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One man's opinion


Last updated 7/28/2018 at 9:34am

I got a call a couple of weeks ago from Mahmoud Harmousch, former Imam of the Temecula Mosque, a couple of weeks ago. He invited me to the opening of a new mosque in Riverside. A few years ago I would have jumped at the chance. I was a strong supporter of the Temecula mosque as nothing was more sacred to me than freedom to worship, and my columns emphasized that.

I met him on a phone interview, and when I asked him about the terrorist Anwar Awlaki in San Diego, or the radicalization of the local Adam Gadahn, he began screaming into the phone, which seems to be a common Muslim tactic. I got to know Mahmoud, or so I thought, and was puzzled when he refused to condemn Hamas or other terrorist groups during TV interviews.

His silence spoke loudly. Just before my son deployed to Afghanistan, Mahmoud joined us for lunch. I laughed when I found out a few years later that when I left for the bathroom, Harmousch told my son to hide when he encountered any Taliban. I was disappointed when I saw him on the news a year or so ago, fighting the neighbors after buying a home to build into a mosque where there was absolutely no need – the horse country out in Chino.

And now the Johnny Appleseed act continues in Riverside. During the controversy, Ron Roberts and I believed that the Muslims wanting to build the mosque here were our “friends and neighbors.” I believe we were wrong. I also remember being invited to a dinner where a guy talked about having seven children. I asked him what he did for a living, and his answer was, “America, what a great country.”

I don’t write this to condemn Harmousch – I believe his behaviors show where his loyalties are. I write this to apologize to those I offended in my support of the mosque. I remember one older woman I regarded as venomous as she kept warning about "sharia law.” But she was right. I had banked on a large contingent of moderate Muslims. I don’t believe that exists. I joked with her that what kind of a moron would want to live under that kind of repression in a free country. Apparently most.

Canada has recently sacrificed their liberty in service to political correctness. It is now illegal to say something offensive about Muslims, as it is in the UK. They have placed quite a number of Muslims in Parliament, and their Immigration Minister is a Somali. No one knows if he’s a citizen or not.

As I see these mosques get built I wonder about what’s going to happen in five years or so...Dearborn? Abdul Al Syed is running on the platform of being the “First Muslim Governor.” I do not see Muslims assimilating here. I see school administrators and the like bending backward not to accommodate them. When I see a hijab at the Mall I wonder what kind of world we’ve created for our grandchildren. Woody Allen joked about the passage in Isaiah where the lion lies down with the lamb, and then adds, but the lamb is going to sleep with one eye open. That’s not a bad policy.

Gregory Scharf


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