This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/18
Islam for Humanity or Islam vs.Humanity
by Beila Rabinowitz & William Meyer
March 4, 2004
Florida Islamic Conference Outed As Jihad-Fest
By Beila Rabinowitz & William A. Mayer
(Washington) PipeLineNews - Although possibly viewed as heretical – in some quarters - it is really hard to ignore the fact that one of Mohammed's prime intentions, when creating Islam was to unite the warring Arab tribes and factions into one nation.
This statement is not meant to demean the softer, more lofty side of the religion - especially considering that much of it is derived from the Bible – but it is really necessary to grasp this key fact - of Islam's practicality and historic use as an organizing principle - if one is to understand both its promise and more darkly, its potential as a true threat.
We will leave the aspect of Islam's promise to others, possibly better able to convey Islam's beneficent side, since that doesn't get people killed.
Much has been written since September, 11 2001 about Islam. Unfortunately much of what has been written is more influenced by the intellectual straightjacket enforced by the diversity crowd rather than by a cold and hard appraisal of the facts at hand.
Fact: There are adherents to a radical form of Islam and they comprise the majority of the terrorist threat against Israel, the United States and the Western democracies.
We can argue what percentage of this faith is represented by the radicals, but the existence of a virulent sect within Islam cannot be denied.
Here in the United States we take justifiable pride in accommodating many diverse cultures, lifestyles and beliefs. It is said ad-nauseum, that we are a nation of immigrants, and that is absolutely correct. However this very accommodation, this willingness to uncritically accept people at their word places us at potential great peril.
Pavel Sudaplatov, Soviet spymaster & Stalin's personal intelligence operative who arranged the 1940 assassination of Trotsky in Mexico - characterized the nature of this danger very succinctly in his autobiographical work, Special Tasks.
"You in the West have your weaknesses as well. The diversity in America, the plethora of foreign-born immigrant communities within your population, are the pride of your melting pot. Yet within these communities we were able to enlist thousands of agents ready to destroy you in case war broke out between us."
Given our bitter recent experience with foreign born architects of domestic terror we no longer have the luxury to assume that all alien philosophies are harmless and that all immigrants mean us well – the weapons these renegades might wield, in a nuclear world, are far too fearsome and our highly integrated society – for all of its military and economic strength - too fragile, to be able to any longer afford the risk.
Set against such rumination we consider the new Universal Heritage Foundation - situated in Orlando's tourist corridor – which will on Friday December 19, give locals an opportunity to combine both the fun of the Magic Kingdom with Islamic fundamentalism and the Muslim Caliphate.
Located just 15 miles from Disney World, the 31 acre campus of the Universal Heritage Foundation is sponsoring its "Islam for Humanity" inaugural conference, which is expected to draw thousands of Muslims to Kissimmee Florida. muslimaccess.com/community_events/results_today.asp
Editor's note: As we go to press, the final location of the conference - like many of the other facts surrounding the story - seems to be in flux. Reports have been circulated that now the event will be held at a site in Osceola, Florida called the Silver Spur Stadium at Ocseola Heritage Park, apparently having been moved - unexpectedly - from its original location, the UHF Center itself. http://www.masnet.org/pressroom_release.asp?id=672
Various reasons for the sudden venue change have been offered, but the conflicting nature of these excuses merely provides further evidence of the subterfuge surrounding this event. In many ways, it simply provides punctuation to the question:
"What are these people trying to hide?"
The UHF campus is considered to be the largest tract of land owned by a Muslim organization in America.
The UHF is an Islamic "propagation" center founded by the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society - two of the largest and most radical Muslim, organizations in the United States.
"They [Editor's note: the Wahabi, or radical Islamists] control every major Muslim organization, including the Islamic Association for Palestine, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Committee for Palestine, the Islamic Society for North America, the Muslim Arab Youth Association, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Muslim Students Association." The New Anti Semitism - Daniel Pipes
The "Islam for Humanity" conference flyer proclaims a message of brotherhood and understanding.
"We invite you to attend our Inaugural Conference…where…we will ask you to join hands with us as we walk up the road to new horizons…."
However, UHF director Zulfiqar Ali Shah and president Ashraf Shaikh who are hosting more than 25 participants, seem to have a decidedly different agenda. The roster of these participants reads like a Who's Who of militant Islam and many of them represent institutions and organizations linked to international terrorism.
Actually to be perfectly factual, the roster of only a few days ago read more like the sinister Who's Who list than the current one, and there is a reason for that. The organizers of the "Islam for Humanity" event know that they are being observed, and are making changes along the way to attempt to blunt in advance the growing criticism that the presence of such notorious people naturally brings about.
"We want to awaken the conscience of America: because if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come," he told the crowd. "Please all Americans, do remember that, that Allah is watching everyone. If you continue doing injustice, and tolerating injustice, the wrath of God will come." - Muzammil Siddiqui, the former president of Islamic Society of North America, Imam of the Islamic Society of Orange County in California and hastily removed, previously scheduled speaker at the UHF Conference.
There are others.
"In a similar vein, CAIR board member Imam Siraj Wahaj calls for replacing the American government with a caliphate, and warns that America will crumble unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda." Wahaj, it should be noted, served as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the Muslim cleric convicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing." Front Page Magazine March 5, 2003 – Wahaj was also a scheduled speaker at the Conference who now appears to be AWOL from the event.
Possibly the most controversial "special guest" speaker scheduled - Saudi Sheik Abul Rahman Al-Sudais – has been apparently pulled also. Al-Sudais is the head Islamic cleric of Saudi Arabia. He has called upon Muslims to "kill Jews and American worshippers of the cross." http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:f-JVB87t4KwJ:www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/timmerman200311210851.asp+al+sudais&hl=en&ie=UTF-
Previously scheduled speaker, Green Party leader Ralph Nader - who recently announced that he was launching an exploratory bid for the U.S. presidency - also will be a no-show at the conference - we are assuming that anyway - since his name was removed from the newest iteration of the speaker's roster.
We here at PipeLineNews, have been unable to confirm this with finality because his Washington DC office refused to answer the questions we posed directly about his appearance. They no longer return our telephone calls. In the same vein the UHF does not seem to have anyone capable of answering the telephone either and does not return voice-mail, at least from us.
Presidential hopeful Ralph Nader had been keynote speaker at a previous ICNA/MAS conference. At that meeting he criticized America's war on terror declaring - "They used to be called communists , now they are called terrorists." Nader asserted that - "The U.S will lose this type of war because America has more to lose." Nader also dismissively referred to the 9/11 attacks as merely "an intelligence failure" as if Wahabi influenced, primarily Saudi nationals had nothing to do with those four airliners being hijacked that September morn, two years ago. http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:nlznib0kXR0J:www.islamonline.net/English/News/2002-07/06/article66.shtml+%22ralph+nader%22:%22icna%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
Ralph Nader's leftist critique of America is well documented but not even he apparently wants to be lumped together with people like Sheik Sudais, and other leading Saudi intellectuals who stated in 2002.
"We consider the United States and the current American administration the nurturer of international terrorism with distinction, and it, along with Israel, form the axis of terrorism and evil in the world."http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2002/04/21/LatestNews/LatestNews.47358.html
Sudais' incitement and hate filled pronouncements are not just representative of his personal opinions.
As Islamic authority and journalist Kenneth Timmerman, explains.
"...these clerics are in fact employees of the state. No one can ascend to the minaret of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, as Sheik Abdelaziz Al Sudais does regularly, without the sanction of the king. After the terror attacks in Saudi Arabia, Al-Sudais was widely quoted for having declared that the perpetrators were 'un-Islamic' because their victims included Arabs and Muslims. At a sermon during the Haj in Mecca, Men and women of all ages, races and backgrounds, thronged to the Grand Mosque in Mecca at noon, to listen to an emotional sermon by Sheik Abdel Rahman Al-Sudais, appealing for support for the Palestinian Intifada [the uprising against Israel], against the Israeli occupation. Holding back tears, he said that he hoped for the day when Islam's holiest shrine, the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, would be freed from the 'hands of the Zionist gang'..."http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/669554/post
Support for the Palestinian Intifada implies funding, which also extends to Islamic organizations in the United States. While no direct link has yet been established between outright terrorist groups like Hamas and the Universal Heritage Foundation, the interlocking directorate which seems to guide these groups are fully supportive of Jihaddist theology.
