By David Paulin
In an early-morning raid on Saturday, dozens of Federal agents and police surrounded a mosque in west Miami-Dade County. They were after suspected jihadists – Pakistani-born American citizens who'd allegedly been providing material support to the Pakistani Taliban and who hoped for the deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan. They wanted to see Sharia law established in Pakistan as well.
Accordingly, police weren't taking any chances. They were heavily armed. And they showed up just after 6 a.m. to ensure they had the element of surprise.
“Open up! Police!” they shouted.
But, alas, police encountered a pesky little problem: Religious ceremonies were being conducted by their prime target – a 76-year-old iman named Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan. Accordingly, 25 to 30 law-enforcement officers respectfully waited for prayers to end – and then obligingly took off their shoes upon entering the mosque, according to an article in Sunday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
What evidence might have been destroyed before police finally got inside the mosque to handcuff suspects? Drug dealers, mafia dons, and KKK members are never accorded such courtesies – police quickly break down their doors and arrest them. So why are suspected Muslim terrorists given such respect? Well, there's a two-word answer for that: political correctness. But at least the respectful way Saturday's raid was carried out can help President Obama prove to Muslims that America respects Islam!
Aside from the raid's troubling example of dhimmitude, the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force appear to have done a splendid job; their indictment was based on a three-year investigation involving wiretaps and the analysis of suspicious wire transactions. Khan and five accomplices -- including two of his sons -- were accused of providing at least $50,000 to America's enemies -- an amount prosecutors called the "tip of the iceberg." The money was allegedly used to buy guns for the Pakistani Taliban, support terrorism, and to operate an Islamic school in Pakistan with terrorists ties.
Kahn, after hearing the mujahideen in Afghanistan had killed seven American soldiers, also was reported to have boasted that he wished that God kill 50,000 more of them.
As the Sun Sentinel also reported:
One of the imam's sons, Izhar Khan, a 24-year-old North Lauderdale resident, was arrested in the parking lot of the Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen mosque in Margate, where he is imam, just before the 6 a.m. prayer.
Agents also seized computers from the mosque office.
The other son, Miami resident Irfan Khan, 37, was awakened by agents at a hotel in Los Angeles at 3 a.m. Pacific time and taken into custody there.
All three men are American citizens who are originally from Pakistan, authorities said.
"Despite being an imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace,'' said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. "Instead, as today's charges show, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming."
Three others named in the indictment remain at large in Pakistan. They were identified as Ali Rehman, also known as Faisal Ali Rehman; Amina Khan, also known as Amina Bibi, who is the daughter of Hafiz Khan; and her son, Alam Zeb, Khan's grandson.
Fortunately, the arrests had absolutely nothing to do with Islam or the two Florida mosques that were raided. As the Sun-Sentinel reported in a separate article:
Yazid Ali, the board president of the Margate mosque, said those who know Izhar Khan were "very surprised" by news of his arrest.
"We are in full cooperation with all of the authorities involved in this case," he said. "We would like everyone to know that Margate mosque Al does not support terrorism, for this is a forbidden act in Islam."
Mosque secretary Fazal Deen said, "I never, ever heard anything that came close to militancy from him."
The indictment does not charge the mosques themselves with any wrongdoing. The U.S. Attorney's Office said they are charging the individual defendants based on their support to terrorism, not on their religious beliefs or teachings.
Originally published at The American Thinker