Laban has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and that should raise eyebrows and warning signs. This isn't just some mild mannered cleric speaking out about anti-Islamic cartoons. This is a guy hellbent on imposing Shari'a on the world, spreading the word of jihad and militant Islam at the expense of all other religions and political philosophies.
As first reported by the Italian terrorism expert Lorenzo Vidino on the Counterterrorism Blog, one of Denmark's leading Islamists, Imam Ahmed Abu-Laban, led a delegation late last year to visit influential figures in the Muslim world. He took with him a dossier of cartoons, both those that had been published and others, much more offensive, of dubious provenance. One place he took his road show was Qatar, where he briefed Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and a star of Al Jazeera.The New York Post had noted these links yesterday, but the new information ties things together far better than I could yesterday.
Even after the riots began, Abu-Laban continued his meddling. On February 4, he told Islamonline.net that Danish demonstrators were going to burn Korans in the streets of Copenhagen, a falsehood that nevertheless added fuel to the fire.
Abu-Laban's extremist connections are well established. A Palestinian who is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, he was expelled from the United Arab Emirates in 1984 for his fiery sermons and denunciations of local leaders. According to Vidino, he served as translator and assistant to Talaal Fouad Qassimy, top leader of the Egyptian terrorist group Gamaa Islamiya, in the mid-1990s. During the Iraq war, he called the Danish prime minister "an American puppet." In August, he told the Washington Post that the Danes "have made immigrants pay the price. Muslims have become the scapegoat. They think we will undermine their culture and their values."
The jihad against the West is being perpetrated by a small cadre of Islamists who have convinced a much larger community that they have been coopted into believing that not only this is necessary, but that the jihadists' view of Islam is the one true vision. Now, this cadre of Islamists has state support - from the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and even Syria and Pakistan (among others). Each of those countries has their own reasons for supporting the jihadists, but their goals are the same - to impose their own vision of Islamism on the world.
The protests keep coming. The Philadelphia Inquirer had run one of the original 12 cartoons a week ago, and now some Muslim groups are protesting against the Inquirer.
Many of the 200 protesters acknowledged that the paper had the right to publish the image but said it still mocked their religion.One has to wonder where Siddique has been every time a suicide bomber has killed civilians somewhere in the world in the name of Islam and jihad. Silently assenting? His silence then, and outrage now suggests that Islam has some real issues that they need to work out - and the sooner the better.
"It was done knowing that it was against the wishes of the Muslim people," said 50-year-old Mahmood Siddique. "It was done in bad taste in the name of freedom of speech."
The Mohammed Image Archives is now mirrored to 12 sites, so there's no chance of those servers going down anytime soon.
The British Muslim protest, which organizers claimed would bring 100,000 together to protest the cartoons, only brought out about 3,000 people.
Via Pajamas Media, Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit himself, gave CNN a piece of his mind in a segment earlier today. Ian Schwartz of Expose the Left has the video.
Meanwhile, Charles at LGF has an interesting posting about the progenitor of the modern militant Islamist movement - Sayyid Qutb - one of the guys who spurred Rahman, bin Laden, and Zawahiri to jihad and mass casualty attacks.
Tigerhawk has a cartoon that sums up the Islamist sentiment over the cartoons. Donald Sensing has some interesting insights into the Cartoon jihad. And the Junkyard Blog has a good roundup.
Technorati: Buy Danish "jyllands-posten mohammed" "muhammad cartoon" embassy torchings "muhammad image archive"