Islam in Conflict in Cleveland

(TechCentralStation) Stephen Schwartz - In December 2003, Imam Fawaz Damra, 41, a Palestinian-born religious officer of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, was arrested for failing to disclose his affiliation with Islamic extremist groups including the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, an operation linked to al-Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In addition, money raised in Imam Damra's mosque went to the Holy Land Foundation, which the federal authorities have closed as a Hamas front. The real story is less the exposure of an extremist imam than the willingness of mosque congregants to stand up and call for his removal. Islam in America suffers from the domination of radical leaders grouped in "the Wahhabi lobby" - mainly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Authoritative sources in the Muslim community have long argued that up to 80% of the main mosques in America are controlled by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which has been targeted for a tax investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee as a probable recipient of funds from outside the U.S. - i.e., from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

2004-02-26 00:00:00

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