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Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > Chicago Islamist leader Kareem Irfan of the CIOGC excuses beheadings as "a primordial sense of retaliation and revenge"

Chicago Islamist leader Kareem Irfan of the CIOGC excuses beheadings as "a primordial sense of retaliation and revenge"

June 29, 2004

MIM Notes :

MIM Is posting the article below entitled "In Allah's Name?" to show that it is not just Middle East based clerics who justify beheadings as 'Islamically ' correct but a public relations 'faux pas' .

None of the Muslims quoted in the article evinces any personal repudiation of beheadings, and imply they could be justified in specific instances according to Islamic law . The Muslim spokesmen are only concerned with the negative public relations which the beheadings generate for Islam.

American Islamists are expressing the same opinions, as evidenced by the statement of Rashad Sharif, the Imam Majid Al Mu'uminum in Tennessee who "refused to explicitly condemn the beheadings" and said : "When I hear of someone getting cut into two pieces I think about how we (Americans) blow people into more pieces then can be put together".

Kareem Irfan the director of the Council for Islamic Associations of Greater Chicago was "believes that beheadings simply demonstrate ""a primordial sense of retaliation and revenge."

Irfan's remarks indicate that for him beheading is just a militant Islamist variation of primal scream therapy.

The perpetrators scream 'Allah Akhbar' while the victim screams for their life .

Statements like that of Mohammed Sherwani, the director of a Muslim Center in Flushing Queens who qualified his criticism of beheading by saying:"Two wrongs don't make a right" referring to the alleged prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.


Sherwani disingenously boasts that he showed his rejection of terrorism by signing a petition which was distributed by CAIR the Council of American Islamic Relations,declaring that killing people gave Islam a bad name. What Sherwani and the journalist didnt reveal is that CAIR is a Saudi funded front group for Hamas,which is currently under investigation by a Senate Commission for for there ties to terrorism funding and suicide bombers. Four CAIR 'officials' are presently in jail on terrorism related charges.

The WSJ journalist does not confront the militant Islamists with the implications or their statements.

Some background research would have revealed that Daniel McBride and Kareem Irfan are members of militant Islamist organisations.

Daniel McBride, the first interviewee quoted is the spokesman for the Islamic Center of Boca Raton.

It should be noted that the previous ICBR spokesman Hassan Shareef , 'disappeared' soon after a PBS broadcast which discussed the Patriot Act ,where he made some belligerent comments, .and relocated to Riyadh,Saudi Arabia.

When asked for his opinions about the Islamic permissibility of beheadings McBride disingenously states:" For these radicals to even imply that that what they are doing is Islamically correct is wrong".

The Islamic Center of Boca Raton spinmeister then explained : " At best it's vigilantism. At worst it's anarchy".

"Islam is against both".

McBrides statement does not in any way condemn beheadings as such. He just reiterates that Islam is against taking the law into one's hands and only qualified clerics can decide when decaptitation is warranted.

Daniel McBride's skewed sense of justice and politics is evident in his religous and activist affiliations.

.Besides the ICBR Daniel McBride is the director of "The March for Justice" together with Nidal Sakr.

After 9/11 Sakr posted an open letter to President Bush on the MFJ website which stated:

"Dear George, As you well know, I am one of many of those who are not buying into your story of 9/11. As I was blessed with parents who always put me to sleep with bedtime stories of their telling, your story quite frankly is just a ‘no story.'"

McBride is also the director of the ICBR whose Imam, Ibrahim Dremali,was described by Steven Emerson as "an Islamic extremist".

Dremali's wife, Lamyaa Hashim, ran a 'charity' which gave money to the IAP/Hamas, via Dremali's brother Ishaq, who was listed as the 'Gaza coordinator'.

The so called' Health Resource Center Palestine' and was closed down in 2003.

The ICBR was forced to close it's website after the director of MIM and an associate publicized Al Qaeda links on the mosque's website.

"When questioned by the press about the anti semitic and terrorist links on the ICBR website McBride stated that :

"It was taken off of the ICBR website (www.icbr.org) due to outside pressure, McBride said they took it off their site because they received some complaints, but he also said he agreed with everything written in the article.

McBride defends the assertion, for instance, that Jews are "usurpers and aggressors, who have oppressed and persecuted others, and who are known for their treachery and corruption throughout the world, historically and in the present age." And that Jews have "carried out chemical and radiational [sic] experiments on their prisoners, and taken organs from them for transplant into Jewish patients." McBride says "that's all documented," though he could not provide any documentation.

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:LuEdOgzg1xQJ:archive.salon.com/news/feature/2001/09/26/muslims/index3.html+DANIEL+MCBRIDE+BOCA+RATON&hl=en

In a perversely amusing twist, ICBR spokesman Daniel McBride was quoted in a Sun Sentinel News article regarding an alleged incident at an elementary school in which a 12 year old girl complained of being called "Osama" by fellow students . The local CAIR mafia contacted their Sun Sentinel media lackeys who dutifully reported this with a headline of "Muslim Girl Complains of Hate Attack at Boynton Beach School."

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/education/sfl-pattack13apr13,0,4086465.story?coll=sfla-news-education

Thr so called Osama name calling "attack" was used as an opportunity by McBride to recall the alleged attempted pulling off of a headscarf .

"Two years ago a high school student in Boca Raton reported that several boys tried to pull of her headscarf, but the school took immediate disiplinary action, and the outside authorities were not contacted, McBride said."

Of course McBride neglected to mention the felonious assault incident in which a Boca Middle School student, had been stabbed repeatedly with a pair of scissors by the son of Ibrahim Dremali , the ICBR Imam and McBride's boss. Abdulrahman Dremali, then 13 pleaded guilty to stabbing fellow student Joshua Reynoso and was ordered to pay $1,500 to the victim's family ,do 50 hours of community service, and undergo a pyschiatric evaluation.

Dremali's son was transferred to an Islamic school more compatible with his background.

