Considered to be ‘basically the first cell of Al Qaeda in the United States,’ the Islamic Center of Tucson, within the last year, has become a place that has been disrespected, which has left the members of this community humiliated. Residents of a university high-rise student housing facility have been throwing beer and liquor bottles off their balconies for more than a year, raining glass and other objects down on the nearby Islamic Center of Tucson’s roof and parking lot.
Tucson But the vandalism and abuse reached a fever pitch during the University of Arizona’s homecoming celebration this past weekend, said Kamel Didan, vice chairman of the board of the mosque and community center, which has been in Tucson since 1962. “This weekend was absolutely terrible. Someone could have died,” said Didan, who is also an associate professor at the UA. “Imagine kids on the 14th floor, tossing whiskey bottles on people. When I came in Sunday morning, I was shocked at our parking lot. It looked like somebody smashed glass all over the place.”
He also heard that racial comments and obscenities were shouted from balconies at a woman entering the center. The racial comments were a first, he said, and he doesn’t consider the repeated vandalism a hate crime. (What ‘race’ is Islam?) “We’ve had people come in at the door multiple times and urinate in our door,” he said.
On the Sunday of UA’s Homecoming Weekend, the community center attendees couldn’t even get into the parking lot and the children couldn’t play basketball. “We literally found like a war zone,” he said. “It was unbelievable, glass chunks, as big as a baseball and then as little as like maybe the fingertips all over the place.”
A car had its windows broken. Didan said it’s all because of students living in the high rise apartments next to the mosque. Again, all caught on camera. “Dropping bottles full of whiskey on cars, and on literally people.” Didan showed the apartment manager of level the damages. He says he does this on a weekly basis. In the 25 years the mosque has been here he said they’ve never had this much trouble.
The Islamic Center of Tucson has been at 901 E. First Street for 25 years. But Didan said leaders have recently considered moving because of verbal abuse, dangerous projectiles and loud partying from three nearby student housing facilities, especially Level, a 14-story facility that opened in fall 2013, he said. It’s located one block from the western edge of campus and many of its balconies overlook the Islamic Center.
Within months of the facility’s opening last year, residents had tossed eggs, produce — including pumpkins at Halloween — and glass bottles from the balconies, Didan said.
It has gotten so bad that members have explored the idea of leaving the building. But they said they can’t because they have invested millions of dollars.
In April he organized an open-house block party to introduce the dorm’s residents to the center, in the hopes they’d show it more respect. He bought tons of food and sent out invitations. “Very few showed up,” he said. Didan has also been disappointed in the reaction of parents of students involved. “It will take someone to die for them to rein in their kids,” he said. (Maybe, maybe not)
Apparently, the students at the university know what the Islamic Center of Tucson really is.
Clarion Project At least a dozen terror-linked individuals have been tied to the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT). The mosque and the state of Arizona are mentioned 59 times in the 9/11 Commission Report. The mosque is considered to be “basically the first cell of al Qaeda in the United States.”
The mosque also has significant links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The ICT’s bylaws state that the North American Islamic Trust is the “trustee and beneficiary” of its property. The bylaws also mandate relationships with multiple groups that have Muslim Brotherhood origins.
The Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Students Association are allowed to have offices on the premises. The bylaws also require that the ICT work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the American Muslim Council that was led by Abdurrahman Alamoudi, an admitted secret U.S. Muslim Brotherhood member that is now in prison on terrorism-related charges.
Muslim Student Association Pledge of Allegiance: