Monday, October 29, 2007

Cleveland imam quits before he starts

The saga of Ahmed Alzaree has come to a close, at least as far as the Buckeye State is concerned. He was scheduled to assume his position with the Islamic Center of Cleveland — Ohio’s largest mosque — in just days. But the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Alzaree has thrown in the towel [a larger article appeared later on Monday afternoon]:

Imam Ahmed Alzaree announced Monday, three days before he was to start work as the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, that he was resigning.

Alzaree said allegations by bloggers that he was anti-Semitic and was associated with individuals suspected of having terrorist ties so poisoned the atmosphere in Northeast Ohio that he and his wife, Marwa, decided to look elsewhere.
What Alzaree couldn’t stand is the public scrutiny. Having to answer hard questions. And he had three separate articles by the Plain Dealer in his defense (in addition to the original PD puff piece).

Just a few days ago I posted some new information about Alzaree’s tenure at the Islamic Center of Omaha, and the questionable website material that appeared immediately upon his arrival. Tom Blumer of BizzyBlog also weighed in (Tom was the first to discover some of the questionable sermons by Alzaree) with new info. That prompted a sturdy defense of Alzaree in Saturday’s edition of the Plain Dealer, explaining away all of the new info without actually addressing it (oh, he didn’t know about that webpage preaching jihad that magically appeared when he took his position in Omaha, and he didn’t know who fellow Egyptian extremist preacher Wagdi Ghoneim was when he was invited to Alzaree’s mosque, even though Ghoneim is one of the most famous preachers in the Islamic world).

But Alzaree was aware that new questions about his resume and his past tenure in Omaha were about to emerge (courtesy of Blumer and yours truly), so he’s calling it quits. In the end it was too many questions, and not enough real answers.

Good luck on your new endeavors, Ahmed!

Update #1: Here are my previous Alzaree-related posts:

Sept. 25 — Ohio’s largest mosque hires Egyptian hate sheikh to replace deported terror cleric Fawaz Damra
Oct. 2 — Establishment media dhimmis ignore new Cleveland imam’s terror ties
Oct. 25 — Cleveland’s new imam: an “interfaith” moderate or two-faced jihadist?

And here are Tom Blumer’s posts:

Sept. 25 — Meet the New Imam, Same as the Old Imam?
Sept. 29 — Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up: Who WAS That Blogger? (at the Plain Dealer’s Wide Open blog)
Oct. 2 — COAT’s Imam Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up
Oct. 25 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree and the Islamic Center of Cleveland Follow-up: Part 1
Oct. 25 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree and the Islamic Center of Cleveland Follow-up: Part 2
Oct. 29 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree resigns from Islamic Center of Cleveland

Update #2: Here are some links to the Associated Press article (courtesy of BizzyBlog):, MSNBC, Jerusalem Post, International Herald Tribune