Skip to comments.ISLAM IN AMERICA, PART 1
Posted on 01/04/2004 3:06:45 PM PST by yoe
Editor's note: Today WND features the first of a three-part report by Sherrie Gossett, who went inside a recent "mainstream" Muslim conference in Florida to discover the true attitudes and ideas of the leaders of the Islamic movement in the U.S. Gossett attended portions of the conference after all other media representatives had packed up and left the event. In Part 1, Gossett analyzes the words and backgrounds of some of the keynote speakers at the conference imams and sheikhs who openly voice their disdain for America, Jews and "unbelievers" in general, and who defend the practice of suicide bombing. On Monday, Part 2 will further explore who the heroes are in the world of U.S. Muslim activists and what kind of activities they fund.
The soothing baritone rises effortlessly to navigate an exotic series of microtones and complex rhythmic cadences.
The voice is that of Abdul Malik, imam of Oakland, California's Masjid Al-Islam mosque.
He is delivering a prayerful invocation in perfect Arabic before followers of one of the most ancient religions of mankind Islam.
Soon he'll address a very contemporary subject: Media.
Shatan's (Satan's) media, that is.
The imam isn't alone in his criticism of media coverage of Islam in America.
Out of the conflict and criticism have come loaded words like "prejudice," "intolerance," "civil rights," "terrorism," "militant," "radical" and "extremist." These terms have a powerful emotional pull, as they are tethered to values close to American's hearts values like freedom, diversity, tolerance, national security and patriotism.
Critics from diverse camps blame media for reporting either public-relations fluff or hysterical fear-mongering. Right-wing media blames mainstream media. Mainstream media wonders why right-wing media is in such a huff. Left-wing media blames right-wing media. And Malik? Well, he just blames them all.
Shatan's work, they're doing, he says. Extinguishing the light of Islam.
"Know that God is displeased and hates the unbeliever," he warns.
Now, even as a handful of Islamic groups holding themselves out as the true "mainstream" have come to dominate the media landscape, critics contend the groups are little more than white-washed extremists, equipped with PR savvy, an intolerant political agenda and a knack for marginalizing the "real" moderates.
Is it a case of terrorism or intolerance? Or perhaps misunderstood and ignored complexities? To answer some of these questions, WorldNetDaily traveled to an Islamic conference in Orlando, Fla., that generated significant controversy before it even opened. This is the report of that event, its broader implications, and the interlocking ideologies and causes that traverse continents and provide unifying principles primed for political expression.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. Just as a Florida Islamic conference was trying to recover from one media controversy, they were mired in another when Islamic speakers who have voiced support for suicide bombers and referred to Jews as "Jewish crackers," "apes" and "pigs" freely addressed the crowd and were warmly embraced by conference leaders.
The speakers addressed the crowd just hours after Islamic leader Dr. Sayed M. Saeed assured media that those present represented "mainstream" Islam, and radical rhetoric or "misguided imams" would not be tolerated. The controversial leaders addressed the crowd after all media (except for WND) had left. One addressed the attendees in only Arabic in a separate room.
The Universal Heritage Foundation, organizers of the December conference, first ran into controversy when media learned a planned three-day conference called "Islam for Humanity" was advertising it would feature a Saudi Arabian sheikh famous for virulent, racist rhetoric.
Last April, while addressing 2 million followers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, chief cleric Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais prayed to God to "terminate" the Jews, who he called "the scum of humanity, the rats of the world, prophet killers ... pigs and monkeys."
Al-Sudais also urged Arabs and Muslims to abandon peace initiatives with Israel. His comments were carried worldwide by Reuters and the Associated Press. The racist characterization of Jews was not a singular occurrence, as suggested by some media. Al-Sudais has variously described Jews as "evil," a "continuum of deceit," "tyrannical" and "treacherous
Al-Sudais, was listed as a "specially invited guest" of the conference, which was slated to be held at the 31-acre Kissimmee campus of Universal Heritage Foundation, near Disney World, but was later moved to the nearby county-owned Silver Spurs Arena.
Following media exposure, al-Sudais' name disappeared from conference materials. Later, Imam Siraj Wahhaj's name also was dropped from a new issue of the program.
Wahhaj was deemed a potential unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and sits on the board of directors of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, and the advisory board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.
On the opening night of the conference, Dec. 19, Dr. S.M. Syeed, secretary general of the ISNA, addressed the controversy directly, with media present.
