As the spotlight moves away from the Fort Hood, Texas, massacre, one of America's most openly radical Islamist organizations has taken to the murderer's defense.
Amid growing concerns over radical Islamist propaganda in the United States, the Washington, D.C.-based As-Sabiqun distributed a flier labeling shooter Nidal Malik Hasan as "victimized" and the "target of psychological warfare." The handout also defended convicted terrorists and suspects.
As-Sabiqun repeatedly has predicted the demise of the United States and dreams of "the Islamic state of North America no later than 2050." It has declared support for terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah — and even claims it has funded anti-American militants.
The organization's leader, Imam Abdul Alim Musa, is well known in Islamist circles for spreading anti-American propaganda and militancy. Last weekend, Musa told the annual conference of a branch of the Muslim Students Association that the so-called Iranian revolution is the "greatest epic in modern, even ancient, history."
He urged the students to have patience as the United States collapses:
"Well I'm telling you, it's very simple. I think you got the message now. We're in a big war brothers and sisters. This is as big as it gets for the United States. We are just like it is during the '60s and '70s. So if you're gonna be Muslim, buckle down and be a tough one because in the final analysis the U.S. is finished."
Musa also saluted the Iranian revolution's student supporters in the United States: "Your survival has made you stronger and better and better in management and organization than anybody else, just by your survival. Remember, a revolutionary do [sic] not have to win any war. They only have to survive, even if you lose 90 percent of your people. . . That's the rules of revolutionary warfare — to survive. I'm trying to tell you — the war is already won. [Musa laughs.] They just have to fall over."
This is not the first time this year that Musa has preached hate and militancy to an American Muslim student organization. During a speech at Berkeley Feb. 19, Musa explained how he funneled money to African jihadists with the intention of conquering the United States:
"They knew about a revolution, but they didn't know nothing about money," he said. "Well, since I was a criminal, I knew all about making money. So all the criminal money that I made I would take it to the brothers and say — OK, you guys, buy me some weapons, you'll go back, we'll take over the United States. That was the dream that we had. You got to dream big. Ain't no sense in dreaming small, right? Live your dreams."
The As-Sabiqun Web site indicates that Musa traveled abroad several times to Iran, and he has traveled the globe to support Islamist movements.
During a 1996 conference in South Africa, he stated: "And this religion Islam will dominate all other religions whether the Americans, whether the British, whether the French, whether the Russians, whether the Japanese, whether all of them get together in one solid group to fight Islam. It don't make no difference."
That same year, Musa called for an Islamic state in London during a conference there that featured a wide assortment of radicals.
As-Sabiqun's Web site describes how, "during a rally in July 1999, Imam Musa displayed a cashier's check made out to 'Hamas, Palestine,' to protest the 1996 U.S. law which declared Hamas a terrorist organization."
During a Feb. 18, 2007, broadcast on Fox News, Musa stated, "I know Hamas. They are nice people. Very nice people." Musa repeatedly has cheered Hezbollah's "victory" over Israel and has saluted suicide bombers, saying, "When they go out and strike at the heart of Zionism. They are not suicide bombers. They are heroes. They are she-roes."
Musa also has fueled the flames of international hatred against the United States. In an appearance last month on Iran's government-controlled Press TV, Musa pitted America against Islam: "Islamophobia to us right now, coming out of 9/11, is something that the [American] government and the Israelis did in the U.S. to justify a global attack on Islam . . . the perception management now by the media, gives the media and gives the military justification to invade our countries, to stop us in airports, to exclude us from society."
The extremism that Musa and As-Sabiqun express might be passed off easily as the bizarre ranting of a radical cleric and his hateful organization.
However, as the Fort Hood massacre, the FBI shooting of Luqman Abdullah, and other recent investigations show, fiery rhetoric can lead to violent plotting. The lesson of Fort Hood is not to ignore open self-radicalization, but to heed those who openly preach our destruction from within.
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