Archive for February, 2012

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Georgia Muslims dodge building codes through outdoor worship

February 29, 2012

At-Taqwa Mosque has been cited at least six times by DeKalb County and several times by the City of Doraville–two metro-Atlanta jurisdictions that At-Taqwa’s properties overlap.  This mosque is taking shortcuts with the safety of the adults and children who attend services there by building slipshod structures that fall short of acceptable construction codes.

At a minimum, the case demonstrates the negligence of the mosque, its leadership, and owners.  But it reflects the larger issue of At-Taqwa’s haste to expand as rapidly as possible.  At-Taqwa’s attorney writes-off the code citations and a violation of an order from the DeKalb County Probate Court as confusion of the mosque from having to deal with two separate jurisdictions.  But At-Taqwa has only itself to blame for spanning city and unincorporated county boundaries; the mosque gobbled up eight parcels of land in the area and put itself in the situation.

At-Taqwa’s aggressive expansion and blatant disregard for DeKalb’s order to stop services suggests that At-Taqwa is spoiling for a fight.  It’s a bit like a skinny person asking for seatbelt extenders in an airplane, getting up and down, and switching seats with your buddies without explanation.  It suggests a probe to test how serious law enforcement will treat the matter.  Atlas Shrugs covered an initial report from WSB-TV.  Here’s an update from the DeKalb Champion‘s Feb. 23-29 edition:

Doraville mosque struggles with numerous code violations

by Daniel Beauregard

daniel@dekalbchamp.com

A mosque that has been cited numerous times for code/zoning violations has continued to hold services even though a court has ordered services to stop, DeKalb County officials said.

The At-Taqwa Mosque, in the 2000 block [2662, 2668, and 2674] of Woodwin Road in Doraville, has been cited at least six times by county code enforcement officials for failing to maintain a certificate of occupancy.

DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said it was because of these citations the owners of the mosque were called in front of a probate court judge last year and ordered to stop holding services.

However, attorney Khurram Baig, who is representing the mosque, said it continued holding services due to a misunderstanding.

“Different people who they were working with in the county gave them different opinions and based on some misunderstandings they went back in the space,” Baig said.

Baig said the mosque had been working with code enforcement officials who told mosque leaders the several buildings they owned were in compliance.

“I can’t deny that they went into the space,” Baig said.  “They didn’t know that the probate court is the one that has the final say as to whether they can operate inside the building.”

Both Brennan and Baig said that part of the confusion was because the buildings owned by the mosque are located in both unincorporated DeKalb and the city of Doraville.

“When you’re dealing with municipalities and navigating two different bureaucracies, it can leave people who were born here confused, so you can imagine their confusion being immigrants.  It’s just a huge misunderstanding,” Baig said.

Luke Howe, spokesman for Doraville mayor Donna Pittman, said the mosque had been cited numerous times by the city of Doraville as well.

Baig, who has only been representing the mosque for several weeks, said he has informed the owners that if they are going to conduct services it has to be outside, to avoid any further violations.

“For whatever reason the relationship between the mosque and the neighbors is fractured,” Baig said.  “There is a neighbor there who is always calling code enforcement out on them and my advice to the mosque was to get into compliance so he can’t continue doing that.”

Baig said he was optimistic all the mosque’s issues would be worked out but said it may take time.  In the meantime, he said it would conduct prayer services outside where they would not be committing any code violations.

Anybody else not much comforted by overflow crowds in the parking lots and roads on a mostly residential street where neighbors are already at their wits’ end?

By the way, the imam of the mosque and CEO of the entity that owns the property (Al Maad Al Islami, Inc.) is Mohammed Enamul Haque.  Guess where he lives?  Lilburn!—the heart of defiant mosques in Georgia.  Perhaps Haque saw Dar-E-Abbas Islamic Center get away with repeated code citations in Lilburn and figured he could do the same in DeKalb!

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An interview with Puneet Madaan: Germany repeating mistakes of India

February 28, 2012

Money Jihad recently sat down for an informative instant messaging interview with longtime reader and commenter Puneet Madaan.  In this interview, Puneet shares his story about the murders of non-Muslims during the partition of India, which resulted in the deaths of 60 percent of the older generations of his family.  Now living in Germany, Puneet finds that Europe is repeating the mistakes of India in the name of multiculturalism.  For example, the number of dangerous mosques in Germany (often with funding from Turkey) is increasing exponentially, and the government encourages it or turns a blind eye.  Puneet’s proposal?  Learn from history and adopt a clear strategy to combat the problem.

MJ:  Thanks for joining me for this IM interview!  How are you doing?

Puneet:  Fine, in fact, great.  My last day in India, flying back to Germany tomorrow.

MJ:  Were you in India on business or pleasure?

Puneet:  Just on vacation at a pretty interesting time, especially seeing how anti-Israeli propaganda is being pushed in the Indian media, even though the Indian public is more pro-Israel.

MJ: Perhaps the media bias has something to do with the oil that India buys from Iran?

Puneet:  Possibly.  They were blaming Israel for the attack on Israeli embassy personnel in Delhi…  I think we cannot fight it [radical Islam], till we put human rights above everything.

MJ:  Speaking of human rights, you’ve mentioned that you used to be involved with the Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam. Could you say more about that?

Puneet:  Yes, HRCARI was an initiative–a learning curve for many–and it even includes Darfuri Muslims.  Yet the point I learned is the limitation on our side.  I, myself, am not in a single organisation that has a real goal… and I think till we define a clear goal, we will be defensive and losing ground day by day.  I do not want to say that one has to take weapon, but being on the offensive in an ideological war at least requires a clear goal, which is missing in ‘fighting terrorism’ side.

MJ:  But you’re no longer involved with HRCARI?

Puneet:  I’m one of the founding members, though I’m no more 100% active with it…

MJ:  I see. You also contributed to http://www.islam-watch.org?

Puneet:  Yes, I did, though I’m unsatisfied with it… not because I disagree, but rather because real change requires real debates and [bringing] taboo issues of Islam in public–issues like apartheid in Mecca and Medina, the mandatory 6th part of Islamic banking, etc.  And lobbies [interest groups] are not doing enough in this front.

MJ:  You’re saying that these groups aren’t doing enough?

Puneet:  Definitely not … If they were, wouldn’t we have sanctions against Saudi Arabia for its official apartheid signs on roads?

MJ:  Are people in the West are afraid to speak the truth?  You never seem to be afraid. You’ve gotten into some verbal tussles with Muslim commenters on our blog who don’t like the truth. They don’t scare you?

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Four-star Islamic charity downgraded by nation’s leading charitable evaluator

February 27, 2012

Charity Navigator has lowered its overall rating of the Zakat Foundation.  The historically four-star rated Islamic non-profit organization received its first three-star rating late last year, which was reaffirmed by Charity Navigator’s second overall three-star rating of the Zakat Foundation on Feb. 1, 2012.

Historical ratings from Charity Navigator

Last fall, the Zakat Foundation—one of the five largest Islamic charities in America—received a two-star rating on accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator.  Deficiencies included the lack of a written policy by the Zakat Foundation against conflicts of interest.  Money Jihad believes this is an intentional decision by the Zakat Foundation because executive director Khalil Demir probably has his wife on the foundation’s payroll.

The Zakat Foundation also received low marks from Charity Navigator for not recording the minutes of board meetings, for its records retention policy, for its process of determining Khalil Demir’s salary, and a lack of accessible audited financials on its website.  Charity Navigator found that the Zakat Foundation has made a few improvements to its website since last fall, and has slightly increased its transparency rating, but still scores three stars overall.  Without any federal agency overseeing U.S. nonprofits, Charity Navigator is widely regarded as the nation’s top charitable evaluator.

Charity Navigator's low marks for transparency at the Zakat Foundation

Previously, Money Jihad uncovered the Zakat Foundation’s 2010 work with Muslim Hands, a British-based charity accused by Israel of funding Hamas.  FrontPage Magazine has alleged that the Zakat Foundation sponsored a grant to IHH, another “Union of Good” pro-Hamas charity.

A Zappos customer recently reported to Money Jihad that the Zakat Foundation was the beneficiary of $1,300 that was taken from his bank account without his authorization.  The pilfered money was “refunded” after an arduous process described by the Zappos customer.

The downgrading by Charity Navigator is just the latest black mark against the Zakat Foundation, which as recently as Jan. 2010 was hailed by Hillary Clinton’s State Department as a valued partner in disaster relief overseas.

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FATF: Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia fail to criminalize terrorist financing

February 26, 2012

The world’s leading financial watchdog has added Pakistan and Indonesia to its blacklist of deficient jurisdictions.  Iran was also once again named by FATF for its failure to criminalize the funding of terrorism.  What they all have in common is that none of them has sufficient laws on the books to combat the financing of terrorism or freeze terrorist assets.

Here are some excerpts from FATF’s Feb. 16 statement:

The FATF remains particularly and exceptionally concerned about Iran’s failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system, despite Iran’s previous engagement with the FATF.

The FATF reaffirms its call on members and urges all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relationships and transactions with Iran, including Iranian companies and financial institutions. In addition to enhanced scrutiny, the FATF reaffirms its 25 February 2009 call on its members and urges all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures to protect their financial sectors from money laundering and financing of terrorism (ML/FT) risks emanating from Iran. FATF continues to urge jurisdictions to protect against correspondent relationships being used to bypass or evade counter-measures and risk mitigation practices and to take into account ML/FT risks when considering requests by Iranian financial institutions to open branches and subsidiaries in their jurisdiction. Due to the continuing terrorist financing threat emanating from Iran, jurisdictions should consider the steps already taken and possible additional safeguards or strengthen existing ones.

The FATF urges Iran to immediately and meaningfully address its AML/CFT deficiencies, in particular by criminalising terrorist financing and effectively implementing suspicious transaction reporting (STR) requirements. If Iran fails to take concrete steps to improve its CFT regime, the FATF will consider calling on its members and urging all jurisdictions to strengthen counter-measures in June 2012…

Indonesia has taken significant steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by enacting AML legislation in 2010 and developing draft comprehensive CFT legislation. Despite Indonesia’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, Indonesia has not made sufficient progress in implementing its action plan, and certain strategic AML/CFT deficiencies remain. Indonesia should work on implementing its action plan to address these deficiencies, including by: (1) adequately criminalising terrorist financing (Special Recommendation II); (2) establishing and implementing adequate procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets (Special Recommendation III); and (3) amending and implementing laws or other instruments to fully implement the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism (Special Recommendation I). The FATF encourages Indonesia to address its remaining deficiencies and continue the process of implementing its action plan…

Pakistan has taken significant steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by enhancing the capacity of its FIU, approving an AML/CFT strategy, and by ensuring training is provided to relevant stakeholders. Despite Pakistan’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, Pakistan has not made sufficient progress in implementing its action plan, and certain AML/CFT deficiencies remain. Specifically, Pakistan needs to enact legislation to ensure that it meets the FATF standards regarding the terrorist financing offence (SR II) and the ability to identify, freeze, and confiscate terrorist assets (Special Recommendation III). The FATF encourages Pakistan to address the remaining deficiencies and continue to implement its action plan, including by demonstrating effective regulation of money service providers and implementing effective controls for cross-border cash transactions (Special Recommendation VI and Special Recommendation IX).

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Qatar’s money jihad on Europe

February 24, 2012

More on Qatar’s money being used to support Wahhabi Islam abroad.  This excellent piece from Soeren Kern describes the Qatari infiltration of Muslim populations of France, Spain, and other countries of Europe:

Qatar Financing Wahhabi Islam in France, Italy, Ireland and Spain

Qatar, the most fraudulent “moderate,” is “sparing no effort” to spread Wahhabi Islam across “the whole world,” discouraging integration, encouraging jihad.

The Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar says it plans to invest €50 million ($65 million) in French suburbs that are home to hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Muslim immigrants.

Qatar says its investment is intended to support small businesses in disadvantaged Muslim neighborhoods. But Qatar, like Saudi Arabia, subscribes to the ultra-conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam, and critics say the emirate’s real objective is to peddle its religious ideology among Muslims in France and other parts of Europe.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who has long cultivated an image as a pro-Western reformist and modernizer, recently vowed to “spare no effort” to spread the fundamentalist teachings of Wahhabi Islam across “the whole world.”

The promotion of Islamic extremist ideologies — particularly Wahhabism, which not only discourages Muslim integration in the West, but actively encourages jihad against non-Muslims — threatens to further radicalize Muslim immigrants in France, analysts say.

The Qatari investments are being targeted in blighted French suburban slums known in France as banlieues, where up to one million or more mostly unemployed Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East eke out an impoverished existence.

The banlieues are already being exploited by Islamist preachers from countries such as Morocco and Turkey, which are leveraging the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in France to create “separate Islamic societies” ruled by Islamic Sharia law, according to a recent study which examines the rise of Islam in France.

The 2,200-page report, “Banlieue de la République” (Suburbs of the Republic) — commissioned by the influential French think tank L’Institut Montaigne, and directed by Gilles Kepel, a well-known specialist on the Muslim world — describes how Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and identity in favor of Islam.

The report shows how Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law in many parts of suburban Paris and warns that France is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.

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Qatar Charity opens $200K Java madrassa

February 23, 2012
Qatari oil money brainwashes Muslim children

Indonesia's newest Wahhabi madrassa

Qatar Charity, an entity that Osama Bin Laden once regarded as one of Al Qaeda’s three most important charitable front groups, has committed 760,000 Qatari rials (about 200,000 USD) to build a madrassa in West Java, Indonesia.  The charity, which is blacklisted by Israel, does not even pay lip service to the idea of having “moderate” imams or curriculum at the school.  From the charity’s press release last month:

Qatar Charity has established an educational project in Indonesia, after a QAR 760,000 donation.

The project includes a school, mosque, library, clinic, Quran memorization center, student housing and a student service center and was funded by a donation from Aisha Hussain Behzad.

The opening ceremony was attended by Dr. Nur Shams, Director of Educational Affairs at the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs, Dr. Al-Haj Saad Eddin, Governor of Bakassi city, Ibrahim Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, acting Qatari Ambassador, Ibrahim Zainal, Director of Monitoring at QC and Hassan Ozkor, QC Office Director in Indonesia.

Zainal stressed QC’s enthusiasm for the implementation of such projects, which work in cooperation with local authorities, local associations and the targeted communities and beneficiaries in order to support the most vulnerable.

The project resembles so many Gulf-sponsored initiatives over the past 40 years that use Arab oil wealth to export fiery Wahhabi teachings to parts of the Islamic world that historically had somewhat less dangerous expressions of Islam tempered by local traditions and culture.

Qatar Charity (sometimes called Qatar Charitable Society) was formerly known as the Qatar Charitable Foundation.  The Qatar Charitable Foundation was implicated as an Al Qaeda front, a Hamas-supporting Union of Good member that also funded Chechen Islamists, a central player in a failed assassination attempt on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 1995, and a financier of the Bangladeshi jihadist organization Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

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Thou shalt not steal (unless for jihad)

February 22, 2012

There’s an awful lot of people in the West who believe that bank robberies perpetrated by Muslim groups are just about greed.  But that mistaken belief is based on our own preconceived notions and cultural biases.  In the American context, greed is attributed to bank robbers—it’s what we’ve always been told by newspapers, Hollywood, and crime novels—and the profit motive makes logical sense.

Not so in the Islamist context.  They are stealing money for a purpose larger than themselves.  Naturally the soldier-thieves want their cut—that has been part of the Islamic tradition since the days of Muhammad.  But they want to invest a portion of the money back into the grand jihad.  This is what distinguishes traditional bank robberies in the U.S. context from ongoing bank robberies across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

The Islamists also justify their theft on the basis that the banks charge or offer interest, which is contrary to Islam, or on the basis that the banks use un-Islamic paper currencies, or on the basis that they will use it for jihad which trumps other values, or on the basis of a bigoted stereotype that the international financial is controlled by Jews and can rightfully be therefore be plundered by Muslims.

Now Nigerian interrogators have found out details about the latest robbery-for-jihad scheme from a prominent Boko Haram detainee.  Abdul Qaqa says that proceeds from Boko Haram’s thefts are always split in five parts for:  1) the widows of martyred jihadists, 2) the poor, 3) zakat, 4) the thieves themselves, and 5) Boko Haram’s leaders to fund further jihad.

Hat tip to our Twitter friend, El Grillo, for sending this in from All Africa:

Nigeria: How We Share Boko Haram Loot – Abdul Qaqa

By Malachy Uzendu and Ahmed Mari, 14 February 2012

Abuja and Maiduguri — Interrogation of the spokesman of the killer fundamental Islamic sect, Boko Haram yesterday revealed that the group was also engaged in criminal activities, breaking banks and seeking for money from every available illicit source.

Sources from the nation’s security agencies who have been drilling Alhaji Abu Qaqa, informed that after every robbery operation, the monies realised would be shared out to five groups. It was further gathered that he “married” the wife of their erstwhile leader, Mohammed Yusuf and other wives of deceased members, purporting to be giving them protection.

Qaqa who has been speaking on the exploits of the dreaded body said though they agreed to split such monies into five, “nobody dared ask how the money was spent and nobody dare ask questions for fear of death”.

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