Wednesday, November 17, 2010

STOP PRESS : Will you help this anti-Jihadist movie?

Script of the anti-Jihadist full length feature film BLACK is now ready! We are planning to start filming of BLACK during end December. In this regard, we are already finalizing the signing process of artistes, who would play various roles in this movie. At least 75 people will work in this film.

Main objective of BLACK is to very prominently and boldly project how Muslim fanatics and Jihadists are gradually becoming active and influential in Muslim societies. It also gives a clear picture of Hindu repression in Muslim Bangladesh.

BLACK challenges various Koranic verses, which goes against humanity, especially those verses, which are in favor of waging Jihad against non-Muslims. It also shows sodomy inside Madrassas; how students in Madrassas are brainwashed with Jihadist indoctrinations; adverse affect of polygamy as well repression of Muslim women; abduction and forceful conversion of Bangladeshi Hindu females etc.

It is expected that, at least 3 million people will watch this movie in various cinema halls in Bangladesh, while through satellite television channels, BLACK will reach minimum 120 million Bangla speaking viewers in Bangladesh and West Bengal [in India]. We also shall make DVDs of this film at a very subsidized price, so that this film will enter a larger segment of our societies in Bangladesh and India.

BLACK is the first time revolt against militant Islam and Jihad. For the first time in the history of Bangladesh, a full length feature film is being made fully with anti-Jihadist contents and dialogues.

To complete making of this film in celluloid, we shall require at least an amount equivalent to US$ 120,000 while if we make this film in digital format [later to be transferred on celluloid], the total cost will be around US$ 75,000. Total length of this film is 150 minutes.

We already have spent approximately US$ 5,000 in recording required songs for this movie.

Philanthropists, anti-Jihadist groups and institutions, various organizations and individuals are requested to consider financially helping this project. Donors and funders of this film project will be appropriately acknowledged and their names will be shown at the beginning of the film.

For details, please contact:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Anti Islamist movie series by Shoaib Choudhury

Internationally acclaimed award winning Bangladeshi journalist, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury and his film production company recently announced a project [named Learning Through Entertainment], under which seven movies will be made on Sharia law, Jihad, Burqa, Stoning, Beheading, Polygamy and Child Marriage in Muslim nations.

Filming of BLACK, a movie under this project will begin in December 2010. Meanwhile, script and screenplay for this has already been completed.

Commenting on the first movie of the Learning Through Entertainment project, public relations department of Vibgyor Films said, the short synopsis of this film is:

“Shantigram is a remote village in Bangladesh. Thirty-five years back, there was religious harmony in the area, where people from various religious beliefs were living in peace.

But, for past decades, Islamism and activities of Islamists became gradually prominent in the entire village. Clergies in the mosques and madrassas became increasingly influential in the locality, thus imposing Sharia law, which ultimately turned into nightmare for the villagers.

Muslim men are encouraged by the clergies in having more than one wife, as Islam allows polygamy. Under such situation, wives of the Muslim men ultimately turned into mere slaves, thus taking part domestic works as well helping the husband in agro production. When a wife became physically ill, the husband showed unwillingness in sending her to nearby hospital for treatment, as the man considers hospitals as evil, as male and female doctors work their without burqa.

Whipping and other form of severe physical torture of men and women on various charges gradually become regular in the village, which is applied by local ‘Sharia Committee’ formed by clergies and Islamic fanatics.

In Bangladeshi rural areas, male and female Bauls, [who are a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal. Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many different subsects, but their membership mainly consists of Vaishnava Hindus and Sufi Muslims. They can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments], enjoyed a loving status for centuries, while they are known to be people promoting religious harmony and tolerance. But, with the rise of Islamist groups, Sharia appliers and Muslim fanatics, Bauls are declared infidels in the locality, thus pushing their lives into misery. Bauls, who live on entertaining people through Sufi songs thus receiving donations and charities, are denied any help by the local influential Muslim leaders and clergies. They are given ultimatum either to become Muslim to leave the area. This though generates anger and severe reaction in the minds of Bauls, they are unable to speak out fearing harsh actions by the Islamists and Mullahs.

In the meantime, several Islamist NGOs become extremely active in the village, while mostly they target Hindu, Christian, Buddhist and non-Muslim families. In the name of offering loans of financial help, young boys and girls in those non-Muslim families are regularly abducted for forceful conversion into Islam. Gradually the village sees systematic eliminations of religious minorities.
BLACK is a film, which shows the current situation in rural Bangladesh [which actually is very similar with villages in other Muslim nations], where Sharia law is forcefully imposed on people while systematic elimination of religious minorities continue.

Hidden tears of Muslim women under the imposed Islamic veils are clearly shown in this film.

This film is against Sharia, Islamism, religious intolerance, hate speech and repression of women under Sharia law. This film is aimed at creating massive awareness in the people in Muslim nations in standing against Islamism and Sharia, thus voicing for reform in Islam, Koran and Islamic codes.

BLACK is the first film of the planned series of seven movies. Each of the movies is aimed at ultimately projecting problems inside Islam and Sharia law in a very bold manner.

Initial language of BLACK is Bangla, while it will be dubbed in various languages in future. There are around 300 million Bangla speaking population in Bangladesh and India only. Our initial target group is this 300 million people. Later, with dubbing in other languages as well as using sub-titles in English, French, Hindi, Urdu etc, we shall reach a few hundred millions of people in the entire Muslim country and the world.”

Shoaib Choudhury has earlier directed a Bangla film named Shongshoy and is currently working on another feature film named Leelakhela.

Shongshoy is based on the story of high-profile dowry in Muslim societies as well repression of women after marriage. This film has already drawn attention of Bangladeshi cine critics.

Vibgyor Films has requested broadcast companies in India, Middle East, United Kingdom, European Union, United States, Australia and Canada to contact for broadcasting this film on various TV channels as well as copyright for selling DVDs. Total length of Shongshoy is 90 minutes.

Leelakhela is based on the theme of confronting militant Islam, Jihad and social evils in the societies. This film will be ready for release in 2011. Vibgyor Films will sign a Bollywood female actor in Leelakhela.

Choudhury’s films are not made for mere entertainment. But, each of his films contain very specific and bold message for the society.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010




Spotlighting the egregious human rights abuses that take place on a daily basis in Iran, the pro-Israel student advocacy organization "Stand With Us" staged a silent demonstration in Manhattan on Sunday afternoon, September 19th at the entrance to Central Park on 59th Street and Columbus Circle. This graphic display of the terror that Iranian citizens face comes in response to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to New York, where he'll be addressing the United Nations general assembly on September 23rd.

Approximately 60 people attended the silent protest which featured "street theater" including participants with blue duct tape over the mouths, signifying the lack of free speech or dissension in Iran, while others held signs that depicted the horrific human rights abuses that take place in that country. While there were no speakers or organized crowd chanting, the powerful message of those suffering under the draconian rule of the Iranian regime came across loud and clear.

Among those in attendance were long time Jewish activist Helen Freedman, the New York City coordinator of Americans For a Safe Israel along with a contingent of AFSI members. "We came here today to stand in solidarity with those Iranian citizens who are being beheaded, stoned and buried alive for speaking out against the tyrannical rule of the Iranian ayatollahs. It is the pinnacle of hypocrisy for Iranian President Ahmadinejad to come to New York and speak at the United Nations while his own citizens are not granted the basic rights of free speech that we take for granted in this country. We also hold the UN responsible for extending an invitation to Ahmadinejad", she declared.

Holding aloft photos of those who have been tortured and murdered by the Iranian government for speaking out against the totalitarian rule of the government, the demonstrators also held signs saying, "Down With Dictators", "In Iran, You are KILLED for Opposing the Government", "Iran is the World Sponsor of Terrorism - Imagine Them With Nukes!" and "Impediment to Peace - Iran". Most of the signs carried a photo of the face of Ahmadinejad. Many of those who participated in the demonstration were Iranian dissidents, now living in the United States and the United Kingdom, and those who personally felt the lash of Ahmadinejad's government.

One such woman is Shahla Ebrahimi who came along with her husband, Alireza Yaghoubi and their teenage children Amir and Kosar. Mrs. Ebrahimi and her family now live in the UK where they regularly attend demonstrations on behalf of human rights in Iran. "Twenty years ago, I was arrested, blindfolded, and taken to a purported court where I was not allowed to speak. I was imprisoned for three years for protesting against the Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Khomeni regimes of oppression, intimidation, arrest, and death", she said. She added that her husband, Alireza was arrested 14 years ago and imprisoned for 5 years in the Evin torture prison in Teheran. While being transferred from one place to another his back was broken by his Iranian tormentors and as a result of the tortures inflicted on him he lost most of his hearing.

During this tumultuous period, Mrs. Ebrahimi said that their so-called "friends" in Iran exploited their grievous situation and stole all of their money. Subsequent to their release they traveled to Germany for a brief time and then back to Iran where her husband's parents were dying. Alireza was immediately detained by Iranian police, she said. "My husband, Alireza, had to run away to the border with Turkey, where a smuggler found him after 20 days and for $10,000 was able to get him into England" she emotionally recalled. Mrs. Ebrahimi counts herself and her children as among the lucky few who were able to get out of Iran and into England where they now reside along with her husband. Her children attend school in the UK while Mrs. Ebrahimi is studying to be a dental hygenist.

"Thankfully, we were able to get visas and use our British passports to come to the US to attend this week's series of demonstrations against Ahmadinejad" said Mrs. Ebrahimi. "Our story and others just like it, need to be told. The world must wake up to the madness of this Iranian miscreant (Ahmadinejad) and take him seriously. Under his leadership and that of the powerful imams, Iran represents an existential danger to the free world. An nuclear armed Iran spells death and destruction to all peoples. We must raise our voices in outrage and indignation before it is too late".

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shana Tova and something for the peace

By: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Jewish festivals are mostly unknown in the Muslim world, especially the non-Arab Muslim nations, though Christmas, Easter and Halloween are greatly known and even celebrated by the Muslims. In Bangladesh, each year, more than 3 million Christmas cards are sold and it is a public holiday. But, unfortunately, Bangladeshis never heard of Jewish festivals even before 2003, when we launched our only anti-Jihadist and pro-Israel newspaper, Weekly Blitz.

Weekly Blitz has been publishing articles and features on Jewish religious festivals including Rosh Hashanah as well as Yom Kippur. At our personal initiatives, we made English and Bangla version of Holy Torah available in Bangladesh, which also was very much unavailable in this country before 2003. Now copies of Torah are purchased by Muslim readers even in Bangladesh and only in 2009, more than 5,000 copies of Bangla version of Torah was sold. We certainly are not making any profit from such projects.

Weekly Blitz is the only newspaper in the Muslim world, which organizes annual Rosh Hashanah party in the Capital city, which is participated by people from various religious groups, including Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Bahais, Ahmadiyas etc. When we initiated the celebration in 2005, it was attended only by 20 people. But, this year, our celebration will be attended by over 200 people. There is indication of interest by various important people in the society in participating in the Rosh Hashanah celebration. This year, we also are organizing a mini-seminar titled ‘Understanding Jewish Festival’, where university teachers, scholars, editors and religious leaders are invited as speakers. We really should have made a larger function, as we are unable to invite hundreds of people, who are still willing to participate. We are forced in doing that, because of our limited fund.

Many, who participated in our past events of Rosh Hashanah in Bangladesh, are saying that, gradually this event is turning into an example of religious tolerance. Every year, during Rosh Hashanah, we make strong statements against Jihad and Islamist extremism. Moreover, we oppose Holocaust denial. Due to our continuous efforts, significant portion of local intellectuals and editors are gradually raising voice in favor of establishment of relations between Bangladesh [third largest Muslim nation] and Israel and also are pronouncing Israel to be the homeland for the Jewish people.

Anti Semitic and anti-Israel activities of Iranian embassy in Bangladesh, which is spending huge amount of money each year in such heinous venture, are greatly opposed by many locals as well recruitment of Bangladeshis by the so-called Palestinian embassy in Dhaka and sending them to fight against Israel is almost stopped.

Ultra Islamist militancy group such as Hizbut Tahrir is already banned by Bangladesh government in 2009 due to continues editorials and investigative reports published in Weekly Blitz. We now are actively working in getting a book and DVD named ‘Dajjal’ banned, which contains serious offensive comments against Jews and Christians. Bangladesh government is reportedly considering putting ban on this group too, very soon.

In 2006, a minor girl was raped by the Muslim clergy in Chittagong district in Bangladesh. When local press published the report, the clergy and some of the very influential religious leaders in the locality tried to justify this crime by saying, the girl was from a Jewish family. Immediately on seeing this statement, Weekly Blitz not only started publishing reports and editorials, I personally met the minister in the government with the demand of justice for the child. As a result, the culprit was arrested and now serves life term in prison for raping the minor Jewish girl.

In 2008, in another incident, a Jewish family [Jews in Bangladesh mostly suppress their religious identity and pronounce them to be ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ to avoid social and state repressions], was attacked by Muslim youths and their 15-years old daughter as well the wife of the Jewish man was gang raped. We once again brought this matter to the attention of the government, and the culprits are already in prison, facing trial.

These are just some of the examples of accomplishments of Weekly Blitz since 2003. But, just because of our editorial policy, Weekly Blitz office was bombed in July 2006 and attacked in October the same year. I was physically assaulted in 2006 [October] as well as abducted at gun point in February 2008. My office was again attacked and ransacked in February 2009. I knew with certainty that, some elements, encouraged by the Islamist militancy groups and anti-Israel groups were behind such attacks. We got no protection from the government.

In 2009, armed men intruded into my house with assassination plan.

Though US Congress passed resolution in 2007 [HR 64], demanding immediate end of all forms of harassment tactics on me as well as protecting me from attacks and taking actions against the attackers, there is in reality, no action from the government. I am facing sedition, treason and blasphemy charges in Bangladeshi court since 2003, for my stand in favor of Israel. According to Bangladeshi law, sedition bears capital punishment.

Shall I leave Bangladesh with my family and take political refuge in the West? This is what thousands of my friends keep on asking. But, I was offered political asylum in USA, UK, Australia, Canada and many other countries. I humbly told all of them that, I am unwilling to leave Bangladesh. Rather, I am determined to combat militant Islam and will not rest, until it is completely defeated.

Some of my friends ask why I am taking risk of my life. I told them, because I want to see a peaceful world and defeat of militant Islam.

But, the sad thing is, my newspaper, Weekly Blitz, is already at the verge of closure, because, we never received even a single advertisement for our editorial policy favorable to Israel. We have been surviving with generous help from some individuals and organizations. While pro-Islamist media is continuing visible conquest and expansion, this only pro-Israel and anti-Jihadist newspaper is facing imminent closure, due to financial constraint. Can anyone, keep us on their prayers, during Rosh Hashanah please? Can anyone extend their hands?

Happy Rosh Hashanah!

Thursday, July 1, 2010



Author of "THE MANCHURIAN PRESIDENT" - Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and other anti-American Extremists"


Released in May of this year by WND Books, this seminal piece of investigative journalism entitled, "The Manchurian President" has been both embraced by political conservatives and repudiated by Obama apologists in progressive enclaves. Listed as number 23 on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list as of June 27th, this eye-opening account of President Obama's ties to radical left-wing extremists represents the latest work of intrepid investigative journalist and WABC radio talk show host, Aaron Klein. The Jewish Voice sat down with Mr. Klein to discuss his new book.

FS: Concerning your latest book, "The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and other Anti-American Extremists", what served as the inspiration for you and Brenda J Elliott to collaborate on such a monumental investigative task?

AK: I was inspired to undertake this task because so few reporters were conducting any real investigation into Barack Obama's background. I reported in February of 2008 that Obama was tied to Weather Underground criminal/terrorist Bill Ayers. When I did a Google search to see if any other reporters or media outlets had uncovered this information, I was stunned to find that they had not. After all, it is the responsibility of the media to engage in a vetting process of sorts when it pertains to presidential candidates. Based on my research, it was clear to me that Obama had a long relationship with Ayers and Ayers even gave Obama his first job at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. They also served together, in the 1990s on the board of the Woods Fund; a non-profit organization that funneled money to leftist causes including the Midwest Academy that practiced Alinsky-like tactics of working within the capitalist system in order to overthrow it. What really served as the impetus for me to write this book was the lack of any real independent investigative journalism on the part of the mainstream media, as it pertained to Obama's past.

FS: As you previously mentioned to Sean Hannity on FOX News, President Obama was not forthright in his book concerning his first boss who he claimed was Marty Kaufman. Since no such person exists, and the person to whom he referred was Gerald "Jerry" Kellman, what connections does Kellman currently have with this administration?

AK: While Jerry Kellman may not have ties to the administration, it is clear that Obama apparently deliberately disguised the fact in his autobiography that he was given a job at the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools or ABC's by someone he claimed was Marty Kaufman, who in fact does not exist. Rather, he was referring to Jerry Kellman, who is an avowed Marxist and a stalwart acolyte of Saul Alinksy, the radical community organizer. Obama also disguises other names in his so-called autobiography, "Dreams From My Father", and neglects to mention that his childhood mentor was another Communist agitator named Frank Marshall Davis. Very little information was known about Obama other than what he had penned in his book. All of this information should be considered a major political scandal and the fact that he changed the names in his book should be challenged.

FS: Why do you think the mainstream media did not scrutinize Obama's background and ties to extremists and why do you think he was not carefully vetted by the Democratic party?

AK: I think the mainstream media promotes the same kinds of policies that Obama is espousing. He is the kind of candidate that they've been wishing for and hoping for. He is their dream come true. The Democratic Party did not carefully vet him because even those in his own presidential campaign such as David Plauth, who made a lot of Obama's videos, admitted that he didn't check out his background and was unaware of his affiliation for over 22 years with Rev Jeremiah Wright's church and black liberation theology. The party betrays it's past and it's roots by remaining indifferent to the polemical aspects of Obama's career. Obama has been pushing for the very same policies that the mainstream media itself that has been advocating for years and now they have this candidate named Obama so of course they're not going to investigate him in any serious way. To them these issues are not scandals. The media has been promoting Bill Ayers and other radical leftists and the causes that Obama has been representing for years, so this comes as no surprise.

FS: Your book sheds light on the sketchy details surrounding Obama's college days. What were his political leanings during his years at Occidental College and Columbia University and was he under the tutelage of Marxist mentors and professors?

AK: As to Obama's college days, no official or unofficial records were ever made available to the media. No college transcripts, published records, or even contemporary newspaper announcements about his education have been released. Obama remarkably relates in his autobiography "Dreams from My Father" that, beginning at Occidental, he surrounded himself with an assortment of radicals, socialists, Marxist-Leninists, Maoists and communists. Obama, however, provides neither names nor clues.

It was at Occidental that Obama first engaged in community activism, delivering what has been described as the first political speech of his career. On Feb. 18, 1981, Obama addressed students gathered outside Coons Hall administration building, exhorting Occidental's trustees to divest from South Africa. Obama writes in "Dreams" about the rally in which he took part, reportedly led by the Black Student Alliance and Students for Economic Democracy. Students for Economic Democracy, or SED, was a national student advocacy group established by soon-to-be California State Representative Tom Hayden, now a professor at Occidental, and his former wife, actress Jane Fonda.

FS: As to Israel, the Middle East and relations with the Muslim world, many people feel Obama has coddled our Islamic terrorist enemies such as Iran, and their proxies Hamas and Hezbollah. In a recent article (June 15) by Jerusalem Post reporter, Caroline Glick, she writes:

"It is not surprising that Obama is siding with Hamas. His close associates are leading members of the pro-Hamas Free Gaza outfit. Obama's friends, former Weatherman Underground terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and William Ayres participated in a Free Gaza trip to Egypt in January. Their aim was to force the Egyptians to allow them into Gaza with 1,300 fellow Hamas supporters. Their mission was led by Code Pink leader and Obama fundraiser Jodie Evans. Another leading member of Free Gaza is former US senator from South Dakota James Abourezk."

What are your comments on this?

AK: As I reported back in January of this year, Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers along with Code Pink's Jodie Evans were in the forefront of fomenting chaos on the streets of Egypt in an attempt to enter Gaza with the Free Gaza Movement to join in solidarity with the territory's population and leadership. The three helped to stir riots after the Egyptian government refused to allow a large number of protesters to enter neighboring Gaza. Eventually, the protesters accepted an Egyptian offer of allowing about 100 marchers into Gaza. Once in the territory, those marchers were reportedly met on the Gaza side by Hamas' former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Clearly, President Obama's associates have helped shape his adversarial stance towards Israel, but he has a history of political leanings towards Hamas. In the 1990s, Obama spoke at pro-Palestinian events alongside Ali Abunimah, who was with Evans' group in Egypt, and who runs the web site called "Electronic Intifada" which spreads anti-Israel propaganda. In one such event, a 1999 fundraiser for Palestinian "refugees," Abunimah recalled introducing Obama on stage.

