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Jihadist Arrest in Jacksonville should Renew Concerns about the N.E. FL Islamic Center & Parvez Ahmed

Azeez Abdullah ICNA beach Flea Mawdudi book2  9a Mosque employee

Azeez Abdullah

Shelton Thomas Bell,  a 19 year old Jacksonville teen who converted to Islam and attended the N.E. Florida Islamic Center was arrested on Thursday, July 18th on charges of planning to fight in an overseas holy war [Jihad].

The Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) which uncovered the plot has not said what or who tipped them off via official paperwork or subsequent news releases, however a N.E. Florida Islamic Center Board Member and the official Spokesman, Parvez Ahmed claims it was the Islamic Center which contacted the FBI last year after Thomas Bell began approaching other teens at the center about Jihad and the civil war in Syria.

Parvez Ahmed said Bell attended the center about 18 months to two years ago.  “He kind of stood out.  He dressed differently, sometimes wearing very TRADITIONAL  [Islamic] clothing… he looked kind of out of place, out of context”, but it was Bell’s rhetoric “how he was trying to incite” which startled parents who subsequently approached the Islamic Centers leadership, who then claim the centers lawyers contacted the FBI.

Bell would have only been 17 years old at the time he departed the Islamic Center to train for Jihad overseas according to the timeframe given by Parvez Ahmed and the Times Union.  This fact alone begs the question…how did a 17 year old child become so deeply grounded in Islamic TRADITIONAL dress and other traditional Islamic Doctrines to include the Doctrine of JIHAD?

While the Florida Times reporters were quick to lend credit to the Islamic Center for it role in reporting the radical behavior of the white convert to Islam “who looked out of place” according to Ahmed, I think more substantial questions should have been of concern to these “intrepid reporters” and our community at large.  Questions such as:

  • When did this teen convert to Islam?
  • Was his conversion a result of outreach from the N.E. Florida Islamic Center?
  • Why didn’t members of the center who frequently conduct outreach in the community to dispel misunderstandings about Islam reach out to Mr. Bell and guide him on the “straight path”?  Especially Dr. Parvez Ahmed, a human rights commissioner who regularly speaks publicly on such issues.
  • How long did this teen attend the N.E. Florida Islamic Center prior to leaving to embark on training for his Overseas Holy War or JIHAD?
  • What are the AQAP/Ansar al-Shariah connections either by way of the Islamic Center or online Internet that recruited this kid and put him in contact with Sheik Yussef and another Individual known only as Nidal once they arrived in  Jordan?
  • Are there indications that the Islamic Center of N.E. Florida has the potential to produce Jihadist or could this teen have been radicalized as a result of attending the Islamic Center?

To answer this last question, I think it is important to ask why the N.E. Florida Islamic Center is promoting and selling books by one of the two leading Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Revolutionaries; Sayyid Qutb and Abul A’la Mawdudi, militant ideologues whose writings are credited with the rapid spread of Islamic Jihad and terrorism worldwide over the past several decades?

I personally purchased a copy of “Towards Understanding Islam” by abul A’la Mawdudi at an Islamic outreach booth at the Beach Boulevard Flea Market which is operated by Aziz Abdullah, an employee and lay leader at the Islamic Center of N.E. Florida, who confirmed these books were available in the Islamic Centers library.  During our investigation it is noted that a female presumed to be Abdullah’s wife frequently appeared in the mornings wearing a full Burkha to set up the Islamic Center Booth, she would then wait in the car during the day, and then break down the booth in the evening.  Upon reading “Towards Understanding Islam” many passages where quite radical and diametrically opposed to our constitutional form of Government.  Pages 124 and 125  of “Towards understanding Islam” address and define Jihad as follows:

“Jihad – is part of the overall defense of Islam.  A man who exerts himself physically or mentally or spends his wealth in the cause of Allah is indeed engaged in jihad.  But in the language of the Divine Law [Sharia], this word is used specifically for the war that is waged solely in the name of Allah against those who perpetrate oppression as enemies of Islam”….. If however, as section of the Muslims offer themselves for participating in Jihad, the whole community is absolved of its responsibility, but if none comes forward, everyone is held GUILTY”.

“In all cases, Jihad is as much a primary duty as are daily prayers or fasting.  One who avoids it… is a sinner”.

NOTE:  Nations not under the rule of Sharia/Islamic Law are considered to be oppressive and enemies of Islam under Islamic Doctrine and Sharia.

Interestingly,  the Islamic Center spokesman Parvez Ahmed is the former National Chairman of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization which is federally designated as a Muslim Brotherhood entity and a member of the Palestine Committee for it role in a conspiracy which funded HAMAS; a designated foreign terrorist organization (US vs. Holy Land Foundation Trial of 2008).

In the Palestine Committee Bylaws of which CAIR is a member, it states members will abide by Sharia [Islamic law].  Divine Law or Sharia corroborates the words of Mawdudi as Sharia defines Jihad as Islamic warfare against non-Muslims to establish the religion.

In addition, bylaws state members will abide by guidelines set forth by the Group in North America, referring to a formerly secret Memorandum “The Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” entered into evidence in the US vs. Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial.

This document lays out how the Ikwan or Brotherhood will subvert and destroy America from within and goes on to state that the Mosques and Islamic Centers will be the “Axis of our Movement” and will “supply our battalions” terms which seem quite militant in nature.

It is noteworthy that the former Imam, Joe Bradford, was also a Convert to Islam who began his faith at the Islamic Center of N.E. Florida, eventually receiving a scholarship to attend college in one of Islam’s two holy cities (Medina) where he chose to study Islamic Law or Sharia, earning a Masters in Islamic Law before returning to the center as their Imam.

The Islamic Center was part of an independent and secret nationwide investigation known as the Sharia Mapping Project in 2008/2009.   The investigation which included  over 100 Mosques and Islamic Centers was conducted by Dave Gaubatz, a 20 year veteran of the USAF OSI who is fluent in Arabic.

The investigation researched approximately 125 specific criteria to include literature, segregation of men and women, dress code, religious sermons, prayer, etc, within the Islamic Center of N.E. Florida.  Ultimately the center garnered a Sharia adherence rating of 9 and a propensity to support Jihad rating of 8 with the maximum being 10.

Quite disturbing findings in light of the arrest of one of its teenage members whose actions seem to support or at least reinforce the findings of the investigator.

Dave  is also the author of “Muslim Mafia…inside the secret underworld that’s conspiring to Islamize America”, a book resulting from his undercover infiltration of CAIR national offices which gleaned 12,000 documents.  Documents that leave no doubt about the nature of CAIR and Dr. Parvez Ahmed and the cultural Jihad they are waging by “exerting themselves physically or mentally or spending their wealth in the cause of Allah”. 

I have no way of knowing whether Mr. Bell was radicalized inside the Islamic Center or was already radicalized when he began attending, however I do know Dr. Ahmed has used his capacity for over 10 years as the leader of CAIR to promote the objective of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Center distributes materials which spreads the same radical ideology, and now at least one member has been arrested on terror related charges.

Our City leaders and local law enforcement have an obligation to protect the citizens of Jacksonville and should make it a priority to investigate these and other serious questions surrounding the Islamic Center of N.E. Florida and its leadership.

Randy McDaniels

Former United States Marine who occupational specialty was in Operation and later Counter Intelligence. Served 6 years before being honoraby discharged. A Chapter Leader for ACT! for America and Mentor for the South East. American by the grace of God, Christian by Choice, and Patriotic Warrior by necessity.

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