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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2007, 11:34:43 PM »

Sorry, no URL on this, but it seems to have enough info to be traceable.

By the way, 12.5%= one out of eight people.

==========================================

Sun, February 18, 2007
Disturbing reality buried
Fear of causing offence and wilful blindness will only end the day innocent Canadians die
By LICIA CORBELLA


In the news business, it's called burying the lead.
It means you missed the most important or interesting part of a story and led with something less significant.
On Feb. 13, the CBC published and aired the results of an Environics poll, which on their website was billed as "Glad to be Canadian, Muslims say."
Apparently "more than 80% of Canada's roughly 700,000 Muslims are broadly satisfied with their lives here."
That's a nice and cuddly kind of story, but hardly surprising. I've been to Afghanistan -- where many of Canada's latest Muslim population comes from -- and even the upper-middle class in Afghanistan live in difficult conditions. I stayed in Kabul's only five-star hotel in December 2003 where hot water was available one-to-two hours a day, electricity was sporadic and my lovely room was utterly freezing.
Poor and middle-class Afghans -- the vast majority -- have no running water, no heat, no electricity and most are totally illiterate to boot.
They are handsome hospitable people -- and extremely resourceful -- but Canada's homeless shelters would look like luxury to your average Afghan refugee. But I digress.

Waaaay down in the online CBC story about this poll is the news that when "asked about the arrests last summer of the 18 Muslim men and boys who were allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in southern Ontario, 73% of Muslim respondents said these attacks were not at all justified." That portion of the poll ended there. No more details. Why? The Environics website made no mention about this portion of the poll either.
However, on CBC's The National television program on the same day, this part of the poll was fleshed-out and the results are alarming.
Fully 12% of Muslim Canadians polled by Environics said the alleged terrorist plot -- that included kidnapping and beheading the prime minister and blowing up Parliament and the CBC -- was justified.
Predictably, the CBC managed to find a talking head -- in this case York University sociology professor Haideh Moghissi -- who dismissed this disturbing revelation.
"It's really negligible that 12 percent feel that the attacks would be justified," said Moghissi. "I don't think it even warrants attention."
Clearly, other news agencies and those who put the poll results on the CBC website agree with Moghissi.
But just how "negligible" is 12% of 700,000 people.
Well, if Moghissi knew arithmetic like she knows denial, she'd know if this poll is accurate, 84,000 Canadian Muslims think it's justifiable to behead our democratically elected prime minister and blow up the very symbol and centre of our democracy!
The Environics poll interviewed 500 Canadian Muslims and 2,045 members of the general population between Nov. 30 and Jan. 5 and is said to be accurate within 4.4 percentage points with regard to the Muslim respondents and 2.2 points with the larger sample group 19 times out of 20.
So, let's err on the side of caution here. Let's subtract the margin of error -- 4.4% -- from 12%. That comes to 7.6%, so let's say, just to be really non-alarmist, we round that down to 7%. That still means 49,000 Canadian Muslims believe conducting a terrorist attack on their own country -- Canada -- is justified.
Is it just me, or does this not strike anyone else as the opposite of "negligible?"
Isn't this significant news?
Considering this poll was published on the same day it was learned al-Qaida -- the Islamic terrorist organization behind the 9/11 attacks -- was urging its followers to target all oilfields, including Canada's, should wake complacent Canadians up.
"We should strike petroleum interests in all areas which supply the United States and not only in the Middle East, because the target is to stop its imports or decrease it by all means," it states.
That threat was made on an al-Qaida online magazine called Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Holy War) and was discovered by a U.S. non-profit group that monitors militant websites called Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE).
In other words, the Environics poll indicates anywhere between 49,000 to 84,000 Muslim Canadians likely would view attacks on our oilsands development justifiable, and if that's the case, it's safe to assume some portion of those tens of thousands of people might be prone to carrying out such an attack.
We already know calls to martyrdom and jihad have been made from Canadian mosques, including one in B.C. and the one in Ontario the 18 alleged wanna-be beheaders attended. It's safe to assume there are more.
But, hey, this is Canada, where in the interest of political correctness and fear of offending, the lead on these kinds of stories gets buried and our heads remain planted where there is no illumination and therefore, no truth. That wilful blindness will likely only end the day innocent Canadians get buried instead of just leads by those who justify terror on their fellow citizens and country.
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« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2007, 08:14:12 AM »

http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Corbella_Licia/2.../18/3642930-sun.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2007, 06:48:10 AM »



From Daniel Pipes http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/679#meeting

Dear Reader:

A further decision is due in the controversy over taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport who refuse to transport passengers visibly carrying alcohol. The Metropolitan Airports Commission, which has jurisdiction over the drivers, invites the public's opinion; and I urge your involvement.

MAC has sent a notice (which I have posted in full on my website, at http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/679#meeting) that recounts developments since its decision in October 2006 to deny requests by drivers to distinguish between Shar'i-compliant and -noncompliant taxis. MAC writes:

For the past several months, the Metropolitan Airports Commission has worked with airport taxi industry representatives and with leaders from the Muslim American Society and the Somali Justice Advocacy League. The goal was to find a solution acceptable to everyone and transparent to the customer seeking airport taxi service. Unfortunately, those discussions have not resulted in a workable, voluntary, consensus-based solution. As a result, the Airports Commission is proposing stricter penalties for refusal of service: a 30-day suspension of a driver's airport taxi license for the first instance, and license revocation for a second instance.

Bravo to MAC. It is important that the drivers be sent a strong signal that they must obey the regulations. Were they allowed to boycott travelers with alcohol, I pointed out in "Don't Bring That Booze into My Taxi," that would intrude Islamic law "into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota" and could lead to the transport system as a whole being divided "between those Islamically observant and those not so."

I appealed to readers in October to urge MAC to impose penalties on those who insist on imposing Shar'i norms in Minnesota and to send a message that this practice is unacceptable. The barrage of e-mails and phone calls had the hoped-for effect. According to airport spokesman Patrick Hogan back then, "we've heard from Australia and England. It's really touched a nerve among a lot of people. The backlash, frankly, has been overwhelming. People are overwhelmingly against any kind of cultural accommodation."

Again now, I appeal to all those opposed to application of the Shari'a in the United States to make their views heard in Minnesota. You can do this in either of two ways.

In writing: MAC is asking for "input from the public" through Friday, March 2, 2007, before it makes a decision on the proposed increase in penalties. Written comments should be addressed to:

Landside Operations Department
Metropolitan Airports Commission
MSP International Airport/Lindbergh Terminal
4300 Glumack Drive
Suite LT-3129B
Saint Paul, MN 55111-3010.

In person: For those living in the Twin Cities area, MAC will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 27, 2007, at 2 p.m., to solicit testimony from the public via verbal or written testimony. The location will be at:

Ramada Mall of America (formerly, the Thunderbird Hotel)
2300 East American Boulevard
Bloomington, Minnesota

I thank you in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Pipes


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2007, 12:16:30 AM »

In Defense of the Constitution

News & Analysis
007/07  March 3, 2007



CAIR:  Admits Officials Have Ties to Islamist Terrorism


In a stunning revelation, Corey Saylor, the Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) government affairs director, on 2 March admitted that convicted Islamic
terrorists were CAIR officials when they committed terrorist acts against the United
States:

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18027017&BRD=1675&PAG=461&dept_id=18171&rfi=6

In an article carried by Delcotimes.com, Saylor is responding to questions about
Ghassan Elashi and Ismail Royer and their ties to the leader of Hamas and activities
in support of overseas terrorist organizations.  While Saylor first said that Elashi
and Royer were not working on behalf the group, he was later quoted:

"Some people try to hold us responsible for the actions of people that are
associated with our organization. That’s absolutely ludicrous…you don’t hold all of
Enron responsible for what Ken Lay did."

For those North Americans that ever had any questions about CAIR’s ties to Elashi
and Royer, and, by association, tied directly to Islamist terrorists, those
questions have been answered by CAIR’s own spokesman.

Saylor seems to have forgotten that Enron folded like a cheap tent when the criminal
activities of its leadership were exposed…


Andrew Whitehead
Director
Anti-CAIR (ACAIR)
ajwhitehead@anti-cair-net.org
www.anti-cair-net.org

ADVISORY:
Subscribers are warned that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) may
contact your employer if CAIR believes you are using a work address to receive any
material that CAIR believes may be offensive.  CAIR has been known to shame
employers into firing employees CAIR finds disagreeable.  For that reason, we
strongly suggest that corporate e-mail users NOT use a corporate e-mail
account/address when communicating with ACAIR or CAIR.  We make every reasonable
effort to protect our mailing list, but we cannot guarantee confidentiality. ACAIR
does not share, loan, sell, rent or otherwise publicize our mailing list.  We
respect your privacy!

TIPS:
All persons are invited to submit tips and leads.  ACAIR will acknowledge receipt of
all tips/leads, but we will NOT acknowledge the source of ANY tip or lead in our
Press Releases or on our web site. Exceptions are made for leading media
personalities at the discretion of ACAIR and only on request of the person(s)
submitting the tip or lead.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2007, 09:49:51 AM »

The Headline should read "Muslims screw us again, just as their book commands".
Ex-Navy sailor charged under espionage law

Man arrested in Arizona, accused of giving details about ships to al-Qaida

A former Navy enlisted man was arrested and charged with violating terrorism and espionage laws by passing along sensitive information about the vulnerability of Navy ships to al-Qaida associates, sources told NBC News on Wednesday.
Officials already knew naval information had been relayed but just recently named a suspect.
Paul R. Hall, now known as Hassan Abujihaad, 31, was arrested Wednesday in Phoenix, Ariz., said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He is accused of sending classified information about the movements of a Navy battle group deployed to the Persian Gulf in the spring of 2001. The document discussed potential vulnerabilities to attack. It was sent to the operators of a London Web site, Assam Publications, who have since been arrested on terrorism charges. Their arrests in 2004 first exposed the contacts.


Federal agents said Abujihaad described the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Aden harbor in Yemen as a "martyrdom operation" and said that such tactics were working and taking their toll on the Navy.
He was discharged from the Navy in January 2002, before his contact with the Web site was discovered.
Abujihaad is charged in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist accused of running Web sites to raise money for terrorism. Ahmad is schedule be extradited to the U.S. to face trial.
Investigators discovered computer files containing classified information about the positions of U.S. Navy ships and discussing their susceptibility to attack during Ahmad's investigation.
Abujihaad exchanged e-mails with Ahmad while on active duty on the USS Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer, in 2000 and 2001, according to an affidavit released Wednesday. He allegedly purchased videos promoting violent jihad.
The documents retrieved from Ahmad show drawings of Navy battle groups and discuss upcoming missions. They also say the battle group could be attacked using small weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades. The ships were never attacked.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17507790/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2007, 08:59:49 AM »

Its the NY Times, so of course there are the shadings that one expects from the Times, but  the article addresses matters of interest, and so I post it here:

====================================================

Dr. Faroque Khan, left, and Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid serve very different mosques, one on Long Island and one in Harlem.

By ANDREA ELLIOTT
Published: March 11, 2007
NY Times

Under the glistening dome of a mosque on Long Island, hundreds of men sat cross-legged on the floor. Many were doctors and engineers born in Pakistan and India. Dressed in khakis, polo shirts and the odd silk tunic, they fidgeted and whispered.

 
James Estrin/The New York Times
Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid at a rally against profiling.
One thing stood between them and dinner: A visitor from Harlem was coming to ask for money.

A towering black man with a gray-flecked beard finally swept into the room, his bodyguard trailing him. Wearing a long, embroidered robe and matching hat, he took the microphone and began talking about a different group of Muslims, the thousands of African-Americans who have found Islam in prison.

“We are all brothers and sisters,” said the visitor, known as Imam Talib.

The men stared. To some of them, it seemed, he was from another planet. As the imam returned their gaze, he had a similar sensation. “They live in another world,” he later said.

Only 28 miles separate Imam Talib’s mosque in Harlem from the Islamic Center of Long Island. The congregations they each serve — African-Americans at the city mosque and immigrants of South Asian and Arab descent in the suburbs — represent the largest Muslim populations in the United States. Yet a vast gulf divides them, one marked by race and class, culture and history.

For many African-American converts, Islam is an experience both spiritual and political, an expression of empowerment in a country they feel is dominated by a white elite. For many immigrant Muslims, Islam is an inherited identity, and America a place of assimilation and prosperity.

For decades, these two Muslim worlds remained largely separate. But last fall, Imam Talib hoped to cross that distance in a venture that has become increasingly common since Sept. 11. Black Muslims have begun advising immigrants on how to mount a civil rights campaign. Foreign-born Muslims are giving African-Americans roles of leadership in some of their largest organizations. The two groups have joined forces politically, forming coalitions and backing the same candidates.

It is a tentative and uneasy union, seen more typically among leaders at the pulpit than along the prayer line. But it is critical, a growing number of Muslims believe, to surviving a hostile new era.

“Muslims will not be successful in America until there is a marriage between the indigenous and immigrant communities,” said Siraj Wahhaj, an African-American imam in New York with a rare national following among immigrant Muslims. “There has to be a marriage.”

The divide between black and immigrant Muslims reflects a unique struggle facing Islam in America. Perhaps nowhere else in the world are Muslims from so many racial, cultural and theological backgrounds trying their hands at coexistence. Only in Mecca, during the obligatory hajj, or pilgrimage, does such diversity in the faith come to life, between black and white, rich and poor, Sunni and Shiite.

“This is a new experiment in the history of Islam,” said Ali S. Asani, a professor of Islamic studies at Harvard University.

That evening in October, Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid drove to Westbury, on Long Island, with a task he would have found unthinkable years ago.

He would ask for donations from the immigrant community he refers to, somewhat bitterly, as the “Muslim elite.”

But he needed funds, and the doors of immigrant mosques seemed to be opening. Imam Talib and other African-American leaders had formed a national “indigenous Muslim” organization, and he knew that during the holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic Center of Long Island could raise thousands of dollars in an evening.

It is a place where BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes fill the parking lot, and Coach purses are perched along prayer lines.

In Harlem, many of Imam Talib’s congregants get to the mosque by bus or subway, and warm themselves with space heaters in a drafty, brick building.

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Imam Talib had only a distant connection to the Islamic Center of Long Island. In passing, he had met Faroque Khan, an Indian-born doctor who helped found the mosque, but the two had little in common.

Imam Talib, 56, is a thundering prison chaplain whose mosque traces its roots to Malcolm X. He is a first-generation Muslim.

Dr. Khan, 64, is a mild-mannered pulmonologist who collects Chinese antiques and learned to ski on the slopes of Vermont. He is a first-generation American.

But in the turmoil that followed Sept. 11, the imam and the doctor found themselves unexpectedly allied.

“The more separate we stay, the more targeted we become,” Dr. Khan said.
====================
(Page 2 of 6)



Each man recognizes what the other has to offer. African-Americans possess a cultural and historical fluency that immigrants lack, said Dr. Khan; they hold an unassailable place in America from which to defend their faith.

 For Imam Talib, immigrants provide a crucial link to the Muslim world and its tradition of scholarship, as well as the wisdom that comes with an “unshattered Islamic heritage.”

Both groups have their practical virtues, too. African-Americans know better how to mobilize in America, both men say, and immigrants tend to have deeper pockets.

Still, it is one thing to talk about unity, Imam Talib said, and another to give it life. Before his visit to Long Island last fall, he had never asked Dr. Khan and his mosque to match their rhetoric with money.

“You have to have a litmus test,” he said.

One Faith, Many Histories

Imam Talib and Dr. Khan did not warm to each other when they met in May 2000, at a gathering in Chicago of Muslim leaders.

The imam found the silver-haired doctor faintly smug and paternalistic. It was an attitude he had often whiffed from well-to-do immigrant Muslims. Dr. Khan found Imam Talib straightforward to the point of bluntness.

The uneasy introduction was, for both men, emblematic of the strained relationship between their communities.

Imam Talib and other black Muslims trace their American roots to the arrival of Muslims from West Africa as slaves in the South.

(Is this at all true?  I thought the point was that the Muslim Arab slave traders felt free to enslave the non-Muslim blacks?)

That historical link gave rise to Islam-inspired movements in the 20th century, the most significant of which was the Nation of Islam.

The man who founded the Nation in 1930, W. D. Fard, spread the message that American blacks belonged to a lost Muslim tribe and were superior to the “white, blue-eyed devils” in their midst. Under Mr. Fard’s successor, Elijah Muhammad, the Nation flourished in the 1960s amid the civil rights struggle and the emergence of a black-separatist movement.

Overseas, Islamic scholars found the group’s teachings on race antithetical to the faith. The schism narrowed after 1975, when Mr. Muhammad’s son Warith Deen Mohammed took over the Nation, bringing it in line with orthodox Sunni Islam. Louis Farrakhan parted ways with Mr. Mohammed — taking the Nation’s name and traditional teachings with him — but the majority of African-American adherents came to embrace the same Sunni practice that dominates the Muslim world.

Still, divisions between African-American and immigrant Muslims remained pronounced long after the first large waves of South Asians and Arabs arrived in the United States in the 1960s.

Today, of the estimated six million Muslims who live in the United States, (a number commonly claimed, which I have plausibly seen challenged) about 25 percent are African-American, 34 percent are South Asian and 26 percent are Arab, said John Zogby, a pollster who has studied the American Muslim population.

“Given the extreme from which we came, I would say that the immigrant Muslims have been brotherly toward us,” Warith Deen Mohammed, who has the largest following of African-American Muslims, said in an interview. “But I think they’re more skeptical than they admit they are. I think they feel more comfortable with their own than they feel with us.”

For many African-Americans, conversion to Islam has meant parting with mainstream culture, while Muslim immigrants have tended toward assimilation. Black converts often take Arabic names, only to find foreign-born Muslims introducing themselves as “Moe” instead of “Mohammed.”

The tensions are also economic. Like Dr. Khan, many Muslim immigrants came to the United States with advanced degrees and quickly prospered, settling in the suburbs. For decades, African-Americans watched with frustration as immigrants sent donations to causes overseas, largely ignoring the problems of poor Muslims in the United States.

Imam Talib found it impossible to generate interest at immigrant mosques in the 1999 police shooting of Amadou Diallo, who was Muslim. “What we’ve found is when domestic issues jump up, like police brutality, all the sudden we’re by ourselves,” he said.

Some foreign-born Muslims say they are put off by the racial politics of many black converts. They struggle to understand why African-American Muslims have been reluctant to meet with law enforcement officials in the wake of Sept. 11. For their part, black Muslim leaders complain that immigrants have failed to learn their history, which includes a pattern of F.B.I. surveillance dating back to the roots of the Nation of Islam.

The ironies are, at times, stinging.

“From the immigrant community, I hear that African-Americans have to learn how to work in the system,” said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, adding that this was not his personal opinion.

At the heart of the conflict is a question of leadership. Much to the ire of African-Americans, many immigrants see themselves as the rightful leaders of the faith in America by virtue of their Islamic schooling and fluency in Arabic, the original language of the Koran.

“What does knowing Arabic have to do with the quality of your prayer, your fast, your relationship with God?” asked Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “But African-Americans have to ask themselves why have they not learned more in these years.”

=================

Every year in Chicago, the two largest Muslim conventions in the country — one sponsored by an immigrant organization and the other by Mr. Mohammed’s — take place on the same weekend, in separate parts of the city.

The long-simmering tension boiled over into a public rift with the 2000 presidential elections. That year, a powerful coalition of immigrant Muslims endorsed George W. Bush (because of a promise to stop the profiling of Arabs).

The nation’s most prominent African-American Muslims complained that they were never consulted. The following summer, when Imam Talib vented his frustration at a meeting with immigrant leaders in Washington, a South Asian man turned to him, he recalled, and said, “I don’t understand why all of you African-American Muslims are always so angry about everything.”

Imam Talib searched for an answer he thought the man could understand.

“African-Americans are like the Palestinians of this land,” he finally said. “We’re not just some angry black people. We’re legitimately outraged and angry.”

The room fell silent.

Soon after, black leaders announced the creation of the Muslim Alliance in North America, their first national “indigenous” organization.

But the fallout over the elections was soon eclipsed by Sept. 11, when Muslim immigrants found themselves under intense public scrutiny. They began complaining about “profiling” and “flying while brown,” appropriating language that had been largely the domain of African-Americans.

It was around this time that Dr. Khan became, as he put it, enlightened. A few weeks before the terrorist attacks, he read the book “Black Rage,” by William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs. The book, published in 1968, explores the psychological woes of African-Americans, and how the impact of racism is carried through generations.

“It helped me understand that even before you’re born, things that happened a hundred years ago can affect you,” Dr. Khan said. “That was a big change in my thinking.”

He sent an e-mail message to fellow Muslims, including Imam Talib, sharing what he had learned.

The Harlem imam was pleased, if not yet convinced.

“I just encouraged the brother to keep going,” Imam Talib said.

An Oasis in Harlem

One windswept night in Harlem, cars rolled past the corner of West 113th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. A police siren blared as men huddled by a neon-lit Laundromat.

Across the street stood a brown brick building, lifeless from the outside. But upstairs, in a cozy carpeted room, rows of men and women chanted.

“Ya Hakim. Ya Allah.” O wise one. O God.

Imam Talib led the chant, swathed in a black satin robe. It was Ramadan’s holiest evening, the Night of Power. As the voices died down, he spotted his bodyguard swaying.

“Take it easy there, Captain,” Imam Talib said. “As long as you don’t jump and shout it’s all right.”

Laughter trickled through the mosque, where a translucent curtain separated men in skullcaps from women in African-print gowns.

“We’re just trying to be ourselves, you know?” Imam Talib said. “Within the tradition.”

“That’s right,” said one woman.

The imam continued: “And we can’t let other people, from other cultures, come and try to make us clones of them. We came here as Muslims.”

He was feeling drained. He had just returned from the Manhattan Detention Complex, where he works as a chaplain. Some of the mosque’s men were back in jail.

“We need power,” he said quietly. “Without that, we’ll destroy ourselves.”

Since its birth in 1964, the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood has been a fortress of stubborn faith, persevering through the crack wars, welfare, AIDS, gangs, unemployment, diabetes, broken families and gentrification.

The mosque was founded in a Brooklyn apartment by Shaykh-‘Allama Al-Hajj K. Ahmad Tawfiq, a follower of Malcolm X. The Sunni congregation boomed in the 1970s, starting a newspaper and opening a school and a health food store.

With city loans, it bought its current building. Fourteen families moved in, creating a bold Muslim oasis in a landscape of storefront churches and liquor stores. The mosque claimed its corner by drenching the sidewalk in dark green paint, the color associated with Islam.

The paint has since faded. The school is closed. Many of the mosque’s members can no longer afford to live in a neighborhood where brownstones sell for millions of dollars.

=======================

Page 4 of 6)



But an aura of dignity prevails. The women normally pray one floor below the men, in a scrubbed, tidy room scented with incense. Their bathroom is a shrine of gold curtains and lavender soaps. A basket of nylon roses hides a hole in the wall.

Most of the mosque’s 160 members belong to the working class, and up to a third of the men are former convicts.

Some congregants are entrepreneurs, professors, writers and musicians. Mos Def and Q-Tip have visited with Imam Talib, who carries the nickname “hip-hop imam.”

Mosque celebrations are a blend of Islam and Harlem. In October, at the end of Ramadan, families feasted on curried chicken and collard greens, grilled fish and candied yams.

Just before the afternoon prayer, a lean man in a black turtleneck rose to give the call. He was Yusef Salaam, whose conviction in the Central Park jogger case was later overturned.

Many of the mosque’s members embraced Islam in search of black empowerment, not black separatism. They describe racial equality as a central tenet of their faith. Yet for some, the promise of Islam has been at odds with the reality of Muslims.

One member, Aqilah Mu’Min, lives in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, a heavily Bangladeshi neighborhood. Whenever she passes women in head scarves, she offers the requisite Muslim greeting. Rarely is it returned. “We have a theory that says Islam is perfect, human beings are not,” said Ms. Mu’Min, a city fraud investigator.

It was the simplicity of Islam that drew Imam Talib.

Raised a Christian, he spent the first part of his youth in segregated North Carolina. As a teenager, he read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” twice. He began educating himself about the faith at age 19, when as an aspiring actor he was cast in a play about a man who had left the Nation of Islam.

But his conversion was more spiritual than political, he said.

“I’d like to think that even if I was a white man, I’d still be a Muslim because that’s the orientation of my soul,” the imam said.

He has learned some Arabic, and traveled once to the Middle East, for hajj. Yet he feels more comfortable with the Senegalese and Guinean Muslims who have settled in Harlem than with many Arabs and South Asians.

He is trying to reach out, but is often disappointed.

In November, he accepted a last-minute invitation to meet with hundreds of immigrants at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, an opulent mosque on East 96th Street.

The group, the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays, was trying to persuade the city to recognize two Muslim holidays on the school calendar. The effort, Imam Talib learned, had been nearly a year in the making, and no African-American leaders had been consulted.

He was stunned. After all, he had led a similar campaign in the 1980s, resulting in the suspension of alternate-side parking for the same holidays.

“They are unaware of the foundations upon which they are standing,” he said.

Backlash in the Suburbs

Brush Hollow Road winds through a quiet stretch of Long Island, past churches and diners and leafy cul-de-sacs. In this tranquil tableau, the Islamic Center of Long Island announces itself proudly, a Moorish structure of white concrete topped by a graceful dome.

Sleek sedans and S.U.V.’s circle the property as girls with Barbie backpacks hop out and scurry to the Islamic classes they call “Sunday school.”

It is a testament to America’s influence on the mosque that its liveliest time of the week is not Friday, Islam’s holy day, but Sunday.

Boys in hooded sweatshirts smack basketballs along the pavement by a sign that reads “No pray, no play.” Young mothers in Burberry coats exchange kisses and chatter.

For members of the mosque — many of whom work in Manhattan and cannot make the Friday prayer — Sunday is the day to reflect and connect.

The treasurer, Rizwan Qureshi, frantically greeted drivers one Sunday morning with a flier advertising a fund-raiser.

“We’re trying to get Barack Obama,” Mr. Qureshi, a banker born in Karachi, told a woman in a gold-hued BMW.

“We need some real money,” he called out to another driver.

The mosque began with a group of doctors, engineers and other professionals from Pakistan and India who settled in Nassau County in the early 1970s.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2007, 09:05:45 AM »

Page 5 of 6)

“Our kids would come home from school and say, ‘Where is my Christmas tree, my Hanukkah lights?’ ” recalled Dr. Khan, who lives in nearby Jericho. “We didn’t want them to grow up unsure of who they are.”

Since opening in 1993, the mosque has thrived, with assets now valued at more than $3 million. Hundreds of people pray there weekly, and thousands come on Muslim holidays.

The mosque has an unusually modern, democratic air. Men and women worship with no partition between them. A different scholar delivers the Friday sermon every week, in English.

Perhaps most striking, a majority of female worshipers do not cover their heads outside the mosque.

“I think it’s important to find the fine line between the religion and the age in which we live,” said Nasreen Wasti, 43, a contract analyst for Lufthansa. “I’m sure I will have to answer to God for not covering myself. But I’m also satisfied by many of the good deeds I am doing.”

She and other members use words like “progressive” to describe their congregation. But after Sept. 11, a different image took hold.

In October 2001, a Newsday article quoted a member of the mosque as asking “who really benefits from such a horrible tragedy that is blamed on Muslims and Arabs?” A co-president of the mosque was also quoted saying that Israel “would benefit from this tragedy.”

Conspiracy theories about Sept. 11 have long circulated among Muslims, and Dr. Khan had heard discussion among congregants. Such talk, he said, was the product of two forces: a deep mistrust of America’s motives in the Middle East and a refusal, among many Muslims, to engage in self-criticism.

“You blame the other guy for your own shortcomings,” said Dr. Khan.

He visited synagogues and churches after the article ran, reassuring audiences that the comments did not reflect the official position of the mosque, which condemned the attacks.

But to Congressman Peter T. King, whose district is near the mosque, that condemnation fell short. He began publicly criticizing Dr. Khan, asserting that he had failed to fully denounce the statements made by the men.

“He’s definitely a radical,” Mr. King said of Dr. Khan in an interview. “You cannot, in the context of Sept. 11, allow those statements to be made and not be a radical.”

When asked about Mr. King’s comments, Dr. Khan replied proudly, “I thought we had freedom of speech.”

It hardly seems possible that Mr. King and Dr. Khan were once friends.

Mr. King used to dine at Dr. Khan’s home. He attended the wedding of Dr. Khan’s son, Arif, in 1995. At the mosque’s opening, it was Mr. King who cut the ribbon.

After Sept. 11, the mosque experienced the sort of social backlash felt by Muslims around the country. Anonymous callers left threatening messages, and rocks were hurled at children from passing cars.

The attention waned over time. But Mr. King cast a new light on the mosque in 2004 with the release of his novel “Vale of Tears.”

