Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Stroll Down Gilani Lane

The Muslims of AmericaLast weekend I posted about my visit with members of the Christian Action Network in Lynchburg. These brave folks have decided to go head-to-head with the Muslims of America and Jamaat ul-Fuqra over the official county name of a road: “Sheikh Gilani Lane”. It’s the main private road in the Red House compound, and is named after the terrorist group’s leader.

Yesterday the Richmond Times-Dispatch published an article about the controversy. I talked to Christian Action’s president, Martin Mawyer, last night, and he says he doesn’t know how the paper got onto the story.

“They never talked to us,” he said.

Surprisingly, the newspaper’s account is a fairly accurate one. The only sign of PC propaganda was what the headline writer did to summarize the issue: “Private road named for Muslim is focus of Christian group’s bid”.

Notice that Sheikh Gilani is simply a “Muslim”, as if Christian Action were targeting Gilani and the MOA out of religious spite. No indication that this is a terrorist Muslim that they’re objecting to.

But the story itself is a straightforward account of the facts:

If you want to know the history of the Muslims of America community in Charlotte County, just flip through the 2-inch-thick file at the county administrator’s office.

A county employee started collecting various articles and filings years ago in response to the many inquiries about the Muslim enclave in western Charlotte County. It is a compilation of a relationship that one professor noted shortly after the community’s establishment was bound to have conflict because of the “culture shock” on the part of the local residents and the Muslims.

The community — or compound, as a federal prosecutor called it — was established in the mid-1990s on 44 acres in this rural county of about 12,400 people. Most of the homes there are trailers, and about 20 families were estimated to live there several years ago.

Early on, county officials pushed community residents to correct zoning violations, local residents complained about its effect on property values and the Muslims complained they were victims of discrimination.

In the wake of the Sept.11 attacks, three residents of the community were indicted on federal gun charges. Federal prosecutors alleged that they had ties to a black Muslim terrorist group called al-Fuqra that had been involved with violent attacks, though not with the Sept. 11 attacks. Two of the three residents were convicted of the gun charges.

Residents of the community have denied any ties to terrorism.

Since then, there has been little public discussion of the community.

“They haven’t been at the forefront of issues we’ve dealt with for the last few years,” County Administrator R.B. Clark said.

That changed in recent weeks.

Sheikh Gilani LaneMembers of an organization calling itself the Christian Action Network said they want to appear before the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors to request that the name of Sheikh Gilani Lane, the private road running through the Muslim community, be changed.
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Martin Mawyer, president of the Forest-based group, showed up at Tuesday’s board meeting to make his case but was not allowed to speak because the issue was not on the agenda. About 30 members of the Muslims of America community were also in attendance but also did not speak.

Members of the Muslim community as well as nearby residents declined to comment when contacted later last week.

The week before, the Christian Action Network, which says it is a nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the traditions of the American family and defending the nation against radical Islam, said it dropped from an airplane about 2,500 fliers on the Red House area around the Muslim community. The fliers allege that Sheikh Gilani Lane honors a terrorist and blames [sic] him for the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pearl was reportedly on his way to interview Sheikh Mubarik Gilani, a Muslim cleric in Pakistan, when he was abducted Jan. 23, 2002, in Karachi. Gilani helped found the Muslims of America and the Charlotte County site, as well as several others in rural areas across the country. Federal authorities have alleged that Muslims of America is connected with al-Fuqra and responsible for bombings and murders across the country.

The Christian Action Network’s Web site says the group is one of the nation’s leading grass-roots Christian political organizations with more than 250,000 active members.

“It is outrageous there is a road sign in Charlotte County named after an international terrorist,” Mawyer said in a letter left at the board’s meeting last week. “It is an insult to all the victims of 9/11 to continue to honor a known terrorist by granting him a sign that officially appears on the maps of Charlotte County.”

Sheikh Gilani Lane was established shortly after the Muslim community was developed. about 10 years ago. County rules allow residents to name their private roads.

“We didn’t know who Gilani was, and we felt like it was their business,” Clark said. “But 9/11 changed all that.”

Clark said the Board of Supervisors has referred the issue to the county attorney to decide whether it can even take up the question of the lane’s name without it being an act of discrimination. There is no time frame for when the attorney will finish his research.

“All I can do is wait to hear from our attorney and the board will decide what or what not to do,” Clark said.

“Changing the name of the road is not going to change the situation we are faced with,” he said. “It wouldn’t change anything going on in that community.”

Thanks to Martin Mawyer and everyone else at Christian Action, people other than the residents of Rolling Hill Road are becoming aware of Jamaat ul-Fuqra and the Red House compound. This could put Charlotte County, Virginia, on the map — though not necessarily in a way they’d like.

Dhimmi Watch picked up the story from the Times Dispatch, but — because the newspaper did not include a link — DW had no link to the Christian Action website.

I’m remedying that right here. Drop by the Christian Action Network and look at what they’re doing. It’s a nasty and dangerous task, and they are dedicated people.

Browse their site, look at the “Daily Terrorism News”, and leave an encouraging comment. You might even make a donation.

They’re one of the pillars of the Counter-Jihad.