Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CAIR-OH opposes zoning laws, representative democracy

The ladies of CAIR-Ohio have got their burqas in a bunch over a decision by the Sugarcreek Township board of zoning appeals in the Dayton area denying a request by the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton to allow them to build a mosque on a remote 15 acre farm. The obligatory outrage by CAIR has been endorsed by the leading dead tree media outlet, the Dayton Daily News, who denounced the zoning board’s decision as evidence of Islamophobic bigotry in a Jan. 16th editorial, “Sugarcreek bigots can’t call the shots”.

So what evidence does CAIR and the Dayton Daily News provide that the zoning board’s decision was based on the group’s religious beliefs? Well, that’s a problem, you see, because they don’t have any. Their outrage is that there might be some lurking Islamophobia in the hearts of the zoning appeals board members and elsewhere in the community. Here’s the reasoning they provide:

The appeals board’s denial comes at a time when other communities nationally have been resistant, even hostile, to construction of Islamic gathering places. The prejudice is not always overt, but can be couched in technical zoning objections — pretexts used to cover discrimination.

Karen Dabdoud, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Cincinnati, suggests this may be what is going on in Greene County’s Sugarcreek Twp.

“This kind of thing is, unfortunately, very common across the country,” she said. “It’s usually framed in terms of traffic and property values, but, underneath, it is a situation of religious tension.”
“Yes, we have no evidence for our Islamo-fascist hysteria, but we don’t like the decision, so we must hound out the secret bigots behind this like Nazis used to blame the global Jewish conspiracy”, CAIR and the Daily News seem to agree. (I guess I should consider myself lucky that I haven’t been blamed yet for the zoning board’s decision.) But remember that these are the same folks who howl “McCarthyism” anytime someone actually exercises their freedom of speech to criticize their extremism. No McCarthyism here, folks. Move along, move along.

It should be noted that Ms. Dabdoud and CAIR-OH do not have a spotless record when it comes to religious bigotry. As I noted in an article for The American Thinker, “Kafir-phobia: Americans as violent anti-Muslim bigots”, when a Xenia sub shop owned by Jordanians was subject to a series of firebombings in July and August 2006, Ms. Dabdoud and other CAIR-OH officials were quick to point their finger of blame at the entire non-Muslim community for harboring violent Islamophobes even before any of the facts were known. A press release issued by the national CAIR organization (which has curiously disappeared from their website) screamed the headline, ‘Blast at Arab — American Restaurant ‘Suspicious’. Ms. Dabdoud herself was quoted by the local media (including the Dayton Daily News) as saying:

‘Anytime an attack like this happens, the perception in the Arab and Muslim community is that it is ethnically or religiously motivated. Especially in the absence of perpetrators [and any evidence — ed.] being caught by law enforcement, that’s the fear [gee, you mean like a “phobia”? — ed.]. Until that (motivation) is discovered, people speculate, rightly or wrongly.’
Dabdoud and CAIR-OH were right there to fuel those speculations, but as I noted at the time, however, the facts that were known even at the time that Dabdoud was speaking to the media didn’t fit with CAIR-OH’s narrative of pandemic anti-Muslim hatred in small-town America. Even while CAIR officials continued to perform their full religious grievance show, police, the media and CAIR already knew that the Jordanian store owners, who had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with CAIR in front of the media microphones and cameras, were themselves implicated in the firebombings. Details later emerged that they had hired a former employee to commit the initial firebombings, and that the final blast which fatally injured the storeowners, Musa Shteiwi, and his son, Essa, was sparked when one of them unintentionally set off a pool of fuel inside the store, which had been spread to later set the store on fire, when one of them lit a cigarette. Both men died in the weeks that followed from their injuries.

Needless to say, Ms. Dabdoud and CAIR-OH never apologized for falsely accusing non-Muslims in the area for being violent anti-Muslim bigots and harboring Islamophobic tendencies. Thus, it’s not surprising to see them following that same script again when the Sugarcreek Twp. zoning case didn’t go the way they wanted it to. And it seems that the facts at hand don’t fit their “rampant Islamophobia” claims. In fact, the Dayton Daily News buried the facts of the case at the very end of the editorial:

For its part, the Islamic Society has a duty to take a second look at its plans. Correspondence from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency casts doubt on whether the site — without very expensive sewage-related improvements — is environmentally well-suited for such a large structure.

Has the society’s architect done his due diligence? Could the current plan be recast in ways that meet zoning requirements and the society’s building needs? Conversations need to be had on these questions.

