Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sunrise Academy's Fundraising Friends

Right here in Central Ohio, we have the only all-muslim school, from people teaching and preaching anti-Semitic, anti-American, anti-Christian rhetoric, with ties to terrorism. As I've said before, according to Patrick Poole at Existential Space, the purveyors of this school have serious islamist terrorist ties. I contacted the local fishwrap (the dispatch), and was told 'we investigated, found nothing.'

Nice work, Patrick, and typical for the Dispatch -- if it doesn't fit their agenda, it doesn't get investigated or printed.

Sunrise Academy's Fundraising Friends

An article in today's FrontPage Magazine, "Hometown Jihad: The School Gym that Terror Built", reports that Sunrise Academy in Hilliard, the only full-time Islamic school in Central Ohio, has twice used Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and close personal friend of "Blind Shiekh" Omar Abdel-Rahman, for fundraisers for the school. Abdel-Rahman was convicted of "seditious conspiracy" and given a life sentence for his role in the 1993 WTC bombing, and Wahhaj appeared in court as a character witness for Abdel-Rahman's defense.

In March 2006, Wahhaj was brought in to help raise funds for Sunrise Academy's new sports complex, an event that was held at the Makoy Center in Hilliard (coincidentally, the same facility visited in November 2006 by First Lady Laura Bush for a fundraiser for Cong. Deborah Pryce). That fundraiser was apparently so successful that Wahhaj was brought in again by Sunrise Academy this past February to raise money for the school.

As the article this morning notes, this is not the first time that Wahhaj has been used by a Central Ohio organization for fundraising purposes. Back in March, it was reported ("CAIR's Blood Money") that CAIR-Ohio brought Wahhaj in June 2006 for another fundraiser, where he raised $100,000 for the "civil rights" organization, as noted in a CAIR press release.

Today's article offers quotes by Wahhaj to give readers an idea of Wahhaj's positions. In one he calls for Muslims to takeover America:
"[I]f only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. If we were united and strong, we would elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word if eight million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us."

In another, he outlines his vision for an Islamic supremicist society:
"I have a vision in America, Muslims owning property all over, Muslim businesses, factories, halal meat, supermarkets, all these buildings owned by Muslims. Can you see the vision, can you see the Newark International Airport and a John Kennedy Airport and La Guardia having Muslim fleets of planes, Muslim pilots. Can you see our trucks rolling down the highways, Muslim names. Can you imagine walking down the streets of Teaneck, [New Jersey]: three Muslim high schools, five Muslim junior-high schools, fifteen public schools. Can you see the vision, can you see young women walking down the street of Newark, New Jersey, with long flowing hijab and long dresses. Can you see the vision of an area ... controlled by the Muslims?"

Paul Barrett, an editor for Business Week and author of the recent book, American Islam: Struggle for the Soul of Religion, explains the kind of justice that would be administered in Wahhaj's Islamic America:
He has told his followers that a society governed by strict Islamic law, in which adulterers would be stoned to death and thieves would have their hands cut off, would be superior to American democracy.

And having spent significant amounts of time with Wahhaj, Barrett describes how he rises to the defense of Osama bin Laden, saying that he wants to remain neutral on bin Laden's involvement in 9/11:
He says the al-Qaeda leader’s videotaped boasting about the attacks may have been a media ruse: “I’m just not so sure I want to be one of the ones who say, ‘Yeah, he did it. He’s a horrible man.’”

Surely Sunrise Academy will claim that this is nothing but "guilt by association", but is their position really defensible? Wahhaj's extremist public statements and his associations and public defense of convicted terrorists are well known. Sunrise Academy can't claim that they weren't aware. And yet they publicly chose not only to voluntarily associate with Wahhaj, but they brought him in to represent their organization for fundraising purposes.

Let's not forget that Sunrise Academy was also the operational hub of Hilliard resident and Muslim Brotherhood operative Salah Sultan (see our recent post, "The Hilliard-HAMAS-Muslim Brotherhood Connection"). Sunrise Academy has many associations they should feel guilty about.

