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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘mosque’

Finland’s Iranian Mega – Mosque

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

new mega-mosque has been inaugurated in the Finnish capital, Helsinki. Unlike most mosques in Europe, which cater to Sunni Muslims, the mosque in Helsinki ministers to Shia Islam. The Helsinki mosque has been paid for by the Islamic Republic of Iran; critics say that theocrats in Tehran intend to use the mosque to establish a recruiting center for the militant Shia Muslim group Hezbollah in Europe.

The dimensions of the new mosque are enormous by Finnish standards. The 700-square-meter (7,500 square-feet) mega-mosque, located adjacent to a metro station in the eastern Helsinki district of Mellunmäki, features a massive prayer room for 1,000 worshippers. The mosque has been built by the Ahlul-Beit Foundation, a radical Shia Muslim proselytizing and political lobbying group presided over by the Iranian government. Ahlul-Beit already runs around 70 Islamic centers around the world, and has as its primary goal the promotion of the religious and political views of Islamic radicals in Iran.

Ahlul-Beit is opposed to all brands of Islam that compete with the form of Islam dictated by theocrats in Iran: the organization has called for the persecution of Sunni Muslims, Sufi Muslims, and Alawites, as well as all secular and moderate Muslims. The organization also outspokenly opposes the integration of Muslim immigrants into their host societies.

Ahlul-Beit is especially focused on spreading Islamic Sharia law beyond the Middle East; its centers in Africa and Asia, for example, have been used to radicalize local Muslim communities there. In a typical quid-pro-quo arrangement, the organization offers money to the poor, who then convert to Shia Islam and are subjected to religious training by Iranian-backed Imams. The group has been banned in at least a dozen countries.

In Europe, Ahlul-Beit mosques are usually presented to the general public as centers for cultural and sports activities; in practice, however, they are often used by Iranian intelligence to monitor Iranians living abroad and to harass Iranian dissidents.

In Germany, for instance, the Imam Ali mosque in Hamburg was linked to the September 1992 assassination of four leaders of the Iranian Kurdish Democratic Party at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin.

In Britain, the Ahlul-Beit mosque in London was involved in issuing death threats against the British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie. The mosque has also been used to recruit terrorists and to spy on Iranian exiles living in England and Wales.

In Denmark, the city council of Copenhagen recently authorized Ahlul-Beit to build the first official “Grand Mosque” in the Danish capital. The mega-mosque, which will have a massive blue dome as well as two towering minarets, is architecturally designed to stand out over Copenhagen’s low-rise skyline.

The man set to become the main imam at the new mosque in Copenhagen, Mohammed Mahdi Khademi, is a former military officer who ran the ideology department of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps until 2004, when he was hand-picked by the Iranian regime to move to Denmark. Many Iranian exiles believe Khademi maintains close ties to Iranian intelligence and fear the new mosque will be used against them.

Although critics of the Helsinki mega-mosque have warned that the building will be used by the Iranian regime to recruit impressionable Muslim immigrant youths for service to Hezbollah, Finnish politicians have embraced the Shia mosque as a symbol of multicultural progress.

According to Egypt Today magazine, multiculturalism has turned Finland into a paradise for Muslim immigration, not only for Shia Muslims, but also for rival Sunni Muslims.

In a story entitled “Welcome to Finland,” Egypt Today writes:

“Tara Ahmed, a 25-year-old Kurdish woman, came with her husband to Finland seven years ago to work. ‘There are a lot of services offered to us here,’ she says. ‘Plus, during my seven years I haven’t had one single harassment, assault or discrimination case in any form.’ Like most immigrants, Ahmed and her husband took advantage of the free Finnish language lessons offered by the government, which pays immigrants €8 per day to attend. The government also provides immigrants with a free home, health care for their family and education for their children. In addition, they get a monthly stipend of €367 per adult to cover expenses until they start earning their own living. The government is able to pay for these services due to a progressive tax rate that can exceed fifty percent of a person’s income. Even so, officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed that Finland needs immigrants and that, in the long run, they are not a burden on society.”

After the Egypt Today story was published, Muslim immigrants began arriving in Finland in droves. There are now an estimated 60,000 Muslims in Finland, which has a total population of just over 5 million people. Muslims have arrived from Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Egypt, Kosovo, India, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Italy: ‘Mosques Springing Up like Mushrooms’

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

More than 250 mosques across Italy have reached an agreement to create a new umbrella organization, the Italian Islamic Confederation (CII). The CII will be controlled by Morocco, and will compete with an existing Muslim umbrella organization, the Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy (UCOII).

The UCOII, which is estimated to control 60% of the mosques in Italy, is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since its founding in 1990, the UCOII has used its virtual monopoly over the mosques in Italy to spread its Islamist ideology over the 1.5 million Muslims in the country. The UCOII has also worked to become the main interlocutor between the Muslim community and the Italian state.

But the Italian government has ruled out reaching an agreement with the UCOII because of its links to the Muslim Brotherhood. “There can be no accords with those like the UCOII, who de facto deny the existence of the state of Israel and hold ambiguous positions on terrorism at the national and local level,” according to Andrea Ronchi, Italy’s former Minister for Community Policy.

After it came to light that the majority of the mosques in Italy are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni called for a moratorium on the building of new mosques until a new national law could be written to regulate the phenomenon.

According to Manes Bernardini, a politician with the Northern League in Bologna, “Mosques are springing up like mushrooms, and mayors can do nothing about it because there is no national law to regulate the proliferation of these structures.”

In this context, the creation of the CII on March 22 is an attempt by the Moroccan government to establish a new Muslim umbrella organization that would represent a more “moderate” face of Islam vis-à-vis the Italian government.

CII’s founding document states that it “respects the holiness of life” and “rejects every form of violence.” The document also says the CII “respects the principles of moderation, tolerance and respect towards others,” and will “promote and defend the rights of Muslim women in Italy.”

The primary motive behind the creation of the CII, which is being run by a Moroccan named Fihri Wahid, appears to be an effort to persuade the Italian government to approve and subsidize the construction of more mosques in the country. CII’s founding document states: “Creating the best conditions in order to guarantee dignity and freedom of worship, underlining the importance that places of worship reflect the creative genius and the splendor of Italian culture towards the prospect of integration and dialogue with the other religions present in the country.”

According to Hassan Abouyoub, the Moroccan Ambassador to Italy, the establishment of the CII is “an historic achievement. It will finally allow the Muslim population in Italy to have a new voice.” Abouyoub added: “The mosques which are taking part in this new confederation are only of the Maliki tradition, which respect a moderate Islam.”

The Maliki tradition refers to a school of Islamic Sharia law that is practiced in Morocco and other parts of North Africa. In fact, the “moderate” Maliki school of Islam is the official state religion in Morocco, where Christians are frequently harassed and often expelled from the country without due process, allegedly for proselytizing.

With the creation of the CII, Morocco is attempting to export to Italy a religious control strategy that is working very well in neighboring Spain, where the Moroccan government has been using an umbrella organization called the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities (FEERI), to exert control over the religious and cultural beliefs and practices of the nearly one million Moroccan immigrants who reside in Spain.

According to a leaked secret report prepared by Spain’s National Intelligence Center (CNI), excerpts of which have been published by the Madrid-based El País newspaper, the Moroccan government is aggressively implementing “a strategy of great magnitude” that involves establishing a parallel Muslim society in Spain by discouraging Moroccans from integrating into their host country, and by encouraging them instead to live an Islamic lifestyle isolated from Spanish society.

The document also states that Rabat is financing the construction of hundreds of mosques in Spain whose imams are directly appointed by the Moroccan government. Moreover, the North African country is attempting to impose Muslim religious instruction in Spanish public schools, and is pressuring Moroccan families to remove their children from those schools that fail to comply.

A separate CNI report about financing Jihad in Spain provides other examples of how the Moroccan government is using Islam for political ends. For example, in November 2008, “the Moroccan Minister of Islamic Affairs organized and paid for a meeting in Marrakesh which was attended by a considerable number of imams and leaders of the Islamic communities in Spain,” according to the CNI.

The Gray Lady Versus Our Security

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The New York Times recently threw a hissy fit over what it felt were overzealous efforts by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly to defend NYPD anti-terrorist surveillance programs the Times opposes. And just this week the Times, in editorializing on the exclusionary policies of the TAPPS high-school basketball tournament, chose to focus most of its ire not on the attempted exclusion of the Orthodox Beren Academy over its refusal to play on the Jewish Sabbath – which captivated the attention of the media across the country – but on the experience of some Muslim applicants.

The Times’s biased focus is manifest.

In a March 8 editorial the Times rebuked Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly for having “reacted with defensiveness and hostility to the disclosure of constitutionally suspect surveillance of law-abiding Muslims in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and beyond.” The paper chided the mayor for saying the issue was not “a political football to play with” and the commissioner for having accused critics of the NYPD of using “the media to spread this information.”

The editorial concluded by saying, “Mr. Kelly loudly defends the operation and an exemplary record of preventing terrorist attacks. He should not do that so loudly that he drowns out reasonable criticisms.”

The Times’s groveling before Muslim groups is nothing new, of course. Remember its relentless criticism of opponents of the Ground Zero mosque?

In an August 3, 2010 editorial, the Times ripped into Republican opponents of the mosque for having the effrontery to disagree: “It was not surprising that Republican ideologues like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin came out against the mosque…. They have been shamelessly playing the politics of fear since 9/11.”

The Times also laced into the Anti-Defamation League for coming out against the mosque. Two weeks later the Times delivered a harsh rebuke to critics of President Obama’s comments in support of the mosque and in yet another editorial a month later the paper said that “The furor over the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero keeps giving us new reasons for dismay. As politicians and commentators work themselves and viewers into a rage, others who should be standing up for freedom and tolerance tiptoe away.”

Fast forward to the current controversy over the NYPD’s surveillance program. On March 3 the Times ran an editorial titled, “Surveillance, Security and Civil Liberties.” True to form, it was a one-sided indictment of the NYPD.

On March 7 the Times ran a news story headlined “F.B.I Official Faults Police Tactics on Muslims.” However, while the piece quoted a local FBI official’s criticisms, it also contained the following colloquy between Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the FBI, and Congressman Mike Honda during Director Mueller’s testimony before the House Appropriations Committee. Congressman Honda had asked about the NYPD surveillance tactics. Mr. Mueller’s response:

Let me start by saying, at the outset, that Ray Kelly and the New York Police Department have done a remarkable job in protecting New York. The fact of the matter is New York has been and will continue to be a target. And we have worked closely – very closely – together with them.

So, then, should anyone take seriously The Times’s pontifications about what is acceptable advocacy, especially when the paper skews headlines on news stories to fit its agenda?

Islam Expert: Numbers Don’t Add Up in CAIR Survey of US Mosques, Islamic Radicalism

Monday, March 12th, 2012

A survey released two weeks ago, sponsored in part by CAIR and titled “The American Mosque 2011,” revealed a tremendous growth in the number of mosques across the US in the ten years since 9/11. The primary researcher of the study claims that the conditions of public and government pressure and suspicion have contributed to – rather than deterred – this increase.

The survey’s researchers counted 2,106 mosques in the United States, mostly in or around big cities, with 503 mosques in New York state and California. While many mosques have historically been established by South Asian immigrants, the study found that newer immigrant groups such as Somalis, Iraqis, West Africans, and Bosnians have begun to erect their own mosques since 2000.

Ihsan Bagby, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky who was the primary researcher for the study, told Jaweed Kaleem of the Huffington Post that “the continued growth of the community is amazing.” Bagby, a Muslim, conducted similar surveys of mosques in 1994 and 2000. “It’s remarkable the amount of mosques that have been built in the last 10 years. It’s kind of counter-intuitive to factors working against them.”

David Yerushalmi, an expert on Islamic law and its intersection with Islamic terrorism and national security, provided some insight on the survey. “Indeed, Bagby’s references to the ‘factors working against’ Muslims in America since 9/11 is a not-so-veiled reference to the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign to claim that Muslims are discriminated against in the US by what they term ‘Islamophobes,’ and that Muslim Americans are prevented from practicing their religion and from building mosques,” says Yerushalmi.

Yerushalmi, who co-authored the book “Sharia: The Threat To America, An Exercise in Competitive Analysis” and has been instrumental in drafting and enacting legislation to insulate state courts from the growing tendency to embrace constitutionally offensive foreign laws (including Sharia – Islamic law), says that the so-called Islamophobe campaign was initiated and funded in large part by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in coordination with Muslim Brotherhood groups in the US – with the lion’s share of the funding coming from wealthy Gulf Arabs. This campaign condemns anyone with a public profile who says anything critical about ‘Islamism’. ‘Islamism’ is the political movement manifest in the Arab Spring, he explains, especially in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists control 70 percent of the parliament, and seeks to apply Sharia as the law, not only of Muslim countries, but also of western countries with substantial Muslim populations.

One of the features of Sharia is capital punishment for apostasy (in other words, curtailing freedom of religion) and blasphemy (contradicting freedom of speech).

The survey reports that more than 98 percent of mosque leaders surveyed said that Muslims should be involved in American society, and 91 percent said that Muslims should be involved in American politics. 87 percent of mosque leaders disagree with the assertion that radicalism is increasing among young Muslims. Only six percent agreed that it was increasing.

In support of the last finding, which suggests that US Muslims are different from their brethren everywhere else, Haaretz published a story in early February about Imam Muhammad Shamsi who immigrated to New York from Indonesia, and emphatically condemned the pronouncement by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem that killing Jews is a “religious Islamic goal.”

“The Mufti presented a corrupted interpretation of the verse of the Koran and wholly misconstrued its meaning,” said Imam Ali. “[The Mufti] has adhered to the literal translation of the verse and completely ignored the necessary interpretation that is given to that passage,” he explained, adding: “This is a total error and his words are libelous because Islam is completely opposed to encouraging hatred between fellow men.”

Yerushalmi is quick to point out that, in effect, Imam Shamsi is saying there are two completely different kinds of Islam, one – in America – is rational and mature, while the other permeates the rest of the Muslim world – where 98 percent of the 1.2 billion Muslims live. There, survey after survey show that 50-70 percent desire a Sharia-based political order. Moreover, he points out, the same percentages of Muslims in those countries reject nationalism in favor of a revived transnational Caliphate (Muslim empire).

“But this survey, which was conducted in cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood groups in the US, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization the US Department of Justice named as an unindicted co-conspirator with the Hamas-tied Holy Land Foundation,” says Yerushalmi, “contradicts a more empirical peer-reviewed study published in two leading academic and professional journals in the Summer and Fall of 2011, respectively.”

Contradictory Results

That other study, often referred to as the Mapping Sharia study, was conducted and released by Yerushalmi himself, who serves as general counsel to the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank in Washington, D.C., and Mordechai Kedar, assistant professor in the department of Arabic and Middle East studies and a research associate with the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, both at Bar Ilan University.

The Mapping Sharia study took a representative sampling of all US mosques from 2008-2010 and measured adherence to Sharia (via observable examples of manifest religiosity, such as Islamic garb, enforced prayer lines, and gender separation) and the presence of violent Jihadist literature, much of which is the work of leading Muslim Brotherhood figures, and whether the imam of each mosque promoted such violent literature.

The results of that study show that 80 percent of the mosques in the US contain violent Jihadist literature and the imams in most of those mosques promote the violent literature. Moreover, there was a statistically relevant correlation between Sharia adherence in the mosques and the promotion of the violent Jihadist literature.

“But, obviously,” says Yerushalmi, “this newest survey, even if taken at face value, seems at odds with multiple reports on vehement anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic rallies and conferences on US campuses, fueled mostly by Muslim Brotherhood groups, along with Palestinian students and academics. Most recently, we’ve been treated to a story about Israeli Apartheid Week on the Brandeis University campus, of all places.”

But, of course, points out Yerushalmi, “the deeper problem with this new survey is that it only tells us what Muslim religious leaders were willing to tell surveyors. This says nothing about US Muslims, only about what must be viewed as a public relations effort by the Muslim Brotherhood groups who conducted the survey,”

Here are a few of the more interesting claims of of “The American Mosque 2011: Basic Characteristics of the American Mosque, Attitudes of Mosque Leaders.” The survey can be downloaded free online. (The list was delineated by Jaweed Kaleem)

- The average number membership of an American mosque was 1,248 in 2011, which counts Muslims who at least pray for Eid-al-Fitr, one of two major holidays, at the mosque. That’s down from 1,625 in 2000, and is likely because of a growth in the number of mosques.

- The total number of mosque participants or “Mosqued Muslims” has increased from 2 million in 2000 to over 2.6 million Muslims in 2011. In his study, Bagby writes that “if there are 2.6 million Muslims who pray the Eid prayer, then the total Muslim population should be closer to estimates of up to 7 million.”

“This number of Eid prayer worships is suspect,” says David Yerushalmi, whose Mapping Sharia study counted the number of regular mosque attendees. “Mosque attendance in the US is like other religious groups; less than half attend with any regularity. And, while mosque attendance at the Eid prayer is at its peak, if this number were correct, there would actually be an average attendance across 2100 mosques of 1,240 worshipers. That number is a gross inflation, because there is simply insufficient room for such crowds in most of the US mosques.”

Yerushalmi also explains that this finding of “Mosqued Muslims” is another indication of the lack of a sound methodology used by this new survey. “The claim that there are 2.6 million ‘Mosqued Muslims’ in the U.S. contradicts most other reputable surveys, such as a 2010 one by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which said there were only 2.6 million Muslims in the entire country.” A Pew report from last year said there were 2.75 million Muslims.

