Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center

Clarion Project
Article Source: Clarion Project

Article Source: Clarion Project

The DAH imam from 2001 to 2002 was Anwar al-Awlaki, who later became a senior Al-Qaeda operative.

Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center (DAH) says it has been “affiliated” with the Muslim American Society (MAS) since 1999, which it describes as an “Islamic reform movement.”[2] The mosque’s constitution requires it to be affiliated with MAS, the North American Islamic Trust and the Islamic Society of North America.[3]  DAH owns a MAS Community Center and is expanding it.[4]

A 2002 Customs and Border Protection document states that DAH is “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.” A December 2007 document says it “has been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing” and “has also been associated with encouraging fraudulent marriages.”[5]

In 2010, Dave Gaubatz, a former Special Agent with the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, referred to DAH as “Wahhabi quarter” and said he found “very, very violent materials” in its library that promoted physical jihad and sedition.[6]

In the fall of 2013, radical Islamic texts were discovered in Dar al-Hijrah’s book sale, including one by Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi. The texts taught that Muslims are to wage violent jihad in order to resurrect the Caliphate, destroy Israel and implement Sharia governance.[6a]

One of the founders of DAH was Ismail Elbarasse.[7] He was an assistant to a senior Hamas official named Mousa Abu Marzook. He was later found to be a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s secret Palestine Committee that was set up to advance the agenda of Hamas. The FBI discovered U.S. Muslim Brotherhood archives when it searched his house in 2004.

The current imam is Shaker Elsayed. He has served as a Secretary-General of MAS. In 2004, he said that the teachings of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, are the “closest reflection of how Islam should be in this life.”[8] In 2001, he would not condemn Hamas’ attacks on Israeli civilians, arguing that they are legitimate military targets and occupiers.[9]

In 2002, he said that suicide bombers are “unfairly named” and “The Islamic scholars said if there is an attack on the land of Islam or they occupy the land of Islam, or the honor of the Muslims has been violated, the Jihad is a must on every man, every child and every woman, [They have to make Jihad] with every tool that they can get in their hand. Anything that they can get in their hand they should fight with it. And if they don’t have a weapon in their hands, then [they will fight] unarmed.”[10]

DAH’s Outreach Director, Imam Johari Abdulmalik, has denounced Al-Qaeda operative and former DAH imam Anwar al-Awlaki. However, in 2001, he endorsed attacks on Israeli infrastructure.[11]

The DAH imam from 2003 to 2005 was Mohammed Adam El-Sheikh. In 2004, he said Palestinian suicide bombings are justified because “[the Palestinians] cannot defend themselves, except through these kind of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwas to permit that, then it becomes acceptable as an exceptional rule, but should not be taken as a principle.”[12] El-Sheikh is a founder of MAS and was a member of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood from 1973 to 1977.[13] He used to be the regional director of the Islamic American Relief Agency, which was labeled by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Terrorist because of its links to Osama Bin Laden and Hamas.[14]

In September 2014, El-Sheikh endorsed a letter opposing the Islamic State terrorist group’s tactics, but endorsed sharia governance’s brutal hudud punishments, the recreation of a caliphate and the Islamist doctrine of gradualism. It even implied that journalists that are viewed as dishonest as acceptable targets for violence.[14a]

The DAH imam from 2001 to 2002 was Anwar al-Awlaki, who later became a senior Al-Qaeda operative. His sermons were attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and Nidal Hassan, who carried out a shooting at Fort Hood in 2009.[15]

The DAH imam from 1995 to 1999 was Mohammed al-Hanooti. In a 1998 sermon at DAH, al-Hanooti preached that Allah would “curse” the U.S., U.K., “the tyrannies” and “the Jews” for airstrikes on Iraq. He said, “We have to do everything we can to help the Iraqi people [against] tyrannies  … we all have to be ready for the jihad with our properties and our souls.” He explicitly said that DAH will be “the greatest example, in loyalty, in liberation and the jihad.”[16]

He was president of the Islamic Association for Palestine from 1984 to 1986. It was a pro-Hamas organization and Muslim Brotherhood front. Al-Hanooti also attended a secret meeting of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas members and supporters in Philadelphia in 1993.[17] A 1988 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood document lists Al-Hanooti as the head of one of its committees.[18]

A 2001 FBI memo states that informants reported that he is a “big supporter” of Hamas and was “purportedly holding fund-raising activities, as well as supporting visitors to the United States from Israel and Jordan, to speak on behalf of HAMAS.” Another FBI informant reported “in 1993, that Al-Hanooti collected over six million U.S. dollars for support of HAMAS in Israel.”[19]

Esam Omeish, a former member of DAH’s board of directors, was president of MAS from 2004 to 2008. In 2000, he was videotaped praising Palestinians that believe “the jihad way is the way to liberate your land.”[20] In 2004, he praised the spiritual leader of Hamas as “our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.”[21] That year, he also complained to the Washington Post about its negative depiction of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that its “moderate” beliefs were “instrumental” in influencing the MAS.[22]

Omeish claimed that MAS has no current ties with the Brotherhood and, “The Brotherhood does not exist as far as we know in the United States.” In the same statement, he said that “we still view them as a good ally.”[23] In 2010, he “liked” the Facebook page of Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the Hamas-supporting spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. In September 2012, he attended a reception for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who ran as the Muslim Brotherhood’s official candidate.[24]

Watch video: Imam Shaker Elsayed calling on Muslims to be the first to take up “Arms for Jihad”


[1] Address as of February 3, 2013, as seen on the home page of the DAH website. https://www.daralhijrah.net/ns/?page_id=172

[2] “History,” DAH website, https://www.daralhijrah.net/ns/?page_id=56.

[3] “Constitution,” DAH website, https://www.daralhijrah.net/ns/?page_id=172.

[4] “Development Progress,” DAH website, https://www.daralhijrah.net/ns/?page_id=710.

[5] https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/369.pdf “Government Pays Mosque It Considers Radical,” IPT News, May 10, 2010. https://www.investigativeproject.org/1944/government-pays-mosque-it-considers-radical

[6] Mauro, Ryan. “Government-Funded Jihad,” FrontPage Magazine, May 28, 2010. https://frontpagemag.com/2010/ryan-mauro/government-funded-jihad/

[6a] Rossomando, John. “Va. Legislator: Dar al-Hijrah Critics Spread Fear and Hate,” IPT News, April 3, 2014.https://www.investigativeproject.org/4340/va-legislator-dar-al-hijrah-critics-spread-fear

[7] Murphy, Carlyle. “Facing New Realities as Islamic Americans,” Washington Post, September 12, 2004. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14497-2004Sep11_4.html

[8] Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe and Laurie Cohen. “A Rare Look at Secretive Brotherhood in America,” Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2004. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/chi-0409190261sep19,0,4605917,full.story

[9] “Dar Al-Hijrah Official’s Deception on Awlaki,” IPT News, November 18, 2009. https://www.investigativeproject.org/1521/dar-al-hijrah-officials-deception-on-awlaki

[10] “Elsayed: Suicide Bombers are In-House Business,” Investigative Project on Terrorism, December 26, 2002. https://www.investigativeproject.org/228/elsayed-suicide-bombers-are-in-house-business

[11] “Dar Al-Hijrah Official’s Deception on Awlaki.”

[12] Murphy, 2004.

[13] Murphy, 2004.

[14] “Dar Al-Hijrah Official’s Deception on Awlaki.”

[14a] Mauro, Ryan. “Muslim Leaders Sign Letter Against ISIS, But Endorse Sharia.” Clarion Project, October 1, 2014.  https://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/muslim-leaders-sign-letter-against-isis-endorse-sharia

[15] Sherwell, Philip and Alex Spillus. “Fort Hood Shooting: Texas Army Killer Linked to September 11 Terrorists,” The Telegraph, November 7, 2009. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6521758/Fort-Hood-shooting-Texas-army-killer-linked-to-September-11-terrorists.html

[16] “Dar al-Hijrah Mosque,” Investigative Project on Terrorism, https://www.investigativeproject.org/case/417.

[17] “Islamic Center of Jersey City,” Investigative Project on Terrorism, https://www.investigativeproject.org/case/404.

[18] Merley, Steven. “The Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,” Hudson Institute, Research Monographs on the Muslim World, Series No. 2, Paper No. 3, April 2009. https://www.currenttrends.org/doclib/20090411_merley.usbrotherhood.pdf

[19] “Extremism and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA),” February 2007, https://globalmbreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/20080127_extremism_and_isna.pdf.

[20] “Esam Omeish at Jerusalem Day Rally,” Investigative Project on Terrorism Youtube channel, September 27, 2000. https://youtu.be/Lajn3zOoWt4

[21] “MAS’ Esam Omeish Seeks Virginia Office,” IPT News, May 1, 2009. https://www.investigativeproject.org/1025/mas-esam-omeish-seeks-virginia-office.

[22] “MSA President Letter to the Washington Post,” September 16, 2004, screenshot from MAS website, UnitedStatesAction.com, https://www.unitedstatesaction.com/documents/omeish/www-masnet-org_pressroom_release-asp_nycmexs4.pdf

[23] Ibid., “MAS’ Esam Omeish Seeks Virginia Office.”

[24] Emerson, Steve and John Rossomando. “A Red Carpet for Radicals at the White House,” IPT News, October 21, 2012. https://www.investigativeproject.org/3777/a-red-carpet-for-radicals-at-the-white-house