Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Georgetown's Jihad"

From Lee Kaplan's December 29, 2005 article "Georgetown's Jihad" (All emphases by Always On Watch):

Never let it be said that the American college educational system ever missed an opportunity to promote the aims of terrorists and their allies when it came to money. Stop the ISM has received notification that the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM), the name the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) uses for its member groups in the United States, is going to have its fifth annual conference at a major American university-this time Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The following announcement was put out to ISM activists in the United States:

Palestine Solidarity Movement

Fifth Annual Divestment Conference

("Fifth Annual National Student Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement")

Georgetown University

February 17 - 19, 2006

More information to come.

A quick call to President George DeGioia of Georgetown University netted no response or comment from his office or staff about the event. Another call placed to the campus office of communications to verify the event was actually scheduled was also met with no response. According to Fabiola Joubert in the campus Office of Communications, she could not confirm or deny the event and said she had no idea where to find a schedule of campus events for the Washington campus. She referred this reporter to Eric Smulson, campus press officer, who was "in meetings" and "unavailable."

The Palestine Solidarity Movement has held national conferences on major university campuses four out of the last five years, first at UC Berkeley, then U Michigan, Ohio State and Duke University. At the last conference held at Duke University in 2004, Huwaida Arraf, one of the PSM's main organizers, admitted that the Palestine Solidarity Movement works with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, all illegal terrorist groups per the US state department. That particular event was also found to be an anti-Semitic hate fest which also produced articles in the campus newspaper later attacking Jews in America as a "privileged class." At the earlier event at U Michigan, chants of "Kill the Jews" were heard among the attendees. Divestment from Israel is a major theme, an attempt to hurt the Israeli population and force it to capitulate to PLO demands; in other words, an extension of the Arab boycott against Jews in the Middle East for having their own country. Public reaction to the 2004 Duke event no doubt made finding a venue for another conference difficult which might explain why there was no such conference held at a major university in 2005....

Georgetown's Arab studies department has always had an anti-Israel slant due to wealthy Saudi and Palestinian Arab donors. Middle East Studies professor John Esposito, who frequently speaks as an apologist for militant Islamic groups, is based at Georgetown. He heads Georgetown’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. That fits nicely with the new theme of the PSM...

One of those Saudi donors to Georgetown is the omnipresent Prince Alaweed Bin Talal. Bin Talal was the Saudi sheik who accused Israel of "slaughtering the Palestinians" as he offered a ten million dollar check to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuiliani at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center disaster. Giuliani refused to accept the check. Bin Talal is one of the major financiers of Hamas, having contributed over 400 million dollars to date to the terrorist organization.

That Georgetown would look the other way comes as no surprise. One of Bin Talal's "gifts" to Georgetown University was the second largest one in the University's history-20 million dollars. No doubt after Duke, the PSM had trouble finding an American university willing to host such a venue again, but money talks and Georgetown listens....

Yes, the above is from Front Page Magazine, and the use of that source might upset some of our liberal friends. Readers are invited to disprove any of the above. Go here to enable links in the article.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all!

To all our readers.

... and yes, that goes for you, Constantine, as well.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Imam Yahya Hendi

So, here it is the Sunday before Christmas, and I'm thumbing through today's edition of the Washington Post. In the Metro section, I find " Muslim Leader Forges Interfaith Accord." Some excerpts:
"He is a devout Muslim who speaks both Arabic and Hebrew. He quotes the Torah almost as well as the Koran and once protested the threatened removal of crucifixes at Georgetown University.

"He is a Palestinian by birth who believes in Israel's right to exist.

"He wishes that the media paid more attention to his message that Islam, Christianity and Judaism share more similarities than differences, but he is not always good at returning their calls.... "
"Islam, Christianity and Judaism share more similarities than differences"? Where have I heard that before? I have my doubts as to the extent of the similarities.

According to the above-cited article,
"At a time when his adopted country is engaged in a struggle with terrorism driven by Islamic extremists, Hendi, senior imam of the Islamic Society of Frederick County, preaches interfaith understanding and calls on fellow Muslims to rescue their religion from extremists.

"That message has helped him open doors to senior government officials searching for ways to build better relationships in the Islamic world. The State Department calls on him to host visiting Islamic clergy, and news organizations dial him up for comment, usually after a terrorist attack.

"Part of the attention comes with being the first full-time Muslim chaplain at GU, which also was the first such post in the United States. Hendi teaches theology there and also serves as a chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. And he teaches an introduction to Islam class in Rockville for Johns Hopkins University's Evergreen Society for older adults.

