Ordered Liberty

The Washington Times' Guide to 'Moderate' Islam: CAIR & a Flying Imam

I would have thought I was reading the New York Times. But no, it was the Washington Times, whose Andrea Noble gave a platform to notorious Islamists yesterday, enabling them to masquerade as moderates who condemn Islamic State jihadists for purportedly running afoul of sharia law in their rampage through Iraq and Syria.

Ms. Noble helped the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Omar Shahin along by airbrushing their backgrounds: CAIR is presented to the reader as a mainstream “Muslim organization” opposed to terrorism, with no mention of the fact that it is a Muslim Brotherhood creation conceived to promote Hamas — one with a long history as an apologist for terrorists (indeed, it has had terrorists in its ranks). Not a word is breathed about Mr. Shahin’s unsavory background: ringleader of the infamous “Flying Imams”; leader of an Islamic Center in Tucson well-known for its al-Qaeda and Hamas sympathies; denial of Muslim terrorist involvement in the 9/11 attacks; and his ties to Islamic “charities” shut down by the government for promoting jihad.

Ms. Noble similarly whitewashes sharia. It would of course be nice if, as she intimates, there were no mainstream interpretation of Islam that supported sex slavery and extortion in the form of jizya — the tax required of non-Muslims for the privilege of living under the protection of a sharia state. But it is simply a fact that these practices have firm roots in Islamic scripture. While we should applaud the work of authentic Muslim moderates to reform these concepts, it is a disservice to our national security to minimize the threat by pretending that the extremist construction of Islam is utterly false and followed by only a fringe.

It is literal, plausible, and has millions of adherents.

But it is not my purpose to rebut the Washington Times’s happy-face sharia; the estimable Robert Spencer has already done that here (see also here). My focus is the continuing practice by the government and the media — and not just the left-wing legacy media — of presenting Islamists as both “moderates” and a reliable source of information about Islam. Islamists promote sharia, which — as classically interpreted — is a most immoderate body of law. And they are incorrigibly Janus-faced, peddling “religion of peace” treacle for credulous Westerners while lionizing jihadists when they figure no one but other Islamists are listening.

In 2010, The Grand Jihad — my book about the Muslim Brotherhood and its sabotage of the West — was published. As it happens, I included a chapter that dealt specifically with CAIR, Mr. Shahin, and the “Flying Imams” episode.

I reproduce that chapter below, and encourage readers to ask: (a) Isn’t the sharia debate, as Mr. Spencer demonstrates, more complicated than the Washington Times suggests; and (b) shouldn’t the Times either make full disclosure about its sources or, dare I say it, find better ones?

Flying Imams: The Sabotage Campaign in Action

The Transportation Security Administration is the executive agency created after 9/11 to protect American travelers. Protected was not the feeling most Americans would have experienced, however, upon viewing the TSA’s taxpayer-subsidized, official U.S. government website in January 2007. Instead, they’d have been aghast.

Right under the agency’s emblem and a memorial banner depicting the late President Gerald R. Ford, Americans were treated to a press release by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, fully endorsed by—indeed, presented as if it were a statement by—the United States government itself. “CAIR Welcomes TSA Hajj Sensitivity Training” blared the big blue headline. This was unabashed proselytism, by an arm of the Homeland Security Department, on behalf of the most insidious Islamist organization in the U.S.

The TSA cheerily informed the nation that that it had “provided special training about Islamic traditions related to the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, to some 45,000 airport security officers.” Included in this “cultural sensitivity training” were “details about the timing of Hajj travel, about items pilgrims may be carrying, and about Islamic prayers that may be observed by security personnel.” And that was just the warm-up. The TSA wanted Americans to know that CAIR, or rather, we, as CAIR was referred to by our government,

“welcome the fact that airport security officers nationwide will now be better informed about Islamic traditions relating to Hajj,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “This proactive effort on the part of the Transportation Security Administration demonstrates that there is no contradiction between the need to maintain airline safety and security and the duty to protect the religious and civil rights of airline passengers.”

No, no contradiction at all—just ask Mohammed Atta.

In giving its megaphone over to Ibrahim Hooper, the Homeland Security Department was supporting a man who makes no secret of the fact that he would like to see the United States transformed into an Islamic country with our Constitution supplanted by sharia law. He is, however, a man for these times: his absurd contention that there is no “contradiction” between safety and civil rights is of a piece with the gospel according to President Barack Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, under which conceding the inescapable fact that liberty and security are in eternal tension—and that times of terrorist peril are thus occasions for heightened surveillance—is to be beholden to a “false choice.”

