An Islamic extremist group that has given guerilla warfare training to some of its members is sweet-talking churches and law enforcement by holding events meant to honor Jesus and offer friendship. The group, Muslims of the Americas (MOA), held an event in February at its 36-acre Holy Islamville community in York County, South Carolina that received fawning press coverage that didn't even mention its radical leader in Pakistan, Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani.
The event on February 19 at Holy Islamville was expected to be attended by hundreds of Muslims of the Americas members from around the country with the purpose of celebrating Mohammed's birthday. Churches, local officials, the FBI and law enforcement were all invited to come see how peace-loving the group is. The Herald Online made no mention of Sheikh Gilani or the controversy surrounding the group but did say events had been held with churches for years. The local sheriff's department even sent a representative to attend and show support.
Holy Islamville and the other 22 Muslims of the Americas "villages" around the country have participated in outreach programs to win over the authorities. In 2004, FBI Special Agent in Charge Leslie Wieser spoke at the graduation ceremony of Holy Islamville's Muslim Scouts of America, which was also attended by two other FBI special agents, York County Sheriff Bryant and Mayor Eddie Lee. In August 2008, the FBI and New York State Police gave awards to the graduates of the Muslim Scouts of America graduates at the MOA's headquarters in Hancock, N.Y., called Islamberg. In 2005, a FBI Special Agent in Charge sent a "note of appreciation" to Islamberg that is published on the website.