Here is a piece from an Atlas reader who had extensive contacts with Muslims in the 1990s. He wanted to publish it under his own name, but in light of the sensitive nature of the subject, I thought it best to keep his name private.
It is illuminating of Muslim attitudes and assumptions in New York City in the 1990s -- attitudes and assumptions that are likely to be only more, not less, prevalent today
Jihad in Manhattan
In 1994 I moved to Brooklyn, into a house full of Pakistani Muslim men near the corner of Ocean Parkway and Foster. I lived in this house for six years, with anywhere from 6 to 10 Pakistanis at any one time. It was very interesting and exciting becoming a part of their community, literally meeting 100s of Pakistanis, as my roommates were always entertaining friends. This small but growing Pakistani community is located within a larger Jewish community. I didn’t realize just how dicey this situation was at first, until one night during one of our long talks about religion and history, the subject of World War II came up.
Hitler, Pakistan’s Hero
There was a group of us gathered in the living room, and Mustafa, a young but successful contractor, began to enthuse about how great and brilliant Hitler was, not only as a leader but as an economist. I couldn’t believe my ears as he illustrated Hitler’s economic brilliance with the following: “Hitler was so smart with money that he would line five Jews in a single-file row and waste only one bullet on them!” This from a guy who I personally watched greet and talk with the Jewish family next door in a friendly and neighborly manner! He went on to explain, “The Jews had gotten rich in Germany, but when it came time for them to support Germany in her struggles and wars, the Jews refused and greedily hid their money. This was why Hitler turned against them! They deserved what they got!”
I asked Mustafa if this was what they taught him in school in Pakistan. He said, “Of course! Hitler is a big hero in Pakistan! In our class, we had a big poster of him, alongside one of Ayatollah Khomeini.” “Why Ayatollah Khomeini?” I asked, surprised. “He also was a great man. There was so much corruption in Iran until he came along! If only Pakistan could have an Ayatollah!” All agreed … except me, of course.
Death to Proselytizers
I attended a great church that had an outreach ministry to Muslims, in which we would visit various Muslim communities in the five boroughs, setting up a book table on the street. We would hand out free literature, including Bibles. Although many Muslims were friendly enough to engage in dialogue, there were a few outspoken jihadists that we ran into. On one occasion in Queens, a guy was insulted that I should presume to hand him a Bible. He explained, “In my country, we would kill you people for handing out Bibles, the corrupted book of the Jews!”
Ridicule & Death to Apostates
There was a wonderful man who attended this church: Ibrahim, who had converted to Christianity out of Islam. Ibrahim was from Iran, and as a result of his conversion, he could never return home lest he be killed for blasphemy and apostasy. He went with us all the time into the various Muslim communities.
Usually when Ibrahim started sharing his testimony, and he always did so fearlessly, Muslims would erupt in anger and disbelief. I told my roommates many times about Ibrahim, and their response was: “Christians convert to Islam all the time but no Muslim has ever converted to Christianity! This man must have ulterior motives to pretend to be a Christian, perhaps U.S. citizenship or money!” I told them that I would introduce them to him someday, and finally was able to do so. Ibrahim shared his faith boldly, but to no avail. Afterwards, to my frustration, they still insisted that he was either insincere or perhaps he had mental problems. I couldn’t believe their arrogance and condescension! Pamela Geller has a great term for such an attitude: “Islamic supremacists”!
On one occasion in Manhattan, Ibrahim shared his testimony with a Muslim we met off Broadway. The guy erupted with animosity, yelling that Ibrahim had “blasphemed the Holy Prophet Muhammad and should be killed!” The guy went on to threaten that he was going to follow Ibrahim home, learn where he lived, and take care of him personally or with friends! Ibrahim wasn’t intimidated and responded that he wasn’t afraid to die. Although I witnessed Ibrahim being threatened on several occasions, I admired his courage in that he was never cowed by these intolerant imperialists and supremacists intent on obliterating his freedom of conscience and speech.
Over the span of six years, we witnessed four Muslims convert to Christianity. One man from Pakistan attended the church for a short time but then disappeared. We all wondered where he went and eventually heard that he had been severely beaten up by his “friends” for converting. His family had disowned him and he was basically alone. At that point, I knew firsthand how community-oriented Pakistanis are, and could only imagine how devastating this would be for him. Rumor had it that he recanted his conversion, and we never saw him again.
No Freedom of Speech in the Masjid
At one point one of my roommates, Saleem, asked if I’d go to the local mosque on Coney Island Avenue with him to hear a famous speaker who was visiting (I cannot for the life of me remember the speaker’s name). I agreed to go, after all, Saleem had gone to church with me on several occasions, and I figured I’d show good faith by honoring him in the same way. The speaker gave an apologetic for Islam, which was interpreted for me by one of the men who spoke better English than Saleem. There were probably 800-1000 people in all … it was packed. At the end of his speech, he asked if there were any questions. I was itching to ask one, but was very nervous because of how many people there were. I suppose my interpreter could tell that I wanted to ask a question by my body language, and encouraged me to stand up and ask. I refused at first, but he convinced me it was OK … so I did.
