Middle East studies in the News
Worcester Islamic Center Burnishes Its Extremist Credentials [on Yasir Qadhi]
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
On December 5, a prominent Islamic cleric, Yasir Qadhi, will be speaking at Worcester Islamic Center, to discuss "Happy, Healthy Marriages."
Qadhi, however, is a well-known hate preacher. In 2001, Qadhi told an audience of Muslims:
In 2008, Qadhi claimed to have renounced his anti-Semitism. At the same time, however, Qadhi expressed support for the notorious British Holocaust denier, David Irving.
Today, Qadhi continues to work for the terror-linked Al Maghrib Institute. His colleagues include Said Rageah, a Canadian Islamist preacher who has preached that God should "destroy" the enemies of Islam and that the Christians and Jews are "damned"; Abdullah Hakim Quick, a preacher who has called upon God to "clean and purify Al-Aqsa from the ﬁlth of the Yahood [Jews]"; and Abu Eesa Niamatullah, who has said of Jews, "They find it so easy and natural to do what they do....Look at them today, look at the way they massacre. They blow up babies like as if it's a computer game. They have no humanity, no morality, no ethics."
In addition, Qadhi reserves some of his hatred for Shia Muslims. Qahdi has denounced Shia Islam as "the most lying sect of Islam. ... Shias are allowed to lie and it is their religion to lie."
He also claims that Christian beliefs are "evil," and are derived from the Devil.
Qadhi has even suggested that the brutal activities of the Islamic State are all part of a Western conspiracy: "I am becoming more open to the idea that the people running the show amongst ISIS are not Muslims at all, but rather those who wish to portray Islam in the worst possible light. ... One simple fact: before ISIS's brutal beheadings, the American population was so weary of war that they did NOT want to send troops or get involved in the Syrian crisis. Now, after ISIS has beheaded so many Western citizens, public opinion has changed and it appears war is imminent. Coincidence? Or convenience? Allah knows best."
The Worcester Islamic Center (WIC) has a troubled history. Its sister organization, the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, was established by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), before becoming a "sub-chapter of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)."
During the 2007 terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation, both these organizations would be revealed as key components of a Muslim Brotherhood network. These organizations, as detailed in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, were working towards a "grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within."
Since then, WIC has lived up to its extremist roots. In 2011, WIC hosted a fundraising event for Aafia Siddiqui, who, a year earlier, was convicted of attempting to murder American officers in Afghanistan. Siddiqui has been described by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller as "an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator."
At the fundraising event, Abdullah Faaruuq, a local imam, told the crowd: "They say that she took up a machine gun while they held her captive in the other room and was ready to attack her captives. What a brave woman she is. ... It is said that we're trying to raise $30,000 tonight. I would say it's better that we've raised your awareness and raised your ire, as your anger against a government who would level the charges that they have against this woman and they say she is guilty. I would say she's only guilty of defending herself."
In 2012, one of WIC's former employees, Tarek Mehanna, was convicted of attempting to murder Americans and providing support to Al Qaeda. Mehanna had been a teacher at the Alhuda Academy, part of the Worcester Islamic Center, where he taught religion and science to Muslim children.
Following his arrest, however, WIC did not distance themselves from Mehanna. Quite the opposite, in fact. WIC organizedfundraisers and rallies of support for Mehanna. Children at the Center were even tasked with drawing "Free Tarek Mehanna" posters.
There are other concerning links. Hamid Mahmood, a former imam at WIC, is the brother of Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Lashkar-i-Taiba, which masterminded the 2008 Mumbai Massacre in which 164 people were murdered.
WIC's Hamid Mahmood was deported from the United States in 2007, ostensibly because of visa irregularities. The Times of India has reported allegations, however, that, "the US discovered that he used to run a safe house for [Lashkar-i-Taiba] terrorists in Moon Chowk, Lahore, and that his imam activities in the US were all about teaching jihad to youngsters there."
WIC has repeatedly claimed that it opposes all forms of extremism. But, by inviting radical clerics such as Yasir Qadhi and hosting fundraisers for notorious Al Qaeda operatives, the truth looks very different indeed.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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