Beyond Bridgegate: Ignoring the Elephant in the Room

chrisThe significance of Bridgegate, however extensive, pales in comparison to Christie’s deeply troubling relationships with terrorist-sympathizers and supporters in the New Jersey Muslim community.  He has sheltered known Islamists from law enforcement, excused their hateful rhetoric, ignored threats to national security, criticized legitimate law enforcement activities, and dismissed constitutional rights — all to pander to a Muslim constituency.

By Janet Levy:

The political flap over Chris Christie’s role in “Bridgegate” has thrown a spotlight once again on the rough-hewn, plain-speaking New Jersey governor.  But the drama of the current brouhaha has drawn attention away from the governor’s more serious, ongoing missteps — namely, his cultivation of relationships with those associated with known terrorist groups.  Remarkably, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie appears more contrite about Bridgegate than he is about these associations that threaten national security.

Muslims & Political Influence in New Jersey

New Jersey has the second-largest Muslim population of any state, after Michigan.  Paterson, the county seat of Passaic County, is home to a controversial Hamas-linked mosque, the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), and contains the largest population of Palestinian Muslims in the United States.  The Muslim community in South Paterson is referred to as “Little Ramallah.”

This past year, Paterson’s mayor, Jeff Jones, was the first U.S. city official to host a “Palestinian-American Day,” with a Palestinian flag hoisted over City Hall on Israeli Independence Day.  Astonishingly, the event organizer, Khader Abuassab, a convicted criminal who pled guilty to fraud and swindling, is on record telling local Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement.  Further, Abuassab served on the Paterson Board of Education, ran for City Council, and now serves on Governor Christie’s Muslim Outreach Committee.

Christie & Mohammed Qatanani

But Christie’s record of political support for Muslims dates back to his days as U.S. attorney.  It was then, in 2006, when he came to the aid of a radical Muslim imam, Mohammed Qatanani, who was on the verge of being deported from the United States for failure to disclose terrorist affiliations.

The little-known details are that Qatanani arrived in the United States in 1996 to take over the ICPC, one of the largest mosques in the state.  Housed in a former synagogue, the ICPC was founded in 1989 by Imam Mohammed El-Mezain, a convicted Hamas operative and fundraiser who publicly boasted of raising close to $2 million for the organization.  In 1996, Qatanani arrived to succeed El-Mezain.

Given the mosque’s affiliations, it’s not surprising that Qatanani also has a background littered with terrorist associations.  He was arrested and convicted in Israel in 1993 as a self-admitted member of Hamas.  As a Muslim Brotherhood operative, he had provided financial support for terrorist activities and continued to send large cash transfers to the West Bank once he arrived.

These activities raised suspicions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which in 2006 began attempts to deport Qatanani for failure to disclose his 1993 arrest in Israel for involvement with a terrorist group.  Despite the charges for his terrorist activities and very real security concerns about the Hamas-affiliated imam, a spokesman for Qatanani, Aref Assaf, called the deportation effort “vindictive,” implying that the investigation was ill-conceived and baseless.

Then, then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie came to the aid of the imam.  In response to a 2008 DHS court filing, Christie defended the imam as a “man of great goodwill” and sent his assistant U.S. attorney, Charles McKenna, to court to serve as a character witness.  As a result of Christie’s efforts, Qatanani was granted legal permanent residency.

Read more at American Thinker

Much more on Christie’s willful blindness here: http://counterjihadreport.com/category/chris-christie/

CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood Front, Praises Chris Christie

Christie2BY RYAN MAURO:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, honors New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie in a new report on “Islamophobia” that was released on September 19. The Clarion Project has played a leading role in exposing Christie’s associations with Islamists.

The new report, Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States, has a list of people and groups that CAIR praises for “their outstanding contributions to pushing back against Islamophobic trends in 2011 and 2012.”

The second name on the list is N.J. Governor Chris Christie, who is cruising to an easy re-election and a new CNN poll shows is leading the pack for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

CAIR’s write-up on Christie points out what he said in August 2011 when he attacked those warning about the attempts by Islamist elements to introduce sharia law into the U.S. legal system: “This Sharia law business is just crap. It’s just crazy and I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.”

Christie has long defended Imam Mohamed Qatanani, a Hamas-linked cleric that the Department of Homeland Security is trying to deport from the country. Qatanani’s attorney, Sohail Mohammed, was appointed by Christie to serve as a state Superior Court Judge.