In the novel, terrorists affiliated with a Long Island mosque demolish several buildings, killing hundreds of people. One of the central characters is a Pakistani heart surgeon whose friendship with a congressman has grown tense.

“By inference, it’s me,” Dr. Khan said of the Pakistani character. (Mr. King said it was a “composite character” based on several Muslims he knows.)

For Dr. Khan, his difficulties after Sept. 11 come as proof that Muslims cannot stay fragmented. “It’s a challenge for the whole Muslim community — not just for me,” he said. “United we stand, divided we fall.”

The Litmus Test

Imam Talib and his bodyguard set off to Westbury before dusk on Oct. 14. They passed a fork on the Long Island Expressway, and the imam peered out the window. None of the signs were familiar.

He checked his watch and saw that he was late, adding to his unease. He had visited the mosque a few times before, but never felt entirely at home.

“I’m conscious of being a guest,” he said. “They treat me kindly and nicely. But I know where I am.”
==================

Page 6 of 6)



At the Islamic Center of Long Island, Dr. Khan was also getting nervous. Hundreds of congregants had gathered after fasting all day for Ramadan. The scent of curry drifted mercilessly through the mosque.

Dr. Khan sprang to his feet and took the microphone. He improvised.

“All of us need to learn from and understand the contributions of the Muslim indigenous community,” he said. “Starting with Malcolm X.”

It had been six years since Imam Talib and Dr. Khan first encountered each other in Chicago. Back then, Imam Talib rarely visited immigrant mosques, and Dr. Khan had only a peripheral connection to African-American Muslims.

In the 1980s, the doctor had become aware of the high number of Muslim inmates while working as the chief of medicine for a hospital in Nassau County that oversaw health care at the county prison. His mosque began donating prayer rugs, Korans and skullcaps to prisoners around the country. But his interaction with black Muslim leaders was limited until Sept. 11.

After Dr. Khan read the book “Black Rage,” he and Imam Talib began serving together on the board of a new political task force. Finally, in 2005, Dr. Khan invited the imam to his mosque to give the Friday sermon.

That February, Imam Talib rose before the Long Island congregation. Blending verses in the Koran with passages from recent American history, he urged the audience to learn from the civil rights movement.

Dr. Khan listened raptly. Afterward, over sandwiches, he asked Imam Talib for advice. He wanted to thaw the relationship between his mosque and African-American mosques on Long Island. The conversation continued for hours.

“The real searching for an answer, searching for a solution, was coming from Dr. Khan,” said Imam Talib. “I could just feel it.”

Dr. Khan began inviting more African-American leaders to speak at his mosque, and welcomed Imam Talib there last October to give a fund-raising pitch for his organization, the Muslim Alliance in North America. The group had recently announced a “domestic agenda,” with programs to help ex-convicts find housing and jobs and to standardize premarital counseling for Muslims in America.

After the imam arrived that evening and spoke, he sat on the floor next to a blazer-clad Dr. Khan. As they feasted on kebabs, the doctor made a pitch of his own: The teenagers of his mosque could spend a day at Imam Talib’s mosque, as the start of a youth exchange program. The imam nodded slowly.

Minutes later, the mosque’s president, Habeeb Ahmed, hurried over. The congregants had so far pledged $10,000.

“Alhamdulillah,” the imam said. Praise be to God.

It was the most Imam Talib had raised for his group in one evening.

As the dinner drew to a close, the imam looked for his bodyguard. They had a long drive home and he did not want to lose his way again.

Dr. Khan asked Imam Talib how he had gotten lost.

“Inner city versus the suburbs,” the imam replied a bit testily.

Then he smiled.

“The only thing it proves,” he said, “is that I need to come by here more often.”



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« Reply #57 on: March 14, 2007, 07:44:31 AM »

Concerns about CAIR reach even the NY Times, which for reasons known only to it, thinks the ACLU is a worthy source of comment  rolleyes and-- surprise-- fails to interview/quote any of  "A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two."  Unsuccessful?  As determined by whom?!?  Oh well, its the NYT  rolleyes

Anyway, here it is:


===========================

Group Advocating for Muslims in U.S. Gets More Scrutiny
               
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
Published: March 14, 2007

With violence across the Middle East fixing Islam smack at the center of the American political debate, an organization partly financed by donors closely identified with wealthy Persian Gulf governments has emerged as the most vocal advocate for American Muslims — and an object of wide suspicion.


Basim Elkarra of the Council on American-Islamic Relations with Certificate of Appreciation from Senator Barbara Boxer that she revoked.

Chronology of a Souring Relationship The group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, defines its mission as spreading the understanding of Islam and protecting civil liberties. Its officers appear frequently on television and are often quoted in newspapers, and its director has met with President Bush. Some 500,000 people receive the group’s daily e-mail newsletter.

Yet a debate rages behind the scenes in Washington about the group, commonly known as CAIR, its financing and its motives. A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two.

In the latest confrontation yesterday, CAIR held a panel discussion on Islam and the West in a Capitol meeting room despite demands by House Republicans that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, not allow the event. The Republicans called its members “terrorist apologists.”

Caley Gray, a spokesman for Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., a New Jersey Democrat who helped book the room, rejected that label in a phone interview and said CAIR held similar meetings when Congress was controlled by Republicans. Still, Mr. Gray called back to specify that Mr. Pascrell did not endorse all of the group’s positions.

Last fall, Senator Barbara Boxer of California issued a routine Certificate of Appreciation to the organization representative in Sacramento, but she quickly revoked it when critics assailed her on the Web under headlines like “Senators for Terror.”

“There are things there I don’t want to be associated with,” Ms. Boxer said later of the revocation, explaining that her California office had not vetted the group sufficiently.

CAIR and its supporters say its accusers are a small band of people who hate Muslims and deal in half-truths. Ms. Boxer’s decision to revoke the Sacramento commendation provoked an outcry from organizations that vouch for the group’s advocacy, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the California Council of Churches.

“They have been a leading organization that has advocated for civil rights and civil liberties in the face of fear and intolerance, in the face of religious and ethnic profiling,” said Maya Harris, the executive director of the A.C.L.U. of Northern California.

Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association.

“Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares,” said Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005.

Outreach to all Muslims via groups they support is an important aspect of ensuring that extremists cannot get a foothold here as they have in Europe, Mr. Rolince said.

The cloud kicked up by the constant scrutiny is such that spokesmen at several federal agencies refused to comment about the group and some spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

After a brief interview, Ms. Boxer declined to answer additional questions about the commendation to the Sacramento representative, Basim Elkarra. A spokeswoman, Natalie Ravitz, said in an e-mail message that the senator had decided “to put this entire incident behind her.”

Joe Kaufman, who Ms. Boxer’s office said first drew her attention to CAIR’s reputation, is the founder of a Web site that tracks what he calls the group’s extremism, cairwatch.com. Other critics include the Investigative Project, a conservative group that tries to identify terrorist organizations, and the Middle East Forum, a conservative research center that says its goal is to promote American interests in the region.

“You can’t fight a war on terrorism directly when you are acting with a terror front,” said Mr. Kaufman, who advocates shutting down the organization.

Founded in 1994, CAIR had eight chapters at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the group, but has grown to some 30 chapters as American Muslims have felt unjustly scrutinized ever since.

Broadly summarized, critics accuse CAIR of pursuing an extreme Islamist political agenda and say at least five figures with ties to the group or its leadership have either been convicted or deported for links to terrorist groups. They include Mousa Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader deported in 1997 after the United States failed to produce any evidence directly linking him to any attacks.

There were no charges linked to CAIR in any of the cases involved, and law enforcement officials said that in the current climate, any hint of suspicious behavior would have resulted in a racketeering charge.
=======
Page 2 of 2)



The group’s officials say the accusations are rooted in its refusal to endorse the American government’s blanket condemnations of Hezbollah and Hamas, although it has criticized Hamas for civilian deaths.

Chronology of a Souring Relationship Several federal officials said CAIR’s Washington office frequently issued controversial statements that made it hard for senior government figures to be associated with the group, particularly since some pro-Israeli lobbyists have created what one official called a “cottage industry” of attacking the group and anyone dealing with it.

Last summer, the group urged a halt to weapons shipments to Israel as civilian casualties in Lebanon swelled. In September, it held a dinner for former President Mohamed Khatami of Iran at a time when much of official Washington had ostracized that Islamic republic. In November, the group sponsored a panel discussion by two prominent academics who argue that the pro-Israeli lobby exercises detrimental influence on United States policy on the Middle East.

“Traditionally within the government there is only one point of view that is acceptable, which is the pro-Israel line,” said Nihad Awad, a founder of CAIR and its executive director. “Another enlightened perspective on the conflict is not there, and it causes some discomfort.”

When Mr. Bush visited a Washington mosque in 2001, Mr. Awad was among the Muslim leaders he met. But Dana M. Perino, a White House spokeswoman, said Mr. Awad had not been invited to any recent iftars, annual dinners to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. She offered no explanation.

This year, when Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales met with the leaders of half a dozen Muslim and Arab-American organizations in his office, no representative from CAIR was invited.

When Karen P. Hughes, the close adviser to Mr. Bush and under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, started interacting with the group, she was criticized as dealing with “Wahhabis,” shorthand for Saudi-inspired religious extremists, a State Department spokesman said.

CAIR has raised some suspicion by accepting large donations from individuals or foundations closely identified with Arab governments. It has an annual operating budget of around $3 million, and the group said it solicited major donations for special projects, like $500,000 from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia to help distribute the Koran and other books about Islam in the United States, some of which generated controversy.

The donations are a source of contention within CAIR itself. Several branch directors said they had avoided foreign financing and had criticized the national office for it.

Officials at other Arab-American and Muslim organizations said there was a decided split between how the national office operated and how the branches did. The branch offices, which raise their own money and operate largely as franchises, concentrate on local civil rights problems and hence develop close working relationships with law enforcement.

When the Southern California chapter threw itself a birthday party last November, nearly 2,000 people packed the Anaheim Hilton’s ballroom to hear guests of honor praise the organization, including J. Stephen Tidwell, the director of the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles office.

“I am very excited to be here,” Mr. Tidwell told a reporter covering the fund-raiser for an Arab-American television news channel, calling CAIR “an important bridge for the F.B.I. into the Muslim, Arab-American community.”

The Washington office, the officials at the other Arab-American and Muslim groups said, tends to fight more image battles because its main staff members have backgrounds in public relations. Still, they said, CAIR’s contrarian image helps with fund-raising both in the American Muslim community and among Arab governments because both believe that the federal government is biased against them.

Some Muslims, particularly the secular, find CAIR overly influenced by Saudi religious interpretations, criticizing it for stating in news releases, for example, that all Muslim women are required to veil their hair when the matter is openly debated.

But they still support its civil rights work and endorse the idea of anyone working to make American Islam a more integral part of society. One Arab-American advocate compared CAIR to “the tough cousin who curses at anyone who speaks badly about the family.”

Some activists and academics view the controversy surrounding the group as typical of why Washington fails so often in the Middle East, while extremism mushrooms.

“How far are we going to keep going in this endless circle: ‘You are a terrorist!’ ‘No, you are a terrorist!’? ” said Souleiman Ghali, one of the founders of a moderate San Francisco mosque. “People are paying a price for that.”


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« Reply #58 on: March 14, 2007, 09:03:00 AM »

Concerning the previous post, here's an example of some points missed by the NY Slimes:

===========

CAIR’s Blood Money
By Patrick Poole
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 13, 2007

At 12:17 pm on February 26, 1993, a 1,500lb urea-nitrate fuel-oil bomb hidden inside a rental van caused a massive explosion that ripped through the parking garage of the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring another 1,042 – the first large-scale terrorist attack on U.S. soil by Islamic extremists. The terrorists had intended to topple one of the buildings onto the other, potentially killing tens of thousands of innocent Americans. Sadly, the fourteenth anniversary of that event passed last week with very little discussion by major media outlets, even though that lethal attack by Islamic terrorists ominously foreshadowed the unspeakable horror of 9/11.
At 8:00 pm on June 6, 2006, the Ohio affiliate of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OH) honored one of the unindicted conspirators in that 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Siraj Wahhaj, a Brooklyn, NY imam that had also served as a defense witness at the trial of one of the men convicted for that terrorist attack, the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman (a conviction that CAIR has labeled “a travesty of justice”). More than 400 CAIR-OH supporters gathered at this fundraising banquet.

Following the event, CAIR-OH issued a press release heralding the more than $100,000 that Siraj Wahhaj had helped raise that evening for the organization’s “civil liberties work”. CAIR-OH Director Adnan Mirza attributed the fundraiser’s success to the popularity of CAIR-OH’s agenda with Ohio Muslims. “Our community sent a very clear message that the work we do is vital to the well-being of the Ohio Muslim community and that CAIR-Ohio’s efforts are appreciated,” she said.

Of course, Siraj Wahhaj’s ties to the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist attack may not have been known to the hundreds of CAIR supporters who were in attendance that evening, but they were certainly known to CAIR. On repeated occasions, CAIR officials on the state and national level have not only risen to the defense of Wahhaj, but they have gone to great lengths to embrace the unindicted terror co-conspirator and involve him in the inner workings of the organization, such as having him serve on their Advisory Board. CAIR National spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, has gone so far as to call Wahhaj “one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America.” Curiously, that article by Hooper praising Wahhaj has disappeared from CAIR’s website.

Hooper was defending his terror-linked comrade after Dr. Daniel Pipes had noted the connections between CAIR and Wahhaj, yet without substantively dealing with criticism offered by many noting the inconsistency of an organization that loudly proclaims itself a “moderate” voice representing the American Muslim community and a self-proclaimed staunch opponent of terrorism would so consciously embrace and promote an individual that bore responsibility for one of the deadliest terror attacks in the US prior to Oklahoma City and 9/11.

In that same article by Hooper, he further attacks Pipes:

Pipes continues to promote a spurious distinction between "patriotic" Muslims and "chauvinists" who "want to impose Islamic law and other Middle Eastern ways on this country." Of course Pipes fails to mention even one instance in which CAIR called for the imposition of Islamic law in America.

This is an outright lie, as Pipes has posted on his website a July 1998 news article in which CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad is quoted speaking to a group of California Muslims expressing his hope of seeing an America under the domination of Islam. In that article, Ahmad is quoted as saying,

Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran ... should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.

It is hardly an extraordinary leap to conclude that Omar Ahmad, who again was one of Hooper’s organization’s co-founders, who is listed on CAIR National’s website as a member of the Board of Directors, and who was addressing the crowd in question in his capacity as a representative of CAIR, was in fact representing the views of CAIR when he called for the establishment of shari’a as the highest legal authority in America, which presumably would also mean higher than the US Constitution. Nonetheless, CAIR deliberately savages any commentator who dares to draw that conclusion.

Years after Ahmad was reported to have made that statement, CAIR began waging a media campaign to attack the journalist who recorded Ahmad’s statement, with Ahmad saying “she’s lying”. CAIR’s protests notwithstanding, the newspaper in question has stood by the journalist’s reporting.

With respect to the “civil rights work” that Siraj Wahhaj was helping CAIR-OH raise funds for, it might be that CAIR will soon start waging a campaign against the Columbus Dispatch to expunge from the public record its report in February of last year where former CAIR-OH president and current CAIR National Board Vice Chairman, Ahmad Al-Akhras, likened the publication of the Danish Mohammad cartoons to a physical assault against Muslims, thus a crime. The Dispatch, which identified Al-Akhras as “an advocate of free speech”, said that he was insulted by a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons depicting the prophet. Most American newspapers, including The Dispatch, have refused to publish the cartoons. "Your fist should stop where my chin is," Al-Akhras said.

This was the same CAIR official who just weeks after the Wahhaj fundraiser had submitted a letter to the editor in the Dispatch saying that the jihad being waged by the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Courts Union against the UN-backed Somali government, and which was beginning to brutally impose shari’a law on the citizens of that country, was “a positive development”.

Ahmad “Free Speech” Al-Akhras, who lives in the Columbus, Ohio-area and is still active with the local CAIR-OH affiliate, was the subject of a FrontPage Magazine article last August (“CAIR, Assault, and Videotape”) for assaulting a local independent journalist who was taping his speech at a rally in support of the Hezbollah terrorist organization. But woe unto those who dare note the support given by CAIR officials to terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah and HAMAS.

I also reported last year (“Kafir-phobia: Americans as Anti-Muslim Bigots”), about the public campaign led by CAIR-OH against non-Muslims in an Ohio community, implying that the community was seething with racial and religious hatred against Muslims in response to repeated acts of arson against a Muslim-owned business. CAIR-OH called on law enforcement authorities to investigate the arsons as hate crimes, even after it was discovered that the business owners themselves were responsible for the acts of arson. In that incident, CAIR-OH issued no apology for inciting hatred and displaying their bigotry against the non-Muslims in the community that they had falsely blamed for the fires.

This is indicative of the “civil liberties work” conducted by CAIR-OH that is being supported with the funds raised in the event featuring Siraj Wahhaj. The organizers of the CAIR-OH event may have believed that the fourteen years that had passed since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing may have been sufficient for memories of Wahhaj’s personal involvement in that terrorist attack to fade, but the support and praise showered on Siraj Wahhaj over the years by CAIR officials only stains the $100,000 he helped CAIR-OH raise that evening with a deeper blood red.
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« Reply #59 on: March 14, 2007, 10:01:50 AM »

Threatened by the Jihad   
By Steven Emerson
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 14, 2007

On January 26, 2007, I appeared on Fox News Channel’s Hannity and Colmes program to discuss a January 8, 2007 meeting between the Attorney General of the United States and various Muslim and Arab groups, some of which have a long history of supporting terrorist groups and extremist ideologies.  In response to a question from Alan Colmes about the importance of “good relations” between Attorney General Gonzales and the Muslim community, I stated, “ut when you say the ‘Muslim community’ – [the Attorney General] is anointing them representatives of the Muslim community, when in fact there are many others who support the war on terrorism, who don't tell their members not to cooperate with the FBI, who don't support Hamas and Hezbollah, unlike members of this group. So, in fact, I think it's wrong to confer legitimacy on those very organizations that inhibit cooperation with the FBI, that support Hamas or justify Hezbollah, and who are radical in terms of portraying the war on terrorism as a war against Islam.”
On February 16, 2007, MPAC’s lawyer sent me a letter demanding an apology for my allegedly “[f]alse statements about the Muslim Public Affairs Council on Hannity and Colmes.”  The letter demands that I “immediately issue a public apology and … cease and desist from making false statements about MPAC,” and that “MPAC is willing to pursue all available legal remedies” should I not comply with MPAC’s demands. 
 
And what are the allegedly “false statements” MPAC is claiming I made?  That “MPAC told its ‘members not to cooperate with the FBI,’” and that MPAC “are the ones radicalizing their community.”  Now let’s analyze those charges by looking at MPAC’s own words.
 
First, that MPAC has instructed American Muslims not to cooperate with the FBI:
 
MPAC and its lawyers claim this to be untrue.  But at a July 1, 2005 ISNA conference in Dallas, MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati did just that.  Al-Marayati, speaking of the FBI’s terrorism investigation in Lodi and the use of Muslim informants in that case, California, told the assembled crowd of Muslim-Americans, “[c]ounter-terrorism and counter-violence should be defined by us.  We should define how an effective counter-terrorism policy should be pursued in this country.  So, number one, we reject any effort, notion, suggestion that Muslims should start spying on one another.”   Right there, Al-Marayati is instructing Muslim Americans to not even attempt to observe any extremism or terrorist activity in their community, and even if they should observe something troubling, to not inform law enforcement authorities, that the duty owed to the Muslim community by the government is greater than to society at large.
 
And Al-Marayati continued, “Law enforcement is going to come to your mosque.  It already has as far as I can tell.  Everywhere I go, either somebody tells me that officials have met with them publicly or they tell me that they know who those folks are that are representing law enforcement.  So we know they have communicated one way or the other with the Muslim community.  The question is how do you deal with it in a healthy, open, transparent manner.  That is why we are saying have them come in community forums, in open-dialogues, so they come through the front door and you prevent them having to come from the back door.”
 
Here, Al-Marayati is instructing Muslim Americans not to cooperate with the FBI’s preferred methods of investigation, and that, as he stated earlier, it is the Muslim community, and its so-called leaders, that should define the terms of the FBI’s investigation.  That approach can hardly be described as full-fledged cooperation with law enforcement.  Far from it, in fact.  Al-Marayati used the Lodi case as an excuse to tell Muslim Americans not to deal with the FBI directly.  Demanding that the American Muslim community only work with FBI agents and other law enforcement in public forums clearly detracts from the ability of investigators to do their job, which is to protect American citizens from the threat of radical Islamist terrorists.  MPAC, and groups like it, are also clearly seeking to intrude into and ultimately to dominate the relationship between the law enforcement and the Muslim community, ensuring that the degree of allowable cooperation is regulated by these self-appointed leaders.
 
And why did Mr. Al-Marayati not urge his listeners in Dallas that they should extend full cooperation to the FBI and law enforcement community at every instance, rather than to demand a specific approach which is debilitating from an investigatory standpoint?  Or that law abiding American Muslims need some sort of self-appointed intermediary when working with the FBI?  And how can people feel comfortable providing information to law enforcement if they can only do so in an open forum?  I will leave that to the reader to decide.  But one thing is clear: MPAC is on the record telling American Muslims not to directly cooperate with the FBI, while at the same time advocating an impractical or impossible way for those who actually have information to relay it to law enforcement. 
 
Now let’s analyze the other alleged “false statement”: that MPAC serves to radicalize the American Muslim community:
 
This claim is even easier to demonstrate, as MPAC officials give speeches and quotes to the media that can only serve to alienate and radicalize Muslims who hear them.  The constant refrain: a conspiracy theory that the War on Terror is a contrivance of the U.S. government and is really a “War against Islam.”  Such a conspiracy dismissed legitimate efforts by law enforcement to fight terrorism and terrorist financing perpetrated on U.S. soil.  By virtue of the sheer number of times MPAC officials (and, for that matter, officials of other U.S.-based Islamist groups,) have made that claim, it is impossible to include them all here.  But here are several instances that easily serve to make the point:
·        Aslam Abdullah, MPAC Vice Chairman and Editor of the MPAC-linked magazine, the Minaret, in a 2002 online forum entitled, “The Truth behind America's War on Terrorism,” wrote, “[t]here are three specific lobbies that are turning the ongoing war on terrorism against Islam. The Christian Evangelicals who want to see Muslims converted, the political Zionists who want to see Muslim [sic] politically obliterated, and the Hindu Extremists who want to see Muslim [sic] humiliated…Mr. Bush and his administration have not been able to challenge these lobbies. Many members of these lobbies are in the administration and in FBI, law enforcement and even Congress.”[1] (emphasis added)

·        MPAC “hate crime prevention coordinator” in May 2004, speaking to the Inter Press Service article reported, “The war on terror is a war, really, on a community that is being connected to the (9/11) hijackers.”[2]

·        In a January 2002 article in the Minaret, stated that, “ince the Sept. 11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the U.S. government has pursued a policy where it has targeted Islamic, Arab and Palestinian organizations and individuals, in a manner that often lacks legal legitimacy.”[3]

·        And al-Marayati, in the Los Angeles Times in March 2003, blasted “the FBI’s policy of targeting people because of their race and religion.” He added, “That’s what they’ve been doing since the attacks, and we don’t know of any case that has resulted in the arrest, indictment or prosecution of a terrorist.”[4]

A recent study conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has concluded that the repeated use of “War on Islam” mantra is directly related to the radicalization of the “homegrown” jihadists.[5]

Al-Marayati also infamously told an L.A. radio station after 9/11, “f we’re going to look at suspects we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list,” engaging in the very kind of conspiracy theories heard in the most radical quarters around the globe.  Additionally, MPAC officials have defended Hezbollah, blasted the U.S. government for actions taken to stop the funding of Hamas by U.S. front organizations, and repeatedly defended convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami al-Arian, downplaying his jihadist exhortations and claiming that his prosecution was merely “political.”
 
As a well-known analyst of militant Islamist groups in the United States, I have been a target of a vicious smear campaign by organizations which are afraid of having the bright light of day shone on their words and deeds.  For example, in December 2004, MPAC, published a “policy” paper titled “Counterproductive Counterterrorism,” in which more than 20 of the 48 pages were  at their core a personal hit piece against me.  And after failing to de-legitimize me through character assassination, MPAC is now threatening to silence me using the court system.
 
Legal action has become a mainstay of radical Islamist organizations seeking to intimidate and silence their critics.   In September 2005, journalist Robert King, writing in the Indianapolis Star, outlined the strategy[6]:
 
Sayyid Syeed, the secretary general of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), a group generally less vocal than CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), earlier in the weekend said his organization is considering filing defamation lawsuits against some of its sharpest critics.
 
King goes on to write that one of the potential targets frequently cited by America’s Muslim leaders is yours truly.  And why is that?  Because I have spent more than a decade exposing radical Islamists in the United States, many of whom are functioning in leadership capacities in these very groups in question.  CAIR by the way, as King noted, has repeatedly taken to the courts, fortunately with very little success, to stifle criticism.  Thankfully, the First Amendment protections granted by the U.S. Constitution do not favor this latest tactic employed by the Islamist groups.
 
MPAC cannot stand to have its agenda exposed, especially when it comes in the form of having its own words, and the words of its officials, used against them.   In their minds, any such efforts need to be stifled.  MPAC’s smear tactics have not worked, and as such, their lawyers have now stated that “MPAC is willing to pursue all available legal remedies” to silence me.  MPAC’s bullying attempt to stifle free speech will not stand.  Such tactics should be vigorously opposed, and MPAC, like CAIR before it, must learn that legal threats will not work to stifle legitimate criticism, especially when the facts underlying the criticism are both well documented, and as is often the case, straight out of the horse’s mouth, so to speak. 
 
Notes:
 
[1] Aslam Abdullah, “The Truth Behind America’s War on Terrorism,” November 30, 2002, http://www.islamonline.net/livedialogue/english/Browse.asp?hGuestID=Og1n6h.
[2] Amantha Perera, “US Muslims Fear Second Term for Patriot Act,” Inter Press Service, May 7, 2004.
[3] “Relief Groups Shut Down,” The Minaret, January 2002.
[4] H.G. Reza, “FBI Has a Pledge and a Request for Muslims,” The Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2003.
[5] Stewart Bell, “Jihadization of youth a 'rapid process'; CSIS: Study Of Extremism,” National Post, January 26, 2007.  http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=25e76872-b309-47a7-841b-938bdd9ffd71
[6] Robert King, “Muslims aim to challenge critics in America; Convention seminar focuses on best ways for followers to respond when their faith is attacked,” Indianapolis Star, September 5, 2005, http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/RobertKing50905.htm

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« Reply #60 on: March 15, 2007, 08:05:11 AM »

http://proteinwisdom.com/index.php?/weblog/entry/22644/

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Scrutiny Increases for the Council on American-Islamic Relations… [Karl]

...and New York Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar does not care for it. Not one little bit. So much so that any notion of accuracy or honesty flew right out the window.

For example:

A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two.

MacFarquhar seems to have a rather Clintonesque parsing of the word “unsuccessful” in mind. Andrew McCarthy, a man with plenty of experience prosecuting terrorism-related charges has observed:

CAIR, you see, was birthed by a Hamas creation: the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). Several of CAIR’s top officials, including its founders, Omar Ahmed and Nihad Awad, were high-ranking IAP officers (respectively, its president and public-relations director). Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s communications director… is a former IAP employee [;] Hooper makes no secret that he would like to see the United States become an Islamic country under sharia law. As it happens, the IAP was started in 1981 by high-ranking Hamas operative Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook. Long a specially designated global terrorist under U.S. law, Marzook is also currently wanted on a U.S. terrorism indictment in Chicago, and named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a second U.S. terrorism indictment (which explains that he helps run Hamas’s “Political Bureau,” the branch responsible for “directing and coordinating terrorist attacks”). But he’s believed to be in Syria with other Hamas heavyweights, so maybe, using the Iraq Study Group strategy, we should just negotiate with him. In any event, so incestuous is the Hamas/IAP tie that, in 2004, a federal judge found the IAP liable for Hamas’s terrorist murder of an American citizen in Israel.

McCarthy also notes that “when CAIR was founded in 1994, part of the seed money came from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development”—whose assets were frozen in 2001 based on the U.S. Treasury Department’s conclusion that it provided millions of dollars annually that is used by Hamas.

After noting that even as solid a lefty as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has made defforts to distance herself from CAIR, MacFarquhar tries another defense:

Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association.

Number of those government officials quoted or named? Zero. MacFarquhar did find a former official, however:

“Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares,” said Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005.

