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“The White House Will Become the Muslim House”

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Dr. Ahmad Dwidar is imam of the Islamic Center in New York and a lecturer at Manhattan University; on June 9, 2005, he did an interview with the Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC), captured and translated by MEMRI TV:

[Video no longer available.]

Dwidar: In 1995 I heard some sermons, saying that Muslims should march on the White House from some of the mosques.

Host: What do you mean by “march on the White House”?

Dwidar: One cleric said in his sermon: “We are going to the White House, so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into the Muslim house.”

Host: How? I don’t understand.

Dwidar: This is simply a slogan. I’m only saying this to…

Host: Are they going to occupy the White House or what?

Dwidar: No, they say that through the domination of Islam and its ideas, the White House will change.

Host: This will happen one day, but not this way. Islam will be victorious, no doubt, but not this way.

Dwidar: It will not happen unless the Muslims abandon their slogans and become a role model. If a Muslim doctor who invents a cure in the hospital or performs an important operation successfully – all the media will broadcast it live and announce it worldwide. The Muslim who makes do with breaking the wooden podium, with screaming, and with patronizing, condescending rhetoric that “Islam is coming, and it will change the face of the earth,” while at the same time he cannot even change the face of the Islamic capitals, which overflow with garbage – this path will lead to no good.

Notice, the imam is not advocating marching on the White House himself. He simply says he heard other clerics say it. But as far as the White House becoming the “Muslim House,” well, he obviously has no problem with that. He’s just not on the same page with the extremists. The message is: be patient, we’ll have the First Lady in a burqa, but we won’t get there by pounding and screaming (and presumably blowing things up).

But also notice: he supports the same end. The only debate is about the means.

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