In 2012, the Clarion Project broke the news that four Islamists, including Qatanani, sit on Christie’s Muslim outreach committee.Christie’s Attorney General that oversees the committee, Jeffrey Chiesa, was appointed by Christie to serve as an interim state Senator.

Earlier this month, Clarion learned that these Islamists remain on the committee and continue to meet with the top tier on N.J. law enforcement. A fifth member was also identified as a convicted felon. Shockingly, on June 5, the committee members were briefed on how non-profit organizations can win Homeland Security grants.

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

Jihad or Criminality?

images 5by Daniel Pipes:

A recent spate of killings in the United States of non-Muslims by Muslims has gone unnoticed by the major media. Here are four cases I know of:

Feb. 5Yusuf Ibrahim, 27, Egyptian born and living in Jersey City, stands accused of shooting, then cutting off the heads and hands of two Copts, Hanny F. Tawadros and Amgad A. Konds, and burying them in Buena Vista Township, New Jersey. He is charged with two counts of murder and with desecrating human remains. He is also wanted for a Sep. 20, 2012, armed robbery in Jersey City in which a victim was shot in the foot.

Feb. 18Ali Syed, 20, of Ladera Ranch, Calif., went on a shooting rampage in Southern California, killing Courtney Aoki, Mel Edwards, and Jeremy Lewis, then committed suicide. The Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman, Jim Amormino, said Syed, described as an unemployed part-time student at Saddleback College who lived with his parents and a loner who “spent a lot of time alone in his room playing video games,” left “no evidence, no note, nothing that would explain this very bizarre, violent behavior.”

Feb. 21Ammar Asim Faruq Harris, 26, killed three people on the Las Vegas Strip and fled, is called armed and dangerous. He apparently got into an argument with, Ken Cherry, shot Cherry as Cherry was driving, which led to a collision that killed a taxi driver and his passenger. Harris has a long criminal record that includes kidnapping, sexual assault, and robbery.

Additionally, although the murder took place on July 31, 2012, only at his court hearing on Feb. 21 did public attention focus on Ali Salim, 44, a medical doctor born in Pakistan and living in New Albany, Ohio, who is accused of raping and killing nine months’ pregnant Deanna Ballman, 23,  by injecting her with a lethal dose of heroin. He is charged with two counts of murder (Ballman and her unborn baby) as well as rape, felonious assault, corrupting another with drugs, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Comments: Because the media, law enforcement, and elected officials are so reluctant to give out information about the attackers’ religion, much less their motives, it’s basically impossible to tell from the outside if they represent a wave of jihadi attacks by Islamists or are just a bunch of criminals who happen to be Muslim, or a bit of both. The most the media will concede is in the Ibrahim case, that “Privately some wonder if it had something to do with the victims’ [Christian] religion.” When will journalists, police, and politicians end their efforts to hide key information that the public needs and deserves? (February 24, 2013)

Updates: This blog prompted readers to send other recent cases of Muslim-on-non-Muslim violence:

Sep. 8, 2011: As Justin Hall, 32, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, was about to board a Greyhound bus in Springfield, Mo., Mohamed H. Dawod, 25, of Glendale, Ariz., shot him in the back. Dawod tried to fire more shots but his pistol, a .22-cal. semi-automatic, jammed, at which point other passengers subdued him. The attack appeared to be unprovoked. Police are seeking a motive. They charged Dawod with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting.

Feb. 27: A Pakistani immigrant, Kashif Bashir (not for sure a Muslim), 27, shot an Alexandria, Virginia police officer, Peter Laboy, in the head during a routine traffic stop for a minor infraction. Laboy barely survived.

Muslim beheads two Coptic Christians in Koranic ritual – in New Jersey!

Yusuf Ibrahim

Yusuf Ibrahim

BY :

Here we have another “silent” story about Islamic violence in our country with nary a word from the mainstream media about it. The country goes gaga over a beautiful model’s murder at the hands of an international legless sports hero, but the beheading of two Egyptian Coptic Christian men in New Jersey by a Muslim gets a pass. Why?

Simple. The gruesome beheading invokes the Muslim ritual, called for in the Koran. Koranic verse 8:12 reads: “I will instill terror into the hearts of unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingers off.”

Our media shuts its eyes, turns its head and stuffs its ears when anything negative about the primitive actions of Muslim occur.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, who brutally slaughtered 13 of his fellow troops at Fort Hood, Texas, and wounded 22 others, was said to have shouted, “Allahu Akhbar”  during his shooting spree. He was just following Koranic orders to kill infidels. By the way, “Allahu Akhbar” is Arabic for “God is great.” The Pentagon’s “thorough” investigation into Hasan’s murderous assault never mentioned Islam, the Koran or the major’s religion in its final report. It was considered a workplace act of violence.

We are giving Islamic radicals a free pass to ritually murder those considered infidels, or non-believers in “the religion of peace,” and Muslims considered violators of Islam. May God help us!

Four Islamists on Gov. Christie’s Muslim Outreach Committee

by: Ryan Mauro

A RadicalIslam.org investigation has discovered that at least four Islamists sit on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Muslim outreach committee, which was formed after Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa concludedin May that NYPD intelligence-gathering operations in New Jersey did not break any laws.

All of the information about the Islamist backgrounds of these four committee members is publicly available, yet the Christie Administration picked them to serve as liaisons to the Muslim community of the state. As a result, they are having private meetings with N.J.’s top security officials. This is just the latest example of Christie’s embrace of Islamists that should be shunned, not exalted.

The discovery that the Islamists were on the committee was made when RadicalIslam.org obtained a previously unreleased list of committee members present at a September 5, 2012 meeting at the Leroy Smith Building in Newark.

The four committee members of concern are:

  • Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security for not disclosing on his green card application that he was arrested and convicted by Israel in 1993 for his involvement with Hamas;
  • Ahmed Shedeed, a fervent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and President of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, a mosque with a history of Islamist leadership. Its website currently contains disturbing statements about jihad, the West, wife beating and polygamy;
  • Mohammed Younes, the President of the American Muslim Union, a group with Islamist leadership and close ties to Qatanani’s mosque, which was founded by a Hamas fundraiser; and
  • Imam Abdul Basit of the New Brunswick Islamic Center, a mosque founded by a radical cleric. In July, it held a Brotherhood-linked seminar featuring multiple extremist speakers.

Addressing the committee were: Attorney General Chiesa, NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Edward Dickson. These addresses were followed by dialogue with committee members.

Other NJ officials that were present at the meeting were: First Assistant Attorney General Calcagni, Special Assistant Christopher Iu, Special Assistant Paul Salvatoriello, State Police Major Gerald Lewis and Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Community Affairs Chief John Paige.

Profiles of the Four Islamist Committee Members

Imam Mohammad Qatanani

Imam Mohammad QatananiThe most notorious of the committee members is Mohammad Qatanani. He was arrested in Israel in 1993 because of his links to Hamas, including the fact that his brother-in-law was a Hamas official in the West Bank. Qatanani told the Israelis that he had been a member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood but left in 1991 because he had limited time for this project. The Israeli government says he admitted to being a Hamas member and was convicted, but he was released as part of a plea bargain. The Department of Homeland Security is seeking his deportation for failing to disclose this on his green card application.

In 1994, Qatanani moved to NJ to lead the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson, a mosque founded in 1989 by Hamas fundraiser Mohammed El-Mezain. In November 1994, El-Mezain stated that ICPC was collecting money for Hamas, according to an FBI report. The two men jointly led the ICPC and lived together as El-Mezain raised money for terrorism until he stepped down in 1999. In July 2006, the Department of Homeland Security began deportation proceedings against Qatanani.

The DHS says Qatanani “engaged in terrorist activity” and is guilty of “material misrepresentation” and “engaging in unauthorized employment … by allowing an out-of-status alien to reside with him.” It also describes a “highly dubious” transfer of thousands of dollars to the West Bank.

“It is certainly suspicious when a person who has been convicted of being a member of, and providing services, to Hamas, who has personal ties to a Hamas militant leader, and a Hamas fundraiser also sends undisclosed cash to the West Bank,” the 2008 DHS court filing states.

Qatanani is the only Hamas supporter identified by name in a July 2008 NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness intelligence report about the Hamas network in the state. His preaching between 2007 and 2009 reflected his radical views, as shown in translations made by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. For example, he prayed for the defeat of “occupation and oppression” in Iraq, Palestine and Chechnya in 2007. The enemies of Islam are the U.S., Israel and Russia in this context.