"As the senior imam of the Islamic Society, Hendi also has shaped the growing Islamic presence in the outer Maryland suburbs. After years of holding services in a doctor's waiting room, a hotel ballroom and wherever else there was space, his congregation recently opened the doors of its first permanent mosque. Hendi lives with his wife and four children in Frederick.

"The Islamic Society's $2 million mosque -- along with its growing list of activities, including Arabic instruction and classes about the Koran -- opened in October. Set in a renovated farmhouse on Key Parkway, the mosque has prompted Muslims to relocate from Gaithersburg and as far away as Baltimore, said mosque members and assistant imam Reda Sallam.

"Part of the draw, there and in classes, is Hendi....

"At 1:30 p.m. on the dot, as a man intoned the Islamic call to prayer, into the mosque strode Hendi.

"'Salaam aleikum,' Hendi said, his black robes fluttering. That morning, suicide bombers had struck two Shiite mosques in Iraq, killing nearly 100 people. Make no mistake, he told the congregation: Killing is counter to any Islamic teaching. He reminded the group that the three great Western religions share more similarities than differences. Above all, he said, Judaism, Islam and Christianity demand that their followers honor the lives of others.

"'The Koran goes so far as to look after the dignity of a tree,' Hendi said. 'In other words, you must resist evil with good.'

"At the conclusion, he asked his congregation to mingle with his guests, urging Muslims to use the Hebrew greeting 'shalom'...

"'He is a fantastic teacher!' gushed Irene Schulkin, 77, a real estate broker from Bethesda. 'He travels with Karen Hughes! He says there should be peace between the Jews and the Muslims. We all thought it was the most interesting course Evergreen ever offered.'

"Actually, Hendi has not traveled with Hughes, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs who serves as President Bush's emissary to the Muslim world and beyond. But he has met with Hughes, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Bush and other government officials to discuss creating interfaith dialogues with Muslim communities here and abroad. He also met with President Bill Clinton and members of Clinton's administration.

"Now a U.S. citizen, Hendi came to the United States 17 years ago. He likes to tell people that his name is the Arabic version of John the Baptist's.

"After most of his guests departed, Hendi shed his black robe, known as an abaya, for a rumpled charcoal suit. 'Now I can go back to who I am,' he said....

"One hand in his pocket, a bud microphone on his lapel, Hendi wanted to talk about Islamic ethics, but he kept getting sidetracked by politics. He found himself, again, explaining the term jihad. Terrorists, he said, have hijacked the word, which can mean any spiritual struggle.

"'I do believe that what I'm doing for you is a form of jihad, because jihad is about knowledge,' he said. 'For those who sit listening, it is also a jihad, because you're sitting here struggling to listen to me with my accent."

"People chuckled at his wisecrack. But the tone changed when a student pressed him to explain why the Koran seems able to support extremist views.

"'I feel you're whitewashing some things,' said Paula Wiseman, 61, a Potomac resident whose parents survived the Holocaust.

"Hendi said every religion has blood on its hands...."
I find some truth in Hendi's finger-pointing at all religions, particularly as I think back some centuries. But I wonder how he explains all those militant and jihadist verses in the Koran. And Hendi's definiton of jihad doesn't correspond with what I've learned. Perhaps Hendi and Esposito are friends?

Returning now to the conclusion of today's article in the Washington Post:
[Hendi said,] "'I don't want my children to die. I don't want Jewish children to die. I don't think God is a real estate agent. If we are really the children of God, I don't think He would want us to fight over anything.'

"And then Hendi got into his Toyota and put a heavy foot down on the gas pedal, late for a luncheon at the State Department celebrating the 10-year anniversary of peacemaking efforts in the Balkans."
A quick Internet search of "Yahya Hendi" yields two interesting results. First,
September 1, 1999
First Muslim chaplain at US University takes charge

"Washington DC--Georgetown University, a private Catholic institution in Washington D.C., appointed what is thought to be the first Muslim chaplain at any college in America. Imam Yahya Hendi has been serving as an official university chaplain at Georgetown since August 10. Hendi joins eight Catholic priests and two Jewish rabbis to become the eleventh full time chaplain at the college, according to an August 28 Washington Post article. This first-ever appointment highlights the long neglected exigency for university-recognized Muslim leadership on college campuses around the country.

"As chaplain at Georgetown, Hendi would serve as an Imam and religious scholar and counselor for Muslims of diverse backgrounds while also functioning as a liaison between the Muslim student body and the administration. Speaking to on August 31, Hendi emphasized that his role was not to supplant Muslim student leadership already in place at Georgetown. He said he was working closely with the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the college...."
Second, in Hendi's own words, as quoted by Dhimmi Watch,
"I have always worked to bridge the gap between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I have spoken against Osamah Ben laden and like wise. I have been and will continue to promote true respect of women in Muslim countries and the right of Christians to be fully equal under the law in those countries. I have traveled around the world in defence of American Jews. When ever I heard that there was an allegation accusing Jews of being behind the SEP/11 attacks, I went to just Say; 'No, stop it'; Jews suffered like every American. My statements in this regard are to be found in Arab and Muslims media. I am suffering in some circles in my community because of my views. Yet, willing to suffer for my country and my principles.

"My life was threatened many times because of my views and I was called names like 'traitor to Islam; and a 'sellout' to Americans because I spoke in attack of those who dare to attack America. I still can not travel to some of those countries out of fear for my life...."
So, it looks as though many of Hendi's fellow Muslims don't see Islam the same way. Aren't they all reading the same Koran? Hendi's message of peace doesn't seem to be well received by others who follow "the religion of peace."

Imam Yahya Hendi is a man of some celebrity in some circles and a man of some notoriety in other circles. Political watchers may recall that he was the featured imam at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Maybe Hendi is the kind, peace-promoting soul he appears to be in the Washington Post and in my quick Internet search this morning. But I keep coming back in my mind to Alamoudi, who seemed to be a moderate, but is now serving time in the penitentiary for his ties to terrorism.

And I also wonder what Hendi thinks of this Paul Sperry article about certain questions the Pentagon is asking about Islam?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

U.S. deports Saudi director of Virginia Muslim charity - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times

Abdullah Alnoshan, Director, Muslim World League, was deported. He was charged with conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and seeking to deter law-enforcement agents from discovering his true immigration status.

Web link: U.S. deports Saudi director of Virginia Muslim charity

For background, see our July 27, 2005 post Muslim World League raided ... again

The Saudi Prince And Georgetown University

According to a December 13, 2005 article in Robert Spencer's Dhimmi Watch:

"Harvard University and Georgetown University each announced yesterday that they had received $20 million donations from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, a Saudi businessman and member of the Saudi royal family, to finance Islamic studies....

"Georgetown said it would use the gift - the second-largest it has ever received - to expand its Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, which is part of its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. It said it would rename the center the H.R.H. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding....

"Martin Kramer, the author of Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, which contends that the study of the Middle East and Islam is politically biased, said last night, 'Prince Alwaleed knows that if you want to have an impact, places like Harvard or Georgetown, which is inside the Beltway, will make a difference'....

"In making the two gifts, the prince focused on the importance of uniting disparate cultures.

"Harvard's news release quoted him as saying that he hoped Harvard's Islamic studies program 'will enable generations of students and scholars to gain a thorough understanding of Islam and its role both in the past and in today's world.'"
In September 2005, Always On Watch blogged information about Prince Alwaleed here and here, when it was revealed that the prince had invested in the Fox News Network.

Some additional information about the Saudi Prince's impact on news coverage at Fox surfaced on December 7, 2005:
Saudi Billionaire Boasts of Manipulating Fox News Coverage

"WASHINGTON -- Accuracy in Media (AIM) is urging a full inquiry into a report that a Saudi billionaire caused the Fox News Channel (FNC) to dramatically alter its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he called the network to complain. The Saudi billionaire, Al-waleed bin Talal, is a friend of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch and controls an influential number of voting shares in the company.

"'This report underscores the danger of giving foreign interests a significant financial stake in U.S. media companies,' declared Cliff Kincaid, editor of Accuracy in Media.

The controversial comments came at an Arab media conference featuring representatives of Time magazine, USA Today, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, and other news organizations. The conference and the Saudi Prince's growing influence in News Corporation are among the subjects of a new December-A AIM Report that has just been posted at the AIM website ( The report raises the specter of Arab money influencing News Corporation and other U.S. media companies.

Liberal journalist Danny Schechter, a participant in the conference, reports that Al-waleed, who is a member of the Saudi Royal Family and investor in the Fox News parent company News Corporation, gave an interview boasting that he had called Fox to complain about coverage of the 'Muslim riots' in France. He said he 'called as a viewer' and 'convinced them to change' the coverage because 'they were not Muslim riots but riots against poverty and inequality.' And 'they changed' the coverage, the Saudi reportedly said.

Another report on the comments, carried by the Dubai-based newspaper the Khaleej Times, says that Al-waleed personally called Rupert Murdoch to complain. The Saudi said, 'After a short while, there was a change' in the coverage.

An AIM call to Fox News asking for comment was not returned. This is not the first time that Al-waleed has made controversial statements. His $10 million contribution to a 9/11 fund was rejected when he blamed the terror attacks on U.S. Middle East policy. Fifteen of the 19 terrorist hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia."
A lengthy report about radical Arabs seeking influence over the U. S. news media from Accuracy in Media (AIM) is available here. The following is an excerpt from the introduction to the article:
"Are the U.S. media being courted by those who hate America? Or is an honest attempt at 'international understanding' at hand?

"The Arab Thought Foundation, which has strong financial connections to Saudi Arabia, is convening a conference in early December that is advertised as being designed to 'enhance interaction between Arab and international media organizations and bridge the gap between them.' It is an invitation-only meeting in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, one of only three nations, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, that recognized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan....

"Advertised speakers include Karen Elliott House, publisher of the Wall Street Journal; David Ignatius of the Washington Post; Ed Bradley of CBS and 60 Minutes; Barbara Slavin of USA Today; Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of the Public Broadcasting Service; Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News; and Jim Kelly, managing editor of Time magazine. 'Proud Sponsors' include Reader's Digest, CNBC, and Al-Arabiya television....

"The conference program also features a 'spotlight' on Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, described as 'one of the world's most influential investors.' That is certainly the case. He has just accumulated a significant financial interest in a major American medium that is trusted by conservatives—News Corporation, parent of Fox News Channel....

"Bakr Mohammad Bin Laden, general director of the Bin Laden Group in Saudi Arabia, a construction company based in Saudi Arabia, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Thought Foundation.

"Despite the popular notion that Osama bin Laden is the black sheep of the family, the bin Laden Group, three Saudi princes and the government of Sudan have been sued by 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism for allegedly bankrolling al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban."
The Islamification of our universities and the news media continues apace, financed by Saudi dollars.

6:07 P.M. Addendum from the December 13, 2005 Washington Post article about the Saudi prince's gift to Georgetown University:
"'As you know, since the 9/11 events, the image of Islam has been tarnished in the West,' said Alwaleed, who is chairman of the Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding Co. and has extensive business holdings in Europe and the United States.

"He said his gifts to Georgetown and Harvard will be used 'to teach about the Islamic world to the United States,' and the new programs at American University in Beirut and American University in Cairo will 'teach the Arab world about the American situation.'

"The $20 million gift to Georgetown is the second-largest ever received by the Jesuit-run university, school officials said. It will be used to expand the activities of the university's 12-year-old Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

"'We are deeply honored by Prince Alwaleed's generosity,' said a statement from Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, who met Alwaleed Nov. 7 in a Paris hotel to sign documents formalizing the donation....

"The Georgetown center, part of the university's School of Foreign Service, will be renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The $20 million will endow three faculty chairs, expand programs and academic outreach, provide scholarships for students and expand library facilities, Alwaleed said.

"Center director John L. Esposito said in an interview that 'a significant part of the money will be used to beef up the think tank part of what the center does.'

"Up to now, he said, the center has not had enough resources 'to respond to the tremendous demand that is out there, from the government, church and religious groups, the media and corporations to address and answer issues like, "What is the actual relationship between the West and the Muslim world? Is Islam compatible with modernization?" Now we can run workshops and conferences [on these subjects] both here and overseas.'

"When asked about the comments that caused the rejection of Alwaleed's gift to New York, Esposito said: 'There is nothing wrong with his expressing his opinion on American foreign policy. Clearly, it was done in a constructive way. He was expressing his enormous sympathy with the United States but also trying to give people the context in which this [terrorist attack] occurred.'"
My prediction: Georgetown University will become an Islamic apologist center with significant impact as it burnishes the image of Islam, thanks to the influx of Saudi dollars.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Flight 93 Memorial

While this entry doesn't directly pertain to Northern Virginia, it indicates that the blogsosphere gets a bit of attention in the mainstream media.

As published in Blogwatch, in the December 12, 2005 edition of Time Magazine:
"When the Sept. 11 memorial design was unveiled this fall for Flight 93's crash site in Pennsylvania, LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS and other conservatives decried it as a 'monumental insult,' largely because the crescent of red maple trees resembled an Islamic prayer station, pointing toward Mecca. Some critics tipped their hats last week at the bowl-shaped redesign, above, until ERROR THEORY pointed out that the 'Islamo-fascist shrine ... still contains all of the features that made it a terrorist memorial.; One element that was retained: the flight path lined with 44 translucent blocks, one for each person who died in the crash--including the four hijackers."
Last summer, Michelle Malkin had this to say about the original design for the Flight 93 Memorial, The Crescent of Embrace:
"...These were Americans who refused to sit down and be quiet and allow Islamic terrorists unfettered control over the flight stick of history. These were doers, not hand-wringers, who engaged in a violent and valiant struggle against evil.