In the CAIR/TSA presser, Hooper went on to brag that “CAIR chapters nationwide have met with TSA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials on issues related to cultural sensitivity and national security.”  And why not? After all, according to the TSA (cribbing in haec verba from the Islamists’ self-description): “CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

Quite apart from the impropriety of the government’s Islamic evangelism (to say nothing of the unlikelihood that Americans would reach “mutual understanding” with an organization that promotes the adoption of Islamic law), this was a shockingly disingenuous portrayal of what CAIR is and what it does. Nowhere, for starters, did the TSA see fit to mention that the Justice Department had recently identified CAIR as an unindicted coconspirator in DOJ’s most significant terrorism financing case ever, the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Recall that it was in the course of that prosecution, in which the HLF and several of its operatives were convicted in November 2008 on scores of felony charges arising out of a scheme to provide millions of dollars in support for HAMAS, that the Muslim Brotherhood’s playbook was revealed. It was also in that same prosecution that CAIR was proved beyond cavil to be the point of the Brotherhood’s American spear—a key component for implementing its jihad-by-sabotage strategy to “conquer America.”

Which is not to say that CAIR doesn’t have plenty of cavil left. With the arrival of the Obama administration, CAIR is again on the rise. But as amply demonstrated by TSA’s 2007 broadcast of CAIR propaganda, it didn’t take an Obama administration for the United States government to engage in a suicidal dalliance with Islamism.  In fact, the TSA publication of the press-release wasn’t the half of it. Yes, the Homeland Security Department could not contain its glee over approbation from CAIR; nor could it pat itself on the back enough times over its recommendation of CAIR’s pamphlet, “Your Rights and Responsibilities as an American Muslim,” which admonishes that Muslims are “entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel,” and should be alert to “treatment that … is discriminatory.” But the agency failed to inform readers about exactly why it was suddenly thought necessary to indoctrinate tens of thousands of transportation safety agents in Islamic cultural practices.  That, as usual, was left to [top Muslim Brotherhood sharia jurist] Yusuf Qaradawi’s admirers at the State Department. On its own website, State chimed in that the sensitivity training effort was a direct consequence of “criticism [against DHS personnel] for removing six imams from a domestic flight for what one passenger considered suspicious behavior.”

It would be difficult to imagine a more breathtaking misrepresentation.

“Allahu Akbar!”

The infamous “Flying Imams” incident had occurred shortly before Thanksgiving in 2006—not long after the fifth annual commemoration of the 9/11 atrocities. At Minneapolis International Airport, six ostentatiously pious imams (i.e., congregational prayer leaders), all of Middle Eastern descent, decided that boarding time at the airport gate—where passengers were gathered to enter US Airways flight 300, bound for Phoenix—was the perfect time and place to commence evening prayers.

Muslims are enjoined to pray five times a day and encouraged to do so communally.  The point of prayer, however, is not to make a tawdry display. There is neither a requirement that it be done congregationally nor a restriction against private, discrete communication with the Divine. Indeed, various exigencies routinely cause Muslims to combine some of their daily prayer sessions—otherwise, things like cross-country flights, medical treatments, and business meetings (not to mention terrorism trials) would be impractical.

Yet, as grippingly reported—based on eyewitness accounts—by my friend Debra Burlingame (the fearless sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame, the pilot killed by the al Qaeda terrorists who crashed American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon on 9/11), the imams made a point of raising the decibel-level while chanting “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!”— Allah is [greater]!” That staple of Islamic prayer, as we’ve seen, is well known to be the anthem of Islamist terrorists . . . and the sign-off to the Muslim Brotherhood’s battle-cry. As Debra recalls, and as many of the 141 passengers and crew stepping onto their flight that evening surely knew, ecstatic suicide-terrorist shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” were “the very last human sound on the cockpit voice recorder of United flight 93 before it screamed into the ground at 580 miles per hour,” murdering everyone aboard who hadn’t already been killed by the four suicide-hijackers.

In all apparent earnestness, our government has told us since then to report all suspicious behavior. “If you see something, say something,” a ubiquitous New York City Police Department slogan admonishes. Nowhere is this presumed zeitgeist more pronounced than at the airports of America and much of the world.  Heavily armed troopers and bomb-sniffing dogs patrol the by-ways, eying long passenger lines in which eighty-year-old women struggle to remove their shoes, trudge through magnetometers, and surrender their four-ounce bottles of shampoo. After all, they could be terrorists, right? Wasn’t it harried octogenarians who bombed the marine barracks in Lebanon, the World Trade Center, the Jewish centers in Buenos Aires, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the U.S. embassies in East Africa, the nightclub in Bali, the trains and buses in London and Madrid, the luxury hotels in Mumbai? Wasn’t it just average, random Americans who dragged the mutilated corpses of American servicemen through the streets of Mogadishu, who kidnapped and beheaded Daniel Pearl, who steered jumbo jets into skyscrapers?

