The suspects in an alleged plot to attack Fort Dix have been described by federal authorities as "radical Islamists," but the leader of the mosque where four of the men worshipped said yesterday Islam has no room for violent extremists.The problem for Muslim leaders who make these pronouncements denouncing terrorism and violence is that they're not only in the minority, but the extremists consider such views to be apostasy punishable by death.
During his Friday prayer service sermon, which he entitled "Islam: The Middle and Moderate Path," Islamic Center of South Jersey trustee Ismail Badat told about 150 worshippers that their religion "denounces terrorism."
"Islam teaches gentleness and softness in everything," Badat said from the lectern next to a large white-and-blue tile mosaic and between two minarets. "There are some Muslims who do not know Islam."
With reporters in the back of the room and police cars outside in case of reprisal, Badat acknowledged brothers Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka as well as Serdar Tatar worshipped at the center but said their alleged actions do not represent the mosque or its worshippers.
"We are all American -- Muslims are Americans," he said. "We don't distinguish from others. We are part of the same society that we live in. We condemn terrorism, there is no doubt about it. We don't condone violence. We have been here 15 years in this mosque and we haven't had any problems."
The mosque leaders have more to worry about extremists within Islam attacking their mosque than they do from the general community.
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Is the Circuit City store clerk who first alerted authorities to the possibility that something was amiss with the Fort Dix six going to need whistleblower protection to avoid being sued for his actions? Given the way that CAIR is going after those who spoke up over the actions of the Minnesota imams at an airport, it's a good bet that they may try to do the same here.
Via Instapundit, comes a report of personal experience with two of the Duka brothers. They started out as neighborhood bullies and later became drug dealers in the neighborhood. That they would turn into jihadis comes as a bit of a shock.
It would appear that the Duka brothers didn't just attend a New Jersey mosque, but the Albanian Islamic Center in Tompkinsville on Staten Island. Where else did they go to attend services? I'm sure that the FBI is looking into that very question - did they get the idea to go on jihad from their fellow congregants or religious leaders?