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June 5, 2006
The Broad Strata And Its Narrow-Minded Origins

The supposedly "broad strata" of society whence the Canadian terror cell sprang had an unusually narrow base: a single mosque in Mississauga. The eldest of the cell and apparently its ringleader, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, sat on the mosque's board and led prayers while organizing this conspiracy to attack Canadian targets:

Several of the people arrested by Canadian authorities in a huge counterterrorism sweep over the weekend regularly attended the same storefront mosque in a middle-class neighborhood of modest brick rental townhouses and well-kept lawns.

The eldest of the 17 Canadian residents arrested in the sweep, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, was described by his lawyer as an active member of the mosque, the Al-Rahman Islamic Center for Islamic Education, though not its leader.

"He's on the board, he's there regularly, but he's not an imam," said Anser Farooq, the lawyer representing Mr. Jamal and three other people from this Toronto suburb who were arrested Friday night and who also attended the same mosque. "He's one of about a half dozen people who lead prayers at the mosque."

Of course, we are to take no notice of these keys to the conspiracy. Heaven forfend we draw conclusions about the nature of the cell's motivation just because a number of them attended the same mosque. On the other hand, one of the spokespeople for the Canadian Muslim Congress did have a good point about Jamal, noting that he was not considered an imam:

"I do not think of him as an imam," Tareeq Fatah, the communications director of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said. "People like him are freelancers. I don't fear imams. I fear freelancers who are creating a Islamacist, supremacist cult."

I can understand the problem Fatah describes, one which Christianity has experienced since the Reformation. When people take it upon themselves to interpret religious writings on their own with varying degrees of regard for the history of its understanding, very strange ideas can erupt, including violent cults. However, the solution to that would be to bar non-imams from leadership roles within mosques. Besides, other mosques have turned themselves into terrorist recruitment facilities with the leadership and assistance of imams, notably in Great Britain.

Please read the entire article by Anthony DePalma and Ian Austen to get a sense of what media outlets do when they have no fresh information to report. The last half of the article is absolutely hilarious, an assortment of off-topic trivia that practically screams "filler". The Gray Lady informs us that:

* Jamal lived in a handicapped-accessible apartment, but didn't use a wheelchair (think that might finally anger the PC crowd?)

* The mosque has lots of books

* Apparently, women must enter the mosque through a side door (and it was locked!! Discrimination squared!!)

* A car outside Jamal's home had an illustrated guide to understanding Islam on its dashboard

Truly, this enlightens us about the nature of the Islamist terror cell and of Islam in general. This is the kind of reporting that can only be done in the mainstream media, filtered through those multiple levels of editorial checks that ensures the highest quality output. The blogosphere stands in awe.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 5, 2006 6:21 AM

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