"I remind you of all this because the official Flight 93 memorial unveiled last week is now embroiled in overdue public controversy. Funded with a mix of public money and private cash (including a $500,000 grant from Teresa Heinz's far-left Heinz Endowments), the winning design, titled the 'Crescent of Embrace,' features a grove of maple trees ringing the crash site in the shape of an unmistakable red crescent. The crescent, New York University Middle East Studies professor Bernard Haykel told the Johnstown, Pa., Tribune-Democrat, 'is the symbol of ritual and religious life for Muslims.'

"Some design contest jury members reportedly raised concerns about the jarring symbol of the hijackers' faith implanted on the hallowed ground where the passengers of Flight 93 were murdered. But their recommendations to change the name of the memorial (to 'Arc of Embrace,' or some such whitewashing) were ignored. Memorial architect Paul Murdoch, whose firm emphasizes 'environmental responsibility and sustainability," did not return calls and e-mails seeking comment, but he did emphasize to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that his creation was about 'healing' and 'contemplation.' He is also proud of his idea to hang a bunch of wind chimes in a tall tower at the site as a 'gesture of healing and bonding.'

"Wind chimes? Hey, why not add pinwheels and smiley face stickers and Care Bears while we're at it, too?

"Let's set aside the utter boneheaded-ness of using a symbol that, inadvertently or not, commemorates the killers' faith instead of the victims' revolt. The soft-and-fuzzy memorial design of 'Crescent of Embrace' still does injustice to the steely courage of Flight 93's passengers and crew. It evokes the defeatism embodied by those behind a similar move to turn the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero in New York City into a pacifist guilt complex.

"This is no way to fight a war. Or to remember those who have died fighting it.

"A proper war memorial stirs to anger and action. We all remember passenger Todd Beamer's last heard words as he and his fellow Americans prepared to take back the plane from al Qaeda's killers, don't we?

"No, the phrase wasn't 'Let's meditate.' It was 'Let's roll.'"
The name for the redesigned Flight 93 Memorial is Sacred Ground, but some of the elements of the first design remain the same. Error Theory has extensive analysis of the latest design and proclaims it "an Islamo-fascist shrine."

Update (Sunday, December 11, 7:40 P.M., EST): According to an email received from someone who has read this blog article, the memorial's architect claims that most of Error Theory's points are not part of the new design. However, the original design was as Malkin explicated.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

STLtoday - News - Special Reports

STLtoday , the web site for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has an article on the 9/11 Mosque and its congregants: Abdelhaleem Ashqar, HAMAS fundraiser; Mirsada Stabancic, wife of Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer, a native of St. Louis who is now in jail for supporting al-Qaeda and jihadist activities against India; and Omar Abu Ali, father of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali.

Get sickened by this description of the 9/11 Mosque:

"Imagine a community of faith devoted to its members but also open to outsiders, a big-hearted place that sponsors schools, comforts the afflicted and cares for the needy - the sort of place that could raise $12,500 cash at a single service for victims of Hurricane Katrina."

Why the hell is Abdelhaleem Ashqar, who's under house arrest, allowed to leave his home for Friday prayers?

Arsalan Iftikhar in a heroic pose

Randall Todd Royer and Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR's legal advisor who's also from St. Louis, make me ashamed to claim St. Louis as my hometown. Then there was the honor killing of 16-year-old Palestina "Tina" Isa by her father in St.Louis in 1989. It had been difficult to track information about this story online, but Phyllis Chesler reports on Palestina "Tina" Isa's murder and other honor killings in the U.S. and Europe in her new book The Death of Feminism : What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Jihad Watch: American Citizen Convicted For Terrorism

Congratulations to Always on Watch for getting the Most Likely to Become a Martyr article published on JihadWatch!

Dhimmi Watch: Kaufman and Epstein: CAIR Hotel Hell

Dhimmitude and two local Marriott hotels from Robert Spencer's Dhimmi Watch:

Georgetown University Conference Hotel

The Georgetown University Conference Hotel decides against hosting a conference of the People's Truth Forum for fear of reprisals from Muslim students at Georgetown University, while the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City will host CAIR's 11th annual banquet tomorrow evening.

As one of the commenters noted, Marriott's headquarters is in Bethesda.