...Residents of the heavily Catholic neighborhood [on Staten Island] are in an uproar over a Muslim group's plans to buy a shuttered convent and convert it into a Mosque. Besides concerns about increased traffic and little parking, there are disturbing reports surrounding the organization, the Muslim America Society, which is funding the purchase.
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, MAS has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a 100-year-old movement that is widely regarded as one of the most influential Islamic fundamentalist groups in the world. Its stated agenda has been to spread Islam and Shariah law throughout the West. Some of its members also reportedly created Hamas.Acquiring mosques to spread the message; the ummah growing and needing more space: same diff, no?
"The Muslim American Society was created in the early 1990s as the de facto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood," says Steve Emerson, IPT's executive director.
He says the MAS and Muslim Brotherhood claim to oppose terrorism, but "behind closed doors they support terrorism and have defended various terrorists that have been convicted in the United States since 9/11."
But Ibrahim Ramey, the human and civil rights director for MAS Freedom, adamantly denies any connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas or terrorism.
"There are people who don't like Muslims and don't like Muslims in their neighborhood who have been vociferously and consistently trying to link MAS with foreign organizations and movements, but that simply isn't true," Ramey says.
"We are not agents of Hamas nor do we answer to them, nor do we provide money for them, nor are we part of any conflict that they have with the U.S. Government, or any authorities in the United States."
Emerson says his group has documentation linking MAS with the Muslim Brotherhood. He also says MAS has been on a spending spree in the last two years, either buying property to establish mosques, as in Staten Island, or taking over existing mosques, like the huge Dal al-Hidrah in Northern Virginia and the very prominent Islamic Society of Boston in Massachusetts.
"The way to gain influence among the Muslim community is to control the mosques," Emerson says. "The way to control what people think in the Muslim community is to have the right imam preach the right message. So by acquiring these mosques the Muslim American Society gets the right to appoint the imam and distribute the message they believe is necessary to spread Islam around the world."
Ramey says the Muslim community simply is growing and needs more space...
Update: Thanks, google, for this ad which popped up on my site when I posted the above. Just doing your bit for "peace," eh?