Some of the same individuals behind past terror tied funding operations are directing current charity efforts.
In Questionable Charity Groups Cloud Syrian Benefit we reported on Syrian songwriter/singer/activist Yahya Hawwa touring Muslim communities in America as part of a benefit to help Syrians in need. It was noted that one of the organizations sponsoring the event, Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), is one of the larger U.S. based Islamic Charities. It also has past partnerships with organizations such as Human Appeal International (HAI), a group reportedly linked to Hamas.
LIFE’s ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood originate with it’s founder and former CEO, Khalil Jassemm and his association with the late MB leader Dr. Ahmed Elkadi while residing in Panama City, FL. Elkadi’s father-in-law, Mahmoud Abu-Saud was also living in the Panama City area at the time. Abu-Saud was known for his expertise in finance and central banking and being heavily involved in the Muslim Brotherhood’s beginnings in Egypt. Abu-Saud and Elkadi worked together with the formation of several Islamic organizations including the first Islamic Center of Northwest Florida in 1986.
In 1985, Jassemm joined with Elkadi to form at least one charity, the Welfare Trust for Needy Patients, Inc in Panama City. The organization was dissolved in 1991. Jasseemm moved to California and started LIFE in 1992. LIFE was moved to Michigan in 1994. In the mid 1990s, Jasseemm maintained his ties to Elkadi while working as a visiting professor at the University of Maine, Department of Survey Engineering – Orno sponsored by Elkadi’s Institute of Islamic Medicine for Education and Research.
Jasseemm is also the author of several books relating to Islamic charities. His, “Islamic Perspective on Charity, a Comprehensive Guide for Running a Muslim Nonprofit In the U.S.” provides extensive guidance for Islamic charity officials in regards to laws governing such groups. Jasseemm is no longer listed as being affiliated with LIFE and is believed to be living in Jordan.
LIFE’s current board listing still reflects its MB influences and includes:
Dr. Gindy is a co-founder and board member of CAIR Michigan.
M. Yahia Abdul-Rahim
We’ve covered Dr. Rahim’s MB ties a number times. He is listed as the NAIT contact for the Bay County Islamic Society and is a director of the the Panama City Advanced School Corporation. In the 1992 Phone Book seized during the Holyland Foundation investigation into terrorist funding, Dr. Rahim (Y. Abdul-Raheem) was listed as the economic head of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
A lessor known document showing Rahim’s MB ties is a 1994 Florida corporate filing for the Muslim Financial Group, Inc., which was dissolved one year later. In addition to Rahim named as director, it includes Mohamed Mabrook and Jamal Nyrabeah.
Mabrook was president of Global Chemical and had been convicted in 2002 of mail and wire fraud – defrauding investors of the company. According to a 2002 Wall Street Journal report it was a bit more complicated, involving suspected ties to Saudi investments and terror groups:
One month after the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. Treasury labeled Mr. [Yassin] Qadi, who is 47 years old, a “specially designated global terrorist” and froze his assets in the U.S. and Europe. The government says that Mr. Qadi and organizations he controls move money from Saudi sources through numerous businesses and charities world-wide. Some of the money ends up in the hands of terrorists, the U.S. says. Mr. Qadi declines to comment, but through his lawyers, he denies ever knowingly doing business with terrorists or financing them. He hasn’t been prosecuted, and his attorneys are trying to persuade the Treasury of his innocence.
The article refers to Mabrook’s company …
In the mid-1990s, another company to which Mr. Qadi had ties, Abrar Investments Inc., joined with International Relief Organization [IIRO] to invest in a Chicago chemical company — a deal that is also drawing scrutiny from federal investigators.
Abrar Investments was a Stamford, Conn., company that sought “Islamically permissible investment opportunities in the United States,” according to its prospectus. The company’s name means “the do-gooders.” Mr. Qadi’s lawyers confirm he, among others, invested money in the U.S. through Abrar Investments. He was also a director of Abrar’s Malaysian corporate parent, according to records gathered by terrorism researcher Rita Katz of the nonprofit SITE Institute in Washington.
Abrar and International Relief Organization jointly invested more than $2 million in Global Chemical Corp., which said it made household- and pool-cleaning supplies. Abrar provided $250,000 itself, as well as another $345,000 that came from one of its clients, according to an affidavit by FBI agent Valerie Donahue filed in federal court in Chicago in January 1997. International Relief Organization invested more than $1 million and guaranteed Abrar Investments against any potential loss from the deal, the Donahue affidavit said. Two of International Relief’s top officials owned a total of a 20% stake in Global Chemical, according to the Donahue affidavit.
The president of Global Chemical was Mohammed Mabrook, a Libyan immigrant and Islamic activist who during his college years in Tennessee organized opposition to the secular dictatorship of Libyan Col. Moammar Gadhafi. In 1985, Mr. Mabrook, had worked for a pro-Palestinian group headed by Mr. Marzouk, the senior Hamas leader who the U.S. believes was a coinvestor with Mr. Qadi in BMI, according to a 2001 federal-court filing in Chicago.
