Take a look at Hasan's old mosque
by Stephen Schwartz
What interpretation of Islam influenced Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan? As often before, the trail leads to the official sect of Saudi Arabia -- known as Wahhabism to most of us of who denounce it.
Confronting the role of radical Islam here is not Islamophobic, but common sense -- and the first response moderate Muslims themselves will have.
Hasan, though born in America, refused to have his picture taken with women -- an attitude distinct to fundamentalist radicalism among Muslims. The Prophet Mohammed cautioned his followers that when they go to live in non-Muslim lands they must accept the laws and customs of their new home. Millions of American Muslims get their picture taken with women, even ones not their wives, and don't worry about it. To refuse such an elementary and even trivial act of courtesy sets Muslims apart -- and that is the aim of radicals.
We've also learned that, before his transfer to Ft. Hood last year, Hasan served as a psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, and regularly attended Friday prayer at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md.
The Silver Spring clerics have issued formal statements condemning the carnage at Ft. Hood. But Imam Faizul Khan, long the main prayer leader at the mosque and a friend of Hasan, said he never believed Hasan capable of such an act.
Yet what docrines did Hasan absorb at the mosque? While he was a communicant, it hosted at least four talks by Enver Masud, the founder of The Wisdom Fund, the main Muslim "truther" group in America.
And Khan is a leading board member of the Islamic Society of North America -- the main Wahhabi-lobby group in the United States, established by Saudi Arabia to impose extremism on American Muslims. ISNA has a long and disgraceful record of promoting radical Islam.
On the roster of the ISNA board (listed on its Web site), the Silver Spring center's Imam Faizul Khan is the fourth member under its president.
But the mosque has worse associations. On its own Web site (mccmd.org), it promotes a Sharia-based financial product -- the Amana Mutual Fund, put together by the Wahhabis at the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), in northern Virginia.
Federal antiterrorism agents raided IIIT in the Operation GreenQuest raids of 2002. That operation remains an ongoing inquiry; IIIT and the Amana fund are still under investigation. Convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian is still in US federal custody because of his refusal to give evidence about the Virginia Wahhabi ring caught in GreenQuest.
Most interesting of all: The button on the MCC's Web site titled "Islam" takes you to a pamphlet titled "Islam Is . . ." by a person calling himself "Pete Seda."
Seda is an Iranian also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty and Abu Yunus. He was one of three officers of the US branch of a Saudi-based "charity," the Al-Haramain Foundation -- until being indicted by the Justice Department for terror financing and tax fraud. Seda and his companions still await trial.
From a ghastly act to a Saudi-backed fundamentalist imam to a Saudi-run designated terror-financing "charity" is not a long trail. It is a small coil of associations that exists in too many US mosques. American Muslims must drive these elements out of their community. The problem's not traumatic stress, much less Islam. It's the ideology, the money and the interests of the Saudi hardliners.