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Sunday, October 02, 2005 

Muslim "chaplain" tries to fuel fire at the NY Fire Dept, resigns before things get hotter than need be

Michelle Malkin reports on a Muslim cleric who was hired as a chaplain for the Fire Department in NYC, and really ended up angering everyone with his questioning that Islamic terrorists were responsible for 9-11, and his suggestions that it was some kind of inner circle conspiracy that carried out the crime.
An imam slated to be sworn in Friday as the second Muslim chaplain in Fire Department history said he questioned whether 19 hijackers were responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and suggested a broader conspiracy may have brought down the Twin Towers and killed more than 2,700 people.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Imam Intikab Habib, 30, a native of Guyana who studied Islam in Saudi Arabia, said he doubted the United States government's official story blaming 19 hijackers associated with al-Quaida and Osama bin Laden.

"I as an individual don't know who did the attacks," said Habib, 30, a soft-spoken man who immigrated to New York in July 2000 after spending six years in Saudi Arabia getting a degree in Islamic theology and law. "There are so many conflicting reports about it. I don't believe it was 19 ... hijackers who did those attacks."

Asked to elaborate on his reasons for doubting that story, he talked about video and news reports widely disseminated in the Muslim community.

"I've heard professionals say that nowhere ever in history did a steel building come down with fire alone," he said. "It takes two or three weeks to demolish a building like that. But it was pulled down in a couple of hours. Was it 19 hijackers who brought it down, or was it a conspiracy?
This very irritating problem with roles and projects like these being hijacked by moonbats is getting very aggravatingly out of hand by now. As Michelle says:
It's one thing for C-list rappers (see also here) and academic moonbats to peddle such conspiratorial claptrap. But a New York Fire Department chaplain? Have we no respect for the 9/11 dead? Have we no respect for ourselves?
Exactly why the fire chief who was willing to just flat out hire the man in first place has a lot explaining to do now.

The report from Newsday also says:
A spokesman for the Fire Department, Frank Gribbon, said that Habib was recommended by the department's Islamic Society and was hired "based on his credentials as a religious person. We don't ask new employees about their political views before we hire them."

Stephen Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, could not be reached for comment.
Normally, not asking about people's political views is the right tack. But in a case like this, it may become inevitable if they have to.

Now, here's where Habib seems to really become ambiguous:
Habib's remarks about the attacks came in response to questions about whether he thought firefighters would accept a chaplain who had been educated in Saudi Arabia.

He said he did not expect that to be an issue because "I come from a country where you're accustomed to living with people of different ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds."

When pressed further about whether the hijackers' backgrounds -- 15 of whom were Saudi -- might make his training an issue for still-grieving firefighters, he went on to express his own doubts about the hijacker story.

Habib was one of several imams recommended for the chaplain's job by the Islamic Society for the Fire Department, as a result of his work teaching junior high students at Al-Ihsan Academy in Ozone Park, a private Islamic school, where he worked for about five years.
Ummm...is it not so that non-white, non-Jewish minority groups, and even Christian/Buddhist movements, are very few, if at all, in residency in the House of Saud, and that Mecca is off-limits to all non-Muslims entirely? There seems to be something fairly unclear going on here.

And after this incident, will anyone with sense be able to trust this Islamic Society for the NY Fire Department again? Probably not.

You can e-mail the Fire Department commisioner here, and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg here.

In the meantime, the imam has resigned from the post. From Bloomberg:
Imam Who Doubts 9/11 Story Quits as NYC Fire Chaplain, NY1 Says 2005-09-30 11:27 (New York)

By William Goldschlag

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- A Muslim cleric who was to be sworn in as a New York Fire Department chaplain today resigned following a newspaper interview in which he said he doubted official accounts that 19 terrorist hijackers carried out the Sept. 11 attacks, the cable news station NY1 reported.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said Imam Intikab Habib, 30, had resigned. Habin told NY1 that leaving the post was the best thing for the department, the report said. Habib, 30, a Guyanese who studied theology in Saudi Arabia and taught at a New Jersey Islamic school, suggested that a
broader conspiracy may have brought down the World Trade Center, according to a Newsday interview published today. He said there were ``so many conflicting reports'' that he questioned whether hijackers associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist group were responsible, Newsday said.
But as Michelle points out, the commisioner shouldn't be let off the hook so easily. That was wrong of them to act in such poor judgement in the first place by hiring such a Muslim moonbat, and we've got to make extra sure it won't happen again.

Others on the subject include: Conservative Outpost, Angry in the Great White North, One Jerusalem, Western Resistance, The Jawa Report.

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