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MEMRI begins "Islamist Websites Monitor"
Posted by: McQ on Friday, October 06, 2006

Interesting little game going on.

MEMRI reports that the Arabic website al-Moheet is claiming the Dean of the Shari'a Academy of America, Dr. Al-Sayed Al-Seely, praised those who carried out the September 11 Attack:
On October 4, 2006, an Islamic website published an interview with the dean of the Shari'a Academy of America in which the latter avoids condemning the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, instead, depicts those who carried out the attacks as "brave geniuses" and suggests that they should be esteemed. According to him the attackers were not terrorists, but rather people who, by their actions, "took revenge or claimed [their] right." America should not expect people which it provoked to sit idle and not respond furiously to its provocation, he claims, adding that "What transpired in America stems, most importantly, from America's support to the Jews…a fact that infuriated many [Muslims]."
Dr. Al-Sayed Al-Seely responds on the Sharia Academy of America website:
In response to the outrageous lies fabricated against the Dean of the Sharia Academy of America.

It has been reported by the Arabic website al-Moheet that the Dean of the Sharia Academy of America described the executers of the sinful attacks of September 11th as heroes who benefited the Muslims.

While outraged by the audacity of the unfounded claim, Dr. Sayed as-Seely, the Dean of the Sharia Academy of America, confirms beyond any doubt that this report is untrue and fabricated and that he has not issued such statement or any similar statements.

On the contrary, his statement was meant to emphasize that whosoever is allowed into a foreign country for any purpose, including tourism, education, treatment or otherwise; such person must fulfill his covenant to the people of this country, which is firstly and most importantly to abstain from compromising their safety and security.

The Quran says in this regard: "And fulfill (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)." Dr. as-Seely reiterates that he didn't describe the executers of the sinful attacks of September 11th as heroes, neither did he say nor does he believe that they benefited the Muslims.

He contrarily affirms his categorical rejection of assaulting any innocent people and/or their properties.
This is because we are followers of a religion that commands mercy and gentleness, and prohibits assault and transgression.

The Quran clearly states: "And do not transgress, for God does not like the transgressors." And it says: "If any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people." While completely denying and rejecting such fabrications, Dr. as-Seely pleads to the workers in the various media to verify their reporting, and understand and honor the responsibility of the word, written or spoken. For words could incite more conflict, and lead humanity into more woes and tribulations.

And it is the word also that could mend the gaps and pave the way for mutual understanding and recognition, which will finally lead to the betterment of the human condition.
Now it is certainly possible that Dr. as-Seely may have been used here given the response he made. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

But it also wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility, given many examples in the past, that one thing is said for official consumption as a dean of an Muslim academic institute in the US and another for, oh I don't know, Arabic consumption.

Obviously that's pure speculation in this case, and based only on the fact that such has been done in the past. Dr. as-Seely seems a bit exercised about what he calls "untrue and fabricated" statements. Fine, I'll be glad to give him the benefit of the doubt, and, frankly, am pleased to see him speak out against the claim by the Arabic website.

MEMRI, if you aren't aware of it, is a valuable asset in the propaganda war. If you don't read them regularly, you probably should. Valuable insight into what is going on in the Arabic world. They've now announced another initiative, of which, this revelation (and reaction) were a part:
The Islamist Websites Monitor, which focuses on the major jihadi websites, is a new initiative of MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Studies Project. It will be regularly releasing translated news, analysis, and videos from these websites. The URLs of the sites will be available upon request.
The release about al-Seely's alleged remarks came from that initiative. His denial and denunciation of the website claiming he said those things is a result. I see that as a net positive for moderate Muslims.

Hopefully we'll see more of those as a result of the MERMI initiative. Any focus on the propaganda coming out of jihadi websites is a positive because it provides an opportunity to rebut it. And it also will make those who do play the double-talk game think twice about doing so.

And while you're checking out the MEMRI link, look at the photographic evidence of Iran's support for Muqtada Al-Sadr's militia.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
To miss an opportunity such as this to directly address his belief on terrorism in the context of 911 is a shame. The muslim community wonders why they are catching such a bad rap. All they ever seem to say is the quoran says its not right, They never seem to say "I" think its not right. Even if he was mis-quoted it makes him sound disingenuous at best.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Coaster, part of the reason Muslim leaders often respond by quoting Quaranic injunctions against terrorism is that many in the West and the terrorists themselves are intent on portraying terrorism as a legitimate part of Islam based on Quaranic quotes or Hadiths. When Muslim leaders speak out against this, they rely on religious sources to show the proper practice and beliefs of Islam, contrary to what is being portrayed by OBL, Hamas, etc. Since most of the Muslim leaders I have heard or read about speaking against terror seem to be fairly devout individuals, their understanding of Islam’s injunctions against terror and violence is crucial. As they take their religion seriously, if they believe that Islam is against terror, we can assume that they are personally against it, as well.

Remember OBL, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. are nothing more than political hacks with a specific agenda in mind. OBL’s is anti-colonialism, fascism, and pan-Arab nationalism. Hamas and Hezbollah’s seem to revolve around wiping out Israel and restoring the area to Arab Muslim domination (genocidal nationalism, reminds me of Nazism to be honest). Although all three cloak their political goals in the language of religion, I assure you it is nothing more than a poorly constructed facade.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
McQ, MEMRI is a excellent source of news for those unfamiliar with Arabic and thus unable to directly access Middle East news sources. I think a caveat should be inserted whenever discussing MEMRI, however. MEMRI was founded by a retired Israeli intelligence colonel, Yigal Carmon and an academic, Dr. Meyrav Wurmser who now works for the Hudson Institute (with ties to the RAND corporation). MEMRI’s purpose includes stated, explicit support for Israel and Colonel Carmon does not deny that MEMRI is biased and used to benefit Israel at the expense of the Arab and non-Arab Muslim world. See the following and this quote "Vincent Cannistraro, a former counterintelligence official with the CIA, said that MEMRI "are selective and act as propagandists for their political point of view, which is the extreme-right of Likud [...]. They simply don’t present the whole picture." Cannistraro claims he was asked to join MEMRI, but he refused "because I saw this was capped by Israeli intelligence and because it was too political."

In short, please read MEMRI. It offers some great information, but read it with a very critical eye, remembering that it is also intended to advance a specific position.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
In short, please read MEMRI. It offers some great information, but read it with a very critical eye, remembering that it is also intended to advance a specific position.
Understood Omar ... which is why I specifically took the time to check out the website of the Sharia Academy of America to see if they had responded (and they had) and to post that response.

In my estimation, all sources should be checked if possible.

However, MEMRI has provided some very interesting and credible info in the past. I’m more interested in their translations than analysis (and yes, I understand that translations can be "spun" as well given how a particular word of phrase is interpreted). They do provide a window into a world previously unavailable to most in the West.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Perhaps Dr. Al-Sayed Al-Seely can show his concern by publishing, in Arabic, on the website that issued the earlier version of his alleged remarks a firm rebuke of the earlier report and a confirmation that those perpetrating the 911 attack were acting in contravention of Islamic law! Just a suggestion. Of course, he may then want to beef up his bodyguard entourage!
 
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
Perhaps Dr. Al-Sayed Al-Seely can show his concern by publishing, in Arabic, on the website that issued the earlier version of his alleged remarks a firm rebuke of the earlier report and a confirmation that those perpetrating the 911 attack were acting in contravention of Islamic law! Just a suggestion.
He may very well be open to doing just that. However since he probably doesn’t own the website, he might not be given that opportunity. I think the fact that he reacted at all is a plus for him.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Memri is a Jewish institute well know and backed by neo-cons.

Some of it’s translatios are less than accurate and have led to massive pressure on individuals.

Memri is one sided and doesn’t monitor or highligth Jewish extremist websites.

Memri also says that Muslims say one thing to the West and another to the arabic world.

Well there are similar examples of the Israeli Govt doing this but of course we cannot discuss that.

memri is run by Daniel Pipes and his views and ideology is well known.
 
Written By: G. Khan
URL: http://
Omar, Thanks for your reply, Unfortunately I think most people do not believe that religious devotion means anti-terror. Seeing how some of the most devote muslims (no matter how warped) were flying the planes. I think if more "moderate" muslims were to seperate the two by denouncing the terror portion as wrong. Exceptance of islam as a peaceful religion would follow. Actions speak volumes about your true beliefs.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Memri is one sided and doesn’t monitor or highligth Jewish extremist websites.
At the moment, we’re not being attacked by Jewish extremists, are we?
Some of it’s translatios are less than accurate and have led to massive pressure on individuals.
Seems Dr. Al-Seely didn’t think so, given his refutation of the jihadi website’s claim.

