The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is showcasing on its website how its president, Imam Mohamed Magid, hosted Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at his mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center. Yet, what they fail to mention is one important fact: President Mohamud is linked to the Somali Muslim Brotherhood.
ISNA says that the meeting included three Somali officials including Mohamud, three U.S. government officials and two other Muslim-American officials from the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muflehun Institute.
The ICNA, like ISNA, is listed in a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” The U.S. government also described ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity when it designated it an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial in 2007. The FBI identified ISNA as a Brotherhood front in the mid-1980s.
Somali President Mohamud is referred to as a “moderate Islamist” tied to the Somali wing of the Muslim Brotherhood called al-Islah. According to Buholde Post, “his Peace and Development Party for the most part consists of present or past members of al-Islah.” His campaign manager, Farah Sheikh Abdiqadir Mohamed, is a "hardcore" al-Islah member. He oversaw Kuwaiti funding to Mohamud’s campaign and “is singly responsible for handling the international linkage of Al-Islah to the world-wide movement of Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Somali President also has a relationship with an Islamist group called Damul Jadid, or New Blood, that splintered from Al-Islah. Four of his top advisers belong to the group. Al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate, Al-Shabaab, is an enemy of the Somali President, and that is presumably what earned him the title of “moderate.” However, as we document every day at ClarionProject.org, being a genuine moderate requires more than being disliked by one of the most vicious terrorist groups around.
In September, ISNA had Rachid Ghannouchi, the founder of the Islamist Ennahda Party of Tunisia, speak at its annual convention. He is reportedly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Guidance Bureau and serves as an official in two groups led by Sheikh Qaradawi, the terror-preaching spiritual leader of the Brotherhood. We gave some background information on Ghannouchi that wasn’t included in ISNA’s flattering biography when they announced his speaking engagement last May.
ISNA would probably argue that it is simply meeting with an important Muslim leader, but what about the important anti-Islamist Muslim leaders? Why are Islamists like Ghannouchi and Mohamud embraced, while those like the Egyptians currently protesting the Brotherhood aren’t given a platform?
The Muslim Brotherhood-originated groups in America had to change their rhetoric in the post-9/11 environment. The Islamist content of their events began being recorded by active citizens and reporters. Several were raided, some were shut down and some were labeled as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land trial.
Yet, their Islamist orientation can still be seen in their choices of speakers and causes and occasional slip-ups, as in the recent embrace of Somalia’s Brotherhood-linked President by ISNA.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.