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A link on the now defunct ICBR website showed Hamas members celebrating an Iraqi suicide bomber who killed several U. S. soldiers.(see excerpt below)

.At the end of the article ICBR spokesman and Muslim convert poster boy Daniel McBride asserts that there is no problem as long as the site "is not advocating killing women and children",

McBride's defence of the Hamas website and his deeply entrenched militant Islamist connections , is more alarming in light of the fact that he has a brother serving as a reservist in Iraq. One never knows what kind of information can be passed along 'inadvertently' .

http://www.bocanews.com/index.php?src=news&prid=5054&category=LOCAL+NEWS

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Members of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas are shown kneeling shoulder-to-shoulder on top of American and Israeli flag, while proudly displaying a sign written in Arabic that honors an Iraqi suicide bomber who killed several U.S. soldiers.
It's a disturbing photograph that can be easily accessed on the Internet.

But what might be alarming to many in South County is that the picture – along with a number of opinionated articles – could easily be easily accessed from the Islamic Center of Boca Raton's Web site.

The home page of the Islamic center's Web site contains information about local facilities for Muslims, prayer times, services and ways to donate to the mosque. A click on the "Embrace Islam" icon leads to a page introducing other links, including the Islam Q&A icon that leads users to the Palestine News page. The section that introduces the links carries the sentence: "Visit these outstanding sites to learn more about Islam!!!"
The mosque's Web site also carries a disclaimer that says the site is maintained by volunteers as "an informational page for all Muslims, particularly living in South Florida. ICBR is not responsible for the content of any linked pages."


The mosque's religious leader, Ibrahim Dremali, did not return several calls made to his residence this week to discuss the link. But the center's spokesman,

Dan McBride, said he was unaware of the Palestine News site connected to the Islam Q&A page.
"I have no idea what is on [Islam Q&A]," said the McBride, a former Catholic who converted to Islam and whose brother is a U.S. Army reservist serving in Iraq.

"There are so many links on it. It is one of the most popular [Islamic] Web sites. We can't verify everything linked to it. I'm not really in a position to comment on it, not having seen it."
McBride said, however, there the center would not consider removing the Q&A link from its Web site.
"We would consider that censorship," he said. "We don't believe in censorship.

As long as the site is not preaching killing innocent women and children".

-----------------------------------------------

Kareem Irfan quoted below is the director of the Council of Islamic Organisations of Greater Chicago. and believes that beheadings simply show a "primordial sense of retaliation and revenge"

Note Irfan's adjective laden public statement 'condemns ' Johnson's killings as "unIslamic" and is markedly different from the person opinion quoted above and includes the usual cliche's about Islam being a religion of "peace" and "mercy" and calling for reconcilation"

Out of deference to his Saudi paymasters Irfan cautions against attributing the killings to the" Saudis, Arabs, and Muslims, in general" and implies that beheading is just "primordial sense of retaliation and revenge" which is justifiable under certain conditions and has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

Irfan is equally nonchanlent when it comes to his personal funding of the Al Qaeda through donations to BIF.

Which is not surprising since the CIOGC is funded by the MWL which also funds Al Qaeda as well.

In a CNN interview Irfan admitted to having given $5,000 dollars to the BIF -Benevolence International Foundation,and stated: "I definitely do not regret it because I did it in the understanding that this was an outstanding institution." http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0210/09/asb.00.html

Below is documentation showing Kareem Irfan and the CIOGC defense of terrorists and terror funding activities under the guise of "Muslim civil rights".

On page 31 of the HTML below Azhar Usman, who is a spokesman for the CIOGC, claims that the government has gone to far in the case of the arrest and trial of Arnaam Ernaout who was hand picked by Bin Laden to set up the Al Qaeda "charity" funding front "Benevolence International Foundation which Irfan admits giving $5,000 dollars to as "an outstanding institution".

CIOGC spokesman Usman perversely attacked the government saying that Arnaout, who had been photographed with Bin Laden at a training camp his trial was being tried in " a kangaroo court in some repressive regime in the Middle East,where all the terrorists are alleged to be coming from."

---------------------------------------------

PDF] Arab and Muslim Civil Rights Issues in the Chicago Metropolitan ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
... 21 Kareem Irfan, President, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
..... 22 Mohammad Kaiseruddin, President, Muslim Community ...
www.usccr.gov/pubs/sac/il0503/il0503.pdf -

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Similar pages Page 6: HTML Chapter 2 Hate crimes :Bassam Jody president Mosque Foundation Bridgeview David Barkey ADL ,State Attorney,Chicago Police,Jim Fennerty President of the National Lawyers Guild. (pg.34).

Thomas Kneir pg 29. P.31 See page 31 for discussion of BIF and Arnaout by Kareem Irfan of the CIOGC Azhar Usman-spokesman for the Council of Islamic Organisations in Chicago

Re: Arnaout and BIF -In this case the government has simply gone too far."a kangaroo court like one would expect in the Middle East,in some repressive regime where these so called terrorists are alleged to be coming from. "

Fennerty at Muslim Civil Rights conference Bridgeview Mosque Foundation fundraiser for Al Arian,Arnaout, Saleh et al in 2003.

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http://www.mcrcnet.org/Events/mcrc_activities_0203.htm

Funds released for legal defense of Benevolence International Foundation, Enaam Arnaout and Dr. Sabri Samirah

During January and February 2003, Legal Defense Fund component of MCRC released $65,260 for the legal defense of Enaam Aranout ($65,000), and Dr. Sabri Samirah ($260) of United Muslim American Association (UMAA).

Community meeting held to provide legal defense to Ghassan and Hatim

On February 20, 2003 four Muslims namely Dr. Sami Al-arian, Sameeh Hamoudeh, Ghassan Abdel Zeyed (from Chicago) and Hatim Naji Fariz were indicted in 50 different counts including links terrorism and funds racketeering.

An emergency community meeting was coordinated by MCRC at the Mosque Foundation, Bridgeview. More than 25 concerned community members, representatives of various organizations and advocacy groups, friends and relatives of Ghassan Zeyed Ballut and Hatim Naji Fariz, and MCRC's board members and staff attended the meeting.

Media, Action, Legal and Financial Committees were formed to provide legal defense and advocacy support to those arrested.

Action Committee

Andy Thayer, Dorothy Pagosa, Mamoun Rifai,

Financial Committee

Ahmad Tansheet, Mamoun Al-Rifai, Rahef, Tariq Abu-Khdier

Legal Committee

Hazim Fariz, Jim Fennerty, Ora Schub, Rafeeq Jaber

Media Committee

Abdel Hakim Hussain, Chris Geovanis, Hatem Abudayyah, Manal El-Hrisse, Omar Haydar

Meeting was attended by the following.

Abdel Hakim Hussain - Palestine Aid Society

Abdul Jebrin - Muslim American Association

AbdulBaset - Islamic Association of Palestine

Ahmad Tansheet - Muslim Civil Rights Center

Andrea Shapiro - Not in My Name

Andy Thayer - CCAWR

Caise Diab - Granada

Chris Geovanis - Hammer Hard Media

Dorothy Pagosa - 8th Day Center for Justice

Grant Newburger - Blue Triangle Network

Hatem Abudayyah - AAAN

James R. Fennerty - National Lawyers' Guild, Attorney

representing Ghassan Zeyed Ballut

Lou Downy - Refuse & Resist Chicago

Mamoun Al-Rifai - Chicago Islamic Center

Manal El-Hrisse - United Muslim American Assoc.

Michael Levin - Not in My Name

Omar Haydar - CAIR, Chicago

Ora Schub - AAAN/National Lawyer's Guild

Rafeeq Jaber - Muslim Civil Rights Center

Rasheed Ahmed - Muslim Civil Rights Center

Seema Imam - Muslim Civil Rights Center

Talal Sunbuli - Muslim Civil Rights Center

Abdalbaset Dalis

Ali Akhras

Hazim Fariz

Mazen Ahmad

Mazen Fariz

Mustafa Dalis

Salman Aftab

Syed Imam

Talal Ali

In addition to providing advocacy support, Muslim Civil Rights Center will help channelize funds for the legal defense of Hatim Naji Fariz and Ghassan Zeyed Ballut.

Muslim Civil Rights Center participates in protests against arrest of Ghassan Ballut and Hatim Fariz

"Can anyone whom Ashcroft points out as terrorist get a fair trial in this country?" said Jim Fennerty responding to the arrest of Ghassan Zeyed Ballut and Hatim Naji Fariz at a press conference and protest at Chicago Islamic Center on February 23, 2003.

Fennerty is the lawyer representing Ghassan who was arrested in Chicago on February 20, 2003. He mentioned the double standards being adopted by the US Government saying that Israeli government had choppers and other resources, and every day 8-9 Palestinians were killed.

Fennerty also gave examples from Irish history saying, "In 70's British had interned many Irish and put them in jails for years. Same is happening in USA today." He termed Patriot Act, war on Iraq and these kind of incidents, part of one plan.

Others who spoke during the press conference included Hakim Hussein (Palestine Aid Society), Mamoun Al-Rifai (friend of Ghassan), Hannan Ballut (wife of Ghassan), Hazim Fariz (brother of Hatim), and Dorothy Pagosa (8th Day Center for Justice). Details

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PDF] Arab and Muslim Civil Rights Issues in the Chicago Metropolitan ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
... 21 Kareem Irfan, President, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
..... 22 Mohammad Kaiseruddin, President, Muslim Community ...
www.usccr.gov/pubs/sac/il0503/il0503.pdf - Similar pages

In keeping with their defense of terrorist entities and individuals connected , the CIOCG welcomed a delegation from the Muslim World League which has been declared a terrorist funding entity by the US government with links to Al Qaeda.

--------------------------------------

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13615

Prior to September 11, 2001, the MSA formally assisted three Islamic charities in fundraising: the Holy Land Foundation, Global Relief, and Benevolence Foundation. After that date, all three were accused by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of having serious links to terrorism and were ordered closed. The MSA issued a formal statement of protest: "How three of the nation's largest Muslim charities could be made inoperable at the peak of the giving season of Ramadan seemed unbelievable."[4]

------------------------------------

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:5H7c_C_jm6kJ:www.mcrcnet.org/ENewsletters/ENews_details_2004.htm+CIOGC+muslim+world+league&hl=en&lr=lang_de|lang_en

Chicago Muslims denounce Johnson Murder - CIOGC

* Muslim Civil Rights Center (MCRC) is member of the CIOGC and endorses the following:

Chicago, IL, 06/18/04 - The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), an umbrella organization serving over 400,000 Muslims throughout Chicagoland, joins fellow Americans and national Muslim organizations in strongly condemning and sharing grief over the gruesome and inhumane murder of Paul Johnson, Jr., an innocent American employee of Lockheed Martin in Saudi Arabia.

Expressing personal regrets and strong revulsion, Chairman Kareem Irfan stated: "This beheading is a horrific act of senseless brutality that no cause or twisted religious grounds may justify. It is despicable that the group committing this revolting killing actually professes to be defending, and speaking in the name of, Islam. These actions run counter to the most fundamental of Islamic ethics, religious principles and moral teachings. The Council and Chicago's Muslim community offer deepest condolences to Mr. Johnson's grieving wife, family, friends and all those suffering the pain of his brutal death."

Mr. Irfan cautioned against broadly attributing this grossly inhumane act to the Saudis, Arabs or Muslims in general. "We Americans must not permit these murderous acts of a misguided few to broadly tarnish our views of millions of Muslims in the U.S. and abroad who remain steadfast on Islam's core mandates of respect, compassion, and mercy for fellow humans. These difficult times demand more than ever before that people of faith and moral conscience come together in peace to counter extremism and bloodshed by understanding and reconciliation."

- END -

Contact: Kareem M. Irfan, Chairman CIOGC - Ph.: 847.867.4304; irfank@squared.com

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MIM:

Below Kareem Irfan's statement about Paul Johnson's murder was a press release from the Bridgeview Mosque.(see below)

Both the CIOGC and the Bridgeview Mosque are closely aligned as can be seen from the speaker's list at the 2001 IAP convention which listed Irfan and IAP/Bridgeview Mosque spokesman Rafiq Jabeer as speakers.

The Bridgeview Mosque Foundation, which has been under FBI surveillance for 10 years and had several members jailed on terrorism charges. The mosque is run by members of the IAP/ HAMAS who denounced the "terrorists" actions adding that "they do not represent Islam nor the beliefs and desires of the world's 1.2 billion peace -loving Muslims. (!)

