- 0% INTRIGUED
- 0% FURIOUS
- 0% BORED
- 0% SAD
A coalition that was prominent in opposing the construction of a Tennessee mosque has launched a public campaign calling for the removal of a Muslim state economic development director, accusing her of being part of a conspiracy of “financial jihadists” and for her connections with President Barack Obama.
Last month, Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Samar Ali, a native Tennessean and prominent corporate attorney, to be international director of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD).
Last Thursday, the Center for Security Policy issued a statement attacking her appointment, claiming that “the financial jihadists” could “soon be targeting the Volunteer state for infiltration and influence operations.”
The 8th District Tea Party Coalition, a Tea Party umbrella organization in West Tennessee, has joined the campaign to remove Ali. Both groups were active in helping to block construction of a new mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
ECD spokesman Clint Brewer says her post involves overseeing the state’s program for boosting exports and supervising branch offices in Canada, Germany, China and Japan, and has nothing to do with Shari’a finance.
Ali, as an associate with the law firm Hogan Lowells US LLP, counseled clients on mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions, Shari’a compliant transactions, project finance, and international business matters, and was a founding member of the firm’s Abu Dhabi office.
She has been prominently involved with the YMCA Israeli-Palestinian Modern Voices for Progress Program, the Palestine Diabetes Institute, the World Islamic Economic Forum, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.
The Obama administration named her as a 2010-2011 White House fellow. "She's eminently qualified to do the job. We are lucky to be able to have her,” said ECD spokesman Clint Brewer.
To date, the campaign has had little effect. Since it was launched last Thursday, both ECD and the governor’s office have received only a smattering of phone calls and emails. ECD spokesman Clint Brewer says Ali will stay.
“She’s as Tennessee as they come,” says Brewer. “We’re glad she’s back in Tennessee.”