at the map below, you’ll notice that they’re all fairly close to each other, forming a rough equilateral triangle about 25 miles on a side.
And, as a matter of interest, just across the river is the Dominion Virginia Power plant at Clover, a little less than a mile away as the crow flies. The plant is relatively new — it came online in 1995.
After taking photos of the sign, I tipped it back into its original place and came home to start my research.
A terraserver aerial photo shows that there’s a lot more to the Dairy Hill Hunt Club or the Muslim Teachers College than is visible from the road. Up at the top of the hill the road branches, and there are several buildings scattered around in the midst of the woods.
As for the Dairy Hill Hunt Club, a web search for it turned up absolutely nothing for Charlotte County or Saxe. New York State seems to have a “Dairy Hill Hunt Club,” but the one in Virginia does not maintain a web presence.
There’s also not much information available online about the Muslim Teachers College in Randolph, Virginia. There are no maps of the campus, no class photos, no lists of courses, and no student information pages. There’s no alumni association, nor any scheduled reunions. But I did find a few references to the place.
There was an announcement on an Arizona State University listserve:
|Muslim Teacher’s College announces the opening of its demonstration school — The Clara Muhammad Boarding School. This, the latest addition to the college’s educational complex, represents the culmination of several years of research. The curriculum taught in CMBS is strictly based on Qur’an. Qadir Abdus-Sabur, president of MTC said, “We frequently find Islamic schools in North American which teach Arabic and Islamic studies but subjects such as History and Social Studies reflect a Western educational paradigm. There is little regard for Qur’anic moral values.|
|“Every subject taught in CMBS will reflect a Qur’anic based philosophy of Education.There will be no verbal problems which encourage gambling when studying probabilities, no stories which support weak moral values in reading assignments and yes, there will be prayer in school!”|
|“Our goal,” said Imam Abdus-Sabur, “is to establish a model school and curriculum which could be duplicated throughout America.”|
|CMBS will admit a very few select boys in fifth through eighth grade (ages 10 -13) this year. Classes will be less than 15 students each and the academic program will be augmented by a program which introduces the students to a hands-on science program through agricultural projects.|
The same page gives this contact information:
|Clara Muhammad Boarding School|
c/o Muslim Teacher’s College
P.O. Box 71, Randolph, VA 23962
(804) 454-9536 (Voice);(804) 454-6059 (FAX)
Clara Muhammad was the wife of Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, and there are a lot of other schools in the United States named after her. This particular one was founded in 1995 (or 1988, according to one source) by Imam Karim Abdel-Shakur, James H. Rasheed, and Qadir Abdus-Sabur. As far as I can tell the school is no longer operating. However, there are still some references to it using the same phone numbers, but with the more recent 434 area code.
The founders turn up at this site, along with two other faculty members:
|Qadir Abdus-Sabur, Ph.D. is president and co-founder of Muslim Teachers College and Adjunct Professor of Educational Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been actively involved in the Islamic Schools movement in the United States for the past thirty years serving in positions such as Principal of Clara Muhammad School in Richmond, Virginia; Director of Clara Muhammad Boarding School in Randolph, Virginia; Chairman of the Council of Islamic Schools in North America (CISNA); member of the American Society of Muslim?Js (ASM) Board of Education; and Director of Islamic Studies Curriculum Project, International Curricula Organization in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.|
|James H. Rasheed, Ph.D. is co-founder of Muslim Teachers College and a teaching sociologist and researcher. Among his achievements are his B. S. from Virginia Union University, a B. S. from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph. D. from the University of Virginia. Research interest includes The Development of Scientific Sociology, The Sociology of Ibn Khaldun, The Sociology of W.E.B. DuBois, and the Philosophy of Science.|
|Beverly Abdus-Sabur, MLIS--University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Professor)|
|Sunni-Ali Islam, M.Ed. University of Dayton (Associate Professor)|
|Khairi Abdul-Shakur, M.Ed. Antioch University (Associate Professor)|
The Council of Islamic Schools in North America is directly associated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA was courted by no less than Karen Hughes in her capacity as advisor to President Bush. Despite the objection of many domestic terrorism experts, over the Labor Day weekend this year Ms. Hughes addressed the ISNA at its annual convention. According to ISNA,
|“Undersecretary Hughes’ participation in the ISNA Annual Convention signifies the important role Muslim Americans can play in improving the image of the United States in the Muslim world,” said Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Secretary General of ISNA.|
