Jihad sites hail vote to celebrate Islam in schools
Resolution could dictate New Yorkers observe Muslim holidays on 9-11
Posted: July 05, 2009
10:12 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Islamist websites associated with terrorist organizations, WND has learned, hailed over the weekend a recent New York City Council resolution recommending the city's school system shut down to commemorate two of the most important Muslim holidays.
The nonbinding resolution passed last week was the subject of extensive coverage in the pan-Arab media, including on the Al Jazeera and Al-Arabiya satellite networks.
The stories were also discussion themes over the weekend on two Palestinian websites linked to terrorist organizations. The Palestinian Forum for Dialogue is known to be close to Hamas, carrying the group's official propaganda, while the Islamic Forum is strongly associated with the Islamic Jihad terror group. The topic of the resolution was hailed in hundreds of user postings on both websites.
A typical posting on the Islamic Forum website, translated from Arabic by WND, reads:
"[The resolution proves] there is a new situation in America where Obama understands that going against Islam and Muslims only brings disaster for us."
Obama, however, was not involved in the resolution.
Another posting on that website stated, "Allah is with the Muslims when we fight for our rights."
Stated another posting on the Islamic Forum: "The new [U.S.] administration and the American people understand they cannot defeat Islam and they should co-exist with Islam."
One user comment on the Palestinian Dialogue forum stated, "This is one more sign about Islam getting stronger all around the world." "It is one more sign of the fact of Islam being accepted as a growing power. This proves we don't have to be ashamed of our religion and we should insist on our rights to wear our clothes and celebrate and fast on Ramadan," the comment stated.
NYC forced to honor Islam on 9-11?
The Council resolution received much U.S. media attention; however the reports did not note the holidays fall on Sept. 11 in some years.The council vote is at odds with the opinion of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has said he is opposed to adding any more days off to the school calendar. Bloomberg, however, recently relinquished control of the school system to a newly appointed board of education, which could approve the holiday plan.
The Islamic holidays being considered for commemoration are Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. The former commemorates the Islamic belief Abraham was willing to sacrifice Ishmail. The latter marks the end of the Islamic fast period of Ramadan. Jewish and Christian tradition relates Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, not Ishmail.
Islamic holidays are set based on the lunar calendar, meaning the dates corresponding to the Gregorian calendar change each year. As first noticed by Andrew Walden, publisher and editor of the Hawaii Free Press, Eid al-Adha falls on Sept. 11 in the year 2016, according to the accepted Umm al-Qura calendar.
Eid al-Fitr, meanwhile, will begin at sunset Sept. 9 and continue to sunset Sept. 10 next year. The dates, though, depend on the official citing of the new crescent moon as certified by the Saudi "hilal committee," which at times has shifted holidays by one or two days, meaning Eid-al-Fitr could technically also be celebrated on Sept. 11 in 2010.
The council's vote reportedly comes as the culmination of a three-year lobbying effort by U.S. Muslim groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The council resolution cited New York City's growing Muslim population as well as the fact that the system observes major Jewish and Christian holidays.
The resolution's advocates have cited a statistic claiming Muslims make up 12 percent of the city's public school students and, therefore, they deserve recognition.
Bloomberg told reporters before the vote that not all religions could be accommodated on the school system's holiday schedule, only those with "a very large number of kids who practice."
"If you close the schools for every single holiday, there won't be any school," Bloomberg said. "Educating our kids requires time in the classroom, and that's the most important thing to us." While Bloomberg recently handed control of the school system to a new education board, the state Senate could take action to put the mayor back in control.
"Right now the degree of control the mayor has over the education system is completely unclear," Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, the only council member to vote against the resolution, told FoxNews.com.
Is Jihad Outdated? How Islamists Work the System
A briefing by Steven Emerson
June 4, 2009
(includes an audio recording of this talk)
Steven Emerson is a leading authority on Islamic extremist networks and their activities, from violent jihad to stealth jihad. The founder and executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Emerson has testified before Congress on numerous occasions and regularly assists government agencies with combating radical Islam. On June 4, 2009, he spoke to the Middle East Forum in New York City about the future of jihad.
Steven Emerson began his talk by evaluating the potential impact of Barack Obama's address in Cairo, which was delivered earlier that day. He disputed the notion that the speech would alter either perceptions of America in the Middle East or the broader fight against Islamic radicalism, asserting that it is "not going to change the war on terror."
However, Emerson argued that Islamist organizations in the U.S. will rejoice at the president's statements, particularly his call to relax scrutiny of the kind of Islamic charities that are sometimes used to fund terrorism. Emerson believes that such overtures will convince Islamist lobby groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that their stigma is being erased and that they are about to be welcomed back into the mainstream.
Emerson noted that Obama's downplaying of the Islamist threat exemplifies the "unraveling of the consensus that started to develop about the dangers of radical Islam" after 9/11. This threat goes well beyond terrorism, extending to a nonviolent, stealth jihad of "infiltrating or subverting or intimidating … or changing the American system by affecting our values, such as freedom of the press and freedom of speech."
In his view, stealth jihad is just as dangerous as violent jihad, if not more so, because it is mostly legal and operates below the radar. Emerson lamented that "Americans don't seem threatened by anything less than the act of violence," even though prominent Islamists like cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi speak of conquering America and Europe via proselytizing, conversion, immigration, and ultimately the ballot box.
Emerson argued that terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 are "counterproductive" for Islamists, as they bring unwanted attention to their agenda and disrupt the more promising strategy of stealth jihad. However, he maintained that intermittent acts of violence, such as the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the murder of Theo van Gogh, help Islamists get their way by promoting fear among Westerners.
Unfortunately, the elites do little to illuminate the true perils of Islamism. The media continue to facilitate Islamists by whitewashing their aims and legitimizing radical groups that pretend to be moderate. He also noted that while the FBI deserves credit for finally cutting ties with CAIR, the government is ever more reluctant to use the term "Islamic terrorism." As Emerson explained, "If you can't identify the enemy by who he is, you can't expect to defeat him."
Emerson concluded by emphasizing that the threat from both violent and stealth jihad is real and shows no signs of abatement, pointing to a Muslim Brotherhood memo from nearly twenty years ago that outlines plans for "destroying the Western civilization from within." "Unless we act and recognize this danger immediately," Emerson warnes, "the future is bleak."