Those blank stares may be from people who find Rolince as oblivious about CAIR, its activities and leadership as he was about Zacarias Moussaoui before 9/11, or perhaps Rolince deals with people who are clueless about CAIR (he’s a consultant for CBS News)—but such ignorance proves nothing about CAIR. Rolince might want to speak with Steven Pomerantz, former FBI assistant director and chief of the FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Section, who has stated, “CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.” And “CAIR is but one of a new generation of groups in the United States that hide under a veneer of ‘civil rights’ or ‘academic’ status but in fact are tethered to a platform that supports terrorism.” For that matter, MacFarquhar might have contacted Pomeranz, whose quote is widely published on the Internet, including in the Wikipedia.

As for that guilt by association, you have to read through to paragraph 18 to get a hint of what those associations might be:

Broadly summarized, critics accuse CAIR of pursuing an extreme Islamist political agenda and say at least five figures with ties to the group or its leadership have either been convicted or deported for links to terrorist groups. They include Mousa Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader deported in 1997 after the United States failed to produce any evidence directly linking him to any attacks.

MacFarquhar somehow fails to mention that Marzook (per McCarthy) is a specially designated global terrorist under U.S. law, is currently wanted on a U.S. terrorism indictment in Chicago, and was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a second U.S. terrorism indictment. He also fails to mention that Marzook is not among the “big five” usually identified by CAIR critics. Those five are:

• Ghassan Elashi (founding board member of CAIR’s Texas chapter) – was Chairman of Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which was shut down by the United States for raising millions of dollars for HAMAS; in July of 2004, was convicted of conspiracy, money laundering, and making false statements about shipments of high-tech equipment to countries deemed state sponsors of terrorism;

• Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer (national staff member of CAIR) – past Communications Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS), an organization that publishes materials calling suicide bombings against Israelis justifiable; in April of 2004, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his participation in a network of Al-Qaeda-related militant jihadists centered in Northern Virginia;

• Bassem Khafagi (CAIR’s Community Director) – was co-founder and past President of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an organization that has been investigated for possible funding to terrorist-related groups and publishing of materials calling for suicide bombings in the United States; in November of 2003, was sentenced to prison for bank fraud and making false statements on his visa application; was later deported to Egypt;

• Rabih Haddad (fundraiser for CAIR’s Ann Arbor chapter) – was co-founder and past Executive Director and Public Relations Director for Global Relief Foundation (GRF), which was shut down by the United States for its financing of terrorist groups, specifically Al-Qaeda; was arrested by INS for visa violations, in December of 2001, and was later deported to Lebanon;

• Siraj Wahhaj (national board member of CAIR) – in February of 1995, was named by federal prosecutor, Mary Jo White, as a possible co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; was a character witness for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence for his part in the ’93 bombing conspiracy; currently sits on the board of directors of the radical Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

BTW, CAIR featured Wahhaj at one of its big events on March 3rd of this year.

MacFarquhar then presses his case:

There were no charges linked to CAIR in any of the cases involved, and law enforcement officials said that in the current climate, any hint of suspicious behavior would have resulted in a racketeering charge.

Here, as with MacFarquhar’s note that the United States failed to produce any evidence directly linking Marzook to any attacks, MacFarquhar seems (or pretends to be) oblivious to the notion that politicians might not want to associate with or give a platform to a group whose officials seem to be involved with financing terror groups more often than one might like. The New York Times certainly seems willing enough to engage in far more tenuous assertions of guilt by association; it never fails to document alleged wrongdoing by Halliburton, years after VP Dick Cheney stopped working there. So it is not as though this type of reasoning is foreign to the paper. If Chimpy McHitlerburton continued to throw open his doors to Enron after five officers had been convicted of criminal charges, I suspect the paper would have disapproved.

MacFarquhar continues:

Several federal officials said CAIR’s Washington office frequently issued controversial statements that made it hard for senior government figures to be associated with the group, particularly since some pro-Israeli lobbyists have created what one official called a “cottage industry” of attacking the group and anyone dealing with it.

God forbid that MacFarquhar report what those controversial statements might be. Perhaps these officials were referring to the comments collected by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha in the the Middle East Quarterly:

In October 1998—months after Osama bin Laden had issued his first declaration of war against the United States and had been named as the chief suspect in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa—CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as “the sworn enemy,” finding this depiction offensive to Muslims. CAIR also leapt to bin Laden’s defense, denying his responsibility for the twin East African embassy bombings. CAIR’s Hooper saw these explosions resulting from “misunderstandings of both sides."[57] Even after the September 11 atrocity, CAIR continued to protect bin Laden, stating only that “if [note the “if"] Osama bin Laden was behind it, we condemn him by name."[58] Not until December 2001, when bin Laden on videotape boasted of his involvement in the attack, did CAIR finally acknowledge his role.

CAIR has also consistently defended other radical Islamic terrorists. Rather than praise the conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, it deemed this “a travesty of justice."[59] It labeled the extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marzook “anti-Islamic” and “anti-American."[60] CAIR has co-sponsored Yvonne Ridley, the British convert to Islam who became a Taliban enthusiast and a denier that Al-Qaeda was involved in 9-11.[61] When four U.S. civilian contractors in Falluja were (in CAIR’s words) “ambushed in their SUV’s, burned, mutilated, dragged through the streets, and then hung from a bridge spanning the Euphrates River,” CAIR issued a press release that condemned the mutilation of the corpses but stayed conspicuously silent on the actual killings.[62]

During the 2005 trial of Sami Al-Arian, accused of heading Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the United States, Ahmed Bedier of CAIR’s Florida branch emerged as Al-Arian’s effective spokesman, providing sound bytes to the media, trying to get his trial moved out of Tampa, commenting on the jury selection, and so on.[63]

More broadly, TheReligionofPeace.com website pointed out that “of the more than 3100 fatal Islamic terror attacks committed in the last four years, we have only seen CAIR specifically condemn 18."[64]

MacFarquhar or his unnamed officials—the sentence quoted above is ambiguous, perhaps deliberately so—let us know that CAIR would have gotten away with it too… if it weren’t for those meddling Joos!

Indeed, he goes on in that mode for a couple of paragraphs, also referencing CAIR’s pro-Hezbollah position during Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel last summer. MacFarquhar does not put it that way, natch. Then again, MacFarquhar is not above writing a glowing profile of the Party of God’s Secretary General, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, either.

No doubt that’s the sort of piece that gets you selected to write about CAIR at the New York Times.

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« Reply #61 on: March 15, 2007, 08:44:41 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/03/15/video-terrorism-expert-emerson-unloads-on-cair/
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« Reply #62 on: March 16, 2007, 12:34:37 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/03/15/cair-and-the-st-petersburg-declaration/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2007, 03:13:01 PM »

I don't know how or why the Twin Cities became the center of American Islamic issues - home of Zacarius Moussoui, Kieth Mohamed Ellison, cab drivers that won't drive customers with liquor, the Imams who undermine airport security - now we have another one, the cashiers who won't scan bacon at Target. 

Like the Imam-airport controversy, the cashiers seem to know to go after a 'Target' worth suing, not some single location locally owned corner grocery.  And Target happens to be headquartered here. 

The setup is that some Target stores now sell food. Muslims don't eat pork.  Common sense might tell you that if you don't want to be around one of the most common American meat products, don't work at a grocery store.  Target offered the cashiers who refuse to scan bacon a transfer within the store with no cut in pay.  I wonder if that ends the controversy. lol

Here is one commentator's take.  Joe Soucheray is St. Paul newspaper comumnist and local talk show personality where he is mayor of his mythical town of Garage Logic where the theme is common sense (conservatism) as compared with the alternative views in the neighboring towns of Liberal Lakes and Euphoria.

Quoting Soucheray:

"As long as the newspaper is asking for feedback, I might as well weigh in.

Actually, who might best weigh in is a spokesman for Muslims, which is part of the problem. There are many. As I understand it, there are many imams, just as there are many priests or rabbis. And while it is true that pork is forbidden in the diet, it is my understanding as well that there is no prohibition against touching pork.

That's problem No. 1. If there is no directive against touching pork, then why in the world is a Muslim cashier refusing to scan a package of bacon? And if he or she is practicing a tributary branch of the faith that prevents touching pork, then most of us have the same question we have about the cabdrivers. Why did you take a job where you might have to touch pork or be in the same car with a bottle of vacation rum?

Besides which, when you get a package of bacon home, you practically need a garden shears to open it. We spend billions of dollars a year in this country marketing and packaging products. Handle the package of bacon by the shrink-wrapped, double-sealed, triple-glazed hermetically encapsulated cardboard corner and slide it across the scanner. There. The price gets registered, and you haven't touched any pork.

Or, as ridiculous as we might wish to get, keep a pencil handy and poke or guide the bacon across the scanner.

This is America. We get inventive. And we get inventive in order to keep things moving along. That's the way we do business. Please join us.

That might touch at the heart of our shared frustration. We are basically a large blob of 300 million or so people who conduct our commerce in a secular fashion while practicing, pretty much in private, an astounding variety of religious obligations. Great. Worship grasshoppers for all I care, but when I am standing at the counter with a dollar in my hand, reach behind you and get me that O-ring I need for my lawnmower.

As wave after wave of immigrants arrived in, say, the Twin Cities, I can find no historical evidence that they demanded that America accommodate them. On the contrary, they assimilated, worked hard and benefited from America. I can find no historical evidence that other immigrant groups wished to have such a religious presence in the material marketplace, or, to put it another way, we have not previously been this expected to accommodate such a public component of one particular faith.

That's what stuck in the craws of most of us, and most of us are weary of being thought intolerant by the likes of newspapers."
--
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/16926961.htm  - AP coverage of original story
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/columnists/16920908.htm  - Soucheray column, St. Paul Pioneer Press
http://www.powerlineblog.com/  - the link and excerpt was from powerline
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #64 on: March 19, 2007, 01:28:39 AM »

WSJ on line, today
================================
Islamosocialism
The European left makes common cause with the Muslim right.

BY BRET STEPHENS
Sunday, March 18, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

"It is a profound truth," declared the British Socialist Party in a 1911 manifesto, "that Socialism is the natural enemy of religion." Not the least of the oddities in the subsequent history of progressive politics is that today it has become the principal vehicle in the West for Islamist goals and policies.

Caroline Lucas, a member of the Green Party faction in the European Parliament, is a longtime activist in anti-nuclear, animal-rights and environmentalist causes, and not someone likely to describe herself as an anti-feminist. Yet in June 2004, she joined British MPs Fiona Mactaggart of Labor and Sarah Teather of the Liberal Democrats for a press conference in the House of Commons organized by the Assembly for the Protection of Hijab. The Assembly, better known as Pro-Hijab, is a pan-European organization formed "to campaign nationally and internationally for the protection of every Muslim woman's right to wear the Hijab in accordance with her beliefs and for the protection of every woman's right to dress as modestly and as comfortably as she pleases."

Once upon a time, feminists and socialists alike would have translated that as "subservience to the patriarchy." Now they seem to have rediscovered their roots as civil libertarians, at least when it's politically expedient. Consider the issue of the Armenian genocide. In 1998, the French-speaking wing of Belgium's Socialist Party (PS) co-sponsored legislation to criminalize denial of the Ottoman Empire's murder of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians, much as Holocaust denial is also against the law.

Yet for the past several years, the same PS has been blocking the process of criminalization it helped initiate, presumably in the service of free speech. "Additional legal and historical research," says Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx, remains to be done in ascertaining exactly what happened in Anatolia in 1915.

Progressives have also been remarkably mindful of civil liberties in matters of immigration. When the German state of Baden-Wüttemberg last year required applicants for citizenship to answer a series of questions regarding their personal views, the leader of the German Green Party, Renate Künast, denounced it as "immoral." "A country governed by law," she argued, "cannot ask questions about moral values." Among the questions: "Where do you stand on the statement that a wife should obey her husband and that he can hit her if she fails to do so?"





Curiously, however, Europe's progressives have been somewhat less tolerant on other issues concerning moral values and personal belief. Take "Islamophobia," which progressives often consider akin to racism and have, in some instances, sought to ban by legal means. In Britain last year, Tony Blair's government enacted the Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which criminalized "threatening" comments against religious persons or beliefs. Comedian Rowan Atkinson and author Salman Rushdie, among others, warned that the law undermined basic rights of speech. But for London Mayor Ken Livingstone it was not enough: He defined "Islamophobia" as "discrimination, intolerance or hostility towards Islam and Muslims," and regretted that criminal acts were not more broadly defined by the legislation.
Since coming to office nearly seven years ago, Mr. Livingstone has become a symbol of the marriage of the European left and the Islamist right. It's a marriage of mutual convenience and, at least on one side, actual belief. In the Netherlands, a recent study by the University of Amsterdam's Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies found that 80% of immigrants--the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslims--voted for the Labor party in recent elections, while the two main center-right parties received a combined 4% of the immigrant vote. In neighboring Belgium, the left-wing sociologist Jan Hertogen credits immigrants for "[saving] democracy" by voting as a bloc against the secessionist and anti-immigrant Vlaams Belang party.

For Muslim voters in Europe, the attractions of the Socialists are several. Socialists have traditionally taken a more accommodating approach to immigrants and asylum-seekers than their conservative rivals. They have championed the welfare state and the benefits it offers poor newcomers. They have promoted a multiculturalist ethos, which in practice has meant respecting Muslim traditions even when they conflict with Western values. In foreign policy, Socialists have often been anti-American and, by extension, hostile to Israel. That hostility has only increased as Muslim candidates have joined the Socialists' electoral slates and as the Muslim vote has become ever more crucial to the Socialists' electoral margin.

More mysterious, however, at least as a matter of ideology, has been the dalliance of the progressive left with the (Islamic) political right. Self-styled progressives, after all, have spent the past four decades championing the very freedoms that Islam most opposes: sexual and reproductive freedoms, gay rights, freedom from religion, pornography and various forms of artistic transgression, pacifism and so on. For those who hold this form of politics dear, any long-term alliance with Islamic politics ultimately becomes an ideological, if not a political, suicide pact. One cannot, after all, champion the cause of universal liberation in alliance with a movement that at its core stands for submission.





This is not, of course, the first time such a thing has happened in the history of the progressive movement, or in European history. On the contrary, it is the recurring theme. In the early 20th century, the apostles of Fabianism--George Bernard Shaw among them--looked to the Soviet Union for inspiration; in the 1960s the model was Mao; in the late 1970s, the great French philosopher Michel Foucault went to Iran to write a paean to Khomeini's revolution. In nearly every case, the progressives were, by later admission, deceived, but not before they had performed their service as "useful idiots" to a totalitarian cause.
But the stakes today are different. At question for Europeans is not the prevailing view of a distant country. The question is the shaping of their own. Europe's liberal democrats were able, sometimes with outside help, to preserve their values in the face of an outside threat. Whether they can resist the temptations of Islamosocialism remains to be seen.

Mr. Stephens is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. His column appears in the Journal Tuesdays.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2007, 11:16:07 AM »

Assimilation Studies
Muslim and non-Muslim immigrants to Britain originating from the same region.

By Stanley Kurtz

A preference for marriage with cousins characterizes large sections of the Muslim world. In two previous pieces, “Marriage and the Terror War” and “Marriage and the Terror War, Part II,” I’ve argued that the Muslim preference for cousin marriage (along with several associated social practices) helps explain why it has become difficult to reconcile Islamic social life with modernity, why Muslim immigrants in Europe have been slow to assimilate, and ultimately, why we are engaged in a war with Islamic terrorists.

Cousin marriage, I have argued, helps to create and organize a deep-lying bias in the Muslim world toward in-group solidarity—a social strategy that has the effect of walling off Muslim society from outside influences, heightening internal cohesion, and insuring cultural continuity. By no means do all Muslims marry their cousins. Yet, throughout much of the Muslim world, the cultural ideal and practice of cousin marriage helps to set and reinforce in-group solidarity as a leading social theme.

Seminal
For a dramatic illustration of the social significance of Muslim cousin marriage, there is no better place to turn than the work of British social anthropologist Roger Ballard. Ballard directs the Centre for Applied South Asian Studies at England’s University of Manchester. In addition to authoring numerous papers on South Asian immigration to Britain, Ballard is a frequent consultant on legal cases involving “forced marriage,” “honor killings,” and related cultural issues.

Although Ballard has written a great deal on immigration, his 1990 paper “Migration and kinship: the differential effect of marriage rules on the processes of Punjabi migration to Britain” stands out as a ground-breaking work. This single seminal paper has underwritten a small but burgeoning sub-field in which British anthropologists have begun to outline the impact of culturally distinctive marriage practices on the dynamics of immigration and assimilation.

I take a very different view of immigration-related policy issues from Dr. Ballard and his associates (about which I’ll have more to say in a future piece). Yet no one can gainsay the intellectual accomplishment of Ballard’s extraordinary 1990 essay, or the articles that followed. (Here I’ll be drawing not only on Ballard’s influential 1990 piece, but on “The South Asian Presence in Britain and its Transnational connections” and “Riste and Ristedari: the significance of marriage in the dynamics of transnational kinship.”) It’s a commonplace that Muslim immigrants in Europe have been slow to assimilate. In a general way, the public attributes this relative isolation to Muslim religion and culture. But if you’re looking for a clear, powerful, and detailed account of exactly what it is that’s been blocking Muslim assimilation in Europe, there is no better place to begin than Ballard.

Variation on a Theme
Before turning to Ballard’s work, I need to note that the form of cousin marriage favored by the Pakistani Muslims who immigrate to Britain is a regional variant on the “parallel cousin” marriage favored by Muslims in the heart of the Arab World. (I discussed the nature and significance of “parallel cousin” marriage in “Marriage and the Terror War” Parts I and II.) While many Pakistani Muslims do in fact marry their first or second “patrilateral parallel cousins” (their father’s brother’s child), many others marry first and second cousins of other types. In contrast to Muslims in North Africa and the Arab World, Muslims in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan prefer marriage with any closely related cousin—not merely “patrilateral parallel cousins.”

The details of this widespread Muslim variant on the classic pattern of Arab parallel-cousin marriage need not detain us. The point is that the fundamental principles I laid out in “Marriage and the Terror War” Parts I and II still hold. Although many Muslims who live north of the Arab heartland marry “cross cousins” as well as “parallel cousins,” they do so with the aim of creating a tightly bound group of in-marrying relatives. While some societies use cross-cousin marriage to cement inter-group alliances, the “northern” pattern of Muslim cousin-marriage generally eschews such alliances and strives instead to create an exclusive group of in-marrying kin. (For more on the Pakistani Muslim variant of cousin marriage, see Veena Das, “The Structure of Marriage Preferences: An Account From Pakistani Fiction.”)

Think of classic Arab parallel-cousin marriage as the ultimate expression of a more widespread Muslim tendency toward in-marriage, or “endogamy.” Even in the core Arab area, parallel-cousin marriage is just one form of in-marriage—a cultural ideal that sets the tone for a more complex and varied range of “endogamous” practice. In the north-Muslim variant, parallel-cousin marriage tends to lose its special status (although not entirely), while a powerful emphasis nonetheless remains on a preference for marriage within the kin group, to cousins of all types. (For more, see Chapter Two of Carol Delaney's The Seed and the Soil.) In short, when Muslims marry cousins—of whatever type, they generally do so with the idea of creating and cementing the solidarity of tightly bound in-groups.

Natural Experiment
Part of what makes Ballard’s 1990 “Migration and kinship” piece so powerful is that he has identified Punjabi migration to Britain as something like a natural controlled experiment, with cousin marriage as the key variable. Somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of all South Asians in Britain are Punjabis. The Punjab sits athwart the border of India and Pakistan and is home to substantial communities of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. Muslims live almost exclusively in the Pakistani half of Punjab, while Sikhs and Hindus live largely in Indian Punjab. Whatever their religion, Punjabi migrants to Britain have a great deal in common. Most come from small, peasant, farming families, share basic cultural premises, speak a common language, and originally entered Britain intending to pocket savings from manual labor and return home. (In the end, many Punjabi guest workers remained in Britain.)

In family life, Punjabis of whatever religion organize themselves into patrilineal descent groups. Within those patrilineal clans, a “joint family” forms around a man, his married sons, and their children, with women leaving their natal homes to move in with their husbands. The family lives communally, sharing wealth and property, with grown sons under their father's authority, and in-marrying wives working under the direction of their mother-in-law. And whether Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh, the modesty of women in dress and behavior is a key cultural value for all Punjabis.

Despite these many similarities, the position of Punjabi Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu immigrants in Britain dramatically differs. Ballard focuses his comparison on two immigrant groups: Punjabi Muslims from the Mirpur region of Pakistan and Punjabi Sikhs from the Jullundur region of India. (Ballard frequently invokes Punjabi Hindus for comparative purposes as well.) Far from being obscure or isolated examples, it turns out that nearly three-quarters of British Punjabis are either Mirpuri Muslims or (largely Sikh) Jullunduris. With Punjabis making up the great majority of all British South Asians, Ballard’s careful comparison is therefore telling us about two of the largest and most influential South Asian immigrant groups in Britain.

So what’s the difference between Jullunduri Sikhs and Mirpuri Muslims? Quite simply, Jullunduri Sikh’s have moved relatively far down the road of assimilation, while Mirpuri Muslims have not. Now largely middle class, many British Sikhs have abandoned manual labor to start their own businesses, have moved from the inner city to the suburbs, and currently see their children performing academically at the same level as other middle-class Britons. British Mirpuri Muslims, on the other hand, move between unemployment and manual labor, are still largely confined to poor, inner-city ethnic enclaves, and rear children with a limited grasp of English and a notably low level of academic achievement.

Given the broad social, cultural, and linguistic similarities between Mirpuri Muslims and Jullunduri Sikhs (and Hindus), how are we to account for the radically different trajectories of these immigrant communities in Britain? Can religion explain the difference? In a sense, it can. Yet the key barriers to assimilation aren’t always religious in the strict sense. The factors that inhibit assimilation have less to do with Muslim beliefs per se than with the distinctive, non-textual practices that organize Muslim society.

In particular, the practice of cousin marriage has served to create a culturally insulated community of Mirpuri Muslims in Britain. A process of “chain migration,” in which generation after generation of Mirpuri immigrants wed cousins back in Pakistan, has reinforced Muslim cultural continuity by keeping a continuous stream of unassimilated immigrants pouring into Britain. Before describing the impact of Muslim marriage practices, however, Ballard needs to deal with an obvious alternative explanation for differential rates of immigrant achievement and assimilation.

Don’t Follow the Money
The simplest way to account for the different levels of economic success and assimilation found in Mirpuri Muslim and Jullunduri Sikh British immigrants is to note that Jullundur's local economy has long been in much better shape than Mirpur’s. When it comes to economic development, Pakistan has been far less successful than India. And Jullundur is one of the most prosperous areas in one of the most prosperous states in India. Mirpur, on the other hand, is situated in an economically stagnant section of Pakistan. Immigrants from Jullundur therefore tend to have better educational and technical skills than immigrants from Mirpur, and this clearly accounts for a significant part of the differential economic and cultural success of the two immigrant communities in Britain.

Of course, although it may no longer be fashionable to raise the issue, these pre-existing economic differences could themselves be rooted in cultural differences. Ballard leaves this point largely unexplored, yet many aspects of his account are suggestive. Ballard notes that Mirpur’s economy is hampered by the need for connections (no doubt chiefly kinship connections) to the administrative and political elite. Ballard also highlights the inhibiting effects that Mirpuri notions of honor have on land sales, as well as the negative economic effects of the flight of Mirpur’s overwhelmingly Sikh and Hindu middle class during the partition of India and Pakistan. So we at least need to consider the possibility that cultural differences might have played a significant role in the divergent economic histories of Muslim Mirpur, on the one hand, and Sikh-Hindu Jullundur, on the other.

In any case, even after granting the significance of pre-existing economic differences, Ballard stresses that in this case, a materialist explanation can only be very partial. That’s because the relative failure of British Mirpuri Muslim immigrants to assimilate is clearly linked to their distinctive pattern of family life. While post-war, immigrant, male, Sikh workers in Britain brought their families over to join them as early as the 1950s, Mirpuri Muslims men didn’t begin to transfer their families in Britain in large numbers until the late-1970s. That means it took decades longer for many Mirpuri Muslims even to begin the process of learning English and accommodating to British culture. And when Mirpuri Muslims finally did bring their wives and children from Pakistan to join them, they forged a set of inward-looking social networks that effectively insulated the Muslim community from the surrounding British culture.

Discomfort
After noting that economic factors can have only limited explanatory value in this case, Ballard goes on to highlight the influence of marriage practices on patterns of immigrant assimilation. Ballard suggests that the Muslim practice of cousin marriage may account for the formation of “far more in-turned and all-embracing” kinship networks than we find among British Sikhs, thus helping to explain the two groups’ divergent patterns of economic achievement and cultural accommodation. However, before Ballard details the inhibiting effect of Muslim social practices on the process of assimilation, he pauses to express some hesitation. This passage is worth quoting in full:
Could cultural—and more specifically, religious—variables be a partial determinant of such differences? [i.e. differential rates of economic success and assimilation in Sikh and Muslim immigrants] It is, after all, quite frequently asserted that Islam is more 'authoritarian,' and less 'open-minded,' than either Hinduism or Sikhism; and there clearly is a correlation between patterns of family and community organization on the one hand, and religion on the other. Could the relationship be causal? It is an argument that I find myself approaching with great caution, for the dangers are clear. Any explanation which rests on sweeping, and inevitably stereotypical, assertions about the allegedly 'conservative' or 'liberal' character of the two religious traditions must be rejected as unhelpful and unilluminating. Nevertheless, I have become increasingly convinced that there are some very significant issues at stake here, which are indeed broadly associated with religion; however, if the analysis is to have any validity, and stereotypes are to be avoided, all arguments must show, in a very specific way, just how difference has been precipitated.

Ballard’s desire to avoid unjustified generalization is admirable, as is his determination to tie any cultural explanation to specific mechanisms. Yet we can’t help but wonder whether the forest might get lost in the trees. Will Ballard’s concerns about ethnic stereotyping prevent him from drawing legitimate connections between the mechanisms that block Muslim assimilation in Britain, on the one hand, and large-scale features of genuine importance in many Islamic societies, on the other? In any case, exactly how does Ballard use cousin marriage to explain the relatively slow pace of Muslim assimilation in Britain? We’ll find answers to these questions, and more, in Part II of “Assimilation Studies.”


— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2QzZWM0YmMxMGZlOGFmMTQ4ZWY4MTJlNGEyMGU2M2Q=
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2007, 05:15:40 PM »

Buz:

Rare to find a piece with something genuinely fresh to add to the conversation-- good find!  It reminds me of the piece I saw-- I don't remember where, it might even be here on this forum-- saying that the issue was not Islam, but Arabic tribalism.

Apart from intellectual curiousity, what are the practical implications of this piece?  Do any solutions come to mind?

Marc

PS:  A friend from India whose comments have always impressed me as thoughtful and well-informed writes:

There are some nuances, which the author has missed and even a few inaccuracies. Hindu and Sikh Punjabis are the most outgoing and bold amongst Indians. Sikhism is a hinduism offshoot, where even in the same Hindu family it was common for one brother to become a sikh and the other remained hindu. Sikhs were the warriors historically speaking...that may explain their bold outgoing attitude. The reason for the lack of assimilation is characteristics of the religion/culture which Ballard talks about at the end of the article. Hindu Punjabi festivals are characterized by joy and energy ( e.g. Bhangra dance). Islam is a closed religion, where infidel is an everyday word. I am unaware of any celebratory muslim festival (music, dancing etc). Cousin marriage has nothing to do with it...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 08:38:42 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2007, 12:20:47 PM »

Marc,

Not sure I'm qualified to respond to your questions, seeing how I only have a couple semesters of undergrad Anthro to my credit. Liked the rigor in the piece, and the original is well annotated with links leading interesting places.

Will note that it's hard to find places where all things are equal, which makes the study of these two contemporaneous, proximate, and otherwise parallel groups so interesting. In my anectdotal wanderings I note there is assimilation variation is Muslim groups I deal with, which can be best noted in the dress and affect of the women. To what degree this difference is related to cousing marriage, explored further below, is beyond my ability to measure.

Buz

Assimilation Studies, Part II
On cousin marriage and Pakistani Muslims in Britain.

By Stanley Kurtz

The practice of cousin marriage among Pakistani immigrants has significantly slowed Muslim assimilation in Britain. Muslim cousin marriage has also facilitated a process of “reverse colonization,” in which large, culturally intact sections of Pakistani Muslim society have been effectively transferred to British soil. These conclusions emerge from the work of British South Asianist Roger Ballard — particularly from his path-breaking paper “Migration and kinship: the differential effects of marriage rules on the processes of Punjabi migration to Britain.” In the first part of “Assimilation Studies,” I laid out the background necessary to follow Ballard’s case. Here in Part II, I’ll run through the core of his argument. I’ll also explain why highlighting the significance of Muslim cousin marriage is such a difficult and controversial enterprise.