Global Chemical kept a warehouse full of highly toxic chemicals but appeared to have few if any customers, according to the Donahue affidavit. Alarmed, the FBI asked one of the government’s senior experts on chemical weapons, Dennis J. Reutter, chief of the army’s Materiel Command Treaty Laboratory in Edgewood, Md., to look at the chemicals Global Chemical was purchasing.
The FBI included an ominous excerpt from Mr. Reutter’s Oct. 23, 1996, report in Ms. Donahue’s affidavit. The purchases, he wrote, “do not appear to be consistent with R&D for formulation of commercial cleaning products or for quality control of commercial cleaning products.” The names of the chemicals weren’t made public. His report concluded that “taken in total, the purchases appear to be more consistent with support” of a laboratory performing biochemistry or “organic synthesis.” Mr. Reutter declines to comment.
Organic synthesis is one way to describe the process used to manufacture some explosives. But U.S. law-enforcement officials in Chicago say they didn’t find direct evidence of any bomb making at Global Chemical.
Mr. Salah — the confessed Hamas operative who received funds both directly from Mr. Qadi and from the Woodridge, Ill., real-estate investment Mr. Qadi financed — also allegedly had an interest in dangerous chemicals. In the 1995 confession to Israeli authorities, which he subsequently retracted and which the FBI summarized in court filings, Mr. Salah allegedly said that while in Chicago in the early 1990s, he trained recruits to work with “basic chemical materials for the preparation of bombs and explosives,” as well as various toxins.
Qadi was one of the original investors in Bait ul Mal, Inc. (BMI), an Islamic investment firm tied to the MB. A 2003 National Review article provides additional details regarding BMI and terror funding tied to charities, including IIRO.
Court documents for U.S. vs Mabrook portray Dr. Rahim a victim of fraud committed by Mabrook indicating he invested $600,000 in the Mabrook’s chemical company. In light of Rahim’s position in MB financial matters, Yassin Qadi’s funding activities and the involvement of IIRO, the “victim” label is questionable.
Nyrabeah resided in Panama City, FL along with Dr. Rahim and Dr. Elkadi. In 1993 Nyrabeah become a director of the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) and is cited in court documents. A Canadian corporation filing also shows Nyrabeah as a listed director along with Enaam Arnaout for the Benevolence International Fund, incorporated in 2000. In 2002, Enaam Arnaout was linked by prosecutors to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network and was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. In 2002, the U.S. Government designated BIF as a “Financiers of Terrorism” for providing support to Hamas as well as Al Qaeda. Nyrabeah apparently was not charged.
Dr. Saqar’s ties to the MB can be found in the 1992 Phone Book seized during the Holy land Foundation investigation into terrorist funding. He is listed (spelled as Hani Shaker) as a member of the MB executive committee and as the “Masul” (leader) of the Administrative Office for East America.
Saqar was the former director of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Dublin, Ohio (NICC) until a disagreement emerged with other NICC members. Reporter Patrick Poole has written about the NICC’s former spirtual leader, Dr. Salah Sultan and his ties to Hamas and the MB. Up until recently, Saqar was president of the The Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR), a group reported by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) to be a pro Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood group.
This year LIFE is not as visible with Hawwa’s fund raising appearances.
The primary sponsoring groups are Syria Relief and Development and United Muslim Relief. Both organizations under control of individuals with strong Muslim Brotherhood affiliations.
Syria Relief and Development was formed and incorporated in Kansas in 2011. It’s 2013 filings report over $5 million in relief efforts.
The organization’s books were initially handled by Mohamad Albadawi. The Causingfitna blog has some extensive information covering Albadawi’s ties to MB organizations and the myraid of Islamic special interest groups he is involved with.
Syria Relief and Development board of directors are:
Dr. Jihad Qaddour
The organization’s founder, and a founding member of the Islamic Society of Wichita in Kansas as well as a trustee for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF). We reported on the SETF and it’s connection to the MB in U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Likely Influenced Senate Defense Bill . The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) reported that the majority of SETF board members have a history of close ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood. Qaddour also was a trustee and treasurer for the Muslim American Society (MAS) – a MB front group. The Causingfitna blog reported on Qaddour’s participation in 2013 pro MB Kansas city rally and his involvement in 2015 lobbying efforts with the U.S. Senate.
The daughter of Jihad Qaddour, she is a former board member and secretary for Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA). A 2014 report by the Clarion Project provides information linking IRUSA with Hamas and the MB. In regards to IRUSA’s parent organization, Islamic Relief Worldwide, the GMBDW notes :
Islamic Relief was one of the founding members of the Union of Good, a “coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas ‘social’ infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities.” The Union of Good is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
The Money Jihad blog reported in September 2014 that, “New tax documents reveal that Islamic Relief USA (IR-USA), the largest Islamic charity in the United States, gave over $118,000 in grants in 2013 to entities with previous connections to terrorism.”