Well, no. Actually, those were Muslim terrorists, usually in small cells—often teams of a half-dozen or fewer men, “the battalions of Islam” as the Blind Sheikh [Omar Abdel Rahman, the iconic sharia jurist convicted of running a New York-based terror cell in the mid-nineties] was fond of calling them. Until the moment they strike, these sneak-attack cells appear to be exercising what CAIR and the TSA call their “religious and civil rights.” To register that fact, however, we would have to acknowledge that the terrorism against us, like the less obvious sabotage against us, is fueled by Islamist ideology and carried out exclusively by Muslims. That would be “stigmatizing” and “discriminatory.”  After all, if a New York City cop had witnesses telling him the bank-robber was a tall man with red hair, you wouldn’t expect him to search for tall men with red hair, would you? Too judgmental—better we subpoena the Manhattan telephone directory and see what turns up.

The spirit of the times—the endless lines snaking around airport terminals, around stadiums hosting major sports and entertainment events, at the entrances to public buildings, etc.—is the simulacrum of security. For when it comes to terror, government’s real advice is, “If you see Muslims, say nothing.”

That was certainly what the passengers on Flight 300 learned. The agitator imams had just come from attending a conference held by one of the now innumerable Muslim activist organizations, the North American Imams Federation. There, they’d had the chance to participate in discussions on “Imams and Politics” and “Imams and the Media.”  Now it was time to apply the lessons learned. The Minneapolis airport became what Debra describes as their “stage” and Flight 300 their “prop” in an episode of “grievance theater” in which the “Allahu Akbar” chants were just “the opening act.” Though apparently traveling together, they dispersed to seats located throughout the plane—seats which, though assigned by the airline, might naturally have appeared to the other passengers as strategically selected by the imams to situate themselves at front, mid- and rear-cabin, just as the 9/11 hijacking teams sought to do. Several of the imams asked for “seatbelt extensions”—heavy metal buckles at the end of a long strap which are kept on airplanes for obese passengers (which the imams were not). Seatbelt extensions, like box-cutters, pose no danger if used for their legitimate purpose, but also like them they can easily be used as lethal weapons—and the men who rolled theirs up and placed them on the floor certainly didn’t appear to be using them for their legitimate purpose. As Debra adds, “Lest this entire incident be written off as simple cultural ignorance, a frightened Arabic-speaking passenger pulled aside a crew member and translated the imams’ suspicious conversations, which included angry denunciations of Americans, furious grumblings about U.S. foreign policy, Osama Bin Laden and ‘killing Saddam.’”

Contrary to our Islamophilic State Department’s shameful depiction, this most certainly was not a case of a single passenger carping about “suspicious behavior.” One passenger did indeed pass a note to the pilot—a note that captures the post-9/11 terror that plagues traveling Americans who, in good faith, try to do what the police claim they want us to do, say something (“6 suspicious Arabic men on plane, spaced out in their seats. All were together saying ‘. . . Allah . . . Allah’ cursing U.S. involvement w/ Saddam before flight–1 in front exit row, another in first row 1st class, another in 8D, another in 22D, two in 25 E&F”). But that passenger was merely one of several who complained after scores of passengers and crew were menaced by what was suspicious behavior: in the end, a three-plus hour ordeal that included a front-to-back sweep of the aircraft with a bomb-sniffing dog.

The imams were removed from the flight and detained for several hours of questioning by the FBI and other law-enforcement and air-safety agents before being released without charges being filed. Was there any other responsible way to handle the matter? Can’t one can just hear the sanctimony about security incompetence and failure to “connect the dots” that would have pervaded a 9/11 Commission-type investigation had the imams actually been a terrorist cell? In short, this was a test for our government, an opportunity to demonstrate its understanding of and seriousness of purpose about the Islamist threat to the United States. It was a test government failed miserably. Concurrently, the muscle-flexing Muslim Brotherhood proved how deeply it had infiltrated our deliberations and intimidated our public officials.

The Brotherhood Swings into Action

Within hours of the ruckus, the Muslim American Society—created by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1993 as its quasi-official presence in the U.S.—sprang into action. As Debra Burlingams notes, MAS instantly issued a press release, screamed for an apology to the imams, and announced a “pray-in” at Reagan National Airport in Washington: the better to command media attention and crow in the shadow of the Pentagon. MAS demonstrators bleated that African-American Muslims, already persecuted for “driving while black,” must now cope with the cognate injustice of “flying while Muslim”—sheer demagoguery given not only the imams’ conduct but the fact that none of them is African-American. No matter. A reliably sympathetic cable news outfit bought the contrived outrage hook, line, and sinker, making an analogy between the imams and the civil rights icon Rosa Parks. As Debra put it, “One wonders what the parents of the three 11-year-olds who died on flight 77—all African-American kids on a National Geographic field trip—would make of this stunning comparison.”

The grievance machinery churned on all cylinders. Mahdi Bray, MAS’s insufferable executive-director, promised to “hit [US Airways] where it hurts, the pocketbook.”  MAS and CAIR launched the Flying Imams on a lawfare campaign. Represented by a battery of lawyers that included the firm of Omar Mohammedi, the president of CAIR’s New York chapter, the imams filed a civil rights suit in Minneapolis federal court. Not content to sue the airline, the airports commission, and one of the FBI agents who’d questioned them, the imams also roped in as defendants the passengers who reported their conduct to the pilot and the authorities. That last gambit was too much even for our Islamist-friendly Democratic Congress, which was finally shamed by the New York Republican Peter King into passing a law to immunize the passengers (who were dropped from the suit by the imams). Cowed, however, by shrieks of racial-profiling from the Islamist Left, lawmakers were unwilling to extend similar protection to the other defendants.

The imams hit the jackpot when their case was assigned to Judge Ann Montgomery, a Clinton-appointee who refused to throw out the suit. Buying the defense claim that the imams had been arrested merely “for praying in the airport,” Montgomery found the basis for their removal from the flight “dubious” and tut-tutted that they’d been subjected to “an unconstitutional custom of arresting individuals without probable cause based on their race.”

Montgomery wholly discounted the imams’ provocative anti-American rhetoric—the rants that so unnerved Flight 300’s passengers and crew—as “protected speech under the First Amendment.” If adopted nationwide, her absurd constitutional theory would suppress much of the evidence routinely admitted in terrorism cases to convict such jihadist leaders as the Blind Sheikh. The right to speak has always implied a right on the part of the listener to consider what the words spoken suggest about the speaker’s intentions and actions. If, for example, a mafia don is overheard saying, “Whack him” on a wiretap, his First Amendment rights are not violated if we play that tape for a jury considering a charge of murder. In Judge Montgomery’s world, however, the law wears earplugs: Airline passengers subjected to menacing chants of “Allahu Akbar!” and vigorous denunciations of their country’s policies and culture by a gaggle of angry Muslims transparently aping the behavior of 9/11 hijackers, are obliged to ignore it—indeed, to feel enriched by the contribution such “political speech” makes to our diverse marketplace of ideas.

Moreover, Montgomery’s constitution renders us not only deaf but blind. The judge sloughed off concerns about the seatbelt extension by pointing to the absence of any “documented instance” of their ever having been used as a weapon—a perverse application, in an era of terrorist siege, of the discredited “one free bite” rule that once protected dog-owners who neglected to control their feral canines. As Powerline’s Scott Johnson astutely points out, the Montgomery standard would have tolerated the box-cutters of 9/11 and perhaps even the explosive-laden soles of would-be bomber Richard Reid’s shoes; after all, before these attempts, there hadn’t been any “documented instances” of terrorists using box-cutters and shoe-bombs to carry out mass-murder attacks.

With the prospect of steep money damages imposed after an expensive trial before this same judge, the defendants understandably saw no alternative but to settle the case out of court. Though the pay-out was likely not a large (the terms are confidential but the airport commission announced that it was covered by its $50,000 insurance policy), there, like clock-work, was CAIR’s executive-director Nihad Awad, crowing that the settlement was “a clear victory for justice and civil rights over fear and the phenomenon of ‘flying while Muslim’ in the post-9/11 era.”

Sheikh Omar Shahin

In truth, it was a fabricated stunt that marked a telling victory for jihad by sabotage. It turns out that both CAIR’s and the Flying Imams’ ringleader, Sheikh Omar Shahin, were well-versed in such stunts. Shahin, a forty-nine-year-old Jordanian-born sharia scholar, is the instantiation of the Muslim Brotherhood in America: Mouthing occasional condemnations of terrorism and a soothing version of the Koran for gullible American media and law-enforcement admirers, while ministering to terrorists, serving as a front-man for terror-supporting Islamic “charities,” and preaching a virulent, anti-Semitic strain of Wahhabism.

