In a special ceremony, the Pentagon recently promoted a Wahhabi-trained
Muslim chaplain who catered to al-Qaida detainees at Guantanamo and fought to
establish the first mosque in Marine Corps history.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, right, personally decorates Navy Muslim chaplain Abuhena Mohammed Saifulislam
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England personally promoted Navy chaplain
Abuhena Mohammed Saifulislam from lieutenant to lieutenant commander.
Saifulislam also received a Joint Service Commendation Medal at the Pentagon
ceremony held on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Pentagon officials say the ceremony was unprecedented.
“It’s unusual for a deputy secretary to personally promote an officer of
that rank,” said one official who wished to go unnamed. “No one has known of
such a high-level dignitary doing that.”
Chaplain Lt. Abuhena Saifulislam, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and Marine Corps Gen. Michael Hagee unveil a plaque at a Marine Islamic Prayer Center
England also earlier this year personally dedicated a new Islamic center at
Marine headquarters in Quantico, Va., on the advice of Saifulislam, a
Bangladesh immigrant who became a U.S. citizen in 1995.
The Muslim chaplain, who is stationed at Quantico, recited verses from the Quran in Arabic and English at the summer dedication ceremony, which included representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, several leaders of which have been convicted on terrorism-related charges.
Saifulislam, which is Arabic for “Sword of Islam,” received his religious
training at a radical Islamic school raided by federal agents after 9/11.
The Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, based in Leesburg, Va.,
is run by Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sami
al-Arian terror case. A federal affidavit used to obtain a warrant to search
the school alleges Al-Alwani gave at least $50,000 in jihad money “to
support suicide bombings.”
Saifulislam insists he is moderate and condemns “terrorism,” but critics say
his Wahhabi background and associations should give the Pentagon pause.
“The Pentagon is giving him a permanent, taxpayer-supported platform from
which to convert grunts to Islam,” said terror expert Paul Sperry, a Hoover
Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and
Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”
“With the Quantico mosque, the Pentagon is facilitating the study of the holy text the enemy uses,
heretically or not, as their manual of warfare.”
Saifulislam’s promotion along with the dedication of his new Quantico mosque
– the first of its kind in the 230-year history of the Corps – comes on
the heels of a Muslim spy scandal at Gitmo involving another Muslim
Army Capt. James “Yousef” Yee, who ministered to al-Qaida detainees, was
charged with mishandling classified information. Yee, a convert to Islam,
quit the Army and the charges were dropped. But two of his Muslim military
friends at Gitmo were convicted of espionage-related crimes.
Yee’s predecessor at Gitmo was Saifulislam, who was first assigned to the
terrorist prison camp after 9/11. While at the Cuban base, the Navy imam
privately counseled al-Qaida prisoners in their native tongues of Urdu and
Arabic. “I must give hope for them to cope,” Saifulislam said at the time.
He set up the diet and prayer regimes for the detainees, recommending they be
served halal meals – including traditional dates and lamb – prepared
according to Islamic dietary law. Gitmo detainees can now choose from a menu
of 113 Muslim-appropriate meals.
In addition, Saifulislam saw to it that detainees receive copies of the
Quran and have access to prayer beads and skull caps. Saifulislam also set
up a program to train guards to be more sensitive to the religious customs
of their Muslim prisoners.
West Point bows to Mecca
Multiculturalism appears to trump concerns about Islamist infiltration of
the military. Following the Marine’s lead, the Army in October dedicated a
new mosque at West Point.
The U.S. Military Academy’s first worship hall for Muslims boasts green
carpets, shoe racks and a pulpit facing Mecca. Officials agreed to set up
the mosque, large enough for dozens of followers, after Muslim leaders
complained that the office where Muslim cadets gathered for Friday prayers
had become too crowded.
The Army has been recruiting international cadets from Muslim countries such
as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Muslim enrollment at the academy in New
York has jumped to 32 from just two in 2001.
“We live in a world where everyone is looking at the United States saying,
‘You’re anti-Islam,'” explained West Point Chaplain Col. John Cook. “But
here at West Point, that’s not what we do.”
The U.S. military now boasts more than 10,000 Muslim soldiers, many of them
black converts. On the eve of the Army’s push into Iraq, Army Sgt. Hasan
Akbar, a black Muslim convert, fragged commanding officers at a military
camp in Kuwait. He killed two of them and wounded 15 others.
Akbar, recently convicted of murder and given the death sentence, said at
the time he did it out of loyalty to the umma, or global community of
“You guys are coming into our countries,” he said, “and you’re
going to rape our women and kill our children.”
Within months of Akbar’s traitorous 2003 attacks, the Defense Intelligence
Agency issued an internal report warning that Muslim soldiers pose a
possible security threat, according to national security reporter Bill Gertz
in his new book “Enemies.”
It was also in 2003 that Yee was accused of spying for the enemy while
serving as a Muslim chaplain at Gitmo. Yee graduated from West Point, site
of the Army’s new mosque.
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