The Ann Arbor-based non-profit center’s president Richard Thompson, a former Oakland County prosecutor, agreed to take on the case. He assigned his team of lawyers to request the Michigan Attorney General’s Office to convene a grand jury investigation into the Farmington Public School District’s sale of Eagle Elementary School to the Islamic Cultural Association.
There has been no response from the Attorney General’s Office.
The ICA plans to remodel and add on to the school building at 14 Mile and Middlebelt, to use as a mosque and community center.
Thompson, during a meeting with about 200 residents Wednesday evening at Congregation B’nai Moshe in West Bloomfield, laid out the reasons he decided to take the case.
The request by the TMLC to the attorney general purports corruption, bribes and cover-ups as being the basis of the request for an investigation, but Thompson’s statements show the center’s true motivation.
At the heart of the motivation is the “threat of radical Islam in the United States,” said Thompson.
Every resident, upon entry at the meeting, was given two pamphlets about the Thomas More Law Center and its philosophy.
Included in the brochures are images of Islamic extremists with machine guns.
“Know the Enemy!” the centrefold of one brochure states, quoting Omar Ahmad, co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant… Islam is the only accepted religion on earth.”
The centrefold includes images of Islamic men holding signs that read, “Islam will dominate the world. Freedom can go to hell.”
The TMLC, which solicited donations at the meeting, performs pro bono work to be “on the front lines of the cultural war and is battle ready to defend America.” According to a brochure, it solicits donations “from Christians and patriotic Americans.”
Since 2002, the TMLC has initiated and funded more cases challenging the “stealth jihad being waged against America” than any other law firm in the U.S.
“It was the national defense element (of the Eagle Elementary sale to the Islamic Cultural Association) that caused me to get involved,” said Thompson. “As you know, most of the Islamic terrorists come out of mosques.”
No one in the audience spoke against Thompson’s statements.
He went on to say that law enforcement wouldn’t investigate the sale of Eagle because, “who wants to get involved in investigating a Muslim organization?”
Thompson said the ICA is “connected to” CAIR, which was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial that resulted in the prosecution of many who were tied to terror funding.
The ICA denies being affiliated with CAIR.
“The association is solely funded by its members and operates independently of any local, regional, national or international organizations,” said ICA board member Firas Nashef.
He said the ICA has received endorsements from several groups, including the West Bloomfield Clergy Association and its members live in communities such as Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Franklin Village and West Bloomfield.
“Many of our members work as doctors, dentists, lawyers, business owners and executives, serving our great nation, including our local communities,” he said.
Nashef responded to the ideas Thompson expressed.
“As proud Americans, we are deeply saddened that our faith and the ability to exercise it are being challenged in a country that was founded on principles of individual and religious freedom because of the Thomas More Law Center’s baseless and inflammatory allegations,” Nashef issued as the official ICA response. “But we understand that many others who came before us have been subjected to bigotry and false suspicions, and eventually prevailed to practice their faiths and their constitutional rights. We will endeavor to do the same, learning from their examples.”
Nashef said he is “saddened” that Wednesday’s meeting was held at a synagogue.
“There are avenues in this beautiful country for us to voice our concerns,” he said, noting a place of worship shouldn’t be one of those avenues. “I want us to keep those places for their designated purpose.”