Numbers
As we’ve seen, Ballard worries that his research might validate the view that there is something illiberal or closed-minded about Islamic religious and social life. Yet statistics that Ballard himself reports show why it has been difficult for him to ignore the impact of cousin marriage on Muslim life in Britain — whatever hesitation he may have had about making such a potentially controversial case.

Ballard (who’s done extensive fieldwork in Pakistan’s Mirpur district) estimates that “over 60% of all Mirpuri marriages are contracted between first cousins.” In 2002, Ballard noted that: “At least half (and possibly as many as two-thirds) of the marriages currently being contracted by young British-based Mirpuris are still arranged with their cousins from back home.”

Rates of cousin marriage vary throughout the Muslim world, and we’ll learn more here (and in a future piece) about why the rates of cousin marriage among British Pakistani migrants are particularly high. Yet statistics alone tell only part of the story. The impact of a cultural ideal like cousin marriage goes well beyond any given statistical report. For example, Ballard notes that, “even when matches are arranged with non-relatives, they are rarely left in isolation. When followed up by further matches, two previously unconnected families can soon find themselves bound together in a single network.” So even marriages between non-kin tend over time to be roped into the larger Muslim system of endogamy.

This only begins to get at the many ways in which the significance of Muslim cousin-marriage goes beyond mere numbers. In “Marriage and the Terror War,” I discussed the difficulty modern Americans have in appreciating the pervasive significance of kinship in the non-Western world. For the greater part of human history, the political, cultural, and economic aspects of a person’s life have been inseparably bound up with customs of marriage and descent. Contemporary Muslim society is very much a part of that history. So when we learn that a high proportion of British Muslims are marrying kin, it’s not only interesting as a statistic about marriage itself, but is also a sign that many aspects of Muslim social life in Britain are being shaped and organized by the obligations of kinship.

Said
Given the frequency, impact, and prestige of cousin marriage among Muslims, it would seem a difficult phenomenon for scholars to ignore. In recent years, however, as Ballard’s own hesitation reveals, Western anthropologists have been decidedly reluctant to approach the topic. As anthropologist Carol Delaney explains in her 1991 book, The Seed and the Soil: “The introverted character of Middle Eastern–Mediterranean marriage, exuding as it does a scent of incest, may partly explain the relative reluctance of anthropologists to stick their noses into it.”

I think Delaney is correct — both in her explanation and in her sense that this explanation is merely partial. To truly understand the significance of Delaney’s pungent observation, we’ve got to learn a little something about the broader crisis into which Middle East studies have been plunged by the blistering criticisms of Edward Said, the founder of “post-colonial theory.” If the topic of Muslim cousin-marriage is now in bad odor amongst anthropologists, Edward Said has much to do with that fact.

Said famously took Bernard Lewis and other “Orientalist” scholars to task for treating Middle Eastern culture and society as somehow different from the West. This focus on cultural difference, according to Said, effectively turns Middle Easterners into exotic and implicitly irrational “Others,” over whom we supposedly-more-rational Westerners have an unspoken right to rule. Ultimately, for Said, even the most scrupulous and respectful study of cultural difference amounts to nothing more than a covert form of racist imperialism.

Said’s deeply influential political critique has had a paralyzing effect on scholars of the Middle East. Without venturing an account of social particularity, how can cross-cultural comparison take place? Western anthropologists stand condemned as neo-imperialists, whether they laud a particular social practice, criticize it, or remain scrupulously neutral. In the wake of Said’s critique, some anthropologists have abandoned cultural description and comparison altogether, producing sensitive accounts of their personal experiences in the field, or novelistic narratives of Middle Eastern lives instead. The point is less to make sense of the distinctive features of Middle Eastern society than to bring across to Westerners the common humanity of the people our foreign policy is supposedly tyrannizing. And of course, Said helped to usher in the scholarly notion that, in so far as the Middle East has distinguishing features or problems worth noting, these are largely a product of colonial oppression and American neo-imperialism, rather than of any distinctive social patterning within Middle Eastern society itself. (For more on Said and his impact, see my “Edward Said, Imperialist” and Charles Lindholm’s “The New Middle Eastern Ethnography.”)

With the field of Middle Eastern studies increasingly falling under the influence of Said and his followers, the long-standing anthropological interest in cousin marriage quickly began to fade. After all, what could be more offensive to a post-colonial theorist than the study of a feature that distinguishes the Muslim Middle East from nearly every other culture in the world — a practice that, in Delaney’s words, “exudes the scent of incest,” to boot? To look to cousin marriage for an explanation of the slow rate of Muslim assimilation in Europe — or for guidance in prosecuting the war on terror — is to bring vivid life to Edward Said’s worst nightmare. So, unfortunately (and not coincidentally), the post-colonial critique has virtually killed off the academic study of Middle Eastern kinship — at precisely the moment when such study is most needed.

It is therefore to Roger Ballard’s credit that, despite his concerns about invoking Muslim cousin-marriage as an explanation, he has moved forward nonetheless. Ballard and his British anthropological colleagues, in comparison to many American scholars, remain relatively resistant (but sadly, only relatively) to the worst excesses of post-colonial theory. All things considered, Britain remains something of a redoubt of the classic anthropological study of kinship. And with large numbers of South Asian immigrants bringing non-Western kinship practices into the heart of Britain itself, anthropologists could hardly help but take notice.

Reverse Colonization
So what exactly is Ballard explaining? What differences did Ballard find between the two big groups of British immigrants from the Punjab: Muslims from the Mirpur district of Pakistan, and Sikhs from the Jullundur district of India? Although both of these groups share a broadly similar social and cultural background, their patterns of assimilation have been strikingly different.

Think of the South Asian guest workers who began to pour into Britain during the boom years of the 1950s as being connected to their Punjabi villages of origin by invisible bands, stretched taught across the globe. At first, Punjabi Sikhs and Muslims alike lived physically in England, yet remained spiritually tethered to their South Asian homeland. Working double shifts through the night for extra pay left little time for interaction with Britons. The plan was to save as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, and return home. Wives and children were left behind in Punjab. If marriage for a worker or his child was to be arranged, it would be with someone at home.

In time, however, the paths of Sikh and Muslim workers began to diverge. By the late 1950s, the bands that tied Sikh immigrants to their Punjabi home began to stretch, weaken, even break. Sikh women and children joined their husbands and fathers in Britain, while many Sikhs shifted out of manual labor to start businesses of their own. With economic success came a move to the suburbs, where a generation of Sikh children grew up learning English from their British neighbors. This new cohort of relatively assimilated young Sikhs had a record of high academic-achievement, and they increasingly saw their marriages arranged with Sikhs living in Britain or North America, rather than with villagers back in Punjab.

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« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2007, 12:21:59 PM »

Mirpuri Muslim workers, on the other hand, took decades longer to bring their wives and children to Britain. The common pattern was for a laborer to spend years working double shifts, accumulating savings, and then to return to Mirpur for an extended rest, perhaps using his new-found wealth to finance lavish weddings for his children. The rest period was followed by a return to Britain, with the cycle repeated several times. So the bonds that held Muslim Mirpuri migrants in Britain to their home villages in South Asia remained unbroken.

Even in the 1970s, when Mirpuri Muslim laborers finally did begin to bring their wives and children to live with them in Britain, ties to Pakistan were sustained through “chain migration.” With immigration regulations in Britain reflecting a lesser need and desire for foreign workers, villagers back in Mirpur could obtain visas only by marrying Mirpuri migrants already in Britain. Children of these couples, in turn, married and brought to England yet another generation of Mirpuri villagers, with each link in the chain of marriage migration insuring that the process of adjustment to English language and culture would begin again from scratch. These relatively unassimilated Mirpuri marriage-migrants were largely confined to the inner-city — to neighborhoods that recreated, insofar as possible, the linguistic and cultural conditions of Pakistan itself. Given their limited contact with English-speaking neighbors, Mirpuri children in these ethnic ghettos continued to have problems in school.

So, even when Mirpuri migrant men finally did reunite their families in Britain, it was less a breaking of the bonds that linked them to Pakistan than an effective transfer of a South Asian village society to Britain itself — a sort of “reverse colonization” — with marriage-driven chain migration keeping the ties between the “reverse colony” and the Punjabi homeland as strong as ever. In combination with the original post-war labor inflow, marriage-driven chain migration has now succeeded in transferring well over 50 percent of Mirpur’s original population to Britain. “We don’t cultivate wheat here any more,” one of Ballard’s Mirpuri informants commented, “we cultivate visas instead.”

Women and Funeral Rites
Ballard quickly realized that it would take more than materialist explanations to make sense of all this. In the end, he identified three cultural-religious variables that account for a large part of the difference between immigrant Sikh and Muslim paths of assimilation: marriage rules, mortuary rites, and gender rules.

When it comes to the treatment of women, Punjabi Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims share a good deal. While Muslims famously seclude women, Punjabi Hindu and Sikh women also behave with modesty before men — for example, keeping their faces covered by head-scarves in the presence of senior male relatives. So it’s all the more striking that the stricter, specifically Muslim rules of female seclusion have had such a substantial impact on divergent Sikh and Muslim paths of assimilation.

While Punjabi Sikh and Hindu women are permitted to move with circumspection around the village and into the fields when there’s work to be done, Mirpuri Muslims expect their women to avoid public places and to cover themselves almost completely when traveling.

Given these strict conventions of female seclusion, Mirpuri guest-workers, dismayed by what they viewed as the corrupting influence of British mores, were far slower to risk bringing their wives and children to live with them abroad. And when Mirpuri women finally did arrive, they were kept confined at home. In contrast, many Sikh and Hindu female immigrants to Britain took jobs that put them in touch with the language and culture of the society around them.

While admittedly not a major factor, Ballard notes that the contrast between Muslim burial practices and Sikh and Hindu cremation rites has also helped tie Mirpuri immigrants to their Pakistani base. The ashes of cremated ancestors can be immersed in any river — the Thames is much favored by British Hindus and Sikhs. Mirpuri Muslims, on the other hand, travel back to Pakistan to bury their parents in the graveyard of the patrilineage — a symbol of the unity of the in-marrying clan.

Mother-in-Law
Yet according to Ballard, of the several cultural factors shaping divergent paths of immigrant assimilation, marriage practices are the most important. Although Punjabi Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims all organize themselves into patrilineal descent groups (clans), and commonly form joint families, with sons and their in-marrying wives living together under parental authority, there is one key difference. Whereas Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus must marry outside of the patri-clan, Punjabi Muslims prefer to marry fellow clan members — especially first cousins. One effect of this difference is that the wives of Jullunduri Sikh immigrants have long been more eager than the wives of Mirpuri Muslim immigrants to join their husbands in Britain. Here’s why.

Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs marry outside the clan, but they must also marry inside the caste. In Punjab, members of a patrilineal clan tend to live together in the same village. This means that eligible marriage partners of the same caste, but a different clan, can only be found in another village. So the rule of clan exogamy forces Punjabi Hindu and Sikh brides to leave their home villages to move in with husbands who live elsewhere. Hindu and Sikh brides therefore enter their husband’s joint family as strangers. The early years of married life for a Hindu or Sikh bride are thus famously stressful, since she is not only living with and learning the ways of strangers, but also works under the difficult and unfamiliar authority of her new mother-in-law. Over time, Hindu and Sikh brides often press their husbands to leave the joint family and strike out on their own.

In contrast, when Muslim brides are cousins to their husbands, they remain in their home village, living with relatives, and often working under the supervision of a mother-in-law who is also a beloved aunt. One of the reasons Muslim cousin-marriage helps cement such intense in-group solidarity is that it builds upon and magnifies the already immensely powerful emotional bonds of early family life.

So it’s not surprising that the wives and children of Sikh laborers came to join them decades before Muslim families reunited in Britain. Even under ordinary circumstances, Sikh brides have only a limited interest in maintaining family jointness. Given the fact that these brides were working under mothers-in-law, without the protection from poor treatment commonly provided by resident husbands, they were more than willing to detach themselves from the joint family and move in with their husbands overseas. Many Muslim brides, in contrast, would have welcomed the prospect of remaining in Pakistan with a family of beloved aunts and cousins, rather than moving into conditions of lonely seclusion in Britain.

Forging the Chain
So Muslim cousin-marriage, in combination with the seclusion of women, helps explain why Sikh families were united in England, decades before similar reunions were seen among Muslim Mirpuris. Yet why, even after these family reunions, have Mirupuri Muslim immigrants continued the practice of marriage-driven chain migration, whereas Jullunduri Sikhs have not? Once again, Muslim cousin-marriage goes a long way toward explaining the difference.

As Muslim and Sikh immigrants gradually adjusted to life in Britain, it became increasingly evident that marriages arranged with villagers from back home tended to be riven with conflict. Cultural differences, the language gap, and the wide divergence in general social competence between British-raised youth and their spouses from South Asia frequently made for trouble and strife. So when the parents of British-born Sikhs were faced with the offer of an arranged marriage with a villager from Punjab, their children invariably opposed the match. In doing so, these young Sikhs had the advantage of knowing that their parents were under no obligation to accept any particular proposal of marriage. Given the Sikh practice of clan exogamy, every marriage is arranged from scratch with an outsider. In short order, therefore, the new generation of British-born Sikhs successfully pressed their parents to arrange marriages with British-born (or perhaps even North American-born) Sikh partners.

The situation was very different for children of Mirpuri Muslims. Among Mirpuris, it’s taken for granted that cousins have a virtual right-of-first-refusal in the matter of marriage. Even in the absence of immigration, it would have been entirely expected that the children of Mirpuri migrants would marry their cousins. How much more so was this the case when a marriage meant a British visa, and a vast increase in wealth — all redounding to the honor of the patriclan? Many Mirpuri migrants had only made it to Britain in the first place with economic help from a brother back in Pakistan. This practice of sharing of resources within the joint family created a powerful moral obligation to repay that financial help by arranging a marriage (and a visa) for the child of the brother who remained in Pakistan.

The British-born children of these Mirpuri Muslim migrants were perhaps a bit less apprehensive than their British Sikh counterparts about the idea of marrying villagers from back home. After all, these young Mirpuris had gotten to know their cousins on those long visits to Pakistan, and some affectionate attachments had developed. Yet the chronic problems of transnational marriages did indeed call forth opposition to such matches from many young Mirpuris. In contrast to the situation among immigrant Sikhs, however, the hands of Mirpuri parents were largely tied. To refuse a marriage with a relative back in Pakistan, when customary rights, financial obligation, and family honor were all at stake, would have been tantamount to a repudiation of siblingship itself. Such a severing of ties could bring retaliation in the form of efforts to blacken the honor of an immigrant and his family — a particularly severe sanction among Muslims.

So while Sikh immigrants increasingly broke the links of marriage-driven chain migration, the practice of Muslim cousin-marriage insured that assimilation itself would virtually begin again from scratch with each new generational infusion of Mirpuri spouses. The result has been economic stagnation and the literal transfer of more than half of Mirpur’s population to an archipelago of “reverse colonies” in the heart of Britain.

The Big Picture
Ballard is clearly concerned to avoid confirming the notion that Muslim religious or social practice is in any way closed-minded or illiberal. The solution, says Ballard, is to link Muslim cousin-marriage to the issue of assimilation only through a series of very specific mechanisms. So Ballard finally attributes the contrasting paths of Sikh and Muslim migrants to what he calls “a whole series of minor differences” — namely, funeral rites, the seclusion of women, and the many implications of divergent marriage rules.

Isn’t it interesting, however, that this whole series of “minor differences” somehow adds up to a very major difference indeed — a difference upon which the fate of Europe and the West may now hinge? Is it really the case that we can find nothing of systematic significance in a practice that transforms what might otherwise have been successful assimilation into “reverse colonization”? For Ballard: “Just why conversion [to Islam] should have precipitated such a radical change in marriage strategies [i.e. the shift to cousin marriage] is unclear.” It seems to me that Ballard’s own work suggests an answer to this mystery.

As I argued in “Marriage and the Terror War,” cousin marriage tends to wall off Muslim society from outside influences — heightening internal cohesion and insuring cultural continuity. The Muslim practice of cousin marriage stands in a reciprocal functional-relationship with Islam itself — with both sides of that relationship reinforcing a social strategy based on in-group solidarity. If several very particular aspects of cousin marriage have tended to reinforce social solidarity among Muslim immigrants in Britain, that is no coincidence; it is merely a powerful illustration of the broader tension between the organization of Muslim society and the structures of modernity.

No doubt, there are many complexities and exceptions here. Muslim society is diverse, and marriage practices are by no means uniform over the entire range of worldwide Islam. There are also similarities — even overlap — between seemingly distinctive Muslim social practices and aspects of non-Muslim cultures. Having said all that, it would be a mistake to downplay or deny the significance of the broader social pattern here. Cousin marriage tends both to reinforce in-group solidarity and to set up barriers to cultural exchange. Clearly this has huge advantages in certain social contexts. No doubt because of practices like cousin marriage, Islam has maintained enormous internal coherence and strength over huge stretches of history. Yet it must also be noted that the very pattern that yields such impressive social advantages can sometimes appear closed-off, even illiberal, by the standards of modern, Western society.

The implications in all this for Europe and America are huge, and I shall continue to explore them in this ongoing series of pieces on Muslim marriage practices.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzQzMjVhNzg2Nzg2ZmVkMjFhY2JiZjkwMmFjYzIwYjc=
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« Reply #69 on: March 23, 2007, 11:04:07 PM »

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2007/03/wanted-counte...d-volunteers-in.html

Friday, March 23, 2007
Wanted: Counterjihad Volunteers in Kansas City
by Baron Bodissey

Most of our readers are aware of Rep. John Conyers’ efforts to pass a congressional resolution against the desecration of the Koran. One of the highest priorities of Muslim interest groups in the United States is to get this legislation and similar initiatives passed. They are following multiple strategies on these issues, lobbying for legislation that bans airport profiling, agitating for rules protecting Islamic practices in the schools, and pushing for non-legislative regulations in addition to laws and resolutions. They are seeking the expansion of the definitions of “hate crime” and “hate speech”, and a blurring of the distinction between the two.

I can’t emphasize too strongly or too often that the erosion of our freedom of speech and the encroachment of sharia in our country will come sneaking into the public discourse disguised as the protection of religious freedom. Muslim interest groups will claim — and are claiming — that all their religious practices, no matter how contrary they are to the rest of the First Amendment and the Constitution in general, are protected by the Religious Freedom Clause.


This is a pernicious strategy which is designed to turn our Constitutional liberties into a smoking ruin. And there are people in our government, both elected leaders and those within the permanent federal bureaucracy, who are all too eager to go along with this farrago.

The next skirmish in this war is taking place next week, on Thursday March 29th, in Kansas City, under the auspices of the Department of Justice. The event sounds innocuous enough — “A First Freedom Project Seminar: Federal Laws Protecting Religious Freedom” — but the significance of the occasion is revealed by the inordinate interest in it displayed by MPAC and other Muslim advocacy groups. The fact that these organizations are anxious to get their members to this meeting and intend to have an impact on it tells you a lot about what they hope to accomplish.

Meetings between the DOJ and Islamist advocacy groups that may have led to the “First Freedom” initiative are summarized at the American Muslim Perspective:

[The January 8 meeting was attended by] representatives from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Arab American Institute (AAI), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML), and the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA).

[…]

The January 8 meeting with Attorney General Gonzalez followed a similar meeting on December 4, 2006 between prominent American Muslim leaders with key senior US government officials to discuss the state of Islamophobia in America and US-Muslim relations. It was organized by the Bridging the Divide Initiative of Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. It was co-sponsored by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists.

The government was represented by several participants from the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security and associated agencies including Alina Romanowski, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Professional and Cultural Affairs and Dan Sutherland, the Officer for Civil Rights at the Department of Homeland Security.

American Muslim leaders included: Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Louay Safi, the Executive Director of the ISNA leadership Development Center, Imam Mahdi Bray, the executive Director of MAS Freedom Foundation, Ahmed Younis, the National Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists and Muqtedar Khan of Brookings Institution.

Ambassador Martin Indyk, Director of Saban Center and Stephen Grand, the Director of the US-Islamic World program also addressed the meeting. This was the first US Government and American Muslim conference on Islamophobia.

The upshot is that Justice Department policy on religious discrimination is being guided by leaders from CAIR, ISNA, MAS Freedom Foundation (co-sponsors with ANSWER of the March 17 demonstration against the war), and MPAC.

As I’ve said before, this is a Trojan horse being rolled into the heart of the United States Constitution, and we have to make our voices heard if we want to stop it.

I’m asking members of the Counterjihad, especially bloggers, to travel to Kansas City if they possibly can and attend this meeting in order to offer a counterweight to MPAC, ISNA, and all the rest of the alphabet soup that fronts for the Umma here in the USA.

If we sleep through this one, it makes it easier for them to set the agenda for the next one, and the one after, and the one after that.

Then one day you’ll wake up and find that the Religious Freedom Clause protects the right of Muslims to have separate public swimming pools for men and women, or to be guaranteed a pork-free school lunch, or not to be deployed by the Armed Forces during a conflict with an Islamic country.

In other words, America will have become just like Eurabia.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Christine of the Center for Vigilant Freedom (the international coalition that has recently emerged from the original 910 Group network) has compiled a pdf file of background materials on the First Freedom Project and Islamic organizations. Here’s her cover note for the document:
- - - - - - - - - -
The Department of Justice’s The First Freedom Project on religious liberty, starting next week with a March 29 public meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, may be monopolized by Islamist organizations. Other seminars will be held in Tampa, Florida, on April 25, 2007 and Seattle, Washington, on May 10, 2007. If members of other religions attend these DOJ meetings, a more balanced view can be presented. Criticism of other religions should not be criminalized, including criticism of Islam or the Koran.

Meetings between the DOJ and Islamist advocacy groups that may have led to the “First Freedom” initiative are summarized here at the American Muslim Perspective.

As conservative writer Janet Levy has noted, “Muslim leaders such as Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, insist that Muslims have a right to petition for special accommodation based on their religious beliefs as mandated by the First Amendment. In truth, no requirement exists, either in state or federal statutes, requiring that such petitions be addressed or behavior adjusted accordingly.”

Below we provide background information:

1.    A congratulatory email notice from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), stating that the DOJ’s First Freedom Project “is designed to provide additional enforcement tools for laws against religious discrimination and hate crimes.”
2.    The press release on the First Freedom Project, as provided from the ADC.
3.    A similar email notice from the Muslim Public Affairs Council on the First Freedom Project.
4.    Related Legislation: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (LLEHCPA) , just introduced March 21 (text not available online on 3/22/07). See “Christian belief a ‘hate crime’ under plan”.
5.    Related Legislation: The “Domestic Radicalization” Amendment to the Improving America’s Security by Implementing Unfinished Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.
6.    A partial list of Kansas City events, including the March 7, 2007 charges against a Columbia, Missouri charity designated as a supporter of terrorism.
7.    A list of Islamic organizations in Kansas City, ranging from local chapters of national Islamist advocacy groups, to local mosques, schools and foundations that may be moderate.

I hope you can cover this DOJ Project and encourage more people to attend to balance the views offered.

Thanks!
Regards,
Christine
Director, The Center For Vigilant Freedom
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« Reply #70 on: March 25, 2007, 05:03:08 PM »

Shariah in Minnesota?
Radical Muslim activists go fishing in troubled waters.

BY KATHERINE KERSTEN
Sunday, March 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

MINNEAPOLIS--The land of 10,000 lakes and that welcoming attitude we call "Minnesota Nice"--is becoming a window on America's potential future. Here in Minneapolis, one of the nation's most livable cities, hard-line Muslim activists are injecting an element that is anything but nice.

Troubling incidents began several years ago, when taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport--about three-quarters of whom are Muslim--started refusing to transport passengers carrying alcohol. One woman, returning from France with wine, was turned away by five cabs in succession. Refusals of service now number about 100 a month, and heated altercations have erupted.

In September 2006, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) proposed a two color top-light pilot project to indicate which drivers would accept passengers with alcohol. The proposal, later dropped, would apparently have marked the first time that a government agency in the U.S. officially recognized Shariah law, and distinguished individuals who follow it from those who don't.

In November 2006, the six "flying imams" bumped the taxi drivers from the headlines. In Minneapolis for a conference, the imams were detained after engaging in what an airport police report called "suspicious" activity. Some prayed loudly in the gate area, spoke angrily about the U.S. and Saddam, switched seats and unnecessarily requested seat belt extenders with heavy buckles that could be used as weapons, according to witnesses. They were questioned and released later that day. The imams denounced the incident as racial and religious profiling. "If up to now, [Americans] don't know about prayers, this is a real problem," said Omar Shahin, one of the detained men and head of the North American Imams Federation. Twin Cities imams demanded a separate Muslim prayer room at the airport.

Earlier this month, the six imams filed suit in U.S. district court in Minneapolis against US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, claiming discrimination and defamation. Now some Muslim cashiers at Twin Cities Target stores have begun refusing to scan pork products, like bacon and pepperoni pizza, and insisting that other cashiers or the customers themselves do it.





What's going on? It appears that both local circumstances and activists with a big-picture agenda play a role. Take the taxi drivers. Minnesota is home to tens of thousands of Somalis, most recent immigrants. Behind the scenes, moderate local Somali leaders are engaged in a power struggle with national Muslim organizations that seek to exploit this vulnerable population. Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol but not its transportation, say Somalis who reject the taxi drivers' stance. Yet in June 2006, the Muslim American Society's (MAS) Minnesota chapter issued a "fatwa" forbidding drivers here from carrying alcohol to avoid "cooperating in sin."
Hassan Mohamud, one of the fatwa signers, praised the two top-light proposal as a national model for accommodating Islam in areas ranging from housing to the workplace. But according to Omar Jamal of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul, MAS is "trying to hijack and radicalize the Somali community for their Middle East agenda."

Ahmed Samatar, a recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College in St. Paul notes that "There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking, but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden." Similarly, Islam prohibits consuming pork, but not touching or scanning it, according to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the American Society for Muslim Advancement in New York. It is, or should be, "a nonissue."

In Washington, the Democratic leadership is likely to seek passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, of which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called herself, in 2004, a "proud" cosponsor. Both MAS and CAIR are stumping for the bill, which would bar airport security personnel from disproportionately questioning Muslims or people of Middle Eastern descent. Minnesota's Keith Ellison, the nation's first Muslim Congressman, told me that the imams' situation reflects a misunderstanding of Muslim prayer and will be sorted out in court, while the other matters stem from the normal process of immigrant adjustment.





The events here suggest a larger strategy: By piggy-backing on our civil rights laws, Islamist activists aim to equate airport security with racial bigotry and to move slowly toward a two-tier legal system. Intimidation is a crucial tool. The "flying imams" lawsuit ups the ante by indicating that passengers who alerted airport authorities will be included as defendants. Activists are also perfecting their skills at manipulating the media. After a "pray-in" at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., one credulous MSNBC anchor likened the flying imams to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
The comparison is misplaced: Omar Shahin, leader of the detained imams, has helped raise money for at least two charities later shut down for supporting terrorism. From 2000 to 2003, he headed the Islamic Center of Tucson, which terrorism expert Rita Katz described in the Washington Post as holding "basically the first cell of al Qaeda in the United States." CAIR has long been controversial for alleged terrorist ties, while the Chicago Tribune has described MAS as the American arm of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which "preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic."

So far, Minnesotans have said a resolute "no" to Muslim activists' agenda; in an informal Star Tribune poll, 92% of respondents blamed the imams' own behavior for their airport detention. And Target--after unsuccessful attempts to accommodate Muslim cashiers--is reassigning them to other jobs. Still, there is a sense that we've seen just the opening skirmishes. As MAC spokesman Patrick Hogan put it, "I think people are afraid there will be a chapter two."

Ms. Kersten is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
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« Reply #71 on: March 28, 2007, 09:55:04 PM »

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w070326&s=emerson032807

One Muslim advocacy group's not-so-secret terrorist ties.

Unfit Print
by Steven Emerson
Only at TNR Online | Post date 03.28.07   

This year has been a rocky one for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the self-professed "prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy" group. First, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer rescinded an award her office had issued a CAIR official, stating that she was uncomfortable with many of the organization's positions. Then, two weeks ago, the GOP House Conference objected to the use of a Capitol facility--provided by Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell to host a CAIR forum, labeling the group "terror apologists" (based on CAIR's long track record of extremism and anti-Semitism).

Yet, just as people began to realize this and to ostracize CAIR accordingly, The New York Times arrived with a life raft. Earlier this month, Neil MacFarquhar wrote an incredibly generous profile called "Scrutiny Increases for a Group Advocating for Muslims in U.S." MacFarquhar's piece is so fraught with errors--of commission and omission--that it is a coup of CAIR propaganda.







MacFarquhar gets off on the right foot, noting, "Several federal officials said CAIR's Washington office frequently issued controversial statements that made it hard for senior government figures to be associated with the group." But he cites none of these "controversial statements." Nor does he mention the CAIR-sponsored fund-raisers and conferences featuring former neo-Nazi leader William Baker and jihadist cleric Wagdy Ghoneim. (At a 1998 CAIR event, Ghoneim sang, "No to the Jews, descendants of the apes." And, after he was deported in 2004 for overstaying his visa, Hussam Ayloush, CAIR's Southern California director, called Ghoneim's removal from the U.S. "a dent in our civil rights struggle.")

Readers of the Times wouldn't know, for example, that Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin alleged CAIR's links to terrorists; nor that Steven Pomerantz, former counterterrorism chief of the FBI, has written, "Any objective assessment of the material ... leads to the conclusion that CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."

In airing critics' complaints about the group, MacFarquhar cites its refusal to "endorse the American government's blanket condemnations of Hezbollah and Hamas." Actually, that's only half the story. At a 2001 rally in front of the State Department, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad actually defended Hamas's murderous tactics: "The Palestinians are using legitimate means of resistance. We should not be shy about it, and we should not be apologetic about it."

The devil, however, is in the details, and MacFarquhar doesn't even bother with them. CAIR has received significant funding from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, an outfit notorious for publishing anti-Semitic, jihadist literature. (Sample passage: "Teach our children to love taking revenge on the Jews and the oppressors, and teach them that our youngsters will liberate Palestine and [Jerusalem] when they go back to Islam and make jihad for the sake of Allah.") CAIR officials also make frequent pilgrimages to the Persian Gulf to solicit funds (for a $50 million p.r. campaign and a new $24 million office building).

The Times even parrots a typical CAIR refrain--that "some pro-Israeli lobbyists" are responsible for the group's woes--and stands it up in the mouth of some unnamed government official. If MacFarquhar had dug deeper, he would have found conspiracy-mongering. A March 1998 article in the Georgetown Voice (titled "Muslim group sponsors controversial speaker; Jews Control U.S. Policy, Awad Says") reported that Awad called U.S. policy "driven in part by the Jewish origin of many Clinton administration officials." Awad continued, "Who of Clinton's advisors ... is opposing the latest agreement with Iraq? Look at their names. Look at ... their ethnic or religious or racial background. You will see that these are the same groups that belong to the same interest groups in the administration. These are the same people who are pushing the United States to go to war on behalf of a third party." And, at a Washington, D.C. rally in 2000, Awad unequivocally announced his vision for the Middle East, "They [the Jews] have been saying 'next year to Jerusalem.' We say 'next year to all Palestine.'"

While the Times did not see fit to provide its readers with any of CAIR's "controversial" statements (Awad in 1994: "I am in support of the Hamas movement"), the paper did disingenuously quote one of CAIR's most dangerous supporters. Former FBI agent Michael Rolince--who spent much of his time at the agency championing "partnership" between Islamist groups and law enforcement (and has, since his retirement, frequented the Islamist speaking and fund-raising circuit) told MacFarquhar, "Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares."

Not only is this a total falsehood, but it's also a conflict of interest. Rolince was involved in a highly controversial program, eventually de-funded and cancelled by the FBI, that would have funneled millions of dollars to a constellation of radical Muslim groups, including CAIR (to, in the words of the Times, "institutionalize bridge building"). I have met with Rolince several times, and he simply refused to read the materials on CAIR that I, and others, provided. Moreover, Mike Rolf, a retired FBI agent, disagrees with Rolince's casual acceptance of CAIR. Rolf states, "It is clear that CAIR has had a number of people in positions of power within the organization that have been directly connected to terrorism and have either been prosecuted or thrown out of the country" and has said that, despite Rolince's contention, "there are no blank stares from people working in counterterrorism in the U.S., and it is troubling that CAIR seems unable to directly and specifically condemn terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah."

In truth, as Rolince would know if he'd read what I gave him, CAIR's ties to terrorists are numerous and well-documented. For one, the group was incorporated by members of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a now defunct organization shuttered by a successful lawsuit against U.S.-based Hamas front organizations (the suit was brought by the family of an American victim of a Hamas attack).

For another, CAIR received $5,000 in 1994 from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which goes on trial later this year for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas (the Treasury Department has designated it a Hamas front group). In the days after September 11, CAIR used its website to raise money for HLF, sending people who clicked on a link--called "Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund"--to the HLF website. Perhaps Rolince and The New York Times, when presented with such facts, would only respond with blank stares.



At one point, MacFarquhar even strays into direct Hamas propaganda, asserting that Mousa Abu Marzook is "a Hamas leader deported in 1997 after the United States failed to produce any evidence directly linking him to any attacks." Actually, in his extradition order, Judge Kevin Duffy saw reason to believe that "Abu Marzook engaged in and intended to further the aims of [a terrorist] conspiracy by his membership in and support of the Hamas organization." Duffy also concluded "that probable cause exists that Abu Marzook knew of Hamas's plan to carry out violent, murderous attacks, that he selected the leadership and supplied the money to enable the attacks to take place, and that such attacks were, therefore, a foreseeable consequence of the conspiracy."

CAIR's very public defense of Marzook--which the Times neglects to mention--is illuminating. In June 1996, CAIR signed an open letter to then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher calling for Marzook's immediate release, railing against "the injustice that has prevailed," and alleging that "our judicial system has been kidnapped by Israeli interests." Then, its 1996 report "The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States" included Marzook's arrest in its list of incidents of anti-Muslim bias and violence.

The Rolinces and MacFarquhars of the world might not lose any sleep for propping up a group that publicly supports Hamas kingpins and other anti-American terrorists, but thankfully, most people do. The Times got one thing right: Scrutiny of CAIR is on the rise, and that is something everyone should welcome.

Steven Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and the author, most recently, of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (Free Press).

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« Reply #72 on: April 25, 2007, 04:59:40 PM »

A Madrassa Grows in Brooklyn   
By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 25, 2007

Come September, an Arabic-language public secondary school is slated to open its doors in Brooklyn. The New York City Department of Education says the Khalil Gibran International Academy, serving grades six through 12, will boast a "multicultural curriculum and intensive Arabic language instruction."

This appears to be a marvelous idea, for New York and the country need native-born Arabic speakers. They have a role in the military, diplomacy, intelligence, the courts, the press, the academy, and many other institutions — and teaching languages to the young is the ideal route to polyglotism. As someone who spent years learning Arabic, I am enthusiastic in principle about the idea of this school, one of the first of its kind in the United States.

In practice, however, I strongly oppose the KGIA and predict that its establishment will generate serious problems. I say this because Arabic-language instruction is inevitably laden with pan-Arabist and Islamist baggage. Some examples:

Franck Salameh taught Arabic at the most prestigious American language school, Middlebury College in Vermont. In an article for the Middle East Quarterly, he wrote: "even as students leave Middlebury with better Arabic, they also leave indoctrinated with a tendentious Arab nationalist reading of Middle Eastern history. Permeating lectures and carefully-designed grammatical drills, Middlebury instructors push the idea that Arab identity trumps local identities and that respect for minority ethnic and sectarian communities betrays Arabism."

For an example of such grammatical drills, see the just-published book by Shukri Abed, Focus on Contemporary Arabic: Conversations with Native Speakers (Yale University Press), one chapter of which is titled "The Question of Palestine." Its intensely politicized readings would be unimaginable in a book of French or Spanish conversations.

The Islamist dimension worries me as well. An organization that lobbies for Arabic instruction, the Arabic Language Institute Foundation, claims that knowledge of Islam's holy language can help the West recover from what its leader, Akhtar H. Emon, calls its "moral decay." In other words, Muslims tend to see non-Muslims learning Arabic as a step toward an eventual conversion to Islam, an expectation I encountered while studying Arabic in Cairo in the 1970s.

Also, learning Arabic in of itself promotes an Islamic outlook, as James Coffman showed in 1995, looking at evidence from Algeria. Comparing students taught in French and in Arabic, he found that "Arabized students show decidedly greater support for the Islamist movement and greater mistrust of the West." Those Arabized students, he notes, more readily believed in "the infiltration into Algeria of Israeli women spies infected with AIDS…the mass conversion to Islam by millions of Americans," and other Islamist nonsense.

Specifics about the KGIA confirm these apprehensions, including its roster of sponsors and enthusiasts. The school's key figure, principal-designate Dhabah ("Debbie") Almontaser, has a record of extremist views, as William A. Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz have shown at PipeLineNews.org.

Arabs or Muslims, Ms. Almontaser says, are innocent of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: "I don't recognize the people who committed the attacks as either Arabs or Muslims." Instead, she blames September 11 on Washington's foreign policies, saying they "can have been triggered by the way the USA breaks its promises with countries across the world, especially in the Middle East, and the fact that it has not been a fair mediator."

At a community meeting with the New York Police Department commissioner, she berated the NYPD for using "FBI tactics" when informants were used to prevent a subway bombing, thereby polarizing the Muslim community. For Ms. Almontaser, it appears, preventing terrorism counts less than soothing Muslim sensibilities.

She calls George W. Bush a "nightmare" who is "trying to destroy the United States."

Rewarding these views, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a foreign-funded front organization, in 2005 bestowed an honor on Ms. Almontaser for her "numerous contributions" to the protection of civil liberties.

Her intentions for the KGIA should raise alarms. An Associated Press report paraphrases her saying that "the school won't shy away from sensitive topics such as colonialism and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis," and she notes that the school will "incorporate the Arabic language and Islamic culture." Islamic culture? Not what was advertised — but imbuing pan-Arabism and anti-Zionism, proselytizing for Islam, and promoting Islamist sympathies will predictably make up the school's true curriculum.

To express your concerns about this planned Arabic school, please write the New York City chancellor, Joel Klein, at JKlein@schools.nyc.gov.   
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« Reply #73 on: May 12, 2007, 09:49:29 PM »

In Defense of the Constitution

News & Analysis
013/07  May 12, 2007



CAIR: Partners With the Jihadist "Fort Dix Six"?   


The recent arrest of the "Fort Dix Six" has shocked (shocked!) the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), North America's premier defender of Islamist terrorism in North America.  CAIR, the only Muslim organization in North America certified by Allah to determine just who is and who is not a "True Muslim", is apparently upset that the Fort Dix Six, without permission from CAIR's Saudi taskmasters, dared to invoke Islam as justification for the planned attack on Fort Dix:

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/05/10/publiceye/entry2785624.shtml

CAIR sent a statement to the press asking:   

"Media outlets and public officials refrain from linking (the Fort Dix) case to the faith of Islam."

One problem with CAIR's request is that the suspected terrorists weren't let in on CAIR's game plan.  Eljvir Duka, one of the six, was heard in an FBI recording saying: 

"In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad."

"Jihad"?  What faith is most closely related to this concept?  Christians?  Jews?  Maybe the Buddhists?  How about the Hindu's? No, could it be that CAIR is upset because, once again, Muslim terrorists have "gone Jihad" and violated CAIR's copyright on the word? 

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/08/ap/national/main2777304.shtml?source=search_story

Of course, far be it to let FACTS get in the way of CAIR's well Saudi-Oiled spin machine which put out a carefully crafted response to the arrests:

".it seems clear that a potentially deadly attack has been averted.we applaud the FBI for its efforts and repeat the American Muslim community's condemnation and repudiation of all those who would plan or carry out acts of terror while falsely claiming their actions have religious justification."

"FALSELY claiming their actions have religious justification?"

While it comes as a surprise to CAIR, 99.9% of North Americans, including non-CAIR-approved Muslims, realize that Islamic justification is not only a fact, but that it is a deadly fact that has not only murdered in the past, but that does so on a daily basis.with the blessings of CAIR's perverted version of "Allah".

CAIR's noxious propaganda falls flat on its face with the Fort Dix Six.  Investor's Business Daily details some of the charges in the FBI affidavit:

"It records the men saying they were willing to die killing infidels in the name of Allah. One asks who'll take care of his family. Not to worry, another responds, "Allah will take care of your wife and kids." They watched speeches by Osama bin Laden calling for
jihad, videos of jihadi attacks, and videotaped messages from two of the 9/11 "martyrs".

http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501

http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=263689615601528&status=article&id=263689615601528

The mother of one accused, Fatem Shnewer said her son,  Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer was targeted by the FBI, "because he's religious."

CAIR, once again, is trying doubly hard to cover up a huge, glaring fact: when some Muslims, like the Fort Dix Six, feel as if their religion is "under attack" they turn to violence as a remedy.

The larger question is why would some Muslims living in America, where the median income of Muslims is over $50,000 a year, freedom of expression, the right to peacefully assemble.the right to religious freedoms is guaranteed to all citizens, want to kill fellow Americans?  Just where did the Fort Dix Six get the idea that Islam in under attack in America?

http://www.allied-media.com/AM/default.htm

One possibility is CAIR.  At every opportunity, since its inception, CAIR has set forth the imagery and perception that "Islam is under attack" in the United States of America.

CAIR has gone after numerous radio talk show hosts for daring to speak frankly about Islamic terrorism. They even launched a campaign called "Hate Hurts America" to stop these radio hosts. CAIR's effort was:

".based on the premise that the increasing attacks on Islam by talk-show hosts harm the United States by creating a downward spiral of interfaith mistrust and hostility."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39651

When the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was shut down for channeling funds to Hamas, CAIR asserted that freezing HLF assets could give the perception that ".there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26545

Anti-CAIR revealed in court documents that CAIR was consistently banging the drum of Muslim oppression, discrimination, and victimization by Islamophobic Americans and an oppressive government. By painting American Muslims and Islam as being "under attack" in America, CAIR was, and is, intentionally playing a dangerous game: 

http://www.anti-cair-net.org/press_029_06

The evidence will show that under Moslem law, "attacks against Islam" must be countered with violence. CAIR's intentional and repeated use of the "attack" imagery is, therefore a potential call to violence."

By warning the press not to equate the Fort Dix Six actions with religion, CAIR is trying to deflect the fact that it has been Islamist organizations like CAIR who have been fanning the flames for jihad in America, pushing the propaganda of "Islamophobia", and insisting that Muslims in America are treated unjustly and in huge numbers - as Nihad Awad recently asserted during a meeting at the Adams Center where he said:

"There were 196 cases reported by the Justice Department for Muslims in civil rights cases. There were over 1,008 cases reported by the Jewish faith. We need to do a much better job not only in recognizing our civil rights but also in reporting it to the government.  [It] is very critical and very important. ... We really feel our community is more targeted.  Fifty-four percent -- this is one of CAIR's surveys -- 54 percent of all Muslims surveyed said they had been subject to discrimination. Fifty-four percent, which if you put numbers down, we're talking about tens of thousands of cases, not dozens, as is reported in the Justice Department's annual report."

http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20070507-102427-8093r.htm

What Awad fails to mention is that it would be far more surprising if the survey showed less than 50% discrimination, considering the kinds of Muslims that associate with CAIR.

Dr. M.Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum For Democracy makes it clear that CAIR and other radical, political Muslim groups like CAIR are a clear and present danger to America:

"Muslim organizations should understand that only Muslims hold the keys to the way to overwhelm and counter the ideology which fuels these radicals.  Muslim organizations should be clamoring to expose and infiltrate the ideology and sources which drove these traitors to sprout their radical cell.  We need an Islamic vaccine (the separation of spiritual Islam from political Islam) to the virus which afflicted these men.   Until Muslim anti-Islamists can defeat Islamism (political Islam) as an ideology, we will not make any headway at preventing the germination of the next cell.   We will only be left waiting, praying, for the FBI to help us, yet again, dodge the next bullet."

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTA5MzQzOGQyZjUzOGVmNDcxMmJhZWE4MDUwNDJ
jMTM=

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTA5MzQzOGQyZjUzOGVmNDcxMmJhZWE4MDUwND
JjMTM=&w=MQ&w=MQ==

CAIR refutes all facts that "real" Muslims would commit violence in the name of the Islamic religion - even while CAIR insists that America is growing into a horrible place to be a Muslim.  So horrible in fact, that CAIR Officer and convert Ismail Royer, an original employee of CAIR, decided to wage Jihad  - while working for CAIR - by aiding and abetting terrorists:

http://www.anti-cair-net.org/press_015_03

CAIR's response to Royer's terrorist activities was that Royer was not an employee at the time.a lie exposed by Anti-CAIR.

Anti-CAIR unfortunately predicts more such plots by Muslims in America such as the Fort Dix Six as a result of CAIR's relentless propaganda on behalf of radical Islam.  Could radical Imam's and Islamist groups like CAIR be largely responsible for the Muslim terrorist attacks?  Is it possible that CAIR aids and abets Islamic terrorism by both failing to condemn Muslim terrorists and apologizing for them at the same time?

Is "Islam under attack" in America? 

No, it isn't; in our opinion, nothing CAIR says can change this fact that is making CAIR so uncomfortable.CAIR needs Americans to attack Islam, to burn down Mosque's, to attack peaceful Muslims and their customs in order to foment civil discourse that would further the Islamist agenda of world domination under the disgusting Wahhabi cult of Islam. 

The fact remains: there is no country on the planet more welcoming, understanding, and sympathetic to Islam than the United States.and CAIR knows this to be true.  No where on earth will Muslims find their civil rights better protected than here in America.and this is something that even CAIR, with all its oily millions, cannot change if we are willing to stand up to them.

Let's not allow CAIR to destroy Islam in America.



Andrew Whitehead
Director
Anti-CAIR
ajwhitehead@anti-cair-net.org
www.anti-cair-net.org

Note: 

Effective immediately, Anti-CAIR will no longer use the term "ACAIR" to describe our group.  We use "Anti-Council on American-Islamic Relations" as our full name and "Anti-CAIR" as an abbreviation.  We ask anyone referencing our group to use these terms.




ADVISORY:
Subscribers are warned that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) may contact your employer if CAIR believes you are using a work address to receive any material that CAIR believes may be offensive.  CAIR has been known to shame employers into firing employees CAIR finds disagreeable.  For that reason, we strongly suggest that corporate e-mail users NOT use a corporate e-mail account/address when communicating with ACAIR or CAIR.  We make every reasonable effort to protect our mailing list, but we cannot guarantee confidentiality. ACAIR does not share, loan, sell, rent or otherwise publicize our mailing list.  We respect your privacy!

TIPS:
All persons are invited to submit tips and leads.  ACAIR will acknowledge receipt of all tips/leads, but we will NOT acknowledge the source of ANY tip or lead in our Press Releases or on our web site. Exceptions are made for leading media personalities at the discretion of ACAIR and only on request of the person(s) submitting the tip or lead.


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« Reply #74 on: May 16, 2007, 01:01:02 PM »


Londonistan Calling

The London neighborhood of the author's youth, Finsbury Park, is now one of the breeding grounds for a new phenomenon: the British jihadist. How did a nation move from cricket and fish-and-chips to burkas and shoe-bombers in a single generation?

by Christopher Hitchens June 2007

They say that the past is another country, but let me tell you that it's much more unsettling to find that the present has become another country, too. In my lost youth I lived in Finsbury Park, a shabby area of North London, roughly between the old Arsenal football ground and the Seven Sisters Road. It was a working-class neighborhood, with a good number of Irish and Cypriot immigrants. Your food choices were the inevitable fish-and-chips, plus the curry joint, plus a strong pitch from the Greek and Turkish kebab sellers. There was never much "bother," as the British say, in Finsbury Park. Greeks and Turks might be fighting in Cyprus, but they never lifted a hand to one another in London. Many of the Irish had republican allegiances, but they didn't take that out on the local Protestants. And, even though both Cyprus and Ireland had all the grievances of partitioned former British colonies, it would have seemed inconceivable—unimaginable—that any of their sons would put a bomb on the bus their neighbors used.

Returning to the old place after a long absence, I found that it was the scent of Algeria that now predominated along the main thoroughfare of Blackstock Road. This had had a good effect on the quality of the coffee and the spiciness of the grocery stores. But it felt odd, under the gray skies of London, to see women wearing the veil, and even swathed in the chador or the all-enveloping burka. Many of these Algerians, Bangladeshis, and others are also refugees from conflict in their own country. Indeed, they have often been the losers in battles against Middle Eastern and Asian regimes which they regard as insufficiently Islamic. Quite unlike the Irish and the Cypriots, they bring these far-off quarrels along with them. And they also bring a religion which is not ashamed to speak of conquest and violence.

Until he was jailed last year on charges of soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred, a man known to the police of several countries as Abu Hamza al-Masri was the imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque. He was a conspicuous figure because, having lost the use of an eye and both hands in an exchange of views in Afghanistan, he sported an opaque eye plus a hook to theatrical effect. Not as nice as he looked, Abu Hamza was nonetheless unfailingly generous with his hospitality. Overnight guests at his mosque's sleeping quarters have included Richard Reid, the man in whose honor we now all have to take off our shoes at the airport, and Zacarias Moussaoui, the missing team member of September 11, 2001. Other visitors included Ahmed Ressam, arrested for trying to blow up LAX for the millennium, and Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian who planned to don an explosive vest and penetrate the American Embassy in Paris. On July 7, 2005 ("7/7," as the British call it), a clutch of bombs exploded in London's transport system. It emerged that one of the suicide murderers had been influenced by the preachings of Abu Hamza, as had two of those attempting to replicate the mission two weeks later.

In fact, the British jihadist is becoming quite a feature on the international scene. In 1998, six British citizens of Pakistani and North African descent along with two other British residents were arrested by the government of Yemen and convicted of planning to kidnap a group of tourists and attack British targets in the port of Aden (scene of the near-sinking of the U.S.S. Cole two years later). One of the youths was the son of the tireless Abu Hamza, and another was his stepson. In December 2001, Richard Reid made his bid on the Paris–Miami flight. By then, two or three Britons had been killed in Afghanistan—fighting on the side of the Taliban. The following year came the video butchering of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, whose abduction and murder were organized by another Briton—a former student at the London School of Economics—named Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. And the year after that, two British-passport holders, Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, took part in a suicide attack on Mike's Place, a Tel Aviv bar.

The British have always been proud of their tradition of hospitality and asylum, which has benefited Huguenots escaping persecution, European Jewry, and many political dissidents from Marx to Mazzini. But the appellation "Londonistan," which apparently originated with a sarcastic remark by a French intelligence officer, has come to describe a city which became home to people wanted for terrorist crimes as far afield as Cairo and Karachi. The capital of the United Kingdom is, in the words of Steven Simon, a former White House counterterrorism official, "the Star Wars bar scene," catering promiscuously to all manner of Islamist recruiters and fund-raisers for, and actual practitioners of, holy war.

In the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings, which killed 52 civilians (including a young Afghan, Atique Sharifi, who had fled to London to escape the Taliban) and injured hundreds more, I found that American television interviewers were all asking me the same question: How can this be? Britain is the country of warm beer and cricket and rain-lashed seaside resorts, not a place of arms for exotic and morbid cults. British press coverage struck the same plaintive note. One of the murderers, Shehzad Tanweer, was a cricket enthusiast from Leeds, in Yorkshire, whose family ran a fish-and-chips shop. You can't get much more assimilated than that. Yet Britain's former head of domestic intelligence, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller (and you can't get much more British than that, either), said last year that there are more than "1,600 identified individuals" within the borders of the kingdom who are ready to follow Tanweer's example (including those in whose honor we now all have to part with our liquids and gels at the airport). And, according to Manningham-Buller, "over 100,000 of our citizens consider the July 2005 attacks in London justified."

I told those who were interviewing me to go back and review the 1997 film of Hanif Kureishi's brilliant short story "My Son the Fanatic," and then to reread Monica Ali's 2003 novel, Brick Lane. The film is set in a dilapidated Yorkshire mill town very like the ones that spawned the 7/7 bombers, and the book is named for an area of East London that is now mainly Bengali and Muslim but has been home to successive waves of Huguenot and Jewish immigration. I remember leaving the cinema after seeing My Son the Fanatic, and feeling a heavy sense of depression, along with a strong premonition of trouble to come. In the figures of Parvez, the Pakistani cabdriver, and his morose son, Farid, Kureishi had captured the generational essence of the problem. In the 1960s, many Asians moved to Britain in quest of employment and education. They worked hard, were law-abiding, and spent much of their time combating prejudice. Their mosques were more like social centers. But their children, now grown, are frequently contemptuous of what they see as their parents' passivity. Often stirred by Internet accounts of jihadists in faraway countries like Chechnya or Kashmir, they perhaps also feel the urge to prove that they have not "sold out" by living in the comfortable, consumerist West. A recent poll by the Policy Exchange think tank captures the problem in one finding: 59 percent of British Muslims would prefer to live under British law rather than Shari'a; 28 percent would choose Shari'a. But among those 55 and older, only 17 percent prefer Shari'a, whereas in the 16-to-24 age group the figure rises to 37 percent. Almost exactly the same proportions apply when the question is whether or not a Muslim who converts to another faith should be put to death …

‘They remind me of the 60s revolutionaries in some ways," said Hanif Kureishi as we sat in one of London's finest Indian restaurants. "A lot of romantic talk, but a hard-core faction who will actually volunteer to go to training camps." Making a rather sharp distinction between the new young fundamentalists and the 1960s rebels, he added that he had never met a jihadist who wasn't militantly anti-Semitic. Monica Ali, whose lovely novel also emphasizes the generational divide and captures the Third World–type pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric, independently told me the same thing. She had seen British television cave in to extremists who did not want her book made into a film, and who threatened trouble if the cameras were brought to the East End, but this did not alarm her as much as "the way that hatred of the Jews has become absolutely standard, all across the community."

It's interesting that it should be authors from Muslim backgrounds—Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali, the broadcaster and co-author of the Policy Exchange report Munira Mirza—who are issuing the warnings. For the British mainstream, multiculturalism has been the official civic religion for so long that any criticism of any minority group has become the equivalent of profanity. And Islamic extremists have long understood that they need only suggest a racial bias—or a hint of the newly invented and meaningless term "Islamophobia"—in order to make the British cough and shuffle with embarrassment. Prince Charles himself, the heir to the throne and thus the heir to the headship of the Church of England, has announced his sympathy for Islam and his wish to be the head of all faiths and not just one. This may sound good, if absurd (a chinless prince who becomes head of a church because his mother dies?), but only if you forget that it was Prince Charles who encouraged the late King Fahd, of Saudi Arabia, to contribute more than a million pounds to build … the Finsbury Park Mosque! If you want my opinion, our old district was a lot better off when the crowned heads of the world were busy neglecting it.

Anyway, you can't be multicultural and preach murderous loathing of Jews, Britain's oldest and most successful (and most consistently anti-racist) minority. And you can't be multicultural and preach equally homicidal hatred of India, Britain's most important ally and friend after the United States. My colleague Henry Porter sat me down in his West London home and made me watch a documentary that he thought had received far too little attention when shown on Britain's Channel 4. It is entitled Undercover Mosque, and it shows film shot in quite mainstream Islamic centers in Birmingham and London (you can now find it easily on the Internet). And there it all is: foaming, bearded preachers calling for crucifixion of unbelievers, for homosexuals to be thrown off mountaintops, for disobedient and "deficient" women to be beaten into submission, and for Jewish and Indian property and life to be destroyed. "You have to bomb the Indian businesses, and as for the Jews, you kill them physically," as one sermonizer, calling himself Sheikh al-Faisal, so prettily puts it. This stuff is being inculcated in small children—who are also informed that the age of consent should be nine years old, in honor of the prophet Muhammad's youngest spouse. Again, these were not tin-roof storefront mosques but well-appointed and well-attended places of worship, often the beneficiaries of Saudi Arabian largesse. It's not just the mosques, either. In West London there is a school named for Prince Charles's friend King Fahd, with 650 pupils, funded and run by the government of Saudi Arabia. According to Colin Cook, a British convert to Islam (initially inspired by the former crooner Cat Stevens) who taught there for 19 years, teaching materials said that Jews "engage in witchcraft and sorcery and obey Satan," and incited pupils to list the defects of worthless heresies such as Judaism and Christianity.

What this shows is the utter futility of the soft-centered explanations of the 7/7 bombings and other outrages. It was argued for a while that the 7/7 perpetrators were victims of unemployment and poverty, until their remains were identified and it became clear that most of them came from educated and reasonably well-off backgrounds. The excuses then abruptly switched, and we were asked to believe that it was Tony Blair's policy in Iraq and Afghanistan that motivated the killers. Suppose the latter to be true. It would still be the case that they belong to a movement that hates Jews and Indians and all kuffar, or "unbelievers": a fanatical sect that believes itself entitled to use deadly violence at any time. The roots of violence, that is to say, are in the preaching of it, and the sanctification of it.

If anything, Tony Blair is far too indulgent to this phenomenon. It is his policy of encouraging "faith schools" that has written sectarianism into the very fabric of British life. A non-Muslim child who lives in a Muslim-majority area may now find herself attending a school that requires headscarves. The idea of separate schools for separate faiths—the idea that worked so beautifully in Northern Ireland—has meant that children are encouraged to think of themselves as belonging to a distinct religious "community" rather than a nation. As Undercover Mosque also shows, Blair's government has appeased leading Muslim apologists by inviting them to join "commissions" to investigate the 7/7 attacks, and thus awarding them credibility well beyond their deserts. A preposterous and sinister individual named Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain and a man with a public record of support for Osama bin Laden, was made a convener of Blair's task force on extremism despite his stated belief that the BBC and the rest of the media are "Zionist controlled."

