Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ohio’s largest mosque hires Egyptian hate sheikh to replace deported terror cleric Fawaz Damra

[Be sure to see the update with new info below! And read Tom Blumer’s take on this story this morning at Wide Open blog.]

[And welcome to everyone joining us from LGF!]

Tom Blumer, the economic genius behind BizzyBlog and a new contributor to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s brand-spanking new Wide Open blog (along with Dave from NixGuy) made me aware of an article in Tuesday’s Plain Dealer by David Briggs, “Islamic Center hires new imam to replace deported cleric, announcing that the Islamic Center of Cleveland, former home of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Fawaz Damra (before the US government stripped him of his citizenship and deported him back to Israel earlier this year), has been replaced by Ahmed Alzaree, who will assume his new position as head cleric on November 1. The Associated Press has also picked up the story. Alzaree comes to the Buckeye State from Omaha, Nebraska.

Considering Damra’s high-profile expulsion from the US, you would think that the Islamic Center of Cleveland would hire a more moderate voice to lead them than the terrorist cheerleader they had most recently. Think again.

Not mentioned in the Plain Dealer‘s report is Ahmed Alzaree’s anti-Jewish rants. According to Blumer, in a 15-second Google search, he came across a particular sermon dated March 7, 2003 where Alzaree offers this encouragement to his followers:

Dear brothers and sisters, the talk about the Day of Judgment is long and full of things that will confuse the human mind and put fear in the hearts of the faithful. Every day that comes is much more Worse than the day before it as we get closer to the hour. Among the signs of the approach of Day of Judgment is what the messenger of Allah PBUH said: “The hour of judgment shall not happen until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims shall kill the Jews to the point that the Jew shall hide behind a big rock or a tree and the rock or tree shall call on the Muslim saying: hey, O Muslim there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him, except the Gharqad tree which will not say, for it is the tree of Jews.” Agreed upon. This is seemed to be very soon and close now. We ask Allah SWT not to test us so hardly if we live till this horrible moment insha’allah.
Apparently, the Plain Dealer‘s David Briggs didn’t do the same Google search that Blumer performed, even though in his article Briggs states:

Alzaree would not confirm his hiring, at one point saying he would not come to Cleveland because a reporter was inquiring about his background.
Gee, what do you think a reporter might be looking into, Mr. Briggs (real quick wits among these establishment media dhimmis, eh?), and who could possibly be motivated do such an investigation (grin)?

Someone looking at Alzaree’s background (at least if they bothered to look) might also come across the following comment in that same sermon where he highlights the required Quranic “jizya” tax to be imposed upon non-Muslims and his lament at its disuse in the Muslim world:

Abou Hurairah RAA narrated that the messenger of Allah PBUH said: “By Allah it is about the time the son of Maryam comes down and he shall rule with justice and he shall break the cross and kill the pig and will remove the “Jezyah”; (i.e. the supposed tax paid to the Muslim government by non-Muslims who live with them against guarding and protecting them which is mentioned in the Holy Quran in Surat Al-Tawbah (9-29) as a “fard” or requirement in despite of being lost and no longer practiced nowadays by almost all Arab and Muslim Countries), (that means that only Islam shall be the only accepted faith and religion), and the wealth shall increase to the point the charity is not needed” Reported by Al-Bukharee and Muslim.
Now remember that what initially got Alzaree’s predecessor Damra into trouble was a videotape that came to light of him raising money for Palestinian Islamic Jihad and convicted PIJ leader Sami Al-Arian (video and transcript available from the Investigative Project). Damra was also filmed urging his supporters to point “a rifle at the first and last enemy of the Islamic nation, and that is the sons of monkeys and pigs, the Jews." This is the same Fawaz Damra that was hailed as a great inter-faith leader in Cleveland.

(Oh, and did I mention that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s close advisor and CAIR national vice chairman Ahmad Al-Akhras described terror leader and fundraiser Damra as a “long-time friend”?)

Now it seems that Alzaree has been hired to bring in Damra’s harvest of hate. Ahmed Alzaree encourages his flock by bringing to mind the glorious day in the future when stones will call out for hiding Jews to be killed and laments that the practice of jizya is no longer imposed on Jews and Christians in the Muslim world as a testament of their submission to Islamic imperialism.

Real nice. A real paragon of peace the Islamic Center of Cleveland has hired in Ahmed Alzaree. A real inter-faith leader like Damra, wouldn’t you agree? If you have any doubts, just listen to Alzaree’s recent sermon, “Prejudice from a spiritual perspective”, where he will no doubt tell you all about his peace and love for his fellow members of the Abrahamic tradition and his efforts to spread the love and engage in inter-faith dialogue at Creighton University.

Just don’t hide behind any rocks in Cleveland anytime soon.

UPDATE: COAT contributor Sun Tzu informs me that just prior to being expelled from the United States, one of the preachers that Ahmed Alzaree brought to Omaha was his friend and fellow Egyptian terror cleric Wagdi Ghoneim, who one US immigration official explained was kicked out of the US because “our task is not to sit around and wait for people to blow up buildings”. According to an Islamic Center of Omaha newsletter, Ghoneim visited in August 2004. JihadWatch reminds us that Switzerland has also banned Ghoneim from their country in 2005. As Daniel Pipes has noted, Ghoneim called Jews “descendants of the apes” at a 1998 CAIR event (apparently a common theme in the Damra-Alzaree-Ghoneim “inter-faith” circles).

Regular COAT readers will recall my mentioning Ghoneim recently in connection with our own Hilliard Holy War Homeboy, Salah Sultan, who the LA Times reported in July has been hanging out in Bahrain with Ghoneim, where the two had a weekly TV program until it was shut down by the government because of its extremism. My Bahraini friend and journalist Mahmoud Al-Yousif has been keeping track of Ghoneim and Sultan’s antics there. But rest assured, the Columbus Dispatch still considers Sultan a moderate.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad’s Apocalyptic Faith

[I’m cross-posting this from my personal blog, because it has particular relevance today.]

UPDATE: I will be on the BBC World Service radio program, World Have Your Say, on the Ahmadinejad matter from 1–2pm EDT today. Follow the link to listen live or to contribute.

In light of the present visit to the US by Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I would direct readers to an article I wrote more than a year ago at FrontPage, “Ahmadinejad’s Apocalyptic Faith”. There I wrote about the virulent Hojjatieh brand of Shi’ism that Ahmadinejad subscribes to, which I described as follows:

Most Shiites await the return of the 12th Shiite Imam, Muhammad ibn Hasan, the last direct male descendent of the Prophet Mohammed’s son-in-law Ali, who disappeared in 874AD and is believed to be in an invisible, deathless state of existence, or “occultation”, awaiting his return. Though it is discounted even by the most extremist clerics, a popular belief in Iran holds that the 12th Imam, also called the Mahdi or the sahib-e zaman (“the Ruler of Time”), lives at the bottom of a well in Jamkaran, just outside of Qom. Devotees drop written requests into the well to communicate with the Mahdi. His reappearance will usher in a new era of peace as Islam vanquishes all of its enemies. The Sunnis, who reject the successors of Ali, believe that the Mahdi has yet to be born.

But rooted in the Shiite ideology of martyrdom and violence, the Hojjatieh sect adds messianic and apocalyptic elements to an already volatile theology. They believe that chaos and bloodshed must precede the return of the 12th Imam, called the Mahdi. But unlike the biblical apocalypse, where the return of Jesus is preceded by waves of divinely decreed natural disasters, the summoning of the Mahdi through chaos and violence is wholly in the realm of human action. The Hojjatieh faith puts inordinate stress on the human ability to direct divinely appointed events. By creating the apocalyptic chaos, the Hojjatiehs believe it is entirely in the power of believers to affect the Mahdi’s reappearance, the institution of Islamic government worldwide, and the destruction of all competing faiths.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has clearly indicated that he is a true believer in this faith. It has been reported that he has told confidants that he anticipates the immanent return of the Mahdi. When he previously served as Mayor of Tehran, he advocated for widening the roads to accommodate the Mahdi’s triumphal entry into the city. One of his first acts of office as President was to dedicate approximately $20 million to the restoration and improvement of the mosque at Jamkaran, where the Mahdi is claimed to dwell.

This personal belief directs his official policies as President. He has publicly said, “Our revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi. We should define our economic, cultural and political policies on the policy of the Imam Mahdi’s return.”

However, Ahmadinejad’s messianism doesn’t stop with the Mahdi. In fact, he has made it clear that he believes he has personally received a divine appointment to herald the imminent arrival of the Mahdi, tacitly acknowledging his own role in setting aright the problems of the world.
The Hojjatieh sect is so extreme, it was banned by Ayatollah Khomeini (which is saying something). Ahmadinejad’s spiritual mentor is Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, known affectionately (or not so) by his moniker, “Professor Crocodile”. Mesbah-Yazdi has been pushing to succeed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as I noted in another FrontPage article, “The War Ayatollah”.

Understanding the worldview of our enemies (Iranian-made IEDs and EFPs are killing dozens of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan each month) is essential for understanding their intentions. You should also consult my friend Timothy Furnish’s website, MahdiWatch.org, and read his History News Network article, “What’s worse than violent jihadists?” for additional background on this brand of Shi’ism practiced by Ahmadinejad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

9/11-denial author coming to Columbus, promoted by Mayor Coleman advisor Al-Akhras

“It is already possible to know beyond a reasonable doubt one very important thing: The destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job, orchestrated by domestic terrorists.” — David Ray Griffin
Having just passed the sixth anniversary of America’s Day of Terror, some of our local extremists are bringing to town prominent 9/11-denial author David Ray Griffin, the foremost academic of the movement, who will be speaking at the First Congregational Church on East Broad Street next Tuesday, September 25th. Notwithstanding Griffin’s use of research from Holocaust-denial groups and individuals (discussed below), one individual promoting Griffin’s visit is Mayor Coleman’s close advisor, Ahmad Al-Akhras, a member of the Columbus Community Relations Commission.

In a critical review of Griffin’s book, The New Pearl Harbor, Chip Bertlet describes some of Griffin’s views:
  • The U.S. government caused or deliberately allowed the attacks of 09/11/01 to take place.
  • The collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center was caused by a controlled demolition (bombs planted in the buildings prior to the planes striking the buildings).
  • The Pentagon was not struck by American Airlines flight 77 or any commercial jet, but was hit by a guided missile.
  • The commercial jet that crashed in Pennsylvania was hit by a heat-seeking guided missile launched by the government to silence the hijackers who could have exposed government complicity.
  • Bush knew in advance that the attacks would take place because after the attacks began he stayed talking to children in a classroom.
Even though most of Griffin’s bizarre claims have been thoroughly refuted (for instance, see NASA research scientist Ryan Mackey’s nearly 200-page rebuttal of Griffin, “On Debunking 9/11 Debunking”), the professional theologian has taken on in his most recent book the 2005 Popular Mechanics 9/11 myth-busting special report, “Debunking the 9/11 Myths”.

Scientists vs. retired liberal theologian: you decide.

What is most disconcerting about Griffin’s conspiratorial views is that he frequently relies on individuals and publications involved in the Holocaust-denial movement. For instance in his article published in Tikkun earlier this year, in his footnotes there are several references relying on such sources:

[24] A photograph taken by Terry Schmidt can be seen on page 63 of Eric Hufschmid’s Painful Questions: An Analysis of the September 11th Attack (Goleta, Calif.: Endpoint Software, 2002). According to Schmidt, this photo was taken between 3:09 and 3:16 PM, hence only a little over 2 hours before Building 7 collapsed. It shows that on the north side of the building, fires were visible only on floors 7 and 12. Therefore, if there were more fires on the south side, as some witnesses have claimed, they were not big enough to be seen from the north side.

[25] Quoted in Christopher Bollyn, “New Seismic Data Refutes Official Explanation,” American Free Press, Updated April 12, 2004. For several more examples, see the subsection labeled “Molten Steel” in my chapter, “The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True,” in Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, or the discussion of molten metal in Chap. 3 of Debunking 9/11 Debunking.

[56] See Ted Twietmeyer, “Judicial Watch Caught Pulling a 180 on Pentagon Footage,” Rense.com, May 21, 2006
The items I have placed in bold above should be noted. Eric Hufschmid is a prominent Holocaust-denier; the American Free Press is the publisher of The Barnes Review, founded by neo-Nazi Willis Carto and perhaps the largest Holocaust-denial publication in the US, which has recommended Adolf Hitler for a Nobel Prize (ADL has published a report on AFP/Barnes Review and their role in the 9/11 denial movement); and Rense.com is a site that promotes the cause of neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel. Even many in the 9/11 denial movement are loathe to associate or rely upon the research of these individuals and organizations. But not David Ray Griffin. Just last week one of his events in Ireland was cancelled after protests from local Jewish organizations.

Notwithstanding Griffin’s bizarro conspiratorial worldview and his reliance on Holocaust-denial researchers, he has already found enthusiastic supporters here in Columbus. One of the first people to announce Griffin’s upcoming Columbus appearance was none other than Mayor Michael Coleman’s close advisor, Ahmad Al-Akhras, who sent out the following email to a CAIR-OH listserv a few weeks ago:

From: Ahmad Al-Akhras
To: “cair ohio”
Date: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:43 am
Re: FW: David Ray Griffin talk, Sep 25 7pm

Prominent theologian to speak in Columbus

David Ray Griffin will be in Columbus for a talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 25, at the First Congregational Church, 444 East Broad Street.

Dr. Griffin is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, and codirector of the Center for Process Studies.

He has written four books on the subject of 9/11, including “The New Pearl Harbor” (2004), “The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions” (2005), “Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11” (2006), and “Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory” (2007).

He is co-editor with Peter Dale Scott of “9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out” Vol. I (2007), which bears this note from Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the US Treasury and editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal: “This is the most important book of our time. Distinguished national and international scientists and scholars present massive evidence that the 9/11 Commission Report is a hoax and that the “terrorist attack” has been manipulated to serve a hegemonic agenda in the Middle East. The book’s call for a truly independent panel of experts to be empowered to bring out the true facts must be heeded or Americans will never again live under accountable government.”

The following commendation of Griffin’s work is from the late Reverend William Sloan Coffin: “Professor David Ray Griffin has a well-deserved reputation for the thoroughness of his research. All Americans who love their country enough to dig into the facts of these critical times will be well rewarded for examining his books. 9/11 truth is a very important issue — one with the power to bring lasting change to our country.”
Speaking as someone who lost a friend and colleague on 9/11 (on American Airlines Flight 77, which Griffin says didn’t hit the Pentagon), it sickens me that six years after the fact that crackpots and nutjobs like Griffin continue to receive a hearing and are welcomed in our area. They are not being heard because of the weight of their arguments, but the virulence and venom of their ideas, much like Nazism in post-WWI Germany.

It isn’t surprising that Ahmad Al-Akhras and CAIR are involved in such filth; in fact, a CAIR-OH forum held back in April listed Columbus 9/11 Truth as one of their associated groups (see my FrontPage article, “Ohio State Profs Go ‘Truther’”. What is surprising is that they are still received and defended by the political power-brokers in Central Ohio and the Columbus establishment media.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

CAIR to honor Holy Land Foundation official and unindicted co-conspirator at annual banquet

Just a day after the 9/11 commemoration last week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced that Kifah Mustapha will be among their featured speakers at their annual banquet a on Saturday, November 17th at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, VA.

Who is Kifah Mustapha? Well since you asked, Mustapha is currently an imam and associate director of the radical hub The Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, IL. In February 2004, the Chicago Tribune published an investigative report, “Hard-liners won battle for Bridgeview mosque”, which reports that convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami Al-Arian had been videotaped raising funds in the Bridgeview mosque to wage jihad and commit terrorist acts against Israel. The Tribune article also describes how extremists had taken over the mosque in a leadership coup. Mustapha is now part of that leadership. The mosque had also had another curious guest — Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s mentor, and co-founder of what became Al-Qaeda. Nice.

Mustapha was immediately hired by The Mosque Foundation in 2001 after his previous employer, the Holy Land Foundation, of which he was the executive director and ran their Chicago office, was closed down by the US government in the wake of 9/11 for funneling funds to Islamic terrorist organizations.

Joel Mowbray’s Wall Street Journal January 2006 article, “Reign of the Radicals”, specifically mentions Mustapha’s hiring in the context of the other terror-related activities at the mosque:

Between 1991 and 2001, the mosque gave a total of almost $400,000 to three Islamic charities: the Global Relief Foundation, the Holy Land Foundation and the Benevolence International Foundation. All had offices near the mosque and shared many of its leaders. When the charities were closed after 9/11 for financing terrorist activities, the mosque leaders thumbed their noses at the government, re-electing GRF officer Mohamed Chehade to its board and hiring Kifah Mustapha, who had run the Chicago-area HLF office, as its new prayer leader.

Other prominent members of Bridgeview have ties to terrorist groups too. Muhammad Salah, who was on the mosque’s executive committee until 1993, is under house arrest, pending trial on charges of laundering millions to fund Hamas. Bridgeview’s imam was the treasurer in the mid-’90s for Al Aqsa Educational fund, described by the FBI as a front for Hamas. The list goes on.
This invitation to be honored by CAIR comes as former officials of the Holy Land Foundation are currently on trial in a federal court in Dallas, TX. In fact, Kifah Mustapha was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in that trial, along with CAIR. When it comes to terror-loving jihadis, old habits die hard for CAIR.