Today's article promises more explosive revelations about the extensive network of Islamic radicalism in Central Ohio, which apparently extend into the corridors of political power. We can't wait to see what those articles reveal.

Great. My mother-in-law lives about two blocks from this place. I drive by it about once a week, and I never see much activity. You can bet they're not havin' ham sammiches for lunch.

Getting By with the Help of His (Terrorist) Friends

From FrontPage magazine, via the Central Ohioans Against Terrorism (COAT) Blog. Apparently, Columbus is a popular spot for the jihadists to live.

Hometown Jihad: Getting by With a Little Help from His (Terrorist) Friends
By Patrick June 28, 2007

No one can deny that Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR National Vice Chairman and Columbus, Ohio-area resident, is connected. He is one of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s closest advisors, which no doubt has helped Al-Akhras get appointed to the city’s Community Relations Commission, the Street Car Working Group, and named chairman of the Transportation and Pedestrian Commission. Al-Akhras makes his living working for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. And as one of the first five inductees to the Leadership Columbus Hall of Fame, he circulates among the rich and powerful of the Central Ohio elite.

Some of his other friends, however, are not so fashionable; for instance, his friend Christopher Paul, who was indicted in April as part of an active al-Qaeda cell in Columbus. Paul was planning to kill Americans at European resorts and attacking US military installations overseas. Immediately after his arrest, Al-Akhras rose to Paul’s defense, as reported by the Associated Press:

“From the things I know, he is a loving husband and he has a wife and parents in town,” Al-Akhras said Thursday. “They are a good family together.”

He also told reporters that he knew Christopher Paul and that the “charges are out of character”, saying that CAIR would work to ensure that Paul’s constitutional rights were preserved. Al-Akhras may have spoken to reporters before getting the CAIR “Hey, we’re denying this time that we know the al-Qaeda guy” memo, because when CAIR-Columbus Executive Director Adnan Mirza spoke with the local NBC affiliate, mum was the official word:

Mirza said he did not know Paul, and that it’s likely that most other Muslims who attend his mosque [like Al-Akhras] don’t know him either.

This wasn’t the first time, however, that Al-Akhras had spoken publicly as a character witness for a Columbus al-Qaeda cell member. In June 2004, it was al-Qaeda operative Nuradin Abdi that Al-Akhras was defending. He told the Associated Press:

"What we know about him is unlike how he is portrayed," said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

Al-Akhras’ friend Abdi was charged with plotting to blow up a Columbus-area shopping mall, providing material aid to al-Qaeda, and falsifying virtually every element on his asylum application. Abdi is also accused on lying on a 1999 visa application to fly to Germany and Saudi Arabia, when in fact he was traveling to Ogaden, Ethiopia for terrorist training. Abdi’s trail on terrorism charges is scheduled for later this year.

But Ahmad Al-Akhras was ready in 2004 to issue his verdict in his friend’s case:

The (CAIR) group's leaders questioned the evidence and the timing of the announcement of charges against Abdi, noting that the FBI has dropped charges accusing others of terrorism.

"This may be one of the cases also that may not have enough evidence or there's no evidence at all," Al-Akhras said.

If Ahmad Al-Akhras’ record of standing up for his terror-linked friends is any indication, both Nuradin Abdi and Christopher Paul should be worried. Just ask Fawaz Damra, a former Cleveland-area imam who was deported to Israel earlier this year after being convicted in 2004 of deliberately concealing his ties to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group and two other terrorist organizations. During Damra’s trial, prosecutors showed a video of the imam raising money for Islamic Jihad.

That video evidence notwithstanding, Al-Akhras recently said in defense of his “longtime friend” Damra:

"We do not believe a word of what the government has said," said Ahmad Al-Akhras, Damra's longtime friend and a leader among Ohio's Muslims.

Then again, Ahmad Al-Akhras is the kind of guy willing to overlook someone’s faults and forgive past excesses, like planning to wage jihad against America and killing non-Muslims. In fact last September in his role as CAIR National vice chairman, he played host to former Iranian dictator Mohammed Khatami at an invitation-only CAIR dinner held in Washington DC in honor of Khatami.

The CAIR 2006 Annual Report features a picture of Al-Akhras and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad giving Khatami a warm reception, despite the fact that Khatami was responsible for the torture and murder of Iranian pro-democracy activists and student demonstrators in response to the July 9, 1999 protests at Tehran University. As noted by Kenneth Timmerman here at FrontPage (“Just Say No to Khatami”), as Ayatollah Khomeini’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Propagation in 1984, Khatami oversaw the creation of the terrorist group, Hezbollah. Ironically, Khatami was in the US to deliver a speech at Harvard on the “Ethics of Tolerance in the Age of Violence”. (Did I forget to mention that Al-Akhras also sits of the board of ACLU-Ohio?)

With such a high-profile social network, Al-Akhras wonders why he is a victim of harassment by the US government. He recently complained to the Cleveland Plain Dealer (“Do guards at the border cross a line?”) that he regularly gets stopped when he crosses the border:

"Either the government is wasting all this money or they really want to harass me. Either way it is sad," he said.

Well, if it isn’t because he maintains friendships with members of al-Qaeda, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or Iranian dictators responsible for the creation of Hezbollah, perhaps his troubles with immigration authorities might be due to being the second-highest official in an organization recently named as unindicted co-conspirator by federal prosecutors in a HAMAS terrorism financing trial in Texas (see my recent article “CAIR Fingered by Feds”).

Or it might be his public praise of the al-Qaeda-backed Islamic Courts Union terrorist organization, which when they took over Somalia last year and imposed a Taliban-style Islamization program, Al-Akhras wrote a letter to the Columbus Dispatch saying that such was a “positive change”. In that same correspondence he also stood up for HAMAS, decrying US sanctions against the terror group, saying:

Imposing unlawful, punitive and inhumane sanctions on the whole Palestinian population for electing their own government breeds terrorism.

The government they had elected at that time, of course, was HAMAS, which just launched a blitzkrieg strike against rival Fatah last week in Gaza and declared an Islamic state.

No one doubts Al-Akhras’ finely-honed public relations skills, however, such as his videotaped assault last summer of a Columbus-area independent journalist recording his speech in support of Hezbollah’s war against Israel in front of the US Courthouse in downtown Columbus (a story I covered here at FrontPage, “CAIR: Assault and Videotape?”). Even though the journalist twice assaulted by Al-Akhras pressed charges and provided video evidence, the Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer curiously decided not to pursue the case. I guess it pays to have friends in high places.

Maybe Ahmad Al-Akhras’ rich and powerful friends in the Columbus political circles could answer why he continues to be harassed by the US government. I’m sure it has nothing to do with his friends in al-Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, his hosting a former dictator of an “Axis of Evil” terrorist state, his public statements praising the Islamic Courts Union, or his leadership in a HAMAS front group.

Meanwhile, the political persecution of Ahmad Al-Akhras mysteriously continues. He must get by with a little help from his friends.

Verrry interesting. Good thing Michael Coleman has a drunk cheat for a wife, or we might be calling him Guv'ner right now and having to put up with more muslims in high places.

Why 'nice guy' muslims do what they do...

Apparently, this is a phenomenom that was a problem long before the jihad doctors of Great Britain had their little bomb-fest last week (and, incidentially, long before we invaded Iraq). From JihadWatch's Robert Spencer, at Frontpage magazine:

Why’s a Nice Guy Like You Doing a Terrorist Act Like This?
By Robert Spencer
April 18, 2007

According to former Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Eddie Green, Kifah Jayyousi is “a great guy, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.” While Green was superintendent, Jayyousi oversaw the Detroit school district’s capital improvement program, which had a $1.5 billion budget.
Jayyousi is now charged, according to the Detroit Free Press, with “conspiring to kidnap, maim and murder by providing money, recruits and equipment for Islamic struggles in Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya from 1993 to 2001.” He could get life in prison.

Christopher Paul, a martial arts instructor at a mosque in Columbus, Ohio, is also a terrific guy. Ahmad Al-Akhras, vice chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter in Columbus, said: “From the things I know, he is a loving husband and he has a wife and parents in town. They are a good family together.”

Yet now Paul, a Muslim, has been charged, according to Associated Press, with “providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.” He is accused of training with Al-Qaeda in the early 1990s, training people for violent jihad attacks on targets in Europe and the United States, and more.

But another one of Paul’s friends, Hisham Jenhawi, was skeptical: “I don’t think it’s even close to his personality to act upon something like that. He’s a very kind person. You would meet him on the street and he would want to hug you with the heart that he has.” One of his neighbors, Mike James, added: “He seemed like a nice guy, always waving…”

This kind of thing is nothing new. A friend remembered Gokhan Elaltuntas, a Muslim who carried out a suicide bombing on a synagogue in Istanbul in 2003: “We went partridge hunting together. I still cannot believe how such a quiet person could have been involved in an incident like this.” A friend of Naveed Haq, the jihadist killer who murdered one and wounded five at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in July 2006, described him as “pretty much just a normal guy….He was the kind of guy when you talked to him he was always laughing.”

According to a Southern California friend of Raed Albanna, who killed 132 people in a suicide attack outside a medical clinic in Iraq in 2005, “He was into partying. We hit some pretty wild clubs in Hollywood.” Frank Lindh, the father of John Walker Lindh, a.k.a. Suleyman Al-Faris, the convert to Islam from Marin County who joined the Taliban and was captured in Afghanistan fighting against American troops, has said: “In simple terms, this is the story of a decent and honorable young man embarked on a spiritual quest.”

Great guys all. Some partied and some embarked on a spiritual search, but they all ended up in the same place, committing acts dedicated to furthering the cause of jihad, or facing charges of having done so.

One clue to this phenomenon may come from jazz musician Tarek Shah, who recently pled guilty to providing martial arts and hand-to-hand combat with weapons training to Al-Qaeda operatives. In 2004 Shah told a man he thought was a fellow jihadist but who turned out to be an undercover agent, “I could be joking and smiling and then cutting their throats in the next second.”

Or they may be genuinely decent fellows. It was the Nazi genocide mastermind Heinrich Himmler who told a group of SS leaders: “Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand. To have gone through this and yet -- apart from a few exceptions, examples of human weakness -- to have remained decent fellows, this is what has made us hard. This is a glorious page in our history that has never been written and shall never be written…”

Were these SS mass murderers really decent fellows? To their friends and family, they probably were. After all, they weren’t interested in undifferentiated mayhem. They were adherents of a totalitarian, genocidal ideology that convinced them that the murders they were committing were for a good purpose. As far as they were concerned, their goals were rational and good, and the murders were a means to that goal. It was not just a noteworthy achievement, but a necessity, for them to remain “decent fellows,” for they were busy trying to build what they saw as a decent society. That their vision of a decent society included genocide and torture did not trouble them, for it was all for – in their view – a goal that remained good.

Today’s jihad terrorists are likewise the adherents of a totalitarian, genocidal ideology that teaches them that murders committed under certain circumstances are a good thing. And those murders, here again, are not committed for their own sake, but for the sake of a societal vision hardly less draconian and evil than that of Hitler, but one also that portrays itself as the exponent of all that is good – as the Taliban showed us. But the continued reference to such people as “terrorists” pure and simple, and the refusal of the media and most law enforcement officials to examine their ideology at all, only reinforces the idea that these people are raving maniacs, interested solely in chaos for its own sake. The society they want to build, and the means besides guns and bombs that they are using to build it, so far remain below the radar screen of most analysts. These people are just “terrorists,” interested only in “terror.” And so we’re continually surprised when they turn out to be nice guys after all. Decent fellows. Like the SS.

