Islamic Association of Long Island

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Islamic Association of Long Island
Basic information
Location 10 Park Hill Drive, Selden, New York
Geographic coordinates 40°51′42″N 73°03′26″W / 40.86171°N 73.057298°W / 40.86171; -73.057298Coordinates: 40°51′42″N 73°03′26″W / 40.86171°N 73.057298°W / 40.86171; -73.057298
Affiliation Islam
Country United States of America
Website Official website
Architectural description
Architectural type Mosque
Date established 1974

The Islamic Association of Long Island (also known as the Selden Masjid) is a mosque at 10 Park Hill Drive in Selden, New York, eastern Long Island, 65 miles east of New York City.[1][2] It was founded in 1974 and is the oldest chartered mosque on Long Island.[3][4]

Background[edit]

[5][6] The mosque is in a white wooden building that was converted from a Fundamental Bible Believing Church, and draws about 400 people to Friday prayers.[5][7] It offers prayers five times daily, Saturday Islamic School, Sunday School, Muslim Boys and Girls Youth Group, and summer school.[4]

Controversy[edit]

Janitor arrested for sexual attack[edit]

In April 2009, the mosque's live-in janitor since 2001, Niamatullah Ibrahim, allegedly sexually attacked a 13-year-old boy inside the mosque, said Suffolk County Police.[8] The boy was at the mosque for instructional classes, and "the assailant was a fairly large man who basically took this young boy by the hand and forced him into a private room, where he subjected him to sexual contact," said Detective Sgt. Michael Fitzharris.[8] Ibrahim was charged with first-degree sexual abuse and third-degree aggravated sexual abuse following a one-month investigation.[8] He pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County First District Court in Central Islip, and was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail.[8][9][10]

Nayyer Imam, a pharmacist who is president of the Islamic Association of Long Island, which operates the mosque, said: "I'm in shock. I don't know what to really say. It is very disturbing news."[8] He said Ibrahim traveled once a year to Pakistan to visit his wife and young children.[8] Imam said the mosque would hire counselors to interview children and parents to check for other possible victims.[8]

Former attendee became al-Qaeda member[edit]

Bryant Neal Vinas (also known as Ibrahim, Bashir al-Ameriki, and Ben Yameen al-Kanadeeis) is an American who converted to Islam in 2004. He attended the mosque regularly from approximately 2004/05 until 2007, when he left for Pakistan.[11][12][13][14] In Pakistan, he became an al-Qaeda member.[13] He was arrested and pleaded guilty in January 2009 to participating in and supporting al-Qaeda plots, including volunteering detailed information about the operation of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) system to a senior al-Qaeda leader, to help plan a bomb attack on an LIRR commuter train in New York's Penn Station.[13][15]

Mosque president Imam remembered Vinas as "very nice and always smiling, innocent".[5] Imam said he talked regularly to FBI and Homeland Security officials, and said: "I keep an eye like a hawk on this place".[5] On the other hand, a former FBI counter-terrorism official said "there could be a person in the mosque who has some radical thoughts and ideas who the imam knows nothing about," and that suspected extremists had in fact been identified at the mosque.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The North American Muslim resource guide: Muslim community life in the United States and Canada, Mohamed Nimer Editor Mohamed Nimer, Taylor & Francis, 2002, ISBN 0-415-93728-0. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  2. ^ "Islamic Association of Long Island (Selden Masjid)", Islamic Valley, accessed February 25, 2010
  3. ^ Evans, Martin (July 31, 2005). "Muslims try to find a common ground" (PDF). Newsday. Retrieved February 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Official website". Islamic Association of Long Island. Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Rotella, Sebastian; Mayer, Josh (July 23, 2009). "U.S.-born militant who fought for Al Qaeda is in custody; After being captured at an extremist training camp in Pakistan, Bryant Neal Vinas, of Long Island, is working with authorities in converging investigations rooted in at least seven countries.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Bryant Neal Vinas: An American in Al Qaeda", TIME, July 24, 2009, accessed February 26, 2010
  7. ^ Powell, Michael, "U.S. Recruit Reveals How Qaeda Trains Foreigners", The New York Times, July 23, 2009, accessed February 25, 2010
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Harmon, Brian (July 24, 2008). "Janitor charged in sex attack of boy, 13, at mosque". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ Mason, Bill, "Sex abuse charges for LI mosque custodian", Newsday, July 24, 2008, accessed February 25, 2010
  10. ^ "Arrest for Sexual Abuse," Suffolk Police Press Release, July 24, 2008, accessed February 25, 2010
  11. ^ Blitzer, Wolf, "The Situation Room: American Al Qaeda Suspect; Senate Stalls President's Timetable; Bin Laden's Son Reportedly Killed," CNN, July 23, 2009, accessed February 25, 2010
  12. ^ Powell, Michael (July 23, 2009). "U.S. Recruit Reveals How Qaeda Trains Foreigners". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c Rashbaum, William K. and Souad Mekhennet. L.I. Man Pleaded Guilty in Attack on U.S. Base in Afghanistan. New York Times July 22, 2009.
  14. ^ Rotella, Sebastian and Josh Meyer U.S.-born militant who fought for Al Qaeda is in custody. Los Angeles Times. July 22, 2009.
  15. ^ "Transcript of Guilty Plea; U.S. v John Doe; Sealed Pages" (PDF). US District Court, Eastern District of NY. January 28, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 

External links[edit]