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Michigan Governor to Speak at Extremist Islamist Conference

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Republican Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder will be giving the opening remarks for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference on Friday, August 29. ISNA has Muslim Brotherhood origins and a lineup of Islamist speakers. Former President Carter is the keynote speaker.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford are also slated to speak.

In 2007, the Justice Department designated ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism-financing trial in American history and listed the group as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. The prosecuted organization, the Holy Land Foundation, was found guilty and “operated from within” ISNA, according to a 2009 ruling by a federal judge.

The Clarion Project has reached out to Governor Snyder’s office for comment and will post any response here if a comment is forthcoming.

 A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo explicitly identifies ISNA and its various components among its fronts. The memo states the Brotherhood network’s “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” Another Brotherhood document from 1988 states ISNA is part of its “apparatus.”

A Clarion Project analysis in March showed that ISNA’s religious leadership is mostly extremist. For example, Imam Muhammad Qatanani sits on ISNA’s fiqh (or sharia) council. Qatanani’s deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security because of his links to Hamas.

Sayyid Syeed, former ISNA Secretary-General and current national director of its Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances, was videotaped in 2006 declaring, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.” Syeed’s interfaith ties have resulted in Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, to also speak.

Governor Snyder and former President Carter are just another example of ISNA’s influence on both political parties in the U.S. ISNA and other American Islamists were also embraced by the Bush Administration following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Last year, President Obama delivered a videotaped address for ISNA’s convention, praising the group despite that event’s extremist lecturers.

Political leaders that embrace ISNA are given the impression that it is the leader of the Muslim-American community. However, a 2011 Gallup poll found that only 4% of Muslim-American males and 7% of females see ISNA as the group that “most represents their interests.”

Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder and the son of a top Brotherhood leader in Europe canceled his appearance and publicly admonished ISNA for being too soft in its approach. ISNA publicly replied

The extremist records of the convention’s speakers were covered in our previous article about the event. For your convenience, we have reposted them below along with speakers that have been added recently (including speakers for the Muslim Students Association convention that is happening within the ISNA event):

Imam Siraj Wahhaj, whose history of extremist and anti-American incitement is too long to review. For example, in 1992, he said, “If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a Caliphate. If we were united and strong, we’d elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word, if eight million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”

His rhetoric became more cautious after the 9/11 attacks. In 2011, he preached, “The trap we fall into is having a premature discussion about Sharia when we are not there yet.” In November, the New York Police Department disclosed frightening information about his mosque’s activity to defend its intelligence-gathering practices.

Zaid Shakir, an imam with a history of radicalism and a founder of Zaytuna College. Last year, Shakir preached that the U.S. Constitution is inferior to sharia because it grants equality to Muslims and non-Muslims. His writings depict the U.S. military in the worst of ways and the New York Times reported in 2006 that “he said he still hoped that one day the United States will be ruled by Islamic law.”

Hatem Bazian, a founder of Zaytuna College and chairman of American Muslims for Palestine.  Bazian teaches students that U.S. policy is driven by an “Islamophobic production industry” created by the military-industrial complex to provoke wars against Muslims. In 2004, he called for an intifada in America to “change fundamentally the political dynamics here” modeled after the “uprising” against U.S. troops in Iraq.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Like ISNA, CAIR was branded an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. During the trial, the Justice Department said CAIR is an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a secret body set up to support Hamas. A 1994 Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee meeting agenda organized a discussion to “future suggestions to develop the work of” CAIR.

Awad publicly supported the terrorist group Hamas as far back as 1994 and referred to Hamas as well as Hezbollah as “liberation movements” in an Arabic interview with Al-Jazeera in 2004. The FBI monitored his emails from 2006 to 2008.

Corey Saylor, national legislative director of CAIR. In The Third Jihad, he is seen awkwardly dodging a question about whether CAIR condemns Hamas and Hezbollah.

Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).  He most recently disparaged Independence Day and questioned whether fallen U.S. soldiers should be honored on Memorial Day. He has also expressed support of the Muslim Brotherhood and vilifies the U.S. government.

Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of CAIR. She joined Walid in questioning Memorial Day and defaming the U.S. military. She’s also defended the terrorism of Hamas against Israel.

Billoo will be speaking about the work of the youth activists. The ISNA program bills her as one of the “most remarkable young Muslim leaders and activists who are elevating Muslim American culture in the new millennium.”

Jamal Badawi, formerly listed on ISNA’s website as a member of its Board of Directors. Badawi is personally listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial and is a founder of the Muslim American Society, another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. His name is listed as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood official in an internal document from 1992.

Badawi’s history includes endorsing suicide bombings and “combative jihad” and praising Hamas as “martyrs.” He is also close to Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi.

Muzzamil Siddiqui, a founder of ISNA and its president from 1997 to 2000. He preaches that Muslims must institute sharia using a strategy of gradualism. He said in 1996:

“[Muslims] should participate in the [U.S. political] system to safeguard our interest and try to bring gradual change for the right cause … We must not forget that Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.”

Siddiqi was more specific in a 2001 speech, where he said that sharia’s penal system must also be eventually established:

“The criminal law of the sharia is not practiced here, and it is not even required for Muslims to practice the criminal law in a non-Islamic state…Once more people accept Islam, insha’allah[God willing], this will lead to the implementation of sharia in all areas.”

Hassan Qazwini, imam of the Islamic Center of America in Michigan. The mosque has had Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam as a guest speaker. Qazwini has boasted that Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a spiritual leader of Hezbollah, “considered me his son” and the two met whenever he traveled to Lebanon. Qazwini’s mosque held a memorial service for him when Fadlallah died in 2010.

Ihsan Bagby, the executive director of the Kentucky chapter of CAIR. He was also a national board member for CAIR from 1995 to 2013. Bagby is also the General-Secretary of the radical Muslim Alliance in North America, which is led by Wahhaj.

A 1991 publication quoted him as saying, “Ultimately, we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country … because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.”

Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York. The organization lists a Muslim Brotherhood entity in Qatar as one of its main supporters.

In 2004, she told a reporter that the American authorities had also questioned her and that her Palestinian husband, Maher Judh, was threatened with deportation after living in the U.S. for seven years.

In the same interview, she identified two men in an Arabic newspaper that were telling Muslims to die in jihad against Israel. One was her cousin who has spent 25 years in prison in Israel; another was a family friend sentenced to 99 years. She added that her brother-in-law was also serving a 12-year sentence for being a member of Hamas.

The NYPD opened a “terrorism enterprise investigation” on Sarsour’s organization and tried to get an informant on its board. Her group’s president, Dr. Ahmad Jaber, used to be the president of the Dawood Mosque, also known as the Islamic Mission of America, which was also the subject of a “terrorism enterprise investigation.”

Sarsour regularly claims that Islamic terror plots are “manufactured” by the U.S. government.

Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group founded by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. In 1999, al-Marayati said Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli soldiers qualify as “legitimate resistance.” The group has suggested the Brotherhood as a moderate alternative to Al-Qaeda. It has become less extreme over the years and congratulated the Egyptian people when President Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, was overthrown.

Waleed Basyouni, a leader of the extremist Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America and vice president of the Al-Maghrib Institute. He recently preached that Hamas is not a terrorist group.

Saffet Catovic, former New York representative of Benevolence International, a charity shut down for its involvement with Al-Qaeda. In 1992, he spoke at an Islamic Association for Palestine conference, a pro-Hamas front for the Muslim Brotherhood. He stated in his address that the “long-range” goal is resurrecting the Islamic caliphate. He also spoke at a military-themed “Jihad Camp” in 2001.

Ghulam Nabi Fai, executive director of the Kashmiri American Center. He has admitted to acting as a spy and agent of influence for Pakistani intelligence. He has close ties to ISNA leaders.

Iqbal Unus, the headquarters director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity in Virginia that had its offices raided by federal agents in 2002. IIIT was embraced by former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi when he ran Egypt for the Muslim Brotherhood. Unus’home was also searched.

Unus is also a former secretary-general of ISNA and president of the Muslim Students Association.

Yaqub Mirza, an instructor for IIIT’s education division and co-founder of IIIT. He met with former Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, in 2012. He is an associate of senior Muslim Brother Yousef al-Nada.

A 1988 FBI document states that Mirza has been “previously characterized as” a  member and leader “of the IKHWAN [Muslim Brotherhood].”

Suhaib Webb, the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. His mosque is run by the Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors say was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

The Center’s parent organization, the Islamic Society of Boston, has significant Muslim Brotherhood ties and was attended by the Boston bombers. There is video of Webb preaching that homosexuals are cursed.

Yasir Qadhi, a Salafist preacher from the Al-Maghrib Institute. He says that “Allah destroys this [American] version of capitalism” and that the U.S. economic system enslaves millions. He also preaches against man-made law and in favor of sharia law. There is a disturbing audio from him justifying the persecution of Christians and Jews under an Islamic State.

Jihad Saleh, the government affairs representative for Islamic Relief USA(IRUSA), a group with Muslim Brotherhood ties. In 2006, Israel arrested its Gaza director for financing Hamas. The Israeli government reportedly banned IRUSA’s parent organization in July because of his links to Hamas, but it says it still operates.

Ingrid Mattson, a former president of ISNA. She is on the Council of Scholars of IIIT. Zaid Shakir’s website has an endorsement of his theology from Mattson.

Imam Mohamed Magid, ISNA president and executive director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, which had its offices raided as part of a terrorism-financing investigation in 2002.

In 2004, Magid reacted to the U.S. government’s investigation into U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities, including the Holy Land Foundation, by accusing elements of the U.S. government of being “intent on dismantling Muslim organizations and bringing them down.”

 

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

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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.