Hatred in the Heartland
By: Pendra Lee Snyder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, June 02, 2008
As reported last week at FrontPage by Patrick Poole, “Islamic Hatred in the Heartland,” the Dayton, Ohio-based Masjid at-Taqwa held a fundraising event on the campus of Sinclair Community College featuring international hate sheikh Khalid Yasin. The mosque’s fundraiser managed to draw over 275 people to an auditorium that seats about 300. American Congress for Truth-Dayton chapter president Ruth Quast and I attended the event to see exactly what message our Muslim neighbors were bringing into our community.
As to Yasin’s appearance in Dayton, according to the event brochure this is “the first of a series of lectures, open to the public, on developing the resources of our communities.” A $10 dollar fee was charged at the door and no one was turned away. Yasin came to Dayton to raise funds for Masjid at-Taqwa’s planned community which purportedly will house youth and senior programs, a gymnasium, health education, a food pantry, employment and job training, computer classes, a conference center and a weekly produce market.
The money raised at last Friday’s event will reportedly be split 50/50 for Yasin’s own satellite television station, the Islamic Broadcasting Corporation and The Purpose of Life Center in Sheffield, that he says will air family friendly programming followed by discussions from an Islamic perspective. As noted in last week’s FrontPage article, the Australian Sunday news program conducted an extensive investigation into Yasin and his planned satellite television network, and found substantial misrepresentations and outright fraud in his marketing materials for the network.
Although we were initially greeted without incident and granted an interview with Yasin, when his rhetoric became heated during the program, we were initially asked by a Sinclair Community College security guard to stop recording his comments. When we failed to comply with the request, stating that we were reporting on the event, a female member of Masjid at-Taqwa confronted us and demanded that we turn over our tape recorders to her or else erase the tapes.
To avoid further confrontation one of us put her tape recorder in her camera bag while the other recorder was off yet still sitting in the open. We were confronted yet again but apparently they were satisfied the recorder was off. This caused us to ask exactly what Masjid at-Taqwa had to hide. Despite their best efforts to prevent us from accurately reporting Yasin’s comments, we continued to write down his comments, realizing that Khalid Yasin’s star continues to rise in the American Muslim community and his message was going to have a direct impact on our community.
Yasin represents Islam as the “learned scholar”, with an elitist air that comes across in his lectures. He was dressed in what could be described as a uniform, apparently the type worn by those in a state of Jihad. He sports a henna-dyed beard, a practice in imitation of Mohammad and later adopted by the caliphs.
Listening to Yasin speak it is obvious that he has great yearning is to be the Caliph of the “United States of Islam” the ultimate goal of his system of Islamic community building. His love of preeminence was evident when he said, “I am not going to take for granted that a Muslim immigrant or a Muslim who is from the inner city that they understand that we should see ourselves as the greater global community” – inferring that he was in the position to grasp such a global vision.
The interview was prior to his appearing on the program. Aside from rather peculiar evenly timed interruptions that appeared to be pre-arranged opportunities to back out of the interview if the questions got too pointed, and strict ground rules set by Yasin (e.g. we could only begin recording when he told us to), the private interview was mostly bland and not too informative.
However, he did hit at a few potential explosive areas for further follow-up had we been given additional time.
For instance, he explained that there is no difference between Muslim terrorists and what Christians “did to the American Indian…or what those who entered Australia did to the Aborigines or what the Europeans did with the slave trade…it’s the same kinds of action….”, not only engaging in moral equivalence, but justifying such actions as a “might makes right” mandate.
With respect to Islamic terrorism, he added that “since 1948 a new phenomenon has happened in the world where some Muslims reacting to such political pressures encouraging such things IN THEIR LAND.”
Yasin points to 1948 and the attacks by neighboring Arab Muslim countries against the newborn state of Israel as the turning point to a new definition of terrorism, calling it “retail terror because maybe 36,000 people since l948 have been killed…. Is one non-criminal and one criminal - one is moral and one is immoral? I say they’re BOTH CRIMES.” From his comments it was difficult at times to know when he was justifying terrorism or condemning it.
Yasin also blamed non-Muslims for causing Islamic terrorism, claiming that it is the actions of non-Muslims who provoke Islamic terrorist activities: “I want to educate people to say to non-Muslims in particular is that you have to work towards removing the things that provoke PEOPLE WHO do these kinds of actions.”
Yasin describes himself as a moderate Muslim, but he also stresses the difference between being a Muslim and being truly Islamic (the latter a category he would clearly place himself). Yasin’s apparent goal is to get in-name-only Muslims recommitted be being truly Islamic. He says too many American Muslims are “too deep into (the American) culture”. But with his extensive international fundraising travel, he apparently is above all that.
Topics that came up during the program were quite different than in the interview. No amount of speedwriting could keep up with rhetoric like “Islam has never destroyed anyone’s culture except those that are subversive to the order of God.”
Or this apparent anti-immigrant comment directed towards the immigrant Muslims in the audience: “If any immigrant Muslim thinks you have a right to be a leader in my country – you are a conspirator.”
More of Shaykh Khalid Yasin own words and our reporting from this event can be found at the Citizen USA website.
Ruth Quast (daytonACT@woh.rr.com) of the American Congress for Truth-Dayton chapter also contributed to this report.
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