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November 18, 2004

Christian School in Florida Alleges Wrongfull Eviction By Radical Islamic Group

Topics: International News

Reported in Agape Press yesterday but still news today:

A Christian school in Florida has filed a lawsuit alleging it was wrongfully evicted by a radical Islamic group.

Kissimmee Christian Academy (KCA) claims it was harassed off the former college campus it leased from the Muslim-owned conglomerate, Super Stop Petroleum, which installed an organization called "Universal Heritage Foundation" on a section of the premises. According to Pastor Lee Wasson of Celebration Worship in Osceola County, the Christian school his church operates was victimized by the Muslim group in a systematic campaign of harassment.

KCA had its power, water, and sewer services shut off by Super Stop Petroleum, Wasson says, and later the school was sent an erroneous bill against the provisions of its lease. To the pastor it soon became obvious that the Muslim corporation wanted the school off the property. The reason, he believes, is so Super Stop could establish its local agent, UHF -- a group known for its hate speech against Christians and Jews.

Wasson says UHF has "called for death to worshippers of the cross." And, he adds, "it's unfortunate to have to repeat these words that are in print, but they've called the Jews the scum of the Earth, the grandsons of monkeys and pigs." Also, Wasson says the radical Islamic group has either chaired or been in charge of other mosques and schools that have had arrests or "have been under investigation, or even have been raided."

According to the Florida minister, the UHF has invited speakers to its mosque who describe homicide bombers as "martyrs" and call for the imposition of Sharia law in the U.S. He believes the UHF is made up of Muslim extremists and says, "They are with organizations that have noted terrorist ties." Source...

This is scary stuff. Hello State of Florida, hello Jeb, this needs investigation! Okay citizens, time for some grass roots activity here. Comments and suggestions invited. Good luck to KCA!

Posted by Hyscience at November 18, 2004 9:00 AM

The Universal Heritage Foundation is a small organization with only two employees. We have never bothered the Kissimmee Christian Academy or its staff at all. It is nothing but an outright lie that we have ever shut down KCA's electricity, water or any other services. We do not have control over the facility. We are renting just few rooms and working mostly off campus to inform the community at large about the potentails of the future project.

The Pastor had financial difficulties and had been unable to pay the rent. That is why the owner, Superstop Petrolium, sent him legal collection notices. They gave him the legal eviction notice through the court after being unable to collect the rent. The KCA left in February of 2004 on its own though the lease was to expire on July 15, 2004.

The space is still available and the owner gives the assurance that they are willing to lease the property to Kissimmee Christian Academy on the same old terms and conditions if the KCA is willing to pay the outstanding amounts and bills.

This is a rent dispute and has absolutely nothing to do with the religion. I will strongly recommend and actually earnestly request Pastor Lee Wasson to stick to the true Christian spirit, pay the outstanding bills to the owner, and come back to the facility. For God's sake, do not use faith to try to get cheap publicity or run away from financial responsibilities. Faith is higher than these petty material gains.

Again, it is purely a matter of bills and not religions.

The staff of Universal Heritage will be extremely happy to see Kissimmee Christian Academy come back to the facility and enjoy a good friendly relationship with them.

Posted by: Zulfiqar A. Shah Ph. D. at November 22, 2004 7:58 AM

I am the founder and the CEO/Chairman of the Universal Heritage Foundation. Neither UHF or anybody officially connected with it has ever made outrageous statements such as "Death to the worshippers of the Cross", or evil statements about the Jews described in the Pastor's statement. I have closely worked with the interfaith groups, NCCJ and many such multi-cultural and multi-religious groups. I have befriended many Rabbis, Ministers and Pastors and still enjoy close and brotherly relations with many of them. It is evil even to think of making such blank statements rest aside actually making them or allowing someone to make them in my presence. The Pastor must bring the proof that anyone connected with UHF has ever made such an evil statement. I am sorry to say that I have never seen such outright lies coming out of a pastor's mouth. I really mean it. I am really sadden by these baseless accusations. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" Mark 12:31

Jesus says in Matthew, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bring forth evil fruit... Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:16-23

Posted by: Zulfiqar A. Shah Ph. D. at November 22, 2004 8:45 AM

This was the first I hard about the UHF. It was not the last:

Islamic conference speaker draws wrath

By Susan Jacobson | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted December 3, 2003

KISSIMMEE -- Some anti-hate groups are outraged that a Saudi cleric who called on God to "terminate" the Jews and urged Muslims to shun peace with Israel is the invited keynote speaker at an Islamic conference scheduled this month in Osceola County.

A newly formed group, the Universal Heritage Foundation, is sponsoring the conference and an appearance by Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Sudais. Foundation leaders say the conference could bring thousands of people to 31 acres on U.S. Highway 192 near Florida's Turnpike, site of a former culinary school that most recently housed a homeless shelter.

Zulfiqar Ali Shah, chairman and chief executive officer of the foundation and former president of the Islamic Circle of North America, envisions a home base in Florida's tourist corridor that would attract Islamic scholars and promote tolerance among religious groups. Some anti-hate groups, however, fear Shah may be inviting radicals to Central Florida who will stir up prejudice and divisiveness.

"It raises questions and concerns for us about what the ultimate goal and message of the Universal Heritage Foundation is," said Mark Medin, Florida regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. "The message may not be of tolerance and respect. It may be a message of intolerance and antisemitism."

Medin said several of the more than two dozen announced speakers have links to groups that have preached hatred. The list of speakers also raised eyebrows with some terrorism experts.

Shah said his motives are pure. He also said he wasn't aware that the man invited to be the keynote speaker, Al-Sudais, was quoted in various newspapers in April 2002 as calling Jews "the scum of humanity, the rats of the world, the killers of prophets and the grandsons of monkeys and pigs."

Message of peace

Al-Sudais is senior imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. In contrast with his previous incendiary comments, Al-Sudais spoke in Lancashire, England, in October where he preached peaceful coexistence with neighbors and respect for the law before 8,000 people at one mosque and 4,000 at another, according to published reports.

A promotional flier says Al-Sudais was invited to the Osceola conference along with consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who ran for president in 2000 under the Green Party banner. Nader representatives said he does not plan to attend. Shah said Tuesday he isn't sure whether Al-Sudais would attend, either. If he does, Shah said Al-Sudais would be required to conform to the theme of the conference, "Islam for Humanity."

"We do not allow anybody to say anything inappropriate," Shah said. "We're trying to do something good."

Rita Katz, who heads a nonprofit anti-terrorism research center in Washington, D.C., said American Muslim leaders should not invite individuals like Al-Sudais, who are "virulently intolerant of the West and other religions."

"He's incredibly antisemitic, and widely publicized as so," said Katz, who heads the SITE Institute. "Post 9-11, why are they seeking someone so radical?" she asked, noting that Al-Sudais represents the conservative Saudi Wahabi sect of Islam.

Joe Kaufman, president of a South Florida group called Americans Against Hate, said Al-Sudais should be denied entry into the United States because of his antisemetic remarks, which were broadcast on Arabic TV and radio.

"The biggest fear is that the group this person will be speaking to is largely a who's who of the most radical figures in our country from the most radical organizations in our country," Kaufman said. "This could spark a violent act."

No federal or state agency said it plans to prevent Al-Sudais from entering the country.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced Kaufman as an advocate of a radical Jewish group. Kaufman fired back that the council is connected to Palestinian militants. Both sides deny the accusations.

Altaf Ali, Florida director of the council, said Al-Sudais and the other speakers are highly respected and that it has been "open season" on Muslims since the 9-11 attacks.

'Guilty by association'

"I personally have never heard any of these individuals say anything hateful," Ali said. "Anybody associated with a mosque is immediately [considered] a terrorist suspect. We are being found guilty by association."

In addition to Al-Sudais, the announced speakers include:

· Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an "unindicted person who may be alleged as (a) conspirator" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White. His Masjid al-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y., hosted the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted in a conspiracy to bomb the Holland and Lincoln tunnels in New York. Wahhaj testified as a character witness for Rahman. Wahhaj, whom his supporters say is "mainstream," has made numerous anti-American statements.

· Imam Maulana Shafayat Muhammad, principal of the Darul Uloom Institute & Islamic Training Center in Pembroke Pines. Dirty-bomb suspect José Padilla attended his mosque. Padilla, Brooklyn-born Muslim convert, is accused of plotting with al-Qaeda to explode a bomb containing radioactive materials in the United States.

· Muzzamal Siddiqui, who has spoken at pro-Hezbollah rallies, supported the creation of an Islamic state in the United States and praised martyrdom for the Islamic cause, according to the SITE Institute. In spite of his statements, Siddiqui has been a guest at the White House, and he spoke at Washington National Cathedral post 9-11.

· Sayyid M. Syeed, secretary-general of the Islamic Society of North America and former director of academic outreach at the International Institute of Islamic Thought. Federal agencies raided the institute last year on suspicion of funneling money to suicide bombers.

Areej Zufari, spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said attempted censure of the speakers is un-American.

Posted by: Pastor Lee Wasson at November 26, 2004 8:27 AM

From their website:

UNIVERSAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION, INC.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
*Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Ph.D. [see above]
Jamal Badawi, Ph.D.
*Imam Siraj Wahhaj [see above]
Sulayman S. Nyang, Ph.D.
Mahammad Afzal Qureshi
Hafiz Tasnim Uddin, P.E.
Hafiz Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Ph.D. (Chairman/CEO)
M. Ashraf Shaikh, C.P.A. (President)

Muzammil H. Siddiqi AND Imam Siraj Wahhaj...

From speakers list to Board Members.

Posted by: Pastor Lee Wasson at November 26, 2004 8:38 AM

The Pastor has yet to bring the proof that anybody officially connected with UHF has ever made an evil statement such as "death to worshippers of the Cross", as previously claimed by the Pastor.

The Imam Abdul Malik quoted by the Pastor is not the person who attended our conference in December. That Imam Abdul Malik was not even invited to the conference. The Pastor is mixing up between Imam Abdul Malik Ali of Oakland, CA, and Imam Abdul Malik from New York, the person actually invited by the UHF. Imam Abdul Malik, who spoke at our conference, has never visited California in his life, as he has confirmed with me in March 2004 when I spoke to him about these alleged remarks, rest aside speaking at San Francisco State University. Again, it is nothing but an effort to through mud at UHF by alleging that Imam Abdul Malik Ali, the supposed speaker at SFSU, was the guest speaker at the Universal Heritage Foundation's conference. Not at all! He was not the guest speaker and the fact of the matter is that he has never attended any of our programs. Imam Abdul Malik of New York was our guest speaker and he had not made any such remarks.

Yes! Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi was invited to the conference and is a member of our Board of Trustees. He has repeatedly denied the charges quoted by the Pastor and informed the media that he was misquoted. Dr. Siddiqi has participated in many inter-religious dialogues. He spoke at the World Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver, Canada and has participated in many seminars organized by the National Council of Churches and National Council of Christians and Jews in USA. From NCCJ he also received the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1999. On September 14, 2001, on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, he was invited by our President George Bush to lead a Muslim Prayer at the Interfaith Prayer Service at Washington National Cathedral which was also attended by the former presidents such as Clinton, Bush, Carter and Ford. He is the Vice President of the Academy of Judaic-Christian and Islamic Studies in California. He sits on the regional board of NCCJ and is co-author of "Abrahamic Connection" along with Dr. David Gordis and Dr. George Grose.

On October 1, 2001, Fox News reported that," In a phone conversation with Fox News, however, Siddiqi says he was not aware of all the speakers at the rally and doesn't support the extremist viewpoints some expressed.
"I don't support Hezbollah and HAMAS. I don't support any terrorist groups. Terrorism is not what Islam teaches," Siddiqi said." Dr. Siddiqi has met with President Bush in the White House soon after the 9-11 tragedy. Fox also reported Fleischer saying, "I don't think it would surprise anybody that the President often has meetings to discuss a whole host of issues with people that he may not agree with everything they may have said in the course of their lives or careers," Fleischer said.

Dr. Siddiqi has also been invited to speak at the State Department funded institutions such as USIP and many other official gatherings and forums. In response to his critics who objected to his participation in such official forums, Dr. Siddiqi posted the following comments:

Siddiqi Responds
Posted March 22, 2004
By Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi

Kenneth Timmerman's article, "Pipes Objects to Fox in the Henhouse" (posted March 19) against my appearing on the USIP panel on Islam came to my attention.

I am sorry to say that the author is very much misinformed about me and my opinions. Allow me to say the following:

1. Mr. Timmerman has accused the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as "a leading Wahhabi front organization in the U.S." The truth is that ISNA is the largest and one of the oldest Muslim Organization in North America. It is highly respected by Muslims and many interfaith and civic groups in United States and Canada. It is not affiliated to any particular sect or school. All Muslims who accept its constitution and by-laws are welcome to join this organization. ISNA operates under its own by-laws and is not a front organization for any foreign body.

2. Mr. Timmerman said that I "accompanied the Saudi officials of the Muslim World League on a fund-raising tour across America." The truth is that I never accompanied any MWL groups on fund-raising tours. I was part of the MWL delegation in 2002 that came to the U.S. to express its condemnation of 9/11 bombing and terrorism in the name of Islam. This visit was highly appreciated by many interfaith and civil leaders in our country. MWL is a religious organization with its headquarters in Makkah. Many Muslim scholars from all over the world are members of this organization. It has been in existence since 1963 and has many offices around the world.

3. Mr. Timmerman accused me of "openly threatening the United States with violence if it continued its support of Israel." He referred to a mutilated version of my speech on Oct. 28, 2000. The fact is that I never threatened any group or country with violence. I always speak of peace and justice toward all people. I remind myself and others the duty to do justice. I fear God and also remind others to fear God and do right things. This I believe was the way of the Prophets of God in the Bible and in the Qur'an (See Det. 27:19; Isa. 59:8-15; Jer. 21:12-14 and Qur'an 11:102 and 21:11-15 etc.) In my speech I only reminded my beloved country and its people to do justice to Palestinian people and fear God. I also said in my speech that I wish God's blessings for America and that is why I am trying to awaken the conscience of America. Timmerman is wrong when he says that "by injustice he meant U.S. support for Isreal." I am not against U.S. support for Isreal; I am against U.S. support for Isreali aggression and occupation and injustice to Palestinian people. There are many American religious leaders -- Muslims, Christians and Jews -- who feel the same way. Some say it and some are afraid to say it in public.

4. Mr. Timmerman says that I "called for a wider application of Sharia law in the United States." I do urge Muslims to live by the laws of God always and I also remind them to respect the laws of the land. I never called for the wider application of the Shari'ah laws on everyone in United States. If Timmerman has any evidence to prove his point, I am willing to look into that.

5. Mr. Timmerman accused me that I "in a 1995 speech praised suicide bombers." I do not recall that in 1995 there were any Palestinian or Muslim suicide bombers. How could I praise something that did not exist? The fact is that I have always spoken against suicide bombing. I do not believe that it is a right way of struggle for justice and liberation. I want Mr. Timmerman to show me any evidence for his claim.

I hope you will publish my letter and remove the misconceptions from the minds of those who are misled by Timmerman's false accusations.

I love nothing but peace and justice for all people of all faiths.

Sincerely,

Dr. Muzammil Siddiq

Now, if our President does not consider Dr. Siddiqi a radical or terrorist and feels comfortable inviting him to speak to the Nation on September 14, 2001, just three days after the September 11, 2001 tragedy, UHF and its staff should not be blamed for inviting such a respected, Harvard educated scholar to its programs.