For example: Critics, including terrorism expert, Steven Emerson, accuse the American based Islamic group [Islamic Circle of North America] as having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the ideological godfather of all radical Islamic movements - including Hamas and Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda.
Documents show Hamas officials have participated in previous ICNA events. UHF director Zulfiqar Ali Shah is past president of the ICNA.
Ali Shah was also the principal at the Islamic School in Sunrise whose co-founder, Mohammed Javed Qureshi, was "dirty bomber" suspect Jose Padilla's direct supervisor at a local Taco Bell. http://www.ifsf.net/index.htm
Padilla, whose Islamic name is Abdullah al Muhajir, is being held in solitary confinement at a military brig in Charleston, SC. The FBI believes he was recruited by Al-Qaeda to conduct a "dirty bomb" [radioactive material attached to a high explosive conventional bomb] attack, somewhere in the United States. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22cherie+stultz%22&btnG=Google+Search
According to ABC news - "Al Muhajir later told him he had accepted Islam at a mosque and had taken the Muslim name Ibrahim. Qureshi said after that, he saw al Muhajir at the Mosque at the Islamic School in Sunrise and the Islamic Center of South Florida in Pomapano Beach".
You connect the dots.
A recent article about the Saudi terror funding network described how "Saudi Arabia's huge investment in financing the spread of Wahabi doctrine in the United States has been tied to the threat posed by Al Qaeda sleeper cells, in as many as 40 states."
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) not one usually associated with spreading right-wing conspiracy theories, said that, "The Wahabi presence in the United States is a foreboding one…My fear is that if we don't wake up and take action now, those influenced by Wahabism 's extremist ideology will harm us in of yet unimaginable ways."
Regarding the Universal Heritage Foundation's patron organization, the ICNA [Islamic Circle of North America] counter terrorism expert Steven Emerson stated that:
"The ICNA's hatred of the Jews is so fierce that it taunted them with a repetition of what Hitler did to them."
In his book - American Jihad - Emerson writes that, "The ICNA openly supports militant Islamic fundamentalist organizations, praises terror attacks, issues incendiary attacks on western values and policies, and supports the imposition of Sharia [Islamic code of law]."http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing3/witness_emerson.htm
The ICNA's own agenda belies Zufiqar Ali Shah's claims in a recent news article that, "he wasn't aware" of the fact that Sheik Al Sudais, who is slated to be the keynote speaker at the UHF inauguration, had been widely quoted in the media in 2002 calling the Jews - "the scum of humanity, the rats of the world, the killers of prophets, and the grandsons of monkeys and pigs."
Regarding the event , Shah went on to state that, "we would not allow anyone to say anything inappropriate" adding, "We're trying to do something good".
Even more disingenuous is the fact that Shah's own theological and political pronouncements rival that of Sheik Al –Sudais 's for their anti-Semitic and incendiary content.
A tape of Shah for sale on the "Mecca-centric" website is his "Examination of the Old Testament" which explains" how many teachings in the Old Testament actually go against all logic and morality."
In an article in 2002, Shah stated
"That this [Palestine], was not just an Arab issue, but one for "the whole Muslim Ummah [nation]...If we are unable to stop the Jews now, their next stop is Yathrib [the prophet's city of Medina], where Jews used to live until their expulsion by the prophet Muhammed...That's the pinnacle of their motives...We need to take the Palestine cause as a "Fard" [religious obligation] and work whole heartedly towards it's realisation.lhttp://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2001-06/25/article16.shtml
At least there is loyalty within the brotherhood, the UHF's Webmaster is Tayebb Yunus, who is also an active member of the ICNA's Majlis al-Shura Committee [consultation council].
Steven Emerson testified at the 2003 9/11 commission hearings on terrorism that at the July 2000 annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America, [ICNA] in Baltimore, speaker Tayyab Yunus pleaded with the audience:
"The youth is very important…And we all want to see our youth to succeed to become doctors, to become engineers; but how many of you can actually say that you want to send your sons to Jihad, to Chechnya?