Obama, like most leftists, believe that all conflicts can be resolved through dialogue and negotiations, which is why I believe he is coddling Iran in part. He is advancing and agitating for policies that help Hamas and we might see in the future even the White House eventually opening channels with Hamas because they believe that Hamas can be talked out of their extremism that is patently ridiculous. I know many Hamas leaders and have interviewed them and they are looking to spread their brand of Islam around the world and it's not like we can talk them out of it or talk them into peace negotiations. Obama has an "Israel problem". He has a real issue with the Jewish state. This is evidenced by his radical affiliations with such people as Rashid Khalidi, the pro-PLO Columbia University professor and others like him.

FS: Can you shed some light on whom, in the Obama administration, were significant figures in pushing a socialist domestic agenda including the national health care reform bill?

AK: As I reveal in my book, a convicted felon named Robert Creamer who is the husband of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who was one of Capitol Hill's most visible cheerleaders for Obama's health-care bill is the one who helped provide a blueprint for the president's health-care legislation. Creamer said his declared strategies on health-care reform are not about "policies" but "are about the distribution of wealth and power." Creamer also recommended the president "create" a national consensus that the country's health-care system is in a state of crisis in order to push a radical new health-care plan. Creamer was sentenced to federal prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to bank fraud and withholding taxes while heading Citizen Action of Illinois. While in prison, he wrote a book titled "How Progressives Can Win." Obama's chief adviser, David Axelrod, touted Creamer's book as providing "a blueprint for future victories," including on health care. His book was endorsed by other leading Democrats and by Andy Stern, a close ally of the president who as head of the Service Employees International Union had visited the White House more than any other individual.

FS: You write quite extensively on the role of the SEIU, AFSCME, the AFL-CIO, and of course ACORN in their support for President Obama. Can you tell us if the leadership and rank and file of these unions call for a Socialist and/or Communist agenda and what role, if any, they play in helping to craft legislation?

AK: For example, one of Obama's close advisors is Eliseo Medina, the international executive vice-president of Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. Medina is in the forefront of spearheading legislation that would grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants, with the stated objective being the expansion of the "progressive" electorate that would help to ensure a "progressive" governing coalition for the long term. The SEIU is closely linked to the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN and they are top supporters of Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez's Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Bill, which seeks to document up to 12 million illegal immigrants inside the U.S.
During the most recent presidential campaign, Medina and Gutierrez served on Obama's National Latino Advisory Council. Also on the council was Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., the co-sponsor of Gutierrez's immigration reform bill. Medina was a chief lobbyist credited with a change in the longstanding policy of the AFL-CIO, the largest union federation in the U.S. The union reversed its stance against illegal immigration in February 2000, instead calling for new amnesty for millions of illegals. The New Zeal blog documents how Medina was honored in 2004 by Chicago's Democratic Socialists of America for his "vital role in the AFL-CIO's reassessment of its immigration policy." That same year, Medina became a DSA honorary chairman. The DSA also supported Gutierrez's 1998 bid for Congress. In the mid-1990s, Gutierrez served on the board of Illinois Public Action alongside a number of DSA members, including Obama health-care advisor Quentin Young.
FS: Can you elaborate on David Axelrod's Communist background that you extensively explore in your book?

AK: David Axelrod was mentored by Don Rose, a founder of the pro-Communist publication called "Hyde Park Voices" and who, in the 1960s, was a member of a purported Communist Party front called the Alliance to End Repression. Axelrod began his professional career as a journalist with this paper. Rose also worked with the late David S. Canter, who was the co-founder of the Voices newspaper and was named as a communist in the late 1960s by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. In my book, I document the fact that Rose had written to Marc Canter, the son of the late David Canter and said, "Your dad and I 'mentored' and helped educate Axelrod politically, which is perhaps why you may recall seeing him hanging around the house." In 1987, Axelrod was hired to help in the re-election campaign of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor, where he once again worked with Rose and Canter. It should be noted that Washington's campaign was supported by a coalition of communist and socialist groups.

FS: Will you be speaking about this book on college campuses throughout North America?

AK: I will not be focusing on a speaking tour right now but will be putting my efforts into a media tour to help promote the book.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

An ally on the brink : Choudhury's pro-Israel Bangladeshi newspaper is in danger of erasure

Seth Mandel


June 25, 2010

Reading the reports on the state of newspapers today, and following the New Media revolution, you couldn't be blamed for thinking advertising and the riddle of the online paywall are the media's most pressing challenges.

Such is life, and worry, in a free country.

In reality, while newspapers are struggling in the West (from 2007-2009, the industry's revenue dropped by 30 percent in the U.S., according to the OECD), journalists elsewhere in the world -- especially in repressive states -- put their lives on the line. It is this combination -- falling revenue and the constant threat of death -- that has pushed Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury's newspaper to the brink.

Choudhury's paper, The Weekly Blitz , is published out of Bangladesh. When it was founded in 2003, advertising revenue wasn't an issue. But as soon as the Blitz started publishing pro-Israel editorials, local businesses in this Muslim country immediately started shunning the paper. Later that year, Choudhury was arrested at the airport heading to a writer's conference in Tel Aviv, tortured for 10 days, and kept in solitary confinement for 17 months at a Dhaka prison.
He is still on trial for sedition, blasphemy, and treason, for which he would be executed if found guilty.

Choudhury speaks eloquently about the fight against radical Islam and the moral imperative of supporting Israel. He is an unabashed Zionist, which many of our readers -- who filled a room in November 2009 to hear him speak -- know well.

In that speech, Choudhury mentioned that the police protection he was finally granted after the intervention of the U.S. Congress -- most notably Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) -- has been removed. As if on cue, six weeks after Choudhury gave that speech in New Brunswick, armed robbers broke into his home. The commotion woke the neighbors, and the men fled.

Such incidents have become routine, unfortunately, though Choudhury refuses to flee Bangladesh or convert out of Islam. "I remain important to the Muslims because I am a Muslim," Choudhury said back in November. "The moment I become an ex-Muslim, it makes no difference. If you want to reform a class, you need to be a member of the club. I am a member of Islam and I demand a reform in Islam... preaching hate is not the Islam that I follow; the Islam I follow is where I can embrace a Jew as a brother."

He has always been frank about his Zionism. "Today, Israel is suffering, tomorrow the world will suffer," he told me when we first met. Israel, he said, "is a land blessed by God. And God will protect his land."

And it goes without saying that bravery has never been a weakness for him. But now he is in the position of needing our help. It can't be easy for him to ask for it, but it should be easy for us to answer the call. A wealthy businessman in Bangladesh recently offered to buy Choudhury's paper for a generous sum, but Choudhury knows the man's intention: to silence one of the few pro-Israel, pro-Western voices in the East. Choudhury declined, choosing principles over money.
"But, now, our very sustainability has become almost impossible," Choudhury wrote in a message to readers. "Each month, we are losing [a] huge amount of money in continuing the print and online edition of this newspaper. For any newspaper, it is absolutely impossible to sustain without any advertisement revenue." He included the email address: ediblitz [at] at which he could be contacted by those willing to help.

Choudhury will get no help whatsoever from his fellow countrymen, who at best ignore him and at worst wish the government would end his troublemaking once and for all. So he needs the West to step up to the plate. Jewish organizations should do what Choudhury's close friend Richard Benkin did when he first heard Choudhury was in danger. Benkin references the one-word response Moses gave God when he was called from the burning bush: Hineni -- here I am.
Advertising revenue would be great, though a grant would be even better. We are blessed with philanthropists aplenty, and Israel has no more courageous defender than Choudhury. This is the first time he has ever made such an appeal. It has been two weeks since Choudhury published that request, and, he told me, "the situation is still unchanged. Weekly Blitz is in the very worst economic constraint."

"Today, I stand before you, the people of Bangladesh and in fact the entire Muslim world as a witness; a witness that Israelis want above all else peace and justice," Choudhury was to say in that speech prepared, but never delivered, to the writer's conference in Tel Aviv. "And those who spread false rumors to the contrary around the world, and especially in Muslim countries, are, frankly, either deluded or dishonest. I also stand before you perhaps as a living contradiction: a Zionist, a defender of Israel, and a devout, practicing Muslim, living in a Muslim country."

Israel needs such fire more than anything; yet this flame is in danger of being snuffed out. "Please pray for us," Choudhury told me this week. We should, and we will. But if all we can do is pray, we haven't done enough.

Seth Mandel is the managing editor of The Jewish State.

Monday, June 21, 2010




On Thursday evening, June 17th, members of Stand With Us, the pro-Israel student advocacy organization staged a raucous demonstration outside The House of the Lord Church on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn, as they confronted the allegations leveled against Israel in its role in the May 31st commando raid on the "Free Gaza Flotilla" ship, the Marvi Marmara. The former Turkish MP and IHH activist Ahmet Faruk Unsal who had been scheduled to speak was denied access to the USA, however Viva Palestina organizer Kevin Ovenden and filmmaker Lara Lee, who claim they were passengers on the ship, took the podium to spew forth invective against Israel for the attack that left nine Turkish terrorist nationals dead.

Sponsored by a litany of anti-Israel and pro-Hamas organizations such as Al-Awda-New York: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Muslim American Society, American Muslims For Palestine, NYC Labor Against the War, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, the Arab Muslim American Federation, Labor For Palestine, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Action for a Progressive Pakistan, and the ANSWER Coalition among others, the speakers called for "an international war crimes" tribunal to be established in order to bring Israel to "justice" for what they perceive as an act of "piracy and murder".

Approximately 40 member of Stand With Us and other concerned citizens stood directly across the street from the church holding aloft signs saying, "Humanitarian Aid Workers Don't Carry Knives, Axes and Metal Bars", "Israel: We Stand With You” and "Shame on Turkey" while chanting "Terrorists - Yes; Humanitarians - No". Clearly, the implications of the demonstrators was that the Turkish sponsored flotilla, under the aegis of the IHH, which stands for the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, is not an Islamic charity but rather a group with direct links to terrorist organizations.

