April 24, 2008, - 11:34 am
By Debbie Schlussel
I’ve been following First Islamic Investment Bank a/k/a Arcapita (it’s new and sanitized name to hide its Islamic goals) ever since I wrote about its anti-American, pro-HAMAS corporate executive, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi. The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, oversaw the Sharia compliance for the company, specifically the halal nature of food products sold at the Islamic Bank’s coffee chain, Caribou Coffee.
After I wrote about Qaradawi’s oversight of the Caribou Coffee chain in the New York Post and discussed it on FOX News’ “O’Reilly Factor” and MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” Caribou had its worst sales quarter ever and fired its then-CEO Donald Dempsey.
To combat the bad publicity about this sharia-led company’s coffee chain, the Islamic bank hired a Jewish CEO for Caribou, Michael Coles, who gave pay-off donations to buy off Jewish Federations in markets where it had Caribou Coffee stores (including the Detroit and Chicago Jewish Federations). That worked. Soon, rabbis like Rabbi Paul Yedwab of Michigan, and other unelected community leaders like Jay Tcath, who heads the Jewish Community Relations Council of Chicago and Don Cohen, a sleazy then-reporter for the Detroit Jewish News, were giving the “kosher” seal of approval to Caribou in newspaper stories. (Cohen even accepted free coupons from Caribou and served as a marketer for the chain by sending out the coupons in e-mails, urging Jews to patronize the chain.)
The thing is, Arcapita/First Islamic Investment Bank, is owned by Saudi and other Gulf state sheiks, some of whom are believed to have donated to homicide bomber telethons, and one of whom is from the family that owns Al-Jazeera. And Arcapita/First Islamic still employs another Islamic sharia authority with ties to Al-Qaeda.
Now, fast forward a few years, over which I’ve been following Arcapita. The company threatened to sue a friend of mine for writing about Caribou and repeating what I wrote about its extremist Islamic ties. As his attorney, I wrote a long letter back to Arcapita’s lawyer about records and individuals we’d depose if sued. Needless to say, Arcapita’s lawyers sent us a quick letter of contrition and went away.
Still, Arcapita has acquired businesses and important installations all over America for its wealthy Islamic sheikh owners. As I’ve noted, Arcapita recently acquired an energy plant in Texas. And, as I’ve noted over the years, they continue to own Church’s Fried Chicken.
And that’s where our story begins. A few months ago, Fred Taub of Boycott Watch, brought to my attention an ongoing federal lawsuit between Marcus and Denise Beasley, an entrepreneurial Black couple, and Arcapita. Their race is important to the story.
I wanted to write about it then, but the Beasleys told Fred they wanted to wait. I deferred to them. Apparently, they’ve since talked to other parties, because the story is now out.
The Beasleys owned a Church’s Fried Chicken franchise. They planned to offer breakfeast dishes, including pork and bacon. But, once Arcapita acquired Church’s, Arcapita’s strict sharia compliance requirements were foisted upon the Beasley’s and they were restricted from selling the breakfast items. They say this is the reason their business failed and that they were driven to bankruptcy. They lost everything, including their home, as a result. In their lawsuit, the Beasleys claim that Arcapita allowed White-owned franchisees to continue to sell the non-halal offerings in their stores.
If this is true–and I imagine they must have some proof of White-owned Church’s that sell non-halal meat and poultry–then it is emblematic of a part of Islam that is rarely broached in America: Islam’s racist attitude against Black people. We all know what happened in Sudan, and I’ve written many times over the last decade about how Blacks are called “Abed” (slave, in Arabic) or “Abeed” (slaves) throughout the Muslim world. This worldview is now, apparently, the basis for doing business at Arcapita/First Islamic-owned businesses.
Here are excerpts from the Beasley’s story of how Sharia put them into bankruptcy from Black Enterprise/The Baltimore Daily Record:
A Baltimore couple has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Islamic investment bank that owns the Church’s Chicken fast-food chain, alleging their franchise failed because the bank’s strict adherence to the religious code of Shari’ah prohibited the couple from selling pork.
Marcus and Denise Beasley, who are black, claimed they were treated differently by the bank, now known as Atlanta-based Arcapita Inc., than non-black franchisees who were allowed to continue serving breakfast dishes containing pork after the chain was acquired by the bank in December 2004.
The couple did not benefit from the grandfather policy allowing the sale of pork even though their contract with the chain’s former owners, AFC Enterprises Inc., to open a location in Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport’s new terminal predated the takeover and policy change, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
In the lawsuit, which seeks $5 million in actual damages, $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, the Beasleys contend the bank’s “stated reason” for disallowing the sale of pork in their case — they had not yet opened for business – - was “pretextual.”
“Arcapita permitted all of the other breakfast franchisees, which were approximately 30 Church’s Chicken restaurants, to do so, all of which were owned by persons who are non-African American or Caucasian,” the complaint states. “Of the Church’s Chicken breakfast franchises that existed when Arcapita acquired the chain, plaintiffs are the only ones who are African American.” . . .
Church’s Chicken, which serves American Southern comfort food, was founded in San Antonio in 1952 and has approximately 1,500 franchises worldwide, some of which trade as Texas Chicken, according to the company’s Web site.
On Dec. 26, Crescent Capital Investments Inc., the U.S. affiliate of Bahrain-based First Islamic Investment Bank BSC, bought Church’s, according to the suit. First Islamic changed its name to Arcapita in March 2005, the compliant states.
In April 2005, the Beasleys entered into a sublease with BAA Maryland Inc., the developer of retail and concession space in the airport, to operate their restaurant in the Pier A/B Core Food Court, according to the suit. The franchise’s menu, which included pork items, had to be submitted for approval and became part of the sublease, the suit states.
According to the complaint, the Beasleys had been assured they would be receiving the same letter Arcapita had sent to other existing franchisees, which said the parent company would not be collecting royalties on pork products.
But “approximately one week before” the Beasleys’ May 18 opening, the suit states, Arcapita informed them that, as new franchisees who had not yet opened, they may not serve pork, which Islam considers unclean.
The restaurant opened on schedule — but never served pork — and closed in late July 2006.
Part of the “substantial economic losses” the Beasleys suffered was the loss of their house, according to their attorney, Paul M. Vettori of Kenny & Vettori LLP in Towson.
“As the result of the failure of their business at the BWI airport, they were unable to repay the bank for the loan they took out and the [home] was sold at foreclosure,” Vettori said.
I have looked at the pleadings in this case, and based on what I’ve read, I believe the Beasley’s version of events and case against Arcapita is solid. I hope they are victorious.
But, whatever happens in this case, it is an important example of the harms that come from forced sharia imposed upon America: racism, bankruptcy, and extreme financial difficulties.
The Beasley case is only the beginning. Expect much more of this to come as more and more Muslims insert themselves and their mores upon America, because President Bush and future presidents and politicians allowed it to happen.
America, still asleep at the wheel.