We are at war with militant Islam, but you wouldn't know it from the Pentagon, which is busy erecting a shrine to Islam just five short years after Islamic terrorists destroyed a good chunk of its own building and killed more than 100 of its occupants. Worse, it's consulting on the project with a Wahhabi-educated cleric posing as a moderate.
Last week, military brass -- along with representatives from the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations -- dedicated the first Muslim prayer center for the Marines as a symbol of the military's "religious tolerance" and "respect" for the faith the enemy uses to attack us. Already, plans are in the works to build by 2009 a bigger mosque at the Marine base in Quantico so Muslim service members can have a "proper place" to worship, and one that "honors their religious heritage," officials say, not realizing that the mosque can also be used by the enemy to build a Fifth Column inside the Marines.
The idea for the center came from Navy Lt. Abuhena Mohammed Saifulislam, a young, smooth-talking Muslim chaplain, who wanted a permanent place of worship -- and "education" -- for the growing number of soldiers who are interested in -- and converting to -- Islam.
Quantico has only 24 Muslims on base, so the mosque -- the first of its kind in the 230-year history of the Corps -- will also serve to introduce and draw other Marines to the faith. Large posters explaining how "Muslims love and respect Jesus" (but only as a minor prophet and not the son of God, which they view as blasphemous to Allah) line the inside of the white building. This is one way imam Saifulislam -- known on base simply as "Saif" -- bridges the faiths to reach out to Christian soldiers. Blacks are particularly susceptible to his pitch.
Apparently, whatever Saifulislam wants, he gets -- even at the terrorist prison camp at Gitmo, where he was first assigned after 9-11. There, he recommended that al-Qaida detainees be served halal meals -- including traditional dates and lamb -- prepared according to Islamic dietary law. The Gitmo menu now boasts 113 Muslim-appropriate meals for the benefit of finicky terrorist tummies.
That's not all. Thanks to Saifulislam's advice, our enemy now wakes to the sound of Muslim chaplains calling them to prayer instead of barking dogs or guards, who are now trained in Muslim sensitivity. Also thanks to Saifulislam, detainees can brush up on jihad by reading paperback Pentagon-issued copies of the Quran. They can even finger prayer beads and wear makeshift turbans and skull caps.
While at Gitmo, the Navy imam privately counseled al-Qaida prisoners in their native tongues of Urdu and Arabic. "I must give hope for them to cope," Saifulislam said. How thoughtful of him.
It turns out Saifulislam also ministered to Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, a fellow Muslim charged with desertion, just before he went AWOL again last year. Hassoun deserted his post in Iraq where he served as an Arabic translator. After he was captured, and after he met with the Quantico imam, he deserted again.
Saifulislam is clean-cut with a Colgate smile. The Pentagon gives him great latitude because he claims to be moderate.
However, Saifulislam studied Islam at a hardline Wahhabi school in Virginia that was raided by federal authorities after 9-11. And one of his mentors is Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sami al-Arian terror case. Federal court records allege he gave at least $50,000 in jihad money "to support suicide bombings" in Israel.
Saifulislam, born in Bangladesh, insists he is only a Sunni Muslim and does not adhere to the faith's more orthodox and militant Wahhabi sect practiced by Osama bin Laden and his ilk. Still, his pro-jihad academic background should raise flags at the Pentagon.
Instead, it's giving him a permanent taxpayer-supported platform from which to convert grunts to Islam. With the Quantico mosque, the Pentagon is facilitating the study of the holy texts the enemy uses, heretically or not, as their manual of war. This is tantamount to the Marines setting up a Mein Kampf reading room during WWII.
The timing of the dedication ceremony is ironic by half. As the deputy secretary of defense and Marine commandant respectfully removed their shoes to enter the mosque and intoned pleasant PC platitudes about being one big happy "family" with Muslims, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced the arrest of 17 Muslim men who had allegedly plotted to explode fertilizer-based bombs at important sites in Canada. Their plans also called for attacking parliament and even beheading the prime minister. Almost half of them had attended the same mosque in Toronto.
Several military officers chose to sit out the Quantico ceremony than hear deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England mouth "salaams" to the Muslims in attendance. They think the mosque is misplaced, and don't trust its imam.
"I have great concern about this young Muslim chaplain," said Lt. Comm. Gary P. Stewart, also a Navy chaplain. "I don't trust him."
The Pentagon's over-the-top gesture is only the latest sign that political correctness is running amok inside the military. Chief chaplains for the Navy, Army and Air Force routinely meet with top leaders from the Islamic Society of North America for PC powwows, even though ISNA is a Saudi-backed group with ties to terrorists. No matter, the Pentagon distributes ISNA literature on Islam and Muslims to help increase troops' "sensitivity" toward Islam.
The first principle of war is knowing your enemy and what motivates him. The PC-addled Pentagon seems to have forgotten that rule.
By Paul Sperry
Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington."