- The Washington Times - Monday, February 7, 2005

Muslims in the United States should “behave as if on a mission behind enemy lines.” Not the admonition of a crank or a freak from the lunatic fringe, but Saudi-funded religious pamphlets distributed to mosques throughout America.

Says who? Says Freedom House, one of the oldest human rights groups in the U.S. and headed by James Woolsey, CIA director in the first Clinton administration. The organization did a one-year study of the kind of “hate propaganda” the Saudi government has paid to print and distribute to U.S. mosques. The 89-page report, based on 200 Saudi documents, released by Freedom House Friday before last, was titled, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques.”

One mosque where Freedom House researchers found evidence of Saudi Wahhabi skullduggery is 3 miles from where the World Trade Center once stood. Muslim newcomers to America are told Wahhabism, the official creed of the Saudi kingdom, is the only true religion. Anyone who doesn’t conform to the postulates of Wahhabism is an apostate.

The Freedom House report says, “In a book published by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and collected from the Al Farouq Mosque in Brooklyn, Saudi Arabia’s official religious leader, the late Bin Baz, authorizes Muslims to kill converts to Islam who violate sexual mores on adultery and homosexuality.”

Worshippers at Al Farooq are told, “If a person says I believe in Allah alone and confirms the truth of everything from Muhammad, except in his forbidding fornication, he becomes a disbeliever. For that, it would be lawful for Muslims to spill his blood and to take his money.”

The Brooklyn mosque was a favorite of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik ringleader of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, on his fund-raising tours in the late 1980s. Several co-conspirators in the Landmark bomb plot (whose targets were the United Nations and New York City’s tunnels) also used Al Farooq as a safe meeting place.

Several of the 200 documents, obtained by Freedom House, were prefaced, “Greetings from the Cultural Attache of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington.” Saudi spokesmen were quick to deny wrongdoing and to condemn “extremism and hateful ex-pression among people anywhere in the world.”

Nina Shea, director of Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom and editor of the report, said incriminating literature was collected from mosques and Islamic centers in Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., Dallas, Houston, Chicago, New York and the Washington D.C. area, including the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in Fairfax, Va. Clerics in charge of these mosques, when telephoned, denied everything, explaining, “Without tolerance, Islam cannot survive.”

Some documents in the Freedom House report advised Muslims in the United States on how to put down Jews and Christians by refusing to shake hands or to congratulate them on their religious holidays. Muslims who convert to another religion “should be killed because they have denied the Koran.”

The credibility of official Saudi denials could be judged by the provenance of the materials examined — the Saudi Embassy in Washington, the Saudi Education Ministry, the Saudi Air Force and other official branches of the Saudi government.

Beginning in 1979, after the revolutionary Shi’ite clergy in Iran overthrew the monarchy, and panicked the Saudi royal family, Wahhabi “missionaries” were given a free hand and countless billions to spread their anti-Shi’ite faith all over the world.

Beginning in 1989, following Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Wahhabi clergy began funding Pakistan’s mad-rassas, Koranic schools where hatred of America, Israel and India is taught to this day.

The Saudi royal family belatedly recognized last year that Wahhabism was sowing the seeds of the kingdom’s destruction. More than 1,000 imams were summoned to a meeting in Riyadh and told they could no longer use the words jihad (holy war) and jihadis (holy warriors) in their Friday prayers under penalty of detention and rehabilitation. They soon found a way around the ban by preaching it was every Iraqi’s duty to oppose U.S. occupation of their country.

Ms. Shea correctly said Saudi royals “have worked out an arrangement that exports the conflict within their own society.”

The Saudi royal family also feels protected against the kind of democratic tidal wave that swept over Iraq last Sunday. Wahhabism — the strictest interpretation of the Koran — could easily emerge victorious with a new standard bearer: Osama bin Laden.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

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