Syeed said the conference presented and "extraordinary opportunity" since the public and media are "waiting to see what we're saying."
"We would never allow such statements to be made on our stage," Syeed said. "That kind of rhetoric has no place in our conference, projects or programs. We need to be sensitive and we should certainly distance ourselves from them."
Referring to the prior media controversy, Saeed said, "This does not represent the Islam mainstream these misguided imams. We should clearly announce they are not representing us or the message of the prophet as mercy to mankind."
The Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel and Fox Channel 35 filed reports that night.
'Allah bless those martyrs'
Early the next day, the moderator announced that an address by Egyptian cleric Sheikh Wagdy Ghunaim would be re-scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The moderator said Ghunaim was "in town" but was not present at the Silver Spurs Arena.
The sheikh had previously referred to Jews as "monkeys" and "pigs" during a Brooklyn College conference of the American Muslim Alliance on May 24, 1998.
Before leading the audience in anti-Jewish verse, Ghuneim said: "The Jews distort words from their meanings. ... They killed the prophets and worshipped idols. ... Allah says he who equips a warrior of jihad is like the one who makes jihad himself."
The Brooklyn event, entitled "Palestine: 50 Years of Occupation," was sponsored by the Islamic Association for Palestine, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, CAIR, ISNA and the Islamic Circle of North America, or ICNA, among others.
Advertisements for the Orlando conference program also featured leaders of CAIR, ICNA and ISNA, organizations that are mainstays of the American Islamic "conference circuit."
An Arabic audiotape from the Dec. 29, 1997, annual conference of the Muslim Arab Youth Association, in Ontario, Calif., documents another Ghuneim speech, which referred to four suicide bombings that took place in Israel in 1996.
"Those young people who explode themselves to kill the Jews were not committing suicide but jihad," Ghuneim said, "They are mujahedeen because there is no way to struggle and fight the Jews except that way. Allah bless those martyrs."
Ghuneim CDs were on sale at the Orlando conference despite Dr. Syeed's previous statements about the need to be "sensitive" about CDs and books that were on sale.
'That ain't suicide; that's martyrdom'
By noon on Saturday, Dec. 20, conference leaders also presented Imam Malik of Masjid Al-Islam.
(Malik is also referred to as Abdul Malik Ali, Abd Al-Malik and Amir Abdel Malik Ali. Note: This individual is not Imam Abdul R. Malik Ali.)
Malik said he had just come from addressing diplomats at the United Nations the day before. (Malik was on the conference schedule the night before but was not present.)
The imam has previously voiced empathy and support for suicide bombers, denied Muslims were involved in 9-11, characterized the war on terror as a conspiratorial Zionist plot designed to destroy Islam and Muslims, and blamed attacks on affirmative action on "the rise of the Jewish cracker," according to media reports and audio/video recordings obtained by WND.
Last year, the Golden Gate Xpress, San Francisco State University's online student newspaper, and the Jewish Bulletin News of Northern California reported Malik, while speaking at Malcolm X Plaza, urged a crowd of roughly 500 to 800 to "stop calling them suicide bombers . When a person commits suicide, they are oppressed, without hope, depressed. Palestinian mothers are supporting their children who are suicide bombers, saying, 'Go honey, go!'"
The Golden Gate Xpress, quoted Ali as saying, "That ain't suicide; that's martyrdom."
The Muslim religious leader and San Francisco State graduate also was quoted by both the school newspaper and Hillel saying that Israelis ought to return "to Germany, to Poland to Russia. The Germans should hook y'all up. You should go back to Germany."
The statements were made within earshot of a Holocaust remembrance table being manned by 50 Jewish students and Hillel staff.
Witnesses say some members of the audience gasped, while others applauded Malik's statements.
Following in the footsteps of Malcolm X
Malik is also a leader in the "Sabiqun Movement," also referred to as the As-Sabuqin Movement.
His mosque belongs to the Masjid Al-Islam affiliation constituting several mosques that state as their central tenet the establishment of the religion of Allah (Iqaamatul-Deen/"Actions and Efforts in the Way of Allah"). Toward that end, they are focused in the development of an organized "Islamic Movement" in America capable of producing individuals and institutions in "total, complete and uncompromised service of Allah."
Sabiqun Movement draws inspiration from El-Hajj Malik El-Shabbat (Malcolm X). A now-defunct website featured a portrait of Malcolm X performing salaat.