How many of you can actually say that…How many of you actually want to send your child…How many of you can actually say that you want to send your youth to fight in Jihad or to send them to…these Islamic institutions to become educated? I'm sorry. Other then that I honestly believe in my heart that this is the right time, right now is the time"
M. Ashraf Shaikh, the president of the UHF, also runs the' Islamic Information Network' in Jacksonville, Florida, whose stated purpose is, "To serve humanity by providing accurate information about the religion of Islam, and by undertaking such other projects that promote a better understanding and respect for, and among people of all faiths."
Perhaps the best way to judge whether or not UHF's claims to want to "promote a better understanding and respect for, and among people of all faiths" is to judge them not just by the preceding and rather harsh assemblage of vitriolic statements, but by their actions.
It is often said that the true character of an individual or in this case organization can be best judged by how they treat those of lesser social status, those of humble origin or those possessing nothing to covet.
If that is the case let us examine the ongoing story of Pastor Lee Wasson's Kissimmee Christian Academy.
The Academy provides a faith-based curriculum from second grade through high school.
Unfortunately the Academy's 6 acres of fenced grounds are adjoined by a 25 acre parcel that, by happenstance, serves as the location of the UHF compound.
Together, the 31 acre combined properties comprise what used to be David People's, South Eastern Academy - a travel & culinary school - which eventually filed for bankruptcy.
It was in this bankruptcy proceeding that Super Stop Petroleum Company became the landlord to both UHF and the Kissimmee Christian Academy, the chief corporate officer of Super Stop?
Denise Qureshi. There is a possible alias with the name however, Muhammed K. Qureshi is another possibility.
Qureshi [or the Qureshis, as the case may be] own an impressive list of holdings, at least one, apparently with Shahida A Siddiqui.
Remember, now and repeat "respect for people of all faiths"
Since the Pastor's landlord became Qureshi's petroleum company, he has been continuously harassed and the particular form of harassment has taken its toll on the students, the parents and the financial health of the school.
Eviction proceedings, inexplicable power outages, cessation of running water followed by suspicious floods – all seemingly calculated to take place at or near the first of the month when tuitions are due, have resulted in the student population falling by nearly 50% since mid-summer, when the new land lord took over.
Wasson has a lease through the end of the school year, yet the harassment continues.
Because of circulating rumors of possible violence many parents are not allowing their children to even venture near the school, this Friday [the day the UHF event is slated to begin] simply because of their fear of possible extremist repercussions, so the school will again have to close, imperiling the educative process, not to mention the school's already shaky finances.
Keeping in mind that the location of the conference was changed after this statement, this is how Pastor Lee Wasson synopsizes the story.
"The Islamic conference in Kissimmee Florida is being held on property purchased by a "petroleum" company in south Florida. It is a 31-acre former college campus. This petroleum company has been trying [unsuccessfully so far] to evict our Christian School and small church from one of the buildings there. We lease a 10,000 sq. ft. building right in the middle of where this conference is scheduled and where Universal Heritage is opening their college.
They have actually pictured our building on their website and call it the "Islamic Training Center." We have sued them.
Now, according to the Islamic group as told to me today by Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the Universal Heritage Foundation has no association with the petroleum company save an old friendship with the company president which led them to the property."
We are being asked to believe that their is no link between the events and facts in this case, that the new landlord, Qureshi – who just happens, apparently, to be an Arab in the petroleum business – the Islamic UHF center, whose adherents just happen to spout anti- Semitic, anti-Christian hate speech and the now constant harassment of the Kissimmee Christian Academy, are totally unrelated.
As I respectfully told Pastor Wasson, and reiterated to my writing partner, Beila Rabinowitz, that simply does not pass the bullshit test.
Will this be picked up by the "straight media"?
Heaven only knows. One would think that in its totality such a story deserves, at the very least, a thorough public vetting by the mainstream press.
Unfortunately that press has been increasingly found wanting.
It has made itself subservient to that peculiar form of self-censorship that we alluded to at the beginning of this piece.
Call it an unwillingness to deal with uncomfortable truths, call it what you will. All we know is that if situations like this are allowed to fester we can forget worrying about the enemies outside our country because we will be slowly and insidiously disjointed by our enemies within, who have used our good-will skillfully against us while few dared even protest.
© 2003, Beila Rabinowitz & William A. Mayer, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced without expressed written permission of the authors. We can be contacted at 925.689.9492 for copyright inquiries.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/18