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A TANGLED WEB OF DECEIT
By Mitchell Gray
�You reap what you sow� as goes the old saying and Londoners got a bitter reminder of the classical wisdom when London was rocked by a series of deadly explosions in July 2005. �Homegrown� Islamic terrorists of Pakistani descent carried out these attacks. For years London has been a boiling cauldron of Islamic rage.
In the confused aftermath of the bombings it was reported the Blair government desired courting what they considered �moderate� Muslim leaders in an effort to de-radicalize the burgeoning Muslim population especially the young.
Because in England, like in France and other European countries, there is an explosion of the Muslim birthrate and population, it is understandable that the British government seeks �moderate� voices to direct young Muslim energies into a practice of Islam that is compatible with secular societies based on �Western� constitutional principles.
Specifically mentioned and touted as a moderate voice by the British is a former Imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC), Suhaib Webb.
Unfortunately an examination of Webb�s record in my article reveals that Imam Suhaib Webb is not a voice of moderation and is tied to extremism and terrorism.
England first tried to placate Islamic extremists and got the London train bombing for its efforts. For the British not to reign in the terror meisters and instead turn to Islamic extremist Suhaib Webb shows that England has not learned the lesson not to appease terrorists. England is as wrong in 2005 as it was in 1939 when Neville Chamberlain thought he had achieved �Peace in our time� with Hitler. The appeasement idea that you can buy security by placating the tyrant; be it the swastika or the crescent, hasn�t worked, doesn�t work and will never work.
Suhaib Web was born William Webb in Oklahoma City, OK in 1972. A search of Oklahoma court records confirms Webb has had a criminal past and he admits to a troubled youth with drugs, violence, gangsterism, etc. He was a rap DJ known as �wax-master� Will. Webb is white and converted to Islam in 1992. He claims he met a Muslim at a �swap meet� who turned him to Islam. He also claims that he came into contact with Muslims through the hip-hop culture.
Webb attended the University of Oklahoma but finished his B.A. in education at the University of Central Oklahoma, in Edmond, Oklahoma. He was in the Muslim student association (MSA) in Oklahoma. Despite his youth, background and ethnicity, he quickly assumed the position of Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. This is the largest Islamic center in OKC with prominent Muslim men who are doctors and engineers on its board of directors. Recently Imam Webb has been a lecturer at the Islamic American University in Santa Clara, Ca. Currently, he studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo Egypt, the oldest Islamic University in the world.
Over the past several years, Imam Webb has been a very popular speaker at conferences sponsored by Muslim organizations like CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations). CAIR is accused by many as having ties to Islamic radicals. In an article entitled �CAIR�s Radical Nexus� by Josh Lefkoweiz and Erik Stakelbeck for FrontPageMagazine.com, CAIR�s executive director, Nihad Awad, has stated, �I am in support of the Hamas movement� (speech at Barry University).
Speaking of Nihad Awad, former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating gladly accepted a paltry $20,000 from him at memorial services in OKC just after the OKC bombing on April 19, 1995. Ironically, Keating accepted another check for $22,000 at the ISGOC just after the 9/11 attacks and told the Muslim audience he hoped one of them would become governor of Oklahoma one day. Keating stated �This is a gift from good people to good people� according to a Tulsa World newspaper article of September 22, 2001.
But were they all good people?
Mufid Abdul Qader was one of the incorporators of the ISGOC mosque where Webb once was the Imam. Qader is currently under Federal indictment in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) case out of Richardson, Texas near Dallas. Qader�s half brother, Khalid Mishaal, is a Syrian who is a high ranking Hamas military executive and a known terrorist. Mufid Qader traveled with a troupe that performed skits portraying violent killings of Jews included at a 1992 conference in Oklahoma City. Mufid Qader is considered by the US government to have been a top fundraiser for Hamas. Hamas is responsible for many deadly attacks including some attacks where even Americans have been killed. The HLF is alleged to be a front for the Hamas terrorist organization through its fundraising efforts.
A co-founder of the ISGOC along with Mufid Qader is Mohammed Elyazgi who, like Mufid was, is an engineer at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. His wife Malaka is on current governor Brad Henry�s Ethnic Advisory Board.
Imam Webb has mentioned several men as having great influence on his Islamic path. One such man is Hassan Al-Bana who founded the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt in 1928. The brotherhood, or as it is known in Arabic as the �Ikwan�, is the father of all modern radical Islamic groups. A famous disciple of Al-Bana is Sayyid Qutb who called for the extinction of America. Links to purchase Qutb inflammatory works are advertised and posted on websites for the ISGOC and NAIT (North American Trust).
NAIT purchases American mosques and in fact it owns the ISGOC, the Norman, Oklahoma mosque, the Majid Al-Salaam in Edmond, Oklahoma and the Tulsa Oklahoma mosque. An article in Newsweek after 9-11 by Sarah Downey and Michael Hirsch notes that NAIT owns about 20% of all American mosques, meaning that NAIT�s influence in Oklahoma is much greater than the national average.
According to the Downy and Hirsch article �over the past four decades, unnoticed by most Americans, NAIT money has helped the Saudi Arabian sect of Wahhabism or Salafism, as the broader, Pan-Islamic movement is called, to seize control of hundreds of mosques in US Muslim communities...�
The San Diego mosque attended by 9-11 hijackers al-Midhar and Al-Hazmi is owned by NAIT. NAIT was created by the Muslim Student Association (MSA). Recently a high ranking member of the MSA at the University of Oklahoma told me in an email that the United States was a �terrorist� state in the same manner as Syria.
NAIT�s executive director is Mujeeb Cheema of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cheema is also an executive in the Islamic society of Tulsa and formerly a managing director for Hawkins International Energy Company of Tulsa that was associated with Bud McFarlane, the former National Security Director under President Reagan during the Iran hostage crisis.
Webb also is friends with and supports Siraj Wahhaj. They have frequently spoken at the same conferences sponsored by groups like the MSA. Wahhaj is an African-American who was the first Muslim to deliver the opening prayer for Congress. Wahhaj has publicly called for the US to accept the Islamic agenda or fail. In 1993 two members of his mosque pled guilty to plotting the murders of the Secretary General of the UN and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, as well as blowing up buildings and tunnels. Wahhaj was listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the case of the �blind-sheik� Omar Abdel-Rahman relating to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Oklahoma City Palestinian landlord Samil Khalil is on the list of un-indicted co-conspirators and is linked to Iraqis accused of helping in the OKC bombing.
According to Webb the greatest influence on him was Sheikh Abu Mustafa of Senegal. This Sheikh was Imam at the Norman, OK mosque on 9/11 where four men, Mujahid Abdul Qaadir Menepta, Mukarram Ali, Hussein Al-Attas, and Zacaharias Moussoui had been attending. Sheikh Abu Mustafa himself has appeared on the FBI terror watch list and his address in Norman was also the address for the Islamic Science Institute.
It is hard to believe that Imam Abu Mustafa was na�ve to the goings on in the mosque. Hijacker Nawaf Al-Hazmi traveled to meet Moussaoui and possibly Menepta and Al-Attas in Norman in August 2001. Menepta is a Black Muslim originally from St Louis with the American name of Melvin Lattimore. It was revealed in 2001 Federal court proceedings in OKC that Lattimore, a.k.a. Menepta, was also involved in the 1993 WTC bombing and the 1995 OKC bombing.
Al-Attas admitted lying to federal authorities about his knowledge of Moussaoui�s plans and was apparently himself preparing for possible jihad. Al-Attas drove Moussaoui from Norman to a Minnesota flight school in mid August 2001 and was arrested, taken into custody by and questioned by the FBI along with Moussaoui. Hussein Al-Attas may have used the name Moshen Al-Attas and actually spent time with the 9/11 hijackers Al-Mihdhar, Al-Shehhi and Al-Hazmi in San Diego.
In an interview with a �deenport� (�deen� means �religion� in Arabic) in March 2005, interviewer Hisaham Al-Zoubeir asked Webb about a UK government paper that leaked saying how the UK wanted to market him as a �moderate� voice.
Webb replies, �Actually I was in Cairo when the article leaked. I was rather surprised to see my name mentioned with such luminaries as Sheikh Hamza, Dr. Tariq Ramanan and Ustadh (means teacher) and Amr Khalid (may Allah preserve them). In commenting on this I prefer to follow the lead of our Ustadh and leader Amr Khalid who said, �we have no problems working with anyone towards the spread of good and righteousness amongst others.� However, before working with anyone the overall good and outcomes must be weighed and there should be serious counsel taken from the local Muslim communities as well as their leadership.�
Given this reply one might ask �whose overall good� is he referring to? Given the Bush-Blair relationship I wonder who may have recommended Webb to Blair? Could it have been Bush�s close Islamic advisor, Hamzi Yusuf, another dubious rising star just like Suhaib Webb, who the British are also touting as a moderate voice?
Imam Webb has become a �star�. His rapid ascent as a former gangster turned Imam is curious. His international acclaim and promotion suggests that he has been �chosen� as a spokesman for Islam. It appears that the Blair government is accepting Webb as a worthy role model to be emulated. But the Brits should carefully scrutinize Webb�s background especially in Oklahoma. The facts suggest that Webb may actually be far less �moderate� than portrayed, as his associates, role models and influences are hardly a comfort to those searching for true accommodation between Islam and the West.
The term �moderate,� as it applies to Islam, must be carefully defined and understood. A practicing Muslim who is a real moderate accepts separation of church and state and does not advocate a universal caliphate. A Muslim who publicly renounces terrorism may not be a moderate at all depending on his definition of terrorism. One man�s terrorist is another man�s freedom fighter. If a Muslim leader says he rejects all terrorism and killing of innocents, its possible he believes the action does not qualify as terrorism and that the victims are not innocent.
� 2005 Mitchell Gray - All Rights Reserved
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Mitchell Gray has a BA and JD from the University ofOklahoma as well as three years of Arabic Language study. He served as a JAG officer in the Oklahoma National Guard during Operation Desert Storm. Mr. Gray is an immigration attorney who was widely quoted after 9-11 in newspapers such as the Washington Post concerning Immigration Law and Moussaoui's roommate at the University of Oklahoma, Hussein Al-Attas.
Mr. Gray has studied Arabic, the Middle East and domestic terrorism for many years. He is exceptionally knowledgeable about Middle Eastern connections to the OKC bombing case.
E-Mail: [email protected]
first tried to placate Islamic extremists and got the London train bombing
for its efforts. For the British not to reign in the terror meisters and
instead turn to Islamic extremist Suhaib Webb shows that England has not
learned the lesson not to appease terrorists.