Last Friday, we reported the firing of Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism. The Washington Times story we emailed you noted that “the action followed a report in this space last week revealing opposition to his [Coughlin’s] work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.”
Now we learn that Deputy Defense Secretary England personally promoted a Muslim Navy chaplain who, according to the WorldNetDaily report reprinted below, is a “Wahhabi-trained Muslim chaplain.” Wahhabism is a very radical strain of Islam that emanates principally from Saudi Arabia.
It would seem reasonable for all of us to ask: “What’s going on at the Pentagon?”
Quantico mosque leader promoted
Pentagon honors Wahhabi-trained Muslim chaplain
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
In a special ceremony, the Pentagon recently promoted a Wahhabi-trained Muslim chaplain who catered to al-Qaida detainees at Guantanamo and fought to establish the first mosque in Marine Corps history.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England personally promoted Navy chaplain Abuhena Mohammed Saifulislam from lieutenant to lieutenant commander. Saifulislam also received a Joint Service Commendation Medal at the Pentagon ceremony held on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Pentagon officials say the ceremony was unprecedented.
"It's unusual for a deputy secretary to personally promote an officer of that rank," said one official who wished to go unnamed. "No one has known of such a high-level dignitary doing that."
England also earlier this year personally dedicated a new Islamic center at Marine headquarters in Quantico, Va., on the advice of Saifulislam, a Bangladesh immigrant who became a U.S. citizen in 1995.
The Muslim chaplain, who is stationed at Quantico, recited verses from the Quran in Arabic and English at the summer dedication ceremony, which included representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, several leaders of which have been convicted on terrorism-related charges.
Saifulislam, which is Arabic for "Sword of Islam," received his religious training at a radical Islamic school raided by federal agents after 9/11. The Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, based in Leesburg, Va., is run by Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sami al-Arian terror case. A federal affidavit used to obtain a warrant to search the school alleges Al-Alwani gave at least $50,000 in jihad money "to support suicide bombings."
Saifulislam insists he is moderate and condemns "terrorism," but critics say his Wahhabi background and associations should give the Pentagon pause.
"The Pentagon is giving him a permanent, taxpayer-supported platform from which to convert grunts to Islam," said terror expert Paul Sperry, a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington." "With the Quantico mosque, the Pentagon is facilitating the study of the holy text the enemy uses, heretically or not, as their manual of warfare."
Saifulislam's promotion along with the dedication of his new Quantico mosque – the first of its kind in the 230-year history of the Corps – comes on the heels of a Muslim spy scandal at Gitmo involving another Muslim chaplain.
Army Capt. James "Yousef" Yee, who ministered to al-Qaida detainees, was charged with mishandling classified information. Yee, a convert to Islam, quit the Army and the charges were dropped. But two of his Muslim military friends at Gitmo were convicted of espionage-related crimes.
Yee's predecessor at Gitmo was Saifulislam, who was first assigned to the terrorist prison camp after 9/11. While at the Cuban base, the Navy imam privately counseled al-Qaida prisoners in their native tongues of Urdu and Arabic. "I must give hope for them to cope," Saifulislam said at the time.
He set up the diet and prayer regimes for the detainees, recommending they be served halal meals – including traditional dates and lamb – prepared according to Islamic dietary law. Gitmo detainees can now choose from a menu of 113 Muslim-appropriate meals.
In addition, Saifulislam saw to it that detainees receive copies of the Quran and have access to prayer beads and skull caps. Saifulislam also set up a program to train guards to be more sensitive to the religious customs of their Muslim prisoners.
West Point bows to Mecca
Multiculturalism appears to trump concerns about Islamist infiltration of the military. Following the Marine's lead, the Army in October dedicated a new mosque at West Point.
The U.S. Military Academy's first worship hall for Muslims boasts green carpets, shoe racks and a pulpit facing Mecca. Officials agreed to set up the mosque, large enough for dozens of followers, after Muslim leaders complained that the office where Muslim cadets gathered for Friday prayers had become too crowded.
The Army has been recruiting international cadets from Muslim countries such as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Muslim enrollment at the academy in New York has jumped to 32 from just two in 2001.
"We live in a world where everyone is looking at the United States saying, 'You're anti-Islam,'" explained West Point Chaplain Col. John Cook. "But here at West Point, that's not what we do."
The U.S. military now boasts more than 10,000 Muslim soldiers, many of them black converts. On the eve of the Army's push into Iraq, Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar, a black Muslim convert, fragged commanding officers at a military camp in Kuwait. He killed two of them and wounded 15 others.
Akbar, recently convicted of murder and given the death sentence, said at the time he did it out of loyalty to the umma, or global community of Muslims.
"You guys are coming into our countries," he said, "and you're going to rape our women and kill our children."
Within months of Akbar's traitorous 2003 attacks, the Defense Intelligence Agency issued an internal report warning that Muslim soldiers pose a possible security threat, according to national security reporter Bill Gertz in his new book "Enemies."
It was also in 2003 that Yee was accused of spying for the enemy while serving as a Muslim chaplain at Gitmo. Yee graduated from West Point, site of the Army's new mosque.