August 17, 2005
An Islamic cleric being held by U.S. immigration officials has agreed to be deported.
This comes one week after investigators accused him of planning to setup religious schools where recruits could be trained to kill Americans.
The cleric, 39-year-old Shabbir Ahmed, will be deported to Pakistan for overstaying a three-year Visa that allowed him to work in the United States as an Imam.
Ahmed was arrested in June as part of a federal investigation into possible terrorist connections between Al Qaeda and members of a mosque in Lodi, California, about 70 miles northeast of San Francisco.
But he was never formally charged with terrorist acts and his lawyer called the accusations baseless.
This is a good beginning, but it should be the first of many steps.
These Muslim religious schools are mostly funded by the Saudis, which preach and underwrite the most extreme form of Islam known as Wahaabbism.
These schools and mosques should be infiltrated and if they are preaching and teaching hate and sedition, they should be closed and their Imams arrested and/or deported.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.