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Terrorism expert Steven Emerson visited the Bridgeview mosque and described this den of "peace-loving" Muslims in his book "American Jihad":

... Jamal Said was the imam. I could tell immediately that we were deep in the heart of Hamas territory.

The walls of the vestibule were covered with Hamas posters and recruiting literature showing masked gunmen brandishing automatic weapons.

It was all in Arabic, but you could see daggers plunged into Jewish hearts wrapped up in American flags. They even had a library filled with militant terrorist videos and books.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26888

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For more on the Bridgeview Mosque see:

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/166

Nabil Al Marabh, a suspected planner in the 9/11 hijackings attended the Bridgeview mosque. http://www.suntimes.com/terror/stories/cst-nws-commun21.html

A member of the the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation, Mohammed Saleh, was the first American citizen to make the FBI's most wanted Islamic terrorist list .

The Bridgeview mosque has also been linked to the Holy Land Foundation, a charity which was closed down by the U.S. government for fund raising for terrorist groups. http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=8279.


At a post 9/11 press conference, in the presence of mosque spokesman Rafiq Jaber, and Imam Jamil Said, Ousama Jammal stated the following: "How certain are we that it was Arabs who were behind it?" Suggesting that Americans look at the causes, he argued that despair and fear are at the roots of terrorism. http://www.washington-report.org/archives/november01/0111050.html


Bridgeview-area Muslims condemn Johnson's murder - Mosque Foundation


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BRIDGEVIEW, IL, 06/18/04 - The leaders of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrific murder of American engineer Paul M. Johnson by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.

We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to Mr. Johnson's family and friends, and we pray that God will grant them comfort and solace in their time of grief.

The terrorists' actions in kidnapping and beheading Mr. Johnson are despicable and cowardly, and they do not represent Islam nor the beliefs and desires of the world's 1.2 billion peace-loving Muslims.

There is not one word in the Holy Qur'an or one example in the tradition of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that would encourage, support or condone Mr. Johnson's murder. In fact, the opposite is true: The Qur'an says to kill one innocent life is the same as killing all of humanity, and to save one life is the same as saving all of humanity.

Even in their deepest sorrow, Mr. Johnson's family has said the terrorists and their actions do not reflect the goodness of the Saudi people.

Likewise, we ask our fellow Americans to remember that al-Qaeda does not represent Islam or the values of Muslims.

The Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview joins together with all of America in grief and sorrow over Mr. Johnson's death, and the senseless acts of violence being wreaked upon innocents across the globe.

We join all Americans in calling for peace and an end to senseless conflict and strife.

###

Contact: Oussama Jammal, President Mosque Foundation, Bridgeview, Phone: (708) 430-5666, ext. 5

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Kareem Irfan and several members of the Chicago Islamist community were speakers at the Islamic Association of Palestine ( IAP/Hamas) conference in 2001. Note that Rafeeq Jaber who is listed as the director of the IAP is also the spokeman for the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation in Chicago.

In 2002 Rafiq Jaber congratulated the CIOGC on their anniversary.

Message from the Islamic Association of Palestine

"Congratulations to the Council on its tenth anniversary. It is only 10 years young & getting better. May Allah (swt) guide & grant the leaders of this great organization the wisdom to build a great Muslim community, for a better America."

Rafiq Jabr,
President Islamic Assn of Palestine

http://www.ciogc.org/events/10th_anniversary/support_messages.html

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MIM: Update: As MIM readers know Sami Al Arian is in jail awaiting trial on terrorism charges :

Last month UASR director Ahmed Yusuf's, United Association for Studies and Research, was shut down due to ties with Hamas and Al Qaeda. Yusuf is reported to have fled the country. Another interesting note is that Fawaz Damra, the Imam of the Cleveland Islamic Center who was arrested and is being deported for his ties to Hamas, Al Arian's Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups recently requested permission from a judge to attend a meeting of the UASR .

Yusuf whereabouts are presently unknown but it can be assumed he is urgently wanted in some circles for questioning,

Unfortunately the UASR highlights another case of militant Islamists openly operating under the guise of academic institutions reminscent of Al Arian's ICP and WISE. One of the professors whom Al Arian recruited to work on both projects , Ramadan Shallah, left his professorship at USF to take up the leadership of the Islamic Jihad in Syria.

One wonders who Ahmed Yusef's next employers will be .

Yusuf's insider experience with exploiting the U.S, system and contacts with a network of organisations institutions he developed during his years 'operating' in the United States' will prove to be a valuable commodity in international terrorist circles .

Perhaps he will find a job with his crony Azzam Tamimi in London,(who was a guest at the UASR). Tamimi runs the International Institute of Islamic Political thought, a Hamas, Al Qaeda affiliated pseudo academic institute . Ahmed might replace Bashir Nafi, also a former Al Arian colleague and ex USF professor. Nafi fled the US and was given a place on the advisory board of the IIPT. Nafi was arrested last year in the UK for his ties to Al Arian's Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.

Not surprisingly Nafi's name is still listed on the IIPT advisory board.

For more on the IIPT and their affiliations see:

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/214

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"Alleged Terror Threat Operates in D.C. Suburb"

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=%5CSpecialReports%5Carchive%5C200407%5CSPE20040712a.html

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SPEAKERS FOR DECEMBER 2001 IAP 5TH ANNUAL CONVENTION IN CHICAGO

The following is a list of confirmed speakers and moderators for the Arabic,
English, and Youth Programs for the upcoming IAP convention Dec 21-25.