Dr. Hashem Mubarak
As with the previously mention Dr. Rahim, Dr. Mubarak resides in Panama City, FL and has past professional ties to the late MB leader Elkadi. He has been the past president and spokesman for the Bay County Islamic Society, Panama City, FL and still currently serves on its board. He also serves with Dr. Rahim as a board member for the Panama City Advanced School, an Islamic k-12 school. The school ties it’s historical beginnings to Dr. Elkadi.
Like Jihad Qaddour, Mubarak is a member of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF). As noted, it has been reported that the majority of SETF board members have a history of close ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood.
A resident of Wichita for over 20 years, Alfaihhas served as the chair and activities coordinator for the Islamic Society of Wichita.
Kuziez is a past vice president and treasurer of the Muslim Students’ Association of the US and Canada (MSA). The Investigative Project on Terrorism has prepared an extensive dossier on the MSA
In May of 2013, the financial rating of Islamic Relief USA, the nation’s largest Islamic charity, was downgraded from four stars to two stars by the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator. By October of 2013, it was announced that IR-USA’s chief executive officer, Abed Ayoub, was leaving IR-USA to take over a northern Virginia charity now known as United Muslim Relief (UMR), that had dropped its old name, “Muslims Without Borders” one day earlier.
While he was CEO of IR-USA, Ayoub presided over a period of falsely inflated growth for the well-known Islamic charity. By grossly misstating the value of deworming drugs, IR-USA gave the appearance of having over received over $160 million in donations in 2010. When it used corrected valuation techniques in 2011, IR-USA reported contributions of only $60 million. The fraudulent bookkeeping of 2001-2010 enabled IR-USA to attract larger institutional donors than it otherwise would have, along with political endorsements from top Democrats and partnerships with federal agencies. Smaller Islamic charities were some of the victims of this fraud, because federal officials have often encouraged Muslim donors to give their zakat to larger, more “trustworthy,” charities like IR-USA. During Ayoub’s final year as CEO, IR-USA donated over $100,000 to nonprofits and mosques connected with terrorism.
Ayoub’s past work with IR-USA provides possible insight as to how he will manage UMR. It should be noted that Ayoub also was was involved in the management of parent organization of IR-USA, Islamic Relief Worldwide. While with IR-USA, his 2012 bio included:
As a governance committee member of Islamic Relief Worldwide™ (IRW), Mr. Ayoub monitors the present performance of IRW and plans future aims and priorities for the international organization. He is also the chairman of a subcommittee focused on governance and improving IR partnerships.
As noted earlier, the IRW’s connection to the Union of Good establishes Muslim Brotherhood influence.
COMMENT: As reported above, charitable non-governmental organizations with MB tied leaderships have a history of diverting donated funds to non-humanitarian activities and groups – many times to support Islamic terror activities. Some of the same individuals behind past terror tied funding operations are directing current charity efforts. With the increased turmoil and questionable goals of Islamic militant groups in Syria, the above described relief efforts warrant close scrutiny.
In Islamist Propaganda – at taxpayers expense (March 2014) we noted how law enforcement and security organizations were replacing Islamic anti-terror training with politically correct cultural awareness programs. The impetus comes from Muslim Brotherhood (MB) front groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
At the end of that article were these comments:
Another player in the Muslim cultural awareness arena is the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE). This group apparently has no ties to Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups. There is some confusion in that WORDE is promoting what they call The Montgomery County Model – a partnership with the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department in developing a new, community based-model to increase public safety. If you viewed the Connecting Cultures DOJ/COPS funded film, you’ll note that the Montgomery County Police Department was the featured agency. I read one source that indicated the film was produced several years back. If so, one can only hope that the Montgomery County PD learned from their mistakes. Can’t say the same for Homeland Security and DOJ.
A recent report from Point de Bascule Canada led to information that changes our assessment of WORDE, specifically the lack of ties to MB groups. While reviewing some linked Point de Bascule background items we came across another report from October 2014, where Point de Bascule wrote:
On October 8th, 2014, the International Cultural Center invited American and Canadian experts in Montgomery Village (Maryland) to talk about the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) to the United States. The theme of the evening was Understanding the ISIS Threat to the Homeland.
An article published by Point de Bascule four days before the meeting highlighted that two of the guest speakers, Rabia Chaudry and Hussein Hamdani, were linked to the Hamas’s North American support network and, therefore, could not be counted as allies against the terrorist threat.
The International Cultural Center is a WORDE program established in 2011 and located in Gaithersburg, MD. Rabia Chaudry is a former CAIR spokesperson and is frequently involved with MPAC programs and events. Point de Bascule’s recent report concerns Hussein Hamdani, an advisor to a Canadian agency security agency, who has been suspended pending an investigation into his ties to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas related organizations.
The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) has a history of being associated with Islamic radicals promoting terror …
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) advises that on May 2, 2015, the Islamic Center of Passaic County (Paterson, New Jersey) will host “Understanding Shari’ah: Sacred Principles for Human Development” in collaboration with the Fiqh Council of North America.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch notes the following about the council:
The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is an organization comprised of Islamic scholars associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. As FCNA itself acknowledges, the organization grew out of the activities of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and later became affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), itself an outgrowth of MSA. FCNA maintains a relationship with other similar bodies in the Global Muslim Brotherhood including the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) as well as the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia.Two individuals known to have been ECFR members, Jamal Badawi and Solah Soltan, are also known to have been associated with the FCNA.
Most of scheduled speakers for the May 2nd event have firmly established associations with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organizations:
- Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (ISNA, NAIT)
- Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah (ICNA)
- Dr. Ihsan Bagby (ISNA)
- Br. Azhar Azeez (President of ISNA and former CAIR executive)
- Sh. Mohammad Qatanani (HAMAS)
- Dr. Zainab Alwani (IIIT and daughter of MB leader Taha Al-Alwani)
- Sh. Yasir Fahmy
- Prof. Ebrahim Moosa
ISNA – Islamic Society of North America
ICNA – Islamic Circle of North America
NAIT – North American Islamic Trust
IIIT – International Institute of Islamic Thought
CAIR – Council on American Islamic Relations
The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) has a history of being associated with Islamic radicals promoting terror. A 2013 Clarion Project reports:
The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) was founded by Mohammad El-Mezain, who was convicted in 2008 for fundraising for Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. It is led today by Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security.
Muhammad al-Hanooti was an imam at ICPC from 1990 to 1995. He was president of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a pro-Hamas organization and Muslim Brotherhood front organization, from 1984 to 1986.
… [FULL ARTICLE]
In January 2014, the ICPC hosted Syrian Sheik Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi as part of an 11-city tour across America and co-sponsored by the Syrian American Council (SAC). The Sheik al-Nabulsi supports suicide bombings and has labeled all Jews as combatants.
In 2014 we reported on the lobbying efforts of SAC on Capitol Hill and its ties to the MB.
COMMENT: We wonder if the SAC had enough clout with the State Department to waive visa restrictions that deny individuals promoting hate and violence from entering the U.S..
Group claims pro-Palestinian students in US tied to terror
Clip produced by advocacy group Hamas On Campus purports to show growing Islamist influence in universities
From: The Times of Israel, October 5, 2014
A new YouTube video is targeting two of the most vocal pro-Palestinian student bodies active on US campuses, attempting to expose the alleged ties between the groups and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as to out several of the organizations’ leading members as supporters and initiators of terrorist activities across the globe.
In the video, which was produced by the advocacy group Hamas On Campus, the narrator claims the Muslim Brotherhood has been bankrolling student bodies and effectively using them as proxies in order to spread a message of radical Islam throughout American universities. The video then highlights the Gaza-based terror organization Hamas’s connection to the Brotherhood.
The narrator goes on to assert that the Muslim Students Association and the Students for Justice in Palestine organization have served as hotbeds for potential terrorists, citing several former members of the student bodies who had gone on to join and establish terror groups in the Middle East.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: We recently posted a story about a Students for Justice in Palestine event, “The Hidden Genocide: The Story of Palestine. A Banquet.” scheduled for September 2014 at the University of South Florida (USF). It was to feature motivational speaker Monzer Taleb, a former Hamas fundraiser who had sung with a band** called Al Sakhra (“The Rock”).
It appears the The Story of Palestine USF event was cancelled but promotional material indicated the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Muslim Connection (TMC), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of South Florida and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) were the sponsors. The participation of these groups seems to validate the Hamas on Campus contention that the Muslim Brotherhood is,” bankrolling student bodies and effectively using them as proxies“.
The Muslim Connection (TMC) is a local Islamist group based in Tampa Florida. According to it’s corporate filing, TMC focuses on “bring youth closer to Allah”. It is affiliated with the Islamic Community of Tampa-Masjid Al-Qassam (ICT). The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports:
Al-Qassam mosque was incorporated by Sami Al-Arian in 1992 under the name “The Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc.” Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Federal investigators say that, at the time, Al-Arian was the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
An initial member of the Board of Trustees of Al-Qassam Mosque, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, has been the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Syria since 1995. In addition, Al-Arian’s brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar was a founding board member and served as mosque imam until 2001. Al-Najjar appears on the Islamic Community of Tampa’s annual reports up until 2001, when he was arrested by the INS for a visa violation. Al-Najjar was deported by the U.S. in 2002 for staying in the U.S. after his student visa lapsed. In addition, he served on the PIJ’s Shura Council, or governing board, and was indicted along with Al-Arian for providing material support to the PIJ. Since he was deported, Al-Najjar never stood trial on those charges.
