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Cablegate: Hanoi Muslim Community Reticent On Recent Events

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

121126Z Oct 01

2001HANOI02658 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO8599

PAGE 01 HANOI 02658 121200Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CA-01
CCO-00 CG-00 CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00
DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
UTED-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 INSE-00 IO-00
L-00 M-00 AC-01 NEA-00 DCP-01 NRCE-00 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OCS-03 OIC-02 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
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TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 USSS-00 ASDS-01 R-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /014W
------------------2DFAB2 121200Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4370
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS HANOI 002658

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND DRL/RF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PINS KPAO PTER VM HUMANR CTERR RELFREE
SUBJECT: HANOI MUSLIM COMMUNITY RETICENT ON RECENT EVENTS

REF: STATE 175484

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02658 121200Z
1. (U) HANOI'S TINY VIETNAMESE MUSLIM COMMUNITY (NO MORE
THAN A COUPLE OF DOZEN PEOPLE) HAS NOT NOTICEABLY REACTED TO
THE SEPTEMBER 11 TERRORIST ACTS IN THE US AND SUBSEQUENT
INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE UNDER OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM,
ACCORDING TO THE RESIDENT MANAGER OF HANOI'S SOLE MOSQUE.
THE OFFICIAL NOTED THAT SERVICES AT THE MOSQUE AND
DISCUSSION BEFORE AND DURING THE SERVICE STEER AWAY FROM
POLITICAL SUBJECTS AND THUS HAVE NOT ADDRESSED TERRORISM OR
INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES TO IT. HE ADDED THAT MUSLIMS HERE
HAD NONETHELESS THOUGHT ABOUT OFFERING CONDOLENCES TO THE
VICTIMS OF THE SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACK BUT WERE UNSURE TO WHOM
THEY SHOULD ADDRESS THEIR SYMPATHIES.

2. (U) POL/C AND POLOFF VISITED THE MOSQUE ON OCTOBER 12
SHORTLY AFTER THE USUAL FRIDAY PRAYERS, WHICH ABOUT 100
PEOPLE USUALLY ATTEND, THE OFFICIAL SAID. MOST ARE FOREIGN
MUSLIMS WHO ARE IN HANOI AS DIPLOMATS OR BUSINESS PEOPLE,
AND INCLUDE IRANIANS AND IRAQIS. FOUR OR FIVE AFGHANS ALSO
ATTEND; THEY ARE IN HANOI TEACHING MUSLIM CHILDREN SUBJECTS
SUCH AS ARABIC AT A SPECIAL SCHOOL AT THE LIBYAN EMBASSY.
(NOTE: WHEN POL/C MET WITH MPS OFFICIALS HANDLING FOREIGN
EMBASSIES ON OCTOBER 1, THEY WERE UNAWARE OF ANY AFGHANS IN
COUNTRY. END NOTE) THE OFFICIAL SAID THAT NONE OF THE
MUSLIMS HE KNEW IN ANY WAY SUPPORTS OSAMA BIN LADEN OR HIS
FOLLOWERS. POL/C LEFT A COPY OF THE EMBASSY PUBLIC AFFAIRS
SECTION'S MOST RECENT "RESPONSE TO TERRORISM" FOR THE
MOSQUE'S REFERENCE.

3. (U) THE STATE-RUN RELIGIOUS PUBLISHING HOUSE ISSUED THE
FIRST-EVER KORAN IN VIETNAMESE IN 2000 AND DISTRIBUTED
COPIES FREE OF CHARGE TO ALL VIETNAMESE MUSLIM FAMILIES, THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02658 121200Z
OFFICIAL SAID. THERE IS SOME TALK ABOUT A SECOND EDITION,
ALTHOUGH HE WAS NOT CLEAR WHY. COPIES ARE NOT/NOT AVAILABLE
FOR PURCHASE. PREVIOUSLY, HE SAID, VIETNAMESE MUSLIMS WERE
DEPENDENT ON USING A FEW COPIES OF THE KORAN IN ARABIC, OR
ON ENGLISH OR FRENCH EDITIONS BROUGHT IN BY FOREIGN MUSLIMS.
HE NOTED SOME OCCASIONAL INTEREST IN ISLAM BY VIETNAMESE
FROM NON-MUSLIM FAMILIES; THEY CAN STUDY AT LEAST THE
RUDIMENTS OF ISLAM AT THE MOSQUE AND SOME HAVE BECOME
MUSLIM, HE CLAIMED. NONE OF THE CURRENT VIETNAMESE MUSLIMS
IN HANOI HAD EVER UNDERTAKEN THE HADJ TO MECCA, HE NOTED
REGRETFULLY, ALTHOUGH ABOUT ONE HUNDRED GO EACH YEAR FROM
THE MORE POPULOUS CHAM MUSLIM COMMUNITIES IN SOUTHERN
VIETNAM. (NOTE: PREVIOUS REPORTING SUGGESTED 35 TO 40
VIETNAMESE MUSLIMS MAKE THE HADJ EACH YEAR. END NOTE.)
WHEN ASKED, HE CITED COST, RATHER THAN LACK OF GVN
PERMISSION, AS THE MAIN BARRIER TO THE HADJ.

4. (U) COMMENT: ALL OF VIETNAM'S OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED
RELIGIOUS ENTITIES TEND TO KEEP THEIR SERVICES AS PURELY
RELIGIOUS AS POSSIBLE AND TO AVOID POLITICAL OR REMOTELY
CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECTS. IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THERE HAS
BEEN LITTLE IF ANY OPEN DISCUSSION OF RECENT EVENTS WITHIN
THIS COMMUNITY.
PORTER

UNCLASSIFIED

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