According to news reports, Turkish security forces, in 1998, raided the IHH’s headquarters in Istanbul and found weapons, explosives, instructions for making IEDs and a flag with a jihad message. As former French counter-terrorism magistrate, Jean-Louis Bruguière, who was involved in the raid, has explained: “It was clearly proven that some of the NGO’s work was not charity. It was to provide a facade for moving funds, weapons and mujahedeen to and from Bosnia and Afghanistan.”
The IHH is also a member of the Saudi-based umbrella organization, the Union of Good (Ittilaf al-Kheir), led by Sheikh Yusuf Quaradawi, who is considered the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Every year the Union of Good, whose top officials include Hamas members, channels millions of dollars to Hamas-controlled organizations in the West Bank and Gaza.

Avi Posnick, the local chapter leader of Stand With Us said, "We are here today to counter the bald faced lies and egregious propaganda that are being hurled against Israel inside this church. Based on video and personal testimonies, Israel has been exonerated from any wrongdoing but these speakers, who allege to be humanitarians, but are just the opposite; choose not to look at the truth. Israel did not randomly kill "innocent” people aboard the Marvi Marmara but rather defended herself against terrorists with the intent to kill Israeli commandos and with the intent of smuggling weapons to Hamas forces in Gaza."

Referencing a June 15th article by Jerusalem Post reporter Caroline Glick in which she wrote: "Led by US President Barack Obama, the West has cast its lot with Hamas against Israel. It is not surprising that Obama is siding with Hamas. His close associates are leading members of the pro-Hamas Free Gaza outfit. Obama's friends, former Weatherman Underground terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and William Ayres participated in a Free Gaza trip to Egypt in January. Their aim was to force the Egyptians to allow them into Gaza with 1,300 fellow Hamas supporters. Their mission was led by Code Pink leader and Obama fundraiser Jodie Evans. Another leading member of Free Gaza is former US senator from South Dakota James Abourezk. All of these people have open lines of communication not only to the Obama White House, but to Obama himself", New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind who represents the 48th assembly district in Boro Park and was present at the demonstration said, "I am not at all surprised. Obama has created a political atmosphere that not only endangers Israel but the entire Western world."

"My question is: Where are all the Zionist organizations? Where are all the pulpit rabbis? Why aren't they here today and why don't we hear their collective voices of outrage and indignation against the Obama administration's pressure on Israel to empanel an investigative committee to find out what really happened on the Marvi Marmara, when we all know that the State of Israel was being attacked by terrorists? Why isn't the Zionist leadership, especially here in New York organizing rallies and demonstrations against the nefarious policies of this administration as it pertains to Israel?" Assemblyman Hikind declared.

Citing the abject silence on the part of his colleagues in the Democratic party, Hikind intoned, "We can expect little or nothing in terms of strong opposition to Obama's Middle East agenda from our elected officials in the Democratic party. Their reluctance to voice their concern about Israel's predicament speaks volumes about their allegiance to partisan politics and their repudiation of the concerns of their constituencies."

Islamist conspiracy to kill Weekly Blitz

By: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

When we started our journey, back in 2003, as one of the periodicals in Bangladesh, no one really had any problems with us. We even were receiving advertisements from the local advertisers. But, during mid 2003, when we started publishing positive articles and editorials on Israel and some other issues, which were almost considered to be taboo in Bangladesh, local advertisers swiftly turned away their faces from us.

Then I was arrested on November 29 2003, at Dhaka International Airport, on my way to Tel Aviv for attending a peace conference. The then Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP]-led Islamist government used the state machinery in placing me on remand for 10 days, thus mentally and physically torturing with the 'hope' of extracted a confessional statement. They considered me to be a Zionist Spy.

Later the government sent to an isolated cell at Dhaka Central Jail, where I was detained for 17 months in extreme hit and humidity.

In 2004 [January], the government brought sedition, treason and blasphemy charges against me. According to Bangladeshi law, sedition bears capital punishment.

I was not allowed to attend my mother's funeral when she passed away on August 9, 2004.

At the intervention of Congressman Mark Steven Kirk and relentless effort by Dr. Richard L Benkin [my Jewish brother] as well as Congressional aide Jeff Phillip, I was released on bail on April 30, 2005 from Dhaka Central Jail.

The sedition, treason and blasphemy charge is still hanging on me and every month I have to appear in the court to face trial. Though Bangladesh's present government is renewing its commitment in fighting Islamist militancy, it is reluctant in dropping the charge, fearing reaction from the Islamists.

On my release, Weekly Blitz resumed its publication in 2005 and since then, we never received even a single advertisement in our print edition. Only two or three advertisements were offered by some philanthropists and my supporters with a small amount of money, which is again not enough for Weekly Blitz to sustain for a week. But, still, my profound gratitude and admiration for those kind hearted people, who stood for us, during our difficult days.

From the mid of 2008, Weekly Blitz is again seeing extreme adversities in continuing its publication. In the same year, our office was attacked and we were evicted from our own office, illegally by some politically blessed thugs.

Thanks to Dr. Daniel Pipes and Middle East Forum, for helping us in taking a new office just in May this year. The entire amount received from MEF has already been spent for the new office and furniture.

Sensing our inability and economic adversities in running Weekly Blitz, a business tycoon with heavy affiliation with an Islamist party offered to buy the entire newspaper with an amount equivalent to US$ 300K. They even continued to offer us much higher amount, if we were ready to sell the newspaper. We knew they were planning to buy Weekly Blitz for turning it into a newspaper like all others in the Muslim nation, mostly spreading message of hatred against Israel and Jews. Their intention was to morally kill our newspaper. We did not bow to such dirty desire of the Islamists.

But, now, our very sustainability has become almost impossible. Each month, we are losing huge amount of money in continuing the print and online edition of this newspaper. For any newspaper, it is absolutely impossible to sustain without any advertisement revenue.

Can we expect, some of the philanthropists or organizations, who want this only anti-Jihadist newspaper in the Muslim world to sustain, would kindly help us with advertisements or grants? Such help is so much urgent for us. And, this is for the first time; we are making this appeal.

Please help us! And also refer our appeal to everyone you know. This is such critical time for us. Your actions and help can help us stay alive. If you are willing to help Weekly Blitz, kindly write to:

You can kindly send cheques or wire transfer the amount of Advertisement Cost, Grant or Donation. Also you can donate through Paypal by visiting the website of the online edition of Weekly Blitz at

Tower of terrorism at Ground Zero

By: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

America is defined by the last phrase of its national anthem: The land of the free and the home of the brave. Freedom, in all its forms, is its greatest legacy, which the nation has bravely fought many wars on many fronts to preserve against the unceasing assaults of totalitarianism of all stripes. Time and again, the heroes of the nation bravely sacrificed their lives to protect freedom and liberty.

Currently, America is faced with the insidious, multifaceted, and most deadly threat of Islamism. Since Islam has been around for centuries, there is a tendency to ignore or even deny the threat it poses to humanity. Various concessions are made, some of them as good faith offerings and some in the hope of placating the Islamists. Yet, concessions to threats are appeasements. And appeasements have never solved any problems. They only whet the appetite of the aggressor, give it more power, and make it even more dangerous.

Very unfortunately, in today’s world, Islamists [including political Islam] are set as Islam’s locomotive that takes the Islamic train on its demolition course. Instead of promoting peace, many of the so-called leaders of the ‘Muslim Ummah’ are engaged in fuelling Jihad and killing innocent people in the name of religion. And sadly, such elements are gradually growing influence everywhere in the world as well brainwashing some of the naïve global leaders like Barack Hussain Obama, who continues to appease Islamists without sensing the degree of threat it poses to his very own country.

Islam and democracy are incompatible. As democracies practice their magnificent accommodating belief, they knowingly or unknowingly lay the track for the advancing train wrecking that is Islam. Radical Islamism threatens to set a new record for brutality, contrary to the contention that there is no reason to worry about it. Jihadist Wahabism’s tentacles are reaching out from its cradle in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf Arab Emirates. The Petrodollar flush Sunni-Shia zealots are liberally financing mosques, Madrassas [Islamic indoctrination schools], Islamic centers at universities, front organizations and lobbyists to promote the Wahhabi or Shiite virulent Islamism in every part of America. That makes America the Vulnerable.

Activities of Tablighi Jamaat is gradually increasing in United States, and according to recent statistics disclosed during last year’s largest Tablighi congregations in Bangladesh, more than four hundred Tablighi groups are actively working in various so-called community mosques or in disguise mostly targeting young Americans with the goal of converting them initially to Islam and later giving them Jihadist provocations.

What is Tablighi jamaat?

