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Hometown Jihad: The Return of Salah Sultan By: Patrick Poole
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, March 29, 2007


It was almost a year ago that I first introduced readers of FrontPage Magazine to the story of how I returned to my hometown of Hilliard, Ohio – a sleepy Columbus suburb and a longtime red-state haven – after more than a decades absence, only to quickly discover that the hometown of my youth had vanished and instead had become yet another battleground in the Global War on Terror.

This story was first presented to FrontPage readers in “Hometown Jihad,” where I recounted my finding a Muslim Brotherhood operative, Dr. Salah Sultan, living right around the corner from me and teaching out of the Islamic school, Sunrise Academy, which had set up shop during my absence in the city’s former library building. Sultan is a protégé of Yousef Al-Qaradawi, the Qatar-based spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who the Anti-Defamation League has described as “The Theologian of Terror” for his advocacy of HAMAS suicide bombings against Israel and giving religious edicts for Muslims to fight and kill American troops overseas.

 

In a follow-up article, “Hometown Jihad: Blowback,” I wrote about the fallout from the publication of that first article, including how the local paper, the Columbus Dispatch, rose to the defense of Salah Sultan and Sunrise Academy. Not only did the Dispatch article ignore all of the documentation I had provided to the paper on Sultan and the Islamic school in addition to what appeared in that first article, but it went so far in its defense to characterize FrontPage Magazine (and by association, myself) as neo-Nazi propaganda tool for daring to raise the issue.

 

But in a strange turn of events, that Dispatch article, which airbrushed Sultan as a “moderate” Muslim, was published just days before Sultan appeared on Saudi Arabian Al-Risala TV, where he informed viewers that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks, which he said were planned “to enable the U.S. to control and terrorize the entire world, and to get American society to agree to the war declared on terrorism,” and defending Yemeni al-Qaeda cleric Abd Al-Majid Al-Zindani, a close associate of Osama bin Laden that has been listed by the US government as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” and identified by one analyst as the “Yemeni Sheikh of Hate”. Fortunately, Sultan’s Al-Risala interview was recorded [video] by the good folks at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), though the Dispatch offered no retraction when informed about these new statements from the man they had just days before defended as a “moderate” Muslim.

 

The third article in the series published back in September, “Hometown Jihad: Our Newest Citizen?” I revealed to FrontPage readers that Salah Sultan had submitted an application for US citizenship. My investigation into the numerous associations with terrorist-linked and terror-justifying organizations launched a congressional inquiry led by our local representative, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce. According to my sources, that inquiry is still open and no determination has been made on Sultan’s citizenship application while Department of Homeland Security officials look at Sultan’s role in several organizations led by Qaradawi, including the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the International Association of Muslim Scholars, both of which have issued religious rulings justifying attacks against American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and terrorist activities against Israel; as well as his association with the Muslim World League, the Saudi-backed Wahhabi charity established in North America by Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, which has been cited by US authorities as financing Hamas and six terrorist training camps in Afghanistan prior to 9/11.

 

After that last article, and with his US citizenship application still pending, Sultan picked up and moved his family to Bahrain, though still maintaining his US residence in Hilliard. Since that time, not much has been heard from my neighbor. That was until last week when I discovered that Sultan was now one of the US political analysts for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian-based organizational, ideological and financial font of virtually every Islamic terrorist organization in the world, including Al-Qaeda.

 

In an article posted on the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ikhwanweb.com, “US Islamic Center: Democrats More Tolerant Towards Muslims,” dated just two days after the November elections, Salah Sultan offers an exclusive interview to the Brotherhood and offers his take on the US election results.

 

Interviewed by a Muslim Brotherhood press official, Saeed Abbady, Sultan hails the victory of Democrats over Republicans and predicts that the rise of the Democrats in Congress “will work in favor of Muslims inside and outside of the US.” Among the changes he says he hopes to see are the reversal of “freedom restricting laws [that] have defied principles on which the America [sic] was founded.”

 

In particular, he decries that “the Islamic centers and establishments have been affected by policies restricting civil liberties, making them under ongoing siege and surveillance.” Perhaps Sultan has in mind the investigations into the now-defunct Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), the primary U.S.-based front group for the terrorist organization and Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, HAMAS. In 1999, Sultan appeared at an IAP fundraiser, where he expressed his hope that all Muslim children would dream of martyrdom for the Palestinian cause: “I want every child to sleep on the wound of Palestine and the actions of martyrdom, just like that mother in the country whose son wrote to her that they are to meet in Paradise.” His comments were recorded in Rita Katz’s 2003 book, Terrorist Hunter.

 

In his political analysis for the Muslim Brotherhood, Sultan predicted that “Democrats will expose the financial corruption in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”, and expressed his hope that the Democratic congressional victory would shift US foreign policy against “the US launched unjustified war in Iraq.”

 

But one change he lamented that the victory of Democrats would not portend was a shift in US foreign policy with regards to the Palestinians. The reason – the international Zionist conspiracy:

 

He attributed this unchanged policy toward the Palestinian cause to the omnipresence of the Jewish lobby and their infiltration of both parties, calling on Muslims to have a strong and effective lobby by which they can press the US administration to acknowledge their demands.

