Ah, the good old days in Chicago, Ill. when Muslims were under the public radar in America. Not so today, given that Chicago is high on the list of targets for a nuclear attack by jihadis determined to usher in "The Day of Revelation."``
Below we have four pieces on Islam in Chicago. The first is a lead on the demographic of Muslims and Middle Easterners in Chicago and its surrounding areas. The second details some of the Islamic leadership in Bridgeview, a Chicago suburb. The third piece, from 1999, tells a warm and fuzzy tale of Islam in Bridgeview. Finally, a clip on a visitor to Chicago, Abdullah Al Muhajir.
The point is that some Muslims feel comfortable with the idea of nuking a major city, killing indiscriminately its populations. It could be London, Stockholm, Cairo, or your home town. Islam is an equal opportunity killer.
We point out here consistently that Muslims are matters for the police, but Islam is a matter of concern to each and every person on the face of the Earth. Most people have no idea what's going on in their own communities, and if it takes a nuclear explosion in Middle America to draw their attention to it, then who are they going to retaliate against? It's our uncompromising opinion that we must shut out Islam from the Human experience, and we could do well insisting on law enforcement among our own cities even when there are voter-blocs at stake.
We have settled among us people who share a view of life that includes the celebration of the End of the World. Yes, some of them are fundamentalist Christians. But it's those among us who are Muslim, men and women dedicated to actually making it happen, and making it happen by causing mega-deaths in our cities who should be of some concern to us. It's past time to start some serious discussion with our community leaders to put a stop to the fascist ideology of Islam; a perhaps more to the point, to put a stop to the dhimmi attitude that all religions are bad, Christianity worse than all, and that Islam is just another harmless worldview held by a small minority, of whom a smaller minority yet want to nuke us. Let's stop pretending it's all relative. No, nuking Middle America is really a bad thing. Unless you're Jose Padilla, for example, or maybe the guy at the cafe, Bridgeview, Ill.
(For our Muslim readers we slipped in a bit of legal advice from CAIR-Chicago.)
March 9, 2005
By Ray Hanania
If you think the title of this column should be "covering Chicago's Arab and Muslim Community," it might explain the challenges Chicago's media continues to face.
The "Arab and Muslim Community" is not a "community" at all, but two very separate and very distinct communities; each has multiple levels of confusing political and social sub-terrains.
Arabs and Muslims are not the same. They are very different. They each are a part of the post-September 11th story or the ongoing Middle East conflict, but in significantly different ways.
In only a few occasions, do the two communities overlap.
This has probably been the single most important error the news media has made in covering the Arabs and Muslims.
There are about seven million Muslims in America, but only about 22 percent are Arab. Referring to the Arab community as Muslim or covering the Arab community in that religious context is wrong.
Half of the Arabs in America are Christian. And, in addition to the Arab Christians, there are another one million Christians who originate from the Middle East who are not Arab, such as Assyrians or Chaldeans. Assyrians speak Arabic but are militant in defining themselves as "non-Arab" and will tell you so.
[Much more at the following link.]
Bridgeview Mosque Foundation/ Hamas member Mohamed Saleh arrested with Howard U prof Abdelhaleem Ashqar on terrorism charges
August 21, 2004
MIM: After years of being under law enforcement scrutiny more proof of the obvious emerges revealing the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation's direct ties to Hamas. The BMF spokesman is Rafiq Jaber, the head of the Islamic Association of Palestine, which is the American wing of Hamas.
Which begs the question of how such a hub of terrorist activity in the Hamas stronghold of Bridgeview Illinois, is still conducting 'business as usual' and why Muhammed Hamid Khalil Salah is the only BMF associate who was arrested this week. Imam Jamil Said of The Bridgeview Mosque Foundation is a known Hamas leader. The BMF president Oussama Jamal , is a darling of the Chicago interfaith circuit, who apparently have no problems with his and Jamal's declarations at a post 9/11 community memorial service where he stated that he did not think Muslims were behind the 9/11 attacks, and that terrorism was a direct result of US support of Israel. Jamal used the event to bash Israel and cry to the media about how Muslims are suffering in the US.
Hamas activist Oussama Jammal owns a film company and recently won an award at the International Family Film festival in California.
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
The Bridgeview mosque is known as a center of IAP, Hamas, and Al Qaeda activity.
The spokesman for the Bridgeview Mosque is Rafiq Jaber, the national president of the Islamic Association of Palestine. which is "considered to be a front group for Hamas operating inside the United States". http://www.worldnetdaily.com
Nabil Al Marabh, a suspected planner in the 9/11 hijackings attended the Bridgeview mosque. http://www.suntimes.com/terror
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
More of this story is available at the link below.
Islam thrives in Chicago
On a recent Friday afternoon, men dressed in cotton robes and sandals, baggy jeans and tennis shoes, overalls and work boots, slowly packed into an unadorned prayer room illuminated only by the light of two narrow, rectangular windows inside the Bridgeview mosque.
Within minutes, there was no space even to kneel on the avocado-colored carpet. Worshipers spilled out of the main prayer area to the courtyard outside the mosque, unrolling beautiful Persian rugs to accommodate the crowd.
Many are immigrants. Many more are descendants of Muslim emigres who are swiftly building a strong Muslim-American community in the south and southwest suburbs--and taxing the capacity of the Bridgeview center.
"We are going through a transition where the growth is really among the youth," said Bassam Jody, a Tinley Park resident and president of the Chicago Mosque Foundation. "It's a case of children and grandchildren of Muslim immigrants coming up and spreading out to places such as Tinley Park and Orland Park."
Though it is unclear how many Muslims live in the southern part of the Chicago area, foundation officials said that on Islamic feast days, more than 5,000 Muslims have crowded into its mosque--built to hold 800 to 1,500 people.
And Friday congregational prayer draws some 2,000 Muslims.
Three small rental offices in Frankfort, Tinley Park and Bolingbrook serve as a place for Muslims to carry out salah, the required prayer, five times a day. But none of those locations offers Islamic educational or community programs.
However, on Fridays, men are required to attend congregational prayer, and most prefer to attend the Bridgeview mosque, officials say.
That has made conditions so cramped that officials recently announced intentions to build a new mosque in the nearby southwest suburbs by 2005. Though no definitive location or cost for the mosque is yet known, officials said about 15 acres of land would be needed to build the mosque.
The community's growth in the southwest suburbs reflects an explosion in the Muslim population throughout the Chicago area, which has risen from 50,000 to more than 350,000 in the last 30 years.
The growth is fueled by a continual stream of Muslim immigrants from places such as Yugoslavia, Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East.
However, a major force behind the numbers in southern Cook and Will counties is the emergence of second- and third-generation Muslim Americans.
"There was no community when I came here," said Salem M. Salem, 53, a Palestinian businessman who came to Chicago from Jerusalem in 1969.
Between puffs on a hand-rolled cigarette in the living room of his Oak Lawn home, he explained how he sent his small children back home to relatives to learn the principles and customs of Islam. They remained there for three years.
"Today you don't have to send children away," he said, as his two adult daughters, Nadia, 26, a Chicago lawyer, and Jackleen, 22, a University of Chicago graduate student, listened nearby. "The community is stronger. There are mosques, several schools. Children can be taught right here."
The migration of Muslim immigrants has traced an intricate pattern across the Chicago area since the late 1880s, said Asad Husain, president of the American Islamic College on the North Side.
During the early stages of migration, Muslims, many from the Middle East, settled in the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Chicago's South Side. As they prospered, those immigrants who chose to remain in the U.S. sought better housing opportunities in nearby suburbs such as Burbank, Bridgeview and Oak Lawn, making the southern region one of the largest and fastest-growing Muslim communities in the Chicago area.
Elsewhere, Muslim communities also thrive today in northern suburbs such as Morton Grove, where Eastern European Muslims from Albania and Serbia have settled. In DuPage County, Muslims from India and Pakistan have put down roots in Lombard, Villa Park and other cities.
Still, early on, many Muslim immigrants saw the Chicago area as a temporary land of opportunity, and little was done until the 1980s to build up the community, Husain said. As late as the 1970s, it was the norm for immigrants who had come for jobs or educational opportunities to return to their native countries. But since then, there has been considerable effort to create a religious community.
