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Hometown Jihad: Our Newest Citizen? By: Patrick Poole
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, September 08, 2006

Da'wah [conversion] work can never succeed unless Muslims embed themselves within the very marrow of American society.

-Salah Sultan, Muslim American Society New York Conference, April 2004


Earlier this year in two separate articles for FrontPage Magazine, Hometown Jihad and Hometown Jihad: Blowback, I chronicled my discovery upon returning to my hometown of Hilliard, Ohio after a decade absence that an Islamic cleric, Dr. Salah Sultan, who is directly linked to the international Islamic terror network and is a protégé of HAMAS spiritual leader Sheikh Yousef Qaradawi, had not only moved into town since my departure, but was operating openly out of the local Islamic school that had taken possession of the city’s former library building.


When I last revisited the topic of my new neighbor, Sultan was just coming off his May 17th performance on Al-Risala TV (Saudi Arabia), where he blamed the 9/11 attacks on the US government, who he claimed coordinated the attacks so that the US could “terrorize the world” by launching the war on terror. Fortunately, MEMRI recorded his comments [video clip] and has provided a complete translation of Sultan’s Al-Risala interview:


I share the view of many Americans, French, and Europeans, who say that 9/11 could not have been carried out entirely from outside [the U.S.] - by Muslims or others. The confessions by some people could have been edited. But even if they were not edited, I believe that these people were used in a marginal role. The entire thing was of a large scale and was planned within the U.S., in order 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 - the definition of which has not yet been determined.


In his interview, Sultan likened the alleged US-directed 9/11 plot to the movie, The Siege, where the US government uses a series of terrorist incidents to impose martial law in New York City, and he had previously authored an article, “The Movie ‘Siege’: Between Reality and Forging”, making this same argument. In his Al-Risala appearance, Sultan also praised the Yemeni al-Qaeda cleric, Abd Al-Majid Al-Zindani, who has been listed by the US government as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” and is prohibited from entering the country. A 2003 report by Josh Devon characterizes Zindani, who is a long-time associate of Osama bin Laden, as the “Yemeni Sheikh of Hate”.


In a stunning new development, I can report that Salah Sultan is just weeks away from obtaining his US citizenship. According to my sources, which are close to Sultan, he submitted all of the requisite paperwork and fingerprints this summer, and the approval of his citizenship application is imminent. Sultan current immigration status is currently listed on his resume as US Permanent Resident.


Immediately upon hearing this news, I contacted the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to check on the status of Sultan’s citizenship application, but was told by an official that they were prohibited from providing any information related to individual applications for privacy reasons.


My next phone call was to the local congressional office of Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH15), who serves as both the House Majority Deputy Whip (the fourth-highest ranking member in Congress) and the Chairman of the House Republican Conference. Not surprisingly, Representative Pryce’s staff had never heard of Salah Sultan, so they requested that I send them some background information before they made any inquiries.


Among the information I provided to Rep. Pryce’s office was detailed information about Salah Sultan’s close connections with Sheikh Qaradawi, who was listed by the US Government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 1999. But in 1999, when Salah Sultan was founding the Islamic American University based in the Detroit area, Sultan not only appointed Qaradawi to the faculty, but also as a trustee and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the institution – despite the fact that he was banned from entering the US! Qaradawi served in the leadership of the university until Sultan’s departure in 2004.


An August 2005 report on Qaradawi by the Anti-Defamation League, Theologian of Terror, describes his activities and views, including his fatwas justifying HAMAS suicide bombings and authorizing the murder of American civilians in Iraq, who were identified as “invaders”. Sultan is one of the few Qaradawi associates identified by name in the ADL report.


Salah Sultan, however, is not just an associate and friend of Qaradawi’s, who he calls “our great scholar”. In fact, Qaradawi has integrated his protégé throughout his entire radical Islamic empire:


But it is not just Sultan’s association with Qaradawi that is troubling. He had been in the country less than a year before he was making news. In 1999, Sultan spoke at a fundraiser for the Islamic Association for Palestine, which was closed down by the US government after 9/11 as the primary front group in the US for HAMAS, where he made a string of rabidly anti-Semitic statements (recorded in Rita Katz’s 2003 book, Terrorist Hunter):


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!"


