Multiple Muslim-American leaders met with Iranian President Rouhani in the afternoon of September 24, according to a announcement on the website of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. The statement says they delivered a letter to him asking for his help in solving sectarian tension and the civil war in Syria.
The president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Salam al-Marayati, was one of the participants. MPAC wants the U.S. to ease sanctions on Iran, this despite the fact that Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons.
MPAC was founded by Muslim Brotherhood ideologues but turned against Egyptian President Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, after he took power. Its leadership, including Al-Marayati, defended violence against Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy. In 2003, MPAC criticized the U.S. government’s labeling of Hezbollah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
At the time of the trial, Hamas and Iran were close allies. They have had a falling out because they are fighting on opposite sides in Syria, but they are trying to make amends. Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah declared they had forged an “axis of resistance” this month.
Rouhani separately met with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of a black Islamist group called Nation of Islam. It is ferociously anti-American and anti-Semitic. He went to Rouhani's private dinner party that night.
Declassified FBI documents tie ISNA and possibly the Nation of Islam to Iran in the 1980s as supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution.
The files state that Iran is secretly working with the North American-Islamic Trust, a group that is intertwined with ISNA. They also reveal that Iran and NAIT are working with black Islamists whose ideology closely matches that of the Nation of Islam, though the group is not specifically named.
NAIT is a “constituent organization” of ISNA. Both were labeled unindicted co-conspirators in the aforementioned trial and listed by federal prosecutors as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.
The 1987 FBI document states:
“…with many leaders and members of NAIT having been identified as supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the Government of Iran (GOI). Their support of JIHAD (holy war) in the U.S. has been evidenced by the financial and organizational support provided through NAIT from Middle East countries to Muslims residing in U.S. and Canada.”
The FBI file says that NAIT is receiving money from Iran and other countries and “supports the recruitment, training and funding of black Muslims in the U.S. who support the Islamic Revolution.” The support includes attending training sessions and conferences by ISNA.
The pro-Iran black Islamists supported by NAIT (and Iran via NAIT) are “seeking a separate black nation in the U.S. and have also indicated their support of terrorism in the U.S. to further the revolution.”
The Nation of Islam’s rhetoric is often identical to what can be found in Iranian regime propaganda. In 1996, Louis Farrakhan heaped praise on Hezbollah and he met with Iranian President Ahmadinejad in September 2012. It is reasonable to suspect that these black Islamists supported by Iran in the 1980s are the same ones being courted by Iran today.
Rouhani’s image as a moderate is contradicted by his deceptive past and appointments of extremists to senior positions. His meetings should not be seen as any kind of breakthrough. Instead, they should be seen as a continuation of Iran’s relationship with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and the Nation of Islam that goes back over two decades.
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