An in-depth piece by a man who was for the Tennessee mosque before he was against it. via The Murfreesboro Mosque: Built on a Foundation of Lies | FaithFreedom.org.
A huge grassy field in Murfreesboro, Tennessee – summer, 2010. My video camera was set on its tripod, ready to film the first shot in what would become over 300 hours of footage, for a documentary I was about to produce. This documentary was to be about how a small town, in the heart of the American Bible Belt, was reacting to the proposed construction of a 53,000 square foot mega mosque. I was standing on a plot of land that was to become the site of rushed construction of this massive structure, the subject of international media attention, lawsuits, an arson, vandalism, interfaith rallies, and press conferences. This plot of land was about to be highly politically charged and would even become the mysterious burial site of a human body.
And so I pointed my camera and I filmed my first shot: a huge red, white and blue banner, directed at the passing cars of local residents on a rural country two-lane highway. It was hard to know at that time if the banner was patriotic, a bit of public relations or a mix of both. It read: “Happy 4th of July from the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro”.
I later learned about another sign that had stood recently in that same spot, one that was defaced, a sign that would become the poster for my documentary and provide its title as well. That sign had read: “Future home of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro” and across were spray painted the words “Not Welcome”.
The premise of “Not Welcome” was that, contained within this image of the defaced sign, was a story. And I felt that within the story of this defaced sign was the story of human civilization and our inability to peacefully coexist. I may have been a bit naïve, but I meant well. Coexistence seemed like a good idea. And Mufreesboro seemed like a microcosm of the world, and an excellent jumping off point to look more deeply and how and why we are divided as a people on this planet. Little did I know that I was going down a rabbit hole, for which there was no turning back.
A couple weeks later there was a rally and a march against the mosque, down Main Street in Murfreesboro. The anti-mosque marchers were met with counter-demonstrators, organized by college kids, who held up a big banner which read: “Coexist” – using the symbols of all of the world’s major religions. And it didn’t take me long to lose my objectivity and to take sides. I had a film crew embedded with the townspeople who were marching against the mosque. And I had a film crew embedded with the college activists, who were there to say that the Muslims were being picked on and that this was an issue of religious freedom. And given my Liberal leanings, I tended to see the Muslim community as the underdog and those who were fighting the mosque to be the bullies.
And so I did a lot of bad things, thinking they were good things. I helped a colleague at “The Daily Show” in their attempt to humiliate prominent members of the Mufreesboro Counter Jihad movement. I accepted the support of Michael Moore, to expose what I (wrongly) thought was a foaming at the mouth, bigoted Evangelical bullying of a minority group. I said and did things, in print, on the news, everywhere, which have consequences. And much of my work today is focused on correcting my mistakes and educating the world about what I now know to be the defining issue of our time: The grave threat of Political Islam.
BENEATH THE SURFACE:
Over the past few months I have written several articles about the threat of Islam and how the Left in America are suffering from a sort of “Islamo-codependency” – an unwillingness to even examine the possibility that, when it comes to the matter of Islam, that there might be more going on than what meets the eye, or what meets the press. In that spirit, I would like to say a few things about my experiences in dealing with key figures at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, why I believe this is a victory mosque, part of a larger pattern of Stealth Jihad, built on deception and why it must be exposed and stopped. Allow me to begin with a meeting I had with one Dr. Essam Fathy.
Over 30 years ago, a young Essam Fathy was attending Middle Tennessee State University. He and a handful of other young Muslim students found that the city of Murfreeboro had no mosque, so they set one up in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. Over the years its location would change. He and his wife both graduated, became Physical Therapists and settled in the town, where later they and a few other Muslim families would eventually rent out office space to create the Islamic Center of Mufreesboro Tennessee.
When I filmed my interview with him, Dr. Fathy was the Mosque Board Member in charge of construction and planning for the new proposed 53,000 square foot mega mosque. He showed me all of the blueprints of what the “Islamic Center” would look like and he emphasized over and over that this dream, this vision, would take many years to complete. Construction was to happen in phases over the course of 10 years or more. And he added that he didn’t understand what all of the fuss was about. He indicated that the Islamic Center hardly had any money to cover this and it was mostly just a leap of faith to even get the process started. Just getting the land leveled, the foundation built and adding a parking lot would take one to two years. The prayer room another year or two. The banquet room another year at the very least. And the offices, the (palatial) house where the Imam would live, the park and the swimming pool, well this was so far off that it was impossible to know when it would be completed.
He used the word “cute” every time he gushed about how much he adored the little town of Murfreesboro, and manufactured a warm fuzzy smile every time I looked at him. He had mentioned that many of the mega churches had swimming pools so it was only fair the Islamic Center have one of their own. But more importantly, he added, “Our women are not allowed to be seen by men without being fully covered, even their heads, so they cannot use the pool at the YMCA. They never get to go swimming. This will be so nice for them in the Summer time”. And he flashed me another innocent smile.
At that time I did not know that this man was lying to me about everything and that, in fact, the mosque would be rushed into construction and that major buildings would go up very fast, or that in that entire huge field they had to build on, the structure would be so close to the neighboring Baptist church you’d almost wonder if it was architecturally giving the Baptists the finger. But I didn’t know any of this. I also didn’t know that Essam Fathy had major financial dealings with the Mayor, and that the Mayor had advised the County Commissioners that they all had to vote “yes” right away on the proposed mosque construction, or else everyone was going to get sued. I remember thinking that this man would be a much better spokesperson for the mosque than their current one, who ended up embroiled in a major public controversy. Her name was Camie Ayash.
Camie Ayash drove a brand new, big shiny beautiful Mercedes Benz. She had also just recently gotten out of prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her former employer. The court had ordered her to make restitution and she was in the process of slowly returning that money. Her husband, like so many of the Muslim men who attended this mosque, was a local used car dealer.
News broke in late August that there had been an attempted arson, on some construction equipment, after breaking ground for the new mosque. Mrs. Ayash was very pregnant at the time and had not yet been exposed in the Tennessean newspaper for her past criminal record. She called a press conference, which was held right in front of a partially burned tractor and told the media that she was very troubled and surprised by this kind of reaction to an innocent mosque. Not long afterwards, news broke that police had finally caught the man who had vandalized another mosque, in a town not far away. And as it turned out, he was a Muslim and a member of the congregation. In doing a bit of research, it turns out that this sort of thing happens more often than one might think. One begins to wonder if the story of being victimized is a manufactured narrative to support the false idea that Islam in America is the victim.
When the Tennessean finally broke their story about Camie Ayash and her criminal background, she issued statement, giving the timeline of when she was convicted, how much time she served and how she had, with the help of Islam, turned her life around. I had lunch with the Religion Editor of the Tennessean and we talked about this. He told me that his staff did a criminal records search and that Mrs. Ayash had lied about almost everything – the amount stolen, when, how much time she had served, when she got out, lots and lots of lies. Lying was clearly her strong suit. Apparently this pattern of lying was not a problem for the Board of the Islamic Center – that is, until Camie was exposed for it. At that time they decided to go with another spokesman, Dr. Selah M. Sbetany – one of the original founders of the mosque back in the day with Essam Fathy. He headed up the “Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies” MTSU and would later be prominently featured in a highly sympathetic piece on CNN.
Soledad O’Brien breezed through town and did a quick hit piece for CNN called “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door”. During the extensive segment, there was never any question about where the mosque was getting its funding, no attention paid to the second-class status of women in Islam, no questions about Sharia, the brutal Islamic Law that mosques are required to teach. She did not ask about the stoning of adulterers, the execution of gays or the death penalty commanded for all Muslims who leave Islam. Instead she portrayed this as a simple civil rights issue where the mean white people were picking on the super-super nice dark people. Roll credits. Islam good. South bad. The End.
The all American Muslim family whom Soledad put much of her focus on throughout the documentary was that of the Sbetanys. Camera crews followed Lema Sbetany, the all American girl, through a day at college, helping mom out at home and then donning a Hijab to teach the children about Islam at the mosque on Saturday. Lema was the sweet and harmless local face of Islam. So when a Muslim man in New York verbally attacked her on Facebook, for not covering herself like a proper Muslim woman should while on TV, I actually intervened on her behalf. I told this man that Lema was my friend and he should not speak to her that way. He responded by telling me that he would cut off my penis and stuff it down my throat and end my f-ing life. I made a screenshot of this and sent it off to FBI.gov where I never heard anything back. This was one of several occasions where I would end up having to report a violent Muslim man to the authorities for threatening me online – a pattern that continues to this day.
Lema worked as a Pharmacy Tech at Walgreens. While I was in production on my documentary, Lema came to me offering private and confidential prescription information about a prominent local anti-mosque figure. She wanted me to use it in my film to somehow defame this person. I didn’t want to know about it. The information had nothing to do with the documentary and struck me as somewhat cruel and vindictive. I should mention that Lema got her job working at the pharmacy through Abdou Kattih who was both a Pharmacist and the Vice President of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, TN.
The closer I got to the inner circle of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, the more Abou Kattih mentioned that they were willing to pay me a lot of money to help them put together a video, about all of the hardship they had encountered from while trying to get the mosque built. It was an obvious conflict of interest, but he did point out on more than one occasion that I could use that money to help fund my own documentary. I turned him down.
A year or so later, I did a complete 180 and became rather committed to Counter Jihad. For more on that, read my article “The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam.” I had also written an editorial about Loonwatch.com as a “terrorist spin control network”. Websites sprung up that were designed to smear me. Most of these have since been removed and an investigation is taking place. An interesting piece of information that keeps appearing on these sites is my private and personal prescription information – information about opiate pain killers I had filled in Murfreesboro, at CVS and Walgreens, when I injured my back. I wonder where they got that information from. Since my private medical information surfaced, when certain Islamist websites attempt to slander me in their articles they use phrases like “drug addled” and “pill popping” as an attempt to discredit me, to support their characterization of me as a “Jihad Watch Zombie” or a “Loon”.
The hardest interview for me to get on camera was with the Imam, an Egyptian cleric named Dr. Ossama Mohamed Bahloul, a graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt – a university often said to be a hot bed of Islamist sentiment and a recruiting ground for the Muslim Brotherhood. Funny thing about this university, in 2007, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, then the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, drew allegations of stifling freedom of speech when he asked the Egyptian government to toughen its rules and punishments against journalists. During a Friday sermon in the presence of Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and a number of ministers, Tantawy stated that journalism which contributes to the “spread of false rumors” rather than “true news” deserves to a punishment of eighty lashes to “those who spread rumors”. He must have been wearing his “What Would Mohammed Do?” bracelet that day.
Anyway, some of the finer points of my many taped conversations with the Egyptian cleric include him stating that women could not be trusted with money, since they are irrational. This was in answer to a question I had asked about Islamic Law (Sharia) and why women only get half the amount of an inheritance men do. But the real shocker, the one where my cameraman and I tried not to make eye contact with each other and just look straight ahead, was when Sheik Ossama smiled, leaned forward and proudly stated that, “the Prophet only ever stoned one woman. One!” Well, when you put it like that it must not be so bad. I mean, she must have done something really bad, right? According to Ossama (not the one who was behind 9/11 but this one who follows the exact same holy books) the brutally stoned to death woman had committed the crime of extramarital sex.
But the most important thing I learned from Sheikh Ossama Baloul was this – and I had to watch this footage over and over to finally get what he was saying. There is no such thing as “moderate Islam”. There is only “modified Islam”. These are not his words, they are my own. But basically what he had to say with regard to the implementation of the brutal and often sadistic Islamic Law (Sharia) was that no one in America had anything to worry about. Why? Because Muslims are taught to follow the laws of the foreign land they are living in. This does not mean then that forced amputations or killing someone for leaving Islam, or even for being an enemy of Islam is against Islam – against his beliefs as the main Islamic spiritual leader in Murfreesboro. He never said that. Only that they would not do that here, if the law forbids it. The moral outrage that I feel, when considering the Sharia, didn’t seem to affect him in the same way.
When I asked the Imam if he would condemn the brutality of the religious police in Iran he said he could not, because he had never been to Iran. I got similar answers when I brought up the Islamic theocracies of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Who is this Egyptian cleric? And why is he the one brought in, educated from the Harvard equivalent of Cairo, an institution crawling with those sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, why is this the man chosen to build a 53,000 square foot mega mosque, in the heart of the American Bible Belt, in a town with such a small Muslim population? What is the end game here?
Just recently, May 30th of 2012, Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew issued a ruling, opining that there was insufficient public notice of the meeting where the site plan was approved and ordering a halt to the construction of the mosque. As for the time of this article, the Islamic Center is continuing construction of their 53,000 square foot mega mosque, in defiance of this court order. Meanwhile, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has ordered its lapdog, the DOJ, to intervene while working overtime to spin this story in the media as a civil rights matter – insisting that a higher standard for site plan approval is being applied to the mega mosque, simply because the backers are Muslim.
As someone who spent a considerable amount of time in Murfreesboro, I can tell you first of all that I have never seen so many churches in my life (I’m from California). But more importantly, it is well known that every single one of those churches was held to a high standard with regard to site plan approval. World Outreach Church – a massive mega church not far from the new Islamic Center, took years to get their plans approved.
Not long ago, the County rejected plans for a “Bible Park” to be located in Murfreesboro, because the ambitious construction plans, and the size of the facility were more than the even these mostly religious residents, in the heart of the Bible Belt, wanted in their small town. The standard for approval so was high that even a place called “Bible Park” in the heart of the Bible Belt could not get site plan approval. It was considered too disruptive and the Bible Park was rejected. Perhaps CAIR could put that in their hookah and smoke it.
The Rutherford County Commissioners stated in a court of law under oath, that just before voting on the site plan for the new mega mosque, they were instructed that they had to vote “yes” as any other vote would undoubtedly cause the county to be sued. This came straight from the Mayor. And some of the Mayor’s millions (he owns a large stake in a chain of nursing homes) come straight from Dr. Essam Fathy (who approves the eligibility of patients for these nursing homes) who had submitted the site plan for approval. But I’m not saying there is a connection. Just because the Mayor denied knowing Dr. Fathy in court, under oath, until it was proven that the two men had known each other for decades, doesn’t mean there was necessarily any fowl play. Maybe it was a simple matter of political correctness, and knowing that if they turned the Muslims down, the County could get embroiled in a highly publicized civil rights conflict, and made to look like a bunch of Southern racists. We may never know.
And thus the rush to bypass the usual systems, put in place for an ambitious project of this size, were bypassed, and the mosque was rushed into construction. So, the idea that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is being held to a higher standard because they are Muslims just is not supported by the facts. But facts have never stood in the way of the Council on American Islamic Relations when it comes to going after the enemies of Islam, by any means necessary. And that is exactly what this Hamas front group, CAIR, is about to do. The battle of the victory mosque in Murfeesboro, TN is far from over.
The public relations policy of CAIR can be summed up pretty succinctly: “What would Mohammed do?” The prophet Mohammed, according to Islamic “holy books” was a slave owner, a war monger, a Jew hater of the highest order, ordered the stoning of a woman for extramarital sex, had poets beheaded for the crime of offending him, invaded foreign lands and allowed his troops to rape the women, and of course he married a six year old girl whom he had the decency to only engage in foreplay with until she was 9 years old. And so much more. And according to Islam – not “radical” Islam – just Islam, Mohammed is the “ideal man” – the one to be admired and imitated for 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. So is it any wonder that CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the FBI’s largest bust ever of an Islamic Charity, which turned out to be funneling money to Islamic terrorist organizations? For further reference, look up “the Holy Land Foundation” and read all about it for yourselves. It’s all there. The information is available to all to discover… for now.
Around the middle of the 20th Century or so, the makers of Coca Cola and Pepsi and the entire industry of soft drink manufacturers learned a very valuable lesson: Supply creates demand. It’s a well known fact – if you build it, they will come. And speaking of building it… Did I mention that the mega mosque is to be 53,000 square feet and will serve only a few hundred Muslim families in the Murfreesboro area? Wonder what that’s about. Given that the number of new mosques constructed in the United States since the Islamic terrorist attacks on 9/11 has nearly doubled, could this be part of a 1,400 year history of building a victory mosque after Muslims attack a foreign land? If it isn’t, that would be the exception to the rule. A spike in Islamic immigration, whether to the US or Europe, plus a huge spike in the number of mosques being constructed, both serve to substantiate the notion of Stealth Jihad.
It should be noted that some studies have suggested that as many as 80 percent of the mosques in the United States are funded, in whole or in part, by Islamic governments which are hostile to America. Investigative research (see the documentary, “Undercover Mosque”) has demonstrated that in both America and Europe, what is being taught in so many of these mosques, is a hatred for Jews, a resentment of the West and Democratic values, and a desire to fulfill the mandate of Islam – that is to get the entire world to submit to Islam. And after all, the meaning of the word “Islam” is simply “submission”.