And who is the national vice-chairman of CAIR? Columbus’ own smilin’ Ahmad Al-Akhras.

“That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” — Hamlet: Act I, Scene 5.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dublin, Ohio-based Saudi “charity” funding HAMAS terror university

[This is a teaser for my full report published this morning at Family Security Matters, “Ohio-based Saudi “charity” funding HAMAS terror university”]

First there was the Holy Land Foundation. Then came Benevolence International, followed by Al-Haramain and KindHearts. Is Arab Student Aid International soon to join the list of Islamic “charities” closed down by the US government for financing terrorism?

The Dublin, Ohio-based not-for-profit organization, Arab Student Aid International (ASAI), has funneled millions of dollars over the last decade to the HAMAS-founded and -operated Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) — an institution well known to be a financial and operational front for the terrorist organization — in addition to two other universities, Al-Quds and Al-Najah, both with extensive ties to HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. IUG was not only founded in 1978 by HAMAS founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, but its past and present staff includes many HAMAS leaders and legislators. HAMAS has also repeatedly used IUG as an operating base in factional clashes with their Fatah rivals and to store weapons and missiles for use in terror attacks against Israel. HAMAS was listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization by President Bill Clinton in January 1995.

Additionally, according to an April 2006 article published in the Washington Post, “Distance Learning: Hamas’ US Education”, several members of the HAMAS leadership conducted post-graduate study at US universities through scholarships provided by ASAI.

This discovery comes at the same time as there is a present struggle in Congress to keep US public funds, particularly through the USAID program, from the IUG because of its critical role in the HAMAS terror infrastructure. Washington Times reporter Joel Mowbray disclosed earlier this year in a March 5th article, “School linked to HAMAS gets U.S. cash”, that USAID had provided $140,000 to IUG in violation of a US law that prohibits such support, which prompted congressional hearings where legislators grilled USAID Director Ambassador Randall Tobias about these payments.

According to subsequent report by Mowbray, “How We Fund HAMAS University”, House Foreign Affairs chairman Rep. Tom Lantos told USAID Director Tobias, “Providing U.S. assistance to a terrorist-controlled university in Gaza was out of the question and, in fact, violates U.S. law.” He added, “This outrageous support for terrorism must and will end.”

The disclosure about ASAI’s financial role in supporting the HAMAS terror university also comes amidst the ongoing Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial, where it has been revealed that payments made by US-based Islamic “charities” to IUG have been funneled to HAMAS operatives.

# # #

ASAI has been in operation for more than 30 years. Originally incorporated in New Jersey, it transferred operations to Dublin, Ohio in 2005 and appointed a new president, Dr. Ishaq Y. Al-Qutub. Its primary mission is to provide financial support to Arab students from all over the Middle East to study at universities in the US and Europe, in the hopes that students will return to their native countries to transfer their knowledge and implement their expertise. . .

ASAI’s chairman of the board and primary benefactor is Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdel Aziz, the son of the founder of the Saudi Kingdom, full brother to the late King Fahd, and half-brother to the current King Abdullah. Prince Turki is one of the “Sudairi Seven”, seven full-brothers, including the late King Fahd and the current Crown Prince Sultan, that have held some of the top governmental positions in the Saudi government since Fahd’s ascension in 1982.

# # #

In addition to its scholarship program focused on supporting individual students, ASAI has poured millions of dollars over the past decade into Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza; in particular, the Islamic University of Gaza, Al-Quds and Al-Najah.

On the ASAI website, it lists its various achievements, financial support and infrastructure development for these institutions, including:
  • Providing grants to needy and outstanding 4,000 BA&MA students with 80% and above grade average in Palestinian Universities for the past ten years in the average amount of $350. ($1.4 million)
  • Contributing to the infra-structure development of three Palestinian Universities (Al-Quds, Al-Najah and Islamic University in Gaza). Total allocations were about $1.8 million towards the erection of Science & Technology buildings and Conference auditorium.
  • Scholarship Grants to students in the West Bank and Gaza Universities, were allocated annually since 1986. The West Bank Committee oversees the program and distributed the funds each year at a special program. Thousands of scholarships were given in the past 20 years. Top Students in Vocational Schools received financial support as well. Total number of students who benefited from this program was 80,000, with a total cost of $3.2 million.
  • Supporting Infra-structure development enabled three universities in West Bank and Gaza to expand teaching and laboratory facilities and absorb more students and enhancing research. This program assisted Universities with new buildings to modernize and develop new technology for the 21st Century and was completed 1999. This two-story building has two large lecture halls, science and engineering classrooms and staff offices. It also includes technical laboratories for: chemistry, biology, computer engineering electronics, energy research, food production technology and marine biology. Two other Universities were assisted with new buildings.
  • Gaza Islamic University completed the construction of Science and Technology Building enabling 700 new students to have their classes and 20 faculty members to have their offices. It was completed in 2002.
  • Al Najah National University has completed a huge auditorium building for conferences, lectures, and assembly meetings. They are nearing completion of an additional building to their campus. All three buildings were funded by ASAI. This will serve the university and the communities in Northern region.
  • All the above buildings were named after HRH Prince Turki Ben Abdul Aziz , Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ASAI. The total cost was $2.23 million.
What should especially concern investigators is the nearly $5 million that ASAI has provided these universities in direct cash payments through grants and scholarships. Once payment is remitted to the institutions, there is very little control or oversight that US government and ASAI officials could give to ensure that the money is being used for solely educational purposes.

