On Monday, authorities in Hamburg, Germany announced that they had finally shut down the Taiba mosque, which as the Al-Quds mosque in 2001 was a meeting place for several of the 9⁄11 jihad terrorists, including Mohamed Atta, and which continued to be a hotbed of jihad activity thereafter: a May 2010 report from Hamburg’s Interior Ministry called the mosque “the central attraction for the jihadist scene.”
Christoph Ahlhaus, Hamburg’s secretary of the interior, announced Monday: “Today we closed the Taiba mosque because young men were being turned into religious fanatics there. Behind the scenes, a supposed cultural organization shamelessly used the freedoms of our democratic rule of law to promote holy war. Hamburg cannot become a cradle for Islamists capable of violence.”
Yet that is exactly what it was. In March 2009 eleven Islamic jihadists who met in the Taiba mosque went to Pakistan, apparently to attend a jihad training camp. The mosque’s imam, Mamoun Darkazanli, may have aided al-Qaeda – and as the mosque was closed this week, his whereabouts were unknown.
The Hamburg mosque was not singular. In recent years mosques have been used to preach hatred; to spread exhortations to terrorist activity; to house a bomb factory; to store weapons; to disseminate messages from bin Laden; to demand (in the United States) that non-Muslims conform to Islamic dietary restrictions; to fire on American troops; to fire upon Indian troops; to train jihadists; and much more.
The record of mosques in the United States is not much better. As long ago as January 1999, the Naqshbandi Sufi leader Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani declared in a State Department Open Forum that Islamic supremacists controlled most mosques in America: “The most dangerous thing that is going on now in these mosques,” he said, “that has been sent upon these mosques around the United States – like churches they were established by different organizations and that is ok – but the problem with our communities is the extremist ideology. Because they are very active they took over the mosques; and we can say that they took over more than 80% of the mosques that have been established in the US. And there are more than 3000 mosques in the US. So it means that the methodology or ideology of extremist has been spread to 80% of the Muslim population, but not all of them agree with it.”
Terrorism expert Yehudit Barsky affirmed the same thing in 2005, saying that 80% of the mosques in this country “have been radicalized by Saudi money and influence.” The Center for Religious Freedom found in 2005 a massive distribution of hateful jihadist and Islamic supremacist material in mosques in this country. And in June 2008 federal investigators found that the Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia, despite promises to stop teaching such material, was still using books that advocated that apostates from Islam be executed and that it was permissible for Muslims to kill and seize the property of “polytheists.”
Amid all the controversy surrounding the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque set to be constructed at Ground Zero, virtually everyone has ignored the question of what will be taught there. Yet mega-mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is an open advocate for Islamic law (Sharia) – and has never bothered to rule out the aspects of that law that deny the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, and that mandate the subjugation of women and non-Muslims as inferiors. He even calls for restrictions on the freedom of speech in his book What’s Right with Islam. Rauf has, moreover, refused to denounce Hamas. He has lied about his commitment to religious dialogue. He has lied about whether the Islamic center planned for the Ground Zero site will contain a mosque or not. And he has lied about whether or not the project is getting foreign funding. He is involved with a group that helped fund the jihad flotilla against Israel.
All this duplicity makes the universal designation of Rauf as a “moderate,” whose mega-mosque at Ground Zero will preach a benign, peaceful form of Islam that directly contradicts the Islam of the 9⁄11 plotters, curious in the extreme. While he may appear to be worlds apart from Mamoun Darkazanli, given his dishonesty it is not unreasonable to ask whether the difference between the two imams is more one of degree than of kind, and whether they share an overall goal but differ only as to the means to attain that goal.
If this is not the case, Rauf could dispel suspicions easily by coming clean about his sources of funding for the mega-mosque, and definitively renouncing the elements of Sharia that are incompatible with American freedoms and values, as well as American law – and showing his sincerity in deeds as well as words. That he is not making any move to do anything like that, but instead encourages the vilification of opponents of the Ground Zero mega-mosque as racists and bigots, is not a mark in his favor, and only serves further to arouse the suspicion of free and clear-sighted Americans.
Ultimately, if the Ground Zero mega-mosque is built and becomes a center for the propagation of Sharia in the United States, it could end up being as influential and as malignant a place as the mosque that was shut down Monday in Hamburg – even if it pursues, as does Rauf, non-violent rather than violent means to weaken Western societies and spread Sharia in the West. The politically correct scolding that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other politicians have given to opponents of the mosque is bitterly ironic: they are adopting the moral high ground while being in manifest dereliction of duty, for Bloomberg has clearly done nothing to vet Rauf or other mosque organizers, and has even criticized those who have called upon him to do so.
He may live to rue the day. Michael Bloomberg may one day be remembered with the same sense of moral revulsion that should be accorded Hamburg authorities who let the al-Quds mosque continue to operate for nine years after 9⁄11. What’s all the more appalling is that neither Bloomberg nor anyone else is making any attempt whatsoever to safeguard himself and his people against that eventuality.