Following are excerpts from a TV debate with Abdul Alim Musa, Imam of the Islam Mosque, Washington DC, and George Mason University professor Jack Goldstone. The debate aired on Press TV on January 5, 2010.
Interviewer: Imam, I guess this is something that most people didn't expect to hear on Christmas Day.[...]
Abdul Alim Musa: Right. I am just going to go straight to the point. If you go back for the last 20 years, from the first World Trade Center bombing in '93... This is our view, from those who... We said it then, and we say it now, and this is the belief in the Muslim world: 90% of the bombing plots – or this plot or that plot – we believe is done by and with the help and the aid of Mossad, and the United States government. This is our experience.We believe that whoever this guy is from Nigeria - we don't believe he has any ties with Islam. If you talk about the World Trade Center bombing – all of these things are done... I can give you two quick reasons, and it will solve the problem. Number one - to blame these things on Muslims. You get the Patriot Act, you get the anti-terrorism bill, you get a right to what they call stop, put a freeze, on the global Islamic movement, which has been spreading, growing, and developing. You get a chance to launch missiles, to kill, and to put a freeze on the Islamic movement. But the Islamic movement is only the first target. The second target is the American people, because as you see, you have a systematic crash of the economy in America, headed downhill. Eventually, it affects everybody. Eventually, it affects the general American people. They want to have all the guns, and they want to have terrorism acts, they want to have everything - not for the Muslims – because we are a small minority – but for the American people - who do not put up with high taxes, and starving to death...
Interviewer: Wait a second, did you say that America may have played a role in this?
Abdul Alim Musa: No, we said they definitely did.
Interviewer: Definitely played a role?
Abdul Alim Musa: Yes, definitely. This is our belief. We've said this. We have... I didn't bring them all... We have "CIA Patterns of Deception," "Zionist Control of Media," "Babylon the Great" – these are years old – "Bush the Unifier"... Our belief has always been, since 1993, and we've done TV programs on it – that the United States government... Who do you talk about? You talk about Al-Qaeda. Where did Al-Qaeda come from? Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden, and all that – those are US friends.
Interviewer: But why would the US do this to its own people?
Abdul Alim Musa: In order to control them.
Interviewer: Jack, what do you think? Jump in here.
Abdul Alim Musa: In order to control them. This is not new. The Maine – remember the Maine? How did the US get Mexico? How did they get... How did they get California, Arizona, and all of that? They set up the Mexicans.
Jack Goldstone: Let's stay focused on the present.
Abdul Alim Musa: Yeah, that's what we're saying. We're showing how history... The American history is a history of robbing and stealing, and setting up people in order to get what they want.
Jack Goldstone: Well, I don't want to try and defend all of America's governments through all of history, because we've done some things that certainly we're not proud of now.
Abdul Alim Musa: Right.
Jack Goldstone: But it's hard to accept that Al-Qaeda, today, in the Arabian Peninsula, in the Maghreb, in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan, is working at the behest of the US government.
Abdul Alim Musa: Who would they be working at the behest of, then, if it wasn't...?
Jack Goldstone: They claim that they are working to create an Islamic caliphate. They claim that their enemy is all Western countries, and all Arab leaders who are supported by Western countries.
Abdul Alim Musa: Where did they come from? Where did Al-Qaeda come from? Let's go back to Afghanistan. Bin Laden – all of these people – were developed through the United States government, British intelligence, and Saudi money.They brought them in, with new tanks, weapons, everything, to crush the real Afghani... Rabbani, Hekmatyar, and those people. They [the US] brought the Taliban in to crush him, and bring in a type of Islam that was offensive to everybody - harsh, beating women, closing schools. That was to turn people against Islam. There are no accidents, I'm sorry. There are no accidents in Afghanistan, no accidents in Pakistan, no accidents in Iran. For the last 25 or 30 years, it's all been skillfully planned – all of it.
Jack Goldstone: The conspiracy theory described by our friend is appealing, because...
Abdul Alim Musa: Is it true or not?
Jack Goldstone: I don't believe that it's true.
Abdul Alim Musa: Which part don't you believe – so we can get it clear? We don't want to leave people up in the air.
Jack Goldstone: I don't...
Abdul Alim Musa: Which part is not clear?
Jack Goldstone: I don't believe that the United States today is directing Al-Qaeda.
Abdul Alim Musa: What I said about Al-Qaeda, its beginning, its development... When did the United States get mad at Al-Qaeda and Taliban? When did they get mad at them?
Jack Goldstone: After 9/11.
Abdul Alim Musa: Okay... Then, instead of bombing Afghanistan, they should take the CIA people that developed them and put them in jail, instead of killing the people of Afghanistan – if that was even partially true, right? If they developed the group, and they went bad, why don't they put the CIA in jail? Why would they kill or slaughter the people of Afghanistan?
Jack Goldstone: That is a reasonable question, and I don't have an answer that will convince you.
Abdul Alim Musa: No, convince the people, don't worry about me. The people need to know some...
Jack Goldstone: What the people need to know...
Abdul Alim Musa: Is the truth.
Jack Goldstone: ...is that it is very difficult for pious Muslims to believe that Muslims could be responsible for acts of terrorism. Islam is a religion of peace.
