The rest of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network is admiring the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for its success in forging interfaith partnerships. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that its 19th annual banquet will honor the Islamist that has become the face of that success: Sayyid Syeed of ISNA.
CAIR blasted out an email announcing Syeed as the winner of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. The biography provided by CAIR in the email shows how Syeed has dedicated his life to the Islamist cause, moving from one U.S. Brotherhood entity to the next.
In his capacity as ISNA’s main interfaith liaison, Syeed has established relationships with a long list of churches, synagogues, other faith groups and the Obama Administration. President Obama sent a videotaped address to ISNA for its 50th annual convention, singling out its interfaith campaign for praise.
ISNA is part of two major interfaith coalitions, Shoulder-to-Shoulder and Religions for Peace USA. ISNA and its allies fight together against the NYPD, hold events with mega-churches, and support each other politically.
ISNA chose Syeed for this role because he is one of their most seasoned officials.
He was president of the Muslim Students Association from 1980 to 1983, the first Muslim Brotherhood front set up in the U.S.. He has also been the general secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. From 1984 to 1994, he was the director the director of academic outreach for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).
In 1988, right in the middle of Syeed’s tenure at IIIT, an FBI informant inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network said that IIIT’s leaders had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” The current task was to “peacefully get inside the United States government and also American universities.”
As IIIT’s director of academic outreach, Syeed was the point man in achieving that objective. He then went on to lead ISNA from 1994 to 2006. Brotherhood documents identify all four groups he led as its fronts.
His wife also co-founded the Kashmiri-American Council, a Pakistani government front, in 1990. She did this with a now-convicted agent of Pakistani intelligence named Ghulam Nabi Fai. He oversaw massive Pakistani influence operations in the U.S.
In 2011, Wahhaj offered the following advice to a large Muslim audience, as reported by the Clarion Project: “The trap we fall into is having a premature discussion about Sharia when we are not there yet.”
Wahhaj should follow his own advice, as it is his words that are among the most damning evidence.
On February 25, 2011, he spoke at the University of Central Florida. He was recorded teaching students that Sharia’s punishment for fornication is 100 lashes. The Clarion Project broke the story that the school’s Muslim Students Association used $1,250 of its budget to pay Wahhaj for that lesson.
That’s tame compared to other statements Wahhaj has made. Here are some of his more revealing statements:
• “If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a Caliphate. If we were united and strong, we’d elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word, if eight million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”
• “Islam is better than democracy…Allah will cause…Islam to prevail over every kind of system, and you know what? It will happen.”
• “You don’t get involved in politics because it’s the American thing to do. You get involved in politics because politics are a weapon to use in the cause of Islam.”
• “America is one of the greatest terrorist nations on this earth but you know, they hide it with magic. They pretend to be so nice.”
• “We don’t need to arm the people with 9mms and Uzis. You need to arm them with righteousness first. And once you arm them with righteousness first, then you can arm them.”
Wahhaj’s mosque website says he has been a Vice President of ISNA since 1997 and a member of its Majils al-Shura since 1987. That directly ties him to Syeed, as he was ISNA’s leader for a dozen years.
The CAIR banquet’s 2013 Muslim of the Year is Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab American Association of New York and the national advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities.
Her rhetoric is fiercely anti-Israel and she accuses the NYPD and CIA of conjuring up Islamic terrorist plots. The NYPD labeled her Arab American Association a “terrorism enterprise” and tried to get an informant on its board. Apparently, the NYPD has some serious concerns about her group.
It was reported in 2004 that her brother-in-law was in an Israeli jail for his involvement with Hamas. Her Palestinian husband, Maher Judh, has been questioned and faced deportation. One of the founders of her organization and its current president is Dr. Ahmad Jaber. He used to be the president of the Dawood Mosque, which the NYPD also labeled a “terrorism enterprise” and investigated.
CAIR’s honoring of Syeed is about more than his personal success. It’s a recognition of the success of his campaign and the need of Islamists to invest in the interfaith campaign that is bringing them so much legitimacy and influence.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.