Monday, October 03, 2005

Imam Resigns After Remarks

Last week, Imam Intikab Habib stepped down just hours before he was scheduled to be sworn in as the Muslim chaplain of the New York Fire Department. Habib's resignation came quickly after he told a New York newspaper that he doubted the "government" account of September 11th atrocity and suggested that a "conspiracy" rather than 19 Muslim terrorist had felled the Twin Towers.
Mr Habib told Newsday, in an interview published on Friday, that he was sceptical of the US government's version of events.

"I've heard professionals say that nowhere ever in history did a steel building come down with fire alone," he is quoted as saying.

"Was it 19 hijackers who pulled it down, or was it a conspiracy?"

And what, you might ask, are Mr. Habib's qualifications for the role of chaplain?

Mr Habib, who trained in Islamic law in Saudi Arabia, offered no theories on who else might have been involved and described the attacks as tragic.
Is anyone surprised? Anyone?

This sad, but predictable little tale raises two questions. First, can Muslims ever accept responsibility for anything? Conspiracy theories race across the Middle East faster than looters through a New Orleans Walmart; the more outrageous, the better. Why? Because conspiracy theories allow Muslims to avoid tough questions about why their societies are so far behind the rest of the world. Without someone, anyone, else to blame, they might have to blame themselves, or worse, the fundamental organizing principle of their societies - Islam.

Second, why does the FDNY need a Muslim chaplain? Are there really that many Muslims fighting fires in NYC? Or is this just another example of Western multiculturalism (read: Western self-hatred). Muslims have done quite enough to NYC. There is no need for the FDNY to supplicate itself before them.