Tablighi Jamaat [Conveying Group] is a Muslim missionary and revival movement. Their activities are not limited to the Deobandi community.
Leaders of Tablighi Jamaat claim that the movement is strictly non-political in nature, with the main aim of the participants being to work at the grass roots level and reaching out to all Muslims of the world for spiritual development.
Tablighi Jamat seeks to revitalize Muslims around the world. It is claimed that their ideology and practices are in strict accordance with Qur'an and Sunnah.
Despite their affiliation and influence of the prominent scholars of Deoband, they do not focus any particular sect or community. It gathers its members and aids in community activities such as mosque building and education.
Tabligh maintains an international headquarters, the Markaz, in Nizamuddin, Delhi and has several national headquarters to coordinate its activities in over 80 countries. Throughout its history it has sent its members to travel the world, preaching a message of peace and tolerance. It organizes preachers in groups [called Jamaats, meaning Assembly]. Each group, on average, consists of 10 to 12 Muslims who fund themselves in this preaching mission.
The second largest gathering of Muslims after the Hajj [the pilgrimage to Mecca] is known as Bishwa Ijtema, a non political gathering of Muslims from all over the world hosted by the leaders of "International Tabligh Jama'at". It takes place in Tongi which is on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Tablighi Jamaat was founded in the late 1920s by the well known scholar Maulana Ilyas [Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhelvi] in the Mewat province of India. The inspiration for devoting his life to Islam came to Ilyas during his second pilgrimage to the Hejaz in 1926. Maulana Ilyas put forward the slogan, 'Come O Muslims! Be Muslims'. This expressed the central focus of Tablighi Jamat, which has been renewing Muslim society by renewing Muslim practice in those it feels have lost their desire to devote themselves to Allah and the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
Maulana Ilyas was a prominent member of the movement and throughout Tabligh's history there has been a degree of association between scholars of Deoband and Tablighi Jamat. Tabligh was formed at a time in India when some Muslim leaders feared that Indian Muslims were losing their Muslim identity to the majority Hindu culture.
In 1978, construction of the Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury, England commenced. Subsequently, the mosque became the European headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat.
Ameer [Emir] or Zimmadar are titles of leadership in the movement. The first Ameer, also the founder, was Maulana Ilyas [1885-1944], second was his son Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Kandhalawi and the third was Maulana Inaam ul Hasan. Now there is a shura which includes two leaders: Maulana Zubair ul Hasan and Maulana Saad Kandhalawi. In Pakistan the duties of the Ameer are being served by Haji Abdulwahhab. Maulana Muhammad Zakariya al-Kandahlawi is also among the prestigious personalities of the Jamaat, as he compiled the famous book Fazail-e-Amal.
With the ascent of Maulana Yusuf, Ilyas´ son, as its second emir (leader), the group began to expand activities in 1946, and within two decades the group reached Southwest and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Initially it expanded its reach to South Asian diaspora communities, first in Arab countries then in Southeast Asia. Once established, the Tablighi Jamaat began engaging local populations as well.
Although the movement first established itself in the United States, it established a large presence in Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. It was especially prominent in France during the 1980s. The members of Tablighi Jamat are also represented in the French Council of the Muslim Faith. Tabligh's influence has grown, though, in the increasing Pakistani community in France, which has doubled in the decade before 2008 to 50,000-60,000.
However, Britain is the current focus of the movement in the West, primarily due to the large South Asian population that began to arrive there in the 1960s and 1970s. By 2007, Tabligh members were situated at 600 of Britain's 1350 mosques.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the movement made inroads into Central Asia. As of 2007, it was estimated 10,000 Tablighi members could be found in Kyrgyzstan alone.
By 2008 it had a presence in nearly 80 countries and had become a leading revitalist movement. However, it maintains a presence in India, where at least 100 of its Jamaats go out from Markaz, the international headquarters, to different parts of India and overseas.
There are many celebrated personalities associated with this movement:
These include the former Presidents of Pakistan, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar and Farooq Leghari [Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari], and former President of India, Dr. Zakir Hussain who was also associated with this movement. Major General Ziaur Rahman, former President and Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army, was a strong supporter and member of Tablighi Jamaat, and popularized it in Bangladesh.
Lieutenant General [R] Javed Nasir of the Pakistan Army and former head of Inter-Services Intelligence along with former Prime Minister of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq have also been linked with the movement.
Other well-known politicians such as Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim the former chief mininster of Sindh, and Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, former Pakistani Federal Minister for Religious Affairs have strong ties with the Tablighi activities.
Many well-recognized writers and scholars, such as Dr. Nadir Ali Khan [famous Indian writer] and others are deeply related with it.
Among Pakistani cricket professionals, Shahid Afridi, Saqlain Mushtaq, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed; and the former Pakistani cricketers Saeed Anwar, Saleem Malik are active members. It is also widely believed that Pakistani middle order batsman Mohammad Yousuf embraced Islam with the help of the Tablighi Jamaat. Others include South African batsman Hashim Amla.
This movement also includes eminent directors and producers including Naeem Butt.
Former renowned singer and pop star Junaid Jamshed has close links with Jamaat, and his departure from professional singing career is attributed as the result of his inclination towards this movement.
Many famed actors and models including Moin Akhter, Hammad Khan Jadoon and many others are strongly affiliated with the movement.
Several business men, industrialists, millionaires are actively serving in the movement.
Tablighi Jamaat terror connection:
Policy analysts and Islamist scholars are fiercely divided in their assessments of Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic revivalist organization that has spread from its origins in India in the 1920s to the broader Muslim world.
Policy communities, for their part, have depicted the Tablighi Jamaat as a "gateway to terrorism" and contend that the organization poses numerous, underestimated security risks. The group appeared peripherally in such high-profile cases as those of Jose Padilla, Richard Reid and John Walker Lindh, all of whom allegedly used the group as their stepping stone to radicalism. However, the Islamic studies community tends to depict Tablighi Jamaat, which roughly translates to "group to deliver the message of Islam," as a revivalist organization that eschews politics in its quest to reform society. What accounts for these starkly different accounts, and how can one resolve some of the deeply perplexing questions surrounding this important and secretive organization?
In an attempt to better understand this movement and its social, political, and potential security implications, the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted Eva Borreguero, visiting Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown University´s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, to present some of the key findings of her ongoing research on the Tablighi Jamaat. This talk drew on Borreguero´s recent fieldwork in India and Pakistan, two important centers for the Tablighi Jamaat. This USIPeaceBrieing highlights Borreguero´s arguments, as well as some of the important issues that arose during the discussion that followed her presentation.
Tablighi Jamaat: Gateway to Terrorism?
In Britain, France, and the United States, the Tablighi Jamaat has appeared on the fringes of several terrorism investigations, leading some to speculate that its apolitical stance simply masks "fertile ground for breeding terrorism." While acknowledging the involvement of the movement´s individuals, Borreguero discounted the claims made against the organization itself.
Borreguero began her assessment by providing an historical overview of this complex movement. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas founded the Tablighi Jamaat in 1925, against the backdrop of the British Empire and a waning Muslim identity in South Asia. Believing that social, political, and economic hardships beset Muslims in India, Ilyas sought a return to a pristine form of Islam from the heterodox variants flourishing in South Asia. For nearly two decades, the Tablighi Jamaat operated mainly within South Asia. With the ascent of Maulana Yusuf, Ilyas´ son, as its second emir [leader], the group began to expand activities in 1946, and within two decades the group reached Southwest and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Initially it expanded its reach to South Asian diaspora communities, first in Arab countries then in Southeast Asia. Once established, the Tablighi Jamaat began engaging local populations as well. Although the group first established itself in the United States, Britain is the current locus of the group in the West, primarily due to the large South Asian population that began to arrive there in the 1960s and 1970s.

