Muhammed Ali's Estate In Berrien Springs Purchased by Foundation That Provides Housing For Muslim Students

The estate of the former world boxing champ—one of the most well-known athletes of the 20th century— has been sold in Berrien Springs.

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The deal was completed just days before Christmas according to Cressy & Everett Realtor Tim Mitchell of Dowagiac. Late Wednesday afternoon, Crain's Detroit Business reported that Mitchell told them the deal came in at $2.5-million dollars and the buyer is "the New York-based Turken Foundation."

The Turken Foundation

The website for the Turken Foundation says it was created from two other foundations in the nation of Turkey with a mission "to assist eligible students by means of housing, scholarship and other cultural programs to improve their educational experience.”

As the crow flies, the Ali estate is 2200 yards from Andrews University (little over a mile). One can reasonably assume that any students staying at the old Ali Estate might be attending Andrews University, possibly through the benefit of a Turken Foundation scholarship. There is no word from Turken on that yet, however.

A 2017 article in the Huffington Post by David L. Phillips described the Turken Foundation as a “Wolf in the Neighborhood.” Should the Berrien Springs community be concerned?

Missions of Turken Foundation are:

  • To provide safe, supportive and culturally appropriate housing for the Muslim students,

  • To provide cultural, social and educational opportunities and experiences for the Muslim students,

  • To promote cross-cultural relationships and understanding between various Muslim students’ cultures and American culture and tradition.

  • Briefly, Turken Foundation houses will support the spiritual, academic, personal and social development of the students with certain principles and procedures in accordance with the foundation’s vision and mission in the United States.

CAIR

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, and empower American Muslims.

The Turken foundation has worked closely with CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) in the past to bring University students (such as Georgetown University MSA) into conversation with leaders of Islamic countries. They also align with CAIR to urge that the U.S. opens its arms to Muslim refugees.

According to an Andrews University press release, Andrews’ new Vice-President for Diversity & Inclusion, Michael Nixon, has also worked with CAIR, (July 6, 2018).

Currently, Nixon serves as the legal coordinator for the Fair Housing Justice Center in New York City. His previous experience has included the establishment of an Office of Service and Social Action at the University of Saint Francis while serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, and working with the Council of American Islamic Relations and in The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Clinic while attending law school in Chicago.

Stay tuned for more developments.

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“This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).