The Pew study also found that American Muslims are generally more assimilated and less religiously observant than Muslims in Muslim countries and most experts say that less than half of American Muslims attend a mosque regularly—a number in line with other religious groups in the US. While the Mapping Sharia study found that it is the Muslims who regularly attend mosques in the US who show the same level of Sharia adherence and tendency toward the violent literature as one finds in the global Muslim population.

- Seventy-six percent of existing mosques were established after 1980.

- Shiite mosques are growing. Around 44 percent of all Shiite mosques were established in the 1990s. Approximately 7 percent of mosques identified themselves as Shiite and 37 percent of those are in the West, especially California. Most Shiites at American mosques are South Asians, Arabs, and Iranians.

- A minority of mosques (3 percent) have just one ethnic group that attends. South Asians, Arab-Americans, and African-Americans are dominant ethnic groups among mosque members, but significant numbers of Somalis, West Africans, and Iraqis now worship at mosques nationwide.

- The number of mosques in urban areas is decreasing, while the number of mosques in suburban areas is increasing. In 2011, 28 percent of mosques were located in suburbs, up from 16 percent in 2000.

- The conversion rate per mosque has remained steady over the past two decades. In 2011, the average number of converts per mosque was 15.3. In 2000 the average was 16.3 converts per mosque.

Yerushalmi also takes issue with the self-reporting of the imams surveyed. “This number is patently an exaggeration and an attempt to claim greater success at ‘Dawa’ or proselytizing than the empirical evidence suggests.”

As Yerushalmi puts it, if this number were correct, one would expect 34,328 converts annually in the U.S. (2,106 mosques times 16.3 converts/year). This would represent a 1.3 percent US Muslim growth rate attributable just to conversion. “Yet, we do not see this reflected in the Muslim population increases over the years, especially when one factors in other variables such as higher than average birth rates and immigration, less deaths and drop-outs. The numbers don’t add up and what is most intriguing is that the researches simply ignored these anomalies.”

The survey also touts the the claim that 56% of imans follow the more flexible (modern) approach to Islam. What the data mentions, but the survey report ignores, is that in 2000, 71% of imams claimed to follow the more moderate path, indicating a 15% drop in moderation since the previous study.

And finally, the survey does not ask the one pertinent question that might possibly have given a more accurate insight into the actual degree of radicalism of the imams and their beliefs, if answered truthfully. That question being: “Do you support the application of Sharia law in the US?”

Two US Congressmen Caught in Arab Rock Throwing Near Temple Mount

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Two US congressman were attacked by rock-throwers on Friday in front of a mosque in the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood of Jerusalem. Congressmen Eliot Engel and Jerrold Nadler from New York State were on a tour of the Mount of Olives Cemetery, along with Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein, and Rabbis Abraham and Menachem Lubinsky, founders of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har HaZeitim. Their tour, which included some 40 Jewish American leaders, was guided by JewishPress.com Managing Editor Yishai Fleisher.

Earlier, following Friday prayers, hundreds of worshipers hurled rocks at the Mughrabi Bridge entrance to the Temple Mount, and dozens gathered inside the Al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli police forces entered the plaza and attempted to stop the violent protest. Several policemen were injured.

Jerusalem District chief Nisso Shaham blamed the ongoing Friday riots on a poster announcing a Temple Mount visit by Likud member Moshe Feiglin, which was originally scheduled for ten days ago. The poster itself was a fake.

Muslim leaders have been actively inciting their followers over the past month to “protect Al-Asqa”.

Prior to the attack, Hoenlein announced the launching of a campaign to “retake the Mount of Olives cemetery for the Jewish people.”

The oldest and largest Jewish cemetery in the world, the Mt. of Olives is subjected to non-stop violence against visitors, grave desecrations, an unlawful mosque expansion, illegal building – all part of a concerted Arab effort to assert control over the burial site used by Jews for 3,000 years.

The focused aim of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim (www.saveharhazeitim.org) is the sustained improvement of the current conditions at the Mount of Olives Cemetery. The ICPHH is driven to react to and ameliorate the rampant and systematic violence, destruction, and incitement taking place on the Mount of Olives, as well as the general, widespread neglect and the current illegal expansion of a mosque situated just meters away from the grave of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

JewishPress.com’s Managing Editor Yishai Fleisher, who led the tour, lives with his wife and children in the community of Maale HaZetim on the Mount of Olives, a few steps away from where the attack took place.