1. Shuhail El-Ghonoshi, PhD, President of Muslim American Society (MAS)
2. Agha Saeed, PhD in Politics and President of American Muslim Alliance (AMA)
3. Hani Al-Hasan, PLO Leader and Advisor to Yasser Arafat
4. Wagdi Ghunaim, Islamic Scholar
5. Abbas Hamidah, Palestine Right of Return Coalition (Al-Awada)
6. Sami Al-Arian, PhD, Civil Rights Activist and President of National
Coalition for the Protection of Political Freedom (NCPPF)
7. Graham Fuller, former CIA director on the Middle-East, Expert from RAND
in Islamic Movements, West and Islam
8. Laura Drake, PhD in Middle-East and Palestine Affairs
9. Shaker Assayed, PhD, Secretary General of Muslim American Society (MAS)
10. Tom Pushari, Los Angeles Research Center and Expert on the Issue of
Palestine
11. Salah Sultan, PhD in Shariah, President of the Islamic American
University (IAU)
12. Ahmad Yousef, PhD in Journalism and President of United Association for
Studies and Research (UASR)
13. Muhammad Al-Hanouti, Islamic Scholar
14. Stanley Cohn, Lawyer in Civil Rights
15. Aminah McCloud, PhD in History
16. Jamal Said, Imam of Mosque Foundation in Chicago
17. Sabri Samirah, PhD in Politics and President of the United Muslim
Americans Association (UMAA)
18. Yaser Bushnaq, President of Solidarity International USA
19. Ziad Hamdan, Political Expert on Islam and Palestine
20. Rafeeq Jaber, President of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)
21. Hatem Bazian, PhD in Comparative Religion and Expert on Palestine
22. Osama Abu-Irshid, Political Analyst and Editor of Zaytouna
23. Abdullah Madyun, Imam of Indiana Mosque
24. Altaf Hussain, President of National Muslim Student Association (MSA)
25. Ameen Fateh, Imam and Chairman of the Association of Islamic Scholars in
America
26. Amer Haleem, Interpreter of the Quran and Director for the Quranic
Literacy Institute (QLI)
27. Ashraf Nubani, Lawyer and Civil Rights Activist
28. Basman Dahleh, Organizer of Youth Programs
29. Johari ibn Seale, Imam of Howard University Chapel in DC
30. Ismail Muhammad, Minister for Nation of Islam in Chicago
31. Saif Abdelrahman, Lawyer and Youth Organizer
32. Seema Imam, PhD in Education, and Secretary of the Muslim American for
Civil Rights and Legal Defense (MACRLD)
33. Tareq Abu Ghazaleh, Expert on Palestinian Refugees
34. Raeed Tayeh, Journalist and Organizer of Youth Programs
35. Abdelbaset Hamayel, Secretary General of the IAP
36. Kifah Mustafa, Imam and Islamic Activist
37. Manal El-Hrisse, Political Activist and Organizer of Youth Programs
38. Ribhi Huzain, Organizer of Youth Programs
39. Isa Taiym, Organizer of Youth Programs
40. Rawa Ghabayen, Organizer of Youth Programs

Unconfirmed Invited Speakers and Moderators as of Dec 13, 2001: (Some is still
working on their traveling plans for overseas, and promised to come a day at
least to the convention. We shall keep you informed.)

41. Jamal Badawi, PhD, Islamic Scholar
42. Abdullah Idris, Educator and former President of Islamic Society of
North America (ISNA)
43. Mustafa Barghouthi, PhD, President of the Research Center in Rammallah
44. Louis Farrakhan, Minister of the Nation of Islam
45. Hasher Ibn Maktoum, United Arab Emirates Prince, and President of
Dubai's Division of Media
46. Abdelazeem Elssiddiq, PhD in Theology, Educator, and Chairman of UMAA
47. Khaled Turaani, President of the American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ)
48. Allison Weir, Freelance Journalist and Expert on Palestine
49. Fathi Zubaidi, PhD, Religious Programs Director for UAE TV's and Radios.
50. Karim Irfan, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater
Chicago (CIOGC)

American Muslims: A Bridge of Understanding & Cooperation
(IAP) 5th Annual Convention
Chicago, 21-25 December 2001
Holiday Inn, O'Hare International

Back To: www.iap.org

===============

Here is a list of the trustees of the CIOGC.

Note that Oussama Jammal, head of the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation, whose spokesman is the leader

of the IAP/Hamas, is listed as a director of the CIOGC.

For more on Jammal, and BMF and Hamas see:

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/166

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/149

Jan 2003 - Jan. 2004 Term

Position Name e-Mail
Chairman Kareem Irfan chairman@ciogc.org
Vice Chairman Esmail Koushanpour ekoushanpour@ciogc.org
Secretary Shamshad Hussain shussain@ciogc.org
Treasurer Khawaja Mohiuddin kmohiuddin@ciogc.org
Director M. Inam Hussain ihussain@ciogc.org
Director Azam Nizamuddin anizamuddin@ciogc.org
Director Oussama Jammal

he CIOCG's welcomed a "good will" delegation from their Saudi paymasters who were touted as an "esteemed panel of experts" .

The CIOGC ties to the Muslim World League is further proof of their Wahabist agenda .

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330 East Roosevelt Road, Suite G5, Lombard, IL 60148 - Ph.: 630.629.7490 ? Fax: 630.629.7492
Contact: Contact: Farhan Younus, Esq. [Chairperson, CIOGC Media Relations Committee - Ph.: 630-926-5566]

PRESS RELEASE
Chicago - Thursday, June 27, 2002

CHICAGO WELCOMES INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION OF
ISLAMIC LEADERS ON GOODWILL TOUR

A delegation of internationally recognized Muslim leaders, scholars and jurists representing a cross-section of the Muslim World is planning a good-will tour of the United States under the auspices of the Muslim World League (MWL). The delegation is headed by HE Dr. Abdullah al-Turki, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, member of the Senior Ulama Commission and former minister of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia.

This delegation will be visiting New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles from June 25th until July 15th, 2002. The delegation will be in Chicago from June 30, 2002 through July 2, 2002. Their objective is to meet and brief prominent leaders of the media, inter-faith communities, academia, and government agencies, based on a global perspective of critical post 9-11 issues pertaining to Muslims and Islam. The delegation is seeking cooperation in establishing peace, justice, mutual tolerance and developing bridges of understanding across faiths, societies and civilizations.

The World Muslim League, headquartered in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, is a non-governmental organization represented in a number of international organizations such as the Organization of the Islamic Conferences, where it enjoys the position of an observer member, as well as the United Nations, where it also enjoys category A observer status as a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The MWL is also a member of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural organization (UNESCO) and the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as well as the International Supreme Council for Da'wah and Relief, where it enjoys the status of a founding member.

Members of the delegation include Dr. Ahmad Abulmagd, Commissioner for the Dialogue of Civilizations at the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt. Other esteemed members of the delegation are HE Kamil al-Shareef, former minister of Jordan and Secretary General of the International Council for Islamic Call and Relief and a founding member of the Muslim World League; Dr. Muhammad A. Bayyoumi, Professor of Sociology, Alexandria University, Egypt; Dr. Mustafa I. Siric, Grand Mufti of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and member of the Fiqh Council at the Muslim World League; Dr. Al-Sheikh Ahmad Lemo, President of the Islamic Education Endowment, Abuja, Nigeria; Dr. Salman al-Hasan al-Nadawi, president of Muslim Youth Society in India; and Dr. Jamal Badawi, President of the Islamic Media Foundation, Halifax, Canada.

This is the first time a delegation of this caliber has visited the United States for the expressed purpose of improving people to people relations, based upon a cross cultural dialogue between the people of the United States and the Muslim World.

A press conference featuring members of this esteemed panel of experts will be held at the Peninsula Hotel, 108 East Superior Street (at North Michigan Avenue), Chicago, Illinois 60611 on Monday July 1, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. Interviews with individual members of the delegation can be scheduled by contacting Farhan Younus at (630) 926-5566. END

http://www.ciogc.org/none.html?articleId=75

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In Allah's Name?
By Naomi Schaefer Riley
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2004


ARTICLE
Wall Street Journal, p. W11

"At best, it's vigilantism. At worst it's anarchy. Islam is against both." That was the reaction of Daniel McBride to the recent beheadings of South Korean Kim Sun Il and Americans Paul Johnson and Nicholas Berg. Mr. McBride, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Fla., wants to make clear that "for these radicals to even imply that what they're doing is Islamically correct is wrong."

Many Muslims are disturbed that such acts of terrorism are being committed in the name of their religion. The Council on American-Islamic Relations launched a petition a few weeks ago that notes: "We, the undersigned Muslims wish to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror, murder, and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only destroying innocent lives, but also betraying the values of the faith they claim to represent."

Mohammad Tariq Sherwani, the director of the Muslim Center in Flushing, N.Y., signed the petition because he was concerned that "lots of times, Muslims don't speak up against violence." He expressed special sadness about the death of Paul Johnson. "That gentleman in Saudi Arabia. He was so honest. He lived there for years. He trusted the people. He was killed by the people he trusted."

Kareem Irfan, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations in Greater Chicago, cites the "strong traditions of the prophet Muhammad, which require dealings based on compassion, tolerance and mercy, even with military engagement." He emphasizes: "With civilians, there is no possible justification [for mistreatment] in the Koran or the actions of the Prophet."

That the terrorists were chanting "God is great" while executing Nicholas Berg is particularly disturbing for Yassir Fazaga, the imam at the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo, Calif. "As if that gives you an OK, that what you're doing is the will of God....It's a disgrace." So why are these radicals invoking Islam? Imam Fazaga believes that, in addition to trying to add legitimacy to their actions, they are using the religious justification to recruit more members.

Mr. McBride believes the radicals are trying to intimidate the enemy. "If you said to Americans, 100 guys are doing this, the Americans would say hunt them down and kill them," but now Americans think a whole religion is against them.

At bottom, though, Mr. Irfan believes that the beheadings simply demonstrate "a primordial sense of retaliation and revenge."

Mr. Sherwani is careful to note that "two wrongs don't make a right." Even the prison abuse at Abu Ghraib "doesn't make it right." These Muslim leaders agree that, along with the victims' being innocent of any crimes, their executioners had no right under Muslim law to try or punish them.

Islamic law does allow capital punishment and prescribes beheading in some cases of rape or murder, but as Omar Abu-Namouf, imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, notes: "Only the authorities are entitled to impose punishment, not ordinary individuals."

This is where the issue gets more difficult for some Muslim leaders in America.

"Who is qualified to set themselves up as a legitimate tribunal to cast the death penalty?" asks Rashad Sharif, the imam of the Masjid Al-Mu'minun, in Memphis, Tenn. In a world where certain governments "refuse to recognize international courts," he believes that it is hard to say who is legitimate and who is not. Indeed, Imam Sharif refuses to explicitly condemn the beheadings. "When I hear about someone cut in two pieces, I think about how we [Americans] blow up people into more pieces than can be put back together."

As disturbing as Imam Sharif's message of moral equivalence seems, it points to a larger question. Why aren't Muslim leaders who denounce the beheadings willing to speak out against others who take the law into their own hands? Like the suicide bombers in Israel, for instance?

Toward the end of our conversation, Mr. Sherwani mentions his belief that "Israel is doing the same thing to Palestinians as Hitler did to the Jews." The implication seems to be that in the face of such oppression, such a response is legitimate.

And what about the various countries, like Nigeria, that are slowly implementing Sharia, or Islamic law, which sanctions the amputation of limbs for robbery or stoning to death for adultery? Are they legitimate authorities?

Mr. Sherwani can only assure me that "if there is one totally Islamic state, you will see justice."

That Islam permits some extreme punishments, says Kareem Irfan, is almost beside the point.

To carry them out, he maintains, you must reach "what the Western system would consider unmeetable thresholds of evidence."

Better, he says, that Muslims follow the Koran's "exhortation to first consider forgiving."

Ms. Riley's book, God on the Quad, will be published by St. Martin's in January.

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MIM: In an development which warrants closer scrutiny the head of the CIOCG Kareem Irfan, who justified beheadings in a cultural context, was given an award by Thomas Kneir of the FBI. Irfan 'read the riot act' to the FBI, regarding their investigations of Muslims . Irfan's response in a case study in the arrogant and derisive Islamist attitude towards law enforcement .Note that Irfan refers to his "trusting friendship" with. FBI agent Kneir. Thomas Kneir, for his part 'admits' that Irfan has "taken the FBI to task". Thomas Kneir has an alarming history of showing up at Islamist gatherings in Chicago .

Dr. Daniel Pipes has offered some insights on the travesty of law enforcement 'breaking bread' with the organisations they should be investigating .One cautionary tale involves the American Muslim Council whose director, Abdulrahman Alamoudi,was recently jailed on terrorism charges had been a guest at the White House and socializing with Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI.

