State House Muslim Proselytism

Date: 04 Feb 2008


State House Proselytism   
By Janet Levy | Friday, February 01, 2008 

The cultural traditions and values of American society originate from the Judeo-Christian heritage of our Founding Fathers. They pledged allegiance to “one nation under God,” with the Creator as the source of our inalienable civil rights and liberties. In that spirit, Congressional invocations by clergy are a time-honored ritual from the birth of the American republic to the present. Public recognition and celebrations of the role of religion in helping establish our precious freedoms have also long been part of American public life. But now, those traditions are under attack from militant Islamists who have, under the guise of political and religious acceptance, steadily advanced their own messages with the goal of undermining our status as a nation of free individuals and the intent of the Founders to insure liberty and justice for all.


Last week, Mohammed Khan, the imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines, led the opening prayer in the Iowa legislature at the request of Iowa State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, a former Iowa school board member who has worked as a counselor in the Iowa prison system, and has questionable associations with Islamic extremists. 

In his four-minute prayer before the Iowa legislative session, Khan made a plea for “victory over those who disbelieve” and “protection from the Great Satan,” comments which sparked outrage. Pastor Steve Smith of the Evangelical Free Church in Albert City took issue with Khan’s appeal for victory, explaining, “This is a request in the Iowa Legislature for God to grant the Muslims victory over every non-Muslim; not a request for salvation.”

Iowa State Representative Gary Worthan, the father of two decorated Army officers with eight combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan between them, was incensed over the reference to infidels or “disbelievers” and “the Great Satan.” He plans to protest to the Speaker of the House. Worthan recognized the phrase, “the Great Satan,” as a commonly used Islamic reference to the United States and, thus, felt the prayer called for the conquest of our nation. People in his district were also upset by the prayer and complained to the Iowa legislature. 

Further, victory over “unbelievers” has specific violent references in the Koran. The most well-known is the Verse of the Sword (9:5): “Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.” 

Another frequently quoted verse is 47:4, “If you encounter the unbelievers, strike their necks until you have bloodied them, then fasten the shackles.” Finally, the term “unbeliever” is interchangeable with “infidel” and refers to the inhabitants of the Dar-al-Harb, the world of war that must be defeated according to the wishes of Allah and Mohammed by the Dar-al-Islam, the world of Islam. 

That such language would be permitted within the state house of Iowa – a middle American state and the home of the first presidential sweepstakes – should be surprising. However,  public expressions of Islamic support have increased dramatically:

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Rep. Abdul-Samad is a former president of the Islamic Center in Des Moines, which first achieved notoriety in 2004 when it welcomed Muslim extremist Ibrahim Dremali as its new imam. Dremali came to Des Moines after a hasty departure from a position at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, shortly after a local physician and congregant, Rafiq Sabir, was arrested and pled guilty for swearing allegiance to Al Qaeda. In Des Moines, Dremali founded the Islamic New Horizons School with funds from the Islamic Society of North America, a Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi organization that controls most U.S. mosques, espouses a radical form of Islam, has sponsored extremists who call for jihad and is an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the terrorist support trial in Texas of the Holy Land Foundation.
<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->In February 2007, in a blatant violation of the religious establishment clause, a seventh-grade public school class visited a Des Moines mosque for a school field trip and was asked by the presiding imam to join him in prayer. 
<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->In 2005, Governor Tom Vilsack – a potential 2008 Democratic vice presidential candidate – welcomed members of four local mosques and fellow Iowans to celebrate “Muslim Recognition Day” and “join in the making of history and get a taste of what it feels like to be Muslim.” This, despite residents being unable to recall any instance in which the state declared a special day to recognize Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, or any other religion. 
<!--[if !supportLists]-->In March 2006, Cedar Rapids Mayor Kay Halloran welcomed a new chapter of the Muslim American Society at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, saying she was “honored and delighted” to have them in the community. Yet, according to the FBI in the terror-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the Muslim American Society is the representative for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is one of the largest and most influential Islamist organizations in the world and believed to be the parent organization for Hamas and al-Qaeda. 
<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->In September 2005, the first conference of the Islamic Foundation of Iowa was held in Central Middle School in Waterloo with Mohammed Kahn and Ako Abdul-Samad as featured speakers. The program for “The Way to the Future” Conference included: The Practical Structure of Building an Islamic Society and The Future Vision and Plans for Muslims in Iowa. One of the prayers recited chided the Children of Israel (Jews) for their wickedness in not remembering Allah. Another prayer recited included the proclamation, “There is no God except Allah, alone with no partner,” a specifically anti-Trinitarian prayer found in many parts of the Koran. A personal ad in the conference program referred to “Allah SWT,” which according to Robert Spencer has anti-Christian connotations. Spencer says SWT stands for “Subhanahu wa ta'ala,” which Muslims commonly understand to mean, “Allah is pure of having partners, and he is exalted above having a son.”
Iowa is not alone in honoring Islam with a legislative convocation. Texas, the State of Washington, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) have also conferred this privilege on Muslim clergy who have similarly misused the opportunity.


In April 2007, Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque, who has served the Dallas area for 20 years and claims to be a “moderate,” was hosted by Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Senator Florence Shapiro. Kavakci was asked to open the Texas Senate with its first Islamic prayer. This event was attended by members of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Christian Life Commission, the Texas Conference of Churches, Texas Impact, and the Texas Islamic Council. It was promoted by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization terrorism expert Steven Emerson characterizes as “a radical fundamental front group for Hamas.”

At the invocation, Dr. Kavakci, a board member of the Wahhabist Islamic Society of North America, read from the opening chapter of the Koran, Al-Fatehah. The text included: “All praise is for Allah, our lord, the lord of the worlds, the compassionate, the merciful, master of the day of judgments. Oh, God, Allah, you alone we worship, and you alone we call on for help. Oh, Allah, guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom you have favored, not of those who have earned your wrath or of those who have lost the way….”

According to Spencer who cites mainstream Muslim authorities, traditional Islamic understanding of this passage is that the “straight path” is Islam, the path of those who have earned Allah’s anger are the Jews and those who have gone astray are the Christians. Spencer concludes “it is likely that Imam Yusuf Kavakci was leading the Texas State Senate in a prayer that they become Muslims, and not remain Christians or Jews. Clearly, this was a prayer that excluded Jews and Christians and was a prayer against them.” 

Republican Senator Dan Patrick, R-Houston, decided not to be present for the convocation, explaining, “In many part of the world, Jews and Christians would not be given that same right afforded Dr. Kavakci.”

This is certainly the case in most of the Muslim world, where those who choose to leave Islam often face death sentences for apostasy.

In a 2005 Freedom House study, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques,” materials collected from Kavakci’s mosque included religious tracts or fatwas calling for the destruction of Israel and for Muslims to refuse to support non-Muslims and view them as the enemy. In other literature found at the mosque, the United States was characterized as “The Great Satan,” whose global reach and influence was leading a worldwide conspiracy against Islam. 

Meanwhile, Kavakci has also hosted a quiz competition for children who were tested on the teachings of Qutb, recognized as the intellectual architect of modern radical jihadist ideology and traducer of Western societies and liberal, democratic values.

In 2004, the Imam of the Dallas Central Mosque attended an event honoring the Ayatollah Khomeini in Irving, Texas, entitled “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary.” At the tribute, which featured speakers such as Iya Maleh, the president of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of CAIR, and Mohammed Asi, a radical anti-Semitic Shiite cleric and defender of Osama Bin Laden, Kavakci spoke about the deposed Shah’s “most despicable sin:” being a party to the drafting and approval of the “unIslamic” Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Washington State

During the 2003 “Muslim week,” two lawmakers in the State of Washington made news by refusing to participate during a prayer offered by Imam Mohamed Joban of the Olympia Islamic Center. Yet Joban had made statements defending Muslim chaplain Captain James Yee, who was arrested that same year. Yee, a Chinese-American Muslim convert since 1991 who served as a chaplain at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, was charged with espionage. He pleaded guilty to transporting classified documents and lying to military investigators. To protect national security, charges against Yee were reduced to mishandling classified information and later dropped. According to a list obtained from terrorism expert Steven Emerson, Yee had ordered $26,000 worth of Arabic and English books, many of which espoused a radical Islamic ideology, for detainee use during his assignment to Gitmo. Yee’s friend, Air Force translator and Syrian-born Muslim Ahmad al-Halabi pleaded guilty to transporting classified documents and lying to military investigators. Yee has led prayers and substituted for Joban at the Olympia Islamic Center.