Sultan has been listed for years as an associated scholar of the Muslim World League – the primary institution funded by the Saudi royal family for propagating the extremist Wahhabi faith worldwide. The Muslim World League runs several subsidiaries, including the World Assembly for Muslim Youth (WAMY), founded in the US by Osama bin Laden’s nephew, Abdullah, and the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), headed by bin Laden’s brother-in-law, which US officials asked the Saudis to close in September 2003 due to its financing of HAMAS and six terrorist training camps in Afghanistan prior to 9/11. The Saudis have yet to comply.


During 2000-2004, Sultan was on the Board of Trustees for the Muslim American Society, which a September 2004 exposé by the Chicago Tribune revealed as the primary front organization for the international Muslim Brotherhood in America. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen recently provided for FrontPage readers extensive documentation on the Muslim Brotherhood’s long history and deep connections to Islamic terrorism.


Just how extremist Sultan’s views are was indicated by the open debate he conducted in 2005 with Tariq Ramadan, perhaps the most prominent and outspoken Islamic leaders in Europe, who had called for a temporary moratorium of shari’a law throughout the entire Muslim world. Ramadan argued that “these penalties are applied almost exclusively to women and the poor, the doubly victimized, never to the wealthy, the powerful, or the oppressors,” so the corporal punishments, including stoning, beheadings and amputations, should be suspended until Islamic countries can raise their standards of civil justice.


But among the most outspoken opponents of Ramadan’s proposal was Salah Sultan, who immediately weighed into the debate saying that “such an issue may give a chance to secularists and anti-Islamists to move to attack Islam itself”, and recommending that Ramadan should “consult trustworthy Muslim scholars in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Muslim countries where Islamic legal penalties are still being applied”.


Sultan’s defenders (which includes our local newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch) will contend that he is not a supporter of terrorism as he signed the 2005 Fiqh Council of North America’s fatwa against terrorism (published by the Council on American-Islamic Relations), but as counterterrorism expert, Steve Emerson, noted regarding the document,


In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism. It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader. In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate. In fact, officials of both organizations have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations. One of them is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to Al-Qaeda.


One could also wonder why it took them almost four years after 9/11 to condemn terrorism. Nonetheless, here we have yet again another example of Sultan’s active participation in an organization (he is one of the 18 members of the Fiqh Council of North America) with known associations to terror sympathizers, apologists and financiers.


That notwithstanding, Sultan is due to become a US citizen. According to my sources, this is set to occur within the next few weeks. I am also told that as soon as his citizenship is approved, he will be moving with most of his family back to the Middle East to take a new position (I’m told his new job will be in Bahrain, but Sultan is out of country preparing for his move, prohibiting confirmation of his destination at this point; I also hope to learn whether he will be working in a position amongst Qaradawi’s extensive network of businesses and organizations in Bahrain). Thus, as a US citizen with a US passport, Sultan will be able to come in and out of the country freely.


As I stated earlier, I provided this information about Sultan to Rep. Deborah Pryce’s staff. I was told that her office had subsequently contacted both the State Department and the FBI – neither of which is responsible for the USCIS, part of the Department of Homeland Security. I asked for an official statement from her office on this matter, but received no response. It might be that his citizenship application has progressed so far that its approval might be inevitable.


Since April, this story has progressed from a local interest story limited to my hometown of Hilliard, Ohio to one that raises serious questions about national policy. With Salah Sultan’s extensive connections to the international Islamic terror networks in view (which I uncovered with nothing more than an Internet connection), what exactly does one have to do and how many ties to terrorism does one need for our federal immigration officials to reject a citizenship application? Five years after 9/11, have we learned anything at all?


Another obvious question stands out from this episode: why would Salah Sultan be so willingly to become citizen of a country that he believes was behind the cruel murder of almost 3,000 of its citizens on 9/11 to justify further acts of conquest and terrorism in the Middle East?


As I was pondering that question, I recalled a warning delivered by a Muslim leader to Archbishop Giuseppe Germano Bernardini, the leader of the Roman Catholic community in Izmir, Turkey, who was told,


Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you.


Then I remembered Sultan’s comments to the 2004 MAS convention that I opened this article with:


Da'wah [conversion] work can never succeed unless Muslims embed themselves within the very marrow of American society.


In the next few weeks, the US government might help Salah Sultan complete a crucial step towards his ultimate stated goal. If that’s the case, we have no one but ourselves to blame.

(My thanks to Ciaospirit for the assistance in researching this article.)

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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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