Skip to comments.Muslim chaplain barred from counseling NYC inmates because mosque allegedly linked to al-Qaida
Posted on 03/21/2003 12:36:27 PM PST by kattracks
NEW YORK (AP) -- A Muslim chaplain who counsels inmates in the city's Rikers Island jail has been reassigned because of his ties to a mosque authorities say is linked to al-Qaida fund raising.
Amin Awad, who was named president of the board of trustees at Al-Farooq mosque earlier this month, cannot have contact with inmates and has been reassigned to administrative duties, Tom Antenen, a spokesman for the city Department of Correction, said Friday.
Awad, who has counseled Rikers inmates since 1998, is one of seven Islamic chaplains in the city's correctional system, Antenen said. The department has 23 chaplains overall.
"The imam has been reassigned because of his position at the mosque pending resolution or clarification of the issues," Antenen said. The decision was first reported by Newsday in Friday's editions.
The storefront mosque in Brooklyn has had documented ties to extremists dating back more than a dozen years.
Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, serving a life prison term for a failed plot to blow up New York landmarks, was the mosque's spiritual leader in the early 1990s, and the men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing worshipped there.
Federal criminal charges filed last month against a Yemeni cleric, Al Hasan Al-Moayad, allege he raised millions of dollars, some through the mosque, that were funneled to al-Qaida. He is being held in Germany, and the U.S. government is seeking his extradition.
Adul Rahman, the mosque's spiritual leader, has said through a spokesman that the mosque is "very, very surprised" by the allegations of al-Qaida fund raising.
Ah, yes, the beautiful Al Farooq mosque in downtown Brooklyn, conveniently located between the Islamic
torture film book store and the Land of Paradise bomb gift shop. Are there any extremists that AREN'T associated with the damn thing?