Now, I’m not as skilled a debater as Robert Spencer, but through the interpreter, I gave it a try. I said, “One of the tests of a prophet is that he does not contradict the prophets who preceded him.” I recounted that “all of the prophets of the Bible taught that a sacrifice without blemish must be made to atone for one’s sins or for the sins of the nation, either a dove, lamb, goat, or bull, depending on the circumstance.” I then asked, “Why should I believe in the prophet Muhammad when he contradicts all of the prior prophets, including Isa (Jesus) and Moses, in this specific requirement?” The place fell uncomfortably silent as the interpreter finished the question, but then erupted in banter. I was biting my lip from raw nerves, but also felt strangely energized. The speaker quieted everyone down and countered that, “The Jews and Christians have corrupted their books so badly that they cannot be trusted. But Allah has corrected those errors within the Holy Quran and when you read it you will see that there is no contradiction whatsoever between the prophets, peace be upon them.” The crowd was pleased with his answer, and I simply sat down and allowed others to ask questions.
When Saleem and I got home, he emphasized that I shouldn’t have done what I did. Saleem thought my question was dangerous. I asked why, but he wouldn’t elaborate (Saleem was one who never liked to talk about religion or politics); my other roommate Nazir agreed that I should have kept quiet.
It has only been through reading Atlas Shrugs and Jihad Watch over the past four years that I’ve realized just how dangerous it is to question Muhammad, even in America!
Women Must Submit to Beatings
I worked in Manhattan as an Administrative and Executive Assistant. This meant that every day I’d walk to/from the D and Q trains for the 50-minute commute. I often noticed on Foster Avenue or Coney Island Avenue a Pakistani woman whose face was, how can I put it … MANGLED, and it got worse over the years. It looked as if her left eye had either been plucked out with a utensil or had been burned out. Other spots on her face were horribly scarred and deformed, including her mouth. She walked with a severe limp in her Shilwar Chamise and headscarf, and appeared to me to be the saddest person I’d ever seen. She never once made eye contact with me … I believed she was too scared to look at any man, but I didn’t know for sure what was going on.
At first I thought she was the victim of a house fire, or something along those lines, but as her appearance and scars grew worse over the years, I finally asked my roommates about her. They knew right away who I was talking about and explained that she was once a pretty girl, but her parents arranged a marriage with a Pakistani guy who had a drinking problem. This guy abused her so bad that he even threw boiling grease in her face at one point for not being a better wife. Such was the fate of her left eye. Her mouth had been deformed not only from the boiling grease, but from multiple beatings. Even though my roommates admitted that this was a sad situation, they explained that she wouldn’t leave him, because this would bring dishonor to her family, and she didn’t dare do that. They respected her in this regard as they boasted about the low divorce rate in Pakistan. I asked why her family wouldn’t do something to save her, or the Pakistani community in general, and they acted as though this were out of the question. I was horrified, but didn’t know what to do! I doubt this poor woman is still alive today, but pray she got out somehow! If I’d known Ms. Geller at the time, perhaps we could have found her a safe house!
Immigration Made Easy
Toward the end of my stay with the Muslims, several had marriages arranged with women in Pakistan. One conducted his marriage over the telephone in my room, while all of his friends and family had him on speakerphone back home. It sounded to me like quite a ceremony on the other end, but when the video arrived, I was shocked at the turnout and size of the celebration in Pakistan. It was colorful and beautiful in many ways, but the part that concerned me was how easily he was able to get his wife to the States. Within a few months he had moved into his own apartment, his wife was with him, and within another couple of months, they were expecting their first child. I asked him how in the world he was able to pull this off so quickly … I mean, I was under the impression that it was difficult to obtain Visas to the U.S.! At that point he and I had been friends for years, so he confided that all you have to do is slip $10,000 under the table to the approving American embassy official in Pakistan, and things move along quite nicely!
Even though in one sense I was happy for my friend that he was able to bring his wife over and start a family, on the other hand, I couldn’t imagine how rich that embassy official was getting off of this scheme, and wondered how many were able to immigrate through such backdoor bribes (I know for a fact that another of my roommates was able to bring his son over through this particular back door)! By the way, last I heard (about five years ago), my friend already had four kids with his new wife, and was still going strong.
Even though I considered many of these men friends and they would say the same about me, I am concerned about the issues I saw firsthand, which Atlas and Jihad Watch so powerfully shed light upon on a daily basis. Please pay attention to what these great warriors of freedom, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, are saying. Jihad and Sharia are making inroads into the U.S., and pose a far greater threat to our Constitution and way of life than communism ever did. This is because Muslims are motivated by the deep-rooted religious belief that it is Allah’s will to bring the whole world into submission.
Thank God we in the West realize that freedom of conscience, religion and speech are human rights, and we have fought for them over the past 500 years. May we continue to fight for these freedoms with all our might against the Islamic threat that is now so effectively and dangerously advancing!