By her actions, Ms. Hughes gave the administration’s blessing to the further weakening of the national fabric by this Islamofascist group. As Mr. Gaffney noted,
|ISNA has for years sought to marginalize leaders of the Muslim faith who do not support the Wahhabists’ strain of Islamofascism, and, through sponsorship of propaganda and mosques, is pursuing a strategic goal of eventually dominating Islam in America.|
|Amongst the organisations in the USA with which the TJ [Tablighi Jamaat] is closely associated are the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).The President of the ISNA is Sheikh Abdullah Idris Ali, an American immigrant of Sudanese origin, who is also the Pesh Imam and Khatib of a mosque in New York.|
|Addressing the convention, Dr. Israr Ahmed said: “…A final show-down between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world, which has been captured by the Jews, would soon take place. The Gulf war was just a rehearsal for the coming conflict.” He appealed to the Muslims of the world, including those in the USA, to prepare themselves for the coming conflict. [emphasis added]|
At least I’m assuming it’s the same Sunni Ali-Islam, since he is in Ohio. He also appears in this news release from the Ohio governor’s office, issued on October 28, 2005:
|Governor Bob Taft today announced appointments to the Correctional Faith-Based Initiatives Task Force...|
|Sunni-Ali Islam, from Columbus, was appointed to the Correctional Faith-Based Initiatives Task Force for a term ending June 29, 2006. Imam Islam has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Ohio Dominican University; a graduate degree in Education from the University of Dayton and he is a certified Muslim Religious Service Provider III. Imam Islam is currently Founder and Director of the Muslim Alternative School, the Founder and Director of Native Sun and a Muslim Religious Service Provider for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.|
Finally, consider a connection between the Muslim Teachers College and another Sister Clara Muhammad School, this one in Philadelphia. According to an Oct. 21, 2004 article in the Philadelphia Daily News,
|Four FBI agents, including case agents Jesse Coleman and Kevin Lewis, were registered as students at the ABE classes at Sister Clara Muhammad School - the program they were investigating for no-show teachers.|
|Coleman and Lewis were leading the fraud investigation into $224,000 in public money from Community College of Philadelphia for the adult basic education program at the West Philadelphia school.|
|Yesterday, four agents’ names, including those using aliases, were identified as registered students during the federal fraud trial of Ali, 55, her daughter, Lakiha “KiKi” Spicer, 28, son Azheem “Osh” Spicer, 30 and Eugene Weaver III, 30.|
|All ABE teachers had to have a bachelor’s degree, according to CCP policy.|
|Beverly Abdus-Sabur testified that the Muslim Teachers College in Randolph, Va. never issued a marketing degree for Ali’s son, Azheem Spicer.|
|“We can only give a degree in Muslim education,” she said. The school has not been in operation since the 1998-1999 school year.|
In my first Jamaat ul-Fuqra post, Red House resident Shirley told of her discovery, back off the road in the middle of nowhere, of a “Training Camp for Young Muslim-American Men.” Based on the time frame involved, those little boys in Randolph could have graduated to the training camp just a few miles to the north — but, on the other hand, that could just be a paranoid thought.
Three isolated, reclusive rural African-American Islamic establishments in the hinterlands of Virginia. Two of them associated with Muslims of the Americas, and one with the Nation of Islam. Both connected to Islamic proselytizing in the prisons. Both groups involved, directly or indirectly, with the fraudulent acquisition of public funds. Both involved with the education and training of young people according to the tenets of the Koran.
I’ll leave the reader with a list of unanswered questions.
- What is a Muslim Teachers College doing on a remote hilltop in Southside Virginia?
- Did Dairy Hill Hunt Club acquire the property from the college, or are the members of the club a group of Muslim hunters?
- Why was the college in operation for only four years?
- Where are the alumni of the college? What did they go on to teach, and to whom?
- Did the faculty or students of the college proselytize for Islam in the prison system?
- Was there any interaction between the college and the MOA compounds in Red House and Meherrin?
- What kind of “agricultural projects” did the faculty and students of the college undertake? Did these projects by any chance involve the acquisition of large quantities of ammonium nitrate?
- Was the college administration aware that people working in other schools with the same name were fraudulently claiming to have a degree from the Muslim Teachers College?
- Are we seeing here again the tentacles of the relentless and well-funded Saudi/Wahhabi proselytizing effort? (See Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe in the War on Terror?)
Readers are invited to suggest new questions for this list, and are also welcome to do the investigative work to answer them.
Note: The URL listed above for the cached Philadelphia Daily News article, which was active at the time of my research, is no longer good. For those interested, the entire article can now be found here.