Meet our local Muslim militia….

If someone told you that there was a Moslem group that does military-type exercises near the reservoirs that supply much of New York City’s water you would probably think that it was some right-wing fantasy. But it happens to be true. The group calls themselves the Jamaat ul-Fuqra.

I first found out about this group by talking to a real live person. That fact is worth noting purely because it is such a novel way for me to find out about something.

Anyway, the real live person I was talking to happens to be part of a parents group that was involved with talking to this Muslim group to try to get some problems resolved (more on that later). I was surprised by what she was telling me about this group so I started asking around.

Most of the people I talked to already knew about the group. In fact, because of my unsocial nature, I was one of the few people who did not know that the local Muslims had their own armed militia.

I should note that local is a relative term. Their camp is located right on the border between Hancock and Deposit. That is actually over an hour away from where I live.

Still, when I worked for my previous employers, I did a lot of work down in Deposit. In fact, one of the reasons I was happy to leave my previous employer was that I was tired of going all way to Deposit to work every day (we were adding on an addition to a factory). Even with my present employer, I work with a lot of people who either still live in the Deposit/Hancock area or who came from there. So Deposit feels kind of local to me even though it is a bit of a hike for me to get there.

When I first heard about the Muslim militia I initially shrugged it off. I mean, there are all sorts of strange things in my neighborhood (starting with me).

After all, I drive by a Buddhist temple that sits a stone’s throw away from a dairy farm on my way to work every day. One of my neighbors was a millionaire who used to work with Margaret Meade. No one knew this at the time. All we knew is that he raised sheep that he babied shamefully and he used to be a professor down in New York City.

I could bore you with lots of other examples like that. My point is, amongst all the other strange things in the area, a Muslim militia fits right in. So I did not get overly excited upon hearing that there was such a group only a stone’s throw away from the reservoirs that supply New York City with its water.

But while I was wandering around on the internet I came across this post on the Gates of Vienna. That gave me a name to put to the group (everyone I have talked to locally just calls them that Muslim group out Deposit way) and allowed me to do a little more research on the Jamaat ul-Fuqra.

Turns out that Jamaat ul-Fuqra is an honest-to-goodness terrorist group. They are banned in Pakistan and they get mentioned in State department reports as committing terrorist acts. Mostly, they seem to be suspected of the odd murder, but they are tied to the bombing of the Hotel Rajneesh. Furthermore, an ATF agent has testified that

“Individuals from the organization are trained in Hancock, N.Y., and if they pass the training in Hancock, N.Y., are then sent to Pakistan for training in paramilitary and survivalist training by Mr. Gilani. . . . We have information from an informant that one individual [from Red House] did further his training by going to Afghanistan.”

Strangely, as best as I can figure out, the ul-Fuqra are not officially designated as a terrorist group by the State Department even though the State Department has reported that they commit terrorist acts. I wonder if this is because the FBI finds it handy for potential terrorists to congregate in rural areas where they stand out like a sore thumb instead of in suburbs where they can be harder to find.

But I won’t bore you with anymore of my musings. You can find out as much as I know by following my links or by googling Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Most of the information on the web seems to fit with what I hear from the locals.

The major exception to that rule is the reason that the Jamaat ul-Fuqra boys don’t go to school anymore. A lot of people on the web seem to imply that the Muslim kids don’t go to school because of their religious beliefs. That may be true, but that is not what I have heard from the locals. The way I heard it, the Muslim kids stopped going school for their own safety.

As it was told to me, the Muslim kids were bringing knives to school and acting all tough. There was even one kid that got thrown down a flight of stairs. Some web sites have reported that much.

But what they don’t tell you is what happened next. As I heard it, the farm boys started bringing guns to school in their pickup trucks and the situation started getting out of control. The situation got so hot for the Muslim kids that they were transferred from the Hancock School district to the Deposit School district. Again, from what I hear, the same problems replayed themselves, so they finally took their kids out of school for their own safety.

But that is all second hand information, so don’t put too much stock in it.

One Response to “Meet our local Muslim militia….”

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