Immediately after 9/11, Shahin expressed doubt that Muslims had had anything to do with the attacks. Yet, as detailed by the former military counterterrorism specialist P. David Gaubatz and the investigative journalist Paul Sperry in their important book Muslim Mafia, Shahin was an admitted “supporter of Osama bin Laden while running the Saudi-backed Islamic Center of Tucson, which functioned as one of al Qaeda’s main hubs in North America.” In fact, Shahin’s predecessor in the Center’s leadership was one of bin Laden’s closest associates, Wael Hamza Julaidan, a wealthy Saudi whose assets were frozen in 2002 when the Treasury Department designated him as an international terrorist. Julaidan, one of al Qaeda’s founders and, according to Treasury, the network’s “logistics chief,” is a central figure in the web of Brotherhood-connected non-governmental organizations that underwrite and provide other support for the terror network. (See In re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, Sept. 21, 2005, Opinion & Order of U.S. District Judge Richard Conway Casey, Southern District of New York, here, p. 17.)  (As Steve Emerson explained in 2005 congressional testimony, Jalaidan, now in Saudi Arabia, “continues to operate with total impunity despite (false) assurances by Saudi officials that [his] terrorist career has been shut down.”)

That a person of Shahin’s background (and we’ve barely scratched the surface) could not only rise to prominence in a county targeted for conquest but actually succeed in undermining its self-defense marks the triumph of a time-tested Islamist art: painting a smiley-face Islam for the consumption of credulous Westerners while the ears of the faithful are treated to a very different message.

As the public face of the Flying Imams, Shahin projected outrage at the very thought that “true Muslims” would engage in barbarous attacks. “We have been asked by God and by the prophet Muhammad to respect all human life,” he told the Washington Times. “The Koran is very clear: To save one life he saves all human life, and whoever kills one person, he kills all humankind. And that is what Islam is all about.”

Thus did Shahin employ the exact same sleight-of-tongue to which President Barack Obama would resort three years later in his ballyhooed Cairo speech on Islam and the West. In point of fact, this is not what the verse in question, Sura 5:32, says. Rather, it declares that “if anyone slew a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole people” (emphasis added). As westerners and Israelis have come to learn only too well, many Muslims have rather elastic conceptions of murder and mischief when it comes to condemning non-Muslims as legitimate targets for slaying. And as we’ve seen, the very next verse, Sura 5:33, goes on to explain that those who oppose Muslims face “execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides” and other grisly fates.

In his role as Jalaidan’s successor at the Islamic Center of Tucson, Shahin spoke to a Wahhabist crowd who’d have been offended by such expurgations of scripture.  Those believers knew Shahin for his fiery sermons. Typical was his 2002 invocation of the infamous hadith in which Mohammed calls on Muslims to exterminate all Jews in order to bring about the Day of Judgment. As Shahin put it:

Allah will also dignify the whole Islamic Nation. Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said:  “You will keep on fighting with the Jews until the fight reaches the east of Jordan River.  Then the stones and trees will say:  ‘Oh Muslim, oh (servant) slaves of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.’” [* See Footnote below]

In this summons to genocide, Shahin was literally cribbing from the Brotherhood gameplan. The same hadith appears in Article 7 of the Hamas charter. It is also a favorite of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi.

We’ve Seen this Movie Before

Given this sort of fare, you’ll not be surprised that the Islamic Center’s community of worshippers looks like a mirror image of that found across the country at Dar al-Hijrah’s Islamic Center. Indeed, there is some precise duplication. Hani Hanjour was among the faithful—one of those Muslims Shahin insisted would have nothing to do with 9/11 …  right up until he flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Also included was Wadih El-Hage, bin Laden’s personal secretary who is now serving a life sentence after convictions arising out of Qaeda’s 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But two other Islamic Center denizens merit our special attention here:  Hamdan al-Shalawi and Muhammed al-Qudhaieen.