It's impossible to exaggerate how far and how fast this situation has deteriorated. Even at the time of the Satanic Verses affair, as long ago as 1989, Muslim demonstrations may have demanded Rushdie's death, but they did so, if you like, peacefully. And they confined their lurid rhetorical attacks to Muslims who had become apostate. But at least since the time of the Danish-cartoon furor, threats have been made against non-Muslims as well as ex-Muslims (see photograph), the killing of Shiite Muslim heretics has been applauded and justified, and the general resort to indiscriminate violence has been rationalized in the name of god. Traditional Islamic law says that Muslims who live in non-Muslim societies must obey the law of the majority. But this does not restrain those who now believe that they can proselytize Islam by force, and need not obey kuffar law in the meantime. I find myself haunted by a challenge that was offered on the BBC by a Muslim activist named Anjem Choudary: a man who has praised the 9/11 murders as "magnificent" and proclaimed that "Britain belongs to Allah." When asked if he might prefer to move to a country which practices Shari'a, he replied: "Who says you own Britain anyway?" A question that will have to be answered one way or another.
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« Reply #75 on: May 19, 2007, 08:42:03 AM »

Rhode Island man accused of trying to extort gas station owner over fake terror ties
 
 
 

Associated Press - May 19, 2007 7:53 AM ET

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island man is in custody on charges of attempted extortion and impersonating a federal officer over fake terror claims.

Police in Warwick (WAR'-ik), Rhode Island, say George Tabora threatened to claim that the Middle Eastern owner of a gas station was linked to al-Qaida unless the man paid him $$25,000.

The 44-year-old suspect has been in custody since Wednesday after police say they caught his teen-age son trying to retrieve the fake payoff money. Prosecutors say Tabora also his wife in the plot. She worked at the gas station and allegedly backed up the story, telling her boss she'd been contacted by a Homeland Security agent.

The gas station owner told police he had received a phone call from a man claiming to be a federal agent. The man says the caller threatened to jail him and "go after" his wife and daughters if he didn't pay.

Police say they recorded a call from Tabora's home that allegedly set up the money drop.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6539451
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« Reply #76 on: May 21, 2007, 03:39:11 PM »

Monday, May 21, 2007


Pitch to African-Americans invokes 'martyr' Malcolm X



© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

Al-Qaida is aggressively recruiting black Americans for suicide operations against the homeland, say FBI analysts who have reviewed recent videotaped messages from the terror group's leaders.

A speech released May 5 by Osama bin Laden's deputy confirms earlier fears that African-Americans are the No. 1 recruiting target for the next generation of attacks. Al-Qaida has been trying to lower its Arab profile to reduce the odds that its terror cells will be subjected to security scrutiny.

"Federal and local law enforcement authorities should be aware that al-Qaida terrorists may not appear Arab," warns a recent Homeland Security intelligence report obtained by WND. "Non-Arab al-Qaida operatives could find it easier to avoid unwanted scrutiny since they may not fit typical profiles."

In the latest message, al-Qaida No. 2 Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri clearly seeks to sow political and racial discontent among African-Americans. He makes frequent references to what he calls the "martyr" Malcolm X, and says "I want blacks in America to know that we are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind."

Zawahiri encourages African-Americans to follow the example of Malcolm X, a.k.a. al-Hajj Malik al-Shabaaz, who he says was not afraid to sacrifice his life to fight American "oppression."

According to a transcript of the hour-long screed, Zawahiri said this is "the culture which the struggler and martyr Malcom X (may Allah have mercy upon him) fought against when he told his repressed black brothers in America, 'If you're not ready to die for it, take the word "freedom" out of your vocabulary.'"

"Freedom is something that you have to do for yourself," he quotes Malcolm X as as saying. "The price of freedom is death."

Zawahiri, again citing the teachings of Malcolm X, suggests that black Muslims who do not rise up against America are no better than "house slaves."

It's the first time al-Qaida has identified Malcolm X as a fellow Islamic "struggler and martyr," analysts say.

"Zawahiri's focus on race relations may be benefiting from the input of a U.S. citizen named Adam Yahiye Gadahn – a.k.a Azaam al-Amriki – who is a senior member of al-Qaida's media committee," said former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, now an analyst for the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank specializing in national security.

"Indeed," he added, "the deftness and political timeliness of Zawahiri's statements suggest that al-Qaida may have more than a single American advising it."

Last year, in another nearly hour-long videotaped speech, al-Qaida propaganda chief Gadahn invited blacks to convert to Islam and take revenge against a nation that enslaved their ancestors.

Gadahn, a white convert from California thought to be operating out of al-Qaida's new base in Pakistan, slammed his native America, which he said "shamelessly brought us lynch laws, Jim Crow, and a death row where only convicts of certain races are sent."

In courting African-Americans, he also encouraged them to forsake Christianity, which he claims whites have used as an excuse to abuse blacks.

"Islam rejects the Judeo-Christian doctrines concerning Eve and Ham, which the West has used to justify all manner of abuse and ill treatment of women and blacks," Gadahn said. "Islam is for everyone."

Gadahn, who is wanted by the FBI for treason, also claims that America "enslaved Africa."

Islamic terrorism analysts point out that al-Qaida's racial history lessons conveniently leave out the fact that Arab Muslim slave traders sold Africans into bondage.

"The Arab is the true master of the African," said Bill Warner, director of the Center for Study of Political Islam. "Blacks like to imagine Islam is their counterweight to white power, not that Islam has ruled them for 1,400 years."

Blacks account for the largest share of Muslims in America. A great many of them are converts to Islam. And remarkably, the religion is flourishing among African-Americans since 9/11. Analysts fear the trend plays right into bin Laden's hands.

Black converts say Islam has more in common with their African heritage than Christianity. In fact, black Muslim leaders often refer to such conversions as "reversions," claiming black "reverts" are merely returning to the Islamic faith prominent among their African forebears who were forced into slavery.

"You have African-American men seeking liberation," explained black Muslim leader Eric Erfan Vickers, "and many see Christianity as a white man's religion that continues to oppress."

Vickers, a convert to Islam, does not consider al-Qaida a terrorism group. "They are involved in a resistance movement," he contended.

Prisons have already proven to be a fertile recruiting ground for al-Qaida, spawning the likes of shoebomber Richard Reid and alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla.

Christian prison chaplains say Islam is so popular with inmates they are having a hard time competing with Muslim chaplains for their souls. Blacks are being converted by the cell block. The FBI worries blacks could be the next face of terror in America.

Since 9/11, the agency has already disrupted several homegrown terror plots involving black Muslim converts, including:


A group of black Muslim converts in Miami who allegedly conspired to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago (some had rap sheets).

A Chicago black Muslim, Derrick Shareef, who allegedly plotted to blow up a local shopping mall.

A black U.S. soldier, Hassan Abujihaad, who allegedly fed terrorists classified information about U.S. battleship movements in the Strait of Hormuz.

Black ex-con Muslims in Torrance, Calif., who allegedly planned to attack military recruiting stations and synagogues in the state. The plot was initially hatched in prison.
Still, some analysts doubt al-Qaida's pitch will resonate in today's black community beyond a handful of malcontents. They point out that African-Americans are no longer held back by institutional racism, and are growing wealthier as evidenced by the expanding black middle class.

Indeed, Zawahiri does not paint a very enticing picture in describing the sacrifices required along the path of jihad, especially for those used to the material comforts of America.

"If we continue to aspire to nothing more than diplomas, positions, salaries, pensions and the raising of our children, there will be nothing but humiliation in store for us, our children and our grandchildren," he argued. "If, on the other hand, we are happy with killing, captivity, emigration, losing one's spouse, orphanage, and losing one's wealth, homeland and beloved in the path of Allah, then with Allah's help, no power on the face of the earth can defeat us."

Zawahiri in his latest speech also made fresh threats about coming attacks on America.

He warns that a new "squadron of martyrdom-seekers" is lined up behind "hundreds" of new leaders who are following in the footsteps of captured 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

"They shall achieve more than he achieved," Zawahiri vowed. "The Americans shall pay dearly."

He says American voters had a chance to fire Bush in the last presidential election for invading Iraq, but they chose instead to reelect him. He suggests they forfeited their chance for protection from terrorism, and deserve punishment.

"The Americans deserve what they're getting," he said. "They chose this liar two times, so let them pay the price for their choice."

Gadahn has said "the streets of America shall run red with blood," later singling out Los Angeles as a target of attack.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #77 on: May 21, 2007, 06:00:50 PM »

Disappointing article for a number of reasons...

The title made me assume that there was a systematic, well-planned approach by AQ to convert blacks to Islam and have them join in Jihad. Instead, I am given no hard facts, no statistics, and questionable assumptions:

Quote
Blacks account for the largest share of Muslims in America. A great many of them are converts to Islam.

Conversion to a religion is a long way from martyrdom. Many people convert to Christianity every year, but I'm guessing a minuscule portion of these goes out to bomb abortion clinics. Since when did religious conversion = religious fanaticism?

Quote
Analysts fear the trend plays right into bin Laden's hands.


How?

Quote
Prisons have already proven to be a fertile recruiting ground for al-Qaida, spawning the likes of shoebomber Richard Reid and alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla.

Two examples is hardly a "fertile recruiting ground"

Quote
Christian prison chaplains say Islam is so popular with inmates they are having a hard time competing with Muslim chaplains for their souls. Blacks are being converted by the cell block.

No mention of whether these inmates are rabid fundamentalists or guys looking to polish their image for the parole board. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a majority of these "conversions" last about as long as the inmates are in prison. Of those conversions that last, do we have any proof of contact with AQ or other radical Muslim groups?

And since when did converting people to a religion become a competition?

To top it off, there are only two sentences that try to show that this "aggressive recruiting" may fall flat:

Quote
Still, some analysts doubt al-Qaida's pitch will resonate in today's black community beyond a handful of malcontents. They point out that African-Americans are no longer held back by institutional racism, and are growing wealthier as evidenced by the expanding black middle class.

How about some quotes from African-American, non-radical Muslims (maybe even some converts) that laughs in the face of AQ?

Will AQ change its tactics? Absolutely.
Will they try to change their "look". Most definitely.
Would AQ love to recruit African-Americans? Possibly.
Are they aggressively recruiting? Doubtful.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #78 on: May 22, 2007, 06:32:11 PM »

If one does some calculations about how many people these various %s work out to, some disconcerting numbers result.
===================================



http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nat...sns-ap-topnews

Most U.S. Muslims Reject Suicide Bombings


By ALAN FRAM
Associated Press Writer
Originally published May 22, 2007, 10:45 AM EDT
WASHINGTON // One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most Muslim Americans overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al-Qaida, a poll says.

The survey by the Pew Research Center, one of the most exhaustive ever of the country's Muslims, revealed a community that in many ways blends comfortably into society. Its largely mainstream members express nearly as much happiness with their lives and communities as the general public does, show a broad willingness to adopt American customs, and have income and education levels similar to others in the U.S.


Even so, the survey revealed noteworthy pockets of discontent.

While nearly 80 percent of U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam can not be justified, 13 percent say they can be, at least rarely.

That sentiment is strongest among those younger than 30. Two percent of them say it can often be justified, 13 percent say sometimes and 11 percent say rarely.

"It is a hair-raising number," said Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Washington-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, which promotes the compatibility of Islam with democracy.

He said most supporters of the attacks likely assumed the context was a fight against occupation -- a term Muslims often use to describe the conflict with Israel.

U.S. Muslims have growing Internet and television access to extreme ideologies, he said, adding: "People, especially younger people, are susceptible to these ideas."

Federal officials have warned that the U.S. must be on guard against homegrown terrorism, as the British suffered with the London transit bombings of 2005.

Even so, U.S. Muslims are far less accepting of suicide attacks than Muslims in many other nations. In surveys Pew conducted last year, support in some Muslim countries exceeded 50 percent, while it was considered justifiable by about one in four Muslims in Britain and Spain, and one in three in France.

"We have crazies just like other faiths have them," said Eide Alawan, who directs interfaith outreach at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich., one of the nation's largest mosques. He said killing innocent people contradicts Islam.

Andrew Kohut, Pew director, called support for the attacks "one of the few trouble spots" in the survey.

The question did not specify where a suicide attack might occur, who might carry it out or what was meant by using a bombing to "defend Islam."

In other findings:

_Only 5 percent of U.S. Muslims expressed favorable views of the terrorist group al-Qaida, though about a fourth did not express an opinion.

_Six in 10 said they are concerned about a rise in Islamic extremism in the U.S., while three in four expressed similar worries about extremism around the world.

_Yet only one in four consider the U.S. war on terrorism a sincere attempt to curtail international terror. Only 40 percent said they believe Arab men carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

_By six to one, they say the U.S. was wrong to invade Iraq, while a third say the same about Afghanistan -- far deeper than the opposition expressed by the general U.S. public.

_Just over half said it has been harder being a U.S. Muslim since the 9/11 attacks, especially the better educated, higher income, more religious and young. Nearly a third of those who flew in the past year say they underwent extra screening because they are Muslim.

The survey estimates there are roughly 2.35 million Muslim Americans. It found that among adults, two-thirds are from abroad while a fifth are U.S.-born blacks.

By law, the Census Bureau does not ask about peoples' religions.

Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,050 Muslim adults from January through April, including some in Arabic, Urdu and Farsi. Subjects were chosen at random, from a separate list of households including some with Muslim-sounding names, and from Muslim households that had participated in previous surveys.

The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.
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« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2007, 05:43:11 AM »

Disappointing article for a number of reasons...

The title made me assume that there was a systematic, well-planned approach by AQ to convert blacks to Islam and have them join in Jihad. Instead, I am given no hard facts, no statistics, and questionable assumptions:

Quote
Blacks account for the largest share of Muslims in America. A great many of them are converts to Islam.

Conversion to a religion is a long way from martyrdom. Many people convert to Christianity every year, but I'm guessing a minuscule portion of these goes out to bomb abortion clinics. Since when did religious conversion = religious fanaticism?

**When islam is involved, jihad is a core theological component. The koran and sunna, ahadith exhort "Smiting the unbelievers" unlike Buddhism or Christianity.***

Quote
Analysts fear the trend plays right into bin Laden's hands.


How?

**The idea behind al qaeda is that the muslim population globally rise up to impose the new caliphate and muslim global dominance.**

Quote
Prisons have already proven to be a fertile recruiting ground for al-Qaida, spawning the likes of shoebomber Richard Reid and alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla.

Two examples is hardly a "fertile recruiting ground"

****How many more do you need?
Drawings link prison converts to terrorism


Frank Walker
May 20, 2007

CHILLING evidence has emerged that some of the state's most dangerous prisoners have become devotees of terrorism after converting to Islam.

Drawings found in the Super Max cell of Bassam Hamzy, ringleader of 12 Islamic converts within the high-security Goulburn jail, suggest some in the gang see themselves as assassins bent on causing terror in Australia.

The Sun-Herald can reveal a hand-drawn gang logo was found in Hamzy's cell bearing the words "assassins australia FFL" with depictions of AK-47 assault rifles. Checks by Department of Corrective Services security officers found FFL stood for "Freedom Fighters Lebanon".

A handwritten note was found saying: "Solja Warrior We don fear death and sometimes we wish for it [sic]."

Guards also confiscated a photo of Osama bin Laden found in Hamzy's cell.

Critics attacked prison authorities, claiming they targeted Hamzy because he was Muslim when they revealed he had converted 11 inmates to Islam, using promises of help outside the jail. They were known as the "Super Max Jihadists".

Hamzy, 28, who is serving 21 years for the 1998 murder of an 18-year-old man, was transferred out of the Super Max jail last month.

"This is evidence that prison authorities were not targeting Hamzy because of his religion," said NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services Ron Woodham yesterday.

"Hamzy's defenders should look at this evidence closely, as he is clearly talking the rhetoric of a terrorist."

A cryptic message on another piece of paper, appearing to refer to large sums of money, said: "After 8K was given not sure what was left from 9.600."

Another said: "Courage, honour, no mercy, mercy 4 da weak, family 4 life and BFL [brother for life]."

He had even arranged a Muslim marriage for one man serving time for rape to a Muslim woman outside the jail. An imam oversaw the marriage, which was conducted over the phone. Although such a marriage has no legal status, it can be recognised by Muslims.

Six of the converts were Aboriginal prisoners serving time for murder, rape and armed robbery. The converts were caught on surveillance cameras kneeling before Hamzy and kissing his hand.

The Islamic converts had shaved their heads and grown long beards, and conducted prayers in their cells several times a day.

Hamzy is now in isolation behind seven separate security barriers in a high-security section of Lithgow prison, where he is denied contact with other prisoners.

Source: The Sun-Herald

-------------

washingtonpost.com
4 Charged With Terrorist Plot In California
By Amy Argetsinger and Sonya Geis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 1, 2005; A02


LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 -- Federal and local law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they had blocked a terrorist conspiracy with roots in the state prison system that had allegedly plotted to attack military facilities, synagogues and the Israeli consulate, among other Southern California targets.

A federal grand jury here indicted the head of a radical Islamic prison gang and three other men on charges of conspiracy to wage war against the U.S. government, conspiracy to kill service members and foreign officials, and other related crimes.

The conspiracy unraveled, officials said, after two of the men were arrested in early July in connection with a string of gas station robberies. A search of one suspect's home turned up jihadist literature, bulletproof vests and lists of potential targets.

"We dodged a bullet here, perhaps many bullets," said Police Chief William J. Bratton. "These individuals had devised a plan, selected targets, obtained the weapons, picked the dates," including Jewish holy days in October.

The indictments highlighted a growing area of concern -- the potential for radical movements to be nurtured within U.S. prisons, where religion is often a solace for an alienated population.

"We have a tendency to think of terrorism as something that is foreign," said U.S. Attorney Debra W. Yang, who added that there is no evidence the prison group was tied to al Qaeda or other overseas organizations. "This is a stark reminder that it can be homegrown."

Officials allege the conspiracy began with Kevin James, 29, a longtime inmate at California State Prison-Sacramento who is serving time for attempted robbery and possession of a weapon in prison. In 1997, James founded a group called Jamiyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh.

According to charging documents, James tried to recruit his fellow inmates into the group, which preached a radical version of Islam that called for members to attack any perceived enemies of the faith. Last fall, one of his alleged recruits, Levar Haney Washington, 25, was paroled from the prison and returned to Los Angeles with orders from James to recruit more followers with clean records, then acquire firearms and explosives.

In late May, Washington began the robberies along with Gregory Vernon Patterson, 21, and Pakistani immigrant Hammad Riaz Samana, 21, both former college students who attended the same suburban mosque as Washington. Yang said the robberies were "designed to finance the operations of the terrorist conspiracy."

Washington remained in contact with James, according to the indictment, updating him on Patterson's and Samana's involvement. The charging documents also allege that Patterson had used the Internet to research the offices of the Israeli airline El Al at Los Angeles International Airport and the Yom Kippur events in the city this fall, while Samana had researched information about the Israeli consulate and military recruiting offices.

If convicted, all four men could face life in prison without parole, officials said.
-----------------
Islamic radicalization of Europe's jails?
Treatment of Muslim inmates varies across EU


MSNBC
Updated: 11:37 p.m. MT July 7, 2006
MILAN, Italy — "In prison you only think about waking up, cleaning your cell, and praying," said a Moroccan inmate serving time in a prison on the outskirts of this city.

During a recent visit to the Bollate prison, 25-year-old Hakimi Abd Elfattah said he was a non-observant Muslim before being incarcerated, but "there's nothing to do in here, so I learn a little of the Quran."

With no trained imams or Muslim chaplains working in the Bollate prison, the inmate offering guidance on Islam's holy book also is a prisoner.

In contrast to the Westernized Elfattah, self-designated imam Arafat Mahmoud sports a skull cap on his shaved head, a thick beard, and refuses to shake hands with women.

The 36-year-old said he was not trained at an Islamic college but knew more about Islam than the other prisoners on his floor and had taken it upon himself to instruct inmates from North Africa. Neither inmate would divulge the crimes for which they were incarcerated.

Around 30 percent of Bollate's nearly 900 inmates are Muslim, and many of them pray together in various Arabic dialects and other languages four times a day in small, carpeted cells located on each floor and wing of the prison. They pray alone in their cells at night and gather together for large Friday afternoon services.

While religion can assist prisoners in bettering their lives, there is a growing fear that radical Islamists are using jails to find recruits, with some analysts saying that al-Qaida is specifically targeting inmates for indoctrination.

Alarmed by the possibility, the European Union has made the prevention of recruitment and radicalization in prisons a counter-terrorism priority for the first time.

For her part, Bollate prison director Lucia Castellano said she has never suspected any inmates of recruiting for or planning terrorist attacks in her prison. But, she acknowledged that with so many languages spoken within the prison's walls, it would be impossible for guards to know what was being discussed.

'Criminality and Islamism'
"The connection between criminality and Islamism is very tight in Europe," said Michael Radu, a terrorism analyst at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

"Every (terrorist) attack has converts, and most of them have criminal records and were converted within prisons," he said, noting the cases of British "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid and José Emilio Suárez Trashorras, the Spaniard who supplied the explosives used in the 2004 Madrid bombings — both of whom converted while incarcerated.

Like the young Moroccan held in the Bollate prison, analysts noted that the majority of Europe's prisoners were not actively engaged in any religion before being locked up, but their confinement often spurs a religious awakening or reawakening.

"In prison individuals are confronted with existential questions in a particularly intensive way" and religion can offer a "possibility to escape prison" at least for one's mind and spirit, said Irene Becci, who has analyzed religion in Italian and German prisons.

There are no statistics on prison conversions, but empirical evidence from British prisons shows that conversion to Islam is probably higher than to Christianity, according to sociology professor Jim Beckford.

"What's more attractive is that it's a relatively straight-forward faith in terms of what's required for someone to declare themselves to be a Muslim; people respond to that promise of an uncomplicated faith that offers security and certainty," said Beckford, who co-authored the book "Muslims In Prison; Challenges and Change in Britain and France."

In Florence, Italy, an Arabic cultural mediator said that by introducing Islam into the lives of inmates held at Tuscany's Soliciano prison, he saw a huge change in their personalities.

None of the prisoners from Islamic countries prayed when he began visiting them several years ago, but now dozens pray together and those who were using drugs, starving or mutilating themselves have all stopped, according to Mourad Abderrezak.

But, while faith can provide a path to redemption, it can also be misguided.

“In prison, a person has the right disposition to reflect on and accept what he’s taught, so you have to be careful of what message is given — either a moderate Islam, or an Islam that let’s say takes another path," Abderrezak said.

It's the other path that worries authorities. "There are very few legitimate imams serving in prisons in places like France, and self-made characters are free to operate – and these are radicals," said Radu, the terrorism analyst.  

As the seeker looks for guidance, a "charismatic leader recruits them and when they're out they have a spontaneous (terrorist) cell," he said.

According to Radu, the cycle of "criminality and Islamism" is closed when the radicalized ex-prisoner re-engages in illegal activities to fund al-Qaida attacks.

Two of the men involved in Madrid's Atocha bombings fit that mold.

Incarcerated for petty crimes, Trashorras, who was a nominal Christian, and Jamal Ahmidan, a nonobservant Muslim, were both indoctrinated into radical Islam in prison and joined an al-Qaida linked Moroccan group that used drug trafficking to fund terrorist activities before taking lead roles in the deadly train bombings.


Overrepresentation in jails
The United States has not been immune to Islamic radicalization in its jails, but the situation this side of the Atlantic is underscored by the overrepresentation of Muslims in prison.

Muslims account for an estimated 50 percent of France's prison population, with some jails on the outskirts of Paris hitting 80 percent, while Muslims only account for six to ten percent of the total population. (No concrete statistics exist because it is illegal to ask a person to declare their faith in France.)

"Muslims tend not to be in prison in the U.S. because they're middle class, educated, and don't have the pathologies of the European Muslims," terrorism analyst Radu said.

By contrast, Muslims in France often live in impoverished ghettos where criminal activity is common, and the country's terrorism-related arrests date to the early 1990's when members of Algeria's Islamic Salvation Front began arriving as a civil war took hold of the north African country.

In England and Wales, Muslims represent 8 percent of the inmate population, but they only account for 2 to 4 percent of the whole U.K. population (which includes Scotland and Northern Ireland).

In the cases of countries such as Italy and Spain, many Muslims are illegal economic migrants who arrive clandestinely with great hopes, but do not have the skills or legal right to work to support themselves.

"The only avenue they can follow is crime; there's nothing they can do that's legal" said Castellano, the Italian prison director.

Tackling the problem
The European Union first addressed the issue this year by holding a seminar in March on preventing recruitment and radicalization in prisons.

But, the vastly different penitentiary systems across the 25 countries make for an uphill battle.

Also, adherence to EU recommendations is “up to each member state; the EU will not enter into the situation that’s going on in prisons,” said Jesus Carmona Nunez, spokesperson for the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator.

In the cases of Britain, which recognizes Muslims' needs and has an active chaplaincy program, and France, which employs it's policy of laïcité, or republican secularism, the problems facing Muslim inmates and those watching over them vary greatly.

In England and Wales, "prison governors are aware of the risks of radicalization," the U.K. Home Office wrote in a prepared statement.

"There is no evidence that this is widespread although we suspect some prisoners have covertly attempted to radicalize prisoners, both during their prison sentence and after release," the statement said, noting that 23 full time imams, 12 part-time imams, and 120 sessional imams who visit once a week, and who have all had vigorous security checks, "are prohibited from preaching or facilitating extremist messages and activities."

Since the 2005 London transport bombings "we have closely monitored events such as Friday prayers and all establishments are instructed to report any significant events," it said.

The program keeps an eye out for possible extremist activity, but it also sparks "curiosity and to some degree pressure from fellow inmates to take part in chaplaincy activities," said sociology professor Beckford.

While generally viewed as positive measures, special provisions such as Islamic literature, prayer halls, halal food, evening Ramadan meals, and headscarves for women, can also entice Muslims to seek advantages and separate themselves from other inmates, forming a sort of clan mentality, according to Beckford.

However, in France, which does not recognize or regulate religious activity in prisons, provisions are only offered on an ad hoc basis, dependent on the personal preferences of prison directors and wardens. Qurans are available in some prisons, but incarcerated Muslim woman are often denied the right to wear headscarves and halal food is not offered.

"In the French case, fundamentalism can be more pronounced than in Britain because it is a way for many Muslims to draw a divide between them and a society which does not tolerate Muslim habits and customs through its "laïcité" system," Farhad Khosrokhavar, another co-author of "Muslims in Prison" wrote in an email interview.

Due to the lack of trained imams or Muslim chaplains "the most radical tend to take control and organize informal types of Islamic education (in France)," Beckford said.

Meantime, most likely due to the lack of religious categorization, inmates convicted of Islamic terrorist offenses mix freely with other prisoners, according to the professor.

"There's a good network among the inmates that have been radicalized in French prisons," he said.

Deportation failures
Prisoners may be radicalized while they are incarcerated, but they only become a danger to the public when they are released. And deportation failures could be leaving Europe exposed.

In Italy, foreign prisoners are given five days to leave the country after their release, usually of their own accord. If they are caught in Italy after that time period, they are jailed for another 6 months to a year.

"It's a vicious cycle," said Castellano, the Italian prison director.

Inside the prison, inmate Elfattah said “people are in here for nothing, just for the (expulsion) law.”

“I only know Italy,” he said, lamenting the fact that upon release he must leave the country he has lived in since he was 14. “There are people in here for one year just because they didn’t leave the country; it’s not fair,” he said.

While expulsion laws present a sad situation for the ex-convict who would like to improve his status in Europe, or would leave but either doesn't have the means to do so or is afraid to return home in disgrace, the situation also poses a huge security question regarding who is and isn't in Europe, especially given the number of imprisoned foreign nationals.

Fourteen percent of Italy's prison population is Muslim, 98 percent of whom are foreign nationals, while Muslims only account for one percent of the total population.

In Britain, then home secretary, Charles Clarke, was fired in May after admitting that 1,000 foreign nationals were released from prison between 1999 and 2006 without being considered for deportation.

Yet while an unknown number of prisoners across Europe are experiencing religious revivals and possibly being radicalized, back at the Bollate prison, Elfattah appeared to take his Islamic studies and prayers somewhat less seriously.

As he looks forward to the birth of his first son this month, and rejoining his French-born Moroccan wife when he's released in October, he plans to start a new life in France.

"In prison I pray, but when I leave I won't. I won't lie to you," he said.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive© 2006 MSNBC Interactive
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13733782/
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« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2007, 05:45:34 AM »


Wahhabi Prison Fellowship:  The teaching of jihad in American penitentiaries.

by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Weekly Standard, Sept. 26, 2005, Volume 11, Issue 2

ON AUGUST 31, FOUR men were charged with participation in a terrorist plot hatched in a California prison. The six-count indictment describes a conspiracy to attack military and Jewish targets in the Los Angeles area, including military bases and recruitment centers, synagogues, the Israeli Consulate, and El Al airline facilities. It also spotlights a problem that has surfaced repeatedly since 9/11: that of jihadist indoctrination in prisons and jails.

The roots of this latest alleged conspiracy reach back to 1997, when Kevin James, an inmate at California State Prison, Sacramento, founded Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS), an organization promoting his radical interpretation of Islam. James required members to take an oath of obedience to him and swear not to disclose the existence of JIS. According to the indictment, James "preached the duty of JIS members to target for violent attack any enemies of Islam or 'infidels,' including the United States Government and Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel." James's teaching apparently found sympathetic ears. The plot was uncovered after former CSP-Sacramento inmate Levar Washington was arrested this July for a string of gas station robberies, and a search of his apartment turned up extremist literature and documents listing the addresses of intended terrorist targets.

While some Muslim advocacy groups deny that extremist indoctrination is occurring in prisons, the evidence continues to mount. Muktar Said Ibrahim, arrested in the attempted bombing of London's Underground on July 21, reportedly converted to Islam while incarcerated, as did attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid before him. And students of the case of former gang member Jose Padilla, accused of being part of a "dirty bomb" plot, consider relevant the time he spent behind bars just before his conversion.

Beyond these individual cases, moreover, it is a fact that radical propaganda has been distributed in U.S. prisons. Before it was shut down by the Saudi Arabian government in 2004, the Wahhabist Al Haramain Islamic Foundation distributed large numbers of extremist books worldwide, including to American prisons. Al-Haramain boasted offices in over 50 countries and received between $45 and $50 million in donations every year.

When law-enforcement agents raided the U.S. branch of Al Haramain, headquartered in Ashland, Oregon, in February 2004 as part of a money-laundering investigation, they seized copies of the literature the foundation had been distributing. They also made a remarkable find on one of the seized computers: a database that detailed where the group had sent its literature. It contained over 15,000 names. While not all recipients were prisoners, enough were that "Prisoner Number" and "Release Date" were standard fields in the database. The charity also regularly mailed bulk quantities of literature to prison chaplains, who distributed the books to inmates.

Some of the texts that Al Haramain had distributed to prisons deserve a closer look. Take Muhammad bin Jamil Zino's Islamic Guidelines for Individual and Social Reform, which was sent to an estimated 1,000 prisoners (an exact tally has not been made public). One of the book's themes is jihad. As early as page two, Zino states that Islam "commends the Halal [lawful] money in possession of a pious person who pays a share of it in charity and for Jihad (fighting in the way of Allah)." While some students of Islam argue that the term jihad is often misunderstood because it has nonmilitary meanings, Al Haramain's literature avoids any ambiguity: Zino forthrightly states that the term means fighting.

This advocacy of jihad is reinforced by repetition. Zino instructs his readers that children should be indoctrinated in the glories of jihad from an early age:

Teach your children the love of justice and revenge from the unjust like the Jews and the tyrants. Consequently our youth would know that Palestine should be freed and Jerusalem must be of the Muslims. They have to learn about Islam and Jihad as per the Qur'an and that the holy fighting for justice is supported by Allah the Almighty.

And he further specifies the objects and means of jihad: "The Jihad against the disbelievers, communists and the aggressors from Jewish-Christian nations can be either by spending on Jihad or by participating in it in person."

Indeed, the "Jewish-Christian nations" are special objects of ire throughout the literature that Al Haramain distributed to prisons. Virulent anti-Semitism and hatred of non-Muslim governments are recurring themes.

On a page headed "Act upon these Ahadith," the hadith being sayings and traditions attributed to Muhammad, Zino's very first injunction reads: "The Last Hour will not appear unless the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them." Zino also imputes conspiracies to the Jews. In a passage denouncing fortunetellers, he writes, "If they know the Unseen, let them talk about the secret schemes of the Jews so that we combat them."

More sweepingly, Zino denounces "belief in man-made destructive ideologies such as atheistic communism, Jewish masonry, Marxian socialism, secularism or nationalism" as nullifying an individual's adherence to Islam. This is in keeping with the views of another of the writers whose works Al Haramain reportedly sent to prisons: Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. In The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism), Philips excoriates the acceptance of non-Islamic rule in place of sharia law in Muslim lands. Philips describes acquiescence to non-Islamic rule as an act of idolatry and disbelief. "Un-Islamic government," he writes, "must be sincerely hated and despised for the pleasure of God."

The Koran, of course, was widely distributed by Al Haramain--the Koran, that is, in its Wahhabi version. As Stephen Schwartz reported here a year ago, the Wahhabi translation of the Koran is suffused with contempt for non-Muslims, particularly Jews and Christians. It contains numerous interpolations not present in the Arabic, all pushing the meaning in a radical direction. Al-Haramain distributed this volume to an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 prisoners.

The Wahhabi Koran also contains explanatory material rife with calls to holy war. An early footnote, for example, states:

Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah's Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah's Word is made superior, . . . and His Religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.

This rules out nonmilitary interpretations of jihad, insisting on "full force of numbers and weaponry." It also endorses jihad as a means of propagating Islam, and specifies that it is required of "every Muslim."

Most chilling of all is a 22-page appendix by Saudi Arabia's former chief justice Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Humaid found in the vast majority of the Korans that Al Haramain sent to the prisons. Entitled "The Call to Jihad (Holy Fighting in Allah's Cause) in the Qur'an," this essay is an exhortation to violence.

Bin Humaid argues at length that Muslims are obligated to wage war against non-Muslims who have not submitted to Islamic rule. He explains,

Allah . . . commanded the Muslims to fight against all the Mushrikun as well as against the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizyah (a tax levied on the non-Muslims who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.

Mushrikun refers to all nonbelievers who are not classified as people of the scriptures; bin Humaid thus advocates war with the entire non-Muslim world.

Once again, the essay appeals to the reader to volunteer for jihad:

Jihad is a great deed indeed and there is no deed whose reward or blessing is as that of it, and for this reason, it is the best thing that one can volunteer for. . . . t (Jihad) shows one's patience, one's devotion to Islam, one's remembrance to Allah and there are other kinds of good deeds which are present in Jihad and are not present in any other act of worship.

There is reason to believe that the literature distributed by the Al Haramain Foundation is only the tip of the iceberg of what has reached and may still be reaching U.S. prisons. For all its impressive international presence, Al Haramain had only a handful of employees at its U.S. branch, and was just one of a number of Wahhabi charities with U.S. prison-outreach programs. The focus here is on Al Haramain's literature purely because the February 2004 raid opened a window into its program of prisoner education.

More study of radical indoctrination in prisons is warranted. Earlier this year, Freedom House, the New York-based human rights organization, released a scrupulously documented report exposing the extremist contents of literature found in the libraries, publication racks, and bookstores of 15 prominent U.S. mosques. The report is entitled "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques."

A similar sampling of the Islamic literature available in federal and state prisons--both in libraries and distributed by prison chaplains--is needed to further our understanding of whatever extremist indoctrination has occurred and is occurring. A good place to start is the California prison system, where the latest plot for jihad on our soil was apparently hatched.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a counterterrorism consultant and attorney.
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« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2007, 10:45:03 AM »

GM

Thanks for the articles. My biggest beef with the first was lack of apparent facts. Much appreciated follow-up...
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« Reply #82 on: May 24, 2007, 01:56:07 PM »

SB,

Glad to be of assistance.
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« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2007, 11:11:43 AM »

Today's NY Times-- Often on topical subjects, but always a suspect source:
========================

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Sheik Yassir Fazaga regularly uses a standard American calendar to provide inspiration for his weekly Friday sermon.

Sheik Yassir Fazaga greeting worshipers after a prayer service. He went to high school in Orange County, Calif., and now leads a mosque there.
Around Valentine’s Day this year, he talked about how the Koran endorses romantic love within certain ethical parameters. (As opposed to say, clerics in Saudi Arabia, who denounce the banned saint’s day as a Satanic ritual.)

On World AIDS Day, he criticized Muslims for making moral judgments about the disease rather than helping the afflicted, and on International Women’s Day he focused on domestic abuse.

“My main objective is to make Islam relevant,” said Sheik Fazaga, 34, who went to high school in Orange County, which includes Mission Viejo, and brings a certain American flair to his role as imam in the mosque here.

Prayer leaders, or imams, in the United States have long arrived from overseas, forced to negotiate a foreign culture along with their congregation. Older immigrants usually overlook the fact that it is an uneasy fit, particularly since imported sheiks rarely speak English. They welcome a flavor of home.

But as the first generation of American-born Muslims begins graduating from college in significant numbers, with a swelling tide behind them, some congregations are beginning to seek native imams who can talk about religious and social issues that seem relevant to young people, like dating and drugs. On an even more practical level, they want an imam who can advise them on day-to-day American matters like how to set up a 401(k) plan to funnel the charitable donations known as zakat, which Islam mandates.

“The problem is that you have a young generation whose own experience has nothing to do with where its parents came from,” said Hatem Bazian, a lecturer in the Near Eastern studies department at the University of California, Berkeley, who surveys Muslim communities.

But the underlying quandary is that American imams are hard to find, though there are a few nascent training programs. These days, many of the men leading prayers across the United States on any given Friday are volunteers, doctors or engineers who know a bit more about the Koran than everyone else. Scholars point out that one of the great strengths of Islam, particularly the Sunni version, is that there is no official hierarchy.

But this situation is fueling a debate about just how thoroughly an imam has to be schooled in Islamic jurisprudence and other religious matters before running a mosque.

The downside for Islam in America, some critics argue, is that those interpreting Islamic law often lack a command of the full scope of the traditions carried in the Koran and the hadith, the sayings of the prophet Muhammad considered sacred.

“I call it ‘hadith slinging,’ ” said Prof. Khaled Abou el Fadl, a specialist in Islamic law at the University of California, Los Angeles. “I throw a couple of hadiths at you, and you throw a couple of hadiths at me, and that is the way we do Islamic law,” he added. “It’s like any moron can do that.”

Experts say the problem is exacerbated because few immigrant parents want their children to become imams.

“Immigrant parents want their children to become doctors, engineers, computer scientists,” Dr. Bazian said. “If you suggested that they might want their kid to study to become an imam, they would hold a funeral procession.” Ultimately, in the absence of trained sheiks, good religion in many American mosques has come to be defined through rigid adherence to rituals, Professor Abou el Fadl said, adding, “It’s ritual that defines piety.”

The few imams born or at least raised in the United States who win over their congregations tend to be younger men who can play pickup basketball with the teenagers, but also have enough training in classical Arabic and Islamic jurisprudence that the older members accept their religious credentials.

Imam Ronald Smith Jr., 29, who runs the Islamic Center of Daytona Beach, Fla., converted to Islam at 14 to escape the violence in his African-American community in Atlantic City. As part of his training, he spent six years studying at the Islamic University in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

“Foreign imams, because of the culture in their countries, kind of stick to the mosque and the duties of the mosque without involving themselves much in the general community,” Imam Smith said. “The hip-hop culture is difficult to understand if you have never lived it.”

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(Page 2 of 2)



The foreign imams’ idea of mosque outreach, Imam Smith said, is sponsoring an evening lecture series where everyone sits around for an hour and listens to a speech about being devout or maybe world politics, which teenagers find less than compelling.

Mosque leaders say the risk is that younger Muslims, already feeling under assault in the United States because of the faith’s checkered reputation, might choose one of two extremes. They either drift away from the faith entirely if they cannot find answers, or leave the mosque for a more radical fringe.

Here in Mission Viejo, Sheik Fazaga wears street clothes much of the time, but dons traditional robes to deliver the Friday sermon at the mosque, a building distinguishable from the surrounding strip malls and low-slung office buildings mostly by its airy exterior dome of metal filigree painted sea green. It was a practice he started 10 years ago when he first returned home and kind of fell into the imam’s job around age 24, because some members considered him too young for the position.

Born in the East African nation of Eritrea, he moved to the Arab world before coming to Mission Viejo at age 15. Drawn toward Islam by college students, he enrolled in the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, a Virginia campus of al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The United States government expelled much of the faculty in 2004 as part of the crackdown on extremist Islamic rhetoric.

The school was accused of being an American outpost of the puritanical Wahhabi sect, a label Sheik Fazaga rejects. But that might be one reason he has been stopped for questioning some 20 times — every time he returns home from abroad.

“ ‘How come you don’t dress like an imam?’— that’s their favorite question,” he said with a wry grin.

Younger Muslims seek him out for guidance, he said, and the fact that he is studying for a master’s degree in psychological therapy helps. Teenagers have requested advice about being addicted to Internet pornography, he said, and about sexual orientation. He counsels adolescents — gay and straight — that sexual attraction is natural, but to act on it is wrong and that any addiction should be treated.

Previous imams would simply admonish the youths that something was a forbidden abomination, subject closed.

Gihan Zahran, 43, an Egyptian immigrant, remembers a previous Arab imam who even told a much perplexed teenager that wearing Nike shoes was “haram,” or forbidden in Arabic, without explaining why. Some Muslims consider this aloofness particularly ineffective in America, given that they are a minority faced by majority practices like drinking alcohol that clash with their faith and that teenagers confront daily.

Ms. Zahran’s sister Nermeen Zahran, 42, recently went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. She is a real estate agent, and has not veiled her hair at least partly because it might affect her livelihood in a conservative place like Orange County.

When she went on the hajj, as it is called in Arabic, a fellow pilgrim asked the Egyptian imam who accompanied them from Southern California his opinion of her not wearing the scarf afterward.

“He was so mad, so offended and said he couldn’t believe it could happen,” Nermeen Zahran recalled over a glass of orange juice in the neat condominium she shares with her sister. His basic reaction, she said, was that there was no point in seeking forgiveness for previous sins if one did not take the veil afterward.

Ms. Zahran has also consulted religious figures about periodic bouts of depression, but the usual response was that her faith lacked vigor.

Now she talks to Sheik Fazaga about it, she said. “He tries to solve the problems and doesn’t tell you that you have to accept that this is your life, this is what Allah gave you, and if you don’t then you are not a good Muslim.”

She wonders, in the end, whether a purer form of Islam will develop in the United States, with prayer leaders focused on the concerns of the community, rather than not treading on the toes of the government that supports them, as in much of the Arab world.

Mosques will probably continue to address the wishes of the immigrant population for another decade, but after that the tide will shift away from them, experts suggest.

“Islam in America is trying to create a new cultural matrix that can survive in the broader context of America,” said Prof. Sherman Jackson, who teaches Arabic and Islamic law at the University of Michigan. “It has to change for the religion to survive.”
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« Reply #84 on: June 05, 2007, 07:01:35 AM »

Islamic Groups Named in Hamas Funding Case

BY JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
June 4, 2007
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/55778

Federal prosecutors have named three prominent Islamic organizations in America as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas.

Prosecutors applied the label of "unindicted co-conspirator" to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust in connection with a trial planned in Texas next month for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

While the foundation was charged in the case, which was filed in 2004, none of the other groups was. However, the co-conspirator designation could be a blow to the credibility of the national Islamic organizations, which often work hand-in-hand with government officials engaged in outreach to the Muslim community.

A court filing by the government last week listed the three prominent groups among about 300 individuals or entities named as co-conspirators. The document gave scant details, but prosecutors described CAIR as a present or past member of "the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee and/or its organizations." The government listed the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust as "entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood."

The secretary-general of the Islamic Society of North America, Muneer Fareed, said his group was surprised to be named in the Texas case. "I can tell you categorically that the current administration of ISNA, as well as its stakeholders, they have no connection to my knowledge with any Holy Land foundations," he said.

Mr. Fareed denied his group has any ties to Hamas, though he said it is difficult to police all 300 mosques under his umbrella. "We might have a kid whose dad was president of Hamas for all I know," he said. "How do you verify these things?"

The Islamic official expressed frustration at the lack of detail in the prosecution's filing. "Perhaps there's some evidence. I just don't really know what it is," he said.

Spokesmen for CAIR did not respond to messages seeking comment yesterday. Efforts to contact the North American Islamic Trust were unsuccessful.

The identification of the alleged co-conspirators could aid prosecutors when the Holy Land Foundation and five of its officials, Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Ghassan Elashi, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulraham Odeh, go to trial on July 16 in Dallas. Statements by and about co-conspirators are exempt from rules barring hearsay.

Judge A. Joe Fish will have to decide whether to accept the government's description of the alleged conspiracy.

The practice of publicly naming unindicted co-conspirators is frowned on by some in the legal community, chiefly because there is no trial or other mechanism for those named to challenge their designation. Justice Department guidelines discourage the public identification of unindicted co-conspirators by the government.

"In all public filings and proceedings, federal prosecutors should remain sensitive to the privacy and reputation interests of uncharged third-parties," the Justice Department's manual for prosecutors says. When co-conspirator lists have to be filed in court, prosecutors should seek to file them under seal, the guidelines say.

In practice, the lists are often made public. A list of co-conspirators was released in connection with the federal trial in 2005 of a former college professor, Sami Al-Arian, on terrorism support charges. However, when Enron executives went on trial last year, the list of alleged co-conspirators was kept under seal. Prosecutors on the Holy Land Foundation case could not be reached yesterday and did not respond to an e-mail.

The inclusion of the Islamic groups on the list of alleged conspirators could give ammunition to critics of the organizations. CAIR, in particular, has faced persistent claims that it is soft on terrorism. Critics note that several former CAIR officials have been convicted or deported after being charged with fraud, embargo violations, or aiding terrorist training. Spokesmen for the group have also raised eyebrows for offering generic denunciations of terrorism but refusing to condemn by name specific Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah.

In addition, one of the Holy Land Foundation defendants, Ghassan Elashi, founded CAIR's Texas chapter. CAIR's Washington office was also set up in 1994 with $5,000 in seed money from the foundation, according to congressional testimony by a researcher into Islamic extremism, Steven Emerson.

Last year, Senator Boxer of California, a Democrat, withdrew an award she gave to an official at a local CAIR chapter. She said she had concerns about statements by some CAIR officials and about claims of financial links to terrorism. Many FBI officials meet regularly with CAIR representatives and clerics from the Islamic Society of North America.

A New York Times article published in March said unidentified government officials believed that the criticism of CAIR was unwarranted. A former FBI official, Michael Rolince, said yesterday that the co-conspirator designation might prompt CAIR to be more direct in denouncing terrorism but was no reason to cut off all contact with the group.

"People could say the same thing about the FBI. They're not all choirboys," he said. "We don't go into this with blinders on."

Separately, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, Steve McGonigle, is fighting the prosecution's efforts to call him as a witness at the Holy Land Foundation trial.

In filing to quash the subpoena last week, Mr. McGonigle said prosecutors want to question him about an interview that he conducted in 1999 with the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. Yassin, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in 2004, denied any connection between Holy Land Foundation and Hamas.

However, Mr. McGonigle reported that records showed that the foundation sometimes singled out the families of Hamas "martyrs" for assistance.

Mr. McGonigle's lawyer said his client could be targeted by terrorists if he forced to testify. "A journalist who is perceived to have acted as an agent for the U.S. Government will almost inevitably be placed at a substantially greater risk when on assignment in the Middle East," the attorney, Paul Watler, wrote.
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« Reply #85 on: June 05, 2007, 07:08:18 AM »

IMHO, this piece glosses over the significance of the danger of the disconcerting large minority who believe in terrorism, jihad, etc., but it does make valid points as well.
==================================

Muslim Melting Pot
Once again, America beats Europe on assimilation.

BY IRSHAD MANJI
WSJ
Monday, June 4, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT


Against the backdrop of civil war, Abraham Lincoln stirred Americans by appealing to their "better angels." Now some of those angels appear in an unprecedented study about Muslims in the United States--and they may show us how to prevent civil war in Europe.

"Muslim Americans," released by the Pew Research Center, contains moments of bad news. For example, one in four respondents under the age of 30 accepts suicide bombing. As a reformed-minded Muslim, I say that honoring any religion of peace through violence is like preserving virginity through pre-marital sex. Think about it.

But the Pew report offers a lot more good news. Political Islam has not caught on in America as it has in Europe because most Muslims in the U.S. are--dare it be said--treated with dignity.

The vast majority of those surveyed like their communities and describe their lives as "pretty happy" or "very happy." Which means lobbyists do not speak for Muslim Americans when they cry that the U.S. hates Islam.





In Berlin recently, an audience buzzed nervously when I suggested that Europe can learn from America about integrating Muslims. Afterwards, several people confided to me that they know the U.S. is getting something right. What is that something? As I engage with young Muslims on both sides of the Atlantic, I see three factors: economics, diversity and faith.
• For plenty of Muslims in the United States, ambition and initiative pay off. The Pew survey reinforces this lesson, telling us that 71% of Muslim Americans believe most people in the U.S. "can make it if they are willing to work hard."

Meanwhile, in Europe, young Muslims face blatant discrimination in employment, educational and social opportunities, even when they are citizens. Many subsist on welfare, which only gives them time to stew and surf the Web for preachers who spew a rigid identity. This is the path that led Mohammed Bouyeri to murder Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

• In much of America, diversity is a reason to intermingle. The Pew study reveals that most Muslims are close friends with non-Muslims.

In much of Europe, diversity has become an excuse to self-segregate. Many of Europe's mosques, and the Muslims who attend them, refuse to communicate in the language of their new surroundings. As a result, young Muslim men drift away from moderate religious authorities and fall for online opportunists. That is how Mohammad Sidique Khan, mastermind of the London transit bombers, fell under the sway of "Sheikh Google," the collective nickname for Islamist Web sites.

• To Americans, it is not the fact of having faith that invites scrutiny, but what one is perceived to be doing with that faith. Western Europeans, still steeped in a backlash against the Catholic Church, often show suspicion or outright contempt to people of faith. Such "secular fundamentalism" leads some Muslims to believe that they will never be accepted by their adopted countries. So why integrate?

Small wonder that young Muslims in Western Europe whisper to me, "I wish I lived in the United States." The honesty doesn't end there. Muslim men, in their twenties, have complained to me that in an effort to appear sensitive, Europeans downplay shared values. This confuses many Muslim youth and creates a vacuum that radical clerics can exploit.

Translation: A common aspiration such as the American Dream is crucial to giving Muslims a sense of belonging to something larger and more dynamic than cultural enclaves.

But what about the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay? The answer always comes back that these are unfortunate and unjust exceptions. In America, they say, you can be more than a Muslim. You are a member of the wider public.

Naïve? Not according to the Pew study. More than half of Muslims in the U.S. identify themselves as Americans first, easily eclipsing patriotism among Muslims in Germany, Spain or Britain. Clearly, the U.S. has retained its genius as a nation of immigrants.





To be sure, there is a long way to go in giving non-immigrant Muslims, especially African-Americans, a sense of belonging. Most are not among the better educated, wealthier and politically influential Americans that so many South Asian, Iranian and Arab Muslims are.
However, that gap is the product of America's persistent racial battle. It has almost nothing to do with a fear of Islam.

For the all the slogans, accusations and fulminations of the Islam industry's lobbyists, fear is not what mainstream Americans feel about Muslims. Just ask the 73% of Muslims who told Pew that they have never been discriminated against in the U.S.

Europe, take notes. America, take a break from self-flagellation. Reformist Muslims, take your cue. In the U.S., you have the possibility of a voice. Islam's better angels depend on it.

Ms. Manji, a senior fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, is author of "The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith" (St. Martin's, 2005).
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« Reply #86 on: June 06, 2007, 08:53:18 AM »

Be Careful What You Sue For
By FLOYD ABRAMS
June 6, 2007; Page A19

Pursuing a libel or slander suit has long been a dangerous enterprise. Oscar Wilde sued the father of his young lover Alfred Douglas for having referred to him as a "posing Somdomite" and wound up not only dropping his case but being tried, convicted and jailed for violating England's repressive laws banning homosexual conduct. Alger Hiss sued Wittaker Chambers for slander for accusing Hiss of being a member of the Communist Party with Chambers, and of illegally passing secret government documents to him for transmission to the Soviet Union. In the end, Hiss was jailed for perjury for having denied Chambers' claims before a grand jury.

More recently, British historian David Irving sued American scholar Deborah Lipstadt in England for having characterized him as a Holocaust denier and was ultimately so discredited in court that an English judge not only determined that he was indeed a Holocaust denier but an "antisemite" and "racist" as well.

On May 29 of this year, the potential vulnerability of a plaintiff that misuses the courts to sue for libel once again surfaced when the Islamic Society of Boston abandoned a libel action it had commenced against a number of Boston residents, a Boston newspaper and television station, and Steven Emerson, a recognized expert on terrorism and, in particular, extremist Islamic groups. In all, 17 defendants were named.

Those accused had publicly raised questions about a real estate transaction entered into between the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Islamic Society, which transferred to the latter a plot of land in Boston, at a price well below market value, for the construction of a mosque and other facilities. The critics urged the Boston authorities to reconsider their decision to provide the land on such favorable terms (which included promised contributions to the community by the Islamic Society, such as holding lectures and offering other teaching about Islam) to an organization whose present or former leaders had close connections with or who had otherwise supported terrorist organizations.

On the face of it, the Islamic Society was a surprising entry into the legal arena. Its founder, Abdurahman Alamoudi, had been indicted in 2003 for his role in a terrorism financing scheme, pled guilty and had been sentenced to a 23-year prison term. Another individual, Yusef Al-Qaradawi, who had been repeatedly identified by the Islamic Society as a member of its board of Trustees, had been described by a U.S. Treasury Department official as a senior Muslim Brotherhood member and had endorsed the killing of Americans in Iraq and Jews everywhere. One director of the Islamic Society, Walid Fitaihi, had written that the Jews would be "scourged" because of their "oppression, murder and rape of the worshipers of Allah," and that they had "perpetrated the worst of evils and brought the worst corruption to the earth."

The Islamic Society nonetheless sued, claiming both libel and civil-rights violations. Motions to dismiss the case were denied, and the litigants began to compel third parties to turn over documents bearing on the case. In short order, one after another of the allegations made by the Islamic Society collapsed.

Their complaint asserted that the defendants had falsely stated that monies had been sent to the Islamic Society from "Saudi/Middle Eastern sources," and that such statements and others had devastated its fund-raising efforts. But documents obtained in discovery demonstrated without ambiguity that fund-raising was (as one representative of the Islamic Society had put it) "robust," with at least $7.2 million having been wired to the Islamic Society from Middle Eastern sources, mostly from Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic Society claimed it had been libeled by a variety of expressions of concern by the defendants that it, the Society, had provided support for extremist organizations. But bank records obtained by the defendants showed that the Islamic Society had served as funder both of the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas-controlled organization that the U.S. Treasury Department had said "exists to raise money in the United States to promote terror," and of the Benevolence International Foundation, which was identified by the 9/11 Commission as an al Qaeda fund-raising arm.

The complaint maintained that any reference to recent connections between the Islamic Society and the now-imprisoned Abdurahman Alamoudi was false since it "had had no connection with him for years." But an Islamic Society check written in November 2000, two months after Alamoudi publicly proclaimed his support for Hamas and Hezbollah, was uncovered in discovery which directed money to pay for Alamoudi's travel expenses.

To top it all off, documents obtained from the Boston Redevelopment Authority itself revealed serious, almost incomprehensible, conflicts of interest in the real-estate deal. It turned out that the city agency employee in charge of negotiating the deal with the Islamic Society was at the same time a member of that group and secretly advising it about how to obtain the land at the cheapest possible price.

So the case was dropped. No money was paid by the defendants, no apologies offered, and no limits on their future speech imposed. But it is not at all as if nothing happened. The case offers two enduring lessons. The first is that those who think about suing for libel should think again before doing so. And then again once more. While all the ultimate consequences to the Islamic Society for bringing the lawsuit remain uncertain, any adverse consequences could have been avoided by not suing in the first place.

The second lesson is that in one way (and perhaps no other) we should learn from the English system and award counsel fees to the winning side in cases like this, which are brought to inhibit speech on matters of serious public import. Because all the defendants in this case were steadfast and refused to settle, they were eventually vindicated. But the real way to avoid meritless cases such as this is to have a body of law that makes clear that plaintiffs who bring them will be held financially responsible for doing so.

Mr. Abrams, a partner in the law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, represented Steven Emerson in the case discussed in this op-ed.
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« Reply #87 on: June 06, 2007, 09:03:45 AM »

Reminds me of when CAIR went after Anti-CAIR. Discovery is a bitch when you're a terrorist front group..... grin
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« Reply #88 on: June 07, 2007, 02:02:53 PM »

The Islamists Are Coming!
And they've got their lawyers with them.
by Dean Barnett
06/11/2007, Volume 012, Issue 37


Boston
Bill Sapers doesn't much look like the kind of guy who would find himself staring down radical Islamists or their friends. A 79-year-old accountant, approximately five-foot-six, bespectacled and soft-spoken, Sapers personifies the "distinguished gentleman." But the Islamic Society of Boston, after vainly tussling with him in court for roughly 18 months, would probably dispute that characterization.