Oh, you mean the Ohio EPA says the site isn’t suitable for the purpose? What a bunch of Islamophobes. A follow-up letter to the editor also suggests that other zoning issues, like the fact that the two-lane rural road may not be able to support the traffic for the suggested mosque, which they hoped would accommodate nearly 1,000 visitors. Doesn’t matter — Islamophobia must be to blame. Where is Ahmad Al-Akhras when you need him? Dubai, you say?

No, in fact the problem CAIR-OH has is with being required to follow zoning laws and being subject to fortunes of representative democracy, like all of us infidels have to.

Muslims in Ohio deserve much better than CAIR. And they certainly deserve better than the dead tree media dhimmis at the Dayton Daily News representing to the world that CAIR speaks for anyone other than their Islamic extremist masters. When was the last time CAIR had elections? When did they go to Muslims in Ohio to get the permission to speak on behalf of an entire religious community? Oh, that’s right. Never.

Note to CAIR: This is America. Get over it.

Jamaat Al-Fuqra: A blast (and blaze) from the past

While reading through a very dated FBI domestic terrorism report I came across a reference to an Ohio-based Islamic terror attack I had never heard of before. Unfortunately, the organization responsible for the series of attacks in August 1983 that left one innocent Muslim man dead in addition to two of the terrorists responsible is still very much alive and active in the US today.

The organization in question is Jamaat Al-Fuqra, which has been responsible for more terror attacks in the US than all other terrorist groups combined. Al-Fuqra, headed by Pakistani Shiekh Mubarak Gilani, operates a number of compounds throughout the US. One law enforcement estimate states that Al-Fuqra members are suspected in at least 10 unsolved assassinations and 17 firebombings between 1979 and 1990 targeting Muslim minority sects and other religious institutions.

It is during that period that the attacks in question, led by an Akron man, occured. An ADL report on Al-Fuqra describes what happened:

August 8, 1983: Canton, Michigan — A leader of the Muslim Ahmadiyya sect, Dr. Mozaffar Ahmad, is shot to death. The Ahmadiyya Center of Detroit is set on fire shortly afterward. William Cain, an Al-Fuqra follower from Akron, Ohio was identified as Ahmad’s murderer. Both he and an accomplice, Calvin Jones were killed in the fire.
The Ahmadiyya are a small, peaceful Islamic messianic sect that are actively persecuted in Pakistan and elsewhere. Many followers have taken refuge in the West, including large populations in the US and Canada, fleeing violence from Islamic extremists.

What isn’t mentioned in the ADL report, but is included in the FBI report, is that Cain and Jones made phone calls to law enforcement falsely claiming responsibility for the assassination and another attempted fire in the name of the “Jewish Defense League”. The gun that killed Dr. Ahmad was recovered from Cain when his body was found.

While this terrorist attack has long since been forgotten, Jamaat Al-Fuqra is still a very active organization. In light of its lengthy history of violence (the Beltway snipers are said to have been associated with Al-Fuqra), the US government would do well to FINALLY officially designated the group a terrorist organization.

Here are a couple of videos with background on Al-Fuqra and their US operations. The first is by Erick Stakelbeck of CBN News, and the following two reports aired recently on WBS-TV (ABC) in Atlanta.

Part I of the WBS report

Part II of the WBS report

WBTV in Charlotte also recently reported on a new Al-Fuqra compound being built in South Carolina (Part I, Part II).

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Top Ten Central Ohio Terrorism-Related Stories of 2007

Now safely into the new year, we here at Central Ohioans Against Terrorism would like to take a few minutes to reflect on the major terrorism-related Central Ohio news stories here in 2007. Needless to say, it was an eventful year. Let’s hope that 2008 is equally as interesting.

  1. Nuradin Abdi guilty plea in shopping mall terror plot

    After years of heated denials and conspiracy theories, the extremists in the Muslim community were shocked in late July when Nuradin Abdi, arrested as part of the Columbus Al-Qaeda cell run out of Masjid Omar Ibn El-Khattab just north of campus, agreed to a plea deal rather than go to trial on multiple charges of terrorism support, including a plot to shoot up a Columbus-area shopping mall. Local CAIR officials, including national vice chair Ahmad Al-Akhras and Ohio chapter president Asma Mobin-Uddin, had made a series of bizarre claims, including that Abdi had been tortured and was being drugged by federal authorities. A federal appeals court quickly rejected their conspiracy theories, concluding that Abdi was putting on an act (in accordance with stated Al-Qaeda incarceration guidelines). Abdi was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a charge of material support for terrorism in November. And as Dirk Thompson of 610 WTVN reported, Abdi’s attorney went on an anti-American rant in front of the local media following the announcement of the plea deal.

