Rep. Sean Casten
U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove), Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso and other local officials need to be held accountable by voters over their recent visits to a Muslim center that hosts Islamist leaders who preach hate against Jewish people and war against the United States, according to a Chicago official with the Counter-Islamist Grid (CIG).
Writing in American Thinker, Hesham Shehab of CIG, said that Casten, Grasso and others who recently visited the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America (Mecca) in Willowbrook were “duped” by a message of understanding and cultural exchange from the center. Mecca, wrote Shehab, remains under the influence of its Islamist founders and leaders. (Islamism is not an expression of Muslim faith, but a political ideology, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.)
Grasso, along with DuPage County board member Julie Renehan, attended the center's open house last month.
Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso
Casten spoke on immigration at the center on October 2.
“I think it was very worthwhile,” Grasso told The Doings about the visit. “Obviously these are strained times for people who practice Islam. I think they were trying to show the history and the peaceful nature of the religion to educate those who practice other faiths.”
Some of the other recent speakers hosted by Mecca include Imam Zaid Shakir, who, Shehab said, has encouraged American Muslims to consider guerilla warfare against the United States.
“Shakir claimed that the United States ‘inflicted’ terrorism on the world and suggested that it would be acceptable for Muslims to attack U.S. military forces,” Shehab wrote.
Shakir also blamed "Zionist" forces and the FBI for the February 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) bombing.
Linda Sarsour, who, Shehab said, has a history of extremism and anti-Semitism spoke at the center on September 29.
“Sarsour was removed from her position as a leading organizer for the Women's March out of concerns regarding her public anti-Semitism, including her relationship with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and support for Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist deported from the United States for lying about previous terror convictions,” he wrote.
Sheikh Kifah Mustapha, the Imam of the Orland Park Prayer Center who appeared at the opening of the 57,000-square-foot Mecca, was a member of a group convicted of raising money for the terrorist group, Hamas.
Hosting speakers who preach hate against America and Jews reveals more about Mecca’s mission than Interfaith meetings and public relations campaigns, Shehab said.
“Local politicians must not allow their presence to validate Mecca and similar institutions with their attendance, and when they do, informed local constituents must hold their elected officials accountable for legitimizing dangerous Islamists,” he wrote.