The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) have organized pro-Muslim Brotherhood rallies in Washington, D.C. and Houston in response to the Egyptian government’s crackdown on the Islamist group. In one case, organizers even identified the event as a “Muslim Brotherhood meeting.”
ICNA and MAS are two of the most powerful Muslim-American organizations. Their annual conferences draw tens of thousands. The last ICNA-MAS joint conference had over 32,000 attendees in person and online. The conference featured criticism of the U.S. Constitution for granting equality to Muslims and non-Muslims.
On August 16, about 50 protesters from the Houston chapters of ICNA and MAS demonstrated outside the Egyptian consulate in opposition to the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. ICNA President Naeem Baig was there and said:
“We're gathered here today to stand with the pro-democracy protesters in Egypt and also to send a message to the consulate here that the Muslim-American community is against all the atrocities that are happening in Egypt — all the killing and brutal murder of people that is happening in Egypt."
The demonstration was specifically pro-Muslim Brotherhood and not just anti-violence. Pictures from the rally show protestors holding pictures of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate that was deposed in July. One photo shows Baig standing in front of one such protester.
On August 10, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrated in Washington D.C. The demonstration was organized by Egyptian-Americans for Democracy and Human Rights. The Investigative Project on Terrorism notes that the group’s president, Hani Saker, is listed in a 1992 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood telephone directory as a member of the Executive Office.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism has video of the event. At one point, a young woman is seen leading the crowd in a chant of “Morsi Returns as Chief of State” and “From the Nile to the sea, Egyptians Want Morsi.”
A press conference was held the previous day that featured Islamist Mahdi Bray, a Muslim Brotherhood supporter and former official of MAS and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Another speaker to the press was Shaker Elsayed of the Universal Justice Foundation. As the IPT video shows, court documents disclose his Brotherhood links.
A spokesperson for the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party in Egypt, spoke at the rally and the Party’s YouTube channel posted footage of it. The Investigative Project even has audio of one of the event’s receptionists saying, “This is a Muslim Brotherhood meeting.”
An official from MAS named Oussama Jamal helped organize the rally and said, “[W]e are very proud, very, very proud of our friendship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Christian Brotherhood, and the Jewish Voice for Justice and for Peace. There is nothing wrong to have a relationship, a friendly relationship, with other organizations across the world." [emphasis mine]
ICNA is identified in a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo as one of its fronts. ICNA’s parent organization, Jamaat-e-Islami, was recently banned from taking part in elections in Bangladesh.
Federal prosecutors said in a 2008 court filing that MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America” and its official statements “omit reference to a shared background that limits their membership to those of a particular political bent, and undercuts their credibility.” Secret U.S. Muslim Brotherhood member and convicted terrorist Abdurrahman Alamoudi said in 2012 that “everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Both MAS and ICNA deny being part of the Muslim Brotherhood or any foreign groups.
ICNA describes itself as “a leading grassroots organization in the American Muslim community.”
Their actions indicate otherwise.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.