    Related Nuradin Abdi COAT posts.

  2. Christopher Paul arrested as part of Columbus Al-Qaeda cell

    In April, Worthington-raised Christopher Paul (nee-Paul Kenyatta Laws, aka Abdulmalek Kenyatta) was arrested after a federal indictment was unsealed charging Paul with plotting to attack American tourists overseas. Paul is a 1983 graduate of Worthington High School. Following his arrest, CAIR officials became confused, as Adnan Mirza tried to distance the Muslim community from Paul, while Ahmad Al-Akhras came out in his defense, claiming that Paul was a “loving husband” and led a “good family”. (see, “Columbus Al-Qaeda Man Charged, CAIR Not Pleased”)

  3. Hilliard HAMAS cleric Salah Sultan appears at Middle East terror confab

    Salah Sultan (right) sitting on the speaker dais with Specially Designated Global Terrorists Khaled Mishal (left) and Yousef Al-Qaradawi (middle)

    Salah Sultan speaking at the terror confab in Qatar

    Notwithstanding having been defended by the Columbus Dispatch and a number of area Islamic leaders as a “moderate”, Salah Sultan showed his true colors this past summer when he appeared at a conference honoring HAMAS spiritual leader Yousef Al-Qaradawi in Doha, Qatar. Sultan delivered a tearful speech praising his mentor and also produced a paper on Qaradawi’s “scientific thought” (both being published on Qaradawi’s personal website). Sultan was even photographed with Qaradawi, and he could be seen in the Al-Jazeera live coverage of the event during the speech by HAMAS head Khaled Mishal. Both Qaradawi and Mishal have been listed by the US government as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Also in July, Sultan was identified by name in a LA Times article as one of two clerics preaching holy war and “sharing the outlook of Al-Qaeda” in Bahrain.

    Related Salah Sultan COAT posts.

    Related FrontPage Magazine articles:

    Hometown Jihad (04/03/2006)
    Hometown Jihad: Blowback (05/24/06)
    Hometown Jihad: Our Newest Citizen? (09/08/06)
    Hometown Jihad: The Return of Salah Sultan (03/29/07)
    Hometown Jihad: The HAMAS Connection (05/11/2007)

  4. October-terror-fest at the Ohio Statehouse

    The Interfaith Association of Central Ohio sponsored an event, “The Many Voices of Islam”, in the Ohio Statehouse atrium in October featuring two known HAMAS operatives, Anisa Abd El Fattah and Robert “Farooq” Crane, and one official for the now-closed Toledo Kindhearts terror fundraising “charity”, Zulfiqar Shah, who as Southeast Asia director for the group partnered with the Al-Khidmat Foundation in Pakistan, founded by Osama bin Laden mentor and Al-Qaeda founder Abdullah Azzam. The event was organized by local extremist Abukar Arman, and was also sponsored with a $1,000 grant from the Ohio Humanities Council, a taxpayer-funded organization.

  5. Cleveland imam quits before he starts

    Instead of just reporting the news, COAT became part of the news when blogger Tom Blumer of Bizzyblog reported back in September that the newly-hired imam for the Islamic Center of Cleveland, Ahmed Alzaree, had preached some virulently anti-Jewish sermons in his previous post in Omaha, Nebraska. We then followed up with additional information noting other troubling aspects to Alzaree’s preaching and breaking news of his terrorist ties (and the establishment media’s ignoring of such). Even after multiple articles by the Cleveland Plain Dealer came out defending the imam, who was scheduled to begin his new job in early November, two days before he was scheduled to start, he announced that he was quiting. According to the Plain Dealer, one of the reasons cited by Alzaree for throwing in the towel was our COAT post, “Cleveland’s new imam: interfaith “moderate” or two-faced jihadist?”. Alzaree was brought in to replace deported former imam Fawaz Damra (see below in “Honorable Mention”).