Look, I appreciate your points and made a couple of them myself, but this particular case underscores their credibility not your claims.

There’s an easy fix for all of this. Why not start a Muslim website that reliably tracks and brings to the attention of the world that which is being said on the jiahadi websites?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
No but they are being financed by the USA and attack Palestinians who then get vent up and attack you.

It is a vicious cycle and just to look at one part is simply poor examination of what is going on.

Christian Evangelicals are in some cases extreme yet no-one says anythign about them.

There is cause and effect and all these extremists need each other. You simply gloss over two thirds and focus on one.

US made cluster bombs were flown at urgent notice and dropped indiscrimately in Lebanon. Those people who are kiled or maimed or have their family killed or maimed and this generates hate which fuels violence.

If they attack you now you’ll say they are attacking us without looking at the cause.

Ok why don’t you start a website that tracks what is being said by extremist Jews and Christians who attack the Muslim world?

At least be fair in your view of things. Balance in these times is very important.
 
Written By: G. Khan
URL: http://
G. Khan,

We don’t need a website to track extreme Jewish and Christian speech. That kind of coverage is integrated into the entire web and media, which is one reason such speech and actions akin to it is relatively mild compared to what we hear from the Islamists and other Arabic sources. MEMRI is translating Arabic websites and documents which we cannot read or do not otherwise have access to.

It should be noted that they also cover positive developments in The Middle East as well.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Christian Evangelicals are in some cases extreme yet no-one says anythign about them.
You must not be from around here. There are whole websites dedicated to monitoring religious extremists.

And as Lance notes, they’re routinely covered by the media here. We don’t have translation problems with that sort of coverage. Additionally, as I pointed out about Jewish extremists, we’ve not been suffering attacks by Christian extremists lately.
At least be fair in your view of things. Balance in these times is very important.
I was very fair. I sought out Dr. Al-Seely’s rebuttal and published it.

It seems you’ve overlooked that.

Interestingly, you also seem willing to ignore the fact that an extremist jihadi website published something claiming he said things he says were fabricated and your only point of contention is MEMRI.

How fair and balanced a view is that?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
No but they are being financed by the USA and attack Palestinians who then get vent up and attack you.
Yeah, except Palestinians aren’t attacking us, and the translations are not of Palestinian media alone. Also, everything gets the Palestinians "vented up" and ready to attack. There’s nothing new there.

MEMRI is a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation which means it files a detailed financial report anually, which becomes a public document. This allows them to accept tax deductable donations. Guidestar.org has this document (Form 990) for 2004 and all previous years. In the most recent year they operated on $2.5 million, almost all of it direct contributions. So what? It’s all open here. And it isn’t run by Daniel Pipes in any way shape or form. It was founded and is still run by Yigal Carmon who is ex-Mossad. That should be a better fit for your theory, no?
It is a vicious cycle and just to look at one part is simply poor examination of what is going on.

Do you know anyone who gets all of their news from MEMRI?
US made cluster bombs were flown at urgent notice and dropped indiscrimately in Lebanon. Those people who are kiled or maimed or have their family killed or maimed and this generates hate which fuels violence.
Nasrallah really shouldn’t have ordered those Israeli soldiers killed and kidnapped. Don’t you agree?
Ok why don’t you start a website that tracks what is being said by extremist Jews and Christians who attack the Muslim world?
Why don’t you do it? In fact, why don’t you just point to the attacks? You could model your website after this one.
At least be fair in your view of things. Balance in these times is very important.
You should do that too.

 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
But coaster, we have done so. We continue to denounce terrorism on a daily basis. I understand that the burden is on us due to the fact that it is our religion that is being misinterpreted and used by terrorists to justify their actions. This drumbeat that "moderate" Muslims aren’t condemning terror has gone on for too long and is becoming so ingrained in some people that we are rapidly getting to a point where dialogue is no longer effective. Obviously lashing out at Muslims by some of these guys is only going to increase. I really feel sorry for those who are too ignorant to learn about true Islam and open themselves up to dialogue with the 1 billion Muslims in the world today. For me and most "moderates," I’ll continue the fight to spread the truth about Islam and condemn terrorism, but we sure would appreciate a little credit every now and then.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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