ANSWERING OUR CRITICS
Question and Answer
A: No. When I was seven and living in Beirut, my father pulled me out of school and sent me to work. By then, our family had seven children. My father was a blacksmith and we did not have a lot of money. I was sent to work for my uncle, a plumber, for about three lira a week. Each day, while walking back and forth through the mixed ethnic neighborhoods of Beirut, gangs of bullies stole my lunch and any money I had. Often they beat me. One day, I suffered two beatings in a row, in two different neighborhoods, one Armenian and one Kurdish. That day, I took refuge in a mosque, where some men took me in and cleaned the blood off me. Those men were with the Muslim Brotherhood. After that day, they protected me and I walked the streets without fear. Later, those men took me to a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) camp where I was trained to fight with the fedayeen for the cause of the liberation of Palestine.
I continued fighting with the PLO well into the 1970’s. After that, I began conducting “civilizational jihad” (of the kind we see transforming the UK at this very moment) across Europe, making jihadist converts in poor neighborhoods, jails, and schools. In the late 1970’s through early 1980’s, I came to the United States and began radicalizing young men and poor families in small towns, before turning them over to imams who ran mosques. This Islamist campaign to infiltrate and destroy America was eventually formalized and is documented in an article in the American Thinker (Online at http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/09/homeland_security_implications_1.html) and in an original document written by Islamists available at FrontPageMag.com (Online at: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=61829F93-7A81-4654-A2E8-F0A5E6DD3DC4).
The results of this “civilizational jihad” are being seen in Europe today. The results in the United States are documented in Robert Emerson’s book American Jihad, and the ongoing work of Emerson’s The Investigative Project. (www.investigativeproject.org)
A: The topic of the seminar was terrorism, not Islam. It is radical Islamists who are killing people every day around the world. During the seminar, no one suggested that moderate, peaceful Muslims are to blame for global terrorism.
A: No. I do not say that, nor do I believe it. But it is true that the Koran and Hadith, two of Islam’s sacred books, explicitly tell Muslims to kill Christians and Jews.
A: I have never claimed to infiltrate Israel to plant bombs. I have told the story about how I and other children were used as “mules” to carry knapsacks filled with small arms and weapons parts into Israel via tunnels underneath the Golan Heights, between Syria and Israel. The PLO’s use of children in combat is documented by Media Watch International in the article “Yasser Arafat: The Terrorist Reemerged” (Online at http://www.mwio.org/position_papers.htm). The PLO’s former use of child soldiers is also documented at www.Child-Soldiers.org. (Because of its lengthy archived URL, this “country report” on the use of child soldiers around the world is most easily accessed by googling the 2002 report’s title: “Child Soldiers: country briefings for the CRC”.
A: History shows that the Muslim Brotherhood had by the 1960’s waned in influence in Egypt, but reemerged throughout the Middle East after the 1967 Six Day War, in which Israel defeated Arab forces. Those facts, and the Brotherhood’s existence as a splinter group in Lebanon during the 1960’s, is documented at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jul2002/ham1-j05.shtml AND in an article by A. Nizar Hamzeh, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the American University of Beirut, in the Middle East Quarterly (Online at http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/320/324/324.2/islamism/shia-islam-leb.html)
A: I am not ashamed of my Christianity. In fact, I would say that my conversion from Islam to Christianity qualifies me to speak on both faiths with authority. However, I do not “mix talk” of Christianity and jihadist terror when speaking to secular audiences. When speaking at a Christian organization or institution, I do. It should not be surprising that I tailor my talks to the audience at hand.
A: Yes. And I take responsibility for choosing that inaccurate term. I did so to obscure both the title and geographical location of the cleric to whom I am related. At the time, I had not yet spoken publicly of my Lebanese birth and I feared – and still fear – for the safety of my family in the Middle East. I chose “grand wazir of Islam” to hide the fact that I was speaking of my blood relationship to a prominent Muslim Cleric in Lebanon. (For the record, the term “wazir” is related to the more familiar “vizier,” which means “knowledgeable advisor.”)
A: No. I was among many speakers invited to a weeklong seminar on terrorism that would result in a report to Congress on anti-terrorism methods. I did not speak about Christianity.
But what if I had? I am a private citizen, not a government official. As an American citizen, the First Amendment guarantees my right to worship as I choose and to speak freely. Articles in the New York Times, the Colorado Springs Post-Gazette and elsewhere seemed to suggest that my Christian faith somehow disqualifies me from speaking publicly about my experiences with the PLO and with radical Islam in general. I suggest that in America, no man’s faith disqualifies him from speaking publicly from his own knowledge and experience.
A: It is ironic that anyone would suggest that my speaking about an entire jihadist movement that daily maims and murders civilians, including women and children, is “hate speech.” Are we to speak sensitively about anyone who murders the innocent?
After my talk at the Air Force Academy, a Palestinian-Jordanian man who had been invited to the seminar, walked up and told me in Arabic that people like me “should be killed” because I am disgracing Islam and Allah. I have never said such a thing to any Muslim, nor would I. And yet I am the one who is accused of “hate speech.”
As far as the Council on Arab-Islamic Relations, I am surprised that respected publications are using the group as a source to speak out against me, a person who is fighting jihadist terrorism. CAIR was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the recent Holy Land trials and was listed among “entities who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.” The Holy Land case ended in a mistrial. But in a December 2007 filing in federal court, prosecutors described CAIR as “having conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.”
I would suggest that a group whom the U.S. government has linked repeatedly with terrorists should not be regarded as a credible source on the topic of radical Islam or America’s fight against terrorism.