He also preached that Jews and Christians “will be swiftly punished by Allah” and that Muslims should not speak poorly of Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a top Muslim Brotherhood cleric that endorses suicide bombings and Hamas. He also defended donations to the families of suicide bombers. Just this September, Qatanani said the U.S. should outlaw criticism of Islam.

Under Qatanani’s leadership, the ICPC has held various Islamist speakers, such as Hamas-supporter Imam Reda Shata, Hamas-linked activist Abdelhaleem Ashqar (who is now in prison for refusing to testify about the Hamas network in the U.S.) and Wagdy Ghoneim, who was voluntarily deported from the country in 2005 for his terror ties and now preaches extremism in Egypt.

In April 2004, a former chairman of the ICPC’s board, Esam Omeish, praised Palestinians who “[understand] that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land,” pointing out the “beloved” founder of Hamas as an example to follow. He also supports the Muslim Brotherhood as a “moderate” force and once was the president of the Muslim American Society, a Brotherhood front. He also “likes” Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi on Facebook.

Despite this record, Christie defended Qatanani against the DHS in 2008, calling him  a “man of great goodwill.” His Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna was as a character witness for him during the trial. The immigration judge granted Qatanani permanent residency, but the Board of Immigration Appeals overturned the ruling. The next deportation hearing is scheduled for November 26.

In May, Attorney General Chiesa met with Qatanani after he cleared the NYPD of breaking state laws. On July 24, Qatanani attended an Iftar dinner at the Governor’s Mansion. During his address, Christie pointed out Qatanani, calling him a “friend” and attacking his critics as anti-Muslim “bigots.”

Mohammed Younes

The President of the American Muslim Union, Mohammed Younes, is also on the Muslim outreach committee. This organization is very closely tied to the Hamas-linked Islamic Center of Passaic County led by Imam Qatanani, having had five common officials as of 2004. For example, Younes has served on the mosque’s board of trustees.

Younes sounds sympathetic to the cause of Hamas. He said in 2001, “I put myself in the Palestinians’ shoes, the suffering, the pain, the hunger. I don’t know what I would do. Are they dogs? Are they garbage? I don’t want to see anyone killed. But you can’t be selective.” He called the U.S. hypocritical for condemning Hamas but not Israel. However, he said he would not donate to Hamas because “they are killers,” but supports giving aid to the children of killed Hamas operatives.

During Qatanani’s deportation trial, Prosecutor Alan Wolf said that a pamphlet was found at the ICPC after the 9/11 attacks that explained what Muslims should not tell the police. Wolf also mentioned that a newspaper quoted Younes in 2002 where he advised against giving personal information to law enforcement. As he left, Younes complained, “The FBI is abusing us.”

Read more

Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org’s National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.

CAIR Rep Applauds Shunning Law Enforcement

IPT News:

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa held his first meeting Wednesday with a new committee aimed at improving relations between law enforcement and Muslims.

It took place over the objection of some Muslim activists who wanted a boycott of the meeting because of Chiesa’s previous finding that public surveillance of New Jersey Muslims by the New York Police Department did not violate state law. That surveillance has ended, Chiesa said in the meeting.

Aref Assaf

In an op-ed piece published Tuesday, Arab American Forum President Aref Assaf cast any Muslim who attended as a sell-out. “Our dignity and our rights are too precious for a passing photo-op,” he wrote.

In addition to Chiesa’s finding – which came in response to a request from Muslim activists – Assaf objected to the meeting because the 10 Muslim representatives primarily come from mosque leadership and not from Islamist political groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

“While honored and respected in their own mosques, and we of course do not doubts (sic) their intentions,” Assaf wrote, “these people were not presented to the Muslim community with their credentials and none appear to be of legal or academic backgrounds.”

Zahra Billoo

This drew praise from 3,000 miles away, as CAIR-San Francisco Executive Director Zahra Billoo posted a comment on Twitter feed directing people to Assaf’s column. “Great Piece About Who Gets to Decide Who Represents the Community in Engagement with Law Enforcement,” she wrote.

While CAIR claims to be a friend to law enforcement, the Investigative Project on Terrorism has repeatedly demonstrated the group’s hostility and the paranoid message it conveys to Muslims. That includes a new profile of Billoo, showing her reflexive criticism of terror-related arrests by the FBI and her open advocacy of extreme positions.

Given that, her enthusiastic support for Assaf’s stance makes sense. Assaf wants veto power over the people a state official chooses to engage. And he argues Muslims should shun Chiesa until he agrees with them.

