Author Topic: Islam in America (and pre-emptive dhimmitude)  (Read 416214 times)


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Islam in America (and pre-emptive dhimmitude)
« on: October 14, 2006, 09:11:54 AM »
Establishing this thread:
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 10:09:50 AM by Crafty_Dog »


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2006, 05:24:36 PM »
  Posted October 15, 2006 02:08 AM  Hide Post
Muslim leader fears backlash over Liberal views

Radhika Panjwani
Oct 13, 2006

The new president of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) says she is feeling the wrath of Islamic fundamentalists because of her stance on such issues as terrorism, homosexuality and religious law.
Now, Mississauga's Farzana Hassan Shahid is calling on Queen's Park to intervene. She wants Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant to incorporate the kind of threats made by various radical groups against her and other members of the MCC into the framework of existing hate crime laws.

"There is an underlying fear all the time...that uneasy feeling is part of my daily life," Hassan Shahid told The News. "I have been declared an apostate (a person who forsakes their religion) twice, for opposing the Sharia (a form of Islamic law). We have asked Michael Bryant to include or acknowledge accusation of blasphemy and apostasy into the existing hate laws so the public and legal frame work is sensitized to this issue."

Hassan Shahid said she and other members of her organization receive threatening e-mails and are subjected to other acts of hatred from radical Muslim groups. One strongly worded hate-mail accused her of being the, "younger sister of Satan."

More recently, Hassan Shahid has been in the eye of the storm for her organization's stance on homosexuality. Her husband was questioned by some congregation members at a local mosque recently and ordered to, "control his wife."

"I got a lot of negative e-mails from the Muslim community, questioning my stand on gay and lesbian issues," she said. "I had a hard time explaining to them that I am not supporting homosexuals, but supporting equal rights for them."

MCC's vocal opposition of violence, too, doesn't sit well with the fundamentalist, she said. Hassan Shahid said many Muslims are angry and accuse the organization of not supporting the plight of Muslims in places such as Chechnya, Palestine and Serbia.

"We have denounced terrorism with a type of clarity that is really needed now," Hassan Shahid said. "When we do that we are accused of not understanding the political conflicts abroad...we're really caught between the devil and the deep blue sea."

MCC's former communications director, Tarek Fatah resigned from his post after receiving death threats.

Sohail Raza, the present communications director of MCC, said radical elements are changing mosques, that were once great cultural entities, and relegating them into places where rituals are enforced.

"I think where we lose out is the ability to discuss," Raza said. "The stand is not a line in the sand, every body has a right to interpret their own religion, every body has the right to debate and discuss issues, unfortunately that is lacking and that is what we want to encourage in a democratic society like Canada.

News & Analysis
041/06? October 15, 2006

CAIR:? Attacking Shawn Steel for Telling the Truth?

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is at it again.? CAIR, a Washington, D.C. based Islamic terrorist supporting hate group tell it, Shawn Steel is the devil incarnate.

Steel's offense?? He dared call attention to the background of Bill Dalati, an immigrant insurance agent running for office in Anaheim, California.? Dalati is running as a Republican for city council:,0,5233676.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Steel rightly points out that Dalati has the backing of CAIR and called CAIR a "pretty radical, nasty group" in a letter he wrote that ended up on a blog.

For most Americans, a CAIR endorsement is the kiss of death for any candidate for public office, and this is as it should be.? CAIR does not throw out endorsements lightly and all Americans should be asking what the payoff is for CAIR should Dalati be elected.

Steel goes on to point out Dalati's attendance at an anti-war rally, his non-support for President Bush in the recent election over the Iraq War issue, and Dalati's support for Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, who is a Democrat and a well-known anti-Semite.

Hussam Ayloush, CAIR's Southern California chapter director, had this to say about Steel:

"The people of Anaheim would appreciate it if outsiders with personal political agendas would keep their divisive political views away from the city.for Muslims to witness what is happening in this campaign, it only makes us realize what it must have been like for Catholics, Jews and African Americans to run for office."

Too bad that Ayloush doesn't take his own advice about outside interlopers.

Ayloush sued Steel a few years ago.and dropped the lawsuit:

Ayloush had his shot at Steel and chose to run rather than put up a fight to defend himself in court.? What does this tell us about Ayloush that he believed his own "honor" wasn't worth defending??

The bottom line is that Steel is telling the truth about Dalati and Ayloush, and his masters at CAIR simply cannot abide the truth.

ACAIR predicts that as more information about Dalait's ties to CAIR and extremist personalities comes to light that the good voters of Anaheim will do the right thing and turn their backs on Dalati and his "pretty radical, nasty group" of friends at CAIR.

Andrew Whitehead
« Last Edit: October 15, 2006, 05:42:06 PM by Crafty_Dog »


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006, 03:55:48 AM »
No Islamic Law in Minnesota, for Now
By Daniel Pipes | October 16, 2006

A week ago, it appeared likely that Muslim taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport would win special dispensation to avoid transporting alcohol-carrying passengers. The Metropolitan Airports Commission had proposed to give those Shari?a-minded drivers an off-colored light atop their cabs, allowing them to remain in queue while customers with bottles found other cabs.

I opposed this ?two-light solution,? arguing in ?Don?t Bring That Booze into My Taxi? that it intrudes Islamic law into a mundane transaction of American commercial life. I urged readers who share my views to write the commission to make known their views.


On October 10, a few hours after my article first appeared, the commission met and reversed itself on the two-light solution. A press release issued later that day, ?Proposed Taxi Test Program Canceled at Minneapolis-St. Paul International; Other Options Will be Considered To Improve Taxi Service,? explained that public response to the proposed program ?has been overwhelmingly against creation of a two-tiered taxi service system.?


MAC executive director Jeff Hamiel noted that, based on public response to the proposed test program the test program (which never went into effect and will not be implemented),? it is clear that its implementation could have unintended and significant negative impacts on the taxi industry as a whole.? Or, in the words of MAC?s press release, ?Some taxi service providers have expressed fears that people opposed to the program will choose other ground transportation options rather than take any taxi from the airport.?


Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan further elaborated: Since the airport began making plans for the two-light solution, ?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.? That backlash, Hogan said, included 400 e-mails and phone calls.


I thank my readers, including those from Australia and England, who turned out in force and were apparently decisive in stopping this small but worrisome application of Islamic law.


Hassan Mohamud, vice president of Minnesota MAS, naturally expressed his disappointment in the decision. ?More than half the taxi drivers are Muslim and ignoring the sensibilities of that community at the airport I think is not fair.? But other Muslims publicly dismissed the drivers? fastidiousness. Mahmoud Ayoub, an Islamic scholar at Temple University, stressed that Islam bans drinking alcohol, not carrying it. ?I know many Muslims who own gas stations [where beer is sold] and sell ham sandwiches. They justify it and I think rightly so, [saying] that they have to make a living.?


The Free Muslims Coalition announced it is ?disgusted? by the Muslim drivers? behavior, on two grounds: First, ?Most Muslims don?t agree that cab drivers are prohibited from transporting alcohol. Islam merely prohibits Muslims from drinking alcohol and those drivers are seeking to impose their religious values on others.? Second, ?When the cab drivers chose to drive a cab they entered into an agreement to perform a public service that is essential to the economy of any city. They have no right to refuse a fare because the passenger is holding a bottle of wine or other spirits.? Kamal Nawash, president of the Free Muslims Coalition, added: ?These taxi cab drivers basically think they?re living in their own countries where it?s OK to impose your religious beliefs upon others.?


The MAC press release also contains information on another interesting point. The number of incidents has dropped drastically:

At the time discussion of the issue with the taxi industry began in May, cab drivers were refusing to transport customers with alcohol from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport 77 times per month, on average. However, recent changes in federal regulations now prohibit air travelers from taking most liquids ? including alcoholic beverages ? in quantities larger than three ounces through security checkpoints. Since the federal liquids prohibition went into effect in August, far fewer people are noticeably carrying alcohol through airports or subsequently being refused service by taxi drivers.

In a private conversation, Patrick Hogan specified that since the August 10 thwarted terrorist plot in London, there have only been about four incidents per month. Ironically, then, British Islamists plotting a terrorist operation in London effectively solved the problem for U.S. Muslims not wanting to transport alcohol in Minnesota.


For now, taxi drivers who refuse fares so as to avoid transporting alcohol will continue, as has been the case, to forfeit their place in the airport taxi queue and must return to the back of the line, in keeping with a MAC ordinance. But the Free Muslims Coalition correctly argues that this does not suffice. Cab drivers who discriminate against passengers with bottles of alcohol, it holds, ?should be banned altogether from picking up passengers at the airport? and their hack permits should be cancelled.

Exactly. Islamists need to understand that the Constitution rules in the United States, not Shari?a, and Americans will vigorously ensure that it continues to do so.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2006, 04:00:48 AM »
Jihad Incorporated
By Jamie Glazov | October 16, 2006

Frontpage Interview?s guest today is Steve Emerson, the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, one of the largest archival data centers of militant Islam. He started the organization in 1995 after a film he did, Jihad in America. He works closely with law enforcement, Congress and the media. His organization?s mission is to investigate and expose the threat of radical Islam. He is the author of the new book, Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S., which covers every radical Islamic operation, prosecution and incident on American soil, or against American targets, in the last 10 years.

FP: Steve Emerson, welcome to Frontpage Interview.


Emerson: Nice to be with you.


FP: So what inspired you to write this book?


Emerson: It was really the collaborative product of my research staff. We felt that a reference book was needed in which all Islamic terrorist groups, operations and prosecutions connected to the US could be found in one place. It?s really a history of radical Islam in the US. This book may set the record for footnotes. I'll be the first to admit that the reading is quite dense. But we have a great forward by Pete Hoekstra, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and nice quotes by Andy McCarthy and Richard Clarke.


FP: How do you go about your work in collecting data on the bad guys?


Emerson: We collect data in numerous ways. From websites, list serves, publications, informants, undercover recordings, government records, court documents, and sources. We have acquired close to 4 million documents and 18,000 hours of audio and video of radical Islamic gatherings, conferences or speeches.


FP: Who are your "consumers??


Emerson: Well, we really have no traditional "consumers" since we don't sell our information and we don't take a penny of government financing. But we do work closely with law enforcement, Congress and the media.  Each "consumer" has a different institutional interest. Law enforcement wants to make cases; Congress wants to exercise oversight and disseminate original information; and the media wants news.

FP: Tell us some of the key players in the terrorist network. And which groups are the most influential among the jihadi groups today?

Emerson: Well, today, the terrorist hierarchy has changed considerably from the pre-911 days. Al Qaeda is still the grand-daddy but it obviously lacks the punch and reach it once had. Instead, there are mini-Al-Qaedas that have formed, either in Asia, the Middle East or the West. Jamat Islamiya in southeast Asia has become more of an Al Qaeda surrogate. Hamas, while largely maintaining a hudna, is busily reinforcing and re-invigorating itself with new weapons and explosives for the day that it deems advantageous to attack Israel. Hezbollah, which survived intact in its war with Israel, was actually hurt militarily more than some had estimated. It does however have a worldwide presence.


The threat against individuals or governments deemed to be "enemies of Islam" is growing in its dimensions. The killing of Theo Van Gogh, the recent threats against the Pope, the Danish cartoon controversy all highlighted the growth of threats against high profile targets in the West's backyard.


FP: Can you talk a bit about the organizations in the Middle East, aside from al Qaeda, that pose a threat to us?


Emerson: Well, I would say that Hezbollah poses the greatest threat to American interests today.  They have their own ideological hatred of the United States and they are also effectively controlled by Iran.  Islamic Jihad, because of its closeness with Iran, could easily put Americans in its crosshairs.


FP: How entrenched are the jihadists in the US today? Are there different gradations of jihadists?


Emerson: There are essentially two types of jihadists. The hard-core military jihadists who are prepared to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States. They have already been indoctrinated. All they await is a charismatic leader or the external order that gives them a green light. Secondly, there is the far greater number of what I call ?cultural jihadists.? The cultural jihadists are not willing to carry out attacks themselves, but rather, they provide the moral support for the military jihad?ists.


They are the ones that believe that Israel or the US carried out 9-11. In the trial of the would-be NYC Herald Square bomber, an undercover informant for the NYPD recounted an astonishing observation. He said that as he made his rounds among two different mosques, he encountered a virulent hatred for the United States. This does not mean that all mosque members hate the United States?I know of mosques and Islamic leaders who genuinely foreswear violence--but it does tell us that there is a problem that has been brewing here for a long time. For example, I can show you a tape of a Hamas rally held in New Jersey where thousands of people in attendance?women, children and men?are all chanting slogans such as ?We buy paradise with the blood of the Jews.? Do I think that all of them are terrorists? Of course not. But they are cultural jihadists.


The cultural jihadists provide the environment for the military jihadists.

Beyond the physical threat posed by jihadists, there is the issue of free speech being increasingly curtailed by virtue of radical Islamic groups--masquerading as "civil rights" groups--labeling anyone who criticizes militant Islam as racist or as defaming the Prophet Mohammed. The threat of violence during the Danish cartoon episode was the real reason why 99% of US newspapers refused to republish the cartoons. The flip side of this problem lies in the refusal of mainstream media--with some exceptions--to investigate the backgrounds or report the ulterior agenda of these Islamic "civil rights" groups. That's a dereliction of journalism 101. Why do they do it? Sometimes they are deceived, other times they are sympathetic to the cause of the group.

FP: Illuminate for us the support system for the jihadists that exists within our own borders.

Emerson: There are different tiers. The largest tier is what I called in the previous question the cultural jihadists. They are not willing to carry out attacks but they provide moral support for such attacks. There is the financial infrastructure. Radical Islamic charities had served as a main conduit for terrorist operations and organizations but Treasury has been quite successful at closing the charities whose financing could be linked to terrorist groups. As a result of this pressure, terrorist groups are resorting increasingly to getting their funding from organized retail theft, in which they traffic in stolen or pirated goods (like baby formula), car theft, counterfeit production or bust-out schemes.

FP: To what extent do mosques provide cover for terrorists?

Emerson: Mosques have tended to serve as save havens and meeting points for Islamic terrorist groups. Of course, we are not referring to all mosques but there are at least 40 episodes of extremists and terrorists being connected to mosques in the past decade.


FP: To what extent do terrorists use the Internet for communication?


Emerson: The virtual jihad has now become a dominant mechanism for terrorist communications among themselves, to the outside world and to gather new recruits.


FP: Numerous Muslim American organizations make lobbying efforts to influence the top echelons of the federal government. How successfully are these and what damage do they do?


Emerson: I don't blame the Islamic radical groups for lobbying. I blame the recipient institutions for legitimizing them. The FBI, for example, has mandated outreach to Islamic groups.  That's a good thing to do in principle. But unfortunately, the groups designated as deserving of being recognized by the FBI have disproportionately revolved around  groups that are tethered to radical agendas, such as CAIR and MPAC.  In turn, this crowds out authentic moderates whose voices need to be reaffirmed in the community. And it strengthens the hands of the cultural jihadists who tell their followers not to cooperate with the FBI or law enforcement. That's precisely the wrong message the government wants to communicate.


FP: How is law enforcement and the U.S. government dealing with the jihadist threat?


Emerson: When it comes down to actual jihadist groups and terrorist financing, the government has been doing a great job.


FP: Steve Emerson, thank you for joining us.


Emerson: You are very welcome.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006, 04:26:31 AM »
Muslim Moderates Under Siege
By Robert Spencer | October 17, 2006

Since I began work on my new book The Truth About Muhammad, I have often been asked whether I really think it will do any good to discuss the actions of Muhammad that jihadists use to justify violence. Doesn?t that alienate moderate Muslims? I have responded that actually no Islamic reform can possibly take place without an acknowledgment that there are elements of the Qur?an and the example of Muhammad that need searching reevaluation: how can reformers succeed if no one admits that anything needs any reforming?

At the same time, however, Islamic reformers have a difficult road. They are often targeted as apostates by jihadists, and often physically threatened. Farzana Hassan Shahid, the new president of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), is the latest victim of this phenomenon. After her liberal views on many Islamic hot-button issues became known, she began receiving death threats from Muslim hardliners who considered her positions evidence of her falling away from Islam. One called her the ?younger sister of Satan.? Another accosted her husband at an Ontario mosque and demanded he ?control his wife.?


Consequently, Farzana Hassan Shahid explained, ?there is an underlying fear all the time...that uneasy feeling is part of my daily life. I have been declared an apostate twice, for opposing the Sharia [Islamic law]. We have asked [Ontario Attorney General] Michael Bryant to include or acknowledge accusation of blasphemy and apostasy into the existing hate laws so the public and legal frame work is sensitized to this issue.?


Hassan Shahid is not the first MCC official to be targeted by jihadists. Up until recently, Tarek Fatah was the MCC?s communications director. But in August he abruptly resigned from his position, as well as from the group?s board, severing all ties with the organization, although he had been one of its founders.


Fatah had excellent reasons to want to get out of the limelight. He had long been one of the most high-profile Muslim spokesmen in Canada: he was host of Muslim Chronicle, a current affairs TV-show focusing on Muslims in Canada. And as communications director of the Muslim Canadian Congress, he never shied away from controversy, endorsing positions on homosexual rights and other issues that deviated from Islamic orthodoxy ? positions that Hassan Shahid has now echoed. Fatah even opposed the 2005 campaign to introduce arbitration courts based on Islamic law into Canada.


All that took courage. But instead of receiving congratulations from the Canadian Muslim community at large, Fatah became the target of an email campaign initiated by a Muslim student group, the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC). The CIC claimed that Fatah didn?t represent the majority of Canadian Muslims. Fatah commented: ?This is as close as one can gets to issuing a death threat, as it places me as an apostate and blasphemer.?

And Fatah, like Hassan Shahid, has received outright death threats. He told the Toronto Police that he has been receiving death threats since 2003, but lately they?re grown in number. And they?re credible enough in content to move him to resign and duck out of sight.

Voices of moderation or reform within Islamic communities are at a distinct disadvantage because jihadists can so effectively use the Qur?an and Sunnah against them to lend credence to their charges of apostasy. Also, all the schools of Islamic law mandate that an apostate male must be killed -- a command rooted in the teachings of Muhammad, who said, ?If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him?? (Bukhari 4.52.260). Thus a death threat can become an act of piety.

It is bitterly ironic that Western non-Muslim observers who know little or nothing of Islam assume that voices of liberalism and reform are the dominant mainstream within Islamic communities in the West and elsewhere, when the reality is that people like Hassan Shahid and Fatah are, despite their popularity among Westerners who like to pride themselves on their ?tolerance,? only marginally influential among Muslims -- and are, above all, hunted.

Muslim reformers deserve all the support we can give them. But we should stop deluding ourselves into thinking they?re the majority. And above all, government and law enforcement officials should stop building policy on the assumption that people like Farzana Hassan Shahid and Tarek Fatah are the majority.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2006, 05:30:23 AM »
Keith Ellison?s Mysterious CAIR Meeting
By Joe Kaufman | October 16, 2006

At the beginning of this month, I received an e-mail about a lecture that was taking place on October 14th at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center, located in Pembroke Pines, Florida.  The event was being sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Keynote Speaker was listed as Keith Ellison, a candidate for United States Congress from Minnesota and a man that has raised thousands of dollars through CAIR.  Our group, Americans Against Hate, planned to be there and welcome him in protest.  All was fine, until we attempted to sit in on the event.

When I received the e-mail concerning the lecture, I wanted to corroborate the information to make sure that it was correct.  I searched the Internet.  I found nothing.  I went onto CAIR?s and CAIR-Florida?s websites ? nothing.  I went onto Keith Ellison?s campaign website ? nothing.  Details about this event were nowhere to be seen.  It wasn?t until I spoke with someone from the Pembroke Pines Police Department that I found out the information was indeed accurate.  Questions popped up in my head:  Why is this event being made a secret?  Why is a Congressional Candidate from Minnesota campaigning in South Florida?  And right before the election?


We obtained the permit, and the protest went on as planned.  What we were protesting was the fact that Keith Ellison had accepted campaign donations from CAIR officials.  We were also protesting Florida Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Davis for doing the same.  Ellison had taken money from CAIR?s National Executive Director Nihad Awad, CAIR?s National Chairman Parvez Ahmed, and CAIR?s Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor.  Jim Davis had accepted money from CAIR-Florida?s Communications Director Ahmed Bedier.  Given CAIR?s ties to the terrorist organization Hamas, given the fact that four CAIR representatives have previously been charged by the U.S. government with terrorist activity, and given the fact that CAIR is being sued for its role in the attacks on 9/11, we believed our case was strong.


Our protest consisted of a small group of people holding appropriate signs.  They included:  ?GIVE BACK THE MONEY!? ?BEWARE OF CAIR,? ?KEITH ELLISON, JIM DAVIS, CAIR LAP DOGS,? and one sign containing pro-terror quotes from Nihad Awad and Ahmed Bedier.  We stood across from the entrance of the center, so that we could get a good look at the attendees.  From what we saw and what we heard, there seemed to be very few people attending this event, which led to more questions.


Somebody that resembled Ellison was driven up to the front and was quickly ushered in.  CAIR-Florida?s Legal Director, Areeb Naseer, passed by.  Earlier, the Executive Director for the group, Altaf Ali, was spotted.  A CAIR operative sat outside the door to the entrance ? I figured either to greet guests or to watch us ? or both.  Thankfully, police officers were set up there, as well.


Eventually, another CAIR op came outside to videotape us.  We did the same to him.  I told him it was worse for him ? CAIR already knew what I looked like.  We asked him questions, but like a good CAIR soldier, he didn?t say a word.  When it was time for our speeches, which were made at a podium we had brought, the op moved closer to video them.  My speech contained some hard-hitting evidence of CAIR?s terrorist ties.  The op just stood there expressionless.  I assumed he had no problem with what was being said.  As I spoke, I wondered to myself what the guy was capable of.  After my speech, I thanked everyone for coming.


We were about to leave, when I made the conscious decision to go inside to see the event.  If someone from CAIR was videotaping us, why shouldn?t we be able to do the same?  We asked the police officers if it was alright to go inside to videotape.  They said it was okay, as long as we didn?t disrupt anything.  Two of us went in.  As we reached the entrance to the affair, we were stopped by two people.  ?This is a private event,? one said, as he put up his hand to stop us.  We said we received permission from the officers.  He repeated his statement a couple more times.  Areeb Naseer rushed out to speak with the officers.  Altaf Ali looked nervous and confused.  We took CAIR totally by surprise.


In the end, the officers said, since it was a ?private? event we had to abide by what they were telling us.  My colleague stated that it was a public place ? the center was owned by the city ? and we should be able to pass through.  However, we didn?t press much further and soon left.  With all of the preceding questions, a new question arose: Why did they not want us inside?  Keith Ellison is running for public office.  Why was this a ?private meeting??  What was being said inside that made it so private?


These are questions that Keith Ellison should be asked.  He comes all the way to South Florida from Minnesota, less than one month before his election, to a private meeting that no one knows about, attended by only a small number of people, with individuals guarding the entranceway, an event sponsored by a group that has numerous ties to Islamic terrorism.  Is it just me, or does this picture look strange?