Sami Al-Arian was a former tenured USF computer science professor.
One of the current directors of the Islamic Community of Tampa is Osama Kayali. Kayali is listed a business associate with several businesses of the Elkadi family. Former Muslim Brotherhood leader, Ahmed Elkadi was based in Panama City, FL during the 1980s – 90s. He later moved to Northern Virginia then to Tampa, where he died in 2009.
**The Investigative Project on Terrorism has a copy of one of the band’s performances (with a transcript) calling for death to Jews. Taleb is featured singing “I am Hamas” on a second video, around the 3:47 mark. In a 2006 Weekly Standard article, “HAMAS Rock Stars,” Dallas-based investigative reporter Todd Bensman described the band as follows:
It wasn’t exactly feel-good music in the conventional sense. Mufid’s Al Sakhra (“The Rock”) band crooned a gospel of death and hatred toward the Jews at Hamas fundraisers, while the collection plates moved through wildly enthusiastic Arab-American audiences.
For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has found American academia to be fertile ground to push it’s agenda with the Israeli/Palestinian issue frequently in the forefront.
In 2005, the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel movement (known commonly as BDS) was started as a campaign for “the Palestinian struggle for justice“. Critics have labled it antisemitic and linked to the terror group Hamas. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is considered a key part of the BDS movement.
On December 30, 2013, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia had issued a statement denouncing the boycott.
A January 2014 Washington Post article noted that, “Many university leaders in the Washington region and elsewhere are denouncing a movement to boycott academic institutions in Israel” adding that, “… presidents of several major universities in Maryland, Virginia and the District in the past two weeks have issued, co-signed or endorsed statements of opposition to a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”
13 Georgetown professors apparently do to not share the views of DeGioia and other DC area university heads. On September 16, 2014, Georgetown University’s student newspaper The Hoya reported:
13 Professors Boycott Israeli Universities
After receiving 13 professors’ signatures, Georgetown has become the most-represented university involved in the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions since the petition’s creation last month.
Georgetown professors who signed the boycott petition include Center for Contemporary Arab Studies Director Osama Abi-Mershed, Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding John Esposito, Yvonne Haddad and Judith Tucker, among other signatories.
The boycott is a part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which aims to aid Palestinian civil society by increasing economic and political pressure on Israel. The academic petition came as a response to recent turmoil regarding the Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
It was noted that Tucker, Haddad and Esposito said that their involvement in the boycott will in no way affect their roles as professors at the university, yet the Hoya article included:
The petition’s signatories pledge that they will not publish in Israeli academic journals, teach at Israeli institutions, attend conferences at Israeli universities or work on any projects with Israeli academic institutions.
Esposito said he believed the boycott could help prevent violations of Palestinian rights:
[I hope] to put pressure on and to boycott institutions that violate international law and as a result violate the rights of Palestinians,” Esposito wrote in an email. “There can be no excuse for the cycle of violence that has taken so many lives in Palestine/Israel over the years, and terrorized both Palestinians and Israelis, and most recently in Gaza, the slaughter of so many innocent civilians, especially women and children must be stopped.
Dr. Esposito has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory board of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the UK headed by Azzam Tamimi, a leader in the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and often described as a Hamas spokesman. Dr. Esposito has also served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress and enjoyed a close relationship with the United Association For Studies and Research (USAR), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and part of the Hamas support infrastructure.
The Cardinal Newman Society has also reported on the boycott, pointing out:
Committed to increasing American understanding of the Muslim world, Esposito is no stranger to controversy and has been accused by pro-Israel groups of working too closely and in sympathy with leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2001, Stanley Kurtz of the Hudson Institute charged Esposito with believing that “the political program of Islamic fundamentalism is in fact democratic” and that it is America’s “narrow Western definition of democracy” that causes misunderstanding.
The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, which Esposito directs, was founded in 1993. In 2005, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal donated $20 million to the Center, which was renamed in his honor. Although Alwaleed reportedly fired a television chief for his public Muslim Brotherhood ties last year, the Prince has also been connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in the past. In 2002, he gave $500,000 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, according to The Clarion Project.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has found American academia to be fertile ground to push it’s agenda with the Israeli/Palestinian issue frequently in the forefront. We recently mentioned Dr. Esposito in, New University of Florida Islamic Center launch to feature Muslim Brotherhood supporter .
Bring the label to a discussion or debate and your opponents tend to disengage, afraid to be charged with a “thought crime”. It’s a tactic frequently used by those lacking facts and/or logic to support their argument or cause.
A recent opinion article by Qasim Rashid on Time.com, “Debunking the Extremist Myth That Islam is Anti-Jewish” caught our eye. The article is in response to recent anti-Islamic bus ads in Washington D.C. by the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
It wasn’t the issue of the ads, Rashid’s book plug, or even the selected Qur’an versus he uses that stood out. It was the second sentence that started with …
Islamophobes are fabricating the myth …
While Mr. Rashid probably wanted the reader to focus on the primary topic of his article, he failed in this case. In fact, he took away from whatever message he was hoping to deliver by using a label designed to silence all who dare disagree.
Who exactly created – or should we say fabricated – the term “Islamophobia” is subject to debate.
Some claim it was created about 20 years ago by the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT) as a label designed to feed on western societies’ tendency to fear being stigmatized based on bigotry. The other claim is that it was originally coined by Iranian fundamentalists in an effort to make Islam inviolate.
The bottom line: the word was created by Islamists as a weapon to be wielded in an attempt to silence critics.
Civil right’s groups have used this tactic successfully with the term “racist”. The gay/lesbian lobbies with “homophobia.” Terms that work as trump cards in a society so preoccupied with being politically correct that common sense can be lost. Bring the label to a discussion or debate and your opponents tend to disengage, afraid to be charged with a “thought crime”. It’s a tactic frequently used by those lacking facts and/or logic to support their argument or cause.
Just as civil rights charlatans need to push claims of racism in order to gain capital for their agenda, Islamists need to spread the perception of Islamaphobia. It allows the support base to rally around a collective victim hood. As “victims” in western society, political clout can be gathered that opens doors leading to footholds at varying levels of policy making. This was pointed out in Boston Bombings: CAIR’s predicted response and real agenda and Boston Bombing: cue smoke and mirrors.
Keep in mind that we are referring to a religious group – not a race or ethnic minority. Current estimates indicate Muslims (followers of the Islamic religion) make up 0.6% of the U.S. population, yet Islamic special interest groups have managed to obtain significant input and influence in matters of law enforcement and national security. Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have re-written training/procedural materials so as not to offend followers of Islam. Communities instruct police departments and service agencies on how to be sensitive of the special needs of Islamic followers. There does not appear to be similar policies nationwide to address the special needs of Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or Atheists.
In pushing the concept of victim hood, groups such as the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR) would lead you to believe that Muslims in America are constantly persecuted by law enforcement and discriminated against with Islamophobia spreading across the country. CAIR has a special office dedicated to combating it and even publishes an annual report, that Cultural Jihad highlighted last year.
The FBI Hate Crime statistics for 2012 indicate that of the reported 1,340 victims of anti-religious incidents, 11.6 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias. In comparison, 62.4 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias and 6.4 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias. A very important factor with these statistics: CAIR is very aggressive in responding to and labeling crimes against Muslims and their property as “hate crimes”. This tends to skew numbers as anti-Islamic bias becomes over-reported while other reporting groups are traditionally under-reported.
Questionable crime statistics aside, what about the general atmosphere of of how Muslim’s are received and treated in America?
They discover a nation — not of intolerance — but one that embraces them
The only real hostility they apparently encountered was by other Muslims at a mosque in Mobile, AL. One of the travelers even commented how he prejudged non-Muslims he encountered and had to put aside some preconceived notions he had. Could it be possible that pushing a concept of islamaphobia actually encourages bigoted behavior by Muslims and the unfair stereotyping of non-Muslims?
For another perspective on islamaphobia in America, there is always this 2011 video commentary by Pat Condell:
Back to Qasim Rashid‘s article in which he claims it is a myth that Islam is anti-Jewish. A few passages from the Qur’an for reflection on this:
O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people. – Qur’an (5:51)
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. – Qur’an (9:29)
And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! – Qur’an (9:30)
Apologists may claim these passages are taken out of context … it was during a time of war and does not apply to the Jews and Christians of today.
Modern historical facts paint a different picture:
– hardly a myth that Haj Amin al-Husseini was aligned with Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
– The Hamas charter identifies itself as part of the Muslim Brotherhood and calls for the destruction of Israel and killing Jews. The funding and support of Hamas has been a main priority of most Islamic relief efforts (i.e. Holy Land Foundation, Helping Hand, etc. ). Hamas sponsored children’s television has promoted anti-Jewish sentiments including “shoot the Jews”
– Saudi Arabia, an Islamic state and location of Mecca – the most sacred place and cradle of Islam – tends to discourage Jews from entering the country. While the official Saudi position is that they do not ban Jews, there are a number of reports that Saudi authorities make it extremely difficult. A 2012 U.S. Department of State publication advises that in Saudi death/injury judgements, Jews and Christians are only entitled to amounts 50% of what a Muslim would receive. The report further states:
Textbooks for grades 10, 11, and 12 – slated for review and reform in 2013 – retained inflammatory and anti-Semitic material. For example, these textbooks stated that apostates from Islam should be killed if they do not repent within three days of being warned, and described Islamic minorities and Christians as heretics. Descriptions of Jews and Christians as apes and swine remained. These textbooks also stated that treachery is a permanent characteristic of non-Muslims, especially Jews, propagated conspiracy theories that international organizations such as Masons support Zionism, and presented historical forgeries, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as fact.
