Today’s news:

Time to reclaim mosques from the jihadists

Soft targets are the new dope for terrorists.

Nidal Malik Hasan’s sanctimoniousness spurred his shooting spree, which killed 13 soldiers and wounded dozens of others at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, November 5.

Now, the unstable US Army psychologist is an Islamo thug - a classification he wooed by jumpstarting his bloody orgy with the anthem of the jihadist: “Allahu Akbar.”

Hasan will get his day in court. The US Constitution guarantees that in setting itself apart from the type of world that nuts, such as Hasan, want us to live in. And civil libertarians, concerned with the minutia of mitigation instead of with the murder of Americans, can relax - until the next attack.

Our national heartache is shared by Hasan’s shocked family members, who are “mortified” over his deadly sortie for which there is “no justification,” and who chose not to inflate Islam’s grandeur over the bedlam committed in its name by their extremist relative. They, clearly, recognize the disconnection.

The larger picture, however, includes the desecration of mosques by avenging Muslims, and even some preachers. Hasan worshipped at the controversial Dar al-Hijarah mosque in Virginia with two of the 9/11 hijackers - fueled, no doubt, by the combustible words of the imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni who hailed Hasan a “hero.”

Mosques have long been implicated in helping terrorists - to the detriment of upstanding Muslims.

In September, Colorado airport shuttle bus driver Najibullah Zazi was arrested and charged with plotting to use weapons of mass destruction against America. Also nabbed in that raid was Queens imam Ahmad Wais Afzali, an FBI informant who allegedly tipped off Zazi about the feds on his tail.

The arrests spotlighted the underworld of terrorist activity where mosques are exploited to fan the fires of fundamentalism.

A September 9 Times Online report cites the Queens Road Mosque in Walthamstow, London as being “a recruiting ground for extremists for more than 20 years.” In June, fed-up Idonesians shuttered the Al Ikhsan Sabilillah mosque in East Java for four days for hosting “terrorist activities.” A March 16 report by the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center states that during the December 2008-2009 Gaza War, evidence was “extensively documented” about the “storage of weapons in mosques (rockets, IEDs, light arms and even an anti-aircraft gun), and about using the mosques for military training and as bases from which to launch rockets into Israel.”

The insidious connection continues with a January 2002 BBC report which relays, “The Finsbury Park mosque [in north London] has come under the spotlight several times for alleged links to Muslim terror suspects”; among them, 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, “shoebomber” Richard Reid and Kamel Rabat Bouralha, a loyalist of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who has bragged of training terrorists responsible for the 2004 school hostage crisis in Beslan, Russia.

The holiest mosque of all is, arguably, also the midwife who birthed today’s radical Islam: On November 20, 1979, armed messianic militants hijacked the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, holding 100,000 Haj pilgrims - fellow Muslims - hostage for two weeks.

True believers have a responsibility to reclaim their mosques from jihadists, and to ensure that negative passions are not stoked by radicals in the assemblage - nor by unholy spiritual leaders from the minbar.

Sabruzzo@cnglocal.com.

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