# # #

And yet, while Congress has banned any public funds from finding their way to these institutions, there is apparently nothing that specifically prohibits private organizations like ASAI, or even US public companies, from providing assistance and money to these terrorist-affiliated universities. In fact, just weeks after Congress proscribed public assistance to these institutions in 2005, the US-based computer giant Intel announced that it was building a technology center at the HAMAS-controlled Islamic University of Gaza. And in September 2006 The Economist reported that the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business designed and trained IUG faculty to create a “mini-MBA” program for the school.

As Congress considers tightening the controls of USAID and other governmental institutions to prevent US government funds from finding their way to HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations through the Palestinian universities, it may also want to investigate ways to prohibit US companies, universities and “charities” from doing the same.

Full report at Family Security Matters. . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ahmad Al-Akhras and the pre-9/11 “dry run” Al-Qaeda terrorists he defended

On the left, Ahmad Al-Akhras, one of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s closest advisors; and on the right, Muhammad Al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan Al-Shalawi, the two Saudi Al-Qaeda terrorists Al-Akhras and CAIR-OH publicly defended and filed a lawsuit on behalf of that the 9/11 Commission found had conducted a pre-9/11 “dry-run” on a Columbus-bound America West flight in November 1999. The men are pictured walking through Port Columbus Airport.

It wasn’t appropriate to mention yesterday since 9/11 is a day of honor and sober reflection, but it certainly bears worth mentioning the bit role that Central Ohio resident Ahmad Al-Akhras played in America’s infamous day of terror.

On November 19, 1999, America West Flight #90 from Phoenix to Columbus landed at Port Columbus Airport and was greeted by FBI and local law enforcement officials. Two Saudi students — Muhammad Al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan Al-Shalawi — were handcuffed and immediately placed into custody. All passengers were evacuated from the flight and bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in to search the plane.

Before the plane landed, the flight’s pilots had radioed ahead that Al-Qudhaieen and Al-Shalawi had repeatedly tried to enter the cockpit even after being warned by the flight crew not to attempt further entry, kept changing seats, as well as asking the flight crew strange questions about the plane and its destination.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report (page 520, footnote 60), intelligence authorities are convinced that Al-Qudhaieen and Al-Shalawi were conducting a “dry-run” for the 9/11 attacks. Both men were friends of Arizona-based Al-Qaeda recruiter, Zakaria Mustapha Soubra, who drove them to the airport that day in Qadhaieen’s car. Both men attended the Islamic Center of Tuscon, which counterterrorism expert Rita Katz described in a Washington Post article in September 2002 as “basically the first cell of Al-Qaeda in the United States; that is where it all started”.

Immediately after the Saudi students were taken into custody by law enforcement, Ahmad Al-Akhras (then the president of CAIR-OH) immediately lept into the situation making accusations of racial profiling and denouncing the FBI’s investigation into the matter. He, along with Andy Amid of Arab Americans of Central Ohio, were quoted in the local, national, and international media protesting the innocence of the two Saudi men. Al-Akhras was quoted by the Columbus Dispatch the following day:

Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ohio chapter, said that the government and the airline industry appear to be profiling Arabs and Muslims.

“It seems like they single out some individuals because of their name, the way they look or their national origin,” Al-Akhras said. (Roger Alford and Kevin Mayhood, “Airline detains, releases ‘suspicious’ pair at airport”, Columbus Dispatch [November 20, 1999])

Al-Akhras’ comments were also picked up by the Egyptian daily, Al-Ahram, as were Andy Amid’s, who told the Egyptian paper, “Americans are programmed to think of Arabs as terrorists”. Amid also gave the Dispatch his take on the event:

“It’s called Islamophobia,” said Andy Amid, former president of Arab Americans of Central Ohio.
Except in this case, the two men involved were terrorists, Al-Akhras and Amid’s protestations notwithstanding.

CAIR held a press conference with the two Saudi men in Washington D.C. the day after the incident and called for Muslims to boycott America West. Ahmad Al-Akhras threw his weight behind the effort, sending an email to local Muslims on November 21, 1999 saying:


CAIR is pursuing legal action and asking Muslims, Arabs and other concerned people to boycott American West until it investigates the issue and makes corrective measures.

When someone responded that the “innocent” Saudi students should not settle for anything less than the dismissal of the American West pilot, Al-Akhras went further:


CAIR is exploring all leagl [sic] venues at this time and may press charges. i’ll keep you posted. salam.

What legal charges Al-Akhras and this CAIR crew had mind against the flight’s pilot he doesn’t say, but in fact, CAIR filed a lawsuit in 2000 against America West on behalf of the two Al-Qaeda terrorists over the matter, which the judge quickly dismissed. But the damage by Al-Akhras and his CAIR comrades had been done. Instead of beefing up airline security, CAIR’s intimidation tactics were no doubt instrumental in maintaining the status quo in aviation security, that is, until 9/11. Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reminds us that despite CAIR’s connection to the 9/11 dry-run, that incident has served as a prototype for CAIR’s response to aviation incidents ever since, such as the “Flying Imams” case last November.

Curiously, CAIR has scrubbed any mention of the incident and their participation in it from their website.

And what of Mohammad Al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan Al-Shalawi, who’s innocence Ahmad Al-Akhras and Andy Amid were quick to claim? As I reported in a FrontPage Magazine article back in April, “CAIR’s Grievance Theater, the Flying Imams, and 9/11”:

As the 9/11 Commission Report explains, Hamdan al-Shalawi was in Afghanistan in November 2000 training at an Al-Qaeda camp learning to make car bombs and planning to launch “Khobar Tower”-type attacks against the US in Saudi Arabia, and Mohammad Al-Qadhaieen was arrested in June 2003 as a material witness in the 9/11 attacks.
Not suprisingly, Ahmad Al-Akhras and Andy Amid have never apologized nor expressed any remorse for their contributions to America’s day of terror. While the two Saudi terrorists were later discovered to be an integral part of Al-Qaeda’s pre-9/11 network in the US, Al-Akhras and Amid’s intimidation campaign against law enforcement and airline security accomplished exactly what Al-Qaeda wanted it to. The result was 9/11 and the death of 2,996 innocent civilians.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Ahmad Al-Akhras is one of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s closest advisors?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today We Remember. . .

Today we remember that terrible day when we were attacked by our enemies. . .

Today we remember the innocent American victims of the global jihad murdered on 9/11 (photo from Zacharias Moussaoui trial exhibits). . .

Today we remember that on 9/11, uncommon bravery was a common virtue. . .

Today we remember those who have given their last full measure of devotion to take the battle to our enemies (photo Michel du Cille, Washington Post) . . .

Today we remember those families among us who have laid so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom (photo Michel du Cille, Washington Post) . . .

Today we remember the men and women of our armed services proudly and valiantly serving at home and abroad, many serving in harm's way, to keep us all safe and free (photo DefendAmerica.mil). . .

Today we remember and vow again to never forget (photo by Derek Jensen). . .

May God bless them all and God bless America.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

CAIR turns on the Columbus Dhimmi Dispatch over dreaded cartoon of blasphemy of the week

(Welcome RoP readers! Many updates below)

I wish I could say that I take a slight bit of pleasure in Columbus Dispatch editorial page editor Glenn Sheller’s present misery, but I don’t, seeing as Ahmad Al-Akhras and CAIR has called out their cultural stormtroopers to wage jihad against their media establishment dhimmi for violating their always-fluctuating and perpetually hypocritical standards. The First Amendment is what they have in their sights. Still, as much as the Dhimmi Dispatch and Mike Curtin shills for CAIR and the free print space that Glenn Sheller gives to Al-Akhras and his CAIR thugs on a constant basis, karma is at work in this situation. (If only for those First Amendment considerations, consider dropping a note of support to the Dispatch: gsheller@dispatch.com).

The dreaded cartoon of blasphemy of the week appeared in Tuesday’s edition of the Columbus Dhimmi Dispatch, and pictures terror cockroaches scurrying across a map of the Middle East out of an Iranian sewer identified with the word “extremism” (link is to CAIR’s own reprint of the cartoon, so it will be interesting if they accuse me of incitement and/or racism as well — UPDATE: CAIR has removed the cartoon from their website, so we are reposting it here):

For Al-Akhras and his stormtroopers, the First Amendment is a one-way street: they are free to seethe and spew their extremist venom as much as they want, but no one is free to criticize their jackboot thuggery or their terrorist associates.

There is cause to feel some sympathy with the establishment media, however, because they are almost in the same relationship with CAIR as a battered spouse: no matter how much the Dispatch will try to please CAIR and its stormtroopers, the more demanding and violent CAIR will become. They are playing a game they can never win.

The real issue at hand is: will the Dhimmi Dispatch pay CAIR’s propaganda jizya by apologizing for the cartoon to placate their Islamic extremist pals? Will they agree in obeisance to allow CAIR to clear all of their editorial cartoons in the future, or will they just be mindful not to publish anything to inflame their Muslim Brotherhood overlords?

CAIR has posted an action request up on their website:

Incitement: Cartoon Portrays Iranians as Roaches Fleeing Sewer

SEE: http://www.cair.com/Iran_DispatchSep42007.gif

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE.) Send polite comments about this Nazi-style cartoon depicting Iranians as roaches fleeing a sewer to: gsheller@dispatch.com, michael.ramirez@investors.com
COPY TO: info@cair.com
Here’s the email that got the whole thing started (ongoing thanks for my Muslim friends who continue to provide me with the internal correspondence of the extremists in our community):

From: Ahmad Al-Akhras
CC: Ibrahim Hooper, Parvez Ahmed
Date: Wed Sep 05 07:40:30 2007
Subject: FW: anti-Muslim political cartoon

The Sep 4th is NOT on the web. I saw it in the print version and it is DISGUSTING! I attached a pdf of the cartoon.

This is exactly the same propaganda that the German government used against the Jews in the 1930s!

Make a call to the Dispatch

Glenn Sheller — Editorial Page Editor
(614) 461-5072

Mike Curtin — Vice Chair and Associate Publisher

Michael Fiorile — President

Make your voice heard.



-----Original Message-----
From: Brittany Parsons
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 7:33 PM
To: info@...
Subject: anti-Muslim political cartoon

Hello,I wanted to pass this information along because it really offends me. Today, September 4, the Columbus Dispatch ran a very offensive political cartoon that I would describe as anti-Muslim. On the top of page a8 there is a cartoon that depicts Iran as a sewer and Iranians as cockroaches. I called the newspaper to complain about it but I was blown off. I’m not a Muslim, but this really offends me. I hope that your organization can rally your members against the Dispatch and at least get them to apologize. Thanks for your time!

— Brittany Parsons
Just so I understand this situation correctly, CAIR is finally concerned with Nazi-style cartoons? What about all of the anti-Jewish cartoons that appear virtually every daily in the biggest newspapers in the Middle East (check out the MEMRI blog for the most recent examples)? What about the anti-American cartoons that appear in Iranian newspapers? It’s a bit ironic that CAIR is now using the term “Nazi”, because weren’t these Muslim Brotherhood stormtroopers on the side of the Nazis in WWII? Their hypocrisy is pretty rank.

Update #1: An Iranian blogger, Kamangir, comments on the matter and says, “Do not Panic! You are not a Cockroach!”, and also provides some examples of cartoons from the Iranian state-run newspaper Kayhan, “Offensiveness: A Proprietary Right”. Don’t expect CAIR to get too hot and bothered over the Iranian cartoons, however.

