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CNN Portrays Hamas-Supporting, Self-Described Terror List Watchee From “Jihad U” As Peaceful, Moderate Muslim Who Pushes Back Against Extremism (Updated)

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Posted on January 4 2010 10:00 am

This is the same competent news network which tried to talk to peaceful, moderate Muslims who push back against extremism back in November after the Fort Hood shootings, so they interviewed an al-Qaeda-linked leader of ICNA‘s Young Muslim Jihad Camp. Perhaps it was not CNN’s intention to whitewash the story of Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab’s attendance at 2008′s “Knowledge Fest” in Houston, but it certainly seems like it.

(CNN) – The man accused of trying to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day attended an Islamic “Knowledge Fest” in Houston, Texas, in 2008, according to one of the organizers of the event.

Yasir Qadhi, who was an instructor at “Ilm Fest,” said the 16-day conference organized by the Al Maghrib Institute was a series of courses and workshops to teach young Muslims “the nuts and bolts of Islam.”

Suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab attended some of the classes that Qadhi taught during the event, which ran from August 1 to 17, 2008.

[...]

AbdulMutallab also attended two seminars organized by the Al Maghrib Institute in London in the months before the event in Houston, Qadhi said.

One of the events was on the life of the Prophet Mohammed, and the other course was on the first chapter of the Koran.

So no mention of the fact that Al Maghrib Institute is known as “Jihad U” for its links to Islamic extremism. Al Maghrib has conducted fundraising for Hamas, is heavily involved with the Muslim Students Association (an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case), and is a Wahhabi front whose instructors are all Saudi-educated.

Certainly no need to mention that “Ilm Fest” is run by folks (Ilmquest Productions, Al Maghrib’s media arm) who were selling and promoting the writings and sermons of al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as late as November 11, after the Fort Hood massacre.

“This was mainstream Islamic stuff,” said Qadhi.

Al Maghrib’s instructors would know all about “mainstream Islamic stuff.” Ilmquest productions shills the sermons of extremist imams, such as Bilal Philips, whose lengthy defense of Islamic pedophilia and forced “marriages” of children can be viewed here. Not only is Saudi-educated Qadhi an expert on Islamic dogma, but he is also quite the scholar when it comes to mainstream Western anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.

Qadhi said the institute taught young Muslims a [sic] “orthodox Islam for the 21st Century,” stressing the importance of the literal text of the Quran but imbuing those words with a modern meaning.

That sounds like Wahhabism to me.

“We are trying to carve out a Western Muslim identity among conservative Muslims — for Muslims to integrate into Western society but maintain their Islamic identity.”

Qadhi, of New Haven, Connecticut, has been involved in de-radicalization efforts in the United States and was a leading participant in the U.S. Counter-Radicalization Strategy conference organized by the National Counterterrorism Center in the summer of 2008.

That’s absolutely horrifying, yet CNN reports it as if to reassure us.

“It’s ironic that he came to us,” said Qadhi of AbdulMutallab.

[...]

“At some level, we did not convince him of the validity of our views,” says Qadhi, “and that is cause for regret.”

How “ironic” that they also failed to convince Daniel Maldonado of those views. I guess he hadn’t sufficiently studied his al-Awlaki or his Protocols. Maybe not enough self-described terror watch listees like Qadhi were there to go give him adequate guidance.

It’s almost as if CNN were a Saudi media outlet intended for Western consumption. As with the Fort Hood story, we once again have to turn to the British papers to learn the backstory, in this case that Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab was radicalized at least as early as 2007, the year prior to his attendance at Ilm Fest, which is likely the reason why he decided to attend.

********

Update: Make sure to read Patrick Poole’s analysis of the fact that Qadhi is on the terror watch list and is a “de-radicalization” expert at the National Counterterrorism Center.  (Hat tip: Creeping Sharia.)

Come to think of it, maybe this was not so much a case of CNN’s coverage being biased as it is a case of our government appointing a radical jihad supporter who is on the terror watch list as an official “Muslim Who Pushes Back Against Extremism,” i.e., “de-radicalization” “expert.”  All the quotes in this paragraph are there to articulate the necessity of performing doublethink when discussing this, since, on the one hand, there’s reality: the fact that Qadhi is an extremist and Al Maghib is a center of jihadist indoctrination, and on the other hand, there’s “the official story,” which is what CNN reported.

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