 

FrontPage readers who have been following this story will recall that this is hardly the first time that Sultan has been recorded identifying an international Zionist conspiracy or making outright anti-Jewish remarks. In that same 1999 IAP speech cited above, Sultan went on a tirade that could be taken straight from the pages of the anti-Semitic book, Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

 

What does "the Cause" mean to you? And what does it mean to your children?... How much do they know about these tragedies? Did we mention to them that the Children of Zion over there cut open the wombs of mothers. As Khalid M. Khalid mentioned in 1992 when he visited Shamir and saw on his desk a strange ashtray. He asked him, "What strange ashtray is this?" Shamir told him that this was the skull of an embryo. The skull of an embryo? An Israeli soldier opened the womb of a Palestinian mother, took out the embryo, cut off his head, and gave it to him as a present. He gave it to him as a present! This is the method of the Jews. Killing a Muslim or any other non-Jew does not matter to them. Because their motto is, "The gentiles mean nothing to us." This is what the text of the Talmud says: "If you come across a non-Jew kill him!"

 

Concluding his post-election analysis, Sultan assured that one of the beneficiaries of the Democratic victory would be the Muslim Brotherhood itself, which is currently waging a widespread media campaign through its US supporters to recast the image of the Brotherhood as a “moderate” Islamist organization and pushing for the US government to begin to engage with the terror-linked group.

 

There is good cause for Salah Sultan to follow US policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood, not just because of the prominent role that his mentor, Yousef Al-Qaradawi, plays in the international organization. For years, Sultan’s work in the US has been supported by the Muslim Brotherhood’s extensive network in North America. One of his first positions upon arriving in America was as the Director of Department of Islamic Research and Studies for the Muslim American Society (MAS), which the Chicago Tribune identified as one of the primary US-based front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in a detailed 2004 investigation. Sultan’s resume states that in addition to his position, he was also a member of MAS’s Board of Directors from 2000-2004. (Readers should also consult Daveed Gartenstein-Ross’ article, “MAS’s Muslim Brotherhood Problem.”)

 

Sultan also served as President of the Islamic American University, which developed as a project of the MAS. As head of the institution, Sultan appointed his mentor Qaradawi (whom he affectionately calls “our great scholar”) as chairman of the board of the institution, even though Qaradawi had already been designated by the US government as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” in 1999 and is banned from entering the country. More recently, until the publication of my Hometown Jihad series, Sultan operated his American Center for Islamic Research out of the local Islamic school, Sunrise Academy, which is itself a wholly-owned outreach of the local MAS affiliate, the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus. This gives us some indication of how dependent Sultan has been on the Muslim Brotherhood network for his operations here in the US.

 

After Salah Sultan retreated to Bahrain after the publication of the third installment in my “Hometown Jihad” exposé, undoubtedly prompted by the congressional inquiry into his citizenship application following up on my investigation, I suspected that we might never hear from my neighbor again. With that congressional inquiry in mind, it is no wonder that he took such personal interest in the US elections and the change in congressional leadership that occurred in its wake, as evidenced by his interview.

 

But in my wildest imagination I never could have anticipated that after so much energy had been expended previously by his defenders to dismiss the connections between himself, Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood, which included their vigorous attempts to label FrontPage Magazine and myself as Islamophobic bigots and neo-Nazis, that Sultan would reappear just two months later as the US political analyst for the Muslim Brotherhood on their own official website. (That astounding discovery notwithstanding, I will not hold my breath for an apology from the Columbus Dispatch, the staff of Sunrise Academy and the officials of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, who have gone to great lengths to publicly besmirch FrontPage and myself for having the audacity to reveal what is now plainly evident.)

 

It very well may be the case that the recent Democratic electoral victory has emboldened Islamic radicals like Sultan, hoping that their Democratic Party protectors can shield them from scrutiny and the atmosphere “siege and surveillance” that Sultan loudly protests. For my part, however, the shift in political winds in Washington DC and the resurgence of Sultan’s Democratic Party allies in Congress will not prevent me from continuing to do my part to investigate and expose the workings of the global jihad right here in America, because there is too much at stake for me, my family and my community.

 

As I reported last year, my hometown of Hilliard, Ohio, is on the frontlines of the Global War on Terror, as are hundreds and thousands of cities and towns all across America. Sadly, few recognize this reality. Since the establishment media in our area is held captive by longstanding political and ideological ties that prevent them from offering honest and unbiased assessments of the activity of radical Islamists, it is certain that this story will never be accurately told in the pages of the Columbus Dispatch or the local television news stations. It is only through free and independent media outlets, such as FrontPage Magazine and talk radio, that this story can be told.

 

I readily admit that my tale of Hometown Jihad is hardly unique. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my work has relied heavily on courageous journalists and activists – Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and of all stripes alike – that that have been warning us of this threat long before I became aware of it, many of whom have regularly appeared, and continue to appear, here at FrontPage. As long as there are brave souls willing to speak out about what is happening in their own communities and outlets where those stories can be heard, there is hope for America.

 

My sincere thanks to the editors of FrontPage Magazine and the David Horowitz Freedom Center for continuing to allow me to tell my small part of the Hometown Jihad story. Their work is worthy of your support.

 

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Patrick Poole is a regular contributor to Frontpagemag.com and an anti-terrorism consultant to law enforcement and the military.


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