As I write, the homepage of Keith Ellison?s website offers a glaring contradiction to his mysterious Florida meeting.  On it, he states, ?Between now and November 7 -- and for as long as I have the privilege of serving you in Congress -- I'm going to be seeking opportunities for us to connect face-to-face.  I'd like you and your neighbors to join me in town hall discussions around the district where we can talk about the issues that are important to us: the challenges we face and the successes we want to build on.?


How is Mr. Ellison going to ?connect face-to-face? with his constituents, when he?s in another state and he won?t even let the public into his events?  It?s just one more question that needs to be answered.  Minnesotans should demand to know these answers, before their votes are cast.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2006, 03:43:04 AM »
An Islamic TV Channel Expands Its U.S. Audience
The MEMRI Report
October 19, 2006

Bridges TV, an American-Islamic TV channel "seeking to improve the image of Muslims in the United States" and to "offer a unique perspective on the Middle East and the war on terrorism," has extended its availability into six states, creating a potential audience of nearly 2 million.

The network's programming includes a mix of entertainment, sports, news, documentaries, and advertisements from companies like Ford, with an emphasis on religious programs.

The channel says it has been endorsed by "top American [Islamic] scholars and community leaders," whose representatives appear on many of its programs, including one called "Prominent Scholars."

Some speakers openly criticize Islamic extremists. An imam from Los Angeles, Sheik Tajuddin Bin Shuaib, appeared on the channel on October 8 and denounced Osama bin Laden and the September 11, 2001, hijackers.

Some guests, however, are extremists. One religious figure who appeared October 3 said Muslims have a duty to change America and to increase their numbers to 50% of the population from 2%. He recommended that Shariah, or Islamic law, be implemented in American courts.

During a roundtable discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict on October 5, one participant offered a solution: "For the Jews to leave and return to Europe."

Bridges TV aired a speech by the influential Muslim scholar Jamal Badawi on October 4. Mr. Badawi, who teaches Islam throughout North America, gave an interview to the Saudi Gazette on June 24, 2005, in which he raised questions about who was behind the September 11 attacks and suggested that Americans could be behind the car bombings of Iraqi markets.

Every night, Bridges TV shows a news program, "Talking Points." Its guest on October 4 was Imam Mohammad Alo Elahi, whom it described as a leading "interfaith figure." According to his Web site, Imam Elahi was a spiritual leader in Ayatollah Khomeini's Iranian navy and also is the leader of "one of the largest mosques in the U.S.," in Dearborn, Mich.

The Web site describes his meetings with world leaders and shows photographs of him with the spiritual adviser of Hezbollah, Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah; Ayatollah Khomeini; Presidents Khatemi and Rafsanjani of Iran; Secretary-General Annan of the United Nations; and Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Throughout the day, Bridges TV airs segments of Koranic verses, quite a few of which denounce "unbelievers." One notable verse that aired October 9 praised martyrdom.

Since the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began, the channel has been showing official, Saudi government-controlled Wahhabi sermons from Mecca's holiest mosque, Al-Haram. The sermons stream live via Saudi TV Channel one every day at 4 p.m., and Bridges TV adds its own English subtitles.

An anti-Jewish, anti-Christian sermon from October 5 included the call, "May God destroy them!"

Bridges TV's Web site,, features a weekly poll. Notable questions and results include 59% calling for Hezbollah to continue as a military force in Lebanon, 73% in agreement with the American policy of withholding funds to the Hamas-led Palestinian Arab government, and 63% believing that the Iranian government's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

One of the stars of Bridges TV is a cofounder and vice chairman of the international health care company CBay Inc., Donald "Skip" Conover, who hosts and produces a show called "Words Matter." He was the subject of a gushing article in the Saudi daily Arab News on September 27.

In the article, Mr. Conover expressed "his disgust" at what he called inflammatory statements about Arabs and Muslims in the press.

He also discussed the power of the "Jewish lobby" and called on all Muslims to vote for the Democratic Party. "Every American politician is in lockstep with Israel. ? If they vote against, then the Jewish lobby will put a lot of money behind the candidate against them in their districts in the future. I have news for the Muslim community. All American politicians are in the pocket of the Jewish lobby today because they control a lot of money, and they spend a lot of money in politics."

"If the Muslims of America believe that they don't want Bush to have a free hand for the next two years, then the Muslims of America need to get organized and make sure they get out to vote for Democrats for both the House and the Senate," Mr. Conover added. "Every Muslim in the Middle East who has a relative in the U.S. should get the message across to their relatives. They need to make sure that all their friends vote against Bush."

Bridges TV claims that its "major purpose" is "to build bridges between American Muslims and other Americans." After viewing the channel, I find this highly unlikely.

Mr. Stalinsky is the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2006, 05:21:43 AM »
Muslim woman refuses to remove her veil in court, so judge tosses case
By Zachary Gorchow

Detroit Free Press


DETROIT - Ginnnah Muhammad of Detroit was looking for her day in court.

Instead, she said she felt as if a judge forced her to choose between her case and her religion in a small-claims dispute in Hamtramck District Court.

A devout Muslim, she wore a niqab - a scarf and veil to cover her face and head except for her eyes - Oct. 11 as she contested a rental car company's charging her $2,750 to repair a vehicle after thieves broke into it.

Judge Paul Paruk said he needed to see her face to judge her truthfulness and gave Muhammad, 42, a choice: take off the veil when testifying or the case would be dismissed. She kept the veil on.

"I just feel so sad," Muhammad said last week. "I feel that the court is there for justice for us. I didn't feel like the court recognized me as a person that needed justice. I just feel I can't trust the court."

The wearing of a niqab has spurred increasing debate, particularly in Europe. In 2004, France banned the wearing of it and other religious symbols in public schools.

This month, former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, still a member of parliament, ignited a fierce debate over the niqab by suggesting that Muslim women in his district remove their veils when they visit his office. He said it would improve communication, calling the veil "a visible statement of separation and of difference."

It has sparked controversy in the United States as well. A Muslim woman from Florida unsuccessfully went to court in an effort to overturn the state's order in 2001 that she reveal her face for her driver's license photo.

In metro Detroit, which has one of the country's largest Muslim populations, a small minority of Muslim women - primarily those of Yemeni descent - wear the niqab, said Dawud Walid , executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Paruk said that as a fact finder, he needs to see the face of a person testifying. Michigan has no rules governing what judges can do regarding religious attire of people in court, so the judges have leeway on how to run their courtrooms.

"My job in the courtroom is to make a determination as to the veracity of somebody's claim," he said. "Part of that, you need to identify the witness and you need to look at the witness and watch how they testify."

Paruk said he offered to let Muhammad, who was born in the United States and converted to Islam at the age of 10, wear the veil during the proceedings except when she testified. He said this was the first time someone had come before his court wearing a niqab, and he noted that many Muslims do not consider it a religious symbol.

"I felt I was trying to accommodate her as best I could," he said.

Walid said Paruk still violated Muhammad's civil rights.

"Although a niqab is donned by a minority of Muslim females, it is still a bona fide religious practice," he said.

Hamtramck, once almost entirely populated by residents of e astern European descent, now has a large and growing population of Muslims.

"There definitely needs to be greater sensitivity toward the growing populace in that municipality," Walid said.

Judges should seek to strike a balance between running their courtrooms and respecting the religious views of those appearing before them, said Steve Leben, a Kansas trial court judge who is president of the American Judges Association.

"I'm not trying to be critical of the judge because it is difficult to make decisions on the fly," Leben said. "But if it's a person's legitimate religious belief, we have a duty to try to reconcile these competing interests."

Mark Somers, chief judge of the Dearborn District Court, which covers the bulk of the Detroit area's Muslim population, said he could not recall an instance when a woman who wore a niqab came before his court to testify.

But he said he would not require a woman to remove her veil during a civil case.

"To me, it would not be an issue," he said. "I simply as a matter of personal policy would never ask someone to do that."


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 05:46:44 AM »
CAIR is often a go-to "moderate Muslim" group for MSM pieces, but there are substantial questions about the sincerity of the group or whether it is a taqiya (sp?) front for nefarious groups.  Here is a piece from a group which strongly believes CAIR to be a front for nefarious elements:

In Defense of the Constitution

News & Analysis
042/06  October 23, 2006

CAIR'S Bedier:  Doing The "Transparency" Bob And Weave

Replying to a recent viewer comment in the YouTube comments section of a video post on the Pope from Ahmed Bedier, CAIR's Florida communications director, Mr. Bedier stated that CAIR is  "as transparent as you get, my friend".
Well, not really.  It seems to us that whenever a CAIR officer is confronted with a direct question about CAIR, the officer will go out of his (or her) way to dodge the question, or throw it back on the questioner.
(This is anything but "transparent", Mr. Bedier.)
For example, CAIR sued Anti-CAIR's director, Andrew Whitehead, for defamation.  But when it came time for CAIR to be "transparent," it cut and ran.  The CAIR vs Anti-CAIR court documents show CAIR was afraid to answer questions regarding:
- CAIR's financial ties to the terrorist-financing groups Holy Land Foundation, Global Relief Foundation, and Hamas.  (Fearful of admitting in court CAIR's support for these terror groups, they refused to be "transparent" regarding these relationships).
- CAIR's relationship to the Islamic Association of Palestine [former employers of Awad, Ahmad, and Hooper].  The IAP was found civilly liable for murder.  Also refused were questions of CAIR's relationship with InfoCom, which was run by convicted CAIR board member Ghassan Elashi.
- CAIR's connections to individuals associated with Saudi Arabia. [Now what could CAIR possibly have to hide here?  Mr. Bedier, care to answer?]
- CAIR's connections to terrorist Musa Marzook of Hamas.  [We'd love to hear CAIR's explanation on this one.but, once again, only silence from the CAIR troika.]
- CAIR's financial relationship with an identified Saudi prince known for financing Islamic Fundamentalism and supporting terror.
- CAIR's financial relationship with a known Saudi Islamic fundamentalist group that was formed and operating for the purpose of converting non-believers, by whatever means necessary, and who agreed to underwrite CAIR's activities in the United States.
- CAIR's  "key personnel" who were identified by FBI surveillance in a meeting with Hamas leadership right here in the USA.  [Now why would CAIR officials want to meet with Hamas?]
- CAIR's position regarding Israel's right to exist as a nation.
- CAIR's position regarding the Hamas Charter, [of which CAIR's officers translated into English while working for the Islamic Association for Palestine, a terror front group].
CAIR would not even admit that Hamas was responsible for the murder of innocent civilians.

If CAIR's is so transparent, as Mr. Bedier insists, then why all the bobbing and weaving with discovery requests regarding CAIR'Ss history, ideology, and financial ties? 

It is because CAIR is quite transparent, as Anti-CAIR'S has always insisted:
"Let there be no doubt that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists, and that CAIR wishes nothing more than the implementation of Sharia law in America."
Care to put up, or would you prefer to shut up, Mr. Bedier?
Below is a comment exchange from Ahmed Bediers' YouTube space:

bassizzzt42 (1 day ago)
Islam is NOT a religion. It is a political ideology based on lies, intolerance, and hate. Look at how Muslim women are treated - like sub-humans. Islamofascism is alive and well and living in America. Do you know that several CAIR employees have been arrested for terrorism and are doing time in prison? Do not trust Bedier nor CAIR; they are professional liars. CAIR's goal is the eradication of the Constitution of the United States and they wish to establish an Islamic theocracy.
bedier (1 day ago)
Oh yeah, and you want us to trust a screen name bassizzzt42 real reliable source there. We're as transparent as you get my friend, but people like you only hide behind screen names.

(Note:  Bedier deleted the above exchange, and several others, on 10/19/06 around 7:30 pm EST - Anti-CAIR wonders why?  Could it be that he realized what a fool he was making of himself and his masters at CAIR?)

Andrew Whitehead

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!

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 News & Analysis 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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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2006, 08:53:29 AM »
Speak To Me, Ibrahim!
By Robert Spencer | March 10, 2003

Wednesday morning I called Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Last week Hooper and I had words on MSNBC?s Nachman show about the propriety of the FBI investigating mosques, and I wanted to get his reaction to new allegations that the al-Farooq mosque in Brooklyn has been a chief source of funding for al-Qaeda.

But Mr. Hooper wouldn?t tell me what he thought. Without allowing me to ask my question, he just said, "I have no interest in promoting the anti-Muslim agenda of you or FrontPage Magazine," and hung up.

Now, I know that tempers are boiling over in today?s tense political climate. But CAIR would be able to gain a better hearing for its new campaign to "foster greater understanding of Islam" if its spokesmen engaged the organization?s political opponents honestly, instead of smearing their positions and indulging in juvenile displays. This is especially true in these days of national crisis. Americans have legitimate questions about CAIR and Islamic radicalism that Hooper and Co. has so far refused to answer, preferring instead to resort to ad hominem attacks upon those who raise the questions.

But the questions aren?t going away. Ibrahim Hooper won?t answer them, but he can?t bury them:

[1] The Al-Farooq mosque is the second American mosque linked to terrorist activity in a week. The first was an Islamic religious center identified in the indictment of South Florida Professor Sami Al-Arian as one base of his operations to aid terrorists. In light of this, is CAIR?s stand against the FBI?s counting mosques as part of anti-terror operations really consistent with CAIR?s stated "commitment to our nation?s safety"?

[2] The Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud gave CAIR $500,000 for its program to put books and tapes about Islam in American libraries. The American Muslim leader W. D. Muhammad has said that when Saudis give money to American Muslims, they say, "We?re gonna give you our money, then we want you to . . . prefer our school of thought." Were these books and tapes approved by Islamic authorities belonging to the Saudi Wahhabi sect?

[3] CAIR?s stated intention in the library campaign is to help Americans learn about Islam "as a religion of peace and justice." How is this goal consistent with financing from Wahhabis, a sect so fanatical and extremist that it sanctions violence against non-Muslims and even against Muslims it considers heretical?

[4] CAIR?s new ad campaign includes fifty-two full-page ads in the New York Times. Where is the money coming from to pay for all these ads ? an expense that must amount to over a million dollars? Does any of this money come also from Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia? If so (or even if not), have they approved the ads? Did Wahhabis help craft the ads?

[5] As long ago as 1999, the Naqshbandi Sufi Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani told a State Department Open Forum on religious extremism that "the problem with our communities is the extremist ideology. . . [Extremists] took over more than 80% of the mosques that have been established in the US." The fact that Wahhabis finance most American mosques would seem to bear out Kabbani?s assessment. Even if Kabbani was only half-right and extremists today control only 40% of American mosques, would they not bear investigating as part of efforts to prevent terrorist acts?

[6] On Wednesday, March 5, the same day I called Hooper, a suicide bomber killed 16 people and injured 55 on a bus in Haifa, Israel. Among the dead were ten high school students, including a 14-year-old American girl, Avigail Leitner. The Islamic terrorist group Hamas praised the bombing. Is CAIR?s Executive Director Nihad Awad still "a supporter of Hamas," as he has stated publicly many times? If so, how does this support square with CAIR?s efforts to portray Islam as a religion of peace?

[7] When al-Qaeda issued a threat during the season of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, causing Attorney General John Ashcroft to raise the level of the nation?s terrorist alert, why did CAIR blame Ashcroft for linking terrorism to the Hajj? Didn?t that linkage come from al-Qaeda, not Ashcroft ? or did CAIR have intelligence to the contrary?

[8] Why, when terrorist groups around the world use the words "Islam" and "Jihad" in their names, are people who ask questions about this fact tarred by CAIR as having an "anti-Muslim agenda"? What is CAIR really doing to sever the worldwide connection between Islam and terrorism? Dodging questions, whitewashing uncomfortable facts, and hanging up on people won?t do it.

Come on, Ibrahim. The American people, to whose safety you are committed, deserve answers.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of five books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World?s Fastest Growing Faith and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2006, 08:54:39 AM »
From | Original article available at:

CAIR Founded by "Islamic Terrorists"?
by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha
July 28, 2005

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Inc., filed a defamation lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead, of Anti-CAIR (or ACAIR), a grass-roots project whose name explains its mission: to expose the largest, most vocal, and dangerous Islamist organization in North America.

CAIR's March 2004 lawsuit is part of what seems to be a policy of using the legal process to silence or chill critics. In this case, CAIR claimed it had been harmed by six statements on ACAIR's website, including CAIR's being founded by Hamas supporters, being partially funded by terrorists, and intending to impose Islamic law on the United States.

Then, on June 20, 2005, CAIR filed an amended motion that substantially cut back on its libel claims, retaining just portions of two of the original six statements. With original misspellings retained, the offending passages are:

Let their be no doubt that CAIR is a terrorist supporting front organization?.
[CAIR] seeks to overthrow constitutional government in the United States?.
Why did CAIR drastically reduce its claims versus Whitehead?

It might have to do with Whitehead, admirably represented by Reed Rubinstein of Greenberg Traurig LLP, having responded to CAIR's lawsuit with an extensive and well informed set of discovery requests and documents. These filings perhaps established for CAIR the depth of Whitehead's knowledge and the soundness of his opinions. If so, then CAIR's leadership concluded that the bulk of its case against Whitehead would collapse in court.

CAIR's filing an amended motion has two apparent implications: that CAIR has tacitly acknowledged the truth of Whitehead's deleted assertions; and those assertions can now be repeated with legal impunity.

We list here the key statements that CAIR no longer deems legally improper, followed by some speculations as to why it might have decided not to contest them in court.

[CAIR is an] organization founded by Hamas supporters?.
CAIR was started by Hamas members?.
CAIR ? was founded by Islamic terrorists.
CAIR's leadership must have stretched its collective memory back to 1994 and recalled (along with counterterrorism expert Matthew Epstein) that Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, former officials of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), founded the organization, while IAP's president, Rafeeq Jabar, was (according to Steve Emerson) one of CAIR's founding directors.

Former FBI counterterrorism chief Oliver "Buck" Revell has described the IAP as "a front organization for Hamas." This linkage between the IAP and Hamas was decisively established in 2004, when a federal judge in Chicago found it partially liable for $156 million in damages for its role in aiding and abetting Hamas in the murder of David Boim, a 17-year-old American citizen.

And, CAIR no doubt remembered that it had been caught by Joe Kaufman exploiting the 9/11 attacks to raise funds for two Hamas-linked fundraising organizations, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and the Global Relief Foundation.

[CAIR] is partially funded by terrorists?
Terrorists themselves don't literally give out money, but organizations that fund terrorism also fund CAIR.

The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank gave CAIR $250,000 in August 1999. The IDB also manages funds (Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa) which finance suicide bombings against Israeli civilians by providing funds to the families of Palestinian "martyrs."

The International Institute of Islamic Thought, an organization linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, gave CAIR's Washington office $14,000 in 2003, according to IIIT tax filings. David Kane, who investigated IIIT as part of Operation Green Quest's probe into some one hundred companies and organizations, described in a sworn affidavit the various ways in which it may have funded suspected terrorist-front organizations.

The International Relief Organization (also called the International Islamic Relief Organization, or IIRO), a Saudi-financed organization being investigated by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance for terrorism financing donated at least $12,000 to CAIR.

CAIR receives direct funding from Islamic terrorist supporting countries.
CAIR has received funds from Saudi Arabia, such as the $250,000 from the Islamic Development Bank noted above. In addition, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-sponsored charity (and another one suspected of financing terror), announced in December 1999 that it "was extending both moral and financial support to CAIR" to help it construct its $3.5 million headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Saudi Arabia, the homeland Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers, is reasonably described as "terrorist supporting." The 9/11 Commission staff describes Saudi Arabia as having an environment where "fund-raisers and facilitators throughout Saudi Arabia and the Gulf" raised money for al Qaeda. In July 2005, U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey stated that "even today, we believe that Saudi donors may still be a significant source of terrorist financing, including for the insurgency in Iraq."

CAIR has proven links to? Islamic terrorists.
It's easy to understand why CAIR chose to leave this one alone, what with five current or former CAIR affiliates arrested, convicted, or deported on terrorism-related charges:

Randall Royer, CAIR's communications specialist and civil rights coordinator, was indicted on charges of conspiring to help Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to battle American troops in Afghanistan. He later pled guilty to lesser firearm-related charges and was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR's Texas chapter, was convicted in July 2004 along with his four brothers of having illegally shipped computers from their Dallas-area business, InfoCom Corporation, to Libya and Syria, two designated state sponsors of terrorism. In April of 2005, Elashi and two brothers were also convicted of knowingly doing business with Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader and Specially Designated Terrorist. He continues to face charges that he provided more than $12.4 million to Hamas while he was running the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), America's largest Islamic charity.

Bassem Khafagi, CAIR's community relations director, pleaded guilty in September 2003 to lying on his visa application and for passing bad checks for substantial amounts in early 2001, for which he was deported. Khafagi was also a founding member and president of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an organization under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for terrorism-related activities.

Rabih Haddad, a CAIR fundraiser, was arrested on terrorism-related charges and deported from the United States due to his subsequent work as executive director of the Global Relief Foundation, a charity he co-founded; in October 2002, GRF was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. According to a CAIR complaint, Homam Albaroudi, a member of CAIR's Michigan chapter and also a founding member and executive director of the IANA also founded the Free Rabih Haddad Committee.

Siraj Wahhaj, a CAIR advisory board member, was named in 1995 by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as a possible unindicted co-conspirator in connection with the plot to blow up New York City landmarks led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman.

CAIR is a fundamentalist organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States Constitution and the installation of an Islamic theocracy in America.
CAIR wishes nothing more than the implementation of a SHARIA law in American.
[CAIR seeks to replace the government of the United States] with an Islamist theocracy using our own Constitution as protection....
CAIR is here to make radical Islam the dominant religion in the United States and to convert our country into an Islamic theocracy along the lines of Iran.
CAIR's goals are clear, as indicated by its leaders' sometimes revealing comments:

Ihsan Bagby, a future CAIR board member, stated in the late 1980s that Muslims "can never be full citizens of this country," referring to the United States, "because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country."

Ibrahim Hooper, the future CAIR spokesman, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 4, 1993: "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future."

Omar Ahmad, CAIR's chairman, announced in July 1998 that "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."

These facts suggest why CAIR felt it had to drop most of its libel claims against Andrew Whitehead. Should this case go to court, we will watch with interest how Whitehead's two remaining opinions (that CAIR is a terrorist-supporting front organization and that it seeks to overthrow the constitutional government of the United States) fare.

Mr. Pipes ( is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers). Ms Chadha is the co-author of two forthcoming books on the Middle East.

From | Original article available at:


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 08:55:56 AM »
How the Patriot Act Saves Lives
By Robert Spencer | January 18, 2006

On January 5, 2005, a drug runner named Noel Exinia, who was engaged in transporting over five hundreds pounds of cocaine from Mexico to New York City, revealed in a telephone conversation that he was interested in other kinds of cargo as well. He spoke about twenty Iraqis, all between the ages of 25 and 33, who would pay $8,000 to get past the Mexico-U.S. border and into the United States. These Iraqis were, he said, in the Mexican cities of Monterrey, Chiapas and Puebla, and were ready to cross into Texas; ultimately, they hoped to get to the Northeast. According to Exinia, they were ?la gente de Osama? ? Osama?s people. What?s more, they were ?dangerous?really bad people.? Even Exinia, with all his experience in the drug underworld as part of the Gulf Cartel, admitted he was afraid of them.

No one would have known any of this, at least until these Iraqis committed a terrorist act on American soil, had it not been for the fact that Exinia?s call was recorded. The recording was permissible under the U.S. Patriot Act.

And that, says Exinia?s lawyer, John Blaylock, is why no one should ever have heard anything about Exinia?s phone call. ?This is an example,? he maintains, ?of a lot of hot air with a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing?.Terrorism is the flavor of the week. If they could have, they would have charged him with terrorism to justify the Patriot Act that is coming up for renewal.? However, Exinia?s previous lawyer, William May, said that he thought the terrorism allegations against his former client were true.

Meanwhile, Henry Crumpton, the State Department?s new counter-terrorism chief, has said: ?I rate the probability of terror groups using WMD [to attack Western targets] as very high. It is simply a question of time. And it is not just the nuclear threat that bothers me. I think, if anything, the biological threat is going to grow.?

The FBI has declined all comment on the Exinia case; no one will even say whether ?Osama?s people? made it into the United States or were headed off. But in any case, if any of them succeeded in carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States, particularly a nuclear or biological attack, would anyone be relieved that their rights had not been infringed by illegal wiretapping?

Apparently the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) would be, among others. With the five-week extension on the Patriot Act due to expire on February 3, they have filed suit against another, closely related and just as controversial element of President Bush?s anti-terror program: the recently-revealed program of domestic surveillance conducted without a warrant or other authorization. The names of the plaintiffs do not inspire confidence in the merits of the suit. The ACLU?s long-standing antagonism to America?s common defense is well documented; for its part, CAIR has had several of its officials arrested and convicted on various terrorism-related charges, and has never answered questions about where it really stands on jihad violence. The Fiqh Council of North America?s condemnation of terrorism that CAIR endorsed with much fanfare (and a great deal of mainstream media attention) was flawed, inadequate, and loaded with weasel words.

That such groups would come out against the Administration?s policies may be the strongest argument in their favor. However, thoughtful and patriotic Americans with a healthy understanding of the global jihad threat ? notably Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation ? have also expressed reservations about various aspects of the Patriot Act. Weyrich notes: ?Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, after 9/11, said if we gave up our way of life in order to catch terrorists the terrorists would have won.? Suspension of some civil liberties in wartime is nothing new: Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus; during World War I, Woodrow Wilson had enacted numerous provisions that would make ACLU lawyers blanch today. But in this era of an ever-expanding and ever-encroaching federal government, Rumsfeld?s warning is not just empty rhetoric.

If Judge Samuel Alito is confirmed as expected and takes a seat on the Supreme Court so that the Court again has its full complement of justices, the High Court should consider questions regarding the Patriot Act and domestic wiretapping as quickly as possible. The proper balance must be found between Constitutional protections and national security, such that the plans of the men who made Noel Exinia afraid are discovered and foiled well before they have any chance to come to fruition, but not in a manner that compromises any legitimate Constitutional freedom. Otherwise, we would simply be opposing one tyranny with another. The struggle against global jihad, although few yet realize it, is a great struggle, perhaps the last great struggle, to defend and safeguard the principles of universal human rights and the equality of dignity of all people that have been one of the greatest gifts that Judeo-Christian civilization has given to the world. Upon those principles our defense must be founded, or all is lost.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of five books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World?s Fastest Growing Faith and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2006, 08:57:28 AM »
CAIR Supports Imam Jalil's Hateful Views

Brian Hecht of Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism has prepared the following post; please quote Brian:

Yesterday, the "New York Post" broke the story of an anti-Government, anti-Semitic speech made by the chief Imam of New York City?s Department of Corrections. On an audio tape obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) at a 2005 Muslim Students Association conference in Arizona, Umar Abdul-Jalil, also the Imam of the Masjid Sabur mosque in Harlem, complained that ?the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House? and that the ?Zionists of the media? have portrayed Islam in a negative light. Responding to the news of Imam Jalil?s comments, New York City has placed him on administrative leave pending a further investigation. As reported by the Post:

At one conference session, Abdul-Jalil charged that Muslims jailed after the 9/11 attacks were being tortured in Manhattan, according to the tape. "They [some Muslim inmates] are not charged with anything, they are not entitled to any rights, they are interrogated. Some of them are literally tortured and we found this in the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in Manhattan. But they literally are torturing people," Abdul-Jalil said.
Abdul-Jalil also accused the Bush administration of being terrorists, according to the tape. "We have terrorists defining who a terrorist is, but because they have the weight of legitimacy, they get away with it . . . We know that the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House, without a doubt," he said.

At another session, Abdul-Jalil urged American Muslims to stop allowing "the Zionists of the media to dictate what Islam is to us" and said Muslims must be "compassionate with each other" and "hard against the kufr [unbeliever]."

Not surprisingly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has a long history of espousing and defending extremist, hateful and anti-Semitic speech (see Steven Emerson's "The American Muslim Leaders' 'Fatwa' Is Bogus"), is defending Imam Jalil?s right to preach his views while earning $76,000 in taxpayer-supported salary and holding a position of public trust, supposedly involved in the rehabilitation of convicted criminals. Of course, CAIR won't defend the rights of newspapers when publishing cartoons which CAIR deems insulting.

For his part, Imam Jalil, after initially denying that he made the comments at all, admitted to the "New York Post" that he had in fact made the incendiary remarks, but that they were being taken out of context. According to the "New York Daily News," Jalil insists that he is not anti-Semitic and has lashed out at those who he feels have questioned his patriotism. As reported by the Daily News:

Yesterday he insisted he wasn't anti-Semitic, adding that his mother was Jewish, having converted to Judaism in 1959.
"I'm more Jewish than most who espouse the Jewish faith," he said.

Into the controversy steps CAIR on the Imam's side. As reported by New York?s ABC affiliate, Wissam Nasr, CAIR?s New York?s Executive Director, said:

"There are other things that are the truth in his statements. For example, harsh treatment of Muslim prisoners at the Metropolitan Detention Center and the jails in New York, so I think we can't mix the two together. And even if it was his opinion, this is America and we are allowed to express our opinions publicly."
The report continues: ?[w]hile the Council on Islamic Relations (sic) doesn't agree with all the statements, the director examined the transcripts with us and defended the imam's right to expression.? CAIR?s position as a defender of ?free speech? concerning incendiary and hateful remarks is rather dubious in light of their views on the recent Danish cartoon controversy. Parvez Ahmed, the Chairman of CAIR, wrote in an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News (and issued on the Islamic Broadcasting Network site), ?[f]ree speech, like every other freedom, comes with the responsibility of good judgment. Newspapers ought to have the freedom to speak the truth, but a cartoon that defames does not further debate.? One wonders if Parvez Ahmed believes that rants about the ?Zionist controlled media? and terrorists running the White House helps to ?further debate.? And just two weeks ago, at a CAIR-sponsored event at the University of Pennsylvania on the Mohammed cartoons, CAIR board member Mazhar Rishi said, ?[t]he right to free speech is not absolute.?

In CAIR?s view, when Muslims are offended, free speech is not absolute and should be exercised responsibly. But when a Muslim in a position of authority receiving a government salary says something offensive, free speech becomes an unlimited, cherished American right. In other words, everyone but Muslims must exhibit responsibility when exercising their right to free speech.

The IPT?s Joshua Shrager appeared on WABC?s broadcast to discuss the issue (click on ?Eyewitness News Video? under ?Related Links? to watch).

Posted by Andrew Cochran


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 08:59:20 AM »
FBI ?Bridges? to Terror
By Joe Kaufman | April 18, 2006

Prior to 9/11, few understood the scope and capabilities of Al-Qaeda. One of those worthy few was John O?Neill. PBS dubbed him ?The Man Who Knew,? as he warned a friend, on the eve of the attacks, ?We?re due for something big.? Starting in 1995, in his position as chief of the FBI?s counter-terrorism section, O?Neill became absorbed with tracking the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and his global network of terrorists. But that search ended, shortly after a plane slammed into the building that he was stationed at, the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It was there that John Patrick O?Neill lost his life, while trying to do what he did best ? be a hero. In an act that could only be seen as a way to dishonor his memory, the organization he gave his blood and guts for took part in an event being sponsored by one of the defendants in the lawsuit for his murder.

On April 13, 2006, the FBI led a nationally televised townhall meeting on Bridges TV, a U.S.-based Muslim television network, located in Orchard Park, New York. The press release, sent out two days before the meeting, labeled it ?a historic event in American history? and the ?first-of-its-kind.? [According to the release, it will be re-broadcast worldwide via U.S. State Department television.] Representing the FBI was Paul Moskal, the division chief of the FBI?s office in Buffalo, and Thomas Ginter, the FBI?s local recruitment director. The sponsor for the meeting was the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the moderator was the director of CAIR?s Ohio office, Adnan Mirza. CAIR is currently named as a defendant in the John O?Neill lawsuit, brought forward by his family and filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

In Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr. et al. vs. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, it is stated, ?Council on American Islamic Relations and CAIR Canada (collectively, CAIR), have aided, abetted, and materially sponsored al Qaeda and international terrorism? In the years and months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 these organizations were very effective in helping to ensure that North American law enforcement and intelligence officials were sufficiently deaf, dumb, and blind to help pave the way for the attacks on the United States.?

Indeed, CAIR has a profuse track record with regards to its terrorist connections and affiliations. The organization was created by a front group for the Palestinian Hamas. In its short existence, CAIR has lost a Civil Rights Coordinator, a fundraiser, a Director of Community Relations, and a founding Director of its Texas Chapter, all through conviction or deportation. The FBI had a hand in bringing to justice every one of these individuals.

Much of this information was provided to the FBI?s Buffalo office, yet the event still went on as planned. According to agent Moskal, he was ?offended? that there were concerned citizens that had warned him ahead of time not to attend. He stated, ?I was very offended. I mean, what?s the FBI?s international reputation?? But where was his offense at what CAIR and its officials had been involved in, and where was his compassion for his fellow agent ? one of the best the FBI has ever employed?

Furthermore, where was the concern from the FBI about the venue where the meeting was being held? Apart from the disturbing fact that CAIR has direct involvement with Bridges TV ? CAIR?s Executive Director, Nihad Awad, is an advisor for Bridges ? the station openly boasts of its Islamist-oriented programming.

On the homepage of the Bridges TV website, Siraj Wahhaj, a man that was named as a potential co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, is featured on the network and saluted as a ?Prominent Scholar.? And on its website, the station proudly displays a ?testimonial? from Eric Vickers, the former Executive Director of the American Muslim Council, who said, in February of 2003, that the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was an act of divine retribution against Israel. Bridges has also worked with the likes of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group tied to the violent Muslim Brotherhood that was the subject of a U.S. Senate investigation into terrorism financing.

Before and after the townhall meeting, CAIR sent out e-mails and posted ?news briefs? about the event. This is in keeping with CAIR?s practice of exploiting anything that grants the organization an air of legitimacy. Unfortunately, the FBI and other government agencies allow themselves to be exploited.

While the FBI works diligently to protect America from her many enemies, the bureau has, as well, been all too willing to reach out to those that espouse the beliefs ? and in some cases are affiliated (as the O?Neill family is attempting to prove) ? with those that attacked us on 9/11. The Bridges TV/FBI/CAIR episode is but one of many instances of this occurring.

At a time when we are at war with Muslims overseas, it is quite understandable for the American government to want to put on a good face and interact with those mainstream Muslim organizations here at home. However, in order to do that, our government has to settle for those that represent a radical strain of Islam; not one of these groups represents otherwise.

It is with this in mind that one must consider the alternative (not having any interaction) as being far greater than the reward for doing so. For if we continue on this course of trying to make friends with the enemy, in the end, we will never know who the real enemy is.

John O?Neill knew. Hopefully, someone else with any kind of influence figures it out soon.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2006, 09:01:01 AM »
Hamas for Hipsters
By Joe Kaufman | October 24, 2006

Today, in what can only be seen as a sinister farce, Ahmed Rehab, the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, will be addressing the student body of Minnesota State University Moorhead as its fall keynote speaker for 2006. According to CAIR-Chicago?s website, the speech will include a discussion about 9/11, an event which CAIR is currently being sued over.

When viewing the CAIR-Chicago site, one comes away with the impression that the group is nothing more than a hip, modern youth movement. The colorful animated pages, the fancy three-piece suits, the corporate images, the happy smiling faces ? all of this lends to this false image. But the reality is something entirely different.

CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was created by three leaders of a front for Hamas called the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). One of those leaders, CAIR?s current National Executive Director Nihad Awad, has, in the past, publicly stated his support for Hamas. As well, CAIR has solicited money for two Hamas-related charities that were shut down by the U.S. government in December of 2001, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and the Global Relief Foundation (GRF). Both groups had leaders that were also CAIR officials. One of those leaders, Ghassan Elashi, earlier this month, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

In addition to this, CAIR is currently the defendant in a class action lawsuit put forward by the family of the former Chief of the FBI?s Counter-Terrorism Section, John P. O?Neill, naming CAIR as a party to the 9/11 conspiracy to attack America. As stated in Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr. et al. vs. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, ?CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism. These organizations play a unique role in the terrorist network. They emanate from the notorious HAMAS terrorist organization, and like so many of the terrorism facilitating charities named and indicted by the United States government, they are engaged in fund raising under the guise of assisting humanitarian causes; they are, in reality, a key player in international terrorism.?

Ahmed Rehab has his own ?reality.? Born in Cairo, Egypt, Rehab has been inspired greatly by the violent Muslim Brotherhood organization that was established in his birthplace in 1928. He stated as much, when he described ? on his now-defunct personal website ? the founder of the Brotherhood, Hassan Al Banna, as a ?Contemporary Muslim Individual who influenced me? and when he labeled Brotherhood author and philosopher, Sayyid Qutb, his ?Favorite Modern Personality.? This was, of course, the same Muslim Brotherhood that spawned Hamas 60 years later, in 1987.

In keeping with the anti-Semitic attitudes of the Brotherhood and its offspring, Rehab has attacked Jews with standard Jewish hate libels. Concerning such subjects as the Holocaust, he has written that he believes there is a ?Jewish control over the media? and that ?the history of the Jewish film producers in particular have shown that they predate on weak minorities by default.?

CAIR-Chicago?s website states that Rehab was an ?activist in the field of interfaith collaboration? and that he ?is a firm believer in the need to reach out and build bridges.? Rehab pulled his website from the internet this year. Are we to believe that Mr. Rehab has changed his views so dramatically over the course of the last few months?

Ahmed Rehab was also the one to break the story ? through this author ? that CAIR?s parent organization, the IAP, was no longer in existence. The group had been found liable for the murder of an American boy, David Boim, during a Hamas terror operation is Israel. The group was also based in Chicago, Rehab?s hometown. Furthermore, Rehab interviewed IAP President (and co-founder of CAIR) Rafiq Jaber, shortly before the IAP?s dissolution. Question: How close was Rehab to the IAP ? one of three American organizations to be founded by the number two leader in Hamas today, Mousa Abu Marzook ? that he knew of the group?s closure before anyone else?

All of the above are reasons why students and faculty at Minnesota State University Moorhead should have major concerns about allowing this individual to speak at its institution. Given CAIR?s terrorist ties, this event should never have been conceived in the first place. No matter what the CAIR-Chicago website looks like or what Rehab says ? no matter how they dress up their words and imagery ? Hamas masquerading in trendy garb is still Hamas.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2006, 09:02:38 AM »

When You Don't Get it, You Don't Get It

Seems like DHS, in an effort to reach out to the Muslim community to calm fears of profiling, decided to take leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on a VIP, behind-the scenes tour of its new counter-terrorism measures.

It is a testament to the idea that you repeat the same mistake again and again and learn nothing that this type of outrage continues to happen. It is no longer a question of ignorance of who CAIR is and what CAIR stands for. That has been too amply documented to be in question if officials bothered with a simple google search. (Of course, as the Washington Post reported this morning, the FBI has basically no capability to do even that online, as their program for computer upgrades has gone down the toilet.

CAIR represents only a small slice of the Islamic community, the small slice that is intent on carrying out a radical Muslim agenda in the United States. The organization has consistently and successfully positioned itself as the voice of moderate Islam in America.

One of the most pernicious lies is that jihad is defined as a personal struggle against sin, rather than violence against infidels. This is historically inaccurate and demonstrably false. That that is still being taught to U.S. agents in any part of government is deeply disturbing and reflects and intellectual laziness that demonstrates that leadership in DHS has not learned even the basics of enemies who would like to blow us all up.

As reports:? During the airport tour, CAIR was taken on a walk through the point-of-entry, Customs stations, secondary screening and interview rooms. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents were asked to describe for CAIR representatives various features of the high-risk passenger lookout system.

?In a meeting, Brian Humphrey, Customs and Border Patrol?s executive director of field operations, assured CAIR officials that agents do not single out Muslim passengers for special screening and that they must undergo a mandatory course in Muslim sensitivity training. The course teaches agents that Muslims believe jihad is an ?internal struggle against sin? and not holy warfare.

?Customs agents involved in the CAIR tour at O?Hare tell WorldNetDaily they were outraged that headquarters would reveal sensitive counterterrorism procedures to an organization that has seen several of its own officials convicted of terror-related charges since 9-11.

?Isn?t that nice of CBP,? one agent said, to provide a ?group like CAIR with a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of our customs facilities, explaining how programs designed to catch Muslim terrorists work.?

?CAIR says the tour allayed its concerns about profiling and that it ?looks forward to continuing the relationship with U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices in the region, and to furthering understanding between the organizations as well as facilitating future communication in order to eliminate problems for Muslim travelers before they even arise.?

Strange, but truley scary.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2006, 09:03:54 AM »

Decision Brief No. 06-D 41 2006-08-21

War on the home front

(Washington, D.C.): In recent days, it has become harder than ever to deny the true nature of the conflict in which we find ourselves. As President Bush put it recently, "We are at war with Islamic fascists." To be sure, the mounting evidence does not preclude some from denying this reality. The facts are sufficiently clear, however, that we must begin to question the judgment, if not the motivations, of those at home who persist in trying to obscure the central threat we face from the totalitarian political ideology known as Islamofascism.

Islamofascism on the March

One straw in the wind could be found in Sunday's New York Times which prominently featured an article entitled "And Now Islamism Trumps Arabism." Although the author, writing from Cairo, used throughout the euphemism "political Islam," the import was unmistakable: With its attacks on Israel and its survival of Israeli retaliation, the Iranian- and Syrian-supported Islamofascist terrorist group, Hezbollah, has added luster and new recruits to longstanding efforts to subject the entire Muslim world - and, in due course, all non-Muslim populations - to Taliban-style Islamist rule.

The manifestations of this rising tide have become evident not only in the Muslim world - Arab and Persian, Sunni and Shiite alike. Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States are among a number of Western nations that narrowly averted terrorist attacks, all of which appear to have been orchestrated by adherents to one form or another of the Islamofascist ideology.

The Facts About Islamofascism at Home

Particularly worrying is the fact that at least some of the would-be perpetrators of such murderous attacks fall into a category increasingly described as "home grown" - that is, suicide-bombers who do not come from abroad, but are citizens of the country they are trying to afflict. Detecting and counteracting such individuals has proven to be even more challenging than the task of preventing their fellow ideologues from getting into the targeted nations.

While it is true that Western societies are increasingly arresting individuals suspected of involvement with terror who are native-born, to call them "home-grown" is misleading. This term understates the role being played by foreign Islamists who have been allowed to establish elaborate recruitment and indoctrination operations inside such societies, including the United States.

For example, mosques and their associated schools (madrassas), prison and military chaplain programs, college campus organizations and increasingly businesses induced to accommodate Islamist demands for employee prayer rooms, time off for prayers, etc. are being used as vehicles for inspiring and/or compelling adherence to the radicals' ideology. Many of these operations receive generous funding from the most important promoter of Islamofascism in the world today, Saudi Arabia.

Enter CAIR

So what are we to make of the claims of a prominent spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ibrahim Hooper, who has publicly denied that Islamofascist imams in some U.S. mosques preach and teach in their schools the destruction of America? In response to a question from CNBC host Larry Kudlow last Thursday, Hooper declared "I've been in a lot of mosques in America. I've never heard that. It's not something that's - I know of in the Muslim community. It's put out and bandied about by anti-Muslim bigots constantly."

This is, of course, patent nonsense. Most, if not all, of those convicted of ties to terror (a population which includes, by the way, three former CAIR officials) have been associated with radical imams and mosques, Islamist missionary organizations like Tablighi Jamaat, and/or Saudi-funded campus or prison recruitment operations.

This is no accident. For example, Freedom House has carefully documented that the Saudis have been providing their mosques in America (Saudi Arabian-financed entities are said to hold the mortgages for as many as 80% of them) with materials that promote jihad against Americans and other "infidels."

For too long, organizations like CAIR (which was reportedly spawned as a political front for the Islamofascist terror organization, Hamas), have been given a pass as they make misleading statements and otherwise sow confusion about the nature of this war. Especially intolerable is their practice of branding those who challenge them and their conduct as "anti-Muslim bigots." (Ibrahim Hooper evidently used such unfounded charges to prevent Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. from debating him on Kudlow's show last week. See Mr. Gaffney's letter on the matter to CNBC President Mark Hoffman)

The Bottom Line

Now that we have no choice but to be clearer about the nature of our enemy in this war, we must stop treating those who apologize for, or otherwise do the bidding of, the Islamofascists as anything but what they are: Part of the problem. The FBI and the law enforcement community more generally, the military and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should stop allowing CAIR and its ilk to provide "Muslim sensitivity training" to their personnel.

Similarly, the U.S. government should refrain from granting those like CAIR access to security-sensitive facilities and operations. Incredibly, in June, according to WorldNetDaily, a senior DHS official personally provided CAIR representatives a "VIP tour" of the Customs screening center at the world's busiest airport, O'Hare International - at the same time British authorities were trying to prevent the penetration of their airport security systems by Islamofascist terrorists.

Finally, the media must not allow, as CNBC recently did, CAIR's bullying tactics to prevent its representatives from being held fully to account. Such practices will only perpetuate the kind of muddled thinking that has to date kept the U.S. from waging the indispensable "war of ideas" against the Islamofascists, both at home and abroad.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2006, 09:05:36 AM »

CAIR launches rebranding effort

The Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) apparently thinks it is need of a better image, so it announces a ?new brand identity? on its website this month. The rebranding also includes a new logo. Hmm, sounds like they?ve been talking to expensive marketing consultants.

Here?s what they say about it.

?The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced the launch of a new brand identity and logo. The new identity focuses on openness, professionalism and the pursuit of mutual understanding and justice.?CAIR made its announcement at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Chicago, North America?s largest annual gathering of Muslims.?

Because observant Muslims do not imbibe alcohol, I wonder if they toasted the move with a non-alcoholic beverage. My suggestion would have been New Coke, of course.

The organization?s head elaborates.

CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed stated: ?After 12 years of dedicated service to the community, we are reaffirming our core values and recommitting ourselves to three central aspects of CAIR?s mission ? enhancing understanding of Islam, protecting civil liberties and empowering American Muslims.?

He also wrote about the need to transform CAIR in ways that better reflect the group?s core commitment to justice, education, diversity, and dialogue.