“Unless the AG is about to change his opinion [on the NYPD surveillance], I fail to see a tangible value in talking. ‘Our’ representatives fundamentally disagree with the AG’s view. Or don’t they?”

Muslims File Lawsuit In Federal Court Against NYPD To Prevent Them From Conducting Counterterror Surveillance

FSM: A national Muslim civil rights organization filed a lawsuit against the NYPD  today in Newark in response to the surveillance of Muslim-Americans in mosques,  businesses and student groups.

It is the first lawsuit to directly challenge the NYPD’s surveillance  programs, which were the subject of an investigative series by The  Associated  Press since last year. Based on internal NYPD reports and  interviews with  officials involved in the programs, the AP reported that  the NYPD conducted  wholesale surveillance of entire Muslim  neighborhoods, chronicling daily life  including where people ate, prayed  and got their hair cut. Police infiltrated  dozens of mosques and Muslim  student groups and investigated hundreds more.

Abdul Kareem Muhammad, the Imam of Newark’s Masjid al-Haqq mosque, was listed  in a secret NYPD intelligence report. So were Muslim schools, Muslim  restaurants, Muslim-owned stores – all listed in the NYPD report.

“This surveillance, this spying, without question, was- unjustified.  And it  was definite, without doubt, an invasion of our civil human and  our  constitutional rights,” Muhammad said.

Farhana Khera, Executive Director of Muslim Advocates, says no other   religion seems to be under the same microscope. Muslim Advocates is the   organization behind the lawsuit.

“Just to give you an example, there was reference in the documents to   targeting, for example, the Iranian community, the Egyptian community,  the  Syrian community. But then there was explicit reference to the fact  that they  weren’t targeting Syrian Jews or Iranian Jews or Egyptian  Christians, but  really the focus was on Muslims.”

The lawsuit also charges that the NYPD monitored meetings and web postings of  Muslim student associations. Moiz Mohammed, one of the plaintiffs,  is a biology  student at Rutgers. He denies such allegations.

“I personally have never heard it before. And I don’t think anyone  would  actually say that in public because all the other Muslims would  not tolerate  that behavior and that talk,” Mohammed said.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have both  defended  the practice, saying that the information the NYPD collects is  within the  department’s guidelines which are approved and monitored by  lawyers and a  federal judge.

“We have to be cognizant of what we do,” Kelly told Charlie Rose back  in  February. “We have to check. We have to make sure that what we’re  doing is  within constitutional bounds. And that’s precisely what we’re  doing.”

Read more: Family Security Matters

NJ Gov. Christie Courting Islamist Cleric

by: Ryan Mauro

After New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa cleared the NYPD of misconduct in its intelligence-gathering efforts in N.J., he met with some Muslim leaders to discuss his findings. The full list of attendees hasn’t been publicized but there is one name that is known: Imam Mohammad Qatanani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County.

N.J. Governor Chris Christie  has been feeling heat from anti-Islamist activists ever since the Investigative Project on Terrorism published a startling report about his relationship with Imam Qatanani, who the Department of Homeland Security wants deported. In 1999, he failed to disclose on his green card application that he was convicted by Israel in 1993 of being a member of Hamas. He also admits to having been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but says he left it in 1991—not because he turned against the group, but because he simply didn’t have enough time in the day anymore.

The mosque that Qatanani currently leads, the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), was founded in 1989 by Hamas operative Mohammed el-Mezain, who has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for financing the terrorist group. El-Mezain also served as the ICPC’s imam and was the chairman of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity that was shut down for being a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood front.

Read more

A Dangerous Verdict in New Jersey

By Bruce Thornton at FrontPage:

New Jersey jury on Friday convicted a Rutgers freshman of “bias intimidation,” among several other charges. Dharum Ravi had set up a webcam in the dorm room he shared with Tyler Clementi, and then posted footage online of Clementi being intimate with another man. Three days later Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. Ravi faces up to ten years in prison or deportation to India.

This verdict promises to have malign effects beyond the problems of hate-speech laws already long recognized. Most important, it will make it easier for Muslim organizations to achieve in the United States what they have in Europe: criminalizing legitimate and fact-based criticism of Islam by disguising it as “hate speech,” thus enlisting our criminal justice system in the enforcement of shari’a-based blasphemy laws.

Ravi’s conviction has dangerously expanded the already over-broad and subjective statutes against “hate crimes,” which are for the most part based on words and attitudes. Such laws are an attempt to criminalize preferences disapproved of by some political ideologies, and they are based on dubious social psychology theories about how “hate speech” creates a “climate of fear” that legitimizes and hence increases physical violence or harassment against protected groups. The problem with such laws, however, is that in practice they are selective, protecting politically favored constituencies while excluding other groups such as Christians, Jews, straight white males, or conservatives. Worse yet, what constitutes “hate speech” is highly subjective and reductive, ignoring the specific contexts and intentions that contribute to any speech act. Finally, under the Constitution, we are free to dislike whomever we wish for whatever reason we wish, no matter how much such dislike disturbs others. And subject to strict “fighting words” constraints, under the First Amendment we have the right to express that dislike in speech, including speech others may find offensive.

In short, “hate crime” laws represent another dangerous government intrusion into social and political life at the expense of freedom, all in an attempt to create some utopian world in which nobody ever feels bad, and social relations are without strife and conflict. Yet this goal is impossible given human nature and the great variety of people and their beliefs, some of which they passionately hold and consider foundational to their identities and the meaning of their lives. In a free society that by law gives people the right to express these beliefs and preferences, there inevitably will be clashes, and these disagreements won’t always be conducted with the decorum of a Jane Austen novel. Thus freedom of speech necessarily entails accepting that occasionally one will be insulted or offended. But that’s the price we pay for that freedom, for the alternative is the creation of legal limitations that inhibit speech by using the coercive power of the state to threaten or silence disagreeable political views.

The more dangerous consequence of such legislation, the illegitimate expansion of the scope of hate crime offenses, is what has taken place in the Ravi case. What Ravi did could be considered mean or boorish, but given he was a freshman in college at the time, such behavior is to be expected of a callow youth. There was no evidence presented that Ravi personally was homophobic, no past record of harassing or intimidating homosexuals. In fact, there was not any “hate speech” at all, just a subjective interpretation of his actions as the fuzzy crime “bias intimidation.” As a result, this verdict has broadened the categories “hate” and “bias” to criminalize immaturity––as long as the victim is a member of a protected group. If the roles were reversed, and Clementi had posted videos of Ravi having sex with a woman, nobody would have cared how humiliated or shamed Ravi became, even if he committed suicide.

As a result of this expansion, this verdict contributes to that “chilling” effect on free speech that the ACLU selectively complains about. People who disagree about the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, for example, or resist the attempt to normalize homosexuality, now face the possibility that their opinions, if expressed in ways subjectively interpreted as “hurtful,” could be construed as “bias intimidation” or a “hate crime” or “bullying,” and hence subject to legal sanctions. After all, if normal freshman boorishness can be criminalized, anything can. Already the threat of such prosecution lurks behind every charge of “sexism” or “racism” or “homophobia.” We saw this tactic in the recent uproar over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke, which a Washington Post blogger called “hate speech” that “crossed into the realm of sexual harassment.” That is, as something that the power of the government can punish. Such threats can lead to self-censorship and an environment that is hostile to free speech.

But there’s an even more sinister development of  “hate speech” sanctions that this verdict facilitates. That is the ongoing effort of Muslim organizations to smuggle Islamic “blasphemy” prohibitions into “hate speech” laws. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has been trying for years to get the U.N. to codify Islamic shari’a blasphemy laws in secular international law. And President Obama is supportive of such efforts. In his infamous Cairo speech of 2009, he proclaimed his commitment to fighting “negative stereotypes about Islam.” In December 2011 Secretary of State Hilary Clinton invited the OIC to Washington to “exchange ideas” and “discuss implementation” of the President’s goal. A few months earlier, representatives of Islamic advocacy groups had met with the Department of Justice to press for ways to label criticism of Islam “religious bigotry and hate,” as the president of the Islamic Society of North America put it.

Read the rest…

Mosques of New Jersey – a Case of Short Memory Syndrome

Patrick Dunleavy at FSM:

In the latest outcry against the NYPD’s successful Counter Terrorism strategies, caused in part by an article from the Associated Press’s Washington-based Investigative team,Islamic and civil libertarian groups such as the ACLU and CAIR are once again calling for the resignation of Commissioner Ray Kelly and a federal investigation of the police department for alleged spying on the Muslim community in the Greater New York area.
 
