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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Former Des Moines Imam arrested on immigration-related charges

By Lynda Waddington | 10.14.10 | 12:35 pm

The man who formerly led the Islamic Center of Des Moines will soon be back in the state to face criminal immigration-related charges.

Ibrahim Dremali formerly led the Islamic Center of Des Moines and will soon return to the state to face immigration-related charges. This photo is a clip from a 2008 appearance on The Deen Show, an American Muslim film company.

Imam Ibrahim Dremali and his wife, Safaa Rashad Eissa, were arrested at their Arlington, Texas, home on Oct. 6 by local and federal agents acting on a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. According to the warrant, Dremali and his wife are suspected of conspiracy and fraud in [the] naturalization process, an immigration offense.

According to a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the region, agents with ICE, Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Arlington Police Department were all involved in the arrest.

Dremali and Eissa have appeared before a federal U.S. Magistrate in Texas, according to both the spokesman and court documents, and have been released on their own recognizance. The two are scheduled to once again appear in court, this time in Des Moines, on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. Dremali was ordered to surrender his passport and limit travel to the presiding court districts as a condition of release.

An order has been filed with the court for appointment of a federal public defender in the case.

Few additional details are provided in court records, and federal officials have declined to speak further “since this is an ongoing investigation.” Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Iowa’s Southern District have not yet responded to inquiries about the case.

Dremali began to serve as the Imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines in March 2005, by way of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Fla. He left Des Moines in 2008 to pursue a teaching position in Texas, and has since been engaged in a battle with cancer.

On Wednesday an e-mail plea was distributed by Miriam Amer, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Iowa Chapter, requesting that members of the Iowa Muslim community contact federal lawmakers on Dremali’s behalf. According to that message, Dremali is of tenuous health and is no longer able to travel the few blocks from his home for services at the Arlington mosque.

The message contends that the charges are “ludicrous” and “the by-product of a vindictive grudge.”

… Imam Dremali has been a vital source of interfaith relations and outreach in the Muslim community throughout the U.S., and has worked tirelessly against terrorism, extremism, and Islamophobia, building a solid foundation of friendship, caring and cooperation between the major U.S. religious groups, politicians and civic communities.

Imam Dremali is only one of a small handful of people who hold Ph.D.s in the U.S. in Islamic Jurisprudence, and is therefore a vital resource for the U.S. in interfaith, national and international relations.

Media and other accuse moderate Muslims of not speaking out or acting against terrorism or extremism. Imam Dremali did speak out — this heinous treatment is despite his activism. Imam Dremali’s arrest and persecution teaches a negative lesson for moderate Muslims that will keep them from speaking out against extremists or acts of terror committed in the name of Islam. …

A spokeswoman in U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s office confirmed that inquires about the case were received Thursday from Iowa constituents, and that staff members are working to gather more information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the situation.

Dremali graduated from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, according to information posted on the Dremali Foundation website. He is a professor at the American Open University, teaching courses in Fiqh (Jurisprudence), family law, Islamic finance and criminal law. He is a member of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) and an advisor for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA). He has more than 20 years of experience in the United States as an Imam, and as a director for Islamic schools from Pre-K to High School. He is a frequent speaker for Islamic centers, universities, dawah conferences, radio shows and interfaith programs across the U.S. and overseas.

Upon coming to Iowa, Dremali participated as an anti-war activist and was quoted as saying that his “mission as a Muslim is to bring peace.” Critics who followed the Dremali’s work in Florida, however, continued questioned his commitment to cause.

According to news reports filed by (the now defunct) Boca Raton News, Dremali came under scrutiny in Florida due to his associations with others who were arrested on charges related to money laundering and acts of terrorism. Several of the Sept. 11 hijackers lived in nearby Delray Beach, which may have contributed to the speculation that Dremali and other mosque leaders had information or unsavory associations.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Dremali told Boca Raton police he and other members of the mosque had experienced anti-Muslim backlash. He also claimed that unknown assailants had threatened him with guns outside of his Boca home.

“We are not terrorists. We want to live in peace with no problems,” Dremali told the Boca Raton News in 2003 as part of a report about the suspicions. “We have a very peaceful religion. We are Americans. I love this country and that is why we stay in this country.”

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/ceolas Mary M.

    Oh spare me.. this imam wasn't involved in seeking peace, or interfaith dialogue. He hosted a rally in Boca Raton, Florida, raised the Hezbollah flag, and lead a chant which went like this “with jihad we’ll claim our land. Zionist blood will wet the sand.”

    Just what kind of fools do these CAIR terrorists think we are, and yes, I said TERRORISTS. CAIR is a terrorist front group, demanding the imposition of sharia law in the US. They are playing the “cancer” card again, just as they did with the Lockerbie bomber, who we were told would die within months of his release from jail for “humanitarian” reasons, now we're told it was all a mistake, and he will live for decades. If Senator Harkin helps this terrorist imam avoid being incarcerated and tried, Harkin should be incarcerated and tried for facilitating the escape of an enemy of the US, and for treason.

    • http://twitter.com/UmmSalaah Asma S

      Mary, what you're saying about CAIR is ridiculous. It's full of muslims who have no greater hope than to stay in this country and profit from the happy and easy life here. They don't want to risk their status in this country by supporting terrorism or islamic law or getting their fingers into international politics. And yeah, I'm saying that with a little scorn because I'm a muslim who is more “extreme” than the CAIR-type muslims and believes that muslims should abandon the US's consumerism and neocolonialism and return to the muslim world to work to improve the situation of the muslim lands in a variety of political and economic ways, not just keep trying to secure their cushy lives in a rich country that is so politically opposed to the muslim world. If you and others like you were SMART, you would be supporting these happy American muslims who want nothing more than to continue their prosperous lives here and get to wear their hijabs and build their mosques. They're not your enemy, they just want to be “liked”, and their love for the “american dream” of SUVs and big houses and consumerism will benefit the economy and thus you. I don't support them, but that's the reality and you should stop fighting this meaningless battle against them.

      And by the way, for several years (before this news issue) I've been hearing news about Dremali's sickness and declining state, and his need to raise funds for treatment. This isn't a “cancer card,” it's something well-known in the muslim community for at least the past year or two.

      Look up his videos on youtube to see what kind of man he is. He's a very humble, kind man. Whatever rally you're talking about is 100% bs, no one who wants to stay in the US does stuff like that.

      • Anonymous

        As for CAIR, it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, just like Hamas is. Everyone should read the documentary expose of CAIR “The Muslim Mafia” by Gaubatz and Sperry.

        • Anonymous

          So, according to you Muslim Brotherhood is somehow danger to USA. Is that it? Did Muslim Brotherhood attack US? CAIR on the other hand must be at war with US according to you. And the references you give to the Zionist propaganda are just as reliable as you garbage information.

      • Anonymous

        As for CAIR, it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, just like Hamas is. Everyone should read the documentary expose of CAIR “The Muslim Mafia” by Gaubatz and Sperry.

    • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmIOK0UkE5L-ma0Ys_MgyfPpIS-zMAQIQM Wael

      Mary, it was the Scottish justice system which took this “humanitarian” decision. So if you want to blame someone, you can blame them without needing to make a scapegoat out of CAIR.

      Secondly, the Hezbollah flag has a hand holding a large AK47 rifle on it. The authorities must have really been sleeping while this rally in Boca Raton was taking place for them not to notice people chanting about Zionist blood while holding flags with guns on them…

      Or most likely, your ignorance led you to believe that any flag with Arabic writing is a terrorist group's flag.

  • Anonymous

    Dremali, like the rest of the imams, must support the jihadist doctrines of Islam that are found in the Koran and the sayings of Muhammad. He cannot deny them. All he can do is avoid talking about them pretend that he doesn’t support them.
    And, he is surely a liar when he says that his “mission as a Muslim is to bring peace.” He is using that word “peace” very differently from the way he knows his naive listeners will understand it. For religious Muslims, peace could be the inner tranquility that comes from surrendering one’s will to a higher power. It could mean social harmony that presumably comes when the whole society is under shariah law. But, he is definitely NOT talking about permanent peaceful relations between Moslems and non-Moslems because Islamic doctrine does not permit such relations. But, that is the way that naive non-Moslems will understand the word “peace”. Dremali is NOT to be trusted. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    • Anonymous

      Of course all muslims support the Jihad,it is the part of Islam.But there are differences within Muslims:one small part(Al-Qaeda) saying-it’s Jihad attacking US as it is engaged in the war with muslims. The other part saying It is Jihad If Muslims fight occupiers in the occupied land,but not allowed to kill civilians anywhere.
      Any Muslim who knows it’s religion does support Jihad.If US arrest all Imams who support Jihad then it will make 1.5bill. muslims its enemy.

  • Anonymous

    Dremali, like the rest of the imams, must support the jihadist doctrines of Islam that are found in the Koran and the sayings of Muhammad. He cannot deny them. All he can do is avoid talking about them pretend that he doesn’t support them.
    And, he is surely a liar when he says that his “mission as a Muslim is to bring peace.” He is using that word “peace” very differently from the way he knows his naive listeners will understand it. For religious Muslims, peace could be the inner tranquility that comes from surrendering one’s will to a higher power. It could mean social harmony that presumably comes when the whole society is under shariah law. But, he is definitely NOT talking about permanent peaceful relations between Moslems and non-Moslems because Islamic doctrine does not permit such relations. But, that is the way that naive non-Moslems will understand the word “peace”. Dremali is NOT to be trusted. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • Anonymous

    Abdulameer, are you suggesting that muslims attacked USA, killed couplke of million people, established a sadistic prison where people were waterboarded, tortured, raped and slaughtered, that muslims destroyed a city using depleted uranium charges, that muslims entered an American home, raped a 14 year old child, killed her parents and siblings? If you are suggesting that you are nuts. Muslims do want peace in the world and have not wanted another country for themselves since ancient times.All we want is that the Zio Americans get the f*ck out of our hair and leave us alone!

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