New Trend Magazine (www.newtrendmag.org) (410-435-5000)
Deported after 18 Years stay in U.S.: Wife, 3 children not
Hanooti: Albany Imam Intensely Loyal to U.S. Charged with Hamas
Our representative has just returned from a two-day visit to
New York. Albany's Muslims are very peaceful people and have never
waves about U.S. governmental policies. The main mosque had an Algerian
for years who severely curbed all political discussion and stopped the
distribution of politically related
literature at the mosque
He is a regular fixture at
The Algerian imam was not being paid well, only a measly $50,000
leading juma salat and an Islamic service every week. He left for a
position and was, after an extended period of time, replaced by Shaikh
Mohammad al-Hanooti who used to be at a staunchly pro-government mosque
Virginia called Dar al-Hijra. Before we relate the story of Al-Hanooti,
us trace the outlines of the tragedy of Ali Yaghi, a 34-year old
who had a pizza store in Albany.
The following are the facts of Ali Yaghi's tragedy as gleaned from
people in Albany and from a front page report in the
newpaper of July 21 published from Albany.
1. Ali Yaghi came to the United States when he was 16.
2. In 1993, he married an Afghan woman named Shokriea and they had
children, Zeyad, now 8, Ismaeel, 6, and Mohammed, 5.
3. On October 3, 2001 Ali was arrested after some informant called
say that he was standing outside the pizza store at the time of the
attacks allegedly expressing signs of victory.
4. The FBI grilled him for several months and finally cleared him of
5. Altogether, he was kept in prison for 9 months. Of these, SIX months
in a Brooklyn prison where the authorities painted over the windows to
him a view of the sky and kept him in the cell for 23 of every 24
6. The FBI handed him over to the immigration authorities who decided
deport him in
spite of his having been cleared of association with terrorists.
7. His immigration status was not clear because he had applied for
asylum years back.
He was deported to Jordan on June 24 with no money and his old
passport in his hand.
8. His wife did not know till July 8 that he had been deported. She as
expecting a hearing on August 1 and got his prison belongings back on
with a note saying that he had been "transferred."
9. Ali's wife, Shokriea, is very loyal to the U.S. and is a citizen of
U.S. Her older brother and father were killed in the period of anarchy
before the rise of the Taliban. Female members of her
raped. [Readers should remember that the Taliban emerged to put an end
anarchy and stopped violence against women by application of death
10. Shokriea is trying to get her husband back but faces a difficult
because the U.S. forced Ali to sign papers saying he would never try to
return. Thus the 18 year stay of a Palestinian in
the beautiful was terminated.
NOW BACK TO THE STORY OF SHAIKH HANOOTI. There is an element of irony
Hanooti's story because of his intense loyalty to America. Somehow,
some rumor, or tale carrying by someone, the government came to believe
Hanooti had RAISED SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS and sent them to Hamas.
To make it worse, a newspaperman in Albany believed the story and wrote
in his paper. From there it got on the TV screens.
The Board members of the mosque got very worried and wanted to get rid
Hanooti. However, the community rallied around Hanooti and owing to the
efforts of people like Br. Sayeed, a big advertisement was placed in
local paper refuting the allegations against Hanooti.
The entire story was bogus: Shaikh Hanooti never raised or helped raise
million and there is absolutely no indication that he had any financial
or arrangements with Hamas.
Shaikh Al-Hanooti is a learned scholar and his religious views
read with great respect by the entire spectrum of well-to-do immigrant
Muslims from coast to coast. Muslims are disturbed and unnerved by the
attempts to link the Shaikh ro Hamas.
To the contrary, Shaikh Hanooti has been so loyal to the U.S.
joined Taha Jabir al-Alawani to support Muslims fighting for the U.S.
government in the "war against terrorism." To this effect, Alawani and
Hanooti, who are president and member respectively of a body called
Council of North America, issued a FATWA urging American Muslims to
the U.S. army and "combat terrorism." The FATWA's key point reads as
"All Muslims ought to be united against all those who terrorize the
innocents, and those who permit the killing of non-combatants without a
justifiable reason. The Muslim soldier must perform his duty in this
despite the feeling of uneasiness of 'fighting without discriminating.'
intention must be to fight for enjoining of the truth and defeating
falsehood. It's to prevent aggression on the innocents, or to apprehend
perpetrators and bring them to justice."
The FATWA was sought by Chaplain Abdul-Rashid Muhammad, the most
Muslim chaplain in the U.S. military. The Chaplain is "helping some
American servicemen deal with their qualms about fighting terrorists
claim to represent Islam."
[This Fatwa and the entire information we have quoted was so valuable
State Department that it is available on its site:
COMMENTARY: Muslims wonder why these pressures on Muslims, like
Hanooti, who have always been pro-government? TAHA ALWANI gave a Fatwa
supporting the Muslims voting for Bush. His house was raided earlier
year and his computer taken away.
There are several theories about this.
1. The U.S. sees pro-government, rich, established Muslims as a cover
"sleeper cells" planning to attack America. It can't believe that there
be Muslims dishonorable enough to prefer their comfortable lives to the
entailed by supporting the worldwide Muslim agitation against America.
2. Jews like Emerson and Pipes wanted the Alwani-Hanooti grouping to be
replaced by totally subservient types like the Sufis. They are
instigating the authorities against loyal American Muslims.
3. The pressures on loyal Muslims who are not even dissenters are a
well-thought-out measure meant to speed up integration of immigrant
The U.S. senses that Alawani-Hanooti types have no backbone at all and
pressured will bend over backwards to prove their loyalty and will help
integrate the entire mosque communities under their and their friends'
control and/or influence.
2002-07-25 Thu 18:36ct