August 12, 2004

ADMITTING YOU HAVE A PROBLEM IS THE FIRST STEP... (via mc):

How are mosques fighting terror? (Mark Clayton, 8/12/04, The Christian Science Monitor)

Abdur-Rahim Shamsiddeen is one Muslim leader who doesn't beat around the bush on terrorism. All who regularly attend this imam's mosque know of his "zero-tolerance policy."

Before every meeting, he reminds visitors to the Jewel of Al-Islam mosque in Phoenix, one of the city's largest, that they are welcome to pray. But then he ticks off schools of ultraconservative Islamic thought that are not welcome for open discussion and debate, including several known to have been favored by the 9/11 terrorists.

"We follow exclusively the Holy Koran and the approved Sunnah [Islamic custom] of Prophet Muhammad," he says. "If all Muslims followed those we'd have no problems."

This week, Muslim leaders nationwide find themselves rallying - again - to defuse the notion that terrorism finds a sympathetic ear in America's 1,200-plus mosques. On Tuesday in Albany, N.Y., a federal judge refused bail for the imam and one other member of a local mosque, who were indicted on 19 counts of money laundering and promoting terrorism. The pair were caught in a government sting in which they are alleged to have conspired to launder money through their organizations as part of a fictitious plot to assassinate the Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations.

The Albany case has shocked many in the Muslim community, which is 5 million to 7 million strong. Though some blame an overzealous government intent on entrapment, the indictments come as the latest in a series of blows to US Muslim credibility in the war against terrorism. These setbacks have prompted many religious leaders to take visible steps to repair that credibility.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 12, 2004 10:42 AM
Comments

'Shocked. We're shocked, we tell you. Who could have imagined.'

Give me a break.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 12, 2004 12:50 PM

They are shocked at having to comment at all. Being on record is not a safe place to be.

If they don't take a stand now, the turbulence is only going to get worse.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 13, 2004 8:11 AM
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