Islamic Awareness Week in Tucson – Univ of AZ, the MSA and ties to terror
The Daily Wildcat (an independent University of Arizona news publication) and OnIslam.net report that University of Arizona (UA) Muslim Students Association (MSA) is holding an Islam awareness campaign set to run the week of April 20-24.
Such campaigns are yearly events promoted by MSA through out the country. A few that we’ve covered in the past include:
- Islamic Center features Islam and terrorism – Bangor Maine (March 2013)
- Muslim Students Assoc at LSU — connecting the dots on the Gulf Coast (September 2013)
- Islam “Awareness” in Wyoming (April 2014)
- Western Washington University (May 2014)
MSA “awareness” type events focus on proselytizing (Da’wa) and presenting Islam in a positive light. The Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT) will be providing a tour and sermon as part of US MSA’s awareness week. The Wildcat article mentions a UA senior who feels the negative connotation attached to Islam has been getting worse since the early 2000s.
The 9/11 Commission report references the Tucson area and it’s Islamic terror ties, specifically in regards to Hani Hanjour, one of the hijackers who piloted the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001:
The fact that Hanjour spent so much time in Arizona may be significant. A number of important al Qaeda figures attended the University of Arizona in Tucson or lived in Tucson in the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of Hanjour’s known Arizona associates from the time of his flight training in the late 1990s have also raised suspicion. FBI investigators have speculated that al Qaeda may have directed other extremist Muslims in the Phoenix area to enroll in aviation training. It is clear that when Hanjour lived in Arizona in the 1990s, he associated with several individuals holding extremist beliefs who have been the subject of counterterrorism investigations. Some of them trained with Hanjour to be pilots. Others had apparent connections to al Qaeda, including training in Afghanistan.
Tucson, AZ has had a history of Islamic terror related activity since the 1980s. The ICT and several of it’s members have been linked to Islamic terrorist groups that have included Al-Qaeda and Hamas. The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports:
Between 1985 and 1993 the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT) is alleged to have served as the de-facto Al-Qaeda headquarters in the United States. In the mid 1980s, the ICT was the US satellite office of the Mektab Al Khidmat, an organization considered to be the “precursor to al Qaeda.” Several leaders and attendees of this mosque became Al Qaeda leaders. Among them, former ICT president and Imam Wael Julaidan became a senior bin Laden advisor and was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) because of his work with Rabita Trust, an Al Qaeda funding source. Wadih el Hage, whom government officials say acted as Usama bin Laden’s secretary, was convicted of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, conspiracy to destroy buildings and property of the U.S., perjury and murder in May of 2001. El Hage, who regularly attended the ICT, told a federal grand jury that he heard ICT attendees say that dissident Muslim leaders “should be killed” as “infidels.” Ramzi Yousef, the future mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing carried a fake identification provided by Al Bunyan Islamic Information Centre (AIIC) in Tucson when detained at an airport in 1992. The post office box number given on their badges for the Al Bunyan Center was the same as that on the letterhead of ICT’s Al Kifah Refugee Center. Abdullah Azzam, Usama bin Laden’s mentor, also spoke at this mosque. Al Kifah Refugee Center and Mektab al Khidmat, the al-Qaeda linked organization mentioned above, were named as Specially Designated Terrorist organizations on September 23, 2001. Al-Kifah Refugee Center was established as the American-based affiliate of Mekhtab al-Khidemat.
Omar Shahin, who became the mosque’s imam in 2000, headed up efforts at the mosque to collect money for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and Global Relief Foundation (GRF) in 2001. Specifically, Shahin told reporters that the ICT collected $7,000 for HLF in November of 2001and that he had raised money for HLF in the past.  Shahin served as the imam and as director of the ICT from 2000-2003. HLF and five of its leaders were convicted of funneling money to Hamas in November 2008.  GRF was raided and shut down on December 14, 2001 and designated under Executive Order 13224 by the U.S. Treasury on October 18, 2002 for its ties to Al Qaeda.
Former ICT president and Imam Wael Julaidan (mentioned above) was a past president of the UA MSA in the 1980s.
Julaidan is not alone in being involved in Islamic terrorism and holding a MSA leadership position. Patrick Poole, in “The Muslim Student Association’s Terror Problem” (PJ Media, Aug 2010), writes:
Since its inception, the MSA has chronically been a vehicle of extremism, hatred, and incitement to violence. Its chapters host a wide variety of extremist speakers and have repeatedly raised funds for Islamic groups that have later been closed by the U.S. government for funding terrorism. For this reason, the MSA was identified in 2004 as one of 27 Islamic charities and groups in the U.S. under investigation by the Senate Finance Committee for terrorist support.
As a result of the long-time institutional extremism, the MSAs have also proved to be a fertile recruiting ground for terrorist organizations, such that a 2007 report on Islamic radicalization published by the New York City Police Department identified the MSA as one of the key “radicalization incubators” for homegrown terrorists (p. 68). This dubious distinction is not without cause.
One of the darkest secrets of the MSA, certainly never advertised by the organization or mentioned in their publications, is a rather lengthy list of top MSA leaders who have been arrested and convicted on a wide array of terrorism charges, ranging from material support of terrorist groups to being actively involved in terrorist plots.
The Wildcat article closed with this statement by UA MSA Co-vice President Azba Khan …
Blindly accepting what we are told by unreliable people is the biggest mistake in society. We need to take advantage of the sources and intellect we have and challenge the ignorance in society with knowledge.
The students and faculty of the University of Arizona may need to challenge the UA MSA as to what their agenda is.
The Muslim Students Association was formed in 1963 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT) real estate documents lists the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) as trustee. The ICT constitution indicates an affiliation with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch indicates:
Former FBI special agent Robert Stauffer headed an investigation in the 1980s of Muslim Brotherhood finances and reportedly discovered that the Islamic Society of North America had received “Millions and millions of dollars” through NAIT which, he says, “served as a financial holding company for Muslim Brotherhood-related groups.” The money, he says, was wired into the United States from Islamic countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Egypt, Malaysia and Libya.
The ISNA research report also describes examples of how NAIT played a role in the ideological takeover of two U.S. mosques, driving out moderate leaders and replacing them with those close to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. One of those mosques was the Bridgeview mosque who imam, Jamal Said, is one of the Allied Asset Advisers trustees listed above. A document released in 2007 by the prosecution in the Holy Land Terrorism financing case names NAIT as one of the entities that is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.