Leaders of a fundamentalist Hamas-linked mosque in Bridgeview, Ill., say they deserve credit for persuading Sen. Dick Durbin to hold his March 29 hearings on claims of "anti-Muslim discrimination."
Durbin, the deputy chief Democrat in the Senate, visited the Bridgeview mosque around March, and had his picture taken with the mosque's imam, Kifah Mustapha, and it director, Jamal Said. Both men were named an unindicted conspirator in a 2008 trial of five men who smuggled $12 million to the Muslim terror group, Hamas. The picture was discovered by the Investigative Report on Terrorism, a non-profit that tracks Islamist groups in the United States.
"He met with the [mosque] committee, listened to the concerns," said Zaher Sahloul, the Syrian-born president of the mosque and of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. "At that time there was the plan of Rep. [Pete] King … [to hold a March 10 hearing on Islamic radicalization and] we told him this was real real concern with us," said Sahloul. "He's a good senator, he listens to constituents … and he's open-minded," said Sahloul.