'King Kenny' and Corruption in South Philly

The FBI has been examining Philadelphia musician Kenny Gamble aka Luqman Abdul Haqq and his Universal Properties’ involvement in corruption and bribery  scandals involving Philadelphia councilman Kenyatta Johnson allegedly selling city owned land at extremely low prices, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

FBI’s finding seemed to indicate that two Universal executives between 2014 and 2016 bribed Michael Bonds, a former president of the Milwaukee School Board, who plead guilty to federal charges of accepted nearly $6,000 in bribes. Additionally, the FBI found that Universal’s former CEO Rahim Islam and ex-CFO Dawan Chavous,(Johnson’s wife), were seeking Johnson’s support in a deal that would defer $1 million in rent payments that Universal owed the school district for two charter campuses it operates. Gamble also sits on the board of Universal Family of Schools which oversees the seven charter schools.

Gamble has faced questions about his real-estate practices before, including concerns that Gamble was using redevelopment efforts to prepare a “Muslim only enclave“ in South Philadelphia according to a Philadelphia Magazine piece titled “King Kenny.”  As David Ruskin quotes Gamble in his piece "Legendary Songwriter Now Marches to an Islamist Tune”:

Indeed, Gamble explicitly outlined his aims in a recent interview: "One of the intentions that we had from the beginning was to create a model," he told Saudi TV, "so that, in the coming years, Muslims would be able to live close to each other, that they would live closer to the masjid [mosque], that they would eventually be able to open up businesses so that they would be able to employ each other and develop community life."

Gamble’s involvement in South Philadelphia redevelopment has previously attracted questions of corruption, following allegations that HUD officials threatened a loss of funding to Philadelphia if a valuable $2 million property was not turned over to Gamble’s company. Then-HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson was known as a friend of Gamble’s.

About a week before the most recent scandal surrounding Gamble’s company broke in the Inquirer, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s reminded his readers in a Final Call article of his 2011 speech on the 15th anniversary of the Million Man March, where he praised Gamble in speech before issuing apparent calls for violence. The black separatist leader is quoted as saying:

“The loss of life has to take place. Blood must flow in order for people who are enslaved to be free… if we are guided by Allah, then there is nothing that we cannot do. We are more than qualified to erect a New Nation on the foundation of the old… My question is: After we leave here, are we willing to stay in the condition that we’re in, or should we challenge the Forces that hold us down from within ourselves, or from outside ourselves. The Forces that hold us down must be challenged.  And where would we be in Philly without our dear brother Kenny Gamble, known to us as Brother Luqman, and his dear wife. Malik Zulu Shabazz and the New Black Panther Movement. Philadelphia is one of the greatest cities.. And it is one of the most Islamic-oriented cities. And that is why Brother Luqman (Kenny Gamble) said, when he opened and closed: “No excuses.”

Gamble converted to Islam after expressing interest in the Nation of Islam, and Gamble and Farrakhan apparently remain close. In 2015, Gamble called Nation of Islam “a vehicle that came to the need of African-Americans.” In 2016, Gamble was an associate producer on Farrakhan’s musical album Let’s Change the World.

The republication of Farrakhan’s praise of Gamble is a reminder that Gamble remains controversial not just for the manner in which his property has been acquired, but also for his questionable motivations. As Gamble as himself has said, “We are not just here for Universal; we are down here for Islam.”

That view of Gamble’s organization is shared by the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), a national network of masjids and Muslim organizations, on whose board Gamble sits. MANA recognized and praised the Islamic influence on Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies for the same real-estate development and charter schools now under investigation:

“On the Islamic side, the complimentary entity to Universal Companies is the United Muslim Movement. We ask Allah (SWT) to increase the good efforts of Universal Companies, United Muslim Movement, and MANA. By the Blessing and Mercy of Allah (SWT), the efforts of Universal Companies serve as a national model for what can be done with commitment, compassion, focus and careful planning and execution. Just another proof positive of the words of the Qur'an where Allah (SWT) states: Let there arise from among you a small group of people, inviting to all that is good.”

MANA was founded by cop killer Jamil Al Amin, a former Black Panther now in prison. Amin is the leader of an  African Islamist group known as the National Ummah which the FBI described as engaging in criminal activity in order to prepare for the creation of a separatist Sharia-ruled state.

MANA’s leader Siraj Wahhaj, is the notorious leader of the  Brooklyn At-Taqwa mosque.  At an event in New Jersey, Wahhaj said  "If only Muslims were more clever politically… they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.” Wahhaj has since made numerous other statements in support of imposing an Islamist vision on America.  Other MANA  leaders include Asmim Abdur-Rashid, the Imam of Masjid Mujahidin of Philadelphia who lied about not knowing radical Islamist Edward Archer who fired thirteen shots at a Philadelphia police officer, Talib Abdur Rashid, who compared the founding of the United States to Hiroshima and Nagaskaki, and Jihad Abdul Mumit, who served 23 years in prison for bank robbery during his involvement in the Black Panther Party. Gamble can certainly be judged by the company he keeps.  

It remains to be seen whether the FBI’s probe will ultimately touch Gamble himself. The FBI is unlikely to inquire as to Gamble’s Islamist motivations, and Universal’s lawy ers say they are cooperating with the investigation. Ultimately the probe provides another reminder of Gamble’s long-term pursuit of dominion in South Philadelphia, and the lengths to which Islamists are willing to go to achieve their ends.

Leonard  Getz, CPA, is a Counter-Islamist Grid  associate in Philadelphia and a  freelance writer whose work has appeared in The American Thinker, The Algemeiner, PJMedia, The Clarion, Lifestyles Magazine, Nostalgia Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Bulletin ,the Jewish Exponent,  Lock Haven Express 

The FBI has been examining Philadelphia musician Kenny Gamble aka Luqman Abdul Haqq and his Universal Properties’ involvement in corruption and bribery  scandals involving Philadelphia councilman Kenyatta Johnson allegedly selling city owned land at extremely low prices, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

FBI’s finding seemed to indicate that two Universal executives between 2014 and 2016 bribed Michael Bonds, a former president of the Milwaukee School Board, who plead guilty to federal charges of accepted nearly $6,000 in bribes. Additionally, the FBI found that Universal’s former CEO Rahim Islam and ex-CFO Dawan Chavous,(Johnson’s wife), were seeking Johnson’s support in a deal that would defer $1 million in rent payments that Universal owed the school district for two charter campuses it operates. Gamble also sits on the board of Universal Family of Schools which oversees the seven charter schools.

Gamble has faced questions about his real-estate practices before, including concerns that Gamble was using redevelopment efforts to prepare a “Muslim only enclave“ in South Philadelphia according to a Philadelphia Magazine piece titled “King Kenny.”  As David Ruskin quotes Gamble in his piece "Legendary Songwriter Now Marches to an Islamist Tune”:

Indeed, Gamble explicitly outlined his aims in a recent interview: "One of the intentions that we had from the beginning was to create a model," he told Saudi TV, "so that, in the coming years, Muslims would be able to live close to each other, that they would live closer to the masjid [mosque], that they would eventually be able to open up businesses so that they would be able to employ each other and develop community life."

Gamble’s involvement in South Philadelphia redevelopment has previously attracted questions of corruption, following allegations that HUD officials threatened a loss of funding to Philadelphia if a valuable $2 million property was not turned over to Gamble’s company. Then-HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson was known as a friend of Gamble’s.

About a week before the most recent scandal surrounding Gamble’s company broke in the Inquirer, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s reminded his readers in a Final Call article of his 2011 speech on the 15th anniversary of the Million Man March, where he praised Gamble in speech before issuing apparent calls for violence. The black separatist leader is quoted as saying:

“The loss of life has to take place. Blood must flow in order for people who are enslaved to be free… if we are guided by Allah, then there is nothing that we cannot do. We are more than qualified to erect a New Nation on the foundation of the old… My question is: After we leave here, are we willing to stay in the condition that we’re in, or should we challenge the Forces that hold us down from within ourselves, or from outside ourselves. The Forces that hold us down must be challenged.  And where would we be in Philly without our dear brother Kenny Gamble, known to us as Brother Luqman, and his dear wife. Malik Zulu Shabazz and the New Black Panther Movement. Philadelphia is one of the greatest cities.. And it is one of the most Islamic-oriented cities. And that is why Brother Luqman (Kenny Gamble) said, when he opened and closed: “No excuses.”

Gamble converted to Islam after expressing interest in the Nation of Islam, and Gamble and Farrakhan apparently remain close. In 2015, Gamble called Nation of Islam “a vehicle that came to the need of African-Americans.” In 2016, Gamble was an associate producer on Farrakhan’s musical album Let’s Change the World.

The republication of Farrakhan’s praise of Gamble is a reminder that Gamble remains controversial not just for the manner in which his property has been acquired, but also for his questionable motivations. As Gamble as himself has said, “We are not just here for Universal; we are down here for Islam.”

That view of Gamble’s organization is shared by the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), a national network of masjids and Muslim organizations, on whose board Gamble sits. MANA recognized and praised the Islamic influence on Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies for the same real-estate development and charter schools now under investigation:

“On the Islamic side, the complimentary entity to Universal Companies is the United Muslim Movement. We ask Allah (SWT) to increase the good efforts of Universal Companies, United Muslim Movement, and MANA. By the Blessing and Mercy of Allah (SWT), the efforts of Universal Companies serve as a national model for what can be done with commitment, compassion, focus and careful planning and execution. Just another proof positive of the words of the Qur'an where Allah (SWT) states: Let there arise from among you a small group of people, inviting to all that is good.”

MANA was founded by cop killer Jamil Al Amin, a former Black Panther now in prison. Amin is the leader of an  African Islamist group known as the National Ummah which the FBI described as engaging in criminal activity in order to prepare for the creation of a separatist Sharia-ruled state.

MANA’s leader Siraj Wahhaj, is the notorious leader of the  Brooklyn At-Taqwa mosque.  At an event in New Jersey, Wahhaj said  "If only Muslims were more clever politically… they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.” Wahhaj has since made numerous other statements in support of imposing an Islamist vision on America.  Other MANA  leaders include Asmim Abdur-Rashid, the Imam of Masjid Mujahidin of Philadelphia who lied about not knowing radical Islamist Edward Archer who fired thirteen shots at a Philadelphia police officer, Talib Abdur Rashid, who compared the founding of the United States to Hiroshima and Nagaskaki, and Jihad Abdul Mumit, who served 23 years in prison for bank robbery during his involvement in the Black Panther Party. Gamble can certainly be judged by the company he keeps.  

It remains to be seen whether the FBI’s probe will ultimately touch Gamble himself. The FBI is unlikely to inquire as to Gamble’s Islamist motivations, and Universal’s lawy ers say they are cooperating with the investigation. Ultimately the probe provides another reminder of Gamble’s long-term pursuit of dominion in South Philadelphia, and the lengths to which Islamists are willing to go to achieve their ends.

Leonard  Getz, CPA, is a Counter-Islamist Grid  associate in Philadelphia and a  freelance writer whose work has appeared in The American Thinker, The Algemeiner, PJMedia, The Clarion, Lifestyles Magazine, Nostalgia Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Bulletin ,the Jewish Exponent,  Lock Haven Express