Like Malcolm X, Malik's oratory skill, lifestyle and passion have attracted youth towards the movement. An electrifying presence, Abdul Malik Ali preaches what he views as an uncompromising Islamic message of striving for one's personal best through discipline, hard work, fasting, studying, honoring women and abstinence from "sins" like promiscuous sex and drug use.
"In Muslim countries next to the Masjids you have places of sport and play where people are drinking and belly-dancing and gambling and opening up casinos and downloading by satellite pornography in some of the holiest places of Islam!" Malik thunders from the podium in Orlando. "Who do you blame for that? You can't blame America. You can't blame Europe.
"You have to blame those in authority in Islam who would allow the young minds of young Muslims to be corrupted!"
Malik sees a future where devout young Muslims will have a profound impact on observers, generating respect, then social justice and political impact for his brand of Islam. He also strongly emphasizes independence for Muslim communities, who he says should strive to build their own hospitals, schools, study centers and take care of the needy among them.
Young Muslims seem to see in the message a route to esteem, pride, a sense of purpose and an invitation to a compelling spiritual destiny as they are called to sacrifice all to reclaim the ancient "glory of Islam."
Reports from England seem to document a similar movement among disaffected youth who are leaving behind the traditional Islam of their parents.
The teachings also seem to emphasize the immediacy of this particular epoch in history, which is expected to see a worldwide victory of Islam as Judaism and Christianity, along with all other "false" religions, fall by the wayside in the struggle and nations merge into a pan-Islamic government serving Allah alone.
"House slaves' in WASP America
Malik's rhetoric evokes strong racial overtones as he warns young people about moderate American Muslims who he says have compromised their integrity to be "liked," becoming nothing more than "house slaves" in the mansion of a racist, imperialistic and destructive America.
The remarks seemed in line with repeated warnings conference goers heard from Dr. Ihsan Bagby against losing distinctiveness through "assimilation" into the "WASP" culture of America. Babgy characterized Muslim life in the U.S. today as being similar to persecutions of Irish Catholics who were killed and whose churches were burned.
A recurring theme is a cataclysmic crisis of Islam, which has its roots in racism, as the colonial oppressor the U.S. is pitted against Muslims worldwide.
Malik also has cited news coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing as evidence of racist bias against Muslims in the U.S. He viewed the early suggestions of an Islamic radical connection, followed by the dissemination of a photo of a firefighter holding a "blond-haired, blue-eyed child," as hostile editorial decisions intentionally designed to provoke violent antagonism toward the Muslim community.
"It's bad enough when they're coming after your wives," said Malik, "but when they come after your babies "
In July 1999, Malik was one of the principal organizers of and speakers at a San Francisco rally that praised the terrorist group Hamas.
At the rally, Imam Abdul-Alim Musa, head of the Sabiqun Movement and leader of the Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, D.C., displayed a cashier's check made out to "Hamas, Palestine," to protest the "unjust" 1996 U.S. law which declared Hamas a terrorist organization.
(Excerpt) Read more at worldnetdaily.com. ...
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They are like the Borg.
Hmmm. Sounds like fun. (/sarcasm)
The third wave of the Islamic conquest of the World has begun. All things being equal (yes, I know they never are), I'd just as soon deal with commies. At least they didn't want to die and were killed in mass by their own kind. The Muslims, however, are a different enemy than the Soviet Union and International Communism. They believe suicide is their WMD. IMHO, let us fulfill their their wish beyond their wildest nightmares.
The depiction of the prophet by the most revered Muslim sources is horrendous. Nearly every page reveals behavior that is immoral, criminal, and violent. The five oldest and most trusted Islamic sources dont portray Muhammad as a great and godly man. They reveal that he was a thief, liar, assassin, mass murderer, terrorist, warmonger, and an unrestrained sexual pervert engaged in pedophilia, incest, and rape. He authorized deception, assassinations, torture, slavery, and genocide. He was a pirate, not a prophet. According to the Hadith and the Quran, Muhammad and his henchmen plundered their way to power and prosperity. And by putting the Quran in chronological order and correlating it with the context of Muhammads life as it was reported in the Sira, Sunnah and Hadith, we also find that Allah mirrored his prophets character. Muhammads god condoned immoral and criminal behavior. Allah boasts about being a terrorist. He claims to have deceived men, to have stolen their property, to have enslaved women and children, to having committed acts of murder, genocide, and sadistic tortures.
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