Ahmed concluded his letter by stating: ?CAIR is your organization and it is our privilege and honor to serve you and to promote a better America.?

Would that better America be ruled by Sharia law? CAIR?s leadership?s views on the matter are the subject of hot dispute. However, it appears that there seems to be no dispute over the fact that former CAIR employees and officials have been involved in terror.

There is only so much that you can do with a new brand when the underlying product has problems. There?s an old saw about putting lipstick on a certain barnyard animal, but given Muslim sensitivities to this creature, and not wanting to be accused of hate speech, I will refrain from mentioning it.

If CAIR really wants to improve its image, it could start by denouncing the forced conversion of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, at gunpopint. I have searched the CAIR website and found none. If I have missed it, I would be grateful to learn of CAIR?s rejection, and its proclamation that these men have been victimized and are under no obligation to be Muslims.

Strangely enough, the page on the CAIR website linked to the ?Not in the name of Islam campaign? (put your cursor on ?Challenging Hate? on the home page) shows no content via the Firefox browser.

Thomas Lifson 9 04 06


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2006, 09:18:02 AM »

L.A. Times violates journalistic ethics in Anaheim City Council election coverage 
By Steven Emerson
Normally, a race for a seat on Anaheim's City Council garners little attention beyond Anaheim. But this year, one candidate is drawing some outside attention.

Bill Dalati, a Syrian-born insurance agent, is running for a spot on Anaheim's City Council. His candidacy has come under scrutiny because of his association with a controversial organization with known links to the Hamas terror group and his participation at a virulently anti-Israel rally this past summer.

But the Los Angeles Times has been singularly trying to portray the criticism of Dalati, made by Republican Shawn Steel, as racist and unsubstantiated.

On July 29 of this year, during the war between Israel and Hezbollah, which was set off by Hezbollah's July 12 cross-border raid and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, Dalati attended an anti-Israel rally in Anaheim. In its coverage of the City Council race, the Associated Press reported that Dalati referred to the event merely as an "anti-war rally." And the L.A. Times reported on Oct. 9 that Dalati "defended his association with the rally protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict," quoting him as saying, "I'm not against Jews or Christians ... I don't support Hezbollah. I just don't believe wars solve any issues; love does."

But the situation is not nearly as innocuous as the L.A. Times and Associated Press would have one believe. The Anaheim protest was about anything but "love." The rally was not merely "anti-war" and the attendees were not merely "protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict." The event in question was billed by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, one of the sponsors of the demonstration, as a "Rally Against U.S.-Israeli Terror in Palestine & Lebanon," hardly a neutral, let alone credible "anti-war" sentiment.

Although the rally drew little mainstream media attention, what little coverage there was whitewashed the content of the demonstration, giving cover for the AP, the L.A. Times and Dalati himself to downplay the nature of the event.

Fortunately, a participant at the rally created a slideshow of the demonstration, posted on YouTube, which shows various demonstrators carrying such signs as "Israel Likes Killing Kids," "Killing Kids Is Not Self Defense" and "End the U.S.-Israeli War," as well as the more typical signs seen at various anti-Israel protests, such as "Stop Israeli War Crimes" and "$134 Billion US Taxes To Israel -- Enough."

Whatever one thinks of American foreign policy and support for Israel, the July rally cannot be fairly described either as simply "anti-war" or just "protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict."

There were no signs indicating any disapproval of Hezbollah's actions -- the capture of Israeli soldiers -- which started the war, nor were there any signs indicating any disapproval of Hezbollah's indiscriminate shelling of Israeli towns with Katusha rockets (packed with scrap metal and ball bearings to cause as much damage to humans as possible), nor any condemnation of Hezbollah's use of civilians as human shields in Lebanon. There were no signs indicating any disapproval of the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian militants and no calls for Hamas -- now the majority in the Palestinian government -- to moderate its stance rejecting the existence of Israel to help pave the way for peace.

Yet, the L.A. Times again came to the defense of Dalati on Oct. 13, in falsely describing this rally in evenhanded terms as a "rally protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict."

In the original story on Dalati, the L.A. Times also refers to Dalati's support of and association with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), describing the organization as it often describes itself: "the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country" and stating uncritically that CAIR is "largely viewed as a mainstream organization." In the second L.A. Times story, the newspaper drops any pretension of reportorial objectivity in its embrace of CAIR: "The largest Muslim civil rights group in the country, CAIR is widely viewed as mainstream and helps the FBI in combating terrorism."

While CAIR may call itself the "largest Muslim civil rights group" in America, the Times completely ignores CAIR's well-documented history of extremism, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, as well as its origins in a now-defunct group, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), an organization that was a losing defendant in a $156 million civil judgment related to the Hamas murder of an American citizen. In the case, the judge noted that there is "evidence that IAP provided material support to Hamas."

Similarly, during a 1994 speech at Florida's Barry University, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad stated, "I am in support of the Hamas movement." Awad was the public relations director of IAP before founding CAIR. And this is what Awad said six years later, on Oct. 28, 2000, in a Washington, D.C., anti-Israeli rally: "Brothers and sisters, we are at least 8 million people, but there are 265 million people in this country who have been deceived, who have been misinformed, who have been intimidated by a small group of people who have been hijacking the political process."

Additionally, several CAIR officials have been convicted on terrorist-related charges. One of them, Randall "Ismail" Royer, CAIR's former communications specialist, trained to fight with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a designated foreign terrorist organization, against Indian forces in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Royer pled guilty to weapons and explosives charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the notorious "Virginia jihad" case.

A founding board member of CAIR-Texas, Ghassan Elashi, is in even greater legal trouble than Royer. Elashi was convicted on a variety of charges in July 2004, including violating the Libyan Sanctions Regulations, and he was found guilty in April 2005 of a Hamas-related money laundering conspiracy, handling money of top Hamas official, the Damascus-based Musa Abu Marzook. Elashi is awaiting his sentencing for both convictions (Elashi's brother, Bayan, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Oct. 11, 2006, for his role in laundering money for Hamas). And Ghassan Elashi is still awaiting another trial, slated to begin in 2007, for his leadership role in the Hamas-linked "charity," the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based organization shut down in 2001 for allegedly funneling millions of dollars to Hamas.

CAIR has defended Marzook, participating in his legal defense fund when he was arrested in the United States, as well as including his arrest in its annual catalog of hate crimes against Muslims. CAIR's defense of, and links to, anti-Semitic individuals is also unfortunate and extensive.

CAIR officials have defended radical Egyptian cleric Wagdy Ghoneim, who at a May 24, 1998, CAIR co-sponsored rally at Brooklyn College in New York, led the audience in a song with the lyrics: "No to the Jews, descendants of the apes."

Ghoneim gave numerous speeches in the United States calling for suicide bombings. Hussam Ayloush, CAIR's Southern California director quoted in the L.A. Times article, was one of Ghoneim's staunchest defenders, calling Ghoneim's decision to forgo fighting deportation proceedings for overstaying his visa and voluntarily leave the United States "a dent in our civil rights struggle," and "[t]he whole Muslim community today is under a microscope of scrutiny. Committing a mistake that would invite a slap on the wrist for anyone else could lead to prison or deportation for a Muslim."

At the time, Ghoneim had already been denied entry into Canada because of his links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Similarly, CAIR officials have also vigorously defended Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami al-Arian, who has referred to Jews as "monkeys and pigs."

As for CAIR helping the FBI in counterterrorism, consider this exchange in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, 2006, in a press conference featuring various Islamic groups, including CAIR, and a representative of the FBI, Warren Bamford. A reporter asked Bamford whether the dialogue with the Islamic groups helped in the investigations the FBI was conducting. "At this time, I don't have any specific recollection of any times that it has helped our investigations." In point of fact, CAIR actively obstructs FBI investigations by issuing warnings against talking to the FBI and portraying the war on terrorism as a "war against Islam."

Dalati was also criticized by a rival candidate for endorsing former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.). McKinney espoused virulent anti-American and anti-Israeli conspiracy theories, so much so that even fellow Democrats repudiated her. But the L.A. Times simply referred to McKinney as "a liberal Democrat who has been critical of President Bush and the Iraq War." This makes McKinney sound mainstream, the equivalent of describing David Duke as "critical of U.S. foreign policy."

Dalati may understandably want to whitewash CAIR's extremism, the rally in which he participated and Cynthia McKinney's record. But given the ability to check the veracity of such claims, the L.A. Times' embrace of this revisionist history is a violation of all journalistic ethics. The L.A. Times has the resources to research the organization but instead choose just to parrot its propaganda.

Dalati's characterization of the July 26 Anaheim rally as merely "anti-war," however, is cause for concern, and his candidacy is rightly drawing a higher level of scrutiny and attention than the average race for a seat on Anaheim's City Council.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2006, 10:21:41 AM »

Cancer in its midst'
By M. Zuhdi Jasser
March 30, 2006

During the dark days of our Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, "That these are the times, that try men's souls." As an American Muslim, I feel the sentiment of these words like a red-hot brand on my brain.
 ? ?I have watched horrified as assassins have read out the words from my Holy Koran before slitting the throats of some poor innocent souls. To my non-comprehending eyes, I have seen mothers proudly support their sons' accomplishment of blowing up innocent people as they eat or travel. It shatters some part of me, to see my faith as an instrument for butchery.
 ? ?It makes me hope and pray for some counter-movement within my faith which will push back all this darkness. And I know that it must start with what is most basic -- the common truth that binds all religions: "Do unto others, as you would have them do onto you." The Golden Rule.
 ? ?But that is not what I am seeing taught in a great deal of the Muslim world today, and, unfortunately, in America it's just not much better.
 ? ?Night after night, I see Muslim national organizations like the Council for American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, cry out over and over about anecdotal victimization while saying and doing absolutely nothing about the most vile hate-speak and actions toward Jews and Christians in the Muslim world. It is the most self-serving of outrage.
 ? ?The question I ask myself in the darkness of my own night is, "How did my beautiful faith become so linked with such ugliness." To me, the answer is both deep and simple. A spiritual path must be only about the spiritual while a worldly path must be about this world. When the two get mixed together, it brings out the very worst in both.
 ? ?Much of what passes today for religious thought and action is actually political. When I hear a sermon in a mosque about the horrors of Israeli occupation, I know that the political arena has taken over the spiritual one. When I see the actions of suicide bombers praised or excused by religious leaders, I know that this politicization is complete. But the current Muslim leadership in groups like CAIR and others want only to talk of victimization. So, it is now high time for a new movement by Muslims in America and the West.
 ? ?We in the Muslim community need to develop a new paradigm for our organizations and think tanks which holds Muslims publicly accountable for the separation of the political from the spiritual. Gone should be the day where individuals and their organizations can hide behind the cloak of victimization as a smoke screen for what they really believe.
 ? ?I do believe that religions have cycles that they go through. Christianity was once a highly intolerant faith. Jews were labeled as "Christ killers" and the colored peoples of the Third World were people whose native faith was like ragged clothes to be torn off their bodies.
 ? ?Thank God those days are over. Now my faith community must do the same. It should be the true test of a Muslim, not so much how he treats a fellow Muslim but how he treats someone of another faith.
 ? ?Time is not on our side and the volatile radical minority of Muslims could strike again at any time. But, while true change among Muslims may take generations, our history teaches us that once we start the ideological battle, nothing can counter the power of freedom, pluralism and the desire for human rights.
 ? ?There are some small signs that my community is finally beginning to wake up to the cancer in its midst. We are learning something that was the central lesson of World War II -- that once aroused, evil never stays self-contained.
 ? ?For many in my faith, it was all right to blow up innocent Israelis as they sat in their cafes and pizza parlors. Through some tortured act of logic, these suicide bombings were seen as some sort of legitimate religion-sanctioned acts. (All the while, notice how few Muslim organizations like CAIR will denounce Hamas by name). But, as evil always does, it migrates, and soon radical Muslims were blowing up little children in Russia, commuters in Spain and worshippers in one of Iraq's holiest mosques.
 ? ?Maybe our first true wake-up call was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's homicide attack on the wedding party in Jordan. Because now, the evil unleashed on the occupying Jews had landed on the doorstep of Muslims as they partook in a joyous wedding day.
 ? ?That is the lesson that we in the Muslim community are now learning. Do evil to anyone and eventually it will boomerang on you. Perhaps, that's a good place to start. Let the barometer of our faith be how we treat our Jewish friends, because in the end, that is how we will eventually treat ourselves.
 ? ?
 ? ?M. Zuhdi Jasser is chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. A former Navy lieutenant commander, he currently is an internist in private practice in Phoenix.
AIFD Commentary


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Muslim for Democracy; American Muslim soldiers give all
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2006, 10:26:42 AM »
New Muslim leader wants Mideast democracy indowadBy Jon Wells
The Hamilton Spectator

(May 1, 2006) The new president of the Muslim Association of Hamilton is showing that he's not afraid to wade in on controversial topics.

In an interview with The Spectator yesterday, Ejaz Butt indicated he supports replacing dictatorships with democratic regimes in the Middle East.

"If (U.S. President George W. Bush) really went into Iraq to bring democracy, I would like him to go into other countries, too, if that is the real intention," he said. "Dictators are in most of our countries, and democracy should be brought to every Muslim country, and as a matter of fact the whole world."

When asked for his views on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Butt supports Israel's right to exist as a sovereign country.

"I have a lot of respect for the Israelis, and they have a right to defend their own country. But I also want to have an independent state of Palestine -- a democratic one."

Butt was acclaimed yesterday by the association as its new president. The challenges are considerable for the association in the post 9/11 world.

"I'm an ex-military man, I can face any challenge," said Butt with a chuckle.
"I'm ready for it."

Prior to coming to Canada in 1987, Butt was a soldier in the Pakistani army for 12 years. There, as a major, he worked for a time with a lieutenant named Pervez Musharraf -- now president of Pakistan.

Javid Mirza recently stepped down as association president. Butt plans to carry on Mirza's legacy of trying to build better relations and understanding between religious faiths in the community.
He is also determined to have the first traditionally designed mosque built in the city. The mosque where he was to be acclaimed was once a racquet club.

Butt, 53, is married and has two sons -- Atis is a soldier in the Canadian army and Asim is a Hamilton police officer. He said if Atis is called on to serve with Canadian troops in Afghanistan, he will support it.

"That's why you put the uniform on, you do not disobey orders when the crucial time comes. But Afghanistan is a very dangerous place, it's a very difficult mission ... When I hear of a Canadian soldier's death, they are like my own children, it brings tears."

(This Muslim American did not harbor any mental reservations about defending America and its Constitution from all enemies, domestic and foreign)

Army Pfc. Angelo Zawaydeh, 19, San Bruno; Killed in Iraq

From the Associated Press
April 23, 2006

When Angelo Zawaydeh of San Bruno, Calif., first told his parents that he wanted to join the military, they refused.

Not only were they worried about the dangers of their teenage son going to war, but they also had concerns about Zawaydeh, whose father is Jordanian, participating in a Middle Eastern war.

When Zawaydeh first brought up the idea to his parents when he was 16, the answer was simple, said his mother, April Bradreau. But two years later, he made his own decision. When he joined the Army, she said, "we asked, 'Why didn't you go to college?' And he said, 'I can't sit in the classroom anymore. I need to get up and do something.' "

Zawaydeh, 19, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and sent to Iraq in September.

On March 15, the private first class was manning a machine gun atop a tank at a Baghdad traffic control point when he was killed by a mortar shell that struck him in the neck.

Kevin Campos said his best friend, a graduate of Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, Calif., and others had vowed to enlist after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "We decided that America was worth fighting for," Campos said. "We thought if we're going to live in this country and raise our families here, we had to do something before we started our lives."

But Bradreau, who with her husband, Akram Zawaydeh, received the news of their son's death on the eve of their 21st wedding anniversary, said her son had grown disillusioned with the war over time. "He thought we could let them [the Iraqis] fight their own battles from now on over there," she said.

Bradreau remembered her son as a respectful young man who always was willing to lend a helping hand.

"He died like he lived," she said. "He gave his life for others."


(Another Muslim American who harbored no mental reservations)


Serving Was Soldier's Mission
Sudan Native Killed in Iraq Did 'Good Deeds'

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 4, 2006; A13

Ayman Taha, a Berkeley graduate who was described as athletic, a speaker of many languages, and a friend to all who met him, had only to write his dissertation to earn his PhD, his father said.
But three years ago, Taha, a budding economist and the son of a Northern Virginia couple, Abdel-Rahman and Amal Taha, joined the Army to serve in the Special Forces. About a year ago, he was sent to Iraq.
On Friday, as Staff Sgt. Ayman Taha, 31, was preparing a cache of munitions for demolition in the town of Balad, the explosives detonated and he was killed, the Pentagon said yesterday.
It is "a very terrible thing," Abdel-Rahman Taha said. "He was a son, and a very special son."
The father added: "If you believe in God and you realize that this is God's will . . . it makes it a lot easier."
There is also consolation, the father said, in feeling that "this is something Ayman wanted to do."
A family friend, Nada Eissa, agreed. "No, he didn't have to do it," she said. "This is something he wanted to do."
Ayman Taha was born in Sudan, into an academically accomplished international family. Both parents hold doctorates. When his father worked for the World Bank, Ayman attended elementary school in McLean. He went to secondary school in England, then received a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's in economics from the University of Massachusetts, where he was working toward a PhD.
"He lived in many cultures," his father said, and spoke English, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. More important, his father said, were his personality and character.
"If he has a five-minute conversation with you, that would be the beginning of a lifetime relationship," the father said. "I never heard anybody who ever complained that Ayman did something wrong to him.
"He was just that type of character," the father said.
About three years ago, Ayman Taha told his father, "Dad, I have been going to school since I was 5 years old. I want to take a break."
The father said he suggested that his son "try something in the World Bank . . . or Merrill Lynch." But one day, "out of the blue," his son told him that he had signed the papers that would take him into the Special Forces.
He said his son was "definitely" patriotic and believed "in the mission."
"He strongly agreed that what they were doing is good and that they were helping people in the Middle East to get out of the . . . historic bottleneck" that had confined them.
Since boyhood, those who knew him recalled, Ayman Taha had taken an interest in military matters, which showed itself in the books he read and the toys he played with.
Joining the Special Forces was "something he felt compelled to do," said a friend, Hisham Eissa, who lives in Los Angeles and is Nada Eissa's brother.
In economics, Taha's interest was in development. "He felt very strongly about making a difference," and "I think he felt that people like him" were needed for it, Eissa said.
"Everyone whose life he touched loved this guy," Hisham Eissa said. "There isn't a single person who knew him who isn't torn up about this."
The Pentagon said Taha was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.
His wife, Geraldine, and child Sommer live near the base. One sister, Rabah, is a special education teacher in Fairfax County, and another, Lubna, attends Marymount University.
His father said Taha was a devout Muslim who believed that "the message of Islam is very simple . . . to believe in God and do good deeds."
"He believed that what he was doing were the good deeds Islam is asking for."



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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2006, 08:40:41 PM »
Although the website from which this piece comes is sometimes guilty IMHO of hyper-ventilating, here's this:

Georgetown gets $20 million from prince promoting Islam
Just months later, university ejects evangelical Christians from campus
Posted: October 25, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh
? 2006

The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University has been renamed after Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $20 million to its projects. And while that may be just the tail, the dog appears to be moving away from its historic Catholic and Jesuit teaching philosophy too.
The Center's leaders say it now will be used to put on workshops regarding Islam, fostering exchanges with the Muslim world, addressing U.S. policy towards the Muslim world, working on the relationship of Islam and Arab culture, addressing Muslim citizenship and civil liberties, and developing exchange programs for students from the Muslim world.
The "Christian" part of the center's projects at the university that has a history of 200 years of higher education following its Christian founding, is conspicuous by its absence in its website plans for its 10-year future.
But that won't be a surprise to leaders of a number of Christian evangelical groups whose leaders recently were told to leave the campus and not list Georgetown University as a site for operations in the future.

That story, reported by WND earlier, still has folks wondering what happened to cause Georgetown officials to ban InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and others. InterVarsity spokesman Gordon Govier said the organization still doesn't know why the move was announced by university officials, who did not return WND messages left inquiring about the situation.
"We still are a little bit confused about what happened," he told WND. "We haven't been able to identify clearly what happened."
He said Christians in the InterVarsity organization still are meeting at Georgetown, but they have no official sanction and are meeting without recognition, much as many Christian churches in nations where religion is regulated meet.
He said there is a committee meeting that is supposed to hear concerns from Christians, and InterVarsity is hopeful there will be a positive outcome, but there's no time frame set.
But the time frame for other interests that have become relevant to Georgetown are a little more apparent. The school's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding confirmed several months ago that the $20 million donation was made by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and a short time later the Center was given the added moniker as Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
The organization now features a number of pro-Muslim statements and articles, with little reference to any Christian statements or understandings. It even has co-sponsored events with CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a "front group" for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terrorism-related charges.
The center's chief, John L. Esposito, summarizes the goals of the organization clearly: "The Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is concerned with Islam and the West and Islam in the West. The Center, since its creation in 1993, has built bridges of understanding between the Muslim world and the West, addressing stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and issues and questions such as the clash of civilizations, and the compatibility of Islam and modern life ? from democratization and pluralism to the status of women, minorities and human rights ? and American foreign policy in the Muslim world."
The Center says it recognizes the increasing demands because of the world's "critical turning point in the history of Muslim-Christian relations" so it will expand its expertise base and operations, "as well as strengthen the website as a source of critical information about Islam and the Muslim world."
The Center's assistant director, Huma Malik, told WND that the $20 million came from the prince because the center is working on projects that interest him, but she could not comment on the influence of the donation or why the evangelical Christians were barred from campus.
The center was founded in 1993 in cooperation with the Fondation pour L'Entante entre Chretians at Musulmans in Geneva "to build strong bridge of understanding between the Muslim world and the West as well as between Islam and Christianity."
The message of acting as an information source for Islam was reinforced in the fact that while the Center's website includes a link for Islamic Resources, there is none for Christian resources.
It also takes a distinct policy stance, with Esposito noting in a recent posting that "despite 'HAMAS' victory in free and democratic elections, the United States and Europe failed to give the party full recognition and support," he wrote.
That type of behavior, he said, provides reasons for "many Muslim autocratic rulers' to retreat from democratization, and he cited a Gallup World Study that says it is the policies of the U.S. that generate hurt in the Muslim world.
"One billion Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia ? tell us that U.S. policies, not values, are behind the ire of the Arab/ Muslim world," he wrote.
Those voices, he wrote, say that while America and the United Kingdom are disliked, other Western nations such as France and Germany are not. He also wrote that the U.S. is suspected because of its relationship to Israel.
"The United States failed to support UN mediation in the face of clear violations of international law, refused to heed calls for a ceasefire and UN intervention, and continued to provide military assistance to Israel," he said of the recent conflict, triggered by a military attack on Israeli soldiers.
"America?s unconditional support of Israel cast it in the eyes of many as a partner, not simply in military action against HAMAS or Hizbollah militants, but in a war against the democratically elected Palestinian government in Gaza and the government of Lebanon, a long-time US ally," he said.
"The primary victims in Gaza and Lebanon were hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, not terrorists. In Lebanon, more than 500 were killed, 2,000 wounded, and 800,000 displaced. Israeli?s military destroyed the civilian infrastructures of both Gaza and Lebanon."
He said "HAMAS and Hizbollah" both are elected political parties, even though the U.S. and others have labeled them "terrorist organizations."
The Center, on a daily news clip posting, highlighted stories quoting a Mecca Imam saying non-Muslims are attacking Muslims out of fear of being over-run by Muslims and the London mayor noting that Muslims in Britain are being "demonized," comparing their recent treatment in London to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Faculty members also are being interviewed by al-Jazeera, a network with sources in many terrorist camps.
The prince, who controls tens of billions of dollars in investments in Morgan Stanley, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Deutsche Bank, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, The Walt Disney company and ebay, works through the Kingdom Holdings company.
He also had given a similar $20 million gift to Harvard, which sponsors a Harvard Law School Islamic Legal Studies Program, and the Islamic Finance Project, which looks at the legal and sharia points of view of situations, officials said.
The Alliance Defense Fund earlier wrote a letter to Georgetown asking for reconsideration of its ban on several Christian groups. Officials said no response was received.
Those in a position to know have reported that the Christian groups were booted from campus for being too evangelical, because student clubs promoting Muslim and Jewish beliefs were allowed to continue existing with the formal campus structure.
The Christian groups' brush-off letter from the university starts: "Blessings and may God's peace be upon you!" but deteriorates shortly later to: "Protestant Ministry has decided to move in another direction."
As a result, Georgetown said, "Your ministries will no longer be allowed to hold any activity or presence (i.e. bible (sic) studies, retreats with Georgetown students, Mid-week (sic) worship services, fellowship events, move-in assistance, SAC Fair, etc.) on campus."
Further, the school told the ministry organizations, "All websites linking your ministries to a presence at Georgetown University will need to be modified to reflect the terminated relationship. Your ministries are not to publicize in any literature, media, advertisement, etc. that Georgetown University is or will be an active ministry site for your ministry/church/denomination."
Kevin Offer, who worked with the InterVarsity program at Georgetown, said something had been developing, because the university also recently had started requiring student ministry leaders to meet for formal meetings with the school. "School officials asked questions about what they 'tell students behind closed doors,'" he said.



