Erick Stakelbeck

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Murfreesboro Mosque Update: Board Member is Convicted Felon


I traveled to Mufreesboro, Tenn., last month to report on a proposed mega-mosque there that is causing major controversy among locals. The reasons for the fierce opposition to this project are valid and numerous, as you can see in my report (watch here). I state in the piece that one major red flag for locals was the revelation that a mosque board member featured pro-Hamas and pro-jihad rhetoric on his MySpace page.

Now the team at the New English Review (see their previous scoop on Hamas fundraising in a U.S. mosque here) fills us in on another controversy involving a Mufreesboro Islamic Center board member. And it's a doozy. Here's more, from NER's Iconoclast blog,via the Tennessean newspaper:

The Tennesseean broke a story...about Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's (ICM) spokesperson Ms. Camie Ayash's prior felony convictions and imprisonment in Florida for Grand Theft...

The Tennessean revelations will be an embarrassment to CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 who interviewed Ms. Ayash in the wake of the Arson incident at the ICM expansion projects on Veals Road in Rutherford County.

"It was something that happened when I was young,” said the 32-year-old Ayash. “I’m not proud of it. I never claimed to be perfect.”

Ayash admits that she served time. But she claims it occurred in 2001 or 2002, before she moved to Tennessee and converted to Islam.

Records from Marion County Circuit Court show Ayash, then known as Camie Vernon, was placed on probation in 2003 for theft.

She was then arrested on July 8, 2005, in Murfreesboro, on a warrant from Florida.

Ayash received a two-year sentence and was ordered to repay $316,27.38 in restitution, according to the Marion County Clerk’s office in Ocala, Fla.

Ayash had been a bookkeeper for the Wishful Thinking Western World clothing store in Ocala, where she took cash from deposits and forged checks.

The Florida Department of Corrections files show Ayash was released from custody at the Levy Forestry Camp on March 23, 2007. She will be on probation until 2037.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Ayash was jailed from May 2006 to March 2007 for stealing more than $300,000 from a former employer.

Read the whole post. The NER team has much more on the indisrepanices in Ayash's story.

Anyone else a bit concerned about a mega-mosque in the heart of the Bible Belt that has a Hamas supporter and a convicted felon on its board? Or are we just all "Islamophobes" and "bigots" for raising the issue?

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:54 PM



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