Dr. Ahmad Dewidar, imam of the Islamic Society of Mid-Manhattan and a lecturer on Islamic studies at Manhattanville College, has recently been referred to as "the face of the next generation of Muslims in America"  and is considered a prominent Muslim leader in New York having met with President George W. Bush, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, New York State Governor George Pataki  and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. 
Recently, Dr. Dewidar, who is Egyptian-born, attended the annual Conference of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs  in Egypt and gave a series of media interviews. In an interview which aired on MBC TV on June 9, Dr. Dewidar discussed the spread of Islam in the U.S. He referred to sermons he had heard in 1995 that stated "We are going to the White House so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become Muslim House." (To view this MEMRI TV Clip, visit http://memritv.org/clip/en/730.htm)
On June 15, Dr. Dewidar was interviewed by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website, www.ikhwanonline.com. In the interview, he said that before 9/11, Muslim preachers in America had often talked about the power and sovereignty of Islam, but that after the attacks, they began to exercise more caution in their sermons. Dr. Dewidar said that although the Taliban and bin Laden had claimed responsibility for the events of 9/11, many Americans believe that the events were fabricated in order to forge the so-called "New World Order." Dr. Dewidar also discussed "the Zionist… control of the government, politics, economy, and media in the U.S."
Question: "What was the line of da'wa [Islamic propagation] taken before 9/11?"
Dewidar: "The line of Islamic da'wa led to a strange contradiction. [On the one hand,] it had reached the pinnacle of constructive da'wa, and American society viewed some of the Muslims living in the U.S. as an influential cultural model, which led to a great rise in Islamic conversions. [On the other hand,] the preachers had reached the level of demonstration of power and [they] were constantly reciting slogans rooted in the concept of Islamic sovereignty. This made the Americans wary of Islam, believing that the Muslims had come to the U.S. in order to take it over and to rule the world.
"This was the discourse of da'wa that was prevalent at that time. The preacher would deliver a sermon from a room in some house in a slum. It is clear that Islamic sovereignty will come about not through such slogans, but as the natural outcome of the behavior and culture of the Muslims... American society is highly influenced by [social] services, and the churches understood this earlier. They organized courses in computers and languages, and tutoring for grade school and high school [students]. They also conceived of other methods, like serving free soup to the poor on Sundays. If you go to any church on that day [Sunday], you'll find many rows of the poor and the not-so-poor who come to enjoy [these] good services, and they receive booklets handed out by the churches."
Question: "Do the events of 9/11 represent a turning point for Islamic da'wa in American society?"
Dewidar: "Of course. [The events] restored balance to the da'wa discourse, and Muslims began to select their words and their methods of da'wa. They know that any [sign of] extremism on their part, or any word that could be interpreted not according to its meaning, would lead to extremism on the part of the American administration. Moreover, thousands of Americans have begun to take an interest in Islam and to study it in order to get to know the religion whose believers are trying to rule the world and intruded upon their tranquil and secure lives. Thank God, this was a great blessing for da'wa, since these people got to know the truth, the power, and the culture of Islam. Hundreds of them converted to this religion within days [after 9/11], and I witnessed some of these cases at the Islamic center."
Whether 9/11 was Planned or Pinned on Muslims, it Provided an Opportunity for the U.S. Government to Legislate Dubious Laws
Question: "What steps did you take to fend off the accusation that stuck to the Muslims – [i.e.] that they were behind 9/11?"
Dewidar: "Although a large part of American society believes that 9/11 was an operation planned and fabricated in order to forge a new reality of world rule under the so-called 'New World Order,' most of society got the message from the Muslims that they were in fact the ones behind [the attacks]. This message was reflected in the [fact that] the Taliban and Osama bin Laden took responsibility for the event, as well as in the reactions of glee in the Arab and Muslim world to what happened.
"As far as the American government is concerned these events – whether or not these events were planned, or pinned on the Muslims, or something else – provided an opportunity for [the American government] to legislate dubious laws that restrict the growth and presence of Islam in the U.S., such as the [anti-]terrorism law, and other laws.
"But as far as American society is concerned, the suspicion towards anything Islamic – in the streets, in places of recreation and commerce, and in workplaces – remains a heavy burden on the Muslim citizen in America. The media – most of which is under Zionist control – has helped to spread this perception. When [the media] see a bearded Muslim selling fast food on any street in any state, they put the camera lens in front of him and interview him as though he represents Islam. At the same time, they ignore every moderate Islamic voice, every serious, scientific Islamic model, and every expert religious scholar. We are trying to deal [with this phenomenon] through constant contact with the media and by registering complaints with its directors."
America Will Get Over 9/11 Easily If We Offer Them Proof of Our Innocence
"To conclude, I would like to say that American society – without relating to any given government position – is an active society that loves life and is quick to forget. It will get over the events of 9/11 easily, on condition that we offer them proof that we are innocent of this crime, and on condition that through our Islamic conduct, we remove the doubt and suspicion in American society that were aroused by this event."
The Zionists Control Government, Politics, and Economy in the U.S.
Question: "What is the extent of the Muslim community's influence on American society?"
Dewidar: "The Zionist community numbers only three million, but they control the government, the politics, the economy, and the media in the U.S. At the same time, the Islamic community numbers 11 million, but its influence is weak. There are a number of reasons for this. The main ones are that the Muslim community is composed of different cultures, languages, and countries [of origin] – there are Arabs, Asians, Iranians, and others – and that the Islamic community is a society that only recently emigrated to the U.S., in comparison with many other communities. Thus we lack an organization, a plan, and a strategy around which we can unite and according to which we can act. We need to have generations of specialists in medicine, computers, and other areas that serve society. Even if we now have some representatives in some fields of sciences, this is not sufficient in order for them to stand out and influence American society."
Jews Control the Media… Preventing Us from Spreading Our Ideas
Question: "Are the only obstacles that prevent the organization and influence of the Muslim community obstacles related to its internal affairs?"
Dewidar: "Of course not. Many are interested in preventing our influence in society – first and foremost the Zionist lobby, which influences the media at present, so that we cannot spread our ideas and spotlight our leaders and our successful models. Even when a Muslim tries to work in the media, he has to contend with five million media employees who are controlled by the Jews. If he is a genius, and they are forced to employ him, he works behind the camera, not in front of it. At the same time, we see rich Muslims buying up the Egyptian cinema heritage for 800 million dollars, and not working to set up an Islamic channel of a level sufficient to reach foreign societies scientifically and professionally."
Question: "How did the American Muslims deal with the U.S. administration's policy towards the Arab and Islamic world, and particularly with its occupation of Iraq?"
Dewidar: "We have held many demonstrations, activities, sermons and conventions, and have sent out many messages to the media and the various organizations. But all this did not affect the decision [to go to] war. This was not due to any inadequacy of our actions, but because there was a firm decision [about the war], come what may..."
Leading the U.S. Regime are Sharansky's Despicable Goals for the Middle East: Freedom, Democracy, Education, and Participation
"As for the American policy of controlling the region... The American regime believes in a [certain] ideological or religious program, which is like the New Testament for it. [This program] is the result of a great intellectual effort by a man who is powerful and influential among the intellectuals, who is called Sharatsky [sic; apparently referring to former Israeli minister Natan Sharansky] – a Jew in origin. [His idea] boils down to the claim that in order for America to live in security, it has to change the perceptions in the Middle East regarding the [people's] sense of participation in the political process, and regarding freedom, democracy and education. This, [according to him,] is because the oppression of these [Middle Eastern] societies leads to extremism, which is ruining their countries and America... This Jew has despicable goals, and we see their effects today in America's actions in the region, imposing its opinion and its outlook on democracy, education, and political involvement on our [Arab and Islamic] countries.
"[We] also [see its effects] in [the U.S.'s] blatant intervention in these countries' internal affairs and in its contacts with opposition forces there. But we must take advantage of this golden opportunity to really improve, so that the magic backfires on the magician. If [their] aim is to establish regimes that serve the West, why don't we exert pressure to establish real national regimes? True, we will witness strong opposition, but if the peoples want something, nobody can break their will."
MBC TV Interview on the Spread of Islam in the U.S.
Host: "With us is Dr. Ahmad Dewidar, imam of Islamic Center in mid-New York and an Islamic culture professor at Manhattan University [sic]."
Dewidar: "In 1995 I heard some sermons that said that Muslims should march on the White House from some of the mosques."
Host: "What do you mean by 'march on the White House'"?
Dewidar: "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."
Dewidar: "This is simply a slogan. I'm only saying this to..."
Host: "Are they going to occupy the White House or what?"
Dewidar: "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."
Dewidar: "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."
 During the 16th conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, held in late April 2005 in Cairo, Dewidar said: "Peaceful coexistence is the result of Islam's tolerance. Tolerance deepens people's becoming acquainted with one another, and enhances the scope of cooperation and integration amongst people… Tolerance according to the Islamic perception is different than that in the English perception, and Muslims in Western societies must be tolerant so that they will be a model to others who are not Muslims."  Al-Ahram (Egypt), May 1, 2005.