I'm just saying...

Group Responds to Cal Thomas' Muslim Remarks

In an article posted on WTOP radio, CAIR responds to Cal Thomas' "islamphobic" commentary:

Group Responds to Cal Thomas' Muslim Remarks
July 5, 2007 - 5:03am

WASHINGTON -- Recent remarks from WTOP commentator Cal Thomas have sparked controversy in the Muslim-American community. Now, an Islamic advocacy group is responding to Thomas' commentary.

In his weekly commentary on WTOP Radio Monday, Cal Thomas discussed the recent thwarted terror attacks in the United Kingdom.

"How much longer should we allow people from certain lands, with certain beliefs to come to Britain and America and build their mosques, teach hate, and plot to kill us?" Thomas asked. "OK, let's have the required disclaimer: Not all Muslims from the Middle East and southeast Asia want to kill us, but those who do blend in with those who don't. Would anyone tolerate a slow-spreading cancer because it wasn't fast-spreading? Probably not. You'd want it removed."

Thomas' commentary prompted the Council on American-Islamic Relations to urge its supporters to contact WTOP and voice their concerns. WTOP received many calls and emails from both sides.

On Wednesday, WTOP invited Ibrahim Hooper, a CAIR spokesperson and Cal Thomas, to separately respond to Thomas' previous comments.

In his response, Hooper said Thomas' comments undermined CAIR's effort to promote mutual understanding and social justice.

"For him, I would imagine that his next step is the expulsion of the Muslim-American community," Hooper said. "We condemn extremism. We've condemned terrorism....We've issued dozens of condemnations on dozens of terrorism attacks."

CAIR works to create proactive campaigns to promote awareness about Islam and the Muslim community.

"But guys like [Cal] Thomas come along and want to say every Muslim should be suspect and should be treated in a certain way. That's not just and that's not the American way," Hooper said.

When negative incidents occur, such as the Danish cartoon controversy and the desecration of Korans at Guantanamo Bay, Hooper said CAIR focuses on educational campaigns and "things that really explain who Islam is all about so that they don't have to take their misinformation from Islamaphobes like Cal Thomas."

Hooper said he feels as though the extremists are becoming the unwanted face of Islam.

"We have a real PR problem. We have a real problem with a tiny minority of people who are misusing the faith of Islam to carry out acts of violence," he said.

While the organization tries to reach out to the extremists, Hooper said more often than not, "the people who do these types of things aren't going even to listen to me."

"But we still have a role to play in trying to convince these people that they're betraying the faith of Islam, and we just do as much as we can. We try and think every day of new ways to help in the fight against terrorism."

In response to Hooper's comments, Thomas said there is a history of "disinformation people" in the United States.

"We have always had disinformation people among us... saying that there's no real threat and the real threat are the people who are pointing it out, not the people who are plotting to destroy us. They have a problem. And if they're not listening to voices that claim to be responsible like Mr. Hooper, then they have a double problem," Thomas said.

According to Thomas, the U.S. needs to monitor Muslims more closely.

"As much as it offends our desire to be tolerant and open and free speech and association and the rest, as [New York Times columnist] Tom Friedman put it, we have a cancer among us and we better respond to it before it grows any further," he said.

Thomas also cited several "prominent liberal Democrat" U.S. senators who have expressed concerns with CAIR and its "extreme rhetoric" and "ties to terrorism."

"The truth hurts," Thomas said. "I'm not making this stuff up...we gotta connect the dots. It's a little late after things begin to explode."

(Copyright 2007 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

We need more media people like Mr. Thomas.

Islamaphobe Cal Thomas responds in Breitbart TV interview

In a response to recent intimidation efforts and accusations of spreading islamaphobia by CAIR, DC radio commentator Cal Thomas speaks in this audio interview with Breitbart TV.

Click here to hear the interview.