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Camp Terror: Radical ties to a proposed Muslim camp in Iowa. ^ | Wednesday, July 2, 2003 | Joe Kaufman

Posted on 07/02/2003 12:04:36 AM PDT by JohnHuang2

Camp Terror
By Joe Kaufman | July 1, 2003

The Islamic community has a long history in the great state of Iowa.  In fact, it is home to the oldest mosque in the United States, aptly called the Mother Mosque of America.  It is here, in Iowa – one of the major cogs in America’s Heartland – that plans are being set forth to construct an Islamic camp/convention center.  The catch is that it is to be created on federal land.  This, for various reasons, has sent up red flags throughout the area.

Environmental concerns have been a factor.  Parking accommodations have been a factor.  How many people?  Where will they stay?  Will it cause traffic?  All of these issues have been addressed to one degree or another.  But a significant few issues have been sidestepped entirely, covered up in such a manner that would suggest either political correctness or deception was to blame. This is especially significant in light of the fact that there is a terror connection to the proposed new Muslim Center.

Issue number one:  The Church-State Problem

In July of 2002, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) won a long fought battle to remove a cross from the Mohave Desert public preserve, as a Federal judge ruled that it was in breach of the “establishment” clause of the Constitution.

Of the case, Peter Eliasberg, an attorney at the ACLU stated, “The federal government should not offer public land – owned collectively by people of every faith and of no faith – as a site for the advertisement and promotion of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Pope John Paul II, or any other particular religious figure.  Contrary to what some believe, it is not the role of the federal government to advance Christianity or any other sectarian belief.”  He further stated, “The courts have consistently held that a permanent religious fixture on federal land is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.”

While the ACLU feels it necessary to take action against symbols of the Christian faith, it seems they do not attribute the same set of standards to Islam.

The group that wants to use the Iowa site calls itself Muslim Youth Camps of America, Inc. (MYCA).  Organizers of MYCA say they purposely chose the name so that it would resemble that of the YMCA, the well-known Christian nationwide health and fitness center.  “It is not exclusively for Muslims, just like YMCA is not exclusive to Christians,” states Manzoor Ali, the Chairman of MYCA.  But this statement doesn’t exactly jibe with some of the other statements made by the group.

At a hearing for the land proposal, the following statements were made by Mark Chaffee, the Project Director for MYCA:

“I don’t know what you know about the Muslim community, but here in the United States right now it currently is encompassing 48 nationalities.  So the camp has to have this immense multi-cultural focus to it and have that sort of an outreach to it. And our outreach and marketing will be heavily towards the Muslim community, because of its underserved nature.”

(Concerning his colleague’s statement about separate plans for boys and girls at the camp:) “The perception of the gender is similar to gender issues in the United States in religion…So it really just depends on which piece of the Islamic community that you are at [sic.] the moment as to that gender.”

Of course, all of these statements come with caveats alluding to the group’s supposedly all-inclusive nature.  But then, when one reads the March 2000 edition of the Washington Report, which features a story about MYCA, one may very well get the true nature of the group.  It states that Bill Aossey, Representative for MYCA, announced that the camp/convention center “has been purchased and given the name ‘Camp Heritage’ to emphasize the importance for Muslim children of understanding their roots.”

These statements, including the fact that the proposed site will contain of a 36-foot dome-covered prayer tower, has not fazed the ACLU.  Concerning the matter, the ICLU, the Iowa branch of the ACLU (who in March of 2000 condemned a proposal by 12 legislators to require posting of the Ten Commandments in the Iowa State Senate chamber) had this to say:  There is no establishment clause violation in government permitting the building of a structure that resembles a mosque or church…we are unaware of any cases involving governmental religious displays based on the theory that certain public architecture is an endorsement of one religion over another…this is not the case in which to try that argument out….”

When the topic of the Constitutionality of this matter was brought up at the land proposal hearing, Manzoor Ali quickly chimed in and changed the subject (“No, no.  I think we don’t want to take much of your time.”)  Why?  What does his group have to hide that he couldn’t discuss this?

Issue number two:  MYCA’s Ties to Islamic Extremism

When the question of possible links to terror was raised, Ron Fournier, the spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering (the organization that is set to lease the grounds to MYCA for the sum of one dollar), said the following:  "we have reviewed the Muslim youth camp, and we’ve found no terrorist ties or associations that would prevent us from continuing with the process.”

Mr. Fournier is very wrong.

The problem centers around Bill Aossey, who was previously mentioned as a MYCA Representative.

