TAMPA, FL – On April 26, 2015, the Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance held it’s 18th Annual Islamic Charity Festival at MacFarlane Park. Along with the distribution of toys, food and clothes given away to “pre-identified and deserving homeless people”, the event featured inflatables, face-painting and cartoon balloons for children, as well as vendors with men’s and women’s clothing.
Speaking at the 18th annual Islamic Charity Festival at MacFarlane Park on Sunday, Ali, a member of the Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance, told a crowd including Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, that people will be “honored” for “everything we do in our lives.”
Conversely, said Ali, who drew from the Quran, the religious text of Islam: “We will be held accountable for the things we do.”
Ali spoke as festival organizers prepared to give away about 90 bicycles to needy children. Food, toys and clothes also were distributed Sunday to “pre-identified and deserving homeless people” at the event, organized by the Muslim Alliance.
The event was from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and drew a crowd of about 2,000.
“When we give to charity in the name of Allah, we verify that which we say we’re about,” Ali said. “It’s a way to verify the intentions in our heart.
“Although we manifest different acts of worship, true righteousness is a belief in Allah and a reality greater than (what) we see.”
Malik Abdullah, a Tampa resident and longtime volunteer at the festival, acknowledged that there are misconceptions many Americans have about Islam and Muslims.
Islam, he said, is about “love for people, obedience to Allah and service to the community.”
“We do good, speak the truth and obey our God,” Abdullah said. “We’re a peaceful religion.
“There is a misconception that we believe in more than one God, but it is one God who created all of us to honor one another,” he said. “We are not terrorists.
“The Quran does not advocate terrorism, greed and hate. It says you are created to know one another. The goal is obedience of God.”
The Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance (TBMA) was created in 2000 and one of the founding directors was USF professor Sami Al-Arian. Founder of the Islamic Academy of Florida (IAF) in Tampa and admitted member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Arian was also associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a US Specially Designated terror organization. Charges against Al-Arian were dropped in 2014 and in 2015 he was deported to Turkey.
Al-Arian also formed the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE) which investigators found was heavily funded by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) another Muslim Brotherhood organization.
Since it’s creation, the Chairman/Director of the TBMA has been Dr. Husain Nagamia who also is the chairman of the Islamic Medical Association of North America ( IIIM). The IIIM is a division of the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) , an organization identified as part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The late Ahmed Elkadi, former head of the U.S. MB was a past president of the IMANA (1974-75).
Proselytizing of a political or religious nature is not permitted during The Event.”
– Doors Open letter of agreement
In a June 1st column in the Toronto Sun, Tarek Fatah reported on the findings of area author John Goddard who participated in the 15th Annual Doors Open Toronto event held last week in the Toronto area:
In his quest to discover Toronto’s past recently, Goddard participated in the annual “Doors Open Toronto” city-wide festival.
The tour offers what the City of Toronto calls “free, rare access to more than 155 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across Toronto.”
Goddard discovered this year’s festival included many mosques, at least one of which had a unique and pleasing architecture, with a tall minaret.
The Doors Open site lists several religious locations as part of the program. The event’s primary focus is on buidlings of “architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city.” Fatah reports that on arrival at the Islamic Foundation mosque in Scarborough, Goddard found not so much a showcase of the architecture of the institution, but a focus on free literature proselytizing about Islam.
… this word (jihad) is used particularly for a war that is waged solely in the name of Allah … This supreme sacrifice of life devolves on all Muslims.
Another location Goddard visited was the Toronto mosque known as “Masjid Toronto,” run by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). Researcher Tom Quiggin has identified MAC as one of the “examples of Muslim Brotherhood adherent organizations in North America.” Cultural Jihad mentioned Quiggin’s recent report on the Muslim Brotherhood in North America last month.
Fatah contacted Julian Sleath, programming manager of Doors Open Toronto, and inquired why such literature was allowed to be distributed. Sleath apparently acknowledged the book on jihad was distributed, but added: “In our Doors Open letter of agreement there is the clause: “Proselytizing of a political or religious nature is not permitted during The Event.”
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: An additional Islamic location listed on the Doors Open site was the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International.
” Dawah” is proselytizing and appears to be the main function of this rather plain, store-front location shown to the left.
The scheduled featured speaker is Prof. Muhammad Shakir, Co-Imam of the Islamic Center of Fort Collins, Colorado:
- The Islamic Center of Fort Collins (ICFC) was named in a 2010 New York Times article about Anwar al-Awlaki, the American Muslim convert who later became an Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen:
” … Meanwhile, at the Islamic Center of Fort Collins, the little mosque where volunteers took turns giving the Friday sermon, Mr. Awlaki discovered a knack for preaching. If he could boast of no deep scholarship, he knew the Koran and the sayings of the prophet, spoke fluent English and had a light touch.”
- The ICFC has hosted radical Islamists speakers including Imam Siraj Wahhaj and Mahdi Bray.
- It has been reported that the ICFC distributes publications by a several Islamist groups like the Al-Furqaan Foundation, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
The MSA at the University of Wyoming bylaws clearly spell out its affiliations with the national MSA as well as the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The chapter has hosted a number of controversial Islamist speakers in the past.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: This type of open house style function is typical among many of the MSA organizations across the country. We highlighted one last year in Maine, “Islamic Center features Islam and terrorism – Bangor Maine“. This year the Maine group’s featured speaker was Corey Saylor, from the Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR.
As we reported in Muslim Students Assoc at LSU — connecting the dots on the Gulf Coast, several MSA members and leaders have been linked to jihadist and terror related activities.
The overall mission behind most of these awareness campaigns is to facilitate Da’wah, the proselytizing or preaching of Islam. It is one of the roles of MSA but reason behind the campaigns is seldom promoted that way.