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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2006, 09:46:47 AM »

Last update: October 25, 2006 ? 9:50 PM

Airport taxi flap about alcohol has deeper significance
The airport taxi controversy may go deeper than the quandary over whether to accommodate Somali Muslim cabdrivers who refuse to carry passengers carrying alcohol. Behind the scenes, a struggle for power and religious authority is apparently playing out.
Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune

The taxi controversy at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has caught the nation's attention. But the dispute may go deeper than the quandary over whether to accommodate Somali Muslim cabdrivers who refuse to carry passengers carrying alcohol. Behind the scenes, a struggle for power and religious authority is apparently playing out.
At the Starbucks coffee shop in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a favorite Somali gathering spot, holidaymakers celebrating Eid, the end of Ramadan, filled the tables on Monday. Several taxis were parked outside.

An animated circle of Somalis gathered when the question of the airport controversy was raised.

"I was surprised and shocked when I heard it was an issue at the airport," said Faysal Omar. "Back in Somalia, there was never any problem with taking alcohol in a taxi."

Jama Dirie said, "If a driver doesn't pick up everyone, he should get his license canceled and get kicked out of the airport."

Two of the Somalis present defended the idea that Islam prohibits cabdrivers from transporting passengers with alcohol. An argument erupted. The consensus seemed to be that only a small number of Somalis object to transporting alcohol. It's a matter of personal opinion, not Islamic law, several men said.

Ahmed Samatar, a nationally recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College, confirmed that view. "There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking," he said, "but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden. There is no basis in Somali cultural practice or legal tradition for that.

"This is one of those new concoctions."It is being foisted on the Somali community by an inside or outside group," he added. "I do not know who."

But many Somali drivers at the airport are refusing to carry passengers with alcohol. When I asked Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, for his explanation, he forwarded a fatwa, or religious edict, that the MAC had received. The fatwa proclaims that "Islamic jurisprudence" prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, "because it involves cooperating in sin according to the Islam."

The fatwa, dated June 6, 2006, was issued by the "fatwa department" of the Muslim American Society, Minnesota chapter, and signed by society officials.

The society is mediating the conflict between the cab drivers and the MAC. That seems odd, since the society itself clearly has a stake in the controversy's outcome.

How did the MAC connect with the society? "The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recommended them to us to help us figure out how to handle this problem," Hogan said.

Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, thinks he knows why the society is promoting a "no-alcohol-carry" agenda with no basis in Somali culture. "MAS is an Arab group; we Somalis are African, not Arabs," he said. "MAS wants to polarize the world, create two camps. I think they are trying to hijack the Somali community for their Middle East agenda. They look for issues they can capitalize on, like religion, to rally the community around. The majority of Somalis oppose this, but they are vulnerable because of their social and economic situation."

The society

What is the Muslim American Society? In September 2004 the Chicago Tribune published an investigative article. The society was incorporated in 1993, the paper reported, and is the name under which the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood operates.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna. The Tribune described the Brotherhood as "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group."Because of its hard-line beliefs, the U.S. Brotherhood has been an increasingly divisive force within Islam in America, fueling the often bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims," the paper reported.

The international Muslim Brotherhood "preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic," according to the Tribune. U.S. members emphasize that they follow American laws, but want people here to convert to Islam so that one day a majority will support a society governed by Islamic law.

How are society members to respond when questioned about a Muslim Brotherhood connection? The Tribune cites an undated internal memo: "If asked, 'Are you the Muslim Brothers?' leaders should respond that they are an independent group called the Muslim American Society."

The April 2001 issue of the society's magazine, the American Muslim, lists "essential books" for understanding Islam. They include works by Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood's founder, and Sayyid Qutb, one of its most violent theoreticians.

Here's the flavor of these authors' writings:

"Always cherish the intention of jihad and the desire for martyrdom in the Way of Allah, and actually prepare yourself for that," wrote Al-Banna.

Osama bin Laden relied heavily on Qutb in formulating his world view, according to the 9/11 Commission. Qutb had "an enormous loathing of Western society and history," states the commission's report. He taught that "no middle ground exists" in the "struggle between God and Satan." All Muslims must therefore take up arms in this fight, he said.

Hassan Mohamud is vice president of the society's Minnesota chapter. The society is independent and has no connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, he said.

The Minnesota chapter's website, however, states that the organization's roots lie in the Islamic revival movement that "brought the call of Islam to Muslim masses ... to reestablish Islam as a total way of life."

Mohamud says the society has three goals: to present the "real image" of Islam in American society, to preserve the identity of Muslims here and to "make that identity fit without having clashes between cultures and laws."

He emphasizes, however, that Muslims must follow shari'a, or Islamic law, in every aspect of their lives. "There are two conflicting systems here -- two ways of life -- that want to live in the same place and respect each other," he says. The society aims to facilitate conciliation between the two.

Mohamud adds that Americans need to learn about Islamic law because the Muslim population here is growing. That's why the proposed two-tier system for airport cabdrivers is important, he says. It could become a national model for accommodating Islam in areas ranging from housing to contractual arrangements to the workplace.

MAC officials will hold another meeting today about the airport controversy, and Mohamud says he will try to revive the two-tiered pilot project for taxis. Whatever the meeting's outcome, we now have reason to believe that the issue is only a prologue to a larger drama playing out in Minnesota and the United States.

Katherine Kersten ?


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2006, 09:49:47 AM »

Argentina charges Iran, Hezbollah in 1994 Jewish center bombing
Wed Oct 25, 6:09 PM ET

Argentine prosecutors charged Iran and the Shiite militia Hezbollah with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish charities office in Argentina that killed 85 people and injured 300.

Prosecutors demanded an international arrest warrant for then-Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and six other top Iranian officials at the time of the attack, and a former Hezbollah foreign security service chief, Imad Fayez Moughnieh.

In a country with a murky record in pursuing the 12-year-old case, relatives and friends of the victims called on President Nestor Kirchner to take swift and strong action to bring it to trial.

In a statement, Argentine chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman declared: "We deem it proven that the decision to carry out an attack July 18, 1994 on the AMIA (the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association, a Jewish charities association headquarters in Buenos Aires) was made by the highest authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran which directed Hezbollah to carry out the attack."

AMIA, supported by Israel and the United States, had long accused Iran of organizing the attack and getting Hezbollah to carry it out.

Those accusations, based on intelligence gathered by the secret services of Argentina, Israel and the US, have been consistently rejected by the Iranian government and Hezbollah.

In Beirut, a Hezbollah source said she had not yet heard that the Shiite militia had been formally charged but that it came as no surprise.

"I have not yet heard that but it is not new," she told AFP. "The Zionists want that (the two parties be charged)."

The Jewish community in Argentina, some 300,000 strong and the largest in South America, had marked the July 18 bombing annually with a demand that justice be served for the attack, the worst on Argentina's soil, and another 1992 attack against the Israeli embassy, which claimed 22 lives.

No one has been tried in Argentina or in any other country for the 1994 attack and the police have not identified the perpetrators of the earlier Israeli embassy attack.

On Wednesday, the Delegation of Israeli Associations of Argentina (DAIA) welcomed the charges as a vindication.

"That is what the DAIA has been saying for approximately 12 years, and validates all of our activities in the matter," Jorge Kirszenbaum, the DAIA president, told the Jewish News Agency.

The AMIA's group of families and friends of the victims called on the president to proceed with the international arrest warrants sought by prosecutors.

"We ask that the executive power take all possible actions -- diplomatic, pursuit and international capture -- with regard to the suspects, with the vehemency and intensity that the situation merits," they said in a statement.

Investigation of the bombing has been a festering issue in Argentina, as Argentine Jews and international rights groups have criticized Argentine leaders for their inability or unwillingness to find those behind the bombing.

On September 2, 2004, an Argentine court acquitted 21 former police officers and a trafficker of stolen cars who were charged with aiding the attackers. The same court then ordered former top government officials investigated for botching the case.

The court found that important evidence against the men had been "irregularly" obtained, and ordered an investigation of Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who presided over the case for nine years, as well as two prosecutors.

Galeano was accused of having paid 400,000 dollars to a key witness to testify against four police officers accused of having provided logistical support in the plot.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2006, 11:27:03 AM »
If this Syrian was Muslim, then he too is part of Islam in America:

Clerk confronts robbers, is killed
The gunmen waited for customers to leave, then handed Simon Khalil a note. He threw it back.
By Jill Leovy, Times Staff Writer
November 4, 2006

When the robbers shoved a note at him, store clerk Simon Khalil threw it back. That's when they shot him.

The 35-year-old Syrian immigrant died hours later at California Hospital after being shot at point-blank range by an assailant wielding a black handgun.

On Friday, Los Angeles Police Department detectives sought the public's help in finding the assailants, who were videotaped.

Police said two robbers entered Khalil's family business, Maple Liquor and Market in the 3000 block of Maple Avenue in South L.A., about 1 p.m. Thursday and waited for customers to leave before springing the note on Khalil.

After throwing the note back at them, Khalil walked around the counter and confronted the men. One robber pulled a sawed-off shotgun from his waistband, and the other pulled a handgun and fired.

LAPD Det. Mike Terrazas described both suspects as short, Latino and in their 20s. One had a goatee and was wearing a black baseball cap, white T-shirt and lower-back brace; the other wore a pink or red baseball cap and a dark blue nylon jacket.

Khalil and his brother, Sam Khalil, of Burbank had owned the store for two years without problems, relatives said.

Anyone with information or anonymous tips is asked to call investigators at (323) 846-6556 or at (877) 525-3855.



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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2006, 07:15:54 AM »
"The Muslim population in the United States is estimated as being somewhere between two to six million, and according to the U.S. State Department, by the year 2010 the Muslim population of the United States is expected to surpass the Jewish population, making Islam the country's second-largest faith."


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2006, 07:40:53 AM »
Simon Khalil
Sam Khalil

My money would be on them being christian.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2006, 03:31:07 PM »

Radical Islam finds US 'sterile ground'
Home-grown terror cells are largely missing in action, a contrast to Europe's situation.
By Alexandra Marks | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK ? The Islamist radicalism that inspired young Muslims to attack their own countries - in London, Madrid, and Bali - has not yielded similar incidents in the United States, at least so far.
"Home-grown" terror cells remain a concern of US law officers, who cite several disrupted plots since 9/11. But the suspects' unsophisticated planning and tiny numbers have led some security analysts to conclude that America, for all its imperfections, is not fertile ground for producing jihadist terrorists.

AMERICA'S WAY: Omar Jaber of New York says Muslims in the US practice their religion 'without complications.'
In the Monitor
Monday, 11/06/06

To understand why, experts point to people like Omar Jaber, an AmeriCorps volunteer; Tarek Radwan, a human rights advocate; and Hala Kotb, a consultant on Middle East affairs. They are the face of young Muslim-Americans today - educated, motivated, and integrated into society - and their voices help explain how the nation's history of inclusion has helped to defuse sparks of Islamist extremism.

"American society is more into the whole assimilation aspect of it," says New York-born Mr. Jaber. "In America, it's a lot easier to practice our religion without complications."

In a nation where mosques have sprung up alongside churches and synagogues, where Muslim women are free to wear the hijab (or not), and where education and job opportunities range from decent to good, the resentments that can breed extremism do not seem very evident in the Muslim community. Since 9/11, however, concern is rising among Muslim-Americans that they are becoming targets of bias and suspicion - by law enforcement as well as fellow citizens. It's a disquieting trend, say the young Muslims - one that might eventually help radicalism to grow.

It's impossible to pinpoint the factors that produce home-grown terrorists, analysts say. But it's also impossible to ignore the stark contrast between the lives of Muslims in European countries where bombings have occurred and those of Muslims in America.

"What we have here among Muslim-Americans is a very conservative success ethic," says John Zogby, president of Zogby International in Utica, N.Y., whose polling firm has surveyed the Muslim-American community. "People come to this country and they like it. They don't view it as the belly of the beast. With very few exceptions, you don't see the bitter enclaves that you have in Europe."

Life in America vs. life in Europe

Part of what so shocked Spain about the Madrid train bombers, and then Britain after the London subway and bus bombings in July 2005, was that most of the perpetrators were native sons. In each case, the young men, allegedly inspired by Al Qaeda ideology, came from poorer neighborhoods heavy on immigrants. (By contrast, a plot foiled in August to blow up airplanes over the Atlantic involved suspects from leafy, middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods in Britain.)

America, too, has poorer neighborhoods with large Muslim concentrations, but they tend to be interspersed with other ethnic groups and better assimilated into society. Another difference, some suggest, is the general profile of Muslims who have come to the US and raised their families here.

Most Muslim immigrants came to America for educational or business opportunities and from educated, middle-class families in their home countries, according to an analysis by Peter Skerry of Boston College and the Brookings Institution. In Europe, the majority came to work in factory jobs and often from poorer areas at home.

European Muslims today live primarily in isolated, low-income enclaves where opportunities for good jobs and a good education are limited. In the US, 95 percent of Muslim-Americans are high school graduates, according to "Muslims in the Public Square," a Zogby International survey in 2004. Almost 60 percent are college graduates, and Muslims are thriving economically around the country. Sixty-nine percent of adults make more than $35,000 a year, and one-third earn more than $75,000, the survey showed.

In Britain, by contrast, two-thirds of Muslims live in low-income households, according to British census data. Three-quarters of those households are overcrowded. British Muslims' jobless rate is 15 percent - three times higher than in the general population. For young Muslims between 16 and 24, the jobless rate is higher: 17.5 percent.

"The culture is qualitatively different [in the American Muslim community] from what we've seen from public information from Europe, and that actually says very positive things about our society," says Jonathan Winer, a terrorism expert in Washington. "We don't have large populations of immigrants with a generation sitting around semi-employed and deeply frustrated. That's a gigantic difference."

Jaber, the AmeriCorps volunteer, who is studying to become a medical doctor, says he has not experienced anti-Muslim bias. In part, he says, that may be because he doesn't have an accent or look particularly Middle Eastern - his father is Palestinian and his mother Filipino. But he also credits America's melting-pot mentality, as does Ms. Kotb, the Middle East consultant.

 'NOT ISOLATED': Hala Kotb of Washington cites 'progressive attitudes' within the Muslim community where she grew up.
"We weren't isolated growing up. We were part of the culture," says Kotb, who grew up outside Washington in a family that inculcated a success ethic. "Religion was important, but not so much that you'd have to cover your head or if you don't pray five times a day, that's it - nothing like that. There were a lot more progressive attitudes" within her local Muslim community.

In mosques in America, it's fairly common for imams to preach assimilation, says Mr. Zogby. That's not as true in Europe, particularly in poorer neighborhoods where sermons can be laced with extremism.

"The success of ... Saudi-inspired religious zealotry in Europe was in large part because the Saudis put up the money to build mosques and pay for imams," says Ian Cuthbertson, a counterterrorism expert at the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research. "The American Muslim community was rich enough not to require Saudi money to build its mosques."

In Europe, it's estimated that millions of second- and third-generation Muslims have not been well assimilated in their adopted countries, so have little or no fealty to either the European country they live in or the one their parents were born in. "They are much more susceptible to the Internet, returning jihadist fighters, and extremist imams," says Thomas Sanderson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "There's no doubt that Europe has an incubator environment and we have a somewhat sterile environment for radicalism."

To be sure, the United States has brought charges in several terrorism-related cases involving American Muslims. Some have resulted in convictions, notably the 2002 case of six Yemeni-Americans from Lackawanna, N.Y. Other cases are pending. (See chart on Page 2.)

Identifying and tracking home-grown terrorists is a complicated task - one that risks alienating or even infuriating the general Muslim-American citizenry if tactics are seen as unfair.

Feeling a chill

The young Muslims interviewed for this story chose their words carefully, but their inference is clear: They worry that suspicion toward Muslims has been building since 9/11, and they suggest that US intervention in Iraq and its support for Israel cause angst among many Arab-Americans.

US foreign policies "in the long term are going to hurt the US," says Mr. Radwan, the human rights activist, who works in Washington. "They, along with the crackdown on Muslim-Americans [by law enforcement], feed a feeling of resentment and the perception that the US acts on the basis of a double standard."

Indeed, America's Muslim community would wage the war on terror differently. According to the 2004 Zogby survey, three-quarters say the best way is for the US to change its foreign policy in the Middle East by recognizing a Palestinian state and being less supportive of Israel.

A newer concern for America's Muslims is their standing in post-9/11 society. Many sense that the ground under their feet is shifting - and young people like Florida-born Radwan, in particular, feel it. A 2001 graduate of Texas A&M University, Radwan wanted to become a doctor and began working as a medical researcher. One month after the 9/11 attacks, he was let go - at the end of a three-month probationary period. Afterward, he says, he couldn't get even an interview for a job that used his biochemistry degree or research skills. Eventually he abandoned his hopes of a medical career and shifted to human rights work.

That experience leads him to suggest another reason the US hasn't seen European-style homegrown terror cells: the intense scrutiny the FBI has focused on Muslim-Americans. "That is good in the short term, but bad in the long term," he says. "The Bush administration policies feed resentment that ... will stay in the Arab- American psyche for a long time."

The FBI says it doesn't target any community, neighborhood, or religion. Agents simply go where the leads take them, says John Miller, the FBI's assistant director of public affairs. But he adds: "We have put a growing effort into community outreach because we understand the discomfort the amount of pressure our attention can bring to a community."

Story continues below

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The 'home-grown' threat: Is it overstated?
A small but growing number of analysts believe that some US officials have overstated the threat of homegrown Islamist radicalism in the United States. While Al Qaeda and foreign terrorists remain determined to attack in America, they say, the focus on potential American cells may be leading the US to misdirect its antiterror efforts.

"My theory as to why we haven't found any [homegrown Islamist terrorist cells] is because there aren't very many of them.... They aren't the diabolical, capable, and inventive people envisioned by most politicians and people in the terrorism industry," says John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University. "The danger is that we've wasted an enormous amount of money with all of the wiretaps [and] investigations, and diverted two-thirds of the FBI from criminal work to terrorism work."

The FBI calls such conclusions "uninformed," citing alleged plots by radicalized US citizens. The most notable was the case of the Lackawanna Six, so named for the six Yemeni-Americans from Lackawanna, N.Y., who went to Al Qaeda training camps in the spring of 2001.

"The people who make these claims [about threats being exaggerated] are never the ones responsible for preventing these attacks," says John Miller, the FBI's assistant director of public affairs. "The point is that if you're the dead guy, or you're a family member of one of those guys, all you know is that you wanted someone to develop the intelligence and take the actions to prevent it."

Still, a lack of public evidence pointing to extensive Islamist extremism in the US is leading a small but growing number of experts to agree with Professor Meuller's assessment. Like Meuller, though, they add a cautionary note.

"There's not zero threat in any community, but it is good news and we have to hope that reflects an underlying reality that [homegrown extremist cells] don't exist here," says Jonathan Winer, a terrorism expert in Washington. "You've always got lone nuts in every imaginable ethnic group grabbing every imaginable ideology to justify terrorism."


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2006, 10:31:14 PM »
My theory as to why we haven't found any [homegrown Islamist terrorist cells] is because there aren't very many of them.... They aren't the diabolical, capable, and inventive people envisioned by most politicians and people in the terrorism industry," says John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University. "The danger is that we've wasted an enormous amount of money with all of the wiretaps [and] investigations, and diverted two-thirds of the FBI from criminal work to terrorism work.".........

Still, a lack of public evidence pointing to extensive Islamist extremism in the US is leading a small but growing number of experts to agree with Professor Meuller's assessment. Like Meuller, though, they add a cautionary note.

"There's not zero threat in any community, but it is good news and we have to hope that reflects an underlying reality that [homegrown extremist cells] don't exist here," says Jonathan Winer, a terrorism expert in Washington. "You've always got lone nuts in every imaginable ethnic group grabbing every imaginable ideology to justify terrorism."

**The above "analysts" are clueless. Standard issue left-wing delusion/denial.**


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2006, 10:59:03 AM »

Congress Gets Muslim

The first Muslim elected to the United States Congress is a Democrat from Minneapolis with ties to an Islamic group that supports terrorism and a radical cult whose leader says God will destroy the entire white race and establish a paradise nation ruled by blacks.

Minnesota?s new Representative in the House, Keith Ellison, was endorsed and partly financed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a massive U.S.-based organization that avidly defends Osama bin Laden and other militant Islamic terrorists and considers U.S. action against terrorists anti-Islamic. In fact, the group demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing bin Laden as ?the sworn enemy? because it was ?offensive to Muslims.?

Ellison, who converted to Islam as a 19-year-old college student, also has strong ties to the Nation of Islam, the black cult led by renowned anti-Christian and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. The group?s doctrine states that black people created white people in a genetic experiment 6,000 years ago and that ?Judgment Day? means that the Gods will destroy the entire white race (devils) and establish a paradise nation ruled forever by blacks.

As if this weren?t enough to question the choice of Minnesota voters, as a state legislator Ellison supported and defended a convicted cop-killer and leader of a violent gang. Ellison used thug-like language to attack law enforcement officials as racists saying ?we don?t get no justice, you don?t get no peace.?. Ellison also supports and demands freedom for another convicted cop-killer named Assata Shakur, who lives in Cuba and remains on the FBI?s most wanted list.