  6. Abukar Arman tossed from Franklin County Homeland Security oversight committee

    A front-page article in the Columbus Dispatch and a coordinated political cover-up by City Hall and the Franklin County Commission (more on the cover-up) weren’t enough to save Abukar Arman’s position with the county Criminal Justice Planning Board, which oversees Franklin County Homeland Security. After my FrontPage expose discussing Arman’s vocal support for terrorism in a series of published articles, Arman was forced to resign from the board, in addition to losing his full-time job with the Columbus Public Schools. County Commission officials withheld information related to the Arman investigation from Dirk Thompson of 610 WTVN and myself, while simultaneously providing the exact same information to Dispatch reporter Barbara Carmen. Only after the Dispatch article appeared did the Commission release the requested information.

    Related Abukar Arman COAT posts.

  7. Hilliard HAMAS cleric Salah Sultan denied US citizenship, flees the US for Bahrain

    As noted above (item #3), Hilliard-based HAMAS cleric Salah Sultan appeared at a terrorist confab in Qatar in July. But perhaps the most important reason for Sultan’s unashamed open association with designated terrorists in July is that earlier in the year he had been denied US citizenship based on his previous known terrorist associations and had fled the country. Once informed about the rejection, Sultan picked up most of his family and moved to Bahrain. But even his arrival there was met with controversy, as Bahraini politicians complained in May that Sultan and his buddy Wagdi Ghoneim had received almost instantaneous citizenship there (as reported by Al-Wasat). The Bahraini press noted Sultan’s hasty departure and the denial of his US citizenship. Even Bahraini bloggers have been critical of Sultan and his jihadist crew.

  8. HAMAS operative Anisa Abd El Fattah/Caroline Keeble interviewed for open Columbus Public School Board spot

    Anisa Abd El Fattah on the left; Caroline Keeble on the right.
    Two different versions of the same person.

    During the investigation into Fattah’s appearance at the October-terror-fest at the Ohio Statehouse, I noticed that Fattah’s non-jihad persona, Caroline Keeble, had been interviewed by the Columbus Public School Board last January for an open position on school board. The results of my investigation were published in a PJM article, “HAMAS: Coming to a School Board near you”. The resume she had submitted as part of her application (obtained with great difficulty from the school district despite an Open Records Act request) made no mention of the HAMAS front organizations she had worked for during the 1990s and earlier this decade, nor her longtime consulting position with now convicted terrorist leader Abdurahman Alamoudi or her founding board member position with the national Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Though one of the few candidates to receive an interview by the school board, she did not get appointed to either of the two open seats she applied for.

  9. Muslim Brotherhood leader identified in Central Ohio

    I haven’t done much follow-up reporting on this issue since my original post, but one bombshell piece of evidence that came out of the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial in Dallas this past summer was a phonebook of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in North America. One entry in this Muslim Brotherhood leadership directory was an individual, Hany Saker, located in Columbus and identified as such by the readily identifiable 614 area code. As I reported back then, the office phone number listed for Saker was an Ohio State University number. Elsewhere in the phone directory Saker is listed as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Board of Directors, and also the Eastern regional leader in North America. We hope to have more reporting on this story in 2008.

  10. Hate Sheikh Siraj Wahhaj appears at Columbus fundraiser for Islamic group headed by mayoral advisor

    Hate sheikh Siraj Wahhaj (left) and his longtime buddy and Mayor Coleman advisor Ahmad Al-Akhras (right)

    When the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio needed a keynote speaker for their annual fundraiser, its president Ahmad Al-Akhras turned to his old friend and prominent hate sheikh Siraj Wahhaj for help. Wahhaj was named by US Attorney Mary Jo White as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj had appeared at a March 2006 fundraiser for Sunrise Academy in Hilliard to raise money for their new gym, in June 2006 for the CAIR-Ohio annual banquet, and again in February 2007 at Sunrise Academy for yet another fundraiser for Masjid Abubakar Al Siddique. Among many other things, Wahhaj says that he isn’t sure that Osama bin Laden is responsible for 9/11; he calls for the return of the global Islamic caliphate and the imposition of Islamic shari’a law, including punishment by amputations and stoning; and he calls for the violent overthrow of American government.

Honorable Mention:

Censorship State at Columbus State for Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

(graphic courtesy of DarthDilbert)

When the Terrorism Awareness Project student group at Columbus State Community College wanted to promote their events for the national Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week in October, CSCC administrator Timeka Rashid prohibited the group from posting promotional fliers around campus and warning the student leaders not to discuss her prohibition. After I exposed Rashid’s censorship of the student events in a FrontPage Magazine article, “Censorship State”, CSCC relented and did not interfere any further in the group’s scheduled activities. As reported by Jacob Laskin in 2006, Rashid had previously prevented the same student group from hosting a screening of the documentary, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

I later reported that Columbus State’s earlier censorship efforts were in response to a letter from former Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar sent to CSCC president Valeriana Moeller asking for the school’s cooperation in obstructing events related to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.

