Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan to Justice Dep't: Stop Funding Nation of Islam Hate Group

Jan 7, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Following a disturbing report that the Nation of Islam received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the federal government to teach religious study programs for federal prison inmates, Congressman Vern Buchanan today called on the Department of Justice to immediately cease current and future funding and conduct an internal review to ensure other hate groups are not subsidized.

“As you may know, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have designated the Nation of Islam as a hate group for its racist and anti-Semitic beliefs,” Buchanan said in a letter to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. “Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has used hateful rhetoric pronouncing that ‘Hitler was a very great man’ and routinely denounces Jews and white people as ‘evil.’”

“The federal government should not use taxpayer dollars to subsidize one of the most infamous hate groups in the United States,” Buchanan said. “That’s why I’m demanding your department immediately cease all contracts with the Nation of Islam and prohibit it from receiving any contracts in the future.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Acting Attorney General Whitaker,

I am writing to you today following a disturbing report that the federal government has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to a well-known radical hate group: the Nation of Islam.

In fact, according to an investigation by the Washington Examiner, the Nation of Islam and its leaders have received at least $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice since 2008.

The fact that hard-earned American tax dollars are being funneled to this extremist group is not only unacceptable, it’s downright immoral.

As you may know, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have designated the Nation of Islam as a hate group for its racist and anti-Semitic beliefs. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has used hateful rhetoric pronouncing that “Hitler was a very great man” and routinely denounces Jews and white people as “evil.”

The group has even promoted theories that Israel carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and claimed the federal government has secretly poisoned black men.

However, this hasn’t prevented the Bureau of Prisons from rewarding the Nation of Islam with federal funding to conduct so-called “spiritual guide services” and “study services” to inmates.

The federal government should not use taxpayer dollars to subsidize one of the most infamous hate groups in the United States.

That’s why I’m demanding your department immediately cease all contracts with the Nation of Islam and prohibit it from receiving any contracts in the future.

I also ask that the Department of Justice undertake a full review of all ongoing and future contracts to ensure that the U.S. government is not financing domestic or foreign hate groups.

I appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Vern Buchanan
Member of Congress