The Muslim religion is based on the Koran--a prodigious text of revelations shown to the prophet Muhammad by God during the 7th century, followers believe.
"I think my generation wants to be defined as Muslim Americans and feel comfortable with who we are and where we're at," said Nadia Salem, who lives a block from the Bridgeview mosque with her husband, writer Ibrahim Abusharif, 40.
Besides the proposed mosque in the Bridgeview area, new mosques have been built or are proposed in Villa Park, Des Plaines and Chicago. Five Islamic-based elementary and high schools have opened since 1990, including two in Bridgeview.
And in some ways, the new generation has brought a certain nuance to the faith in Bridgeview. In recent years, Friday prayer sermons have been offered in English instead of Arabic. A new community center houses a Sisters Community--a religious network of Muslim women. And a youth center offers teens a place to hold discussions such as "Teens and Islam" or "Marriage in Islam" to educate youths on how to apply the religion to modern life.
Such outlets are particularly essential in American society, where the culture in many ways contradicts the laws of the religion, Muslim parents said. For example, premarital sex and even unchaperoned dating among adults is prohibited. Women are encouraged to be educated but required to stay home with small children unless the family is in financial trouble. And elderly parents must be cared for by their children--not in nursing homes.
Yet financing mosques and community centers isn't easy because the teachings of the Koran forbid Muslims from accepting or providing interest-bearing loans.
In fact, the $600,000 mosque that opened in Villa Park last year was completely financed through cash donations, said Abdul Hammed Dogar, board member of the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park.
"Islamic religion said exploiting the needy is sinful," Jody said. "We will take no loan. We will look to the business community and Muslim organizations to raise the funds."http://www.islamfortoday.com
Oh, just in case you're flying in to Chicago and you're having troubles with the local authorities, here's a tip for you.
IF THE FBI CONTACTS YOU:
American Muslims support strong law enforcement. We also treasure civil rights. Your right to be politically active and to hold different beliefs/views is protected by the Constitution. If you are visited by the FBI, remember:
1) You do not have to talk to the FBI. You have no obligation to talk to the FBI, even if you are not a citizen. Never meet with them or answer any questions without an attorney present. Refusing to answer questions cannot be held against you. It does not imply that you have something to hide.
2) You do not have to permit them to enter your home or office. FBI agents must possess a search warrant in order to enter your house. If they say they have a warrant, demand to see it before allowing them to enter. Even if they have a warrant, you are under no obligation to answer questions.
3) Never lie or provide false information to the FBI. It is better to refuse to answer any questions. Lying to an FBI agent is a crime. Contact CAIR for advice.
[We are not going to suggest that CAIR will lie for you.]
U.S. authorities capture 'dirty bomb' suspect
His associate captured in Pakistan, U.S. officials say
June 10, 2002 Posted: 11:47 PM EDT (0347 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal officials have captured a U.S. citizen with suspected ties to al Qaeda who allegedly planned to build and explode a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States, the Justice Department said Monday.
U.S. officials said Washington was the probable target of the plot. FBI Director Robert Mueller said the plot was in the "discussion stage" when the suspect, Abdullah Al Muhajir, was arrested. Mueller said the plot had not gone any further, to the knowledge of U.S. authorities.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said Al Muhajir -- who was born Jose Padilla -- was captured May 8 as he flew from Pakistan into O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. Officials described the flight as a reconnaissance mission.
Officials said that when Al Muhajir arrived in Chicago, he declared having $8,000 but was found to have more than $10,000 in his possession.
In the weeks before he flew to Chicago, Al Muhajir was tracked flying between Pakistan, Egypt and Switzerland, officials said.
U.S. officials later said an "associate" of Al Muhajir had been arrested in Pakistan before May 8. It was not clear whether thisLearn more was the "associate" Ashcroft referred to when he said Al Muhajir was working with someone in Pakistan on plans to build a dirty bomb. (Full story)A dirty bomb is a conventional bomb equipped with radioactive material designed to spread over a wide area.
[More at link: