By Sam Bazzi, counterterrorism analyst and activist
I am writing to alert you about a new campaign by several ethnic and religious organizations, including known Khomeinist entities, against the New York Police Department (NYPD). It is absurd to see the citizens in charge of protecting New York, a traumatized city, be subjected to unfair and audacious attacks by domestic organizations that certainly include known Taqiyya-practicing Islamofascist forces.
The initiators of the campaign against NYPD complained in a newly published letter (see below) that “a film containing inaccurate and inflammatory depictions of Islam and Muslims seeking world domination, was being shown to NYPD officers.” There is no inaccuracy here. The teachings of Khomeini, Khamenei, Bin Laden and their likes are not arcane secrets: These sad brutes and murderers are violently anti-America (not to mention anti-humanity) and promote their personal versions of berserk Jihad with the aim of enslaving the world, all of it.
“Should one permit an infidel to continue in his role as a Corrupter of the Earth, the moral suffering of the infidel will be all the worse. Should one kill the infidel, and this stops him from perpetrating his misdeeds, his death will be a blessing to him.” —Ruhollah Khomeini
Unfortunately, such dangerous Islamofascist leaders have their dedicated followers here, among us, in the United States, especially in New York. It is crucial for the security of the United States that our law enforcement personnel develop true and comprehensive understanding of the threat posed to our country. American Muslims should be among the first to welcome this and cooperate with the police and the FBI because the American Muslim community is the ecosystem for the bad apples operating in its midst. That’s a fact!
“I say to all of Europe, I say to America, we will set up suicide bombers who are now in your countries, if you bomb Syria or Lebanon.” —Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria (Source: http://goo.gl/2enXZ. See an absurd Hassoun making his abhorrent threats:
The NYPD is doing its job to keep us safe. Let’s all stand united by the NYPD and for the security of our nation.
You can reach the Eric T. Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, to express your support for the efforts of the NYPD via this email form:
Here is the press release of the aforementioned organization:
—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
ICNA and 31 other Organizations Join Muslim Advocates in Filing Complaint Demanding NY Attorney General Investigate NYPD
New York, NY – February 3, 2012: The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), one of the nation’s leading Muslim organizations, joined over 31 other faith based organizations in submitting a letter of complaint to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman demanding an immediate investigation into the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) continuous and systemic targeting of American Muslims based on their race, ethnicity, and religion.
Here is the letter submitted:
February 3, 2012 The Honorable Eric Schneiderman Attorney General of the State of New York
Albany, NY 12224
Re: Complaint and Request for Investigation of the New York Police Department
Dear Attorney General Schneiderman:
The undersigned American Muslim, Arab, South Asian, civil rights and civic groups1 write to you regarding the New York Police Department’s (“NYPD”) promotion and use of anti-Muslim training materials, the NYPD’s violations of the civil rights of law abiding New Yorkers (as well as residents of New Jersey and Connecticut) who have been the targets of massive, abusive surveillance practices based on their ethnic or faith background, and the NYPD’s false and misleading statements about these discriminatory policing activities. The seriousness of this problem cannot be overstated, and we urgently request that you conduct a prompt investigation into this matter.2
Last year, it was first reported that The Third Jihad, a film containing inaccurate and inflammatory depictions of Islam and Muslims seeking world domination, was being shown to NYPD officers.3 In response, the NYPD assured the public that the film had only been shown “a few times” to some officers.4 This claim was recently revealed to be false when newly released documents showed that the film was played for three months, viewed by almost 1,500 officers, and even more troubling, that its producers conducted a ninety-minute interview with Ray Kelly.5 The NYPD’s continuous false and misleading statements about its role in the production and dissemination of the film and its use of a patently bigoted film that paints the entire American Muslim community as a national security threat are not only insulting to millions of Americans, but also appears to be a misguided effort to train officers that using religion as a proxy for criminal activity is permissible.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the NYPD has demonstrated a pattern of blanket suspicion towards the American Muslim community based on race, ethnicity, or religious beliefs and practices. In August 2011, the Associated Press began publishing a series of investigative reports about the NYPD’s intelligence gathering program specifically targeting the American Muslim community, and the CIA’s involvement in this program.6 The NYPD was exposed as targeting the entire Muslim community – and approximately 250 mosques, schools, and businesses – without any evidence of wrongdoing.7 AP reports indicate that, as part of ethnic mapping programs throughout the city, the NYPD targets Muslim neighborhoods, maintains a list of “ancestries of interest,” and receives daily reports from informants who visit cafes and clubs to collect information about Muslim patrons.8Most recently, on February 2, 2012, an AP report also revealed that the NYPD has engaged in rampant surveillance of thousands of Shi’a Muslims, their mosques, and community spaces in preparation for possible international conflict with Iran without any evidence of wrongdoing taking place in those institutions.
Taken together with Commissioner Kelly’s active participation in an interview for an offensive and hateful film that was subsequently used to train police officers, the above described measures uncover a disturbing picture about the NYPD’s institutional approach to American Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Iranian and Middle Eastern communities. Furthermore, such measures are the newest manifestation of the NYPD’s well documented discriminatory practices against other communities of color. The NYPD’s historical use of widespread ethnic, racial, and religious profiling to target Americans for stops, frisks, arrests, and surveillance is a threat to the rights of all Americans. It also erodes the public’s trust and confidence in the NYPD and instead sends the message that law enforcement is not accountable for upholding the law and rights of all Americans.
In response to the AP investigative reports, on October 5, 2011, at least seven members of the New York Senate requested that you conduct an investigation into the NYPD’s massive, abusive surveillance and mapping of the Muslim community.9 In light of Commissioner Kelly’s recent false statements and cover-up about The Third Jihad and the newly released information about wholesale surveillance of the Shi’a community, the need to hold the NYPD accountable for its flagrant use of discriminatory policing practices has never been more glaring and urgent.
We therefore respectfully request that your office undertakes an immediate investigation into the practices outlined above. We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.
American Coalition For Good Government
Arab American Association of New York
Arab American Institute
Arab Muslim American Federation
Council of Shia Professionals Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM)
Florida Muslim Bar Association
Imam Husain Islamic Center (IHIC)
Imamia Medics International
Independent Viewpoints Islamic Center of Zahra-SA (ICZ-SA)
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
Islamic Information Center (IIC)
Labor for Palestine
Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
Muslim Bar Association of Chicago
Muslim Bar Association of New York
Muslim Consultative Network (MCN)
Muslim Foundation Inc. (MFI)
Muslim Law Students Association at Fordham Law School
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
Muslims for Peace, Inc.
National Network for Arab American Communities
New England Muslim Bar Association
New York City Labor Against the War
Shia Association of North America (SANA) Shia Association of the Bay Area (SABA)
Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)
1. Several civil rights groups and individuals who are party to this letter have been directly affected by the NYPD’s surveillance tactics described.
2. The Attorney General is statutorily responsible for the enforcement of civil rights laws of the U.S. and of New York State, pursuant to N.Y. Exec. Law § 63(1), (9), (10).
3. “New York NYPD Cops’ Training Included an Anti-Muslim Horror Flick,” Tom Robbins, Village Voice Jan 19, 2011, available at http://goo.gl/UHTgL.
4. “In Shift, Police Say Leader Helped with Anti-Islam Film and Now Regrets It,” Michael Powell, The New York Times, Jan 24, 2012, available at http://goo.gl/QEmZe.
6. “What’s the CIA Doing At NYPD? Depends Whom You Ask,” Apuzzo & Goldman, Associated Press, Oct 17, 2011, available at http://goo.gl/oJerd. 7. Associated Press’ reporting on NYPD Intelligence Operations, available at http://www.ap.org/nypd/. 8. “Inside the Spy Unit That Doesn’t Exist,” Apuzzo & Goldman, Associated Press, Aug 31, 2011, available at: http://goo.gl/TSSWO. 9. Letter to Hon. Eric Schneiderman, Oct 5, 2011, available at http://goo.gl/RNirZ.
To interview ICNA representatives, contact Jillian Nannery at The TASC Group. Phone: (646) 723-4344; Email: Jill@thetascgroup.com.
About The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA): The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the promotion of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.
The assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel room in Dubai continues to develop. Apparently the credit cards used by the hit squad were issued by Payoneer, a New York based company established by Israelis. Of course that the assassins used financial products provided by Payoneer by no means implies that the company was involved in the violent events that took place in Dubai. However, Payoneer and its founders got their fair share of publicity out of this operation. Checking out the LinkedIn profile of its CEO, Yuval Tal, I was very impressed with the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
True this is the wisdom of Roosevelt, but since Yuval Tal embraced it, it is his as well. Such wisdom makes my day any day!
He declared himself the leader of a new, 3,000-man strong militia in Lebanon – the Arab Islamic Resistance – dedicated to fighting Israel. The next day a volley of rockets from Lebanon slammed into the Jewish State.
“I have no comment,” Husseini told NOW Lebanon when asked if his militia fired the rockets. He spoke with a calm confidence during an hour-long interview in his sparsely decorated office in Mrejeh, a southern suburb of Beirut, deep in the power center of the country’s other Islamic Resistance, Hezbollah.
He announced the existence of his armed group on January 7, but he told NOW he’d been amassing and training men for over seven months. Furthermore, some 1,500 Gulf residents expressed interest in joining the militia, he said. When they’ll arrive to train and fight in Lebanon is yet to be determined.
Central to the group’s identity is Arabism. (So central, in fact, they named a homemade rocket they created by improving on a Katyusha after the “Arabism” rocket.) Husseini and his troops reject Hezbollah’s Iranian ties and plan to run candidates from the Arab Islamic Resistance against the party in the 2009 elections.
Despite the Arab Islamic Resistance’s open and vocal opposition to Hezbollah, the Party of God has remained silent. They have not threatened Husseini as they are accused of doing to other anti-Hezbollah Shia politicians and religious figures. A Hezbollah press spokeswoman told NOW the party had no comment on Husseini or his new Resistance.
Husseini said he trained his thousands of fighters – firing guns and test-firing rockets – north of Lebanon’s Litani River. He would not specify where exactly, and surprisingly said the fighters never encountered any opposition from the Lebanese army or anyone else for that matter.
“It’s Lebanon,” he offered, briefly speaking in English. He displayed pictures of armed men in a forest with himself pouring over a map that was clearly not one of the military maps armed fighters usually use when training.
Resistance watchers – analysts, authors and journalists – contacted by NOW said they’d never heard of Husseini and found it strange it took a television interview to bring a 3,000-strong actively-training force to come to light. Wouldn’t someone have noticed them earlier, was the resounding refrain.
In fact, it was quite a challenge finding people who knew much about Husseini.
“I doubt his wife supports him,” one religious leader said, after making yet another phone call on the ancient Panasonic fax machine at his side to a colleague in search of information on Husseini. In fact, interview after interview ended with the same conclusion: This is mostly talk.
Husseini elusively said his funding comes from Arabs locally and abroad. From other sources, the usual conspiracy theories that the US and Saudi Arabia were funneling him cash flowed freely. One person contacted for this article, Sam Bazzi, a Lebanese living in America who runs a website that monitors terrorist activities, claimed Husseini’s money comes from Iran and that he is, in fact, an undercover Hezbollah agent.
The counterterrorism analyst Sam Bazzi
Hezbollah’s spokeswoman did not stay on the phone long enough to respond to that specific accusation.Husseini himself was elusive about his past. He refused to say where in Lebanon he was born, preferring to merely be known as Lebanese.
News reports about him mention time he spent in an Iranian prison. He merely confirmed this and attributed it to his opposition to the Wilayat al-Faqih (the Guardianship of the Jurist), the religious doctrine adopted by Iran that gives the country’s top cleric absolute authority on every issue.
He also confirmed but would not elaborate on the time in October 2007 when his car fell apart as he drove toward the city of Sur. At the time, he told Iraq’s Yaqen news agency that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard poured acid on the vehicle’s frame in an attempt on his life.
What is known is that Husseini studied Islam in Qom, Iran, where he learned and apparently accepted the doctrine of Wilayat al-Faqih (a book he wrote in 2004 offered praise for Ayatollah Khomeini). By late 2004 he clearly rejected the doctrine, but refused to discuss these moments from his past.
While in Qom, he also befriended Hassan Nasrallah and for some time was a member of Hezbollah. Husseini says he and Nasrallah are still close friends. He even said his name was once floated as a possible successor to Nasrallah as Hezbollah’s secretary general, a claim analysts find difficult to swallow.
Husseini described the only difference between his party and Hezbollah as Iran.
“Hezbollah has an organization, we have an organization,” he said. “Hezbollah has a resistance, we have a resistance. Hezbollah has a political platform; we have a political platform… Hezbollah is in Dahiyeh and the South; we are in Dahiyeh and the South.”
Iran, he said, was the only wedge between them. He even wrote off secular Shia parties, saying only a cleric has real authority to lead a political party from the Shia community.