Government’s distortions about the nature of Islam in America can be distressing. Even worse are the places where those distortions are willfully solicited.
Take, for instance, Johari Abdul-Malik. Remember, he’s the Virginia imam who starred in the State Department’s cinematic hagiography “Eid in America.” Abdul-Malik is a black man from Brooklyn, N.Y., who converted to Islam.
If the video is your only encounter, you’ll reckon him up as the warm, avuncular “director of outreach” at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va. For the unwary viewer, the friendly Islamic Center promotes Muslim life in the United States.
I daresay the cutting-room floor was more interesting — and more accurate.
The State Department apparently thought it best not to include footage of Abdul-Malik’s call for “sabotage” terrorist attacks against Israel.
As he put it in 2001: “You can blow up bridges, but you cannot kill people who are innocent on their way to work. You can blow up power supplies ... the water supply. You can do all forms of sabotage and let the world know that we are doing it like this because they have a respect for the lives of innocent people.”
Yes, what better way to show respect!
Of course, not alluding to this speech spared the State Department the embarrassment of explaining that the conference at which Abdul-Malik gave it was hosted by the Islamic Association of Palestine, the epicenter of U.S. support for Hamas.
Perhaps Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has forgotten that the self-proclaimed “purpose” of Hamas, according to its charter, is “to create an Islamic Palestinian state throughout Israel by eliminating the state of Israel through violent jihad.”
Evidently, the State Department also didn’t think it wise to include Abdul-Malik’s 2004 promise of Islamic supremacy in America.
As it happens, “outreach” at Dar al-Hijrah is just Abdul-Malik’s day job. On the side, he’s a director of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains. The founder and president of that outfit, Warith Deen Umar, has glorified the 9/11 hijackers, explaining that “even Muslims who say they are against terrorism secretly admire and applaud” them.
For his part, Abdul-Malik is a bit more circumspect. When asked by the investigative journalist Paul Sperry about other “sermons” at the mosque that lionize violent jihad and martyrdom, he couldn’t see what the problem might be. In their own way, he explained, Muslims are like U.S. Marines.
Somehow, I think our Marines fighting and dying in Afghanistan would not be flattered by the comparison.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor and author of “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America,” from which this is adapted.