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Director Mueller and Mr. Alamoudi.

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/100

I criticized FBI Director Robert Mueller back in June 2002 when he attended a meeting of the American Muslim Council, the organization founded and directed (sometimes from behind the scenes) by Abdurahman Alamoudi. I ended my article "[The AMC:] ‘Mainstream' Muslims?" with the following advice: "Rather than endorse AMC by his presence, Robert Mueller should find other lunch companions next Friday. Then he should put the organization under surveillance, ascertain its funding sources, look over its books, and check its staff's visa status."

Well, what do you know – I got my wish. News came today of Mr. Alamoudi's arrest on charges of violating the International Economic Emergency Powers Act, which bars financial transactions with the Libyan government (for more on the charges, see my weblog at http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/98). Apparently, even as the FBI spokesman mistakenly lavished praise on the AMC as the "the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States," other agencies in the federal government were awake at the switch. (September 29, 2003)

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MIM: Let's hope that the FBI will also catch on to the Fifth columnist activities of of agent Thomas Kneir and take action against the Council of Islamic Organisations of Greater Chicago.

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http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/227

The U.S. Government's Poor Record on Islamists.

In my critique of the U.S. Institute of Peace for consorting with Islamists, I pointed out that "Over and over again, branches of the American government have been embarrassed by their blindness to jihadist Islam," then I gave four examples of this pattern – a presidential candidate, the Department of Defense, the New York State prison system, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Source: CIOGC Press Release

http://www.isna.net/news/miniheadlines.asp?foobar=273&dismode=article&artid=29

Chicago, IL -

Kareem M. Irfan, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and head of the 2003 ISNA Convnetion Steering Commmittee, was recently presented the Department of Justice 2002 Community Leadership Award for his forceful advocacy on behalf of the Chicago-area Muslim community.

The award was presented by Thomas Kneir, Special-Agent-in-Charge of the FBI's Chicago office. Mr. Knier commented that Mr. Irfan regularly takes the FBI to task for initiatives that negatively impact the Muslim-American community.

The Council is proud of Br. Kareem Irfan and thankful that Allah has blessed us with someone of his caliber, who can advocate forcefully and confront difficult issues impacting Muslim-Americans. The strong leadership he has provided on behalf of the Chicago-area Muslim community, especially since September 11, has been noticed across the nation. Accepting this award was a difficult decision for our humble chairman, particularly at a time when the Justice Department has detained hundreds, many in solitary confinement, terrified the community with searches and seizures, and introduced special registration, among other civil rights concerns. Mr. Irfan made the decision to accept the award only after consulting with colleagues and assessing that it served the best interests of the Muslim community.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Irfan noted:

"Of course, I will remain committed to nurturing an open relationship with Chicago's FBI and a trusting friendship with you. Nevertheless, I will also be watchful of your enforcement actions and come to you, perhaps even more frequently and forcefully, with important Muslim community concerns. We remain deeply concerned of the expanding FBI focus on our Mosques, Muslim institutions, and the diversity of Muslims in this area – a focus apparently based on some radical notions as to what constitute reasonable investigative techniques and justifiable enforcement actions. And, of course, these concerns escalate as the amazing USA Patriot 2 Act emerges, having already been called "a catalog of authoritarianism that runs counter to basic tenets of democracy."

"Please note that Muslim Americans will be monitoring ever-carefully the actions of the FBI as a Govt. agency committed to serve and protect us. Rest assured that you will continue to hear my strong voice of concern on behalf of Chicago's Muslims. Rest assured also of my guarantee of utmost sincerity, courtesy and professionalism on behalf of the community."

The award was presented before an audience of about 500 people at the annual fundraising dinner of Averroes Academy, a highly regarded full-time Islamic School in Northbrook, Illinois. For the full-text of Mr. Irfan's speech, please read on.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 2002 COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

ACCEPTANCE ADDRESS BY KAREEM M. IRFAN, ESQ.

CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS OF GREATER CHICAGO

As Salaamu Alaikum:

Greetings of peace to each one of you.

Over my years of professional work and community service, I have come to learn the truth of the aphorism: "No good deed goes unpunished". That is partly why I stand before you tonight. As this Award is handed out, I stand before you with feelings of pride on behalf of the entire Chicago Muslim Community, all my dear friends, brothers and sisters, whom I love dearly and feel privileged to represent and serve on the Council.

Tom - let me be honest … when you first graciously nominated me and then informed me that I have indeed won this Award, I had mixed feelings. Think about it: Muslim- and Arab-Americans, have effectively had their lives turned topsy turvy as a result of unprecedented, aggressive law enforcement and investigative approaches adopted by the U.S. government and its agencies, especially the FBI acting under the aggressive leadership of your boss in D.C. In these troubling times, an award of recognition from the FBI, conferred on a publicly active, Muslim-American representative, raises serious questions.

Well, after much deliberation over accepting the award and where to do it, some serious consulting with respected colleagues and friends, I opted to plunge right ahead and accept this DOJ Award at today's event hosted by my dear friends at Averroes Academy. Two significant reasons drove me to this decision:

1) First of all, I am a firm believer in government accountability based on the concept that our government entities exist primarily as a service to us, the citizenry of this nation. Hence, as concerned and patriotic citizens of this country, it behooves us to be constant critics and supporters - always supporting in principle correct actions on our behalf while also critiquing whenever necessary to improve services to the community and especially when any incorrect actions occur. That principle has driven me as I have represented the Council and Chicago's Muslims in dealing open-mindedly with candor, cordiality and forcefulness with agencies like the Police, the INS, the U.S. Attorney and the FBI. Under Mr. Kneir's leadership, my overtures have been reciprocated and a threshold level of trust built up. And if the DOJ felt that my leadership approach, despite my constant yet hopefully reasonable criticism, was commendable, I felt it was important to acknowledge this on behalf of the Muslim community I serve.