Abdurahman Alamoudi has never been invited and has never spoken at any of our events.

Imam Siraj Wahaj, after all the things allegedly attributed to him, was invited to speak at the Capital Hill and opened a session of the House in June of 1991. He has also been invited to the White House since then.

None of the people officially connected with the UHF had been so irresponsible to make evil statements against the Jewish or Christian community. They have closely worked with their Jewish and Christian brethren to promote peace and justice and have shown their love, appreciation and respect for their beloved country, America, and the American Constitution. It does not however mean that they agree hundred percent with everything our policy makers do. As Americans they differ with some aspects of our foreign policy and they have every right to do so. This is what America has given them; the right of free speech and the right to have a different opinion. They aspire to continue having such a freedom, something they have been deprived of in many of the so called Muslim countries. That does not make them less patriotic or less American as many Americans do differ with the policy makers on numerous issues.

Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis is the Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. We sent him an invitation letter due to his position and not because of his views. In fact we were not aware of the comments attributed to him regarding the Jewish community and we did not have any way of verifying what he had actually said and what was wrongfully attributed to him. His office never responded to our invitation and we did not pursue it further after knowing the comments. We had categorically condemned the aforementioned comments in our December conference and will have no hesitation condemning them again at any forum or platform. The office bearers are usually invited because of their positions/prestige even if one disagrees with their philosophy or standpoint.

We also sent out an invitation to Mr. Ralph Nader's office. It does not mean we subscribe to his views or agree with everything he had said or did. We invite many Jewish/Christian leaders and a variety of scholars to our programs without subscribing to their views. We can only take responsibility for what is being said or promoted from UHF's platform and we always make sure that nothing objectionable is uttered or promoted at our functions.

I have to go right now but will be back with more comments.

Posted by: Dr. Z. Shah at December 3, 2004 9:57 PM

My Chicago comments are quoted out of context. They were made regarding Masjid al-Aqsa, Jerusalem and the Greater Israel theory. The comments were not against the Jews or the State of Israel, but, in opposition to the expansionist ideology of leaders such as Prime Minister A. Sharon and Natan Sharansky, Israel's housing minister and deputy prime minister, the ideology that calls for occupation of the entire area between the Rivers Nile and Eupharetes and expulsion of Muslims from there. The word "Jews" has been inserted there, I do not know by whom. I perhaps said, " If we are unable to stop them now…" It will not make me anti-Jewish even if the word was used because that was in the context of a specific issue and not regarding the universal Jewish community. There are some pretty strong words used in the New Testament such as the following statement of the Gospel of John:

"19:3 and they came unto him, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they struck him with their hands.
19:4 And Pilate went out again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him out to you, that ye may know that I find no crime in him.
19:5 Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. And [Pilate] saith unto them, Behold, the man!
19:6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify [him], crucify [him]! Pilate saith unto them, Take him yourselves, and crucify him: for I find no crime in him.
19:7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
19:8 When Pilate therefore heard this saying, he was the more afraid;
19:9 and he entered into the Praetorium again, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
19:10 Pilate therefore saith unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to release thee, and have power to crucify thee?
19:11 Jesus answered him, Thou wouldest have no power against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath greater sin.
19:12 Upon this Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar`s friend: every one that maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
19:13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment-seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
19:14 Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour. And he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King!
19:15 They therefore cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him! Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
19:16 Then therefore he delivered him unto them to be crucified."

What would the Pastor make of them if they are quoted out of context? Is John or the New Testament anti-Jewish?

Regarding Jerusalem, it is a known fact that it is a disputed territory. It is sacred to the Jews, Christians and Muslims. All lay claim on it. And I do not hide the sentiments that Masjid al-Aqsa is the third holiest place in Islam and the Muslims do not like the fact that it is being occupied or disrespected by the Israeli soldiers. I am not against the State of Israel but against Israeli aggressions. I condemn violence committed by both sides and wish to see a peaceful resolution to this humanitarian disaster.

Posted by: Dr. Z. Shah at December 4, 2004 9:32 PM



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