Perhaps having Ellison in the House, represents a victory for violent criminals worldwide. Little Green Footballs says they?ll be celebrating in Gaza tomorrow.


Tuesday night Keith Ellison celbrated his victory in Minnesota's Fifth District congressional race before a crowd that chanted "Allahu Akbar." Watch a video clip of it here. Next week Ellison celebrates with CAIR and a few other of its Democratic friends at CAIR's annual banquet. Here is CAIR's press release:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Keith Ellison will join other elected officials at annual banquet

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/9/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, will join other elected officials as a keynote speaker November 18th at the Washington-based civil rights group's 12th Annual Banquet in Arlington, Va.

CAIR's dinner, which in past years had sold-out crowds of more than 1,000, will feature addresses by Representative-elect Ellison (D-MN) and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Albert Wynn (D-MD).

Other speakers at the event include a representative of the FBI and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Attendees will include many Muslim and interfaith leaders, diplomats from Muslim nations and American Muslim community activists.

To learn more about CAIR's dinner, or to register online, go to:

Ellison won Tuesday's election in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District by a more than two-to-one margin. He will be the first American Muslim to hold elected office at the national level.

"We are honored to have the first American Muslim elected to Congress offer his first major address during our annual banquet," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

For the full story that neither the local nor the national press bothered to dig up about Ellison, check out "Keith Ellison for dummies" and "Louis Farrakhan's first congressman."


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2006, 09:39:34 AM »
I thought of starting a new thread for this one, but decided to post it here; apparently these people were badly mistreated because they were Muslim.
today's LA Times:

9/11 prisoner abuse suit could be landmark
Rounded up, Muslim immigrants were beaten in jail. Such open-ended detentions and sweeps might be barred.
By Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
November 20, 2006

NEW YORK ? Five years after Muslim immigrants were abused in a federal jail here, the guards who beat them and the Washington policymakers who decided to hold them for months without charges are being called to account.

Some 1,200 Middle Eastern men were arrested on suspicion of terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. No holding place was so notorious as Brooklyn's nine-story Metropolitan Detention Center. In a special unit on the top floor, detainees were smashed into walls, repeatedly stripped and searched, and often denied basic legal rights and religious privileges, according to federal investigations.

Now the federal Bureau of Prisons, which runs the jail, has revealed for the first time that 13 staff members have been disciplined, two of them fired. The warden has retired and moved to the Midwest.

And in what could turn out to be a landmark case, a lawsuit filed by two Brooklyn detainees against top Bush administration officials is moving forward in the federal courts in New York.

A judge turned down a request by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft to dismiss the lawsuit against them. The case is before an appeals court, where a panel of three judges signaled last month that they too believed it should go forward.

The suit, which also names top federal prison officials and individual guards as defendants, seeks an unspecified amount of money from the government. More significant, it hopes to hold federal law enforcement authorities responsible for their open-ended, "hold-until-cleared" policy for detainees. After Sept. 11, the FBI was in no rush to investigate the detainees, and many men were held in limbo. If the lawsuit prevails, it will create precedents that will probably bar authorities from carrying out such sweeping roundups in the future.

The case is proceeding with just one of the detainees who sued. The government settled with the other, former Manhattan deli operator Ehab Elmaghraby, who this year accepted a federal government payout of $300,000.

But Elmaghraby, who has returned to Egypt(ummm, it says below "deported"), said he could not forgive the guards who jammed a flashlight up his rectum.

"They destroyed me. They destroyed my family," he said in a recent telephone interview. "So I want the officers to stay one week inside those cells. They would kill themselves before the week was finished."

Ashcroft and others have defended the detentions. In a new book, Ashcroft wrote: "Was it worth it to detain and charge hundreds ? in order to find one or more of the key men sent to America to facilitate a second wave of attacks on the United States? I thought so then, and I think so more today."

Five investigations by the Department of Justice inspector general's office, most of them never publicized, documented wholesale abuse of the Muslim detainees at the Brooklyn detention center. In the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, 84 men were held there. None was charged in the attacks. Most were deported on immigration infractions.

One disturbing incident, repeated over and over, is particularly haunting ? inmates head-slammed into a wall where the staff had taped a T-shirt with an American flag printed on it. The motto on the shirt proclaimed: "These colors don't run." In time, that spot on the wall was covered with blood.

"They told me, 'Look at our flag. You see the blood that is coming down from our flag? We're going to make you bleed every day like this,' " Elmaghraby recalled.

He said they grabbed his back and sides and rushed him head-first into the wall. "Blood came out of my mouth," he said.

The inspector general determined that many guards were "emotionally charged" in the weeks after Sept. 11. A jail lieutenant told investigators that guards carried around "a great deal of anger." Another lieutenant said prisoners purposely were handed over to teams of up to seven guards, all of them "spiked with adrenaline." That lieutenant further described some of the guards as "talking crazy" and "getting ready for battle."

In legal briefs filed this year with the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, attorneys for Ashcroft and Mueller defended their policy, saying that Washington after Sept. 11 was "confronted with unprecedented law enforcement and security challenges." They said Ashcroft and Mueller had been working with "no clear judicial precedents in this extraordinary context."

Ashcroft in his recent book, "Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice," wrote that the goal was to prevent another catastrophic attack. He was not bothered by holding detainees for long periods.

"If we can't bring them to trial," he wrote, "so be it."

Mueller also has defended the decision, but in a speech to the ACLU acknowledged that the inspector general did "a very good job of pointing out areas where we can do better." He said that clearer criteria were needed for deciding when to hold immigrants as terrorism suspects and that law enforcement should do more to speed up investigations.

Elmaghraby moved to the U.S. in 1990, married and operated a deli near Times Square in Manhattan. Nineteen days after Sept. 11, he was arrested, apparently because his landlord in Queens had applied for pilot training.


For the first three months in the jail, he said, he was denied a blanket, pillow, mattress and toilet paper. He was locked away in his bare feet.

"No shoes for a terrorist," he said he was told.

He said he was repeatedly strip-searched, dragged on the ground and punched until his teeth shattered. He said that he was displayed naked in front of a female staffer, and that guards violated him with a flashlight and pencil.

Elmaghraby, 39, broke down crying in a recent interview. "They don't treat you like a person," he said. "They treat you like an animal."

He was held for nearly a year ? until August 2002. After pleading guilty to minor credit card fraud charges (plea bargains often are to far less than the actual list of charges-- one would guess especially here where the mission would be deportation.  If he is this kind of thief, what credibility to give his claims?), he was deported to Alexandria, Egypt.

He has lost track of his wife in New York (?!?) , he said, and his deli business went under. And he spent most of his $300,000 settlement to repair his stomach and esophagus, which he said were damaged because jail doctors did not properly treat him for severe indigestion and hypertension.

The former detainee with whom the lawsuit is proceeding, Javaid Iqbal, is also 39. Iqbal, a Pakistani, came to America a dozen years ago. He married and he worked as a cable repairman on Long Island. He was arrested in November 2001, apparently after agents interviewed him in his apartment and spotted a magazine showing the twin towers collapsing.

He said he was mocked as a "Muslim terrorist and a killer." He was strip-searched, punched in the face and kicked in the back. He said guards urinated in his toilet, then turned off the water so it would not flush.

He was denied a copy of the Koran. "No prayer for terrorists," he said he was told.

Iqbal was released at the end of July 2002. He pleaded guilty to having false immigration papers and was deported to Faisalabad, Pakistan. His lawyers declined to let him be interviewed.

Guards at the detention center first denied there was any mistreatment, then slowly came forward. Finally videotapes were uncovered that showed abuse, including detainees head-butted into the T-shirt on the wall.

Traci Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Prisons, said 13 staff members have been disciplined. Two were fired, two received 30-day suspensions and one was suspended for 21 days. Two more were suspended for four days, three for two days, and three were demoted.

Warden Dennis Hasty retired in April 2002. He is named as a defendant in the lawsuit but his lawyer, Michael L. Martinez, said Hasty had not been aware of the abuse and had been "appalled and upset" to learn of the allegations.

The lawsuit was filed in Brooklyn in May 2004. Last year, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson ruled against a bid by Ashcroft and Mueller for a dismissal.

The judge said the furor over Sept. 11 did not warrant such drastic measures. He rejected, he wrote, "the argument that the post-Sept. 11 context wholly extinguished ? a pretrial detainee's due process rights."



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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2006, 01:18:04 PM »
**He's a good analyst. I like what he has written of the topic of the global jihad.**

Jew, turned Muslim, offers knowledge of Al Qaeda
By Marc Perelman
International Herald Tribune

 Many college students go through a spiritual crisis but rarely does it turn out as it did for Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a Jew who converted to Islam and went to work in a small town in Oregon for a charity that has since been linked to Al Qaeda.

Gartenstein-Ross, 30, has now changed tacks again, converting to Christianity and using his background as a former Islamist insider to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation crack down on Islamist terror networks in the United States.

A rising star in the counterterrorism community, he testified before Congress in September about the dangers of radical Islamist indoctrination in U.S. prisons and the recruitment of potential terrorists among inmates. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut praised him as a key player in the government's efforts against the U.S. arm of the Haramain Islamic Foundation, a large Saudi charity, that was shut down in 2004 by the U.S. authorities after the U.S. Treasury Department designated it a terrorist-supporting entity with ties to Al Qaeda.

Gartenstein-Ross describes his unusual journey in "My Year Inside Radical Islam," a memoir of the nine months he spent with Al Haramain to be published in February.

While a growing number of former terrorist operatives and counterterrorism officials are publishing insider accounts of their shadowy battles, Ross offers a troubling testimony on the lure of radical Islam for Westerners. This is not merely an academic proposition, since Western converts like him pose a major challenge to law-enforcement officials in their fight radical Islamist networks.

"I thought it was significant to tell people how a reasonably intelligent Westerner would work for a radical Islamic charity," Gartenstein-Ross said in an interview, "and end up not being disgusted by it but actually feeling, 'Wow! There is something to these guys' ideas.'"

He said he had initially embraced a moderate version of Islam before being drawn to his job with radical Islamists in Ashland, Oregon, his hometown, seduced by the appeal of belonging to a close-knit community and the "ready answers" provided by his superiors.

Adopting Wahhabism, the Saudi rigorist interpretation of Islam, he stopped shaking hands with women, listening to music, wearing shorts, and playing computer games. He grew a full beard, endorsed the gay-bashing and conspiracy theories of his mentors, and found himself praying for the victory of mujahedeen, or Muslim holy warriors, around the world.

From that point, Gartenstein-Ross might well have followed the path taken by two other West Coast teenagers drawn to radical Islam: Adam Yahiye Gadahn, 28, who last month became the first American to be charged with treason in more than half a century for his role as a propagandist for Al Qaeda, and John Walker Lindh, now 25, who was sentenced in 2002 to 20 years in jail for fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"We all grew up in homes where answers were not given to us, and we were looking for a sense of direction that we initially found within Islam," said Gartenstein-Ross.

Raised by "New Age Jewish" parents in Ashland, a small southern Oregon town infused with hippie culture and boasting a well-regarded Shakespeare theater festival, Gartenstein-Ross went to college at Wake Forest University, a conservative campus in North Carolina. He felt out of a place there until he bonded with a Kenyan-born Muslim leftist activist who inspired him with his moderate religious beliefs. He converted to Islam in 1997 during a semester abroad in Venice after meeting local Muslims whose free-flowing manner appealed to him.

The following year, just before graduating in communications, he was on a family visit home when he was recruited by a Muslim activist named Pete Seda to work for a local Islamic not-for- profit organization that had just received significant funding from Al Haramain and went on to become its American head office.

Gartenstein-Ross started work for the office in December 1998, running day-to-day operations and overseeing special projects. In one, a prison outreach program, Al Haramain handed out Wahhabist-annotated Korans to prisoners and maintained a database with the names and whereabouts of inmates who received the foundation's material.

He was a true believer when he left Al Haramain amicably in the summer of 1999 to pursue a law degree at New York University. The change of setting and the lifting of the peer pressure helped him realize he had gone astray, he said. Resuming a relationship with a Christian girlfriend, who became his wife, helped prompt him to convert to Protestantism. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, then hastened his estrangement from leftist ideals.

After graduation in 2002, he clerked for Judge Harry Edwards at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and worked briefly as a lawyer before deciding to work as a counterterrorism consultant.

He is now advising police departments and writing academic papers about Islamist terrorism. He has also become a regular commentator on Islamic and security affairs in conservative U.S. media, notably the Weekly Standard.

When Gartenstein-Ross testified before the Senate committee on homeland security and governmental affairs on Sept. 19, Lieberman told the panel that Al Haramain had been closed "in large part due to Mr. Gartenstein-Ross's cooperation with the FBI."

However, a law-enforcement source familiar with the case countered that he had been merely a "piece" of the puzzle and "definitely not some kind of star witness."

Gartenstein-Ross declined to characterize his role but said that he had cooperated with law-enforcement officials in 2002, and then again after the charity was raided and its assets frozen in February 2004.

Al Haramain, which denies the allegations, was designated by Treasury as a terrorism-supporting organization in September 2004. Two of its officials - Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty, and Soliman Hamd al-Buthe of Saudi Arabia - were indicted in February 2005 for illegally funneling $150,000 to Islamic combatants in Chechnya. Both men are abroad and are challenging the charges in court.

Gartenstein-Ross insists that his latest conversion - religious and political - did not turn him into an enemy of Islam. One of his projects, he says, is to write a book about moderate Islam, the kind he initially embraced.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2006, 06:31:36 AM »
Franchising Jihad

By J. Peter Pham & Michael I. Krauss : 04 Dec 2006

In a forthcoming study for the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, senior researcher Ely Karmon raises the alarming prospect of Hezbollah affiliated groups bringing the Lebanese terrorists' brand of violence to the Americas. While acknowledging that it is too soon to draw clear conclusions about the nature and objectives of these Hezbollah "franchisees," Karmon nonetheless notes that "successful campaigns of proselytism in the heart of poor indigene Indian tribes and populations by both Shi'a and Sunni preachers and activists" have contributed to the growing attraction of Islamist terrorist groups in Latin America. Karmon also observes that "there is a growing trend of solidarity between leftist, Marxist, anti-global and even rightist elements with the Islamists," citing inter alia the September 2004 "strategy conference" of anti-globalization groups hosted by Hezbollah in Beirut.

Evidence of this was already available in the Washington Post's front page coverage of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's September 22 mass rally, which mentioned that among those in attendance was a Lebanese expatriate who had flown in from Venezuela for the event and that "[a]t the mention of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, a critic of America, cheers went up."

As it happens, one month after the demonstration in Beirut, on October 23, Venezuelan police discovered two explosive devices near the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. According to a statement in El Universal from the acting police commissioner of the Baruta district, law enforcement officials arrested a man carrying a "backpack containing one hundred black powder bases, pliers, adhesive tape, glue, and electric conductors" who "admitted that the explosives had been set to detonate within fifteen minutes." The man arrested was José Miguel Rojas Espinoza, a 26-year-old student at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, a Chávez-founded institution whose website proclaims that it offers a free "practical and on the ground education" contributing to "a more just, united, and sustainable society, world peace, and a new progressive and pluralist civilization."

Two days after the failed bombing, a web posting by a group calling itself Venezuelan Hezbollah claimed -- "in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful" -- responsibility for the attack. The bombing was meant to publicize Venezuelan Hezbollah's existence and its mission to "build an Islamic nation in Venezuela and all the countries of America," under the guidance of "the ideology of the revolutionary Islam of the Imam Khomeini." (Without a hint of irony, the communiqué, signed by "Latin American Hezbollah," disparaged those who would present the suspect as "a lunatic and a madman in order to hide the truth that he is an Islamic mujahid, a man who has undertaken jihad through the call of our group.")

This episode, barely noticed in our preoccupation with the midterm elections, is not the first of its kind in the Americas. On November 9, a court in Argentina issued an arrest warrant for former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight other former Iranian officials for their part in the 1994 bombing of the a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds. Prosecutors in the case formally accused Iran of ordering the terrorist attack and Hezbollah of carrying it out. Immediately after the judicial actions, Argentine Housing Minister Luis D'Elía, a self-professed follower of Chávez and a leftist demagogue on his own right (he is best known for organizing invasions of private property by piqueteros, unruly unemployed protesters), went to the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires and read out a statement denouncing the legal proceedings as "American-Israeli military aggression against the Islamic Republic." (An embarrassed President Néstor Kirchner was forced to fire the minister.)

As Rachel Ehrenfeld spotlighted in an excellent National Review Online column back in 2003, exploiting its entrée with the Lebanese diaspora, Hezbollah has had a longstanding and profitable presence in South America. In the largely ungoverned jungles of the tri-border region of where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay intersect, Hezbollah clerics have been active since the mid-1980s, seeking converts as well as recruiting new members and organizing cells among immigrant Muslim communities from the Middle East. In addition, Brazilian, Argentinean, and other Latin American intelligence sources report the existence of special Hezbollah-run weekend camps, where children and teenagers receive weapons and combat training, as well as indoctrination them in the anti-American and anti-Semitic ideologies of the Ayatollah Khomeini and his successors. Hezbollah is heavily involved in South America's thriving trade in illegal drugs, cultivating alliances with both drug cartels and narco-terrorist outfits with revolutionary aspirations like the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia. Brazilian security agencies estimate that hundreds of millions in profits are sent annually from Islamist organizations operating in the tri-border region to the Middle East, most of it going to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Last summer, one week before a cross-border raid by Hezbollah precipitated open conflict between the terrorist group governing southern Lebanon and the State of Israel we warned in a contribution to TCS Daily that the Iranian-backed terrorists' build-up along that border was producing dangerous tensions. "Time is not on Israel's side here," we wrote. "Eventually, Israel may feel compelled to exercise its sovereign right to self-defense by preemptively attacking in a manner that not only eliminates the Fajr rockets, but also prevents Tehran from easily reestablishing them." We concluded by arguing: "For all our sakes, it's high time to bring Hezbollah back into the international limelight."

Then came the ceasefire mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, at which point we noted in another TCS essay that "by setting his strategic objective so ridiculously low—at one point he declared that his group 'needs only to survive to win'—Hezbollah's Nasrallah had emerged from the ordeal that he imposed on Lebanon with bragging rights." We feared that Nasrallah would exercise these rights to the detriment not just of Israelis and Lebanese, but also of Americans and others who oppose his terrorist group and the revolutionary ideology of his Iranian mullah patrons. Even we, however, did not anticipate how quickly Hezbollah would be exploiting its strategic opportunity to significantly expand both the scope and magnitude of its nefarious activities—and right into our own backyard at that.

Five months ago, we warned of a dangerous nexus between Iranian revolutionary and geopolitical ambitions, Syrian irredentism, and Hezbollah terrorism north of Israel's borders. Now it appears that the combination of Chávez's anti-Americanism, Iran's well-financed expansion of the umma and Latin American radicalism is forming yet another front for Islamist fascism, this time in nominally Christian South America. Secretary of Defense-designate Robert Gates, a former CIA chief, would do well to insist that this new front for jihad become a priority for the administration's war on terror.

J. Peter Pham is director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. Michael I. Krauss is professor of law at George Mason University School of Law. Both are adjunct fellows of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2006, 02:51:20 PM »
In contrast to the preceding , , , Not quite sure what to make of this one:

 By Ted Oberg
(11/29/06 - KTRK/KATY, TX) - There's an awful lot of exciting news when you round the corner on Baker Road. One of two big yellow signs announces a new neighbor is coming soon.

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K.I.A., that's the Katy Islamic Association, plan to build a mosque here.

"It's not an appropriate place to have a mosque or church," said resident Barbara Simpson.

It isn't going over real well.

"As a house of worship, they shouldn't be disturbing the peace and tranquility of 15 homes," said resident John Wetmore.

Neighbors tell us they're concerned about traffic and drainage and a little fear of the unknown. Some of the homeowners even offered to buy the land back for more than a million dollars. The K.I.A. doesn't seem very interested in the offers.

"We're not going anywhere," said Katy Islamic Association member Alvi Muzfar.

So it seems the community at the end of Baker Road has a pretty good fight. But this fight has gone much farther than many between two neighbors. You see in these fights, sometimes neighbors throw mud at one another. In this instance, they're wallowing in it.

Craig Baker owns pigs. He's the guy behind the second big yellow sign on Baker Road. That's the one announcing Friday night pig races.

"What does it matter, I can do whatever I want with my land right," asked landowner Craig Baker.

Sure can. But aren't pigs on the property line racing on a Friday night a little offensive to a Muslim neighbor?

"The meat of a pig is prohibited in the religion of Islam," said Katy Islamic Association member Youssof Allam. "It's looked upon as a dirty creature."

Yeah, there's that and also that Friday night is a Muslim holy day.

"That is definitely a slap in the face," said Allam..

Now before you go thinking Craig Baker is unfair, or full of hate, or somehow racist, hear him out.

Baker has long roots here. His family named the road and when the new neighbors moved in, he tells us, they asked him to move out.

"Basically that I should package up my family and my business and find a place elsewhere," said Baker. "That's ridiculous, they just bought the place one week prior and he's telling me I should think about leaving."
That new owners deny they ever said anything like that, but Baker isn't budging.

Baker admits the pigs are a message he is not leaving.

The 11-acre property is sandwiched between a pricey subdivision and Craig Baker's business.

K.I.A. eventually plans to build a mosque, a gym and a school there. There's no date for the groundbreaking ceremonies, or the first pig race.
(Copyright © 2006, KTRK-TV)


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2006, 07:43:51 AM »
December 15th, NY Times

From Head Scarf to Army Cap

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Tex. — Stomping her boots and swinging her bony arms, Fadwa Hamdan led a column of troops through this bleak Texas base.

Fadwa Hamdan belongs to the rare class of Muslim women who have signed up to become soldiers trained in Arabic translation.

Faith and War
Strong-Willed Woman
This is the third and final article in an occasional series looking at the experiences of Muslims and the United States military.

Previous Articles:
For Recruiter, Saying ‘Go Army’ Is a Hard Job (October 7, 2006)
Sorting Out Life as Muslims and Marines (August 7, 2006)

Only six months earlier, she wore the head scarf of a pious Muslim woman and dropped her eyes in the presence of men. Now she was marching them to dinner.
“I’m gonna be a shooting man, a shooting man!” she cried, her Jordanian accent lost in the chanting voices. “The best I can for Uncle Sam, for Uncle Sam!”

The United States military has long prided itself on molding raw recruits into hardened soldiers. Perhaps none have undergone a transformation quite like that of Ms. Hamdan.

Forbidden by her husband to work, she raised five children behind the drawn curtains of their home in Saudi Arabia. She was not allowed to drive. On the rare occasions when she set foot outside, she wore a full-face veil.

Then her world unraveled. Separated from her husband, who had taken a second wife, and torn from her children, she moved to Queens to start over. Struggling to survive on her own, she answered a recruiting advertisement for the Army and enlisted in May.

Ms. Hamdan’s passage through the military is a remarkable act of reinvention. It required courage and sacrifice. She had to remove her hijab, a sacred symbol of the faith she holds deeply. She had to embrace, at the age of 39, an arduous and unfamiliar life.

