New York fireman forced to resign for questioning 9/11 official story
*** A fireman in New York has been forced to resign because he dared to question the official story about 9/11. America is constantly portrayed as a shining example of freedom and democracy, but the illusion only works as long as the majority of people do not think or see beyond the reality defined by politicians and the mass media. Americans have the right to "freedom of speech", but only as long as they do not express doubts about official state doctrine. The moment anybody questions the conditioned belief system, they become unacceptable -- especially if they do so in a way that exposes other people to an alternative way of thinking. The mass media are quick to report that the fireman in question is a "Muslim", as though this somehow helps to explain what happened. But are his religious beliefs really relevant? Would he have been treated differently in this society of "equal rights" on the basis of his religious beliefs? The "war on terror" is creating an environment in which Muslims often feel less able than anybody else to question the politicians, and when any group of people is afraid to speak their minds, the "war" for freedom and democracy has already been lost. ***
The New York Fire Department has begun a hunt for another Muslim chaplain after its new imam had to resign over his views on the 11 September attacks.
Imam Intikab Habib, 30, told a New York newspaper he doubted al-Qaeda hijackers alone caused the Twin Towers' collapse, and suggested there was a conspiracy.
He stepped down hours before he was due to be officially sworn in on Friday.
The FDNY, which lost 343 firefighters in the 2001 attacks, said he would not have served effectively in the role.
Mr Habib told Newsday, in an interview published on Friday, that he was sceptical of the US government's version of events.
"I've heard professionals say that nowhere ever in history did a steel building come down with fire alone," he is quoted as saying.
"Was it 19 hijackers who pulled it down, or was it a conspiracy?"
Mr Habib, who trained in Islamic law in Saudi Arabia, offered no theories on who else might have been involved and described the attacks as tragic.
He made his comments after Newsday asked whether he thought New York's firefighters would object to an imam with Saudi connections. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
Fire Department chief Nicholas Scoppetta told reporters Mr Habib, who preaches at a New York mosque, had passed a background check.
But, he said: "It became clear to him he would have difficulty functioning as an FDNY chaplain.
"There has been no prior indication that he held those views."
Mr Habib, originally from Guyana, told a local TV station that he had not wanted to step aside but it was "the right thing to do for the department".
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed Mr Habib's resignation, his spokesman Ed Skyler said.
"The remarks were offensive and the mayor is satisfied that the chaplain has resigned," he said.
BBC News, "NY imam quits over 9/11 remarks", 3 October 2005.