Structure, Composition, and Work:
Despite its secretive nature, Borreguero offered some insights into the organizational structure of the Tablighi Jamaat. The general conception of the group is of a nebulous collection of loosely affiliated, itinerate jamaats. While this is one major component of the group, there is a fixed, hierarchical network of elders and mosques, and the two components do overlap. According to Borreguero, the core of the organization is comprised of "full-time" Tablighis who comprise the shura [council] and who are usually the elders of the mosques affiliated with the group.
In addition to this core, there are the traveling Tablighis who undertake proselytizing missions over varying durations. Formed into jamaats of approximately ten people, these Tablighis’ missions last three days, forty days, four months, or one year. The jamaat’s destination and desired area of focus generally determines the length of these missions. Those who go for three days concentrate on a local city, while a jamaat traveling for a month will do so throughout their country. The longer tours of four months to one year generally take the Tablighis abroad.
During these tours, the jamaat—under the leadership of its emir—stays at a local mosque, which serves as its base for the duration. Four or five members of the group conduct daily ghast, during which they visit neighborhoods [or neighborhoods with large Muslim populations if in a non-Muslim country] and homes, asking the men of the household to attend mosque for Maghrib [sunset] prayers. Those who attend are offered the dawa [invitation] as the Tablighis outline their six principles and encourage attendees to form their own jamaat. Members voluntarily work for the organization and there is no registration process in the group. Participants are free to leave the movement at any time. Consequently, Tablighi Jamaat has a loose, informal recruitment process and attracts members of varying commitment. For example, some members only engage in group activities episodically, while others will do so annually. All of these factors contribute to the uncertainty regarding Tablighi Jamaat´s membership numbers.
Tablighis in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have competing claims as to which comprises the movement’s international headquarters. Those in India contend that Nizamuddin [India] is the base, since the movement grew out of the Deoband school of Islam and it is in Delhi that the group was founded. However, elders in Raiwind [Pakistan] and Tongi [Bangladesh] dispute Nizamuddin’s final authority, citing their countries´ majority Muslim populations and claiming that the organization can operate more openly.
South Asia is by far the most significant region for the group, with Mecca and Medina also serving as important geographical symbols. The organization is diverse and includes persons from nearly every sector of society across the countries of South Asia and beyond. Within South Asia, members of the lower-middle class and the business community have joined the group and some members even hold government posts. In the West, second and third generation Muslim diaspora make up the main pool of Tablighis. This demographic usually has little knowledge of Islam but are also not fully assimilated to culture in the West. According to Borreguero, the Tablighi Jamaat "is a source of re-Islamization that provides an alternative to religious institutions." These individuals tend to be well-educated, multilingual, and have lived in both the West and a Muslim country. She noted that the Tablighi Jamaat also has some appeal to marginal members of society [petty criminals, drug abusers, and so on] who are looking for a renewed identity that submerges them in a community of piety.
Keys to the Success of the Tablighi Jamaat:
Borreguero sees several salient features which explain the Tablighi Jamaat´s successful transformation from a local South Asian movement into a robust transnational phenomenon, including its simple message, its non-political character, the authority of its leadership, and its policy of secrecy.
Outstanding Concerns:
Borreguero addressed the persistent question of how a group so devoted to proselytizing a pristine form of Islam and inner spiritual transformation can coexist with modern society, and specifically whether such a group warrants scrutiny because of its revivalist beliefs.
While recognizing the numerous reports that link Tablighi Jamaat to militancy in various forms, her fieldwork yielded little evidence to support the most sweeping of these claims. During her interviews with Tablighis, they tended not to opine on politics. However, she conceded that for some Tablighis—as individuals—this might not be enough. She claimed that there is no evidence thus far that the group as a whole is involved with militant groups, such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, while acknowledging the potential role that individual Tablighis may have played in them. She claimed that the Tablighi Jamaat remains neutral on these groups, neither condemning nor supporting their actions.
To some analysts, this neutrality is enough to make them culpable. Borreguero admits that militant groups may try to infiltrate the Tablighi Jamaat in order to gain a cover for obtaining visas and traveling abroad. Also, individual members may come to find that the movement’s principles are too apolitical and neutral for their liking. Members of militant groups often attend the Tablighi Jamaat´s Ijtima [congregation] in Raiwind, where they hand out recruitment pamphlets. It is thus possible that a flame sparked and fueled by Tabligh could begin to burn out of control.
Borreguero, however, stressed that once this extreme position is taken, the individual relinquishes his or her membership to the Tablighi Jamaat. She also believes that any overt connection with these groups is not in the best interest of the Tablighi Jamaat. As stated above, the movement’s neutrality allows cordial relations with authorities, or at least keeps them from incurring official harassment. Any collusion with militant outfits would likely invite official proscription, especially in Western societies.
While much light was shed on the Tablighi Jamaat, many questions still remain. To some, its official secrecy and peripheral links to some nefarious individuals have nullified its choice to remain outside politics. But, as scholar Barbara Metcalf writes, "Islamic movements [like the Tablighi Jamaat] may have many goals and offer a range of social, moral, and spiritual satisfactions that are positive and not merely a reactionary rejection of modernity or ´the West.´ Quite simply, these movements may, in the end, have much less to do with ´us´ than is often thought." Borreguero´s insights provided a gateway to better assess the group´s motives and machinations. It may well be that the study of the Tablighi Jamaat as an apolitical traditionalist movement gives an alternate lens through which security concerns over Islamist groups´ hostility toward the West can be viewed.
Every fall, over a million almost identically dressed, bearded Muslim men from around the world descend on the small Pakistani town of Raiwind for a three-day celebration of faith. Similar gatherings take place annually outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Bhopal, India. These pilgrims are no ordinary Muslims, though; they belong to a movement called Tablighi Jamaat ["Proselytizing Group"]. They are trained missionaries who have dedicated much of their lives to spreading Islam across the globe. The largest group of religious proselytizers of any faith, they are part of the reason for the explosive growth of Islamic religious fervor and conversion.
Despite its size, worldwide presence, and tremendous importance, Tablighi Jamaat remains largely unknown outside the Muslim community, even to many scholars of Islam. This is no coincidence. Tablighi Jamaat officials work to remain outside of both media and governmental notice. Tablighi Jamaat neither has formal organizational structure nor does it publish details about the scope of its activities, its membership, or its finances. By eschewing open discussion of politics and portraying itself only as a pietistic movement, Tablighi Jamaat works to project a non-threatening image. Because of the movement's secrecy, scholars often have no choice but to rely on explanations from Tablighi Jamaat acolytes.
As a result, academics tend to describe the group as an apolitical devotional movement stressing individual faith, introspection, and spiritual development. The austere and egalitarian lifestyle of Tablighi missionaries and their principled stands against social ills leads many outside observers to assume that the group has a positive influence on society. Graham Fuller, a former CIA official and expert on Islam, for example, characterized Tablighi Jamaat as a "peaceful and apolitical preaching-to-the-people movement." Barbara Metcalf, a University of California scholar of South Asian Islam, called Tablighi Jamaat "an apolitical, quietist movement of internal grassroots missionary renewal" and compares its activities to the efforts to reshape individual lives by Alcoholics Anonymous. Olivier Roy, a prominent authority on Islam at Paris's prestigious Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, described Tablighi Jamaat as "completely apolitical and law abiding." Governments normally intolerant of independent movements often make an exception for Tablighi Jamaat. The Bangladeshi prime minister and top political leadership, many of whom are Islamists, regularly attend their rallies, and Pakistani military officers, many of whom are sympathetic to militant Islam, even allow Tablighi missionaries to preach in the barracks.
Yet, the Pakistani experience strips the patina from Tablighi Jamaat's façade. Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif [1990-93; 1997-99], whose father was a prominent Tablighi member and financier, helped Tablighi members take prominent positions. For example, in 1998, Muhammad Rafique Tarar took the ceremonial presidency while, in 1990, Javed Nasir assumed the powerful director-generalship of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's chief intelligence agency. When Benazir Bhutto, less sympathetic to Islamist causes, returned to the premiership in 1993, Tablighis conspired to overthrow her government. In 1995, the Pakistani army thwarted a coup attempt by several dozen high-ranking military officers and civilians, all of whom were members of the Tablighi Jamaat and some of whom also held membership in Harakat ul-Mujahideen, a U.S. State Department-defined terrorist organization. Some of the confusion over Tablighi Jamaat's apolitical characterization derives from the fact that the movement does not consider individual states to be legitimate. They may not become actively involved in internal politics or disputes over local issues, but, from a philosophical and transnational perspective, the Tablighi Jamaat's millenarian philosophy is very political indeed. According to the French Tablighi expert Marc Gaborieau, its ultimate objective is nothing short of a "planned conquest of the world" in the spirit of jihad.
Origins and Ideology:
The prominent Deobandi cleric and scholar Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi [1885-1944] launched Tablighi Jamaat in 1927 in Mewat, India, not far from Delhi. From its inception, the extremist attitudes that characterize Deobandism permeated Tablighi philosophy. Ilyas's followers were intolerant of other Muslims and especially Shi´ites, let alone adherents of other faiths. Indeed, part of Ilyas's impetus for founding Tablighi Jamaat was to counter the inroads being made by Hindu missionaries. They rejected modernity as antithetical to Islam, excluded women, and preached that Islam must subsume all other religions. The creed grew in importance after Pakistani military dictator Zia ul-Haq encouraged Deobandis to Islamize Pakistan.
The Tablighi Jamaat canon is bare-boned. Apart from the Qu'ran, the only literature Tablighis are required to read are the Tablighi Nisab, seven essays penned by a companion of Ilyas in the 1920s. Tablighi Jamaat is not a monolith: one subsection believes they should pursue jihad through conscience [jihad bin nafs] while a more radical wing advocates jihad through the sword [jihad bin saif]. But, in practice, all Tablighis preach a creed that is hardly distinguishable from the radical Wahhabi-Salafi jihadist ideology that so many terrorists share.
Part of the reason why the Tablighi Jamaat leadership can maintain such strict secrecy is its dynastic flavor. All Tablighi Jamaat leaders since Ilyas have been related to him by either blood or marriage. Upon Ilyas' 1944 death, his son, Maulana Muhammad Yusuf [1917-65], assumed leadership of the movement, dramatically expanding its reach and influence.
Following the partition of India, Tablighi Jamaat spread rapidly in the new Muslim nation of Pakistan. Yusuf and his successor, Inamul Hassan [1965-95], transformed Tablighi Jamaat into a truly transnational movement with a renewed emphasis targeting conversion of non-Muslims, a mission the movement continues to the present day.
While few details are known about the group's structure, at the top sits the emir who, according to some observers, presides over a shura [Council], which plays an advisory role. Further down are individual country organizations. By the late 1960s, Tablighi Jamaat had not only established itself in Western Europe and North America but even claimed adherents in countries like Japan, which has no significant Muslim population.
The movement's rapid penetration into non-Muslim regions began in the 1970s and coincides with the establishment of a synergistic relationship between Saudi Wahhabis and South Asian Deobandis. While Wahhabis are dismissive of other Islamic schools, they single out Tablighi Jamaat for praise, even if they disagree with some of its practices, such as willingness to pray in mosques housing graves. The late Sheikh ´Abd al ´Aziz ibn Baz, perhaps the most influential Wahhabi cleric in the late twentieth century, recognized the Tablighis good work and encouraged his Wahhabi brethren to go on missions with them so that they can "guide and advise them." A practical result of this cooperation has been large-scale Saudi financing of Tablighi Jamaat. While Tablighi Jamaat in theory requires its missionaries to cover their own expenses during their trips, in practice, Saudi money subsidizes transportation costs for thousands of poor missionaries. While Tablighi Jamaat's financial activities are shrouded in secrecy, there is no doubt that some of the vast sums spent by Saudi organizations such as the World Muslim League on proselytism benefit Tablighi Jamaat. As early as 1978, the World Muslim League subsidized the building of the Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury, England, which has since become the headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat in all of Europe. Wahhabi sources have paid Tablighi missionaries in Africa salaries higher than the European Union pays teachers in Zanzibar. In both Western Europe and the United States, Tablighis operate interchangeably out of Deobandi and Wahhabi controlled mosques and Islamic centers.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing:
The West's misreading of Tablighi Jamaat actions and motives has serious implications for the war on terrorism. Tablighi Jamaat has always adopted an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam, but in the past two decades, it has radicalized to the point where it is now a driving force of Islamic extremism and a major recruiting agency for terrorist causes worldwide. For a majority of young Muslim extremists, joining Tablighi Jamaat is the first step on the road to extremism. Perhaps 80 percent of the Islamist extremists in France come from Tablighi ranks, prompting French intelligence officers to call Tablighi Jamaat the "antechamber of fundamentalism." U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly adopting the same attitude. "We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States," the deputy chief of the FBI's international terrorism section said in 2003, "and we have found that Al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in the past."
Recruitment methods for young jihadists are almost identical. After joining Tablighi Jamaat groups at a local mosque or Islamic center and doing a few local dawa [proselytism] missions, Tablighi officials invite star recruits to the Tablighi center in Raiwind, Pakistan, for four months of additional missionary training. Representatives of terrorist organizations approach the students at the Raiwind center and invite them to undertake military training. Most agree to do so.