Until the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) sued Sapers in late 2005 and gave him a small and unwanted measure of fame, he was far from a public figure. Until then, Sapers had been an anonymous businessman who busied himself with civic activities in his spare time; he has worked with the Anti-Defamation League and is a member of the foundation for Boston's Roxbury Community College.

It was in the course of his duties for the college that Sapers's path crossed that of the ISB. At a meeting of the board in 2002, a fellow board member reported a coup: "Saudi Arabia was going to build the college a garage," Sapers recalls. Sapers asked exactly what this meant, and was told that the college had been the beneficiary of a deal between the city of Boston and the ISB.

It turned out the board member had mangled some details (a garage was never part of the equation), but the deal was still an intriguing one. When Sapers first heard of it, the city had sold the Islamic Society of Boston a piece of land adjacent to Roxbury Community College at a cut-rate price. Depending on who you ask, the land had been conveyed for somewhere between 10 percent and 40 percent of its appraised value. On the plot, the ISB was going to build a $22 million mosque with a 125-foot minaret and a 75-foot dome. In exchange for the city's largesse, the ISB would provide nebulously defined services to Roxbury Community College, including an educational lecture series, and nebulously defined services to the city, including maintenance of a nearby public park.

This arrangement aroused Sapers's curiosity, and he started looking into the ISB. A cursory inspection of the organization's IRS records showed that one of the ISB's seven trustees in the late 1990s was a cleric whose name Sapers knew from his work with the Anti-Defamation League: Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a notorious radical.

Although academic apologists for Islamists strangely praise al-Qaradawi as a moderate, he is a well-known figure in the global jihad who has famously vowed that Islam will conquer both Europe and the United States. According to Lebanese-born terror expert Walid Phares, "al-Qaradawi produced most of the doctrinal foundations for Jihadi radicalism since the mid-1990s, including the incitement for Jihadists to defeat the Africans in southern Sudan, the Middle East minorities, and women's movements. Al-Qaradawi [calls for the] further Talibanization of the Muslim world."

Sapers kept digging. He contacted famed terror expert Steve Emerson, who, as it turned out, had long been documenting the ISB's ties with supporters and enablers of extremism. Shortly thereafter, Charles Jacobs, another Boston resident, warmed to the scent as well. Jacobs is perhaps America's foremost activist in the fight against the human slave trade and the head of the David Project, an organization dedicated to honest reporting on the Middle East.

In 2003, this crew reached out to local media outlets. That October, the Boston Herald began publishing a withering series of articles documenting the ISB's unsavory ties. Challenged about al-Qaradawi, the ISB denied he'd been a trustee and explained his listing on the IRS forms as a clerical oversight. But then it emerged that the ISB had used a taped appearance by al-Qaradawi (by this time barred from entering the United States) as a fundraising tool in 2002.

There was more. The Herald and Fox 25, Boston's local Fox affiliate, reported on the writings of ISB trustee Walid Fitaihi, who had been one of the signatories to the city's generous land transfer. Fitaihi had decried Jews as the "murderers of prophets" and claimed that Jews "would be punished for their oppression, murder and rape of the worshippers of Allah." Fitaihi also declared his scorn for the "Zionist lobby in America . . . which has recruited many of the influential media."

Unfortunately for Sapers and Jacobs, their efforts to arouse the interest of influential media outlets met with mixed results. While the Herald and Fox 25 reported the story aggressively, the Boston Globe--with the conspicuous exception of conservative op-ed columnist Jeff Jacoby--largely ignored it, as did the other local network affiliates.

Equally unconcerned were the city of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). The BRA was the city authority that had made the land deal with the ISB, yet refused to answer direct questions about it. The David Project has sued the BRA to get a gander at the public documents related to that conveyance.

In late 2005, the ISB sued Sapers, Jacobs, the Herald, Emerson, Fox 25, and all the reporters who had covered the story for tortious defamation. The inclusion of Jacobs, Emerson, and Sapers was especially curious, since all these men had done was talk to reporters. The free speech issues at stake were sufficiently grave that renowned First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams agreed to represent Emerson. Attorney Jeff Robbins of the prominent Boston law firm Mintz Levin represented Jacobs and the David Project on a pro-bono basis.

Jacobs points out that the purpose of lawsuits like this (and the one brought on behalf of the Minneapolis airport's "flying imams") is to chill criticism of Islamic groups, even the airing of accurate information. Certainly, any media outlet that reports on the Islamic Society of Boston has to know that a lawsuit may well be its reward for reporting that displeases the ISB. Perhaps that explains why the Boston Globe showed little interest in the story, and, when it did cover it, seemed to bend over backwards to avoid offending the ISB or its attorneys.

As for the defendants in the case, they refused to be intimidated. The suit's transparently frivolous nature emboldened them.

The linchpin of the ISB's complaint was that all of the defendants had been negligent in relying on Steve Emerson as a terror expert. To support this notion, the suit quoted a 1991 New York Times article that disparaged Emerson. Lest this 16-year-old newspaper piece not be deemed dispositive, the complaint also cited a 1998 article from something called the Weekly Planet that said, "Emerson has no credibility left. He can't get on TV and most publications won't pick him up." In the 12 months preceding the ISB's lawsuit, Emerson had appeared on MSNBC 65 times, Fox News 78 times, and NBC 16 times including multiple appearances on the Today Show and the Nightly News.

But even if you're bound to win, being sued is taxing. Boston city councilor Jerry McDermott, who aggressively pursued the unusual land conveyance to the ISB, was threatened with a lawsuit and received menacing phone calls at home, where he lives with his wife and two young daughters.

As for near-octogenarian Bill Sapers, he declared himself "too dumb to be scared." Apparently recognizing the hopelessness of intimidating Sapers, Emerson, Jacobs, and the media outlets who were fighting its lawsuit, the ISB finally backed down, though not before securing a face-saving concession: A second lawsuit was also dropped last week, the appeal of a previously dismissed case in which a citizen had disputed the BRA's conveyance to the ISB. This allowed the ISB, however implausibly, to declare victory, even as it swallowed its supposed outrage over being defamed.

But Sapers is declaring victory, too, saying, "This case was about our attempt to bring the truth to the table and their attempt to silence us." The latter attempt failed. Still, thanks to the media's and government's indifference, the defendants' vindication rings a bit hollow. The Boston Globe's coverage of last week's developments failed to mention the ISB's ties to extremists like Qaradawi. And the City of Boston, through the BRA, continues to stonewall efforts to determine exactly how the land transfer to the ISB came about. The David Project's lawsuit against the BRA seeking access to records that should be public labors on; the BRA remains less than forthcoming. Meanwhile, construction on the new mosque is far advanced.

You have to wonder: If people like Sapers, Jacobs, and Emerson are our modern Paul Reveres sounding an alarm that needs to be heard, can they be successful if our most prominent media outlets and even our government ignore them?

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/727jbsso.asp?pg=2
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« Reply #89 on: June 14, 2007, 12:30:52 AM »

The quality of the source of the following is unknown.  Read with care.
=================================================



San Diego Arab public school implements shari'a - forms taxpayer funded madrassah

June 12, 2007
Carver Elementary - San Diego Public School Bows To Sharia


June 12, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Those having doubts that New York Department of Education's proposed Arabic school - Khalil Gibran International Academy - will inevitably turn into a madrassah should consider how a similar experiment in the San Diego Unified School District is turning out.
In September Carver Elementary school [kindergarten - eighth grade] accepted nearly 100 students from a failed charter school which served a Somali Muslim constituency.
The school population now numbers approximately 400.
Though these kids are now being educated within the wall of Carver, they have not been incorporated into the main student population and operate as a school-within-a-school, segregated elite with special privileges.
The controversy became a matter of public record when a substitute teacher Mary-Frances Stevens made a report to the local school board in which she claimed that Carver's Muslim children were being led in Islamic prayer by a teacher's aide. Steven's, who subbed at the school on March 8 stated that the lesson plan she was given included the allotting of one hour for prayer.
The teacher's allegation of religious indoctrination led to an investigation.
In true multicultural fashion, the school has gone to extreme lengths to accommodate its new students; the curriculum features the teaching of Arabic - the language of the Quran - single gender classes for girls as well as organized prayer...for Muslims only.
A new dhimi class schedule - expressly designed to kow tow to Carver's new students - was instituted. It created an extra 15 minute recess period as part of an hour set aside so that Carver's Muslims can pray en-masse while in class. Additionally, the school cafeteria menu no longer serves pork or other foods which conflict with fundamentalist Muslim diet restrictions [halal].
Even Carver's "winter holiday" celebration has not escaped the wrath of this brand of extreme multiculturalism, ripping the heart out of what was formerly the Christmas holiday by injecting extraneous cultural artifacts; as the San Diego Union Tribune notes:
"The school's winter holiday celebration featuring multicultural performances was a big hit. African-American, American, Muslim and other traditions were celebrated. "Carver has always been sensitive to the different cultures and always looked at the variety of cultures we have as an enrichment, not a problem," teacher Pamela de Meules said." [source "District wants to provide options," by Helen Gao http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/e...12carver.html]

Confronted by an apparent double standard which elevates Muslims over Christian and Jewish students, school principal Kimberlee Kidd attempted to explain, "I think there are so many misconceptions."
The actions taken by Carver's officials have made them agents whereby Sharia [Muslim religious law] has been extended into a region of the public domain where heretofore an ACLU interpretation of church-state separation has prevailed.
On that note, the local ACLU is still "considering" its options in this matter…don't hold your breath.
The unequal treatment on display at Carver is manifest, especially when seen in the light of how requests by Christians who have petitioned to have their prayer needs accommodated are routinely denied by public school officials. It goes without saying that public school cafeteria menus have seldom if ever been modified to accommodate the religious needs of Orthodox Jews who also must not eat pork.
As we have noted in previous articles regarding New York's proposed Khalil Gibran International Academy [The Khalil Gibran School - Government Funded Da'wa, New York Set To Open A "Public" Jihad School, The Khalil Gibran School - Government Funded Da'wa] Islamists across the nation are taking advantage of and in some cases actually working hand in hand with public school administrators whose hostility to American traditionalism is palpable.
This explains the left's embrace of radical Muslims. The latter are intent upon shoving Sharia down the throat of the majority culture and multiculturally bound extreme liberals [which includes many school administrators] are happy to have allies which help them continue the attack on the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of America. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=sandiego61207%2Ehtm
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« Reply #90 on: June 15, 2007, 10:57:21 AM »

A sign of good judgement from American Muslims?
=================================

CAIR membership plummets
Membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has plummeted by more than 90 percent since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, hemorrhaging from more than 29,000 in 2000 to fewer than 1,700 in 2006. Income from dues at CAIR has fallen from $732,765 in 2000 to $58,750 in 2006, and the majority of the organization’s budget now comes from approximately two dozen donors.

According to M. Zuhdi Jasser, director of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, this reflects the ideological gap between CAIR and American Muslims. Jasser stated, “Post-9/11, [CAIR has] marginalized themselves by their tired exploitation of media attention for victimization issues at the expense of representing the priorities of the American Muslim population.” CAIR certainly didn’t do itself any favors by crying foul last November when six imams were removed from a US Airways flight after passengers complained of suspicious behavior. And while applauding recent arrests in the “Fort Dix Six” case, CAIR “urged Muslims to report to police any incidents of harassment or vandalism against them,” predictably warning of an anti-Muslim backlash that never materialized.

The Patriot has noted before the thinly veiled terrorist ideology of CAIR, which has repeatedly refused to condemn Hamas and Hizballah despite claims that they “condemn all acts of violence against civilians by any individual, group or state.” Apparently, (former) members aren’t buying their line either.

PatriotPost.com
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« Reply #91 on: June 17, 2007, 11:46:45 AM »


June 16, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Kaufman (info@americansagainsthate.org)


KEITH ELLISON TO SPEAK AT (UNINDICTED CO-CONSPIRATOR) CAIR BANQUET TONIGHT
AMERICANS AGAINST HATE CALLS ON ELLISON TO RESIGN
(Coral Springs, FL) Tonight, June 16, 2007, Congressman Keith Ellison will be a featured speaker at the First Annual Banquet of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Minnesota). This, after CAIR had just been named an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a Hamas financing case put forward by the United States government.

Ellison, less than three weeks ago, was the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Convention of the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS-Minnesota). While he spoke, MAS-Minnesota had on its website material discussing waging war against non-Muslims and the murdering of Jews. The material is still located on the group’s site.

Following his appearance, Americans Against Hate (AAH) demanded that Congressman Ellison denounce MAS for its anti-Semitic and anti-Christian statements or resign from office. Ellison has remained silent on the issue.

AAH Chairman Joe Kaufman, stated, “Being that Keith Ellison refuses to denounce the Muslim American Society, and being that he is now going to be speaking at an event sponsored by a group named by the U.S. government as a co-conspirator to Hamas, we have no choice but to call on Keith Ellison to resign from his held office as United States Representative. Congressman Ellison, by openly cavorting with bigoted and pro-terrorist elements in our society, can no longer work for the best interests of our nation.”

Also speaking at the CAIR-Minnesota banquet will be CAIR’s National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, and CAIR’s National Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper. The event will be taking place at 6:30 pm, at the Central Park Ballroom, in Woodbury, Minnesota.

Joe Kaufman is available for interview. E-mail: info@americansagainsthate.org.
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« Reply #92 on: July 06, 2007, 08:00:13 PM »

The White House, CAIR and the OIC

By Steven Emerson


The White House has admitted to a senior government official that it did not vet the audience members in attendance at President Bush’s speech last week at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., despite having been warned of the potential presence of individuals who might have triggered national security concerns.
An informed source has told me that the White House was completely unaware that a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) representative would be present at President Bush’s speech last week for the rededication ceremony of the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., and, in fact, had no idea who the mosque leaders had invited to the event, basically surrendering the vetting process to the Islamic Center, a Saudi-funded institution with a documented history (pdf) of extremism and anti-Semitism.

Further, the source told me, “We desperately need to know what radical Islamists are doing in this country” and he was “shocked and surprised to learn that the White House would not take greater care of who was vetted to this event," adding, "this was not your typical Rotary Club invitation.” The source told me that a White House official said that it does not vet all attendees at events to which the President is invited to speak, and the Islamic Center ceremony was no exception. Additionally, the White House was warned by a senior government official that it was making a huge national security error in not vetting those in attendance at the mosque. A White House liaison has told me in the past that CAIR has been barred from attending White House events on national security grounds.
And on cue, CAIR is playing up spokesman Ibrahim Hooper’s attendance at the speech and taking full advantage of its presence to insinuate itself into the President’s agenda.

On the heels of President Bush’s strange announcement at the mosque that he would appoint a “special envoy” to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a body with a very disturbing track record (see my article published in the National Review Online, Radical Outreach: Bush coddles American apologists for radical Islam), CAIR has started lobbying for the job.
On a trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ishanoglu to “discuss future CAIR-OIC projects,” CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad made his feelings on the American-OIC envoy known, telling the Saudi-based Arab News, “[w]e hope that the selection of the individual would also be representative of the Muslim community and its views,” meaning that to avoid an Awad-engineered outcry and pressure campaign, the envoy must be “CAIR-approved.”

President Bush said that the special envoy’s job would be to “listen and learn” from the OIC, and that the envoy “will share with (the OIC) America's views and values.” Unless the purpose of the envoy would be to see who can be the more radical and anti-American mouthpiece, CAIR needs to be kept as far away from this initiative as possible, lest both organizations gang up in some outrageous, Karen Hughes-approved “grievance theater” performance. CAIR and the OIC are already in lockstep on virtually all issues, especially relating to terrorism, and CAIR is in no position to share America’s views and values with anyone. In fact, someone needs to explain America’s views and values to CAIR.
As readers of this blog know, CAIR was recently officially named (pdf) as a Muslim Brotherhood organization and as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the case against alleged Hamas-fundraisers, the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Beyond that, CAIR’s lengthy history of extremism, pro-terrorist sentiments and anti-Semitism has been extensively reported and is well known.

And the Arab News article telegraphs just how useless having a CAIR-approved individual as special envoy to the OIC would be:
Muslims and Muslim organizations in the US have been criticized for not being effective in lobbying and standing up to smear campaigns compared to other US minorities. This is the most common criticism heard from the Muslim world, according to Awad, who added that Muslims in the US are heading in the right direction and that the Muslim community there is becoming more effective and gaining ground in building bridges.
So the “most common” criticism has not been that Muslim organizations in the U.S. have failed to sufficiently condemn terrorism or put forward policies and positions that condemn the targeted use of violence against civilians by such groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda, but that CAIR is not “effective” in standing up to “smear campaigns” against it. Expect more of this if CAIR has any say about the President’s appointment.
The President’s plan to appoint a special envoy to the OIC was a bad idea from the start, and can only be further compounded by letting CAIR – or other Islamist groups like it - have any say in the matter.
July 5, 2007 12:33 PM Print
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« Reply #93 on: July 14, 2007, 06:23:04 PM »

CAIR vs Anti-CAIR litigation discussed by Anti-CAIR's attorney.  Excellent discussion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeRNHLhUw-c

On the other hand, in fairness one must note this CAIR denunciation of Holocaust denial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM0HHYNVPKY&mode=related&search=

The bit about "people of the book" IMO is diningenuous, and I utterly doubt the sincerity of it all given the group's track record, but still in fairness it must be noted.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2007, 06:43:36 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #94 on: July 20, 2007, 06:22:03 AM »

From Anti-CAIR:

PART TWO of the Atlas Shrugs Radio Show interview (excerpts) with Anti-CAIR's Defense Attorney, Reed Rubinstein.
Discussion of how certain MEDIA directly avoids and hides CAIR's terror-ties, the cost of defending defamation lawsuits, and additional information on CAIR's history.


Link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utJs2WoDlYI
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« Reply #95 on: August 06, 2007, 06:54:12 PM »

On the City funded Islamic school:

 http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/06/intifada-nyc/

It would appear that the initial suspicions have basis , , ,
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« Reply #96 on: August 16, 2007, 08:04:53 AM »

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArti...71983205687357

A Muslim 'Mafia'?

Homeland Security: Forget everything you've been told about
"moderate" Muslim groups in America. New evidence that U.S. prosecutors
have revealed at a major terror trial exposes the facade.

Exhibit No. 003-0085 is the most chilling. Translated from Arabic by federal
investigators in the case against the Holy Land Foundation, an alleged
Hamas front, the secret document outlines a full-blown conspiracy by the
major Muslim groups in America — all of which are considered "mainstream"
by the media.

In fact, they are part of the "Ikhwan," or Muslim Brotherhood, the parent
organization of Hamas, al-Qaida and other major Islamic terror groups.
They have conspired to infiltrate American society with the purpose of
undermining it and turning it into an Islamic state.

Check out this quote from Page 7 of the 1991 document:

"The Ikwhan must understand that all their work in America is a kind of
grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from
within and sabotaging their miserable house by the hands of the believers
so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all
religions."

Sounds like the latest screed from Osama bin Laden. But it comes from the
Muslim establishment in America.

The secret plan lists several Saudi-backed Muslim groups as "friends" of
the conspiracy.

They include the Islamic Society of North America — the umbrella
organization — and the North American Islamic Trust, which controls most
of the mosques in America and is the forerunner to the Council on
American-Islamic Relations, this country's most visible Muslim-rights group.

All three have been cited as unindicted co-conspirators in the case, with
all three sharing membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet all have
claimed, in the wake of 9/11, to be moderate, even patriotic.

Another exhibit reveals their plan to create innocuous-sounding "front
groups" to hide their radical agenda.

Many in the media and politics have fallen for their deception and helped
bring them into the mainstream.

Now everyone knows the truth.

The Muslim establishment that publicly decries the radical fringe —
represented by Hamas and al-Qaida — may actually be a part of it. The
only difference is that they use words and money instead of bombs to
accomplish their subversive goals.

Over the past two decades they have constructed, with Saudi money, an
elaborate infrastructure of support for the bad guys — right under our
noses.

They even brag about putting "beehives" (Islamic centers) in every major
city.

These exhibits — which so far have been ignored by major media outside
the Dallas area, where the trial is under way — completely blow the
mainstream Muslim NGOs' cover as pro-American moderates. Many, if not
most, aren't.

This is their real agenda, spelled out in black and white. It should help
investigators build a RICO case to dismantle the entire terror-support
network in America.

Many have suspected it, but now we have proof that there is a secret
underworld operating inside America under the cover of fronts with
legitimate-sounding names.

It even uses charities to launder money for violent hits on enemies. It's
highly organized, with its own internal bylaws and security to avoid
monitoring from law enforcement.

Sounds like the Mafia.

But unlike the mob, this syndicate is religious in nature and protected by
political correctness.

More evidence like this should put an end to such nonsense.
 

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« Reply #97 on: August 27, 2007, 12:24:24 PM »

http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2...01&template=printart

Article published Aug 27, 2007
U.S. sponsors Islamic convention

August 27, 2007


By Audrey Hudson - The Justice Department is co-sponsoring a convention held by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) — an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing federal terrorist funding case — a move that is raising concerns among the Justice's rank and file.

Justice lawyers have objected to the affiliation with ISNA, fearing it will undermine the case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in Dallas.

"There is outrage among lawyers that the Department of Justice is funding a group named as a co-conspirator in a terrorist financing case," said a Justice lawyer who spoke to The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity.

According to an e-mail from Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, acting deputy chief of the Voting Rights Division, the sponsorship will involve sending government lawyers to man a booth for the Labor Day weekend event in Illinois.

"This is an important outreach opportunity, and a chance to reach a community that is at once very much discriminated against, and very wary of the national government and its willingness to protect them," Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere said in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Times.

"It would be a great step forward to break through those barriers. And Chicago is lovely this time of year," Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere said.

ISNA is one of more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators in a case against the Holy Land Foundation, whose top officers are accused of raising money for Hamas.

Justice spokesman Erik Ablin said the agency participates in the annual convention to educate Muslims about their civil rights.

"The Civil Rights Division will have a table at the ISNA convention over Labor Day weekend to hand out literature and answer questions about the division's work. The ISNA convention attracts more than 30,000 American Muslims every year, and the division has had tables at the convention in previous years," Mr. Ablin said.

The Justice Department declined to say how much the sponsorship will cost.

"This is just staggering, it's outrageous," the lawyer said. "Lawyers from the Civil Rights Division traveling to Chicago on the federal dime. This will cost thousands of dollars."

A second lawyer responded to Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere's e-mail questioning the participation and said it "seems like an odd time for one part of DOJ to lend credence and visible support to ISNA at the same time DOJ prosecutors will be called on to defend their decision to name ISNA as a conspirator."

"Presumably the prosecutors have determined that they might need that testimony admitted; I hope we don't undermine their position," the second lawyer said. "Needless to say, [the Holy Land Foundation trial] is a very significant case."

Mohamed Elsanousi, director of communications and community outreach for ISNA, says the annual convention is open to anyone who provides services or information of value to convention participants.

"For many years, we have welcomed representatives from U.S. government agencies who wish to share information about their services and have the opportunity to reach out to the Muslim American community," Mr. Elsanousi said.

The convention features book signings, musical entertainment and seminars on family, community service and political activism.

But the first lawyer also pointed to a morning session on "the threat and reality of U.S.-sponsored torture" as contrary to the department's mission. The Justice Department was responsible for signing off on the legality and constitutionality of interrogation techniques.

"The extensive news coverage by the U.S. and international media sources makes it all too clear that the grim abuses in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and the sending of detainees to secret prisons around the world that are known to torture during interrogations, are not isolated incidents, but rather constitute policy of the U.S. government," the schedule of events said.

"This session will describe the nature of U.S.-sponsored torture, the effects of torture on its victims, the efforts of the U.S. religious community, and what you can do to help end U.S.-sponsored torture," the schedule said.
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« Reply #98 on: August 28, 2007, 12:20:42 PM »

Muslim Patrol Quiets Crime in Shaw
By Omar Fekeiki
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 28, 2007; B03



On a sidewalk in Shaw, a dozen Muslim men wearing red T-shirts gather an hour before sundown.

Half line up quietly behind an imam. Facing southeast toward Mecca, they bow their heads and read aloud verses from the Koran. The other half spread themselves out and look up and down the street. After a few minutes, they switch places.

The men have come not just to pray but to assume control over a crime-prone block.

They are part of a Muslim neighborhood watch that lately has focused its efforts on Seventh Street NW between P and Q streets, site of the long-troubled Kelsey Gardens apartment complex. Just a few weeks ago, the location was beset by drug dealers, armed assaults and random shootings.
The group is composed of Muslims who practice a more orthodox form of Islam than such groups as the Nation of Islam, says founder Leroy Thorpe.
It is a spinoff of the Citizens Organized Patrol Efforts, or COPE, a neighborhood watch established in 1988 in Shaw. Both groups dress in ample red T-shirts and red baseball hats with "COPE Patrol" written on them.

About two months ago, owners of the 35-unit Kelsey Gardens complex asked Thorpe to arrange security for the residents and crack down on drug dealers who gravitated to a parking lot in the complex, Thorpe said. The complex is slated to be razed next month and a new structure will take its place. Thorpe said that the owners want to encourage more investment in the area.

"Nobody is going to invest in a drug-infested area," said Thorpe, a former Advisory Neighborhood Commission member who also goes by the Muslim name Mahdi.

D.C. police, who say they know of no other religion-based citizens patrol operating in the District, credit the Muslims with rousting the drug dealers and restoring a measure of public safety to the neighborhood. "There was an overwhelming difference," said Officer Earl Brown of the 3rd Police District.

Patrol members carry no weapons, and several of the men said they had no training in self-defense. But their presence seems to be effective.
"You have eyes and ears in the neighborhood," said Cmdr. Larry McCoy, who heads the Third Police District. "Most people don't like to commit crimes in front of people who are going to tell the police about them."
Driven by the power of faith, the patrol has a secondary aim: to "call people to worship Allah," said Khalil Davis, the imam for the Salafi Society of D.C. mosque.

A long salt-and-pepper beard framing his thin face and dressed in a white dishdasha, the traditional Muslim men's calf-length garment, Davis handed out literature to passersby describing Islam as a religion of peace.

One leaflet contained two pictures, one of waterfalls and natural greenery, the other of a huge, smoky fireball. "You decide," it said. The group called the leaflets "Islam's anti-terror message."

"It is a therapeutic ambience to the community," Davis said of the religion.

"This creates a community that is pure and free of crimes."

But it is a message that can be difficult to spread. Davis tried to distribute the leaflets to pedestrians, but most refused to take them.

The Muslim patrol works 12-hour shifts, three nights a week: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which Thorpe said are peak nights for drug dealing.
On a patrol one recent weeknight, the men walked around the complex in pairs. They were scouting for "suspicious activity" and "undesirable people," Thorpe said.

They peered behind large trash cans in alleys, looking for drug addicts who might be hiding. They went into a parking lot between two buildings and walked between the rows of cars, hoping their presence would chase off anyone who might be lurking.

"They see us, they are going to flee," said Thorpe, who carries a cellphone to call police if he needs help.

This night was uneventful. The walkie-talkies remained mute. Residents walking out of their apartment building waved to the Muslim patrol members, who waved back.

Residents seem to recognizes the Muslim patrol by now, and the Muslims have come to recognize most of the people who live on the block. "Assalamu Alaikum," they say in greeting -- Arabic for "peace be upon you. "

The Muslim patrol group is the only one of its kind in the District, according to the police department, but several patrol members said they hope to duplicate it in other neighborhoods.

"I would love to do it in my neighborhood," said Brian Christopher, 40, who lives with his wife and two children in a neighborhood in Northeast Washington that has no citizens patrol. "But it has to start somewhere."
Several residents and local business people said they were pleased it started in Shaw.

"They are really helping out," said Tony Dolford, 38, a Kelsey Gardens resident who has lived in the neighborhood since 1993.

Everett Lucas, 66, owns the Variety Market across the street from the apartment complex. The market has been open for 34 years.
"One thing you don't see now [in the neighborhood] is drug activity," Lucas said.

"Knock on wood," McCoy said. "It's made a difference. Those planning to do wrong in the neighborhood know they are out there, and it stops them."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...082701527.html
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« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2007, 08:31:40 AM »

Woof All:

The mission of this forum is to search for Truth.  Thus, it seems right to include this URL here:

http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php

I first stumbled on this site via a URL of its article about how the author was NOT offended by the Opus cartoon and have briefly skimmed it.  The site seems worth taking a further look and I will be doing so.

TAC,
Marc
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