2) Secondly, in today's atmosphere of paranoia and agonizing amidst a blistering assault on the long-standing civil rights and individual liberties of America's minorities, I strongly feel that our community needs reassurance that their leaders are not caving in to fears of FBI investigations and targeted racial profiling. The community needs to be assured that their representatives are in direct contact with key Government officials and forcefully bringing up concerns on their behalf. Our Muslims can indeed gain confidence from recognizing that the Govt. is indeed open enough to recognize such representatives and accommodate their concerns. Hence, by openly recognizing my relatively direct and cordial relationship with Mr. Thomas Kneir's FBI offices in Chicago, I expect our Muslims in Chicago to gain a strong measure of confidence in these difficult times.

So, here I stand before you all accepting this Community Leadership Award on behalf of the entire Muslim American population represented by the CIOGC. I strongly believe that this is not an individual award but a recognition that the over 7 million Muslims in USA and over 400,000 Muslims in the Chicago area are part of mainstream American Society; and that we Muslim Americans are indeed an integral part of the American population currently concerned about homeland security and terrorism of all kinds, and also equally concerned about reasonable and effective responses thereto independent of religion, nationality or race.

One important note for Mr. Kneir and the FBI: Of course, I and my fellow Muslims appreciate and thank you for this Award. I am, of course, assuming you have gone through your extensive background checks on my activities and those of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and find it all acceptable. Accordingly, by conferring this recognition, you have given deserved credibility to the Council and added strength to my voice as a leader representing Chicago Muslims in dealings with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

Of course, I will remain committed to nurturing an open relationship with Chicago's FBI and a trusting friendship with you. Nevertheless, I will also be watchful of your enforcement actions and come to you, perhaps even more frequently and forcefully, with important Muslim community concerns. We remain deeply concerned of the expanding FBI focus on our Mosques, Muslim institutions, and the diversity of Muslims in this area – a focus apparently based on some radical notions as to what constitute reasonable investigative techniques and justifiable enforcement actions. And, of course, these concerns escalate as the amazing USA Patriot 2 Act emerges, having already been called "a catalog of authoritarianism that runs counter to basic tenets of democracy."

Please note that Muslim Americans will be monitoring ever-carefully the actions of the FBI as a Govt. agency committed to serve and protect us. Rest assured that you will continue to hear my strong voice of concern on behalf of Chicago's Muslims. Rest assured also of my guarantee of utmost sincerity, courtesy and professionalism on behalf of the community.

Let me now offer a note of appreciation for the Muslim community I am privileged to serve at the Council. Thanks to all of my dear brothers and sister across Chicago who continue to appreciate my humble attempts at community service despite all my numerous shortcomings and faults. Several of you have joined us tonight specifically to show your support for me – thanks from the bottom of my heart. Your prayers, appreciation and support keep me going as I, sometimes desperately, juggle my responsibilities to work, my family, and the community. Please continue to remember me and my family in your du'as.

Finally, I leave you with a reminder about what's of paramount importance tonight. Not Kareem Irfan, not the FBI Leadership Award, not even the keynote speech to come - although I'm sure our respected guest Dr. Akbar Ahmad will share some scintillating jewels of knowledge given his immense experience and wisdom. Let's remember that the prime reason for tonight is our gracious host, Averroes Academy, which is an outstanding educational institution fully deserving of our support. My dear friends - please support them tonight. May Allah accept and adequately reward all our efforts in His cause.

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
330 East Roosevelt Road, Suite G5
Lombard, Illinois 60148
Tel: (630) 629.7490
Fax: (630) 629.7492
Email: Council@ciogc.org
Visit us on the web: www.ciogc.org


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MIM:Deja vu all over again- FBI and Chicago chief of police meet with hicago Muslims to reassure them they won't go into their mosques. While proclaiming them the first line of defense against inevitable terrorist attack.

"...Grant said he felt another large-scale terrorist attack in this country was "inevitable."

"We have a great fear that an incident of mass destruction is going to find its way in this country, and the intelligence is going to come from this community," Grant said..."

New FBI agent meets with local Muslims

http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsnews/177nd1.htm

by William Lee

Sitting over Middle Eastern delicacies such as shawarma, shish kabob and shish tawook, some members of the local Muslim-American community broke pita with the FBI's new local agent to discuss concerns and fears in their community.

Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago office, met with several local businessmen and members of the United Arab American League in the dining room of the Baladi restaurant in Bridgeview on Monday.

Organizers said the dinner was a step toward improved relations between Muslim-Americans and law enforcement.

The dinner, which featured fewer then 10 people, included Muslim-American activists, educators and businessmen.

The group spoke on a variety of topics, ranging from Islamic charities to differences among Muslim-Americans.

Muslim-Americans said they are worried they are routinely tied to terrorism and publicly persecuted. Grant explained his role of thwarting any threats of terrorism.

UAAL national director Ali Alarabi spoke of a "sense of siege" that many Muslim-Americans feel.

The Southland is home to thousands of Muslim-Americans, about 80 percent of whom are Palestinian, according to Alarabi.

"Since Sept. 11, we live in a state of constant fear. I don't think the average person understands that, but it's our job to (inform) them. We want to be treated fairly and equally, not better," Alarabi said.

Grant said he felt another large-scale terrorist attack in this country was "inevitable."

"We have a great fear that an incident of mass destruction is going to find its way in this country, and the intelligence is going to come from this community," Grant said.

Both sides talked about the role of the Muslim-American community in fighting terrorism, though organizers said there is still apprehension by many toward federal law enforcement.

The activists encouraged learning the nuances of their culture, in particular the Arabic language, which they said could incorrectly make federal authorities feel there is a threat where there is none.

Grant also assured the group that agents do not monitor religious speeches in mosques and will not investigate citizens because they may be connected to an individual they are investigating.

"We're going to knock on your door because something brought us to your door," Grant said.

"We're not going to knock on your door and say, 'We know you're Muslim and we know you go to this mosque.' "

Orland Park police Deputy Chief Jerry Hughes also attended the dinner.

Muslim-Americans are interested in becoming a part of law enforcement and fighting against terrorism, too, Alarabi said. The Chicago Police Department currently has about 50 Muslim-American officers, he said.

At the end of the dinner, Alarabi said he hoped this first talk would lead to further talks.

William Lee may be reached at wlee@dailysouthtown.com or (708) 633-6747.

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