The annual joint conference of the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society brings together Islamist preachers and devotees from around the country. This year’s event had a special keynote speaker: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.
ICNA is a derivative of the radical Jamaat-e-Islami group in Pakistan. An internal U.S. Muslim Brotherhood document shows that Jamaat-e-Islami is closely affiliated with ICNA.
MAS, for its part, was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America,” according to a 2008 court filing by federal prosecutors. Last year, senior U.S. Muslim Brotherhood figure and convicted terrorist Abdurrahman Alamoudi said, “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
ICNA and MAS posted video of Quinn’s address. The speaker recalled how Quinn visited the Hamas/Brotherhood-linked Mosque Foundation and said, “This is the kind of governor that we support and we like.”
Quinn was also praised for establishing a Muslim American Advisory Council in 2011. Among the chosen members were Ahmed Rehab, leader of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Safaa Zarzour, former secretary-general of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Both CAIR and ISNA were branded unindicted co-conspirators in a terrorism-financing trial. The U.S. government has said they are both U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.
Although Rehab says he is an opponent of the Brotherhood and criticized its rule in Egypt, he has also said that the founder of the Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, is one of his influences and has praised Sayyid Qutb, another Brotherhood preacher. In addition, prominent Islamist radicals help fundraise for his CAIR chapter.
Quinn also endorsed CAIR-Chicago for its 9th annual fundraising banquet. His published statement reads:
“I congratulate CAIR-Chicago on another successful year of serving the needs of the Muslim population in Illinois, and for working toward ensuring justice and civil rights for all the communities you serve. Your efforts to reach out to divergent faiths and build broad coalitions are truly commendable. In a state as diverse as ours, every effort to broaden cultural awareness and understanding is truly appreciated.”
The banquet’s speakers include Imam Zaid Shakir, Safaa Zarzour and Kifah Mustapha of the Mosque Foundation. Shakir has an extremist record that includes preaching that Sharia rule is superior to the U.S. Constitution. Mustapha and his mosque have a documented history of Hamas links.
One of the anomalies of Quinn’s presence at the ICNA-MAS conference is that he signed gay marriage into law in November. Yet, under the Islamists’ Sharia Law, gay marriage is not only objectionable—gays are sentenced to death. To promote Sharia is to essentially state that homosexuals do not deserve life.
“The push to redefine the established institution of marriage and embrace homosexuality can only lead to the deterioration of the very structure of our communities and society as a whole,” ICNA said.
Same-sex marriage is one of the most popular causes of the Democratic Party to which Quinn belongs, and his legalizing of it will be a major part of his legacy.
The question is what motivates Quinn’s embrace of these groups. He either doesn’t know about their backgrounds or is willing to overlook them because of politics and appreciation for their charitable work.
If you are concerned about Quinn’s praising of Islamist groups, we encourage you to mail this article to his offices with a polite note asking him to reconsider. The addresses are below:
Office of the Governor:
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Office of the Governor:
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Editor's Note: A representative of the Clarion Project spoke with the press spokesman for the governor’s office and requested to official response. No response was received after repeated requests.
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.