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Dem Candidates Sanders, Castro to Speak at Radical Islamist Convention

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Democrat candidate for president Bernie Sanders campaigns in Pasadena, California (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)
Democrat candidate for president Bernie Sanders campaigns in Pasadena, California (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro have agreed to speak at the convention of a radical Islamist group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and hostility towards progressive Muslims and values.

Sanders and Castro will participate in a “presidential forum” held by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) during its convention in Houston August 31, 2019.

ISNA says it is inviting other Democratic presidential candidates and President Donald Trump to address its audience.

The U.S. Justice Department lists ISNA as an “entity” of the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical and often violent arm of the Islamist global political project. The Brotherhood’s goal is a worldwide caliphate with all of humanity living under sharia law.

The Trump administration announced three months ago that it was considering designating the Brotherhood as a domestic terrorist organization.

As we reported in June, Trevor Noah, the progressive host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, is also slated to speak at the ISNA convention.

He, like Sanders and Castro, is apparently unaware of—or is unconcerned with—ISNA’s radical ideology, including expelling Muslims for Progressive Values, a pro-LGBT group, from its conference in 2017 or the fact one of ISNA’s past presidents endorsed the execution of homosexuals by sharia-based governments.

By speaking at the event, Noah, Sanders and Castro are helping ISNA appear as moderate leaders of the Muslim-American community (not to mention helping ISNA raise money through ticket sales).

The presidential forum is also being hosted by Emgage Foundation and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a group that has an inflammatory and Islamist-friendly history but has taken a stronger public stance against the Islamist ideology in recent years.

ISNA was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-funding trial in U.S. history – that of the Holy Land Foundation, an entity founded by the Muslim Brotherhood to finance Hamas (the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing).

It was during this trial that the Justice Department explicitly listed ISNA as an “entity” of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network. This determination was supported by large quantities of publicly available evidence and internal Brotherhood documents.

The Holy Land Foundation actually operated from within ISNA, with money for Hamas passing from ISNA accounts to the Holy Land Foundation for distribution to the terrorist group.

U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis upheld the designation of ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in 2009, citing “ample” evidence linking ISNA to the Hamas/Brotherhood operation.

The current president of ISNA, Sayyid Syeed, was one of ISNA’s founders when it was established by the Brotherhood. ISNA was listed in a 1991 Brotherhood memo, which described their “work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

Syeed was filmed in 2006 saying, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.”

The Fiqh Council of North America, once a part of ISNA but now an official “affiliate” of ISNA, also has radical members and underpinnings.

You can read more about the radical makeup of the ISNA-affiliated Fiqh Council here.

The website for ISNA’s upcoming convention does not currently list its speakers but, if the past is any indication, it will include known extremists who appear moderate for condemning Al-Qaeda, ISIS and “terrorism” but support other terrorists like Hamas and an assortment of extremism, bigotry and anti-Western conspiracy theories.

By speaking at ISNA’s event, it is clear that these top leaders in the progressive movement still have a blind spot when it comes to the Islamist ideology. They usually don’t want to name it, exert no effort to identify it and seem uninterested in taking the time for a simple Google search to vet groups like ISNA.

The presence of Trevor Noah, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro and possibly more Democratic presidential candidates helps ISNA hide behind a moderate veneer and cleverly use its progressive partners to advance its anti-progressive agenda.

If Sanders, Castro and Noah are genuine about the need to detoxify our political environment of extremist rhetoric and ideologies as they say they are, they should cancel their appearances at ISNA’s convention.

 

RELATED STORIES

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) — Profile

Muslim Brotherhood Not Violent? Think Again

Extremists Headline ISNA 2018 Convention 

 

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Ryan Mauro

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's Shillman Fellow, national security analyst and the director of Clarion Intelligence Network. Mauro is also an adjunct professor of counter-terrorism. He is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.