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Posted Online on Monday, 18 June 2007 01:55 IST

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Muslim Islamic NewsSANE: An Islamophobic group attempts to banish Islam from the U.S.

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The Milli Gazette

17 June 2007

Stepping into the foot prints of Daniel Pipes, Islamophobist and founder of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim forums such as Middle East Forum and Campus Watch, another pro-Israeli Islamophobist, David Yerushalmi, has established an anti-Islam group known with the acronym SANE: the Society of Americans for National Existence. The sole objective of the group is banishing Islam from the US by making "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison.

Before divulging on the agenda of the new group let us discuss the background of the founder of the group, David Yerushalmi. 

His official biography at the SANE website states: Yerushalmi was instrumental in establishing the Israel Export Development Co., Ltd., as an entrepreneurial policy tool to initiate radical free market reforms in Israel. Working along side fellow board members and shareholders such as Robert Tishman, Jerry Speyer, Larry Silverstein, Lawrence Tisch, Eugene Grant and Sy Syms, Yerushalmi was appointed the company's CEO and Chairman. 

What is missing in this bio is that Yerushalmi spent 15 years in Israel . Yerushalmi persuaded six U.S. senators and 13 representatives to send letters to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin backing the zone. He planned to locate Israeli and U.S. high-tech companies in the $2 billion zone project. 

David Yerushalmi is member of the Board of Trustees of the Jerusalem-based think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) with an affiliated office in Washington D.C. IASPS is dedicated to the defense of Israel. Naturally, SANE was one of the sponsor groups of a pro-Israel Washington DC rally on June 10, 2007.

David Yerushalmi is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Maccabim Foundation for Iranian Emigrants in Israel. 

With these credentials, there is little doubt that the SANE, just like the Campus Watch, Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch, is another pro-Israeli, anti-Islam and anti-Muslim project exploiting patriotism and the prevailing anti-Muslim hysteria in the nation. 

The anti-Muslim hate group advocates making "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison. In February of this year, it released a policy paper that in part stated: "Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US. Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari'a on the American People. . .It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Islam." 

For SANE's purposes anybody who follows the teaching of the Quran and Prophet Mohammad is adhering Islam. This includes both major Muslim sects, Sunnis and Shias. 

On June 13, SANE unveiled its so-called "Mapping Shari'a in America Project" devoted to spying on 2,300 Islamic institutions in the United States. "The project will collect information about America's 2,300-plus mosques and associated day schools, provide information to both law enforcement officials and the public, and test the proposition that Shari'a (read Islam) amounts to a criminal conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government," the SANE project said.

While launching its "Mapping Sharia Project," the SANE claimed that hundreds of Islamic centers in the United States have become a hot-bed of extremist activity and promote violence, terrorism and hatred against America.

SANE's Immigration proposal calls for a ban on Muslim immigration and declaring all non-US citizen Muslims Alien Enemies and deported. In January this year, SANE founder David Yerusalmi issued a paper titled "War Manifesto The War Against Islam" suggesting that all practicing Muslims, irrespective of their declarations to the contrary, should not be allowed to immigrate to this country. 

It may not be a coincidence that the SANE project is being promoted by the Insight, a sister online magazine of the right-wing newspaper Washington Times, which recently launched an attack on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a major American Muslim civil rights group in a bid to silence genuine Muslim voices. The seven-million strong American Muslim community remains under siege for more than five year through profiling, harassment, interrogation, and peeping by the CIA and FBI. Arabs and Muslims are the prime targets of the post 9/11 reconfiguration of American laws, policies, and priorities. 

However, despite constant pressure, the American Muslim community remains vibrant with more social and political activism which may be alarming some agenda-driven anti-Muslim groups and individuals. The formation of such groups as SANE may be seen as another attempt to terrorize and intimidate the American Muslim community. 

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Executive Editor of the online magazine, American Muslim Perspective, www.amperspective.com

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