Islamist Conference Speakers Compare Israel to ISIS

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The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, displays its camouflaged extremism in its use of Islamist speakers. At this year’s event, one of the most popular speakers compared Israel to the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). The remark endorsed by two other speakers.

The statement was made by Imam Zaid Shakir, as tweeted by another speaker. The tweet is below:

Shakir is a founder of Zaytuna College and his preaching is very radical, including endorsing attacks on U.S. soldiers, anti-American propaganda and stating that the U.S. Constitution is inferior to Sharia governance because of it grants equality to Muslims and non-Muslims. The New York Times reported in 2006 that “he said he still hoped that one day the United States would be a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law.”

According to the ISNA program, Shakir spoke seven times at this event, plus one session highlighting his Zaytuna College. That’s more than any other speaker except for ISNA President Mohamed Magid.

The comment was reported by Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Her tweeting of the comment with apparent approval is in line with her own extremist history.

In May, Billoo questioned whether fallen U.S. soldiers should be honored on Memorial Day, sparking outrage from other Muslims. She attributed criticism of her comment to sexism, racism and anti-Muslim bigotry. She doubled-down and characterized U.S. soldiers as war criminals committing genocide.

ISNA displayed its so-called “moderate” credentials by highlighting her as “one of the most remarkable young Muslim leaders and activists who are elevating Muslim American culture in the new millennium.” She spoke six times at this year’s convention.

Shakir’s statement was also tweeted out by Linda Sarsour, executive-director of the Arab-American Association of New York. She spoke twice at ISNA’s conference.

Her group has been investigated by the New York Police Department and lists the Qatar Foundation as a main supporter. The Qatar Foundation is linked to Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader and a financier of Hamas.

In two recent tweets (shown below), she said that a two-state solution is not possible and criticized the labeling of Palestinian violence against Israel as “terrorism:”

By equating Israel with the Islamic State, it is implied that Israel deserves a similar fate. If violence against the Islamic State is justifiable, then violence against Israel is justifiable. If the Islamic State must be dismantled, then Israel must be dismantled. This is the same message behind the comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany that Islamists so often use.

This type of preaching is not conducive to peace. If there is ever to be peace in the Middle East, then the radical preaching and propagandistic exaggerations of ISNA’s speakers must be discarded.


Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on Fox News.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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