Jihadists Making Themselves at Home in Philadelphia
In the Christian Action Network’s documentary about MOA, Homegrown Jihad, the filmmakers discover a new compound being built in Wayne County in an area they would never have found without precise directions. Neighbors report gunfire coming from the site and when the filmmakers find it, they see a desecrated American flag hanging off the side of the building. It was full of holes created by bullets or possibly knives.
In July 2006, pressure from the residents of Villanova resulted in the cancellation of an event in August for Muslim youth. Previous events had been advertised as the “Youth Jihad Camp” before the 9/11 attacks and were organized by the Foundation for Islamic Education (FIE). The group is tied to Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society, and the board of trustees is located in Saudi Arabia. FIE has been criticized for hosting speakers for its events who are involved in the Brotherhood networks, preach anti-Semitism, support suicide bombers, and speak in support of and have ties to terrorist groups.
Another organization with significant ties to Pennsylvania is the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The need to create a new group with a clean record that could pursue the Islamist political agenda was discussed in a secret meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 between members of Hamas and leaders from the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). The IAP was later shut down for acting as a front for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The following year, participants in that meeting birthed CAIR. Today, the organization is listed as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, another charity found to have been financing Hamas.
Although no Muslim Brotherhood ties to the Muslims of the Americas have been found aside from setting up a booth at the Islamic Society of North America conference in 2008, the Brotherhood's affiliates have been tied to other mentioned Islamist components involved in the Muslim enclave effort. They are tied to MANA and defended Imam Abdullah after his death, painting the incident as an episode of FBI misconduct. The Brotherhood network has helped host Imam Musa on college campuses, and the legal officer for the Jawala Scouts is a CAIR official. The Brotherhood might not have put major resources behind the effort to establish Muslim enclaves in the U.S., but they can still be counted upon as a friend of the effort.
Eastern Pennsylvania is also home to a man named Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher who has received considerable attention this year. He came to the state shortly before the Turkish government prosecuted him for trying to undermine its secular foundations. He was acquitted in 2006 but he has remained in the U.S. He denies having a connection to the Justice and Development Party that now governs Turkey, but experts say he has at the very least inspired many of its members, and we see what that has brought. In 1999, he was recorded telling his audience to delay “until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey.”
He has been recorded telling followers to “work patiently” and “creep silently” into positions of power and bide their time until “conditions are ripe,” but says his adversaries took the comments out of context. However, he told those listening to him they “must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here.”
He is not shy about opposing secularism, but he does speak in favor of democracy (albeit an Islamic version) and condemns violence. He was one of the few Muslim leaders to criticize the Gaza flotilla for not arranging the arrival of aid in coordination with Israel. From his home in Pennsylvania, he manages a network of thousands of schools and businesses with a budget of approximately $25 billion, making him one of the most powerful Muslims in the world.
This doesn’t even address direct cases of terrorism, such as the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, female convert in Philadelphia who went by the name of “Jihad Jane” as she planned to participate in killing a cartoonist in Sweden who mocked Mohammed in 2007.
No, it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia.