Muslims Respond to Bridgeview Indictments

August 21, 2004

Source: The Chicago Tribune

On August 21, 2004 the Chicago Tribune reported, "as Muslim worshipers began to gather before noon for Friday prayers at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, most expressed dismay and skepticism about the arrest of one of their own community, Muhammad Salah. They dismissed the charges of terrorism as a political ploy intended to influence the November presidential election. Salah, one of three men whose indictment was announced Friday by Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, was arrested Thursday afternoon a few miles from the Bridgeview mosque. Men on work breaks for Friday prayers and women dressed in traditional head scarves, with children in tow, said they reject the accusation that Salah, who lives on the top floor of a three-flat a block from the mosque, was involved in funding acts of terrorism in Israel... Salah has long prayed at the mosque and was one of its leaders in the early 1990s. In a statement to Israeli authorities that he later retracted, Salah said the mosque's imam, or prayer leader, Jamal Said, recruited him into the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood organization, which led to his involvement in Hamas."