After each major terror strike against the West, we hear the now-standard denunciations from our local Muslim "leaders", the imams, and naturally, CAIR. They condemn the attack, proclaim that it has nothing to do with Islam, and put out an alert to their own community to watch their backs against the violent acts of retaliation that never come.
So it is with the self-proclaimed leaders of the Southern California Muslim Community. Today's Orange County Register has a front page article by Roxana Kopetman quoting the usual voices.
“We are shocked and sorrowful on one side and disturbed to the point of anger that Islam was hijacked by some moronic, corrupted minds,” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, which represents 112 mosques in Orange and Los Angeles counties and the Inland Empire."
Syed (with duct tape)
Moronic, corrupted minds, Mr Syed? This is the same man who led the effort to bring a couple of moronic, corrupted minds to speak at a charity dinner in Yorba Linda in February 2011, hosted by the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Circle of North America. Those speakers were known radicals, Amir Abdel Malik Ali and Siraj Wahhaj. Ali, a regular speaker at anti-Israel events on California campuses, is an open supporter, by his own admission, of Hamas, Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad, all US recognized terror organizations. Ali also has a long history of anti-Jewish statements including calling numerous prominent individuals, "Zionist Jews", a term he spits out like the Nazis of the Third Reich. I could list numerous sources and videos for those comments, but I have heard them personally at UC Irvine over the years on several occasions.
Then there is Wahhaj, a man CAIR Southern California director Hussam Ayloush says is "one of the most respected religious leaders in America". (He told me that personally at a church in Riverside in 2013 when I questioned him about Wahhaj). Wahhaj is on audiotape referring to America as a "filthy garbage can" and saying it will be taken over by Islam. He has also mused about giving AK-47s to black ex-cons and turning them loose in the inner cities. When I hit Ayloush (also quoted in the OCR article) with Wahhaj's oral history, he called me a bigot. This from the same man who reportedly spoke at a protest in front of the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles in October 2000 while students from the UCLA Muslim Student Association were chanting, "Death to Israel; death to Jews". The last time I saw Ayloush speak he was asking why there was so much talk about American Muslim men going off to join ISIS, and nobody was talking about the the thousands of Jewish American men who were going to join the Israeli Defense Forces, "killing the people of Gaza". This is hardly a man the OCR should be quoting.
Ayloush with Muslim Brotherhood poster
But back to Syed. Prior to the Yorba Linda event, he attended a meeting with citizens from Yorba Linda, who asked him not to bring Ali and Wahhaj to speak. He angrily pointed his finger at one of the ladies (a friend of mine) and told her they were going to bring whomever they wished.
I also met Syed at Loyola Marymount University at a 2012 seminar dedicated to showing the community that they had nothing to fear from sharia law. He was confronted by that same lady in front of the audience during q and a and offered no response to her accusation. The last time I saw Syed was when he showed up at UC Irvine a couple of years back at a talk by UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, who is co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, a student group that uses bully tactics of intimidation against Jewish students who support Israel. On this occasion, Bazian was speaking as part of the Muslim Student Union's annual week of anti-Israel events. Syed threw out a programmed question to Bazian in which he referred to Israel as a "racist, genocidal state". Syed was also out front and public with his support of the Irvine 11 students who disrupted the Israeli ambassador to the US' speech at UC Irvine in 2010. He appeared with the defendants in front of the courthouse with duct tape over their mouths.
And this man poses as some sort of bridge between the communities?
Then there is the renowned man of peace, Imam Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Garden Grove and former head of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of North America. I have heard him speak many times, always telling his non-Muslim audiences that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. I have also spoken with him directly on several occasions. In my mind, he is a dissembler. In 1992, Siddiqi actually hosted the so-called Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, a convicted terrorist now serving life in prison, at his Garden Grove mosque and translated in real time Rahman's sermon (on jihad, no less). In 2012, while attending a town hall at the above mosque on the topic of sharia and how it "is perfectly compatible with the US Constitution", I brought the above fact to the attention of co-speaker Andre Birotte, the US Attorney for the Central District of California as well as Michael Downing, the chief of LAPD's counter terror unit and an apologist for local Islamists in the Southern California area. I received no response from Birotte while Downing told me, "Well, you know. Gary, some people change over time."
Nobody wants to see innocent Muslims suffer backlash for acts of terror, and with few exceptions, the American people have been admirable in not blaming innocent people for the acts of terrorists. However, the media needs to do a better job in seeking out true moderate voices to defend the Muslim community.