… spreading of hate through brainwashing impressionable
children. Interesting tactics for the followers of a
self-described, religion of peace.
A vast majority of Muslims find no fault, or simply are indifferent, when Islamic leaders make speeches defending Hamas and other terrorist groups. Past terrorist funding cases (i.e. Holy Land Foundation, Sami Al-Arian, Mousa Abu Marzook, etc.) have shown that a significant amount of financial support has been made to such groups funneled from U.S. front organizations.
The funding supports common terrorist activities such as bombing and weapons acquisitions. The support also goes to propaganda activities, which includes targeting extremely young minds through children’s television programming.
The young Hamas TV host Rawan talks to a young girl in the studio named Tulin, who tells her she wants to be a police officer when she grows up. The child host directs her to the conclusion that as a police officer she would shoot “all the Jews.”
Child host: “Good.”
The broadcast also included a character named Nahul, an adult in a giant bee costume, who instructed children to, “… do like this with your hands [makes fists], and when they come to you, punch them; make their face red like a tomato.”
This type of programming has been going on for several years. In 2009, Palestine Media Watch reported on similar children’s programming that used puppets to spread the message to kill Jews. In 2007, MEMRITV.ORG reported about Hamas using a character resembling Mickey Mouse to spread the word of Islamic superiority/world domination, and to annihilate the Jews.
COMMENTS/ANALYSIS: As reported in the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW), HAMAS’s charter states that it “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine”. As shown in a 2009 NEFA Foundation report regarding the Union of Good, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and it’s associated front groups have provided a steady stream of funds for Hamas operations. Operations that include the spreading of hate through brainwashing impressionable children. Interesting tactics for the followers of a self-described, religion of peace.
It should be noted that there are some media reports indicating Tomorrow’s Pioneers is no longer being broadcast by Al-Aqsa TV, having been taken out of production in 2009. MEMRITV.ORG reports of shows being broadcast up to November 29, 2013
Rep Bachmann was addressing the Egyptian people while on an eight-member House delegation to Egypt. Ms. Kliegman’s “fact checking” focused on Rep. Bachmann’s references to threats posed by the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We’ve seen the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood has posed around the world,” she said Saturday. “We stand against this great evil. We are not for them. We remember who caused 9/11 in America. We remember who it was that killed 3,000 brave Americans. We have not forgotten. We know that you have dealt with that enemy as well.”
Was Bachmann blaming the Muslim Brotherhood for the 9/11 attacks? Or, was she making a more general statement that both Egypt and the United States should fight extremists?
Dan Kotman, Bachmann’s press secretary, told PolitiFact in an email that her comments were not meant to imply that the Muslim Brotherhood caused 9/11. Her main point was that the United States and Egypt need to maintain their resolve against terrorism in general, Kotman said.
Bachmann’s comments struck us as open to interpretation, so we won’t rate them on our Truth-O-Meter. Nevertheless, we thought it was worth taking a closer look at the Brotherhood, al-Qaida and misconceptions about the attacks.
Ms. Kliegman provides a brief historical background on the Muslim Brotherhood and reports:
In recent memory the Brotherhood has not supported violence as a means of changing political processes in Egypt, wrote Dave Siegel, Duke University political science professor, in an email.
This is rather disingenuous and leaves the reader with an impression that the group has rejected violence in general. The process leading to Morsi’s election was largely reported by western media as non-violent, but the social change sought by the Muslim Brotherhood has been quite the opposite. It’s leaders have supported violence against Egypt’s Christians as well as attacks on the U.S. Embassy in September of 2012.
About 10 days prior to the referenced email from Siegel, Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi called the ousting of President Morsi a conspiracy and directed Egyptian men and women to rebel against the current government.
According to The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch : Youssef Qaradawi is the most important leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and is the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were utilized by Hamas to justify their operations. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to head he Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide.
Ms. Kliegman’s article then moves to address Rep. Bachmann’s references to the attacks of 9/11/2001. She cites a telephone interview she has with James Gelvin, a Middle Eastern history professor at UCLA:
While the Muslim Brotherhood focuses on politics within countries like Egypt, al-Qaida seeks to liberate the Middle East from imperialist rule, which they think was implemented to keep the Muslim world divided and weak.
To paint the Muslim Brotherhood as simply a political group, with no ties to terrorism is naive at best. Since 1997, Hamas has been a U.S. designated terrorist organization and openly identifies itself as a Muslim Brotherhood group in its charter. In the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial/investigation, Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. were identified as providing funds to Hamas. An informative and well documented article highlighting how charity groups fund terror can be found at UK Funds Terror Connections: Islamic Relief Worldwide. References to Muslim Brotherhood groups/connections are numerous.
