Controversy Surrounds Construction of Mosques Across U.S.

By Lauren Green Published July 02, 2010


They’re separated by thousands of miles, but they share a common controversy: Mosques.

Murfreesboro, Tenn., has joined a growing list of midsized towns in the U.S. that are embroiled in conflicts over proposed mosques being built or bought in their neighborhoods.

Including Murfreesboro, residents have risen up against mosques in two other Tennessee towns; in Staten Island, N.Y.; Sheboygan County, Wis.; and the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn, as well as the proposed mosque and Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero, which has garnered some of the most heated battles.

A new Quinnipiac Poll shows that well over half of New Yorkers – 52 percent oppose building a mosque near the 9/11 site. Only 31 percent support it.

Among ethnic groups, Hispanics show the greatest opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, 60 to 19 percent.

Among religious groups, Jews and white Catholics expressed the greatest opposition, both at 66 percent.

Those who support building the mosques say the opposition comes from growing Islamophobia, racism and ignorance.

Those who oppose adamantly deny that bigotry is involved.

In Murfreesboro, Republican congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik says she’s not against the building of a mosque, but she does oppose the construction of an Islamic cultural center, which she says would be an Islamic training facility. “This has nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with a radical agenda,” she says.

But in Staten Island, fears that a mosque will become a breeding ground for homegrown terror are rooted in reports about who’s financing the deal.

Residents of the heavily Catholic neighborhood are in an uproar over a Muslim group’s plans to buy a shuttered convent and convert it into a Mosque. Besides concerns about increased traffic and little parking, there are disturbing reports surrounding the organization, the Muslim America Society, which is funding the purchase.

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, MAS has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a 100-year-old movement that is widely regarded as one of the most influential Islamic fundamentalist groups in the world. Its stated agenda has been to spread Islam and Shariah law throughout the West. Some of its members also reportedly created Hamas.

“The Muslim American Society was created in the early 1990s as the de facto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood,” says Steve Emerson, IPT’s executive director.

He says the MAS and Muslim Brotherhood claim to oppose terrorism, but “behind closed doors they support terrorism and have defended various terrorists that have been convicted in the United States since 9/11.”

But Ibrahim Ramey, the human and civil rights director for MAS Freedom, adamantly denies any connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas or terrorism.

“There are people who don’t like Muslims and don’t like Muslims in their neighborhood who have been vociferously and consistently trying to link MAS with foreign organizations and movements, but that simply isn’t true,” Ramey says.

“We are not agents of Hamas nor do we answer to them, nor do we provide money for them, nor are we part of any conflict that they have with the U.S. Government, or any authorities in the United States.”

Emerson says his group has documentation linking MAS with the Muslim Brotherhood. He also says MAS has been on a spending spree in the last two years, either buying property to establish mosques, as in Staten Island, or taking over existing mosques, like the huge Dal al-Hidrah in Northern Virginia and the very prominent Islamic Society of Boston in Massachusetts.

“The way to gain influence among the Muslim community is to control the mosques,” Emerson says. “The way to control what people think in the Muslim community is to have the right imam preach the right message. So by acquiring these mosques the Muslim American Society gets the right to appoint the imam and distribute the message they believe is necessary to spread Islam around the world.”

Ramey says the Muslim community simply is growing and needs more space.

“Our interest in establishing mosques,” he says, “is simply to provide for members of the organization and members of the larger Muslim community.”

“The allegations that MAS is somehow pushing for the implementation of Shariah laws is an absolute lie. It is not founded in fact. It is not part of our agenda.”

He says open dialogue is the key to quelling any fears a community may have about mosques.

But for Zelenik, dialogue doesn’t seem to be in the near future. She says she’s received threats for her comments, but she won’t back down. She vows to continue fighting against the mosque in Murfreesboro.

“We are focusing on the positive,” she says. “We are not going to let threats stop us for one moment, have not and will not.”


Staten Island Victory: Pastor Reverses Decision to sell Church/Convent to Controversial Muslim Brotherhood Mosque

Friday, June 18, 2010

Robert Spencer and I went to the community meeting on Staten Island last week to fight the takeover of a church and convent by the Muslim Brotherhood front Muslim American Society. Here is my reportage on that fateful evening.

The great people of that community came out in the pouring rain; throngs could not get in. But it was an historic moment. The town was informed. They knew who the Muslim Brotherhood was. They knew who Mahdi Bray was. They knew the players, the taqiya, the rhetoric. 

The counter jihad movement is growing and affecting change, stopping the advancing sharia. Dhimmis no more!

Apparently we prevailed, but do not expect the Muslim Brotherhood front MAS to go quietly. They will fight for it. We will fight back. And win.

Pamela H. joined us, so if you want to see infidels in action, you can watch the whole community meeting until they shut it down.

This is a textbook case study. Learn it. Book it. Know it. Fight back. If we can do it in Staten Island, we can do it at Ground Zero. We can and we must.

Click HERE to read reports from CBC News and Associated Press

Mischief in Manhattan (click below)

We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation

By Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah(Ottawa Citizen, August 7, 2010)


New York Post: Tue., Aug. 3, 2010

A Muslim case against the mosque


Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf bills his plan for an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero — which the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to vote on tonight — as a platform for interfaith cooperation, dialogue and understanding.

But the plan is obviously provocative and confrontational — and it’s hard to imagine that Rauf didn’t know that long before it became public.

That’s one big reason why American Muslims, like other Americans, should reject the project — particularly if they really want to adhere to traditional Islamic principles. I say that as a Muslim convert since 1997.

Traditional, moderate Islam teaches Muslims living in non-Muslim-majority societies to obey the laws and customs of the country in which they reside. They must avoid conflict with their non-Muslim neighbors whenever possible.

Yet it was no secret that a major Islamic construction project near Ground Zero would offend many New Yorkers; indeed, American Muslims themselves were uneasy about the idea from the beginning. Rauf, while he preaches peace, chose the path of controversy and provocation by originating this mosque project.

Muslim leaders dealing with non-Muslims are also supposed to practice moderation — not only in words, but also in their deeds and associations. Rauf portrays himself as a spiritual moderate. But he has maintained links with Muslim radicals, including enablers of terror, whom he declines to disavow. These include the Malaysian politician Mahathir Mohamad, who supports Hamas’ Gaza dictatorship.

The imam refuses to identify the prospective financial contributors to his undertaking — so we don’t know if there are any radicals among his donors.

American Muslim leaders, especially Sufis and other moderates who assert that peace may be attained through dialogue, cannot accept any alignment with Hamas or any similar organization.

Nor, for that matter, can Muslim leaders allow any accommodation with the clerical tyranny in Iran or with such extremists as the Saudi Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is a branch) or Pakistani jihadism. Unfortunately, such groups now heavily influence American Islam.

Muslim radicals may see the argument over the Ground Zero mosque as a test of whether Muslims have equal rights in America.

But Muslims will gain such security through sensitivity to their non-Muslim neighbors and resolute opposition to radicalism, not through defiant posturing or defending extremist activities.

 Stephen Schwartz is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism at


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