Akron-born jihadist pleads guilty to terror charges, sentenced to 15 years

In April, Akron native Mahmud Faruq Brent pled guilty to supporting a terrorist organization and in late July was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attending a Lakshar-e-Taiba terrorist training camp in Pakistan. A convert to Islam, Brent had been living in Maryland driving a taxi at the time of his arrest. The case was part of the Virginia Jihad Network series of prosecutions.

Cleveland Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Fawaz Damra deported

The two faces of Fawaz Damra

The year 2007 started off right as federal officials deported Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Fawaz Damra in early January. Damra had been the longtime imam of the Islamic Center of Cleveland. He was deported for lying to authorities about his ties to the terrrorist organization, failing to disclose them on his citizenship application, and for recruiting suicide bombers to attack Israel. Damra had been hailed as an "interfaith moderate" in Cleveland, that is, until videos surfaced of him calling Jews "the sons of apes and pigs" and fundraising for jihad along with PIJ leader Sami Al-Arian. Then there was his prior tenure with a NY-based front for Al-Qaeda.

Go to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Fawaz Damra archive.

Jihad Julio Pino at Kent State

One of the most underreported stories of the year (one we didn’t even have a chance to get to) involves Kent State Latin American History professor Julio “Jihad” Pino, who was found earlier this year operating a now-closed jihadist forum, the “Global War” blog, which proclaimed: “Are You Prepared for Jihad? IN THE NAME OF OBL. 2007: THE YEAR OF ISLAMIC VICTORY!” University of North Carolina-Wilmington Criminology professor Mike Adams exposed Pino’s jihadist rants in an article at Townhall back in February. A series of articles by Adams ran throughout the year expanding on the story. Things at Kent State came to a head in November when the History department chairman, John Jameson, was fired by the university after he approved a paid leave for Pino to travel to the Middle East without university approval. No action has been taken by the university against Pino.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

CAIR’s Ahmad Al-Akhras set to flee the country for Dubai

Ahmad ♥ Central Ohioans Against Terrorism. Infidel.

UPDATE #1 (1/3/08): More than two weeks after we reported it here, the Columbus Dispatch today gives their friend Ahmad a polish job and a send-off. Way to keep up, guys.

ORIGINAL POST: It’s official. As you heard it here first two weeks ago (after putting to bed the rampant rumors about his taking the open Ohio Civil Rights Commission position), CAIR national vice chairman and close advisor to Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is set to follow the example of his friend, former Hilliard HAMAS cleric Salah Sultan, and flee the country for Dubai, UAE (Sultan fled to Bahrain). Be sure to revisit all of our past coverage of Al-Akhras’ antics.

We will miss you dearly, Ahmad.

Here’s the announcement posted by Al-Akhras himself:

Posted by: “Ahmad Al-Akhras” alakhras10
Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:16 pm (PST)
Re: Thank you and salam to you all

Dear Brothers and Sisters, my friends — Assalamu Alaikum

I pray that you receive this message in the best of health and spirits. . .

I want to share with you that I accepted an international assignment in Dubai. After a long and thorough thinking and consultation, I decided that it is an opportunity that will allow me to share my expertise in the areas of transportation planning and traffic engineering. It is a very challenging prospect but I thought I can positively contribute so I took it.

Columbus will continue to be my home. I very much enjoyed working with many of you my dear brothers and sisters. It has been a great and rewarding experience. I hope that you continue supporting your great organizations in town.

I will be leaving soon. I will continue, however, to communicate with you during my, hopefully, short assignment abroad. Salam and keep me and my family in your dua’a. I hope you can come and be at the Open House — see below.

Jazakumullahu Khairan and take care..

Thursday, January 3, 2008
Time: 5–7 pm

Farewell Open House for Ahmad Al-Akhras

Please join us in congratulating Ahmad in his new position in Dubai UAE. You are invited to afarewell open house in our main conference room

Please RSVP to:
Deb Crosby at 614-233-4145
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
111 Liberty Street, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 228-2663
Fax: (614) 228-1904
Don’t forget to RSVP!

Everyone at Central Ohioans Against Terrorism wishes you a fond farewell, Ahmad!

Bon voyage! Via con Dios, me amigo!