DESTROYING AMERICAN SOCIETY FROM WITHIN:
The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Islamic organization in the world. Its most famous slogan, used worldwide, is “Islam is the solution.” As Robert Spencer points out repeatedly, in many of his public talks and books, the Muslim Brotherhood is the direct forefather of both Hamas and Al Qaeda. This organization does not go by “The Muslim Brotherhood” in America. But perhaps you may have heard of some of its front groups: Muslim Student Association, Muslim American Society, Islamic Society of North America, Islamic Circle of North America, North American Islamic Trust, International Institute of Islamic Thought, and several others. And they were all listed in this Muslim Brotherhood “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood of North America”, which states:
The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan (militant religious brotherhood dedicated to the purification and the unification of Islam) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
HERE IS THE ORIGINAL MEMO IN ARABIC: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/20.pdf
Many of these Muslims are immigrating to America and joining mosques:
POLITICAL ISLAM: THE DEFINING ISSUE OF OUR TIME
Islam is thought of by most Americans as simply a religion. When they hear about proposed legislation to ban Islamic Law (Sharia) from our courts, it often strikes them as a form of religious persecution. To most of the media, ideas such as “Creeping Sharia” or “Stealth Jihad” sound like paranoid conspiracy theories. Attempts to stop the construction of any mosque are perceived generally as the work of Christian religious fanatics who don’t want to lose the home court advantage. Why is this? The answer is quite simple. Americans are not educated about Islam.
Organizations such as CAIR spin every one of these stories to look like a civil rights issue. Much of the media uses their press releases as source material for their stories, and this is where most Americans are getting their information. So the illusion that Islam is nothing more than just another religion is one that is maintained, paid for by Islamic petrodollars, and strictly enforced by the strong arm of the Hamas front group, the Council on American Islamic Relations.
But Islam is in fact a tyrannical political system, a brutal and sadistic legal system – thinly veiled in a theology which technically grants it the status of a religion, at least according to the US Department of Justice. Therefore, to oppose construction of a mosque is seen as a form of “religious persecution”.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. A Sharia-compliant mosque (which would basically be all of them) is antithetical not only to American values, but to American laws. A mosque, more times than not, is a place where treasonous ideas are taught, often times by people who are not even citizens of this country. The fact is that Islam and human rights cannot coexist. Islam and free speech cannot coexist. Islam and gay rights, women’s rights, the freedom to leave your religion without fear of being killed – these beliefs and practices, which are at the core of Islamic teaching – cannot coexist with freedom and liberty – the foundation upon which America was built.
Every time a new mosque is built, it follows a pattern of 1,400 years of Islamic conquest. A foreign land is invaded by Islamists followed by the building of victory mosques. Do the math. We were attacked by Devout Muslims on 9/11 and since then the amount of new mosque construction has nearly doubled. This is nothing new, it’s just history repeating.
By the way, the reason I said we were attacked on 9/11 by “devout Muslims” and not “radical Muslims” is because, if the blood thirsty tyrant Mohammed were alive today (May Police Be Called Upon Him) he would have sanctioned the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. In fact, compared to the prophet Mohammed, Osama Bin Laden was a lightweight. The pedophile prophet was more like 100,000 Osama Bin Ladens. And every mosque in America teaches its followers that Mohammed is the man to imitate if you want to get into heaven. Does anyone else see where a 53,000 square foot shrine to this brand of lunacy might be a problem?
One of the Islamic smear sites against me included an aerial shot of a house I used to live in, complete with the street address. It also listed my last known cel phone number for tracking purposes while mentioning over and over that I was basically the enemy of Islam. Recently a Russian radio DJ, Sergey Aslanyan, was stabbed several times on his front porch by a man you yelled out “You are Allah’s enemy!” after Aslanyan had said, on the radio, that the prophet Mohammed was a pedophile (http://www.rt.com/news/journalist-slasher-muhammad-insult-477/). Given the things I’ve said in the media, I think of this often, especially when there is a knock at the door. But when I think of the courage of people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Salman Rushdie, Geert Wilders, Ali Sina, Nonie Darwish, David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Wafa Sultan and all of those courageous voices – how they have stuck their necks out a lot farther than I have, and yet still remain committed to exposing the truth about Islam, I find the courage and inspiration to continue. They give me strength. But we cannot heap the weight of the Counter Jihad movement entirely on their shoulders. Each one of us must do our part. Violence is not called for here. Islam loves violence. It thrives on violence. It defines itself through violence. The truth is that the true enemy of Islam is information. Spread it!
Eric Allen Bell