Representatives Lois McMahan and Cary Condotta left the floor of the State Assembly during the prayer. McMahan was condemned for her actions and criticized for demonstrating a “lack of respect” for the Imam and exhibiting “Islamophobic hate.” She was chastised for causing divisiveness that would serve to increase discrimination of American Muslims and adversely affect the image of the United States. Following pressure from CAIR and hundreds of negative e-mails, Reps. McMahan and Condotta were pressured to apologize to the Imam. Two days later, when Joban was invited to return, he shook hands with the previously absent lawmakers who espoused respect for the imam’s God-given right for freedom of religious expression. 

National Democrats

In yet another example of blindness in the face of the Islamist threat, most Democrats listened impassively in February 2007 as Husham Al-Husainy, Imam of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, Michigan – one of the largest mosques in North America – gave the invocation at a DNC meeting last February. Writer Debbie Schlussel wrote in a column in the New York Post that she observed Al-Husainy at pro-Hezbollah rallies in Detroit and has heard the Imam deliver speeches filled with anti-American and anti-Semitic invective. In his DNC Winter Meeting Convocation, Al-Husainy, like Kavakci in Dallas, intoned, “So, guide us to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom.”

According to the teachings of Islam, no “right path” exists other than to follow Islam and be blessed. Those who do not follow the “right path” of Islamic law are doomed. In this passage, Koranic expert Spencer explains that Muslim commentators identify the doomed as the Jews who have incurred Allah’s wrath for “abandoning” Islam and the Christians who through their ignorance have been led astray or away from a practice of Islam. 

In what may have seemed ecumenical and inclusive language but, in actuality, referred exclusively to the prophets of Islam, Al-Husainy prayed, “We thank you God, to send us your messages through our father Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammed.”

Judaism and Christianity are, thus, essentially delegitimized by expropriating as Muslim prophets Abraham, the father of the Jewish people; Moses, the greatest prophet of the Jewish people to whom God revealed the Torah; and Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. Under Islamic belief, Jesus and all Biblical prophets were Muslims and Christians and Jews corrupted their messages. Muslim theology purports the belief that Jesus will return to earth to punish Christians for believing in his divinity and resurrection as the Son of God. 

What is truly shocking is the failure of the vast majority of the American public and convention attendees to recognize what exactly the Imam is praying for God to do and the way in which he is wishing harm to non-Muslims and discounting their faiths. 

Travesty Revealed

These publicly offered prayers represent thinly veiled declarations of cultural war against our society. Although sanctioned by our legislators, the prayers and statements are performed by questionable practitioners of a religion who make pronouncements of Muslim supremacy and spew anti-American rhetoric. Proclamations that not only exclude Jews and Christians but address them as an enemy to be defeated go beyond disrespect of our Judeo-Christian traditions and strike at the core of our nation’s fundamental right of freedom of religion. 

It is indeed a travesty that our legislators are unwittingly bowing down and praying for deliverance to Allah and showing support for a religion that breeds hate and contempt for our society. What other religion offers prayers to God to destroy or defeat people with other beliefs or to love only its followers? No Christian preacher would be allowed such liberties. No Christian preacher would purposely exclude particular religions or groups of people in their prayers. Rather than calling for the doom of those who fail to accept certain religious precepts, Christian clerics pray that others may come to know God and experience inner peace. Yet legislators refuse to support this country’s Judeo-Christian roots and are constantly trying to remove from the public square any and all traditional references to God, prayer, and religious holiday celebrations. 

The events cited above represent an encroachment of Islam into our society for which there is no reciprocity. Christians and Jews are not permitted to pray publicly in most of the Muslim world, let alone open a government session with a prayer. In Saudi Arabia, Bibles and non-Muslim religious symbols are confiscated from tourists at the airport upon arrival. Non-Muslims are not allowed to travel to certain parts of the country. If non-Muslims are caught practicing their religion, they can face deportation, imprisonment or worse. In much of the Muslim world, converts from Islam are sentenced to death for apostasy. 

Americans would be wise to heed the words uttered by Muslim Brotherhood founder, Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi in 1995, “America will not be conquered by the sword, but by da’wa.” This Muslim proselytizing is already well underway to a significant extent in the United States with the assistance of our very own “unbeliever” politicians, who fail to recognize that the true agenda of radical Islam is worldwide domination and the subjugation of non-Muslims. 

Janet Levy is the founder of ESG Consulting, an organization that offers project management, fundraising, promotion, event organizing and planning services for conservative political causes and issues related to terrorism and national security.