In return, she sought what the military has always promised new soldiers: a stable home, an adoptive family, a remade identity. She left one male-dominated culture for another, she said, in the hope of finding new strength along the way.

“Always, I dream I have power on the inside, and one day it’s going to come out,” said Ms. Hamdan, a small woman with delicate hands and sad, almond eyes.

She belongs to the rare class of Muslim women who have signed up to become soldiers trained in Arabic translation. Such female linguists play a crucial role for the American armed forces in Iraq, where civilian women often feel uncomfortable interacting with male troops.

Finding Arabic-speaking women willing to serve in the military has proved daunting. Of the 317 soldiers who have completed training in the Army linguist program since 2003, just 23 are women, 13 of them Muslim.

Ms. Hamdan wrestled with the decision for two years. Only in the Army, she decided, would she be able to save money to hire a lawyer and finally divorce her husband. She yearned to regain custody of her children and support them on her own. She thought of going to graduate school one day.

But when Ms. Hamdan finally enlisted, she was filled with as much fear as determination. There was no guarantee, with her broken English and frail physique, that she could meet the military’s standards or survive its rigors.

“This is different world for me,” she said at the time.

‘This Is the Army’

It was around midnight on May 31 when a yellow school bus brought Ms. Hamdan and 16 other new soldiers to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, a spread of parched grass and drab, low-lying buildings.

Ms. Hamdan had not scored high enough on the required English examination to go directly to basic training, so she was sent here for intensive language instruction.

At Lackland, soldiers enlisted in the Army linguist program known as 09-Lima have 24 weeks to improve their English and pass the exam. In that time, they follow a strict military regimen. They rise at 5 a.m. for physical training. They march to class. They drop to the ground for punitive push-ups.

When the bus arrived at the barracks that evening, Ms. Hamdan said, she hopped out first, her camouflage cap pulled low on her head.

Standing by the metal stairs was Sgt. First Class Willie Brannon, an imposing 48-year-old man with a stern jaw and a leveling stare. He ordered the soldiers to change into shorts. Ms. Hamdan explained softly that she was Muslim and could not do this.

“This is the Army,” he replied. “Everybody’s the same.”

Ms. Hamdan burst into tears.

The issue had arisen at the base before, and some of the Muslim women had been permitted to wear sweat pants instead of shorts. Officially, it would be Ms. Hamdan’s choice.


(Page 2 of 4)

But from the sidelines came two opposing directives, one in English and the other in Arabic. The drill sergeants wanted Ms. Hamdan to get used to wearing shorts, while several of the male Muslim soldiers tried to shame her into refusing.

“You’re not supposed to show your legs,” they told her.
For three weeks, she wore the blue nylon shorts, hitching up her white socks. Then she switched to sweat pants, even as the summer heat surpassed 100 degrees.

It helped, Ms. Hamdan thought, that there were so many similarities between Islam and the Army.

The command “Attention!” reminded her of the first step in the daily Muslim prayer, when one must stand completely still.

Soldiers, like Muslims, were instructed to eat with one hand. The women ate by themselves, and always walked with an escort, as Muslim women traditionally traveled.

The Army taught soldiers to live with order. They folded their fatigues as women folded their hijabs, and woke before sunrise as Ms. Hamdan had done all her life. They always marched behind a flag, as Muslims did in the days of the Prophet.

Nothing felt more familiar than the military’s emphasis on respect. Soldiers learned to tuck their hands behind their backs when speaking to superiors.

When Ms. Hamdan tried this with Sergeant Brannon, she thought of her father. Her eyes automatically dropped to the floor, with customary Muslim modesty.

“Look me in the eye,” the sergeant said. It was a command he had learned to deliver with care.

Sergeant Brannon, an African-American Baptist from North Carolina, had never met a Muslim before coming to Lackland. He soon concluded that the Muslim women in his charge had survived greater struggles outside the military than anything they would face inside it.

“They’ve been through a lot,” he said.

Life Before the Service

Fadwa Hamdan was always a touch rebellious.

One of seven children, she was raised by her Palestinian parents in Amman, Jordan. Her father worked as a government irrigation official while her mother stayed at home with the children. They expected the same of their daughters.

But as a teenager, Ms. Hamdan rejected her many suitors. She wanted to see the world. At 19, she said, she secretly volunteered as a nurse with the Jordanian police, infuriating her parents. That same year, a visiting Palestinian doctor who lived in New York spotted her in the street.

He tracked down her home address, and spoke to her father. The next day, Ms. Hamdan learned she was engaged.

“Your dream has come true,” Ms. Hamdan recalls her mother saying. “You’re leaving Jordan.”

Ms. Hamdan joined her husband in Staten Island in 1987. She felt nothing for him. He was 10 years her senior, and she found him stiff and dictatorial. He only let her leave the house with him, she said. If she upset him, he refused to speak to her for months.

She had children to fill the void. She became more religious, and began wearing the face veil known as a niqab. Eventually, the family moved to Saudi Arabia.

Weeks after Ms. Hamdan delivered her fifth child in 2000, she learned from her mother-in-law that her husband was taking a second wife in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Ms. Hamdan was shocked.

“I couldn’t talk,” she said.

The next summer, on a family vacation in Amman, her husband disappeared one evening with three of their children, she said. Days later she located two of her boys in Saudi Arabia, and learned that the new wife would be joining them.

Ms. Hamdan’s 8-year-old girl had been left with her grandparents in Ramallah. She tried to get the girl back, but her husband had kept the child’s passport, she said.

When reached by telephone in Saudi Arabia, a man answering to her husband’s name said, “This is her choice and I don’t have anything to do with it,” apparently referring to her decision to join the Army. Then he hung up.

It never occurred to Ms. Hamdan to seek a divorce. She feared that it would bring shame to her family. From Jordan, she fought for legal custody of the children. In 2002, a judge ruled that she could keep the three youngest children, but allotted her a meager alimony, not enough to cover their schooling. Reluctantly, she returned them to their father.

Alone in Amman, she felt like an outcast.

“The neighbors, they look at me,” she said.


(Page 3 of 4)

In September 2002, she moved to Queens to live with her brother and his wife. She returned to wearing a regular head scarf, or hijab, and started classes at a local community college. One night she came home late, she said, and her brother told her to leave. “She did not follow the rules of the house,” the brother, Sam Saeed, said in an interview.

Ms. Hamdan did not know where to turn. Her father had refused to speak to her since she left Jordan. Over the next 10 days, she rode the subway at night and slept on a park bench in Queens. Finally, she walked into a hair salon in Brooklyn and approached a Lebanese Muslim woman.

“She was hysterical crying,” said the woman, Helena Buiduon.

Ms. Hamdan stayed with Ms. Buiduon until she found her own apartment. She taught the Koran to children and worked in a doctor’s office while earning an associate’s degree in medical assistance.

Her life remained a struggle. She lived in a small, drafty apartment in the Bronx. Other Muslim immigrants found her puzzling.

Some people suggested that she was a “loose woman,” she recalled, a notion that amused her given how little she wanted another relationship.

“I can’t feel anything for anybody,” she said. “I lived like jail. Just imagine you have a bird and the door is open. You think he will go back to this jail again? Never. He’s just flying.”

In 2003, she spotted an ad for the Army in an Arabic-language magazine. She met with a recruiter but cut the conversation short after learning she would have to remove her head scarf before enlisting.

Secretly, though, she kept imagining a new, military life. In March, she made up her mind.

“I broke the law with God,” she said of her decision to remove her hijab. “I had to.”

She put her belongings in storage. She began lifting 20-pound weights. She slipped off her veil in public a few times. She felt naked.

Two days before she left, she stopped by her brother’s video shop in Queens to say goodbye.

Mr. Saeed was kneeling in prayer, as a Spanish rap video blasted from a television set. He stiffened at the sight of Ms. Hamdan, then kissed her on the cheek. They had not seen each other all year. Within minutes, an argument began.

“She’ll never make it,” Mr. Saeed said, looking away from his sister.

“Oh yeah?” she replied, her eyes widening.

“A Muslim woman is not allowed to travel alone,” he said.

“What about working?” she said, her voice quivering. “Look at your wife, she works!”

“She likes to spend time here,” he said.

Ms. Hamdan ran from the store crying.

“She won’t make it,” Mr. Saeed told a reporter after she left. “Woman always weak. She need a man to protect her.”

Later, when Ms. Hamdan heard what her brother had said, she was silent.

“Why didn’t he protect me?” she said.

What Happens Next

Life at Lackland — where soldiers cannot chew gum, wear makeup or leave the base — reminded Ms. Hamdan of her marriage.

“Sometimes, when I’m by myself, I wonder how I have stayed here for six months,” she said as she sat outside her barracks one recent evening. “But I did it.”

She was among 39 men and women in the Army linguist program, in a company of 119 soldiers. The rest were immigrants from around the globe, there to improve their English in the hopes of entering boot camp.

Everyone, it seemed, had a sad story.

The women talked quietly after the lights went out. A Sudanese woman had come to the United States after most of her family died in a bombing in Khartoum. A 23-year-old woman had lost her Iranian mother in an honor killing.

A teenage Iraqi girl cried herself to sleep every night. She, like many other soldiers, began referring to Ms. Hamdan as “Mom.”

“They come into my arms,” said Ms. Hamdan, who was older than most of the others.

She missed being a mother, yet she rarely talked about her own children. She was learning not to cry, and that was a subject that broke her down. Privately, she called them in Saudi Arabia twice a week with 20-minute phone cards, four minutes per child.

As the summer wore on, it became clear that Ms. Hamdan was floundering in her English studies. She failed the exam repeatedly.

Physically, though, she was growing stronger. Push-ups and sit-ups no longer scared her. She found she was a fast runner.


(Page 4 of 4)

On Aug. 10, she won the one-mile race for female soldiers in seven minutes flat, in sweat pants. The next week, she became a squad leader and bay commander, directing a column of soldiers during marches and keeping order in the female barracks.

Days later, she decided to wear the shorts again.
“What, we have a new soldier here?” Sergeant Brannon called out as she walked deliberately down the stairs.

“I am going to show the men I’m like them,” she told him later. “I’m a man now.”

“No, you’re not a man” he said.

“Yes, I’m a man.”

“No,” he said. “You’re a strong-willed woman.”

That became his nickname for her: strong-willed woman.

As Ms. Hamdan’s status rose with the drill sergeants, so did her standing among the soldiers.

“Sometimes I’m tough on them,” she said one recent weekday as she patrolled her floor. The women smiled from their bunk beds. “I like everything clean.”

Another morning, she sat in the mess hall, eating her daily breakfast of Froot Loops followed by nacho-cheese Doritos. A drill sergeant called out that the group had three minutes to finish, just as a clean-shaven soldier walked past Ms. Hamdan with a tray full of food. She shot him a hard look.

“Three minutes,” she repeated. “You hear that?”

The greatest shift for Ms. Hamdan came in her relationship with the male soldiers. They stopped taunting her about wearing shorts. When she gave orders, they listened.

“It seems like a heavy burden has been lifted from her,” Sergeant Brannon said.

Yet even as she felt herself changing, she remained steady in her faith. She never stopped praying five times a day. She attended the base’s mosque each Friday and fasted through the holy month of Ramadan.

On a recent Friday, she sat with her eyes closed on the mosque’s embroidered carpet, wearing a white veil and skirt over her Army fatigues.

“Staying on the straight path is not an easy matter, except for those who Allah helps to do so,” the Egyptian imam said in Arabic over a loudspeaker.

In November, Ms. Hamdan’s English score was still too low, by 11 points, even though she was performing better on the weekly quizzes. She was given a one-month extension, and one more chance.

She took her last exam in December, and failed again. She ran from her classroom.

“Don’t come looking for me,” she recalled telling a startled drill sergeant.

By herself, Ms. Hamdan began walking across the base. Tears streamed down her face as she reached the two-story, concrete building that had long been her refuge.

She climbed the stairs of the mosque. Alone, she knelt on the carpet and prayed. Finally, she sat in silence. She felt at peace.

Ms. Hamdan will be discharged on Dec. 15. She is unsure of what the future holds. She may stay in Texas and look for a job. She may no longer wear a hijab in public. All she knows is that she is different now, and no less a Muslim for it.

“I can face men,” she said. “I can fight. I can talk. I don’t keep it inside.”

She thought for a moment.

“I changed myself,” she said. “I’m a new Fadwa. Strong female. I like this.”


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2006, 06:54:49 PM »
Mother Mosque
"We're Americans with dreams and aspirations."

Thursday, December 21, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa--Not far from the banks of the Cedar River and the
concrete silos of the Quaker Oats plant, in a working class neighborhood
adorned with Christmas lights and American flags, sits the oldest mosque in
North America. Founded in 1934, and admitted to the National Register of
Historic Places in 1996, it's not what you think of when you think of a
mosque. There is no lofty minaret, no balcony for the muezzin to call the
faithful to prayer.

There is, however, a place of worship that most resembles a one-room
schoolhouse--a single-story, white clapboard box with plain black shutters.
If it weren't for the crescent-topped green vinyl dome and the canopy above
the entrance bearing the words "The Mother Mosque of America: Islamic
Cultural & Heritage Center," one might easily mistake it for a modest, if
not meager, Pentecostal church, which indeed it was for a brief stint in its
history before being abandoned altogether.

A young boy on a bicycle cuts through the well-kept grounds of the mosque
without giving it a second thought; he drops the bike and runs into a house
across the street with Christmas decorations in the window. Just then, Imam
Taha Tawil, a jovial man in his late 40s wearing khakis and a polo shirt,
comes out to greet me: "Mr. Michael! You made it! Welcome! Welcome!" he
says. "I hope my directions weren't too hard to decipher!"

I don't tell him I've been driving around the neighborhood for a good 30
minutes, half-lost, half-exploring--a few blocks away I came across the
Jesus Church, a limestone building with a boarded-up bell tower that flies a
banner saying simply, "Jesus Will Save You."

As Imam Tawil and I approach the mosque I can just make out the words higher
up on the green dome: "There is only Allah (God alone) to be worshiped, and
Muhammad is his messenger." I wonder which came first, the Jesus Church's
banner or the Mother Mosque's dome?

But I'm not here to talk about any miniature clash of civilizations, etc. On
the contrary, I'm here, at the invitation of Imam Tawil, to talk about
something remarkable: the rebirth of the oldest mosque in North America and
the Muslim-American community that made it happen.
"We've been here for four and now five generations," says Imam Tawil,
pointing to a panoramic black-and-white photo of dozens of early settlers;
the picture dates to 1936 and shows an imam and priest, both of Middle
Eastern descent, proudly shaking hands in the center. "We're as old as the
oak trees in Iowa," he continues. "We're part of the fabric of this great
state. We're Americans with dreams and aspirations."

Many of the earliest Muslim settlers came to Cedar Rapids in the late 19th
century from what is now Lebanon to work the farmland and raise crops of
their own. As the community grew, it needed a permanent place to worship.
Despite the hard times of the Great Depression, the local Muslim community
pooled its resources and the "Mother Mosque" was dedicated on June 16, 1934.

Sixteen young men from the Muslim community here served their country in
World War II; two of those men never made it home. Since then,
Muslim-Americans from eastern Iowa have served their country in nearly every
major military conflict. "At least 20 members of the community are currently
enlisted in the military," says Imam Tawil. "Several are fighting in
Afghanistan and Iraq right now."

Cedar Rapids is now home to Muslims from some 30 countries, including Sudan,
Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia and Iraq. After the 1991 Gulf War, dozens of
Iraqi families--mainly Shiites who rose up against Saddam--found refuge
here. Today, of the 700 Muslim families who call eastern Iowa home, more
than 50 are from Iraq.

"Nearly all of these refugees are striving to become U.S. citizens," says
Imam Tawil, who emigrated from Jerusalem in 1983 and became a U.S. citizen
in 1990. A Palestinian by birth, he says, "I have never had citizenship
anywhere else but America. Every time I vote I feel so proud because I
didn't have this right in my home country."

Around the same time that he became a U.S. citizen, Imam Tawil set out to
renovate and restore the Mother Mosque. The building, which had gone vacant
after housing a Pentecostal church and a teen center, was purchased in 1990;
renovations began in 1991 and a grand opening was held in February 1992. The
mosque serves mainly as a cultural and historical center since a modern
Islamic Center was completed in 1971.

"Our main goal is to educate the public about Islam," says Imam Tawil. Part
of this education process was the founding, in the early 1990s, of the Linn
County Inter-Religious Council. "We started the council to promote
understanding and respect for all faiths," says Cedric Lofdahl, who retired
as the pastor of Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church in 1998. "Taha was very much
involved. I'll never forget it. He said, 'It may be too late for our
generation but we need to be talking together and understanding each other
for the sake of our children.'"

That dialogue, says Pastor Lofdahl, helped the residents of Cedar Rapids
deal with their grief and better understand the nature of the terrorist
attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. "Because we had spent a lot of time together
trying to educate the community regarding various faiths, and because we had
become acquainted with people from the mosque, our immediate reaction was
concern for those people." Imam Tawil agrees. "Our outreach to the
community--because we shared in the community's happiness and sadness--these
things helped us after Sept. 11."
Both men say they remember flowers and cards and letters of support being
dropped off in front of the Mother Mosque in the days after 9/11. "We are
blessed with a community here that understands our endeavors and knows our
struggles," says Imam Tawil, as he prepares to leave his little office in a
little mosque that has witnessed great things.

Mr. Judge, a freelance journalist, is an adjunct professor at the University
of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2006, 08:57:40 AM »
Sen. Boxer Recalls Award to Muslim Activist

Sen. Barbara Boxer recalled an award she recently gave to an Islamic activist because of his ties to a major American Muslim organization—that critics say has ties to terrorist activities.

By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Updated: 3:08 p.m. MT Dec 29, 2006
Dec. 29, 2006 - In a highly unusual move, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has rescinded an award to an Islamic activist in her home state because of the man’s connections to a major American Muslim organization that recently has been courted by leading political figures and even the FBI.

Boxer’s office confirmed to NEWSWEEK that she has withdrawn a “certificate of accomplishment” to Sacramento activist Basim Elkarra after learning that he serves as an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). After directing her staff to look into CAIR, Boxer “expressed concern” about some past statements and actions by the group, as well as assertions by some law enforcement officials that it “gives aid to international terrorist groups,” according to Natalie Ravitz, the senator’s press spokeswoman.

CAIR, which has 32 offices around the country and bills itself as the leading Muslim-American civil- rights group, has never been charged with any crimes, nor have any of its top leaders. But a handful of individuals who have had ties to CAIR in the past have been convicted or deported for financial dealings with Hamas—another reason cited by Boxer for her action. The senator directed her staff to withdraw the certificate—which she routinely gives to community leaders in California—and asked that a statement she had previously made endorsing CAIR be stricken from the group’s Web site, Ravitz said in an e-mail.

Ironically, just last month, Boxer had sent CAIR a letter in connection with its 10th anniversary fundraising dinner endorsing the group as a “constant support system for the American Muslim community” and praising it for its work on civil liberties. "As an advocate for justice and greater understanding, CAIR embodies what we should all strive to achieve," Boxer wrote in the Nov. 18 letter.

Boxer tells NEWSWEEK she never saw the letter to CAIR signed in her name or was even aware of the award to Elkarra before it was sent out. "I feel terrible about this," she says. "We just made a mistake. I was not in the loop. That was an automatic signature [on the letter]." But Boxer stands by her decision to withdraw the award and to distance herself from CAIR, saying she was influenced by previous critical statements about CAIR made by her Democratic colleagues Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Charles Schumer of New York. "To praise an organization because they haven't been indicted is like somebody saying, 'I'm not a crook,'” Boxer says. “I'm going to take a lot of hits for this. But I'm just doing what I think is right."

The move outraged CAIR officials who charged that the liberal Democratic senator was responding to the writings of Joe Kaufman, a blogger who has expressed sympathy for slain Jewish extremist Meir Kahane in the past , and whose columns regularly appear on the Web site of conservative activist David Horowitz. CAIR has formally asked for a meeting with Boxer and demanded that she withdraw the action—which one top CAIR official said smacks of “Islamophobia.”

“This is an attempt to marginalize the largest and most mainstream Muslim organization in the country,” says Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR’s office in southern California. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”

Nihad Awad, CAIR’s top Washington official, vigorously denied the charges that CAIR has any links to terror groups and said the allegations are based on a “deliberate smear campaign” by individuals who cannot brook any criticism of the Israeli government. “We feel that the same crowd who is pushing these smears against CAIR is the same crowd as the neocons that pushed us into the Iraq war,” he says. “They are trying to smear the Muslim community and they are trying to silence its voice. This takes us back to the McCarthy era.”

The incident illustrates the political tensions that have repeatedly arisen in recent years when members of Congress and other political leaders deal with a number of leading Muslim-American groups—some of which have been accused of sometimes murky links to terrorist groups. The CAIR case is especially striking, however, because of its timing.

Just last month, CAIR threw fundraising dinners in the Washington and southern California areas that attracted several leading political and law enforcement figures—along with generating a slew of testimonial statements like that submitted by Boxer's office. At a banquet in Arlington, Va., the featured speakers included Joseph Persichini, the assistant director of the FBI in charge of the Washington, D.C., field office, as well as members of Congress and Keith Ellison, the just-elected Democratic representative from Minnesota who next week will become the first Muslim in Congress. The speakers at the dinner in southern California included J. Stephen Tidwell, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.

Ayloush and other CAIR officials have asked how Boxer’s concerns about possible terror links can possibly be true when two senior FBI officials are openly attending its fundraisers and seeking the group’s help in reaching out to the Muslim-American community. Awad, the group’s executive director in Washington, said that CAIR also has conducted “sensitivity training” courses for FBI and Homeland Security agents as well as local police officers around the country. “We train law enforcement officers on how to deal with the Muslim community,” he says.

But terror researcher Steve Emerson—a frequent critic of CAIR—says there has been a fierce internal debate within the law- enforcement community over the FBI’s outreach to CAIR, and adds that some agents he has heard from are furious about the presence of bureau officials at the group’s dinners. “There’s a major clash between field agents and headquarters over this,” Emerson says.

One senior law-enforcement official, who asked not to be identified talking about a sensitive matter, agrees that there is a “split in FBI culture” over the bureau’s relationships with CAIR and says that some agents "hold their nose" when it comes to dealing with the group. But he said other top law-enforcement officials believe it is essential for the FBI to establish better relations with the Muslim community—if for no other reason than to encourage cooperation and the flow of information on terrorism investigations. "In some cities, CAIR is the only [Muslim] group or the dominant group," the official says.

When asked about the attendance of the two top FBI officials at the recent CAIR dinners, John Miller, the bureau’s chief spokesman, responds: “They were invited. It was an opportunity to engage in positive community outreach to the Arab-American and American-Muslim community.” Miller acknowledges that FBI officials “don’t agree with CAIR on every issue. We have serious disagreements with them on a number of issues. But the important thing is we try to maintain open dialogue with all these groups.”

The dispute over Boxer’s award began earlier this month when Kaufman, who runs a one-man group in Florida called “Americans Against Hate,” posted an article about the Boxer-CAIR connection on the Web site of Front Page Magazine, a publication sponsored by David Horowitz. Kaufman noted that Boxer’s office had put out a press release mentioning it was giving a certificate of achievement to Elkarra, 27, who serves as executive director of CAIR’s Sacramento office. The certificate was being given “in recognition of his efforts to protect civil liberties and to build bridges among diverse communities in California.”

Kaufman said in an interview that one of his goals is “to shut CAIR down.” In his article in Front Page, he charges that the group is “connected to Islamic extremism” and notes that two men previously associated with the group have been convicted of terror-related charges and two others have been deported. He also contends that Elkarra himself was a “radical” who had accused Israel of being an “apartheid” and “racist state” and that he had “defended” a northern California man who had trained for jihad in a Pakistani terrorist camp.

Boxer was unaware of the certificate to Elkarra that had been given in her name by staff members in her California office and only learned of it “when she came across a story on Horowitz’s blog,” according to the e-mail from Ravitz, the senator’s spokeswoman. After review by her staff, Boxer was particularly concerned by claims that CAIR had refused to condemn Hamas and Hizbullah and recognize those groups as terrorist organizations,” Ravitz said.

In response, CAIR e-mailed to NEWSWEEK a number of past statements in which it condemned suicide bombings and terror attacks. On Oct. 4, 2003, for example, CAIR issued a statement condemning a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Haifa, Israel, that killed 19 people, including three children. “CAIR condemns this vicious attack in the strongest possible terms,” the statement read. “The bombing is particularly loathsome, coming as it did on the eve of the Jewish community’s holiest day.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry accused the group Islamic Jihad of being behind the attack.

But CAIR Executive Director Awad refuses to say whether he would also condemn Hamas—which has taken credit for similar attacks in Israel—as a group or even whether he considers it a terrorist organization like the U.S. State Department does. “We condemn these groups when they committed acts of terrorism,” he says. “But I’m not going to play the game of the pro-Israel lobby just so they can put words in our mouth. Our position is very clear.

"The entire issue is going back to Israel," Awad adds. "If you love Israel, you're OK. If you question Israel, you're not. If that is the litmus test, no American Muslim and no freedom-loving person is going to pass that test."

Awad also dismisses claims that CAIR members or officials have been convicted of terror-related charges, saying all the cases cited by Kaufman involve individuals who had only loose ties to the group in the past. One of the cases cited by Kaufman was Ghassan Elashi, a marketing executive in a Texas computer company and a founding director of CAIR's Texas chapter, who was convicted last year of financial dealings with Mousa Abu Marzook, a self-admitted leader of Hamas who now lives in Damascus. Another case involved Rabi Haddad, a former CAIR fund-raiser in Michigan, who was deported after being accused by Justice Department officials of providing funds to Hamas. “They were former members,” says Awad. “This is guilt by association.”

Caught in the middle was Elkarra, who recently received a fax from Boxer’s office informing him that the certificate he had gotten just a few weeks earlier was being rescinded. He says the news was especially disappointing because he recently spoke at a local synagogue as part of a CAIR-funded project to build relations with the Jewish community. He also rejects the idea that he is an extremist, noting that—contrary to Kaufman’s allegations—he never defended a Lodi, Calif., man accused by the FBI of training for jihad in Pakistan. He simply raised questions about the handling of the case by the Justice Department similar to those raised by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as a number of news organizations. “It is disappointing that [Sen. Boxer] has succumbed to these extremists,” Elkarra says.

Kaufman, for his part, couldn’t be more pleased. “We are proud of Sen. Boxer,” he says. “By taking back this award, the senator has shown that she is conscious of the extreme problems that Basim Elkarra and his group, CAIR, pose to the public.”

Horowitz, whose Web site first got Boxer’s attention, says, “I’m pleased that Boxer listened to us. The fact that Democrats are finally waking up is good.”



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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2006, 10:36:14 AM »

Interesting reminder what we as Americans are dealing with.

If Barbara Boxer could be fooled so can anyone.  That is the problem.   Everytime I meet or see a Muslim I have to wonder who's side he/she is on.   Do they despise Christians, Jews, Americans, "Westerners"?   Do they wish we were all dead?   Are they secret sympathizers of this Jihad philosophy? 

One never knows.   Evil is not stamped on people's forehead.   

I still believe in profiling.   And in the other techniques the W. administration has backed in following these dark forces that lurk just under the sufarce of law abiding facades.

As I've learned in the music arena, laws, ethics, friendships, family ties can easily fall to the wayside for money. When it comes to money forget about it all - all bets are off.   I would guess the same goes to religious hatred.   Or political hatred (just look at how much Dems and Rep in this country hate each other).

IMO, if we worry too much about political correctness about profiling, surveillance than we will be hit again.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2007, 06:05:21 PM »

And it was Locke, as well as Jefferson:

From Jefferson's Autobiography:

"[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom... was
finally passed,... a singular proposition proved that its protection
of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble
declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy
author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting
the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from
the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The
insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they
meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew
and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and
infidel of every denomination." --Thomas Jefferson:
Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:67

From 1777 Draft of a Bill for 'Religious Freedom':

"that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right . . ."


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2007, 05:20:18 AM »
NY Times
Published: January 23, 2007

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 19 — After the longtime mayor, Michael A. Guido, died of cancer here in December, a flock of Arab-American candidates stepped forward in the hopes of claiming City Hall.

Abed Hammoud, a prosecutor, withdrew from the mayor’s race.
But despite the fact that roughly one in three Dearborn residents is of Arab origin, most of the Arab-American candidates had dropped out by mid-January. Poll numbers showed that none of them could win.

Internal rivalries echoing those that beset the Arab world, along with the general electorate’s lingering unease about Muslims, combined to derail what many here had hoped would be the chance to prove that Arab-Americans had arrived politically — at least in Dearborn, their unofficial capital in this country.

“One day, an Arab-American will be in office at the top, but this will not be the time,” said Osama Siblani, the burly publisher of the weekly Arab American News, whose friends tease him about his perennial “this is the time” editorial at every election. “There is no doubt that electing an Arab-American to the City Hall in Dearborn would have sent a strong message to the rest of the country that Arab-Americans are part of the political process. Would we want it? Yes. Is it possible? No.”

Mayor Guido had something of a checkered reputation among Arab-Americans here, not least because his first campaign, in 1985, distributed a leaflet promising to address the “Arab problem.” Things improved somewhat over the years — he visited Lebanon, and Arab-Americans donated heavily to his campaigns.

But last summer, he criticized the “mobs” protesting Israel’s attacks against civilian targets in Lebanon and sent the Arab-American community a $23,000 bill for overtime for police officers and firefighters during the demonstration. The bill, sent to a coalition of Arab-American groups, resulted in a free-speech lawsuit.

When Mr. Guido died, several Arab-American candidates stepped forward, including a well-known local prosecutor and a former North American middleweight boxing champion who recently starred on “The Contender,” a reality television series. An intensive vetting of candidates for the Feb. 27 election was started under the auspices of the Lebanese American Heritage Club so that the entire community could unite behind just one contender.

That did not happen, not least because the front-runner, John O’Reilly Jr., having been president of the City Council for 17 years, knew something about the internal rivalries pitting the Lebanese against the Iraqis against the Yemenis. Mr. O’Reilly, known as Jack, set out to separate the Yemenis from the rest of the Arab community here and succeeded in winning their early enthusiasm.

Arab-American candidates “come to us and say ‘salaam aleikum’ and a few other Arabic words to play on our emotions,” said Nass Al Rayashi, one of the founders of the Yemeni American Political Action Committee, using the Arabic greeting of “peace be upon you.” The committee was formed in March 2005 in large part because the Yemenis felt the Lebanese had dominated civic life at their expense.

The Yemenis, concentrated in the somewhat gritty South Side neighborhood sandwiched between the sprawling Ford Rouge plant and Woodmere Cemetery, want a candidate focused on local concerns. These include a lack of parking at the Dix Street mosque and pollution emitted by neighboring industrial areas including the Ford vehicle factory, which drew Arabs here for work for decades, but where fewer and fewer are finding jobs.

“Don’t tell us you go to Ali so-and-so’s house to eat Arab food,” Mr. Rayashi added. “This is America, this is the melting pot. Our interests should be what is good for us here.”

There has long been a division between the economically better off western side of Dearborn and the eastern side. In the old days, recalled Mr. O’Reilly, whose father was mayor from 1978 to 1985, the division was known as the “cake eaters” versus the “factory rats.”

Now some see it as more like the Muslims versus everybody else.

“People are a little bit afraid of them,” Mr. O’Reilly said, attributing it partly to traditional Christian education that he said had long taught that “their philosophy of religion was ‘convert to Islam or die.’ ”

The fact that Arab-Americans in Dearborn are prone to demonstrations, including protests against last summer’s war in Lebanon and the recent hanging of Saddam Hussein, only adds to the unease, he said.

Although more affluent Arab-American lawyers and real estate developers have gradually integrated the western part of the city, an ethnic divide remains. Abed Hammoud, a lead lawyer in the Wayne County prosecutor’s office and the favorite of the Arab community until he withdrew from the mayor’s race on Jan. 12, said he was met with surprise when he knocked on doors in western Dearborn.

“People reacted like I had come from the moon,” said Mr. Hammoud, 41, a kinetic figure with receding salt and pepper hair who left Lebanon in 1985. “They said things like ‘It’s good of you to come to this end of town,’ or they asked me about the people ‘over there’ and they meant the other side of town.”

The Arab American Political Action Committee, which Mr. Hammoud and Mr. Siblani, the newspaper publisher, helped found in 1998 largely to inspire Arabs to run and vote, commissioned a poll to assess Mr. Hammoud’s chances. They found Mr. O’Reilly, suddenly alone in the non-Arab field, commanding an unbeatable 65 percent lead to Mr. Hammoud’s roughly 30 percent. They consoled themselves with the fact that Mr. Hammoud was likely to do better this time as a candidate than he did in his first mayoral primary, which fell on the unfortunate date of Sept. 11, 2001.

But basically the results suggested that at best he would capture the Arab vote — not enough to win the entire city of 100,000.

Time alone may favor the Arab-Americans here. Mr. Hammoud cited numbers showing that in 1998, there were 60,000 registered voters in the city, 8,500 of them Arab-Americans. Today, it is 14,500 out of 57,000, and at least 60 percent of high school students are Arab-Americans.

“People look at an Arab now, and the first thing that pops into their head is terrorism,” said Tarick Salmaci, the boxer, who withdrew from the race. “We want to change that. Arab-Americans have to become political figures to change that.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2007, 12:08:46 AM »
CAIR and the UC-Irvine MSA

On January 31, Dr. Daniel Pipes gave a speech on the topic of "The Threat to Israel's Existence" at the University of California - Irvine (USA) campus.

According to published sources, the local Islamic barbarians of the "Muslim Student Union" disrupted Pipes lecture by standing up, chanting, and filing out.  Among the words used by these cheap Islamic thugs; "It's just a matter of time before the State of Israel will be wiped off the face of the map," "Takbir," and "Allahu Akbar". 

These are the sort of people that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) supports and has in mind when they demand free speech rights.but CAIR is strangely silent to free speech rights when it involves a speaker giving a speech on a topic that does not meet with CAIR approval.  This is a weird position for a so-called "civil rights" group.

Once again, we see the tactics used by Islamic thugs in their attempts to define what can or cannot be said on today's university campus.  The Islamic thugs dress up like their terrorist brethren in Palestine, disrupt peaceful assemblies with threatening speech, and generally behave like the cheap delinquents that they really are.  In the names of "tolerance" and "diversity", university officials refuse to step in and take action to reign in these groups that use infantile measures to advance their hateful agenda.

Like Palestinian terrorists who hide behind Muslim children and women.Muslim Student Union thugs hide behind the skirts of democracy and abuse free speech rights to advance a hateful agenda; an agenda that will result in death or subjugation for every non-Muslim if it is implemented.

, , ,

Note:  Hadia Mubarak, current CAIR National board member, is a past president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) National.  Don't expect CAIR to condemn the actions of the MSA at UC-Irvine.

Andrew Whitehead


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2007, 06:40:54 AM »
Iraq’s Shadow Widens Sunni-Shiite Split in U.S.
NY Times
Published: February 4, 2007
DEARBORN, Mich. — Twice recently, vandals have shattered windows at three mosques and a dozen businesses popular among Shiite Muslims along Warren Avenue, the spine of the Arab community here.

A restaurant in Dearborn, Mich., was one of several businesses recently vandalized in a Shiite neighborhood. Although the police have arrested no one, most in Dearborn’s Iraqi Shiite community blame the Sunni Muslims.

“The Shiites were very happy that they killed Saddam, but the Sunnis were in tears,” Aqeel Al-Tamimi, 34, an immigrant Iraqi truck driver and a Shiite, said as he ate roasted chicken and flatbread at Al-Akashi restaurant, one of the establishments damaged over the city line in Detroit. “These people look at us like we sold our country to America.”

Escalating tensions between Sunnis and Shiites across the Middle East are rippling through some American Muslim communities, and have been blamed for events including vandalism and student confrontations. Political splits between those for and against the American invasion of Iraq fuel some of the animosity, but it is also a fight among Muslims about who represents Islam.

Long before the vandalism in Dearborn and Detroit, feuds had been simmering on some college campuses. Some Shiite students said they had faced repeated discrimination, like being formally barred by the Sunni-dominated Muslim Student Association from leading prayers. At numerous universities, Shiite students have broken away from the association, which has dozens of chapters nationwide, to form their own groups.

“A microcosm of what is happening in Iraq happened in New Jersey because people couldn’t put aside their differences,” said Sami Elmansoury, a Sunni Muslim and former vice president of the Islamic Society at Rutgers University, where there has been a sharp dispute.

Though the war in Iraq is one crucial cause, some students and experts on sectarianism also attribute the fissure to the significant growth in the Muslim American population over the past few decades.

Before, most major cities had only one mosque and everyone was forced to get along. Now, some Muslim communities are so large that the majority Sunnis and minority Shiites maintain their own mosques, schools and social clubs. Many Muslim students first meet someone from the other branch of their faith at college. The Shiites constitute some 15 percent of the world’s more than 1.3 billion Muslims, and are believed to be proportionally represented among America’s estimated six million Muslims.

Sectarian tensions mushroomed during the current Muslim month of Muharram. The first 10 days ended on Tuesday with Ashura, the day when Shiites commemorate the death of Hussein, who was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad and who was killed during the bloody seventh-century disputes over who would rule the faithful, a schism that gave birth to the Sunni and Shiite factions.

The Shiites and the Sunnis part company over who has the right to rule and interpret scripture. Shiites hold that only descendants of Mohammad can be infallible and hence should rule. Sunnis allow a broader group, as long as there is consensus among religious scholars.

Many Shiites mark Ashura with mourning processions that include self-flagellation or rhythmic chest beating, echoing the suffering of the seventh-century Hussein. As several thousand Shiites marched up Park Avenue in Manhattan on Jan. 28 to mark Ashura, the march’s organizers handed out a flier describing his killing as “the first major terrorist act.” Sunnis often decry Ashura marches as a barbaric, infidel practice.

Last year, a Sunni student at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor sent a screed against Ashura to the Muslim Student Association’s e-mail message list. The document had been taken off, one of many Web sites of Islamic teachings that Shiite students said regularly spread hate disguised as religious scholarship.

Azmat Khan, a 21-year-old senior and political science major, said that she, like other Shiites on campus, was sometimes asked whether she was a real Muslim.

“To some extent, the minute you identify yourself as a Shiite, it outs you,” Ms. Khan said. “You feel marginalized.”

Yet some Shiite students said they were reluctant to speak up because they felt that Islam was under assault in the United States, so internal tension would only undermine much-needed unity among Muslims. At the same time, the students said, the ideas used by some Sunnis to label Shiites as heretics need to be confronted because they underlie jihadi radicalism.


At the Ann Arbor campus, Shiite students set up a forum for all Muslims to discuss their differences, but no Sunnis who had endorsed the e-mail message about Ashura showed up, and the group eventually disbanded.

Trying to ease tensions, the Muslim Student Association this year invited a prominent Shiite cleric to speak.
“I don’t want Shiite students to feel alienated,” said Nura Sediqe, the president of the Ann Arbor student group. “But the dominant group never sees as much of a problem as the minority.”

At the University of Michigan’s campus in Dearborn, the Muslim association pushed through rules that effectively banned Shiites from leading collective prayers.

Apart from a greater veneration among Shiites for the Prophet’s descendants, there are slight variations in practice. Shiites, for example, pray with their hands at their sides, while Sunnis cross them over their chests.

“Most Sunni Muslims can’t pray behind a Shiite because if you are praying differently from the way the leader is, then it doesn’t work, it’s not valid,” said Ramy Shabana, the president of the association on the Dearborn campus.

Shiite students at various universities said they faced constant prejudice. Some Sunni students have refused to greet Shiites with “Salamu aleikum,” or “Peace be upon you,” to slight them.

At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Salmah Y. Rizvi, a junior who stocked a reading room with Islamic texts, said the Muslim Student Association there told her to remove them because too many were by Shiite authors.

Students have also taken note of attacks on their faith from the broader world through the Internet. One YouTube video showed Catholics bleeding by crucifying themselves and then showed Shiites bleeding through self-flagellation, as the Arabic voiceover suggested that Shiites were more Catholic than Muslim.

Not all campuses have been affected. Some, like Georgetown University and Cornell University, were considered oases of tolerance.

At Rutgers University, the tension started last year after 15 to 20 conservative Sunni students began openly mocking Shiites, and considered barring women from leading the student association. “They felt it was time to correct individuals within the organization, cleansing the beliefs of the students,” said Mr. Elmansoury, who opposed the rift.

Several students involved said the group was heavily influenced by teachings from Saudi Arabia. The puritanical Wahhabi sect there holds that Shiite reverence for the Prophet’s family smacks of idolatry.

Shiite advocates believe that that thinking has influenced some mainstream American Muslim organizations like the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American Islamic Relations, which they said were slow to criticize attacks against Shiites abroad until the violence in Iraq escalated. As a consequence, Shiites founded their own national lobbying organizations.

Both organizations denied that they disregarded Shiite issues.

Still, some Muslims said that prejudices had continued.

After Saddam Hussein’s execution Dec. 30, one Sunni cleric near Dearborn reportedly gave a sermon concluding that the Prophet Mohammad forgave his enemies, so why couldn’t certain people in Iraq?

Much of the Middle East tension stems from the sense that Shiite power is growing, led by Iran. The grisly video of Mr. Hussein’s execution, with his Shiite executioners mocking him, fanned the flames.

“As a Shiite, I was taking in this event very differently from the Sunnis,” said Shenaaz Janmohamed, a graduate student at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. “In a lot of ways Saddam has become this martyr figure who sort of represents Shiite unruliness.”

It is not the first time Shiite-Sunni tensions have spilled over into the West. Britain has experienced periodic outbursts for years. Stabbings and other violence between Sunni and Shiite prisoners in New York state jails prompted a long-running lawsuit by Shiite inmates seeking separate prayer facilities.

Some Muslims worry that the friction might erupt in greater violence in the United States. Others, in both camps, think the tension could prove healthy, forcing American Muslims to start a dialogue about Muslim differences.


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2007, 10:45:05 AM »
LBN News

WE DO USE BOOKS THAT CALL JEWS 'APES' ADMITS HEAD OF ISLAMIC SCHOOL: The principal of an Islamic school has admitted that it uses textbooks which describe Jews as "apes" and Christians as "pigs" and has refused to withdraw them. Dr Sumaya Alyusuf confirmed that the offending books exist after former teacher Colin Cook, 57, alleged that children as young as five are taught from racist materials at the King Fahd Academy in Acton. In an interview on BBC2's Newsnight, Dr Alyusuf was asked by Jeremy Paxman whether she recognized the books. She said: "Yes, I do recognize these books, of course. We have these books in our school. These books have good chapters that can be used by the teachers. It depends on the objectives the teacher wants to achieve."


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Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2007, 06:02:13 PM »
In Defense of '24'
An Arab-American defends the real-life Bauers.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

I am an Arab-American as well as a fan of "24." The two things are not mutually exclusive, despite what the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other such groups have to say about this season's opening episodes possibly increasing anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice in American society.

Most of the terrorists represented in "24" through the years have been Arab Muslims. Why? Well, probably because most terrorists today are, in fact, Arab Muslims. As a descendant of Syrian Muslims, I am very well aware that the majority of Muslims world-wide are peaceful, hard working, and law abiding. That still does not change the fact that the greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. today comes not from the ETA, the IRA, etc., but from one group: Islamic terrorists.

And this is what makes "24" a compelling drama every week. Instead of pretending Islamic terrorists don't exist, the show presents frighteningly real worst-case scenarios perpetrated by Osama bin Laden's followers. So CAIR thinks it's over the top for the terrorists in "24" to blow up Los Angeles with a nuke? Please, if bin Laden and his crew had nukes, most of us would be way too dead to argue over such points.

There is a dangerous trend in the U.S. today that involves skirting the truth at the risk of offending any individual or group. When Bill Cosby talks to African-Americans about self-respect and responsibility, and says publicly what many have been saying privately for years, he's branded a "reactionary," "misinformed," "judgmental," and so on. When "24" confronts America's worst fears about al Qaeda--whose goal remains to kill as many Americans as possible whenever possible--the show is said to be guilty of fueling anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice.

Well, here's the hard, cold truth: When Islamic terrorists stop being a threat to America's survival, viewers will lose interest in "24," because it will have lost its relevancy. Until such time, I will continue to watch "24"--because, believe it or not, the idea that there are Jack Bauers out there in real life risking their lives to save ours does mean something to me.

And as for "24" causing a possible backlash against Muslims and Arab-Americans, where's the evidence of that? The show is now in its sixth season and there hasn't been one recorded incident of any viewer ever slurring or attacking any Muslim or Arab-American because of something that happened on the show. More to the point, in the latest episode President Palmer stated, "The American Muslim community is the greatest line of defense against these terrorists." He advocates strengthening ties with Islamic leaders across the U.S., and is opposed to measures that would in any way infringe upon the constitutional rights of Arab Americans.

That said, I would certainly welcome more characters in movies, TV programs and novels who reflect the overall Arab-American experience. Truth is, most of us don't have bomb-making skills or a desire to become human missiles. And there are Muslim and Arab-American CTU heroes out there, as well as doctors, superdads, women scientists, etc. But just as it took Saul Bellow to give literary voice to the Jewish-American experience, we need our own storytellers to weave the pastiche of tales that make up Arab-American life.
In the meantime, the next time a journalist decides to report on Arab-American concerns about shows like "24," maybe he could actually talk to someone other than CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and seek out Arab-Americans with a different point of view. We actually do exist.

And maybe that same reporter could take a closer look at CAIR. Ask CAIR about the Holy Land Foundation and its support of Hamas. Ask it about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the CAIR board member who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case--yet still sits on CAIR's board. Look a little closer, and maybe you'll find that CAIR has good reason to get nervous about shows like "24."

Because terrorists and their supporters continue to hide among us in plain sight, we need Jack Bauer, now more than ever.

Mr. Dabul is a free-lance writer and the author of "Deadline," a novel about modern terrorism.


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« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2007, 10:43:32 AM »