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Muslim soldier who faked kidnapping to go AWOL in Iraq elicits overtures not outrage in Utah

Muslim praises Utah community officials dhimmitude for learning how "to meet their needs"
June 19, 2005

MIM: The family of Capt Waseef Hassoun, received an outpouring of support from the non Muslims in Utah after he had been reported as being kidnapped in Iraq. He surfaced at the home of family in Lebanon and had faked his abduction and threatened execution as a means of going to AWOL from the army because he disapproved of the war as a Muslim. Instead of showing outrage at Waseef's treason, and anger that his family duped the community in Utah, into thinking their son was in danger, when in fact, he endangered other soldiers by his actions, the community has displayed abysmal dhimmitude by ' bending over forwards' to accomodate the Muslims in their midst !

Nadeem Ahmed, a local Muslim, was pleased with the dhimmitude being shown by the community in Utah towards Muslims.

"We have very close contact with the mayors, the governor and all agencies in the government. It's good to have a good, open relationship, so they can know how to meet our needs better," he said.


MIM: Muslim soldier Wasseef Ali Hassoun from Utah certainly got alot of help from the locals in meeting his needs to go AWOL in Iraq. After he turned up safe and sound with his relatives in Lebanon his family in the US, (who had been innundated with sympathy and support from the non Muslim community),announced they were 'shocked'.

Instead of showing outrage at Hassoun's treachery and anger that they had been taken for fools by Hassoun and his family family, the local community decided it was time to show more understanding for the Muslims! ( see article below)

"..Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun of West Jordan, who has been the subject of a five-month investigation into his June disappearance from a U.S. military camp near Fallujah, Iraq, has been charged with desertion by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Hassoun, 24, will also be charged with loss of government property and theft of a military firearm for allegedly leaving his post still in possession of his 9mm handgun, as well as theft of wrongful appropriation of a government vehicle, according to officials at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Contacted Thursday afternoon, a Hassoun family member said he was "shocked" by the announcement.

If found guilty of desertion, Hassoun could face a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and allowances, and five years confinement for each specification.


Muslims feeling welcome in Utah

By Tammy Walquist
Deseret Morning News

Nadeem Ahmed used to be more in the minority.

Imam Shuaib-Ud Din stands in the prayer hall of the Khadeeja Mosque in West Valley City before it opened in 2002. The mosque is the largest in the Western states.

Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News
As an immigrant from Pakistan and follower of the Islamic faith, he was outside what most would consider mainstream in Utah.

However, the Islamic population in Utah has been steadily growing over the past few years, increasing by about 40 percent. This is partially because of the migration of Somalians and Bosnians, but the demographic also includes Arabs and Pakistanis, said Ahmed, the newly elected president of the Greater Islamic Society of Salt Lake City.

The following boasts 25,000 members statewide, as well as three mosques. The Khadeeja Mosque, located in West Valley City, is not only the largest in Utah but also in the Western states.

Ahmed has felt that the religion has been well-received thus far.

"Overall, we don't have any complaints about anybody," he said. "We feel very blessed. We also feel a special thanks to the LDS Church. We have a very good relationship with them." Ahmed also said Muslims haven't felt tension with other Christian churches in the community.

Last summer, when Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun from West Jordan, a practicing Muslim, was thought to be captured in Iraq, an outpouring of care and concern was poured out upon his family and light was placed upon the Muslim community.

The increased awareness of the community may help Ahmed fulfill his vision of integrating the faith more into Utah.

"We would like to be integrated into the fabric of Utah. We are already involved in interfaith activities," he said.

Last week Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and first lady Mary Kaye Huntsman visited the Khadeeja Mosque in West Valley City in the governor's efforts to build understanding among different faiths. Huntsman was the keynote speaker for the mosque's annual Sunday School graduation. Around 500-600 people attended the event, Ahmed said.

"We have very close contact with the mayors, the governor and all agencies in the government. It's good to have a good, open relationship, so they can know how to meet our needs better," he said.

This was the governor's first visit to the mosque. Imam Shuaib-Ud Din, spiritual leader of the Muslim community, feels his visit reflects positively on the Muslim community in Utah. He hopes it may also help the Muslims relate better to other religious communities and vice versa.

"We are trying to show ourselves in the community as part and parcel of the Salt Lake community," Imam Din said. He expressed concern over the mosque's location. "We don't want to be isolated. We want people to know what we're doing, even though we're tucked away in one corner of West Valley City."

Interfaith relations have been continually increasing since Sept. 11, Imam Din said. The different denominations are heading toward greater cooperation with other religions to the extent that religious tolerance doesn't cut it anymore.

"People look down on religious tolerance," he said. "It's not enough. There's been a distinction made between tolerance and appreciation, so you don't see tolerance anymore you see appreciation.

"Not all people are involved and not all support greater interfaith relations, but if the people who do keep on striving, hopefully others will join aboard," Imam Din said.


MIM: Just when one things the story cannot get any more damning vis a vis Hassoun's claim of being kidnapped the self held hostage's family seems to have an anger management problem which resulted in the killing of two people. As for being AWOL and betraying one's country -the Utah Muslim community regards it Hassoun as a hero. The family in Lebanon seems to have gone one step further and wasted two people who called their loyalty to Islam and Muslims into question.

TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - A gunbattle erupted Thursday near the
family home of a Lebanese-born U.S. Marine who had been missing in Iraq,
killing at least two people and wounding several others, witnesses said.
Relatives of Wassef Ali Hassoun, who arrived at the U.S. embassy in
Thursday, traded fire with another family who taunted them by referring
to the Marine and his family as U.S. agents, said the witnesses.
The gunbattle occurred in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

Hassoun, 24, had been missing from his unit since June 21, and at one
point was reported on an Internet site to have been killed by militants
holding him hostage. U.S. officials said Hassoun had been picked up in Beirut after making
contact and was safe at the embassy. They gave few details.

The northern Lebanon area where Hassoun's family lives is a stronghold
of deeply religious Sunni Muslims with strong clan ties. Blood feuds among
rival families are not uncommon.

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