Muslim chaplain quits FDNY
October 1, 2005 -- The Fire Department's Muslim chaplain abruptly resigned yesterday after saying that a conspiracy - not 19 Al Qaeda terrorists - may be responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Look, I'm glad that he resigned," Mayor Bloomberg said, pledging to find out how Imam Intikab Habib's controversial views were not uncovered before he was hired six weeks ago.
"This is not a person who should be representing a department that was devastated on 9/11 and answering their spiritual needs," Bloomberg said. "Resigning was the right thing to do. I'm glad he did it quickly."
The soft-spoken Queens chaplain ignited an uproar when he said a conspiracy may have been behind the World Trade Center attacks that killed more than 2,700 people, among them 343 FDNY members.
"I, as an individual, don't know who did the attacks," Habib, 30, told Newsday in yesterday's editions. "I don't believe it was 19 ... hijackers who did those attacks." "It takes two or three weeks to demolish a building like that. But it was pulled down in a couple of hours," he said. "Was it 19 hijackers who brought it down or was it a conspiracy?"
The theory, popular in some Islamic circles, infuriated the FDNY's rank and file.
"It is an embarrassment to every New York City firefighter and painful to the families of the 343 we lost on 9/11 that this fiasco took place," Uniformed Firefighters Association President Stephen Cassidy said.
Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced Habib's resignation at FDNY headquarters, saying Habib had been nominated by the department's Islamic Society and passed a background check. "There has been no prior indication that he held those views," Scoppetta said.
The Islamic Society withdrew its endorsement of Habib yesterday. The FDNY has a rabbi and seven Christian chaplains and will continue to search for a Muslim chaplain to fill the $18,000-a-year part-time job."I did not want to resign, but it was best for the department," Habib told reporters after stepping down.
Well I am missing something.....
How did this guy get hired anyway? I am not meaning to knock the entire muslim religion, but how many muslims are on the FDNY. My first guess would be zero, but there may be a couple.
The point being, why did the trumpet blowers of the FDNY ever see it appropriate to hire a muslim "chaplin" for 10,000 catholics???
Is it just me??