Update #2: Dispatch editorial page editor Glenn Sheller responds to an email from local extremist and regular Dispatch letter to the editor contributor Mahmoud “Hezbollah are freedom-fighters” El-Yousseph, and says:

“You are entitled to interpret cartoons as you prefer, but since the cartoon clearly labels its target as extremism in Iran, your reading of it as an indictment of Muslims in general strikes me as unjustified.”
Glenn, you are missing the point. It has nothing to do with what was intended; it’s all about how Al-Akhras and his crew can twist it to get what they want out of it. You are object to their subject; you are merely grist for their mill. They are after some quid pro quo, such as getting the Dispatch to do another hit piece on me and COAT. What’s Barbara Carmen working on these days? And since we’re on the subject, why is the Dispatch riffling through my personal blog everyday?

Update #3: It seems the National Iranian American Council is following CAIR’s lead.

Update #4: Dave Harding at the Leftist Progress Ohio blog reprints a form letter being sent out by Glenn Sheller in response to the CAIR Cartoon jihad:

Dear sir or madame:

Thank you for writing to The Dispatch.

You apparently are responding to a call from the Council of American-Islamic relations to write to me and to cartoonist Michael Ramirez to complain about a cartoon about the Iraqi regime’s support of violent extremists and terrorists throughout the Middle East.

CAIR claims the cartoon demeans all Iranians as cockroaches. But since the drain cover depicted in the cartoon is clearly labeled with “Iran” and “extremism” it is clear that the cartoon refers only to those elements of the Iranian regime who support extremism. In other words, it doesn’t come close to labeling all Iranians as cockroaches.

CAIR also likens the cartoon to Nazi propaganda. This is a remarkable display of intellectual gymnastics. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of the Jewish state and questions the Holocaust, while his regime tries to develop nuclear weapons. If CAIR is truly concerned about the promotion of Nazi ideas and the use of Nazi methods, it should direct its attention to Tehran.

CAIR’s claims that its mission is to promote understanding of Islam and combat anti-Islamic information and anti-Islamic attitudes. That’s an honorable mission when it is directed at legitimate grievances.

In this case, CAIR has misrepresented this cartoon and missed the mark by fabricating a false grievance.

All the best,

Glenn Sheller
Editorial Page Editor
The Columbus Dispatch
CAIR fabricating grievances? Shock a monkey!

Harding questions whether the word “extremism” appears in the cartoon. In fact, it does. In between the first and second grate hole from the bottom.

Update #5: According to a May 2006 Gateway Pundit post, this apparently is not the first time that the whole cockroach issue has been raised. What if Americans rioted every time something unpleasant was said about the US? Does CAIR issue action alerts about that as well?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

CAIR-Ohio official: Palestinian terrorists are “guerrilla groups”

A few days ago I posted a comment by Norma Tarazi (“ISGC official Norma Tarazi comments on the ‘Jewish lobby’ in Columbus”), a CAIR-Ohio board member, an official for the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus (ISGC), as well as a teacher at the Sunrise Academy Islamic school in Hilliard, where she pondered on the activities of the “Jewish lobby” and “Jewish community activists” in response to an August 20th letter to the editor by Ahmad Al-Akhras published in the Columbus Dispatch. I noted that someone had responded to that letter in Sunday’s Dispatch, and wondered what her response would be. I didn’t have to wait long.

On Sunday, Tarazi circulated her thoughts on this most recent exchange, engaging in even more moral equivalence between accepted methods of warfare between nation-states and terrorist activities by Palestinians. She responds by stating that these terrorist organizations are “guerrilla groups” and are engaged in legitimate resistance. The letter to the editor she is responding to, “Israel within rights to protect itself”, said:

I respond to the Aug. 20 letter “Authorities should not advocate violence,” from [CAIR national vice chairman] Ahmad Al-Akhras. He seems to have a double standard: It’s OK for Hamas to throw rockets into Israel at civilian targets, but not OK for Israel to retaliate against that terrorist group, whose aim is to destroy the Jewish state. . .
In his authoritative book on guerrilla warfare, Insurgency and Terrorism: Inside Modern Revolutionary Warfare, Bard O’Neill distinguishes guerrilla campaigns from terrorist activity in that “its primary targets are the government’s armed forces, police, or their superior units, and in some cases, key economic targets, rather than unarmed civilians.” (p. 26)

When HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad sends suicide bombers into a crowded pizza parlor or a city bus; or as we saw this past weekend, fires a missile into a day care center compound; they are not engaging in guerrilla tactics but terrorism. It is profoundly troubling that CAIR officials continue to miss this crucial difference and attempt to paint terrorism as legitimate resistance. Isn’t this unqualified equivalence between warfare and terrorism that CAIR officials desperately profess they don’t make, and yet resort to almost constantly when pressed on this point?

Tarazi also fails to acknowledge that Palestinians have repeatedly tried to unsuccessfully use military means to destroy Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973, which is slightly more than the “ethnic group” conflict she describes. In her message reprinted below she leaves open the question of whether Israel is a nation-state at all, and also characterizes Palestinian terror attacks as “minuscule”:

Asalaam alaikum to all,

We now have a response to Ahmad’s article two weeks ago, Monday letter. Points to note: Ahmad was using facts to demonstrate that there are extremists advocating violence against civilians on both sides of the Palestine/Isreal [sic] conflict. The writer of this response does not see that he had a balanced article. The concern is not which region has a better government, Ghaza or Isreal [sic], or that Isreal [sic] has the right to protect itself. I will make a few points. I hope someone can write effectively to respond to this letter.

If Isreal [sic] is a sovereign state, for almost 60 years it has not been accepted or recognized by the people it surplanted [sic], no matter how harshly it has implimented [sic] ethnic intimidation, ethnic cleansing of areas, and massive retaliation against civilians in response to the attacks by guerrilla groups. Shock and awe campaigns like Hiroshima and Dresden are only good as war tactics for the immediate psychological impact and, if they do not create quick capitulation of the enemy, they are worthless. (I’m ignoring the whole argument of the morality of these campaigns.) Though they could theoretically be repeated over and over, if the enemy refuses to give in, they would eventually result in genocide, an unacceptable outcome.

