Also named in the indictment are three others at large in Pakistan — Hafiz Khan's daughter, grandson and an unrelated man, all three of whom are charged with handling the distribution of funds.
The indictment lists about $50,000 in transactions. The funds were used to buy guns, support militants' families and promote the cause of the Pakistani Taliban, according to the indictment. It also alleges that Hafiz Khan owns a madrassa, or religious school, in his native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan that shelters members of the Pakistani Taliban and trains children to become militants.
But wait a minute...why would an imam, who spends all his time studying the Qur'an and teaching Islam to his congregation, get the idea that he should fund Islamic terrorist groups? Wouldn't he be overwhelingly persuaded against this idea by the Qur'an's message of peace and universal brotherhood?
Well...since the Qur'an promotes the funding of those who fight "in the cause of Allah" (a phrase always understood in Islamic theology to refer to violence and killing) as a noble virtue, probably not:
Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive [i.e. jihad] with might and main, in Allah's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are the people who will achieve (salvation). (9:20)
Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle [i.e. jihad], with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew. (9:41)
Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. (9:60)
Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have never since doubted, but have striven [i.e. jihad] with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: Such are the sincere ones. (49:15)
That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive [i.e. jihad] (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! (61:11)
Muhammad himself was very clear about this also:
He who does not join the warlike expedition (jihad), or equip or look well after a warrior's family when he is away, will be smitten by Allah with a sudden calamity. (Abu Dawud b.14, no.2497)
The article also makes clear that Hafiz Khan is a "native" of Pakistan - therefore shouldn't he have outright rejected the Taliban, since we are told that Pakistan is an ally that is "vital" to our efforts in the War On Terror?
Scratch that idea, as well.
Nezar Hamze of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was said to be "very shocked" at the arrests (aren't they always?), as were Hafiz Khan's neighbours:
Across the street from the Miami mosque, neighbor Odelia Fernandez said she found the elderly bearded man to be respectful. Even though language barriers prevented them from communicating, they would wave hello to one another.
Khan's next-door neighbor, Jorge Gonzalez, said he frequently saw Khan walking to the mosque.
"It's hard to believe," Gonzalez said. "The Taliban sleeping alongside my room — wow."
Pop quiz: name a method by which we can determine with anything like relative certainty that the Muslim across the street from us, or at our workplace, or in our government, who smiles and acts very nice when we talk to them, isn't in fact a jihadist sympathiser who acts friendly when we're looking but hostilely when we're not?
Answers on a postcard, please.
(N.B. If you're having trouble, here's another story from November last year that may or may not help you:
"The arrest of the leader of a City Heights mosque, a man described as a revered figure who was known for advocating nonviolence and tolerance, has stunned the close-knit Somali community in City Heights, where many refugees of the war-torn country live, work and pray.
"Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud [yes, that really is his name ~ Ed], 38, appeared in federal court Wednesday to answer to charges that he was involved in a conspiracy to provide money and other aid to al-Shabaab in Somalia, which U.S. authorities have designated a foreign terrorist organization.")