Shady Muslim Company Purchases Former Youth Detention Center

By Faye Higbee

The residents of Shenango Township, Pennsylvania continue to be concerned about the Muslim purchase of the Newcastle Youth Development Center (aka detention center) in their town. HIRA, an Islamic Consulting Firm from New Jersey, purchased the building from the State for far less than it was listed and they appear to be shady.

UPDATE: “Kunwar came up with the $32,000 and Senator Bernstine actually had a phone conversation with him, but his answers are slow and shaky at best. It was supposed to start out as a firm helping find grants for Muslim schools, not it’s going to be a youth detention center??? That’s what it used to be, but the state defunded it…. but he’s going to get grants from the state??? Something’s just not right, and when the department of General Services and the Governor blow off the local representatives, you know someone’s getting paid to look the other way!” J, local resident

It was originally listed for several $Million. It was purchased for $400,000. It has been vacant since 2013 when it was closed, taking away 200 jobs in the area.

The County Planning Department was authorized to bid on the building, but decided not to do so. Two other bids besides HIRA were received, but one of them was the minimum $300,000  and it appears that the person who bid it was Asif Kunwar – the Founder of HIRA in the first place.  In other words, HIRA placed both high and low bids on the same property.

When the Ellwood City Ledger attempted to find out what the purpose of the building would be, they got nowhere. The HIRA website claims that they promote the “on-going success of Islamic schools by providing high quality, low cost, professional consulting to Islamic schools throughout the United States,” and  “teacher training, fundraising advice and curriculum development.”

CBS reported,

The company bid $400,000 on the property, but KDKA has also learned that the company claims only one employee, who works out of an apartment in Newark, New Jersey, and the company has not reported income of more than $50,000 in tax years 2012, 2014 and 2015.

According to a CBS follow-up they finally responded to questions, but not in a helpful manner:

“For weeks, Hira did not return phone calls, but Thursday, they replied by email, stating its plan to operate an alternative reform center aimed at turning troubled youth around by community service, therapy and education.

The email, however, is light on specifics on just who would be placed there and how it would be funded, with Hira saying they would rely on grants from the government and foundations.”

What kind of “troubled youth?”

So another question is, where’d they get the money to make this purchase? The State of New Jersey revoked the company’s nonprofit status.  The  company says it will apply for grants…which usually take longer than the allotted time of one month to finalize the purchase.  Was it actually financed through the Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States (ISNA, CAIR, and others)? The State of Pennsylvania says that HIRA was “properly vetted.” Not really.

They had to put up 8% of the money- $32,000- by 5 days from the approval. Then they had a month to come up with the rest of the $400,000.

“Now this place has 145 acres and 13 buildings and is surrounded in barbed wire. Original asking price was 13 million, the state settled for $400,000 from this company that turned an address to a small apartment in New Jersey.  There’s a plaza up for a measley $1.3million for sale right up the road… why not take that? Why have this old detention center? The whole area is concerned, and our governor won’t acknowledge our local representatives. The locals believe Tom Wolf is keeping it hush hush…” J., local resident

Three PA lawmakers, Sen. Elder Vogel, Rep. Chris Sainato and Rep. Aaron Bernstine asked Governor Wolf to void the sale. He failed to do so.

Town residents turned up en masse for a townhall meeting in June to state their concerns. But  by June 30, the state gave its final approval for the purchase, in spite of the town’s concerns, in spite of the lack of response from HIRA, in spite of the questions.

We consulted with the Muslim Brotherhood experts at UTT, who told us that these kind of purchases are the exact method employed by the Muslim Brotherhood to further their “civilization jihad.” They were contacted numerous times by different people over this purchase.