Igor Yopsvoyomatsky, Editor-in-Chief of
Answers readers’ questions.

Dear Igor,

My cousin Fred says the mosque will be a headquarters for the sharia takeover of America. That the Muslims have mind-control techniques that turn weak-minded people like me into suicide bombers and assassins, just like that Major in Texas. He’s like, “all they have to do is play that snake-charming music and you’ll get all hypnotized and walk around like a zombie going ‘alahu akhbar.”” He’s all, “don’t be surprised if you wake up one morning with a towel wrapped around your head and a bomb strapped to your chest and the S.W.A.T team snipers have to take you down in the 7-11 parking lot.” He’s got me so crazy it takes hours for the Ativan to kick in. Is this paranoia or fact?


Megiddo, Ohio.

Dear Scared,

It is paranoia. The mosque is a plot, but not against America. It is a desperate attempt by two struggling New York real estate hustlers to scam billions out of the doddering Wahabists who rule Saudi Arabia. They are wrapping themselves in the Koran and the Constitution at the same time. They face Mecca and rattle the rhetorical sabers against the West, while preaching “interfaith dialogue” and the First Amendment in New York. They were close to cashing in when the vengeful God of the Internet, Google be praised, rose against them.

Mosque leader Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf might be the first Sufi slumlord in the history of Islam. He’s the prodigal son of an Imam who raised millions thirty years ago to build the Islamic Cultural Center on Upper East Side of Manhattan. The business model was simple: promise to spread Islam or “Dawa” and the money would roll in. But Rauf eschewed the family trade, getting a physics degree from Columbia, teaching high school, selling insurance and real estate with little success, before declaring himself an “Imam.” He developed a profitable line in the American-Muslim “outreach” and “reconciliation” business. Became an Ambassador of Good Will for the State Department, lecturing, writing–explaining us to them and them to us. The few anti-American remarks he made in the aftermath of 9/11 were understood as a way to maintain his street cred with “them” so he could convince them to like “us.”

Like any ambitious immigrant Rauf speculated in real estate. He bought “affordable housing”, formerly known as “tenements”, at bargain prices. He used his political connections in New Jersey to get “Section 8″ status where the federal government subsidized a portion of the rent, thereby guaranteeing him an income on a minimal investment.

But Rauf failed to maintain his buildings. Tenants complained of rats, bedbugs, vermin, heating and electrical problems, hazardous structural defects. One tenant accused him of being “greedy and only caring about the money.” Another told the Sunday Record that Rauf “doesn’t respect us because we’re non-Muslim.”

Defending lawsuits and bringing tenements up to Code is an expensive proposition. Imam Rauf was stuck with a lot of real estate he couldn’t even sell at a loss.

Enter Sharif el Gamal. Son of an Egyptian immigrant, el Gamal is what New Yorkers call a “knockaround guy.” He knocked around the East Side bar scene in his early life, waiting tables at hot spots, Michael Jordan’s and Serafina, picking up arrests for disorderly conduct and petit larceny until he and his brother Sami discovered the real estate grift. They rented apartments they didn’t represent, collecting deposits they never returned. There were complaints, but the mill of justice ground exceeding slow, giving them time to go to Florida and pick up more residential properties with the help of silent partner, Nour Moussa, nephew of Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League. There they continued their thuggish ways, facing court actions for tax delinquency, non-payment of loans and assaulting a tenant.

Back in New York, el Gamal amassed what the Huffington Post called a “modest” real estate portfolio worth over $50 million. When a distressed widow put up 51 Park Place for sale he snapped it up at the bargain price of $4.6 million.

El Gamal told the seller he was thinking about renovating and putting in condos. But that would require millions of up front investment and in the volatile real estate market might take years to show a profit.

A mosque would be an instant windfall. The location, so close to Ground Zero, would be very compelling to orthodox Muslims who wanted to, in the words of Imam Rauf, send out a “call to prayer from the world trade center rubble.” It would have non-profit , tax-exempt status. Money could be raised from donations or from a technique of Sharia banking whereby a bank buys a building for cash and then sells it back in installments to the original seller. Imam Rauf and el Gamal would control $100 million with no oversight from donors. They could take a fee out of every construction contract. They could form companies to do the renovation themselves. The profit potential is dazzling.

Now protests and publicity have put their plans on hold. The NY Post reports that el Gamal owes $229,000 in taxes on the building and faces foreclosure if he doesn’t pay.

Yes, there is an Islamic plot to “enter the crumbling house of the West and hasten its destruction.” But there was also a Communist plot to infiltrate the American government and cause its downfall. And a John Birch plot to take control of the Republican Party. And a behavioral economist plot to prod and coax and nudge you into doing what some academic careerist thinks is best for you.

You should be concerned about the plot by Mega Capital to control your economic life and thus your mind and eventually your spirit. The lords of finance and their Washington lackeys have rigged the system to reduce you to a state of slavering subservience, working for starvation wages, lining up for government handouts. They have made it impossible for you borrow to start a business, get a mortgage to buy property, even have a savings account that pays a paltry 4% a year. In their zeal for “productivity” they have shrunk the labor market through outsourcing and automation. If you’re not working you’re counting the weeks until your unemployment runs out as you despair of ever finding a job again. If you have a job you are probably working twelve hours a day with no overtime just to keep it. You’re afraid to take sick days or ask for a raise or better conditions. You can be fired on a whim.

Turn off that talk radio, Scared. Flush your meds. Join with your brothers and sisters to overthrow the theocrats and plutocrats, the technocrats and bureaucrats who are plotting against you.

But first, throw your cousin Fred out of the house.

Your friend,




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