Tablighi Jamaat has long been directly involved in the sponsorship of terrorist groups. Pakistani and Indian observers believe, for instance, that Tablighi Jamaat was instrumental in founding Harakat ul-Mujahideen. Founded at Raiwind in 1980, almost all of the Harakat ul-Mujahideen's original members were Tablighis. Famous for the December 1998 hijacking of an Air India passenger jet and the May 8, 2002 murder of a busload of French engineers in Karachi, Harakat members make no secret of their ties. "The two organizations together make up a truly international network of genuine jihadi Muslims," one senior Harakat ul-Mujahideen official said. More than 6,000 Tablighis have trained in Harakat ul-Mujahideen camps. Many fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and readily joined Al-Qaeda after the Taliban defeated Afghanistan's anti-Soviet mujahideen [Jihadists].
Another violent Tablighi Jamaat spin-off is the Harakat ul-Jihad-i Islami. Founded in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, this group has been active not only in the disputed Indian provinces of Jammu and Kashmir but also in the state of Gujarat, where Tablighi Jamaat extremists have taken over perhaps 80 percent of the mosques previously run by the moderate Barelvi Muslims. The Tablighi movement is also very active in northern Africa where it became one of the four groups that founded the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria. Moroccan authorities are currently prosecuting sixty members of the Moroccan Tablighi offshoot Dawa wa Tabligh in connection with the May 16, 2003 terrorist attack on a Casablanca synagogue. Dutch police are investigating links between the Moroccan cells and the November 2, 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.
There are many other cases of individual Tablighis committing acts of terrorism. French Tablighi members, for example, have helped organize and execute attacks not only in Paris but also at the Hotel Asni in Marrakech in 1994. Kazakh authorities expelled a number of Tablighi missionaries because they had been organizing networks advancing "extremist propaganda and recruitment." Indian investigators suspect influential Tablighi leader, Maulana Umarji, and a group of his followers in the February 27, 2002 fire bombing of a train carrying Hindu nationalists in Gujarat, India. The incident sparked a wave of pogroms victimizing both Muslims and Hindus. More recently, Moroccan authorities sentenced Yusef Fikri, a Tablighi member and leader of the Moroccan terrorist organization At-Takfir wal-Hijrah, to death for his role in masterminding the May 2003 Casablanca terrorist bombings that claimed more than forty lives.
Tablighi Jamaat has also facilitated other terrorists' missions. The group has provided logistical support and helped procure travel documents. Many take advantage of Tablighi Jamaat's benign reputation. Moroccan authorities say that leaflets circulated by the terrorist group Al-Salafiyah al-Jihadiyah urged their members to join Islamic organizations that operate openly, such as Tablighi Jamaat, in order "to hide their identity on the one hand and influence these groups and their policies on the other." In a similar vein, a Pakistani jihadi website commented that Tablighi Jamaat organizational structures can be easily adopted to jihad activities. The Philippine government has accused Tablighi Jamaat, which has an 11,000-member presence in the country, of serving both as a conduit of Saudi money to the Islamic terrorists in the south and as a cover for Pakistani jihad volunteers.
There is also evidence that Tablighi Jamaat directly recruits for terrorist organizations. As early as the 1980s, the movement sponsored military training for 900 recruits annually in Pakistan and Algeria while, in 1999, Uzbek authorities accused Tablighi Jamaat of sending 400 Uzbeks to terrorist training camps. The West is not immune. British counterterrorism authorities estimate that at least 2,000 British nationals had gone to Pakistan for jihad training by 1998, and the French secret services report that between 80 and 100 French nationals fought for Al-Qaeda.
A Trojan Horse for Terror in America?
Within the United States, the cases of American Taliban John Lindh, the "Lackawanna Six," and the Oregon cell that conspired to bomb a synagogue and sought to link up with Al-Qaeda, all involve Tablighi missionaries. Other indicted terrorists, such as "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla, and Lyman Harris, who sought to bomb the Brooklyn Bridge, were all members of Tablighi Jamaat at one time or another. According to Robert Blitzer, head of the FBI's first Islamic counterterrorism unit, between 1,000 and 2,000 Americans left to join the jihad in the 1990s alone. Pakistani intelligence sources report that 400 American Tablighi recruits received training in Pakistani or Afghan terrorist camps since 1989.
The Tablighi Jamaat has made inroads among two very different segments of the American Muslim population. Because many American Muslims are immigrants, and a large subsection of these are from South Asia, Deobandi influences have been able to penetrate deeply. Many Tablighi Jamaat missionaries speak Urdu as a first language and so can communicate easily with American Muslims of South Asian origin. The Tablighi headquarters in the United States for the past decade appears to be in the Al-Falah mosque in Queens, New York. Its missionaries—predominantly from South Asia—regularly visit Sunni mosques and Islamic centers across the country. The willingness of Saudi-controlled front organizations and charities, such as the World Muslim League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth [WAMY], the Haramain Foundation, the International Islamic Relief Organization [IIRO] and others, to spend large amounts of money to co-opt the religious establishment has helped catalyze recruitment. As a result Wahhabi and Deobandi influence dominate American Islam.
This trend is apparent in the activities of Tanzeem-e Islami. Founded by long-term Tablighi member and passionate Taliban supporter, Israr Ahmed, Tanzeem-e Islami flooded American Muslim organizations with communications accusing Israel of complicity in the 9/11 terror attacks. A frequent featured speaker at Islamic conferences and events in the United States, Ahmed engages in incendiary rhetoric urging his audiences to prepare for "the final showdown between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world, which has been captured by the Jews." Unfortunately, his conspiracy theories have begun to take hold among growing segments of the American Muslim community. For example, Siraj Wahhaj, among the best known African-American Muslim converts and the first Muslim cleric to lead prayers in the U.S. Congress, is also on record accusing the FBI and the CIA of being the "real terrorists." He has expressed his support for the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and advocating the demise of American democracy.
Tablighi Jamaat has appealed to African American Muslims for other reasons. Founded by Elijah Mohammed in the early 1930s, the Nation of Islam was essentially a charismatic African American separatist organization which had little to do with normative Islam. Many Nation of Islam members found attractive both the Tablighi Jamaat's anti-state separatist message and its description of American society as racist, decadent, and oppressive. Seeing such fertile ground, Tablighi and Wahhabi missionaries targeted the African American community with great success. One Tablighi sympathizer explained, The Umma [Muslim community] must remember that winning over the black Muslims is not only a religious obligation but also a selfish necessity. The votes of the black Muslims can give the immigrant Muslims the political clout they need at every stage to protect their vital interests. Likewise, outside Muslim states like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Pakistan need to mobilize their effort, money, and missionary skills to expand and consolidate the black Muslim community in the USA, not only for religious reasons, but also as a farsighted investment in the black Muslims' immense potential as a credible lobby for Muslim causes, such as Palestine, Bosnia, or Kashmir—offsetting, at least partially, the venal influence of the powerful India-Israel lobby.
Not only foreign Tablighis but also the movement's sympathizers within the United States enunciate this goal. The president of the Islamic Research Foundation in Louisville, Kentucky, a strong advocate of Tablighi missionary work, for instance, insists that "if all the Afro-American brothers and sisters become Muslims, we can change the political landscape of America" and "make U.S. foreign policy pro-Islamic and Muslim friendly." As a result of Tablighi and Wahhabi proselytizing, African Americans comprise between 30 and 40 percent of the American Muslim community, and perhaps 85 percent of all American Muslim converts. Much of this success is due to a successful proselytizing drive in the penitentiary system. Prison officials say that by the mid-1990s, between 10 and 20 percent of the nation's 1.5 million inmates identified themselves as Muslims. Some 30,000 African Americans convert to Islam in prison every year.
The American political system tolerates all views so long as they adhere to the rule of law. Unfortunately, Tablighi Jamaat missionaries may be encouraging African American recruits to break the law. Harkat ul-Mujahideen has boasted of training dozens of African American Jihadists in its military camps. There is evidence that African American Jihadists have died in both Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Tablighi Jamaat: The Future of American Islam?
Tablighi Jamaat has made unprecedented strides in recent decades. It increasingly relies on local missionaries rather than South Asian Tablighis to recruit in Western countries and often sets up groups which apparently model themselves after Tablighi Jamaat but do not acknowledge links to it.
In the United States, such a role is apparently played by the Islamic Circle of North America [ICNA]. Founded in 1968 as an offshoot of the fiercely Islamist Muslim Student Association, ICNA is the only major American Muslim organization that has paid open homage to Tablighi founder Ilyas. The monthly ICNA publication, The Message, has praised Ilyas as one of the four greatest Islamic leaders of the last 100 years. While the relationship between ICNA and Tablighi Jamaat is not clear, the two organizations share a number of similarities. They both embrace the extreme Deobandi and Wahhabi interpretations of Islam. ICNA demonstrates disdain for Western democratic values and opposes virtually all counterterrorism legislation, such as the Patriot Act, while providing moral and financial support to all Muslims implicated in terrorist activities. An editorial in the ICNA organ, The Message International, in September 1989 bemoaned the "uncounted number of Muslims lost to Western values" which was a "major cause for concern." In 2003 and 2004, ICNA has collected money to assist detainees suspected of terrorist activities, participated in pro-terrorist rallies, and mounted campaigns on behalf of indicted Hamas functionary Sami al-Arian. Like Tablighi Jamaat, ICNA initially drew its membership disproportionately from South Asians. As with Tablighi Jamaat, ICNA demands total dedication to missionary work from its members. Because many ICNA members spend at least thirty hours per week on their mission, their ability to independently support themselves is unclear. Many cannot hold full-time jobs. ICNA's recruitment efforts have borne fruit, though. All ICNA members are organized in small study groups of no more than eight people, called NeighborNets. As in a cult, these cells provide support and reinforcement for new recruits, who may have sought to fill a void in their lives. Its yearly convocations, patterned on the annual Tablighi Jamaat meetings in South Asia, now attract some 15,000 people.
The estimated 15,000 Tablighi missionaries reportedly active in the United States present a serious national security problem. At best, they and their proxy groups form a powerful proselytizing movement that preaches extremism and disdain for religious tolerance, democracy, and separation of church and state. At worst, they represent an Islamist fifth column that aids and abets terrorism. Contrary to their benign treatment by scholars and academics, Tablighi Jamaat has more to do with political sedition than with religion.
U.S. officials should focus on reality rather than rhetoric. Pakistani and Saudi support for Tablighi Jamaat is incompatible with their claims to be key allies in the war on terror. While law enforcement focuses attention on Osama bin Laden, the war on terrorism cannot be won unless al-Qaeda terrorists are understood to be the products of Islamist ideology preached by groups like Tablighi Jamaat. If the West chooses to turn a blind eye to the problem, Tablighi involvement in future terrorist activities at home and abroad is not a matter of conjecture; it is a certainty.
The Tablighi Role in the Global Jihadism:
However, there are indeed some links between Tablighis and the world of jihadism. First, there is evidence of indirect connections between the group and the wider radical/extremist Deobandi nexus composed of anti-Shiite sectarian groups, Kashmiri militants and the Taliban. This link provides a medium through which Tablighis who are disgruntled with the group’s apolitical program could break orbit and join militant organizations.
One apparent manifestation of this nexus was a purported militant offshoot of TJ, Jihad bi al-Saif [Jihad through the Sword], which was established in Taxila, Pakistan. Members of this group were accused of plotting a coup against former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1995. Yet, because of the organization’s extreme secrecy, little is known about it other than that it is believed to have developed in reaction to the TJ’s apolitical, peaceful stance.
The TJ organization also serves as a de facto conduit for Islamist extremists and for groups such as al Qaeda to recruit new members. Significantly, the Tablighi recruits do intersect with the world of radical Islamism when they travel to Pakistan to receive their initial training. We have received reports that once the recruits are in Pakistan, representatives of various radical Islamist groups, such as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, the Taliban and al Qaeda, are said to woo them actively — to the point of offering them military training. And some of them accept the offer. For example, John Walker Lindh — an American who is serving a prison sentence for aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan — traveled with Tablighi preachers to Pakistan in 1998 to further his Islamic studies before joining the Taliban.
Because of the piety and strict belief system of the Tablighis and their focus on calling wayward Muslims back to an austere and orthodox Muslim faith, the movement has offered a place where jihadist spotters can look for potential recruits. These facilitators often offer enthusiastic new or rededicated Muslims a more active way to live and develop their faith. Although the TJ promotes a benign message, the same conservative Islamic values espoused by the Tablighis also are part of jihadist ideology, and so some Muslims attracted to the Tablighi movement are enticed into becoming involved with jihadists.
Additionally, because of its apolitical belief system, TJ seems to leave a gap in the ideological indoctrination of the individual Tablighi because it essentially asks the novice to shun politics and public affairs. The problem in taking this belief system from theory to practice, however, is that some people find they cannot ignore what is happening in the world around them, especially when that world includes wars. This is when some Tablighis become disillusioned with TJ and start turning to jihadist groups that offer religiously sanctioned prescriptions as to how "good Muslims" should deal with life’s injustices.
Once a facilitator identifies such candidates, he often will segregate them from the main congregation in the mosque or community center and put them into small prayer circles or study groups where they can be more easily exposed to jihadist ideology. [Of course, it also has been shown that a person with friends or relatives who ascribe to radical ideology can more easily be radical].
Examples of people making the jump from TJ to radical Islam are the two leading members of the cell responsible for the July 7, 2005, London bombings — Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shahzad Tanweer. Both had life-changing experiences through their exposure to TJ, though by 2001 the men had left the Tablighi mosque they had been attending in the British city of Beeston, because they found it to be too apolitical. They apparently were frustrated by the mosque’s elders, who forbid the discussion of politics in the mosque.
After Khan and Tanweer left the Tablighi mosque, they began attending the smaller Iqra Learning Center bookstore in Beeston, where they reportedly were exposed to frequent political discussions about places such as Iraq, Kashmir and Chechnya. The store’s proprietors reportedly even produced jihad videos depicting crimes by the West against the Muslim world. Exposed to this environment, the two men eventually became radicalized to the point of traveling to Pakistan to attend a terrorist training camp and then returning to the United Kingdom to plan and execute a suicide attack that resulted in the death of them both.
TJ also is used by Jihadists as cover both for recruiting activities, as discussed above, and for travel. Like Khan and Tanweer, many jihadists desire to travel to Pakistan for training, while others want to get to Afghanistan, Kashmir or other places to fight jihad. However, the travel environment is far different today than it was in the early 1980s, when 747 jetliners packed with Jihadists from Saudi Arabia and other places flew into Pakistan en route to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Foreigners traveling to Pakistan today cannot enter the country without a visa, and Pakistani authorities are no longer inclined to issue visas to Jihadists, as Jeffrey Battle and the other members of the Portland Seven had to learn the hard way. Shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the friends traveled to China with the intention of entering Afghanistan by way of Pakistan. Once at the Chinese-Pakistani border, however, they found they could not enter Pakistan without a visa. After spending a frustrating month trying to obtain visas from the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing, the seven aspiring Jihadists decided to go their separate ways.
Battle, who reportedly once served as a bodyguard for Black Panther leader Quanell X, later attempted to obtain a visa to Pakistan by saying he was affiliated with TJ. The Pakistanis, probably recognizing him from his prior [and apparently somewhat vocal] visa attempts, denied him again, though he was able to get a visa to travel to Bangladesh using the feigned connection to TJ. Unable to make his way from Bangladesh to Pakistan or Afghanistan, however, Battle returned to the United States, where he was later arrested. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of seditious conspiracy and waging war against the United States.
Similarly, in the spring of 2001 the members of the so-called Lackawanna Six cell traveled to Pakistan under the pretext of studying the Islamic religion and culture at the TJ training center. In reality, the men traveled through Pakistan to Afghanistan, where they attended training at the al-Farooq camp, a training site being run by al Qaeda. Again, the men used TJ as cover for travel, though there is no indication that TJ played any real part in their alleged plot.
Although the TJ organization unintentionally serves as a front for, or conduit to, militant organizations such as al Qaeda, there is no evidence that the Tablighis act willingly as a global unified jihadist recruiting arm. Rather, such activities appear to occur without the knowledge or consent of TJ leaders. Additionally, because of the very size of the organization and it activities in Muslim communities in the West, a great many Muslims have had some sort of contact with the group. TJ itself, however, is not an intentional propagator of terrorism.
Man behind the Cordoba Mosque:

Faisal Abdul Rauf The prospective developer of a $100 million, 13-story mosque 600 feet from Ground Zero presents himself as a Muslim moderate. Yet Kuwait-born Faisal Abdul Rauf also boasts of his issue from an "Egyptian family steeped in religious scholarship". Indeed, Feisal Rauf's Muslim Brotherhood provenance, radical by definition, is as authentic as it gets.

Rauf's father, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf [1917-2004] - an Egyptian contemporary of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna - conveyed to Feisal his family's long tradition of radicalism, which he acquired at Islam's closest equivalent to the Vatican, Al-Azhar University. The elder Dr. Rauf studied and taught there before fleeing Egypt in 1948. That year, Feisal Abdul Rauf was born in Kuwait.

Imam Faisal Rauf has planned for some time to further develop his father's U.S. Islamic expansionism. In 1990, Rauf opened the tiny al-Farah Mosque at 245 West Broadway in lower Manhattan. Area residents did not even notice the mosque until 2006, when the New York State Liquor Authority [SLA] refused to license a new bar on the same block and started yanking others' liquor licenses.

Rauf attended grammar school and high school in the UK and Malaysia, according to his biography. He probably first lived in America only in 1965, at age 17, when his father moved from Malaysia to New York to plan and head the Islamic Cultural Center [not built until the mid-1980s]. Rauf then obtained a BS in physics at Columbia University. In 1971, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Rauf's father headed the Islamic Center on Massachusetts Ave. His father, buried in Suitland, MD, at the for-profit Washington National Cemetery, also founded three Malaysian Islamic studies programs, including the International Islamic University of Malaysia.
Rauf's early UK education and familiarization with American popular culture and values made him an acutely adept practitioner of Islamic taqiyya - deceptive speech and action to advance the interests and supremacy of Islam. To further that Islamic advancement, Rauf in 1997 established the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA). His Kashmir-born wife Daisy Kahn, an interior designer by profession, has run the organization since 2005.
Rauf then began cultivating new spheres of influence. In about summer 2002, Rauf started lecturing on Islam at the 750-acre southwestern New York campus of Chautauqua Institution, a 136-year-old non-profit where religion director Joan Brown Campbell took Rauf under her wing. Under the rubric of the "Abrahamic" faiths, a convenient cover for Rauf's Islamic activities, Campbell subsequently named him the prospective head of a Muslim house now planned on campus by another Rauf brainchild - the 501(3)c organization Muslim Friends of Chautauqua. Rauf also befriended Karen Armstrong, the former British nun and devotee of Islam.

In 2003, Rauf befriended leaders of Denver's Aspen Institute, including former executive director and four-term Aspen mayor John S. Bennet. In 2004, under ASMA auspices, Rauf organized a meeting of 125 young Muslims and formed Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow. With Bennet's help, he co-founded the Cordoba Initiative in Aspen, purportedly to "improve" Muslim-West relations. Rauf gets funding from a variety of other liberal organizations, including, for example, Gloria Steinem's Ms. Foundation.

Now, the same Rauf is set to construct a mosque at Ground Zero, which he claims will prove that ‘Islam is not a violent faith’.

As Islamic attacks on September 11, 2001, destroyed the World Trade Center towers, falling jet debris simultaneously crushed the five-story 1923 structure some 600 feet away that until that morning housed a robust Burlington Coat Factory store. Over the ruin of the former retail outlet, Rauf now plans to build a 13-story, $100 million mosque. Rauf says the Cordoba Initiative bought the former retail building to prove to the world that Islam is not a violent faith.
Imam Rauf says that New York Muslims provided nearly $5 million in cash to buy the Park Place building. Yet in fiscal 2009, Rauf's ASMA received large international donations. In the year ended June 30, 2009 - days before Feisal closed the purchase - ASMA received at least $1.3 million. The largest donation, $576,312, came from Qatar. That Persian Gulf nation has long harbored terror financiers, and even the government stands accused of funding international terrorism. Qatar also has, for decades, hosted Muslim Brotherhood spiritual chief Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The elderly sheikh, a large and founding shareholder in the terror-financing al-Taqwa Bank, champions sharia law, wife beating, and suicide bombing.
ASMA also received $481,942 from Holland's Millennial Development Goals Fund [MDG3], $144,752 from New York's Carnegie Corporation, $53,664 from the U.N. Population Fund [UNFPA], plus donations from the Rockefeller Brothers and Hunt Alternatives funds, among others.

The Ground Zero mosque plan is more than a little reminiscent of a program initiated by Rauf's late father in 1965. That year, Muhammad R. Abdul Rauf moved to New York to plan and head a huge Islamic Cultural Center that took decades to realize. He bought prime Manhattan real estate at 96th St. and 3rd Ave - roughly two thirds of a city block - apparently with $1.3 million in funding from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. The late Rauf long retained some of that land in a personal trust. But when construction started on the $17 million mosque in 1984, it had received funding from 46 Islamic nations. By 2010, the enormous Islamic complex had added another two buildings. Since 1984, its founders-envisioned apartment unit has been restricted to Muslims alone.

Whenever Feisal first considered building a mosque across from Ground Zero, he had the idea firmly in mind by 2004, when he wrote What's Right with Islam. The book was translated into many languages. In Indonesia's Bahasa, its title translates as "The Call from the WTC Rubble." Rauf promoted the book in December 2007 at a Kuala Lumpur gathering of Hizb ut Tahrir – a terror outfit banned in Germany since 2003, and also outlawed in Bangladesh, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, among other places - and ideologically akin to the Muslim Brotherhood. Both seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law [Sharia], and eventually impose Islam and Sharia law worldwide. Most North American Muslim Brotherhood organizations avoid widely publicizing that aim. The Hizb Ut Tahrir however, at a July 2009 Khalifah conference at a suburban Chicago Hilton, openly promised to replace capitalism with Islam and Sharia law.

Now, Imam Rauf is set to construct his dream project, wherefrom possibly the radical Islamists will start Islamization of America. This will not be a mere mosque, but a tower of terrorism to further flex the muscle of militant Islam right inside the heart of United States.
Hope Americans will realize this, before it is too late!

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