Government

Tea Parties To Be Hands Off on 'Terrorist' Mosque Protest

Fort Lauderdale group leads Tuesday demonstration against 'terror' imam
By: Kenric Ward | Posted: June 6, 2011 10:18 AM
Margate

Margate mosque

Proving the decentralized nature of their movement, tea partiers aren't jumping to join a group's protest at a South Florida mosque on Tuesday night.

Members of Tea Party Fort Lauderdale -- along with allied Christian and pro-Israel groups -- will demonstrate outside the Masjid Jamaat al-Mumineed mosque in Margate at 7 p.m.

The coalition wants the mosque shut down because its chief religious leader, Izhar Khan, was arrested last month and charged with conspiracy to finance the Taliban in Pakistan.

Danita Kilcullen, director of Tea Party Fort Lauderdale, said, "Local citizens are outraged. How can this mosque be allowed to remain open?"

Kilkullen has invited other tea parties to join the protest at 3222 Holiday Springs Blvd., but so far there have been no takers.

Henry Kelley, head of the Fort Walton Beach Tea Party, said Kilkullen "seems to be going out of her way to give us a bad name.

"A mosque still has a right to exist last time I checked under our Constitution, and since the person in question was arrested, it appears our justice system is still functioning," Kelley said.

Taking a strict constructionist view of the tea party agenda, Kelley and others say activists should stick with the core mission of controlling government spending.

"What does this [protest] have to do with fiscal responsibility, or a constitutional violation? I fail to see how this is a 'tea party issue.'"

Patricia Sullivan, head of the Florida Tea Party Network, a group of 58 tea parties around the state, was more sympathetic to the cause, and less sanguine about the U.S. Justice Department's ability to prosecute terror cases.

"Watching our current DOJ, charges don't always mean a thorough investigation does actually follow," Sullivan said, noting the whitewashing of the Black Panthers' questionable get-out-the-vote operations in the 2008 election.

"Citizens should stay on the investigation and hold our public servants accountable, letting them know we are watching," said Sullivan, of Lake County.

Per her Network's "non-interference policy," Sullivan said the group does not criticize the activities or positions of tea groups within its coalition. Nor would she second-guess Tea Party Fort Lauderdale's actions in its own backyard.

Billie Tucker, head of the First Coast Tea Party in Jacksonville, takes a similarly laissez-faire stance.

"If a tea party chooses this as their focus, that's fine with us. Each tea party stands on its own," Tucker said.

Meantime, the national Council on American-Islamic Relations, decried "the growing cottage industry of Muslim haters."

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said, "Whatever case you make against the imam and the mosque, this will be settled in court, hopefully with due process. You don't shut down an entire house of worship because one individual may have done something wrong."

No one answered the phone at the Masjid Jamaat al-Mumineed mosque on Monday, and Hooper suggested that members there "may be understandably skittish."

"We're seeing more and more of the right-wing extremism in the run-up to the 2012 elections," Hooper said from Washington.

Kilkullen defended her tea party's activism, as well as her call to close the Margate mosque.

"I was working on these things before the tea party was ever a thought. Fact is, terrorism is an economic issue. If this country ever has another 9/11, we're done," she said.

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Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com.



Comments (3)

Nick Rabin
4:46PM JUN 7TH 2011
So when a priest molests a little boy, the church is shut down, right?

Bigots! Don't let these pro-Israel groups brainwash you. These nut-case-Zionist are on a war against Islam and innocent Muslims, making all Jews look bad; and destroying American values in the process. There's no sane reason to join their cuckoo brigade.

Be smart, fellow Americans! Israel is the only "friendly" nation that carries out covert operations and espionage against the US; they are trying to destroy us, as well as the Muslims.

They have outdone the holocaust with their war crimes against the Muslims (Genocide) living around Israel. Just do your research, and you will know none of this is BS.
Elwood Cid
12:28PM JUN 7TH 2011
This masjid is a terror ops facility. Shut it down now!
Danita
9:29PM JUN 6TH 2011
Kenric:

As discussed earlier today, I had not specifically invited tea parties to join us in tomorrow's events. The people who recieved the press releases, etc., are the same people who receive our weekly mail of events. In South Florida, there seems to be only two active tea parties... the remainder are in north and central Florida, and are geographically undesirable.

Please make this clear.

Danita

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