A mosque located near the Cincinnati zoo has declared itself a “sanctuary” to shelter illegal aliens from arrest and deportation. The announcment by the Clifton Mosque came on the day before President Trump’s inauguration. Imam Ismaeel Chartier, who leads a congregation of approximately 800 people for Friday prayers, told Yahoo news “It took us no time to decide that this was the ethical and moral thing to do.” He claimed, “We want to help reclaim humanity for everyone.”
More than 800 U.S. congregations, representing Jewish and Christian traditions, have joined the so-called sanctuary movement that challenges federal immigration laws. Rev. Noel Anderson of the Church World Service, which organizes the sanctuary movement, said that the mosque in Cincinnati is probably the first to offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants. He said, however, that other mosques have shown support for the sanctuary movement otherwise.
Imam Omar Suleiman of Dallas, who teaches at Southern Methodist University, said that joining the sanctuary movement is supported Muslim history and the Koran. “It starts with the verse in the Quran where God says we honor the children of Adam and every person is a child of Adam,” he said. “And if the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his followers had not been taken in by the people of Medina when they had to flee Mecca, he probably would have been killed in Mecca.”
Islamic history has been marked, long before the migration of hundreds of thousands of Muslims to Europe over the last two years, by migrations and invasions. After it rose up in the Arabian peninsula, Muslim armies spread to Syria, Egypt, Anatolia, and North Africa, sweeping away Christianity. From there it pushed on the Persia and India, while it invaded Spain in the eight century and ruled there for centuries.
Imam Suleiman is spearheading a call-out to Muslim leaders and mosques to join the sanctuary movement. In addition, he is creating a webinar to provide resources for establishing sanctuaries.
The Clifton mosque joins with Christ Church Cathedral of the Episcopal Church of the United States to shield and protect immigrants seeking help. They would be screened by Interfaith Worker Justice. Other congregations have pledged to act in solidarity with sanctuaries in providing clothing, food, money, transportation, and other forms of assistance. These include a synagogue, a non-denominational church, and a Methodist church.
Mohammed Shamma, an Egyptian, is listed as a board member
of the Clifton Mosque. According to the mosque’s website, he was born in Egypt and holds a PhD in management science. In addition, he notes that he has been involved with the “national Muslims Students Association and the Islamic Society of North America since 1969.” He was also chairman of the National Muslim Students association in 1970, and business manager, successively, of the National Islamic Muslim Trust and the Islamic Society of North America.
Deborah Scroggins, a journalist, sought to understand how Aafia Siddiqui became an agent of the Al -Qaeda terrorist sect. According to Scroggins, Siddiqui was drawn into terrorism through the contacts and friendships she made in the early 1990s working for the Muslim Students Association at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She wrote that it was the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s largest Islamist movement, that established the first MSA locals in the United States.
Siddiqui is currently serving an 86-year sentence for attempting to kill federal officers while in detention in Afghanistan. During the investigation, it was determined that she had assisted in planning mass casualty events in the United States, including an attack on the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York State, where the federal government has conducted research concerning biological weapons.
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