Regarding the 9/11 Commission report, Ms. Kliegman writes:
The commission frequently referred to al-Qaida in explaining its makeup and recommending future action. By contrast, there are only five references to the Muslim Brotherhood in the 585-page document.
In a report regarding the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, being associated and having multiple mentions is not something that should be considered insignificant.
Ms. Kliegman’s fact checking concludes with a section in bold of No link and implies that since the Muslim Brotherhood denounces violence it would be at odds with al Qaeda. She relies on another telephone interview with Tony Gaskew, University of Pittsburgh criminal justice professor:
“It is impossible to be socially active in the Middle East and not have come into contact with the tenants of the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. “They are extremely active in creating and sustaining social services, educational services, employment programs and health care programs.”
This is exactly how al Qaeda obtains significant funding under the guise of charity work. In an evidentary proffer submitted in the case of U.S. vs. Emann M. Arnaout:
In or about 1993, Bin Laden advised an al Qaeda member that al Qaeda was using several charities to fund its operations overseas, including al Birr. The al Qaeda member understood from conversations with Bin Laden and others in al Qaeda that the charities would receive funds that could be withdrawn in cash and a portion of the money used for legitimate relief purposes and another portion diverted for al Qaeda operations. The money for al Qaeda operations would nevertheless be listed in the charities’ books as expenses for building mosques or schools or feeding the poor or the needy.
Ms. Kliegman’s academic contacts further state:
- Many people leave the Muslim Brotherhood due to the social movement’s opposition to violence, Gaskew said. They have repeatedly denounced violence, Gaskew said.
- The Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida aren’t on good terms with each other, Siegel said.
- “(The Muslim Brotherhood’s) methods — focused more on the political process than pure violence — have actually been explicitly criticized by Bin Laden, who accused it of betraying the cause,” Siegel wrote in an email. “It is certainly not responsible for 9/11.”
The U.S. Treasury department identified the Benevolence International Fund (BIF) and Global Relief Foundation (GRF), both Muslim Brotherhood entities, as Funneling Dollars to Al Qaida.
The global funding aspect brings to light a very important fact that Ms. Kliegman has apparently missed in her analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood – it is a global organization. It operates through a seemingly myriad of front groups in supporting terror to achieve an Islamist agenda. It’s goals, operations and main interests are not defined by sovereign borders.
This is the threat that Rep. Bachmann is addressing, “We’ve seen the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood has posed around the world,”
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Ms. Kliegman relying heavily on the opinions of several academics versus documented facts provides a rather weak evaluation of Rep. Bachmann’s comments. Even more so when their opinions do not even reflect the documented history of the Muslim Brotherhood.
An excellent reference in regards to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Global operations/activity can be found at The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch. In regards to Muslim Brotherhood’s operation though front groups in the U.S., one of the best reference papers to date is the Hudson Institutes: Muslim Brotherhood in America.
- US congress members speak out on ONTV (dailynewsegypt.com)
Osama Siblani, publisher of The Arab American News in Dearborn, MI, is scheduled to be inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame on April 21, 2013. According to the organization’s website, it “recognizes reporters, editors, publishers, owners, photographers, broadcasters, educators, and others who have made outstanding contributions to the profession.” Past inductees have included White House Correspondent Helen Thomas.
Siblani has a well documented history of endorsing the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. During an August 2006 pro-Hezbollah rally in Washington D.C., Siblani called then President Bush a terrorist for supporting Israel. In an interview with NPR in 2006, Siblani again voiced his support Hezbollah. In a CBN report about Imam Elahi, Siblani praised Elahi and stated (7:52 on video counter) that Hamas and Hezbollah were not terrorist groups – they were “freedom fighters”. It should be noted that Iman Elahi is a Hezbollah apologist with strong ties to Iran. This is a logical association since Hezbollah receives considerable support from the Iranian government.
On June 15, 1985, Hezbollah hijackers seized TWA Flight 847 On board the flight was Robert Dean Stethem, an American serviceman. The hijackers brutally beat and tortured the 23-year-old Stethem to death. They threw his body off the plane onto the tarmac of Beirut International Airport. Stethem was so badly beaten that he could only be identified from fingerprints. He was on his way home after a tour of duty with the US Navy in the Middle East.
Hezbollah was also responsible for the two 1983 bombings in Beirut, Lebanon. The first was in April 1983 at the U.S. Embassy which resulted in the deaths of 63 people – 17 were Americans. The second was in August 1983 at the U.S. Marine barracks and killed 241 American servicemen.
A recent article in the Arab American News describes many of Siblani’s achievements but makes no mention of his outspoken support for the above mentioned terror groups.
- Hezbollah bodies pile up in Beirut after Syria fighting (timesofisrael.com)
- Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas And Fatah: A House Divided – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)