Bill is the President of the Midamar Corporation, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Midamar is an international distributor of Halal meats, or meats that have been prepared according to Islamic law.  On its website,, it is stated that Midamar is a “Trusted Halal food supplier and sponsor for the annual conferences and conventions hosted by ISNA, CAIR, AMC, ICNA, and MAS, and W.D. Muhammad.”  Every one of these organizations have had dealings with Islamic extremist and/or hate groups.

Bill’s name is found on the Board of Directors of the American Muslim Council (AMC), one of the groups he does business with at Midamar.  According to Jon Levin, a researcher at the Investigative Project, the “AMC has consistently opposed U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and has defended terrorists.”  In October of 2000, the AMC’s longtime Executive Director, Abdurahman Alamoudi, at a rally outside the White House, shouted, “We are all supporters of Hamas...I am also a supporter of Hezbollah.”  And in February of 2003, recent AMC Executive Director, Eric Erfan Vickers, was castigated by a United States Congressman for suggesting that the “loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and its entire crew was an act of divine retribution against Israel.”

Bill Aossey attends the Cedar Rapids Islamic Center.  The website for the center contains numerous extremist and hate links, including a link to Al Haramain, the foundation that was one of the “principal players in charity-based financing of al-Qaeda” (December 20, 2002, National Review On-Line).

Bill was a featured speaker at the 2002 and 2003 Iowa Muslim Student Association Annual Conferences.  At the 2002 Conference, he gave a speech entitled "Martyrdom in Islam."  Martyrdom is considered a code word for suicide bombings.  Also speaking at the 2002 Conference was Siraj Wahhaj, an individual that is alleged to have been a co-conspirator of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.  At the 2003 Conference, Bill was joined by feature speaker Nihad Awad.  Awad is the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and an ex-member of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a front group for the terrorist organization Hamas.  It has been reported that MYCA plans to rent out its proposed convention center in the off-season.  Is it possible that the 2004 Conference will be held there?

Judgement day for the final decision on the camp/conference center is set for Friday, July 11.  According to the Daily Iowan, “Authority to approve or reject the camp proposal lies with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…The decision to build or not to build falls squarely on Col. William Bayles’ shoulders.”

Jalel Aossey, Bill’s son, who is listed on the Iowa Secretary of State Corporate Registry as the Registered Agent for MYCA, says that this would be the first Muslim camp in the United States to lease federal land, and that he envisions the camp as the first in a nationwide network.  Will Col. Bayles give in to this vision of federally provided camps with radical connections or will he exercise restraint?  I don’t know what his answer will be, but I do know which way I would vote.

Joe Kaufman is the chairman of Citizens Against Hate. You can visit his interactive website at

TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: jihadinamerica; muslimamericans; summercamp; trainingcamps
Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Quote of the Day by Liz

1 posted on 07/02/2003 12:04:36 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
While the ACLU feels it necessary to take action against symbols of the Christian faith, it seems they do not attribute the same set of standards to Islam.

Does anyone know if the good people of Iowa are fighting this thing? Are there protests, phone calls etc.? I sincerely hope so. At a time when our Christian foundation is being destroyed, it would be a total abomination for this to be allowed. It must be stopped. Wherever they build it, it must be monitored to make certain they're not raising indoctrinated little suicide bombers.

2 posted on 07/02/2003 12:13:26 AM PDT by ETERNAL WARMING
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To: JohnHuang2
A junior jihadi training camp. So what's the problem? Where do you expect them to train future pilots and homicide Saudi Arabia? Syria? Libya?

Sheesh, cut 'em some slack! They need a nice, home-grown, place in the American heartland where they can raise future jihadis in safety...

3 posted on 07/02/2003 12:24:27 AM PDT by Im Your Huckleberry
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To: JohnHuang2
A junior jihadi training camp. So what's the problem? Where do you expect them to train future pilots and homicide Saudi Arabia? Syria? Libya?

Sheesh, cut 'em some slack! They need a nice, home-grown, place in the American heartland where they can raise future jihadis in safety...

4 posted on 07/02/2003 12:26:36 AM PDT by Im Your Huckleberry
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To: JohnHuang2

Feds OK controversial Muslim youth camp
National radio host who opposes project will hold public forum

Posted: July 1, 2003
5:00 p.m. Eastern

© 2003

Amid resistance from neighbors and nationwide attention, a plan to build a Muslim youth camp on federal land moved ahead yesterday with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' approval of a scaled-down proposal.

As WorldNetDaily reported, the newly formed Muslim Youth Camps Association, or MYCA, wants to build a facility at a site in Northern Iowa formerly leased to the Girl Scouts for $1 a year. Most opponents have expressed environmental concerns, while some fear it could be used by extremists as a "camouflage" for terrorist activity.

Plan for Muslim prayer tower (Iowa City Press-Citizen photo)

Lease negotiations will begin when the Muslim group gives the Corps a new design plan, said Corps spokesman Ron Fournier, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Approval to proceed with the project came after Col. William J. Bayles, the Corps' Rock Island, Ill., district commander, signed off on an independent study concluding the MYCA's plan would have no significant environmental effect, the Iowa City paper said.

The organization will not be required to have another environmental assessment when it submits its revised plan.

Originally, the Muslim group proposed a 7,500-square-foot convention center, 10 cabins, 12 tent camping platforms and a 75-foot tall prayer tower. Its second choice, according to a Nov. 12 report by the Corps, proposes a 2,400-square-foot lodge, five cabins and five tent camping platforms, with no mention of a prayer tower.

"It's a very positive decision," MYCA President Manzoor Ali said, according to the Press-Citizen. "We really appreciate it. But we'll see how much 'scale down' means. Whatever we decide, it's a very positive decision for everyone, not just for us but for everyone."

The site was used by the Girls Scouts until 1990 when a fire destroyed their lodge.

The Press-Citizen said if the MYCA is unwilling to accept the Corps' offer for a reduced design plan, other non-profit groups will be free to submit proposals.

Public forum broadcast live

The MYCA's project has sparked the interest of national talk-show host Mike Gallagher, who will air his radio program tomorrow morning from Iowa City. Gallagher believes federal property should not be used for a religious purpose. His broadcast will include a public forum on the issue.

Manzoor Ali, president of MYCA, has insisted the project is "not a religious organization and that is not in our proposal."

He has said, however, it would be more than a rustic camp.

"Our idea is that it will be an educational plus recreational camp on a solid foundation, not on just a tent foundation," he told the Des Moines Register. "It should be like an institute where students from different cultures and inter-faith groups could come and exchange their ideas, open their minds."

The Press-Citizen said MYCA members and Corps representatives will not attend Gallagher's forum.

5 posted on 07/02/2003 1:06:25 AM PDT by ETERNAL WARMING
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To: JohnHuang2
I'd like to think this apparent bit of PC idiocy on the part of the feds is along the lines of "step into my parlor, said the spider to the fly."
6 posted on 07/02/2003 6:56:33 AM PDT by Eroteme
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To: JohnHuang2
I'd just like to seperate the issues here. How many people are against this camp because of the no-religion-on-federal-property issue? And if you are, are you also for removing the dozens of Christian camps that are already on federal land?
7 posted on 07/02/2003 8:54:54 AM PDT by MaxPlus305
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To: StriperSniper; Mo1; Howlin; Peach; kimmie7; 4integrity; BigSkyFreeper; RandallFlagg; ...

MYCA to contact DNR, county

"It didn't fit within the area within the environmental assessment," Barati said, adding that the ongoing back-and-forth review was typical of the resubmittal process.

A complete revised plan will be resubmitted in the next few weeks, MYCA chairman Manzoor Ali said. As part of the lease negotiations, MYCA was advised to contact county staff regarding traffic counts and other issues as well as the DNR for environmental issues, he said.

"We are making substantial progress regarding understanding with the Corp of Engineers," Ali said. "They are really cooperative and nice."

Ali said raising money and possible communication with residents living near the site cannot start until the lease is finalized. The goal of the proposed camp is to have it managed by Muslim staff but open to children of all faiths. He said plans are to do background checks on all the campers.

"We will be having educational programs and outreach programs," Ali said. "In the summer, people can enjoy picnics and other outdoor activities, and in the winter, we will be involved in seminars and presentations and conferences."[Can you say indoctrination camp.............]

Winter activities might be open to public use, depending on the Corps' direction, Ali said.

The original camp proposal, submitted in 1999, included a 17,500-square-foot central lodge, 12 tent camping platforms and 10 cabins, a 75-foot-tall tower and plans to construct a beach. The revised plans showed a 50 percent reduction in designs, a stipulation given to the group by the Corps.

8 posted on 07/19/2004 5:12:42 AM PDT by OXENinFLA
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9 posted on 07/19/2004 6:50:19 AM PDT by Smartass ( BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004 - Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.)
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