Fleisher said, “The attack the congressmen faced is part of the day-in day-out reality of Jewish communities who live in proximity to the ancient Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives and that is what we need to fight. However, when people ask me whether we are scared to live here, I tell them that while there is danger, it does not have to translate into fear. The enemies of Jewish rights in Jerusalem use terror as a tactic to keep us away. But we will not bow to the bullying. One day soon, Maale HaZeitim will be a quiet, gentrified, normal Jerusalem neighborhood.”

On Saturday night there will be an emergency meeting to save Har HaZeitim. Details can be found here.

Jewish Group Visiting Temple Mount Pelted with Rocks, Shoes

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Rocks and shoes were hurled from a mosque as police escorted a Jewish group that was visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

One police officer was lightly injured, as was one of the visitors.

Second Thoughts About The Mosque Fire In Tuba-Zangariya

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Another chapter has been added to the evolving saga of the torching of a mosque in Tuba Zangariya. On January 14, Basam Sawayed, an Arab resident of Tuba Zangariya, gave an interview in which he stated that it wasn’t a Jew who set fire to the mosque in their village. Sawayed claimed that those responsible for the torching were actually local residents. He said he was sure about his claim; no one would come from outside to commit such an act. A few hours later, his house was sprayed with automatic gunfire. No one was injured.

This latest incident is the most recent in a succession of peculiar events. Three months ago, on October 3, 2011, the residents of Tuba Zangariya awoke to discover their mosque on fire. Officials believe that arson was committed by Jews as an act of retaliation, one of the so called ‘price tag’ operations. Jewish suspects were arrested, all were immediately released, and none were subsequently charged. The torching generated much outcry and condemnation, and was used as political leverage by various parties.

The entire incident is shrouded in mystery, presenting a long list of questions and inconsistencies, while the answers actually support Sawayed’s claim.

The village of Tuba Zangariya is in the Galilee, far from Judea and Samaria, and several miles off the main highway. Why would someone make such an effort to go so far out of his way to get to this mosque, when he has many others on the way? Why was this one targeted specifically?

The burnt mosque is itself very close to the nearby homes. It is odd that no one smelled the smoke, heard the crackle of fire, saw the flames or was otherwise alerted to the fact that an adjacent building was on fire. The fire was so intense that the floor tiles exploded. Yet no one heard or saw anything?

Graffiti was written on the wall, which allegedly implies an act of vindictive vandalism. Upon closer inspection, one can discern the graffiti was written with coal, not paint. It seems a little bizarre that the vandals would wait around for coal to be created by the fire, and then use it to deface the walls. Furthermore, the graffiti was written on a part of the wall that was not covered by soot, but rather below it. One would have expected to find it covered by smoke generated by the ensuing flames after the vandals had fled the scene.

Furthermore, how is it possible that no one noticed a suspicious unidentified vehicle approaching the scene in the dead of night? When this question was presented to local residents, they responded that they do usually notice unidentified vehicles, and so the alleged terrorists must have come from the surrounding fields by foot. The mosque itself sits on the crest of a steep hill. Approaching the mosque by foot would require a two hundred meter climb through boulders and thorns. That would not be easy to execute while carrying flammable materials. It is made more difficult if you have no knowledge of the landscape. It’s impossible to do so at night.

All these points may lead a keen observer to the conclusion that the mosque torching was in fact an inside job, perhaps the result of local tribal infighting. The alternative is to accept the official story, which depicts quite a ludicrous chain of events – Jewish terrorists traveling for hours to target this specific mosque, marching up a steep hill in the dead of night, through territory they are not acquainted with, setting a massive fire to a mosque, creating a roaring blaze which no else notices, and then hanging around waiting for the fire to produce writing material.

One must note that the town is known for its violence, smuggling, drug trafficking and tribal infighting. According to police data, over 330 indictments have been submitted recently against residents of Tuba Zangariya.

Tzvika Fogel, acting mayor of Tuba Zangariya, has stated several times that the residents of Tuba Zangariya have accumulated a dangerous amount of weapons that present a genuine threat. He believes the arson was committed by locals, and that we will never know who did it.

Until recently, none of the above questions were raised by the media. As of this writing, no politician or public figure has raised these questions, nor have there been any apologies for attacking an entire segment of the public with no real basis for the accusations.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/second-thoughts-about-the-mosque-fire-in-tuba-zangariya/2012/02/02/

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