Beginning in the late Nineties, this pair of young Saudis resided in Arizona on student visas. Qudhaieen’s name turned up in a pre-9/11 FBI investigation of Islamic students—including some of the hijackers, such as Hanjour—who sought flight-school training in the Phoenix area. Shalawi had received terrorist training in al Qaeda’s Afghanistan camps, “learning how to conduct ‘Khobar Towers’-type attacks that he and a colleague planned to execute in Saudi Arabia,” according to FBI reporting. (See 9/11 Commission Final Report (2004), p. 521 n.60.) Eventually, Qudhaieen and Shalawi were deported back home, but not before a 1999 incident that set the stage, to borrow Debra Burlingame’s fitting term, for the Flying Imams’ theatrics.

In November of that year, Qudhaieen and Shalawi were removed from an America West flight from Phoenix to Washington.  They had aroused suspicion by speaking loudly in Arabic (despite being fluent in English), switching their seats, roaming the length of the cabin, and, on two occasions, attempting to open the cockpit. As Gaubatz and Sperry recount, the 9/11 Commission later determined that the incident was a “dry run” for the 9/11 attacks. At the time, however, the authorities decided there was not enough evidence to file charges, so the pair was released. As night follows day, Qudhaieen and Shalawi filed civil rights suits against America West with the enthusiastic backing of CAIR. Railing at “this ugly case of racial profiling,” Nihad Awad [the CAIR founder and former public relations director of the Islamic Association for Palestine, the Muslim Brotherhood’s umbrella organization for Hamas promotion in the U.S.] eased into his rote grousing about rampant “Islamophobia.” These young Muslim men have “done absolutely nothing wrong”—their only “crime,” he asserted, “was being Arab, speaking Arabic.” And wouldn’t you know: one of the flying dry-runners’ most avid supporters was none other than the future Flying Imam . . . Omar Shahin.  According to Gaubatz and Sperry, Shahin knew them, had ministered to them at his former mosque in Tucson, and quickly rushed to their defense.

You’ll no doubt be shocked to learn that Shahin was also the Arizona “coordinator” for the aforementioned Brotherhood cash-cow, the Holy Land Foundation [the organization whose officers were convicted of financing Hamas in 2008]. As Shahin raised funds, the HLF branch offices proudly displayed a photo of that great moderate, Sheikh Qaradawi, posing alongside Hassan Nasrallah and Khalid Mishall, the chiefs, respectively, of Hezbollah and Hamas—terrorist organizations, long formally designated as such under U.S. law, which apparently never got the memo about how “whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.” Qaradawi was a frequent keynoter at HLF-sponsored events, regaling all the other moderates with the reminder that “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: ‘O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!’”

After a stint as a representative of “Kind Hearts,” another charitable front shut down by the government for funneling money to Hamas, Shahin moved on from his perch at the Islamic Center in Tucson to become president of the North American Imams Federation—the organization whose convention was the occasion for the Flying Imams’ visit to Minnesota. NAIF’s Board of Trustees is chockablock with Muslim activists who have associated with both notorious terrorists and organizations (e.g., the Global Relief Foundation) that have been shuddered for underwriting terrorism. Besides collusions with CAIR, Shahin’s organization has established “collaborative, complementary, and cooperative” ties with other “partner organizations”—as NAIF’s website once gingerly put it—such as the Islamic Society of North America and the Islamic Circle of North America. Like CAIR, both ISNA and ICNA are cited in the Muslim Brotherhood’s 1991 memorandum as “organizations of our friends”—allies in the jihad by sabotage.  (Also like CAIR, ISNA was labeled an unindicted coconspirator by the Justice Department in the Holy Land Foundation case.)

Shahin’s entanglement in the Brotherhood web makes perfect sense.  In his book, The Muslim Family in Western Society—A Study in Islamic Law (Cloverdale Books, 2007), he exhorts Muslims to turn inward, resist Western culture, and disregard any “Western laws that contradict clear-cut Islamic rulings.” This is the very essence of Qaradawi’s voluntary apartheid strategy to build Islamic enclaves throughout the U.S. and Europe as an intermediate stage on the journey to full Islamicization.


* Joe Kaufman and Gary Gross, “Fifth Column Imam Flyers” (Frontpage Magazine, April 19, 2007); Americans Against Hate, collected lectures of Imam Omar Shahin at the Islamic Center of Tucson (accessed Nov. 2, 2009); see also Hadith: Sahih Muslim Coolection, Book 41, Nos. 6981 through 6985; Robert Spencer, “USC MSA removes, does not repudiate, genocidal hadith” (Jihad Watch, Aug. 22, 2008) (collecting variants of the same hadith , e.g. Bukhari Collection, Vol. 4, Book 52, No. 177 (“Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.””)) (http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/08/usc-msa-removes-does-not-repudiate-genocidal-hadith.html).

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