If Isreal [sic] has the right to self defense, so do the Palestinians. They do not have the weapons of Isreal [sic], but there is no peace treaty or agreement. It is a double standard to claim that Israel has the right to conduct war and cite Hiroshima as justification for killing civilians among the enemy fighters, and cry foul when Palestinians attack in what ever miniscule [sic] way they find available.

World War II was a large conflict involving nation states and armies in uniform. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict is about two ethnic groups fighting over the same land. The Israelis have created a state and army but the Palestinians have yet to truely [sic] do so. Palestinian fighters are guerrilla groups. This is a different kind of warfare and takes different methods.

While in history we can find examples where ethnic cleansing and genocide took place, the modern world does not accept these methods of warfare any more. Where populations were willing to accept any sacrifice and not give up their fight, these are the only tools available to the military to end the conflict permanently. Examples are Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kurdistan, and others.

Since these two tools are no longer available to civilized countries, the only true means of achieving peace is through diplomacy. With entrenched positions on both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli conflicts, the moderates of both sides need to come together. Each side must work to silence or ignore its own extremist elements if peace is to be achieved, and a win/win compromise must be reached, where each side feels it is giving up the crown jewels perhaps, but where the solution to the conflict is finally seen as worth the sacrifice.

Since Palestinians have been suffering the most throughout the 60 years, they will have the most to gain in a peace settlement, if it gives them enough to ensure that the majority will accept it, and may be seen as “the winners” because of this, but Israelis will have to look at the long term challenges of water shortages, increasing Arab-Israeli population and the long term gains to be made by coming to peace with its neighbors.

The psychological scaring of people that has already occured [sic] will take a few generations to overcome. We have only to see the psychological scaring [sic] of African Americans and Native Americans that still exists because of the history of oppression these groups have undergone in history. It is inevitable that both Jews, with the scars of oppression brought from Europe, and Palestinians, with the scars of oppression from Israeli occupation, will have a hard road to learn to live together in peace.

Norma Tarazi
We are seeing a pattern develop amongst these extremists: what they say publicly (e.g. peddling themselves as “interfaith” or “human rights” activists”) is entirely different from what they say amongst themselves privately.

Again, my continued thanks to members of the local Muslim community who are willing to pass along these messages in concern for the extremist elements that have falsely claimed leadership as spokesmen for all Muslims in our area. It is only through the cooperation of Muslims and non-Muslims alike that we will be able to confront Islamist extremism in Central Ohio.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

ISGC official Norma Tarazi comments on the “Jewish Lobby” in Columbus

A concerned member of the Central Ohio Muslim community forwarded me the email below from an official of the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus (ISGC), Norma Tarazi, commenting on the “Jewish lobby” in Columbus in demonstraton of the virulent anti-Jewish propaganda being advanced by ISGC leaders. The individual who sent this was clearly disturbed by the anti-Jewish sentiments expressed in the email reprinted below. This goes to show that there are sane voices in the Columbus Muslim community — they just aren’t the voices that are being heard.

What we see here below is that Norma Tarazi, the editor of the ISGC’s newsletter and a teacher at the ISGC’s Sunrise Academy Islamic school in Hilliard, is sure that there is some hidden meaning in that “Jewish community activists” haven’t responded to Ahmad Al-Akhras’ recent Dispatch letter to the editor, i.e., “They are up to something because they aren’t doing anything.”

Note in Tarazi’s email she isn’t criticizing Israel; she doesn’t say “Israel lobby”, but her suspicion is cast on the “Jewish community activists” and the "Jewish lobby” in Columbus. And this from someone who represents herself to be a “bridge builder” in the community. Is this the kind of open racial and religious hatred that is being taught at Sunrise Academy and in ISGC facilities?

Absolutely outrageous.

Asalaam alaikum,

Some things should be noticed for their absence. Until now, no one has responded to Ahmad’s article of last Monday. His article is strong, with solid facts and balanced, not making any sweeping generalizations against a whole group.

A few years ago the local Jewish community activists would respond immediately and forcefully, calling any criticism of any Jew “antisemetic”, as leaders in the national community have criticised former President Jimmy Carter.

The criticism last week from Larry Pollack about another article was noteworthy because he is an older contributer, repeating the same old argument he has written for years. I thought he had been sidelined in recent years as a writer because he was seen as ineffective.

I’m uncertain what this portends for the Jewish lobby in Columbus, but it is worth noting.

Norma Tarazi
You have to wonder what new “Jewish lobby” conspiracy Tarazi will spy in the Columbus after the Dispatch published this morning a letter from Barbara Soloway responding to Al-Akhras, “Israel within rights to protect itself”:

I respond to the Aug. 20 letter “Authorities should not advocate violence,” from Ahmad Al-Akhras. He seems to have a double standard: It’s OK for Hamas to throw rockets into Israel at civilian targets, but not OK for Israel to retaliate against that terrorist group, whose aim is to destroy the Jewish state. . .
In light of the Susan Purtee incident publicized last week, it is important to recognize and address the anti-Jewish sub-currents in our community, which means that the religious and ethnic hatred expressed by Norma Tarazi ought to also be condemned as vigorously as Purtee’s. And as Soloway expresses in her letter, the moral equivalency engaged in by her buddy and Mayor Coleman advisor, Ahmad Al-Akhras, in equating terrorism by HAMAS with the legitimate military response by Israel to terror attacks ought to be equally condemned as well.

My thanks to the members of the Muslim community who reject the extremism of local organizations like the ISGC and who are tired of having such notorious hatemongers and apologists for terror as Ahmad Al-Akhras and Norma Tarazi falsely claiming to represent all Muslims in Central Ohio. We welcome your continued input and cooperation in exposing the fringe elements that have tried to poison the discourse and derail interfaith relations in our community.