By Patrick Poole:
Back in March, my friend and colleague Erick Stakelbeck of CBN News emailed me a link to an article in Tablet Magazine and asked: “Hey — isn’t that your neighbor with the head of Hamas?” Sure enough, it was. My former neighbor Salah Sultan was standing right beside Ismail Haniyeh — the Hamas “prime minister” of Gaza — as Haniyeh left a meeting with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo (purple shirt):
Stakelbeck knew about my neighbor Sultan because Erick and I had worked together on a video segment highlighting Sultan’s activity and residence in my hometown of Hilliard, Ohio, back in 2007. That was more than a year after I had first written about returning home to Ohio to discover that I had an internationally known Hamas cleric living about a mile from my own house. Not only that, but Sultan was the religious director at the local Islamic school, Sunrise Academy, which had taken over the former public library building in town. Sultan was also the resident scholar of the newly built Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Hilliard.
As I later recounted
, the Columbus Dispatch
attacked me as a racist and a bigot, characterizing me as a Christianist Neo-Nazi. This after I had identified Sultan’s rabidly anti-Jewish remarks, his calls for violent jihad, his open support for Hamas, his ties to Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, and his association with international Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The Dispatch article encouraged readers to attend an open house set up in response to my article at the local Islamic school. The relevant section of the Dispatch article responding to my claims was titled “Hostile Assertions”:
The condemnations not only came from my local paper, but also from the “interfaith leaders” in town — namely the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio – who had arranged the Dispatch hit piece. They also came from local residents, who felt free to vent their fury in phone calls made to my family members. One local columnist wrote an article titled “Muslim Basher, Patrick Poole, Preys on People’s Fears.”
Two weeks after the Dispatch article appeared defending Salah Sultan as a well-respected Islamic scholar and local interfaith leader (curiously, the Dispatch article can no longer be found on their website), he appeared on Al-Risala TV where he claimed that the 9/11 attacks were a U.S. government plot to victimize Muslims. He also defended designated terrorist and al-Qaeda cleric Abdul Majid al-Zindani: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LIyy5jqMUlg
Needless to say, the Dispatch never followed up, even after I sent the reporter and editors a copy of Sultan’s video translated by MEMRI.
Last year at PJ Media, I revisited some of Salah Sultan’s activities since that time. I was driven to do so after he appeared last August on Al-Jazeera issuing a fatwa authorizing the assassination of any Israeli in Egypt. I titled that review “Yes, my neighbor really was a racist, terror-supporting Muslim Brotherhood cleric.”
As a demonstration of how correct I was, take note of the picture below of Sultan being chummy with Khaled Meshaal –the head of Hamas and a specially designated global terrorist according to the U.S. government — that was posted on Sultan’s Facebook page on May 6 this year:
In law enforcement circles, this is what is known as an “investigative clue.”
In case the folks at the Columbus Dispatch still have any doubts about his Hamas connections, here Sultan is again with Ismail Haniyeh in March, just days after the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) — where Sultan sits on the board – greeted Haniyeh as a member:
But what about my prior claims about Sultan’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Well — Sultan was actively involved in the Egyptian elections, appearing regularly with the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi (who, I noted here, first became a Muslim Brotherhood member while in the United States studying at the University of Southern California).
Here’s a picture of Sultan and Morsi at a campaign event dated May 13:
Here is one of Morsi’s campaign flyers noting Sultan’s support (top row, second from the left):
In case there was any remaining uncertainty about Sultan’s ties to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Sultan led a Muslim Brotherhood rally and gave a fiery speech in Tahrir Square on a live June 21 broadcast on Al-Jazeera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-2Ro-Qh8QY&feature=player_embedded
No doubt officials at the Columbus Dispatch will say I’m an Islamophobe for mentioning Sultan’s exercise of democracy on behalf of his preferred political party in his native homeland of Egypt.
Whatever happened to the respected Islamic scholar and interfaith moderate Salah Sultan, for whom the Columbus Dispatch was driven to publicly castigate me for daring to call him a terror-loving, terrorist-associating, racist Muslim Brotherhood leader?
He was a figment of the newspaper’s imagination, fed to them by their friends in the local Islamic community and by Sultan himself, and aided in no small measure by soothing narratives of interfaith peace and harmony many hold to despite all the conflicting evidence.
All along, he really was who I said he was. But it’s doubtful that the local media will correct the record.
But why does the record need to be corrected? Since his activity is entirely outside the U.S. now (he’s been banned from reentering the country), surely there’s really no relation between what happens over there and our communities here? Even though everything I said about Salah Sultan going back to April 2006 has been verified, my stated fears of a “hometown jihad” are nothing more than the paranoid fantasies of a raging, racist Islamophobe, right?
I’ll answer that question here at PJ Media shortly.
Read the entire meticulously researched expose at PJ Media