KA JOOG’S $500,000 TURN-DOWN

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune  has long been a reliably left-leaning newspaper.

On Friday, it published an editorial suggesting that Andrew Lugar, the Obama-appointed US Attorney being replaced by Donald Trump should be rehired.  No surprise there – and probably no chance it is going to happen – despite that, from what I’ve read about his performance, he might be a very good selection.

But within the editorial there is an attack on the Trump administration (again, no surprise) which contains these two paragraphs:

The decision made earlier this year by Minnesota’s respected Ka Joog program should have served notice to national leaders of the need to move with caution. Ka Joog is a textbook example of the programs experts recommend. It is led by Somali-Americans and provides after-school educational programs. It has won a national award from the FBI.

This year, Ka Joog’s leaders turned down a $500,000 federal grant that would have allowed it to serve more kids and parents. Among the reasons: the bungled Trump travel ban and the push to rename “countering extremism” programs as “countering radical Islam” programs. Ka Joog’s leaders worried they’d lose their community’s trust by taking funding from a government seeming to target it.

I don’t know a lot about Ka Joog, other than that it is 10 years old and claims to have success in keeping schoolchildren from being radicalized (my word, not Ka Joog’s).  But I have to say, the turning down of that $500,000 is more than a little troubling.

Let’s start with the obvious:  “a $500,000 federal grant that would have allowed it to serve more kids and parents.”  In other words, Ka Joog is proactively doing less for the community it claims to serve.

And why is this money being turned down?  Because of “the bungled Trump travel ban and the push to rename “countering extremism” programs as “countering radical Islam” programs.

A few facts for the Ka Joog folks:

-Trump bungled nothing; a federal judge, appointed by Barack Obama and with a left wing agenda, made a ruling that no other judge had ever made for any other President…and one that, if Trump & Co. had decided to fight it instead of reworking it (also to no avail, at least so far), would most likely have been overturned by the Supreme Court, even in its current condition.

-“Countering radical islam” specifically and exclusively references radical islam.  No other form of the religion.  As such, it cannot possibly refer to the entire Somali community, unless the entire Somali community is radicalized.

-The phrase “countering radical islam” – not islam in general but “radical islam” – therefore, isolates radicals from other Islamic people.  it sets them apart and makes clear that the Trump administration does not see all Muslims in the same light.

-By contrast, opposing this terminology on the grounds that it offends Muslims – not exclusively radicals but Muslims in general – inherently requires characterizing all Muslims with the same “radical” designation.  Even Muslims who are law abiding citizens and want nothing more than to live their lives in peace.

So tell us again, Ka Joog,  why you would turn down this very much needed money.

Maybe the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Editorial Board can come up with a great reason I am unaware of – other than disliking Donald Trump so much that you will cut off your nose to spite your face, which is the only one I see.

Too bad for the kids who might have been helped, though…

1 Comment

  • Stories like these make me question the ‘Even Muslims who are law abiding citizens and want nothing more than to live their lives in peace.’ line.

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