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Muslim leaders challenged to repudiate terror

Leaders of tomorrow’s “Islam on Capitol Hill” mass prayer rally that is forecast to attract tens of thousands of activist Muslims are being asked by members of an “Honesty in Religion” committee to denounce acts of terror done in the name of Islam.

The Islam On Capitol Hill website says the Muslims assembled will pray “for the soul of America,” noted the announcement today from the Ad Hoc Committee of Americans for Transparency and Honesty in Religion.

The website also proclaims, “Our time has come,” the committee says.

“Muslim Americans assure us that Islam categorically rejects terrorism and that the concept of ‘jihad’ refers to a ‘spiritual struggle,’ and has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘holy war,'” the committee continued. However, signers say, “Around the world, the overwhelming number of terrorist acts are carried out by Muslims, that many Muslim-American groups have terrorist ties and that justification for acts of violence against ‘infidels’ is found in the Quran.”

“Signers of the letter ask rally organizers to disavow the following acts of terrorism, ‘committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam,'” the committee wrote.

The letter lists:

As WND has reported, one of the key organizers is Hassen Abdellah, an attorney from Elizabeth, N.J. Abdellah formed part of the legal team that defended four men in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, including Mahmud Abouhalim, who was convicted and sentenced to prison.

Hassen Abdellah

During the trial, the New York Times described Abdellah as “by far the most aggressively combative of the lawyers in the case.”

The case, as well as Abdellah’s other legal associations, has raised eyebrows online.

“Who’s behind ‘Islam on Capitol Hill?'” asked popular blogger and frequent TV talk show guest Michelle Malkin.

Malkin quoted Andrew Walden of FrontPageMagazine.com, who published an extensive look at the Muslim rally’s organizers, including a reminder that Abdellah also defended Numan Maflahi, a man who in 2004 was accused by prosecutors of being tied to al-Qaida and sentenced to five years for lying to investigators during an investigation of terrorism financing.

“Of course, everyone is entitled to legal representation,” commented Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, “but Abdellah’s choice of clients is … interesting.”

Spencer also pointed out Abdellah represented Mahmud Faruq Brent, a Muslim cabdriver in Baltimore who pled guilty in April 2007 to attending a jihad terrorist training camp in Pakistan and conspiring to provide material support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba foreign terrorist organization.

The letter is signed by 19 prominent leaders including Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, Rick Scarborough of Vision America and Daniel Lapin of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians.

“Are you willing to join millions of other people of faith in America and denounce these and similar acts of terrorism? While the U.S.-Muslim community loudly proclaims that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, leaders of the community are conspicuously silent when it comes to rejecting acts of murder carried out by Muslims, in the name of Islam,” the letter asks. “Thank you for your attention. We await your response.”

The letter was sent via Federal Express to Abdellah of the Dar-ul-Islam Mosque in Elizabeth, N.J., and Aly A. Aziz of the Islamic Society of Central New Jersey, both identified as organizers.

“If people all over the world were committing acts of murder and mayhem in the name of Christianity, Christian leaders in the United States would spare no effort to disavow these blasphemies. Why are Muslim leaders conspicuously silent?” Scarborough said.

Among other signers, with their affiliations for identification purposes only, are Ted Baehr of the Christian Film and Television Commission, Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance, Christopher Carmouche of GrassTopsUSA, Don Feder, William Federer of American Minute, Linda Harvey of Mission America, Bishop E.W. Jackson of Exodus Faith Ministries, Phillip Jauregui of Judicial Action Group, William Murray of Religious Freedom Coalition, C. Preston Noell of Tradition, Family and Property, Kevin Roberts of Catholic Families of America, Mike Valerio, Richard Viguerie of Conservative HQ.com and Herb Zweibon of Americans for A Safe Israel.

In a separate statement, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association said, “It seems clear that this Islamic prayer event is being led by men who hold both anti-Semitic and anti-American views. Given the radical views of the organizers, we don’t think the president – or his spokesman – should issue any statements in support of this event at all, and we hope he won’t.”

The AFA noted the imam who will lead the recitation of the Quran, Sheik Ahmed Dewidar, is a Manhattan cleric who once said that “through the domination of Islam and its ideas, the White House will change,” and spoke approvingly of another cleric who said that one day “the White House will become … the Muslim House.”

Bryan Fischer, AFA’s director of issues analysis, said Obama barely has acknowledged the Christian heritage of the United States – refusing to participate in the National Day of Prayer and issuing only a perfunctory proclamation required by law.

Yet, Fischer said, Obama has hosted a dinner celebrating what he called ‘the Holy Month of Ramadan’ in the White House and recently issued a proclamation at the end of Ramadan which concluded with an Arabic blessing.

Obama also has stated that America is not a “Christian” nation and in fact, based on the numbers, could be considered among the “Muslim” nations.

In Cairo, Obama carried a greeting from “Muslim communities” in America, complained how Muslims had been “denied rights and opportunities” and stated, “I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam at places like Al-Azhar that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s renaissance and enlightenment.”

Besides crediting Islam with significant responsibility for the development of civilization in Europe, Obama also said Muslims have served similarly in America.

“And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States,” Obama said. “They have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They’ve excelled in our sports arenas. They’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same holy Quran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library.”