At the center of the accusations is the release of an NYPD document that details in part intelligence gathering on Mosques in the state of New Jersey. Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker voiced outrage telling the press that the city was never notified of the NYPD conducting a surveillance operation in their city. However the evidence shows that the NYPD did notify New Jersey law enforcement officials and that police officers from the Garden State acted as liaisons between the New York Police and Newark PD.
 
Questions on the issue of jurisdiction were also raised asking, “What gives NYPD the right to go outside the city limits to conduct investigations?”
 
At first glance the average reader might think that this is a clear case of government abuse of power and of law enforcement collecting information on innocent citizens in violation of constitutional rights. Those that do so suffer from a case of short memory syndrome. Looking back over the history of Islamic terrorist activity in New York prior to 9/11 is a sure cure for the malady.
 
In 1990 a little known Egyptian immigrant committed a homicide in Manhattan. What was once looked at as just a single act of violence by a lone individual in a crime ridden city has now come to be known as the vanguard attack of the jihadists on the United States. The victim of the killing was Rabbi Meir Khane, an outspoken Jewish activist, and founder of the Jewish Defense League, with a reputation for making inflammatory speeches. The shooter was El Sayyid Nosair. The investigation into the murder revealed that Nosair was a member of Al Gama’a al Islamiyya, an Islamic terrorist organization whose spiritual leader was Omar Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheik. Nosair prior to the shooting had participated in raising money for an organization known as Maktab al Khadamat. That organization was founded by Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden in Pakistan as a means of providing financial support for the mujahadeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980’s.
 
The headquarters for the organization in the United States was run out of a mosque, Al Farouq, in Brooklyn. But funds were also supplied from several mosques in New Jersey which both Nosair and the Blind Sheik had visited and with whom they maintained ties.
 
In February of 1993 a truck loaded with explosives was detonated in the World Trade Center by radical islamists. The jihad had now moved from a single killing to an attack on innocent civilians and a landmark structure in the United States. 
 
In the investigation that followed conducted by Federal, State, and City law enforcement, names, locations, and the activities of the conspirators were outlined in the successful prosecution by the US Attorney’s Office. Once again El Sayyid Nosair was involved in the jihad. From his cell in Attica state prison he was able to contact individuals in New Jersey and who were constructing the truck bomb. Among the other perpetrators led by Ramzi Yousef, were individuals such as Ibrahim al Gabrowny, Nosair’s cousin, and Mohammed Salameh. Both lived and attended mosques in New Jersey.
 
The connection between the mosques in the New York City area and Jersey mosques was provided by non other than Sirhaj Wahhaj, the Imam of Al Taqwa Mosque in Brooklyn, NY. Wahhaj was an unindicted co-conspirator in the case who was called to testify during the first World Trade Center trial. In his testimony he talked of an incident at the El Salaam Mosque in New Jersey involving Sheik Abdel Rahman and his followers.
 
Wahhaj stated he had just left another Islamic Center in New Jersey, when he “just happened to drive by” the mosque where several of the individuals convicted in the first World Trade Center Bombing were attending.   Wahhaj admitted that he knew Sheik Abdel Rahman as well as the others in the Jersey mosque. The same violent rhetoric calling for jihad was preached in every mosque the Blind Sheik and his followers went to in the United States, including the ones in New Jersey.
 
Court records clearly revealed that the terrorists who planned the attack in New York City lived and were attending mosques in New Jersey. Inmate visitor and phone records of El Sayyid Nosair clearly showed communication with individuals from New Jersey who were attending mosques in New Jersey. If that wasn’t enough, the very truck that was loaded with explosives was rented in New Jersey.
 
So the question is, should NYPD wait until the terrorists bent on attacking the city cross over the George Washington Bridge before they start to investigate or gather intelligence?
 
That would be ridiculous. The philosophy that drives Commissioner Kelly and the NYPD to station Detectives overseas to glean real time live information of terrorist attacks or to follow any lead anywhere in protecting the city is rock solid and founded not on abusing civil liberties, but protecting them.
 
Investigative journalism is necessary for a strong vibrant free press. But a lopsided story that fails to look at the history of radical terrorists in New Jersey’s Islamic Centers is myopic and does not give an accurate view of the facts.
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections. He is the author of “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection,” details of which can be found at his website, and he can be contacted at: mail@patrickdunleavy.com.
 
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