The Darul Ihsaan centre, known locally as “Jimmy’s gym”, was used by members of the Jihadist group that planned to attack the English Defence League. Two of the gang, Mohammed Saud and Anzal Hussain, also worked there, and the six met in the building the night before the planned attack. The same gym was used by at least four members of a separate terror cell which planned to attack the UK with eight suicide bombers. Earlier this year those four admitted travelling to Pakistan for terror training and will be sentenced at a later date.
Fundamentalists seek out the gym because they play Islamic chanting rather than music, ban women and offer halal body-building supplements. Inside, the walls carry an inscription in Arabic and songs called Nasheeds were playing on the PA system.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced that Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) has cancelled a scheduled appearance at an “anti-Islam” conference in Washington DC, hosted by a right-wing think tank headed by Daniel Pipes, who is regarded by many as one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes. Specter was to give the opening address at the conference, but cited a “scheduling conflict.” The premise of the conference, called “Libel Lawfare: Silencing Criticism of Radical Islam,” is that American Muslims are involved in a concerted effort to suppress free speech by misusing the American legal system. “We applaud Senator Specter’s decision to withdraw from this inaccurate, inflammatory and agenda-driven conference,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Justin Peyton. “We strongly support free speech and other First Amendment rights, but believe the senator’s appearance at this event would have legitimized views not shared by the majority of Pennsylvanians of all faiths,” said a spokesperson for CAIR.