Abdul Alim Musa: Iraqis lived together for a thousand years as Muslims – Sunnis and Shiites. The Shiites supported the rebellion against British colonialism in 1920 and 1921. This was a fatwa given from Najaf. When the Americans get there, all of a sudden, we have suicide bombings – of Shiites bombing Sunnis, and Sunnis bombing Shiites, to destroy the country. The people of Iraq feel like these are outside forces.Even when the young brother – that guy, his name was Nick Bird [sic] or something – years ago, he was captured and killed – you know, on TV, and what have you... We looked at the guys – they had the pictures of the so-called "terrorists" on the Internet. The guy's chest was sticking out like this. Only one of them probably spoke Arabic. They looked like Americans. One thing was sure – two of them were wearing gold, and Muslim men do not wear gold – especially so-called fundamentalists. They were wearing gold. Muslim men do not wear gold. Muslim women can wear gold, but Muslim men generally wear silver. I'm trying to tell you that we talk about... A conspiracy theory is supposed to be way out... We're talking about real bombings. Anywhere you take... If you talk about Mumbai, if you talk about all of these... These are people that are not well known in the Islamic movement. Now, I'm saying this because I go to Pakistan, I've been to Afghanistan, I go to Iran. I have been knowing the people for thirty years, that are involved in the Islamic movement. None of us know, none of us! I talked with one of the main brothers here in the area, an Arabic-speaking brother. I said: "Do we know any Al-Qaeda?" He said: "I ain't never seen one." And I asked him, because we had been to conferences all over the world. Neither one of us know any Al-Qaeda, and we are supposed to be the most revolutionary Muslims in the United States. I have never seen them. This is not conspiracy theory – this is the bombings and killings in Iraq and the bombings... This person, from Algeria [sic] – what does it do on Christmas Day? It says: "Look at these evil Muslims."
Interviewer: It's a message...
Abdul Alim Musa: It's a message that these Muslims are evil. It gives the United States the justification for Yemen, for even northern Nigeria, for anybody. And the people are doing it. Why is this young rich guy all of a sudden going to blow up something?The no-fly list – the man [Obama] is lying through his teeth. I'm on the no-fly list. If I take ten flights in the US, I'm held up. I miss five of them.
Interviewer: Why are you on a no fly list?
Abdul Alim Musa: Because they don't like what I say. I remember 1898, I remember the Maine, where the US battleship was blown up and, not sunk, but almost, in Havana Harbor. It gave the US the ability... By the way, they had Navy already in the Philippines when it happened. But that gave the US the excuse to, to take the Virgin Islands, to take the Philippines, and all of that.And then, I remember reading about Mexico. You know, poor Mexico... The invasion of Mexico, when they got to California. They got Arizona, they got New Mexico. They had already just stolen Texas. The Gulf of Tonkin – some people forget the Gulf of Tonkin. You know. This is dealing in the Vietnam era, when they blamed North Korea, or someone, for firing on an American ship. It never happened, but they just bombed the place to smithereens because of that. I'm saying the US government has a history of this. And Mossad, the Israeli intelligence, also have a history of setting people up. I'm saying, as an active Muslim, and knowing Muslims all over the world, and I've been to most of these countries and spent time in them – Islam, right now, is trying to call people to a better world. That's what we're doing – right in south-east Washington. This stuff that comes up on the news every week is benefiting someone else, and is not benefiting Islam. And we look at the pattern of behavior – who has done this before? Who broke every treaty with the Indians? It was the American government! The Israelis and the Americans! They want a clamp-down. They want loose... not tight enough... They have plenty of security. Osama Bin Laden supposedly praised the bombing here, right? Now I've just had my regular one or two years of Arabic. When they translated what he said, there's one thing that they missed. They said: "Allah be blessed." This is insanity. Muslims don't say that. In Christianity, you can say "blessed be God," but in Islam, you cannot – a human being cannot bless God. It's "Allah be praised." I'm telling you...
Interviewer: So you're saying there's a translation mixup?
Abdul Alim Musa: Not translation! I'm saying that they're stooges, they're stooges... Remember, this is Osama Bin Laden, a rich Saudi that's been working with them, and they [Al-Qaeda] said: "We are happy that the bombing went down." And for that, they invade Afghanistan – for him being happy. Who is his being happy? What is his being happy about the bombing have to do with slaughtering people in Afghanistan? I'm trying to say this – is it... We are not on the defensive.We've been not saying this outside much, but I am personally tired of the United States doing these things, and people not standing up. In America, I am not going to be quiet any more. We know that this is not done by us, because of the pattern of behavior and what Islam demands. It's done by somebody else. We would say, the United States government, the CIA, and Mossad. They are the ones you should look for. Israelis, white Americans, have never forgiven anybody for anything, if it happened 50 years ago, 100 years ago, right? The Israelis are chasing down Nazis that can't even walk. Can't hardly talk, slobbering in the mouth – right today. But how many black people are chasing around South Africans, right? After what they did, right? How many of us are saying: "You lynched us"... The same time during the Holocaust, we used to get lynched every day, regularly. When I grew up, this was common conversation. I'm born in Arkansas. This was common. You don't see none of us going around saying: "60 years ago, 70 years ago, you guys lynched us." Except Americans and Europeans! They always say: Mau Maus are bad. They killed 55 British. The British killed 155,000 Mau Maus, and the Mau Maus are uncivilized.