State: Illinois

Address: Bridgeview IL 60455


Year Founded: 1954

The Mosque Foundation’s Vision is “to be the leading mosque in the United States in providing Islamic guidance and services to the community.” Its mission statement reads, “The Mosque Foundation serves the spiritual, religious and communal needs of area Muslims by means of nurturing their faith, upholding their values, and fostering the well-being of the surrounding community through worship, charity, education, outreach, and civic engagement.”

The Mosque Foundation’s former imam, Kifah Mustapha[1], was been named by the U.S. Government as an aide to Hamas financing. Mustapha, a registered agent[2] of the Illinois Corporation of the Holy Land Foundation, was also named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial.[3]

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial, hosted Imam Kifah as a guest speaker at CAIR Florida’s 12th Annual Banquet in October, 2012.[4]

Mustapha was a keynote speaker at a Michigan event in 2009,[5] where he helped raise $130,000 for CAIR. At Chicago CAIR events in 2007 and 2010, he helped raise over $150,000 and over $216,000, respectively. He also assisted with fundraising for the Muslim American Society (MAS), which was incorporated by the Muslim Brotherhood.[6]

Mustapha was a member of the al-Sakhra band, which performed Hamas-themed songs. A video exhibit from the Holy Land Foundation trial shows Mustapha singing:

“O mother, Hamas for Jihad. Over mosques’
loudspeakers, with freedom. Every day it resists
with stones and the dagger. Tomorrow, with God’s
help, it will be with a machine gun and a rifle.”

An additional video, also submitted as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial, shows Mustapha singing another Hamas-themed song, with a machine-gun-carrying child accompanying the band on stage. [8]

Jamal Said, also known as “Sheik Jamal,” is another leader at The Mosque Foundation. Said was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial.[9] He was a member of a Palestine Committee phone list[10] The Palestine Committee was created by the Muslim Brotherhood “to serve as an umbrella organization over American support operations. It had a ‘designed purpose to support HAMAS’ politically and financially,” according to a federal indictment.

Said spoke at Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) conferences. The IAP (which is now defunct) was once part of the Palestine Committee and was also an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land foundation trial.  Kifah Mustapha also worked with the IAP, as did Rafeeq Jaber, who served in the past as The Mosque Foundation’s board member, secretary and president.[11] CAIR later developed out of the IAP.[12]

The Chicago Tribune reported in 2004 that The Mosque Foundation was founded in 1954 and later raised $1.2 million from Middle Eastern countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[13] In 1981, The Mosque Foundation signed an agreement with the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.[14] NAIT is another “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial.

The Mosque Foundation’s founder, Khalil Zayid of the Palestinian village of Beitunia, immigrated to Chicago’s South Side in 1939. The Chicago Tribune reported that “Zayid and the other Beitunia immigrants practiced a form of Islam that allowed Muslims to socialize freely. They viewed their religion as an important part of life, but not all of life. Men and women could mingle. The women wore short sleeves and did not cover their hair. The men sometimes ran liquor stores even though many Muslims believed Islam forbade selling alcohol.”

In 1954, approximately 30 families came together to form The Mosque Foundation and raised funds to create a place for worship, as there was no mosque in Chicago. In the early 1970s, with additional financing from a second wave of immigrants, the mosque was built in Bridgeview. The second wave of immigrants “were more political and educated–doctors, not farmers; scientists, not salesmen. A few were Islamic scholars.”

The second wave of immigrants brought in money from their connections in the Middle East, and they obtained leadership positions in the mosque. Attorney Omar Najib, a Palestinian who studied in Egypt, became the mosque’s attorney.

Khalil Zayid was removed from his role and replaced by an Egyptian Islamic Scholar, Ahmad Zaki Hammad. Muslim Brotherhood member Masoud Ali Masoud also was given a leadership position. The Chicago Tribune reported that “soon, mosque leaders–adhering to a strict interpretation of Islam–told the congregation’s women to cover their hair and wear looser clothing. During social events, the women were separated from the men.”

The conflict between the original members and the new wave resulted in attorney Najib signing over of the mosque’s deed to the NAIT, to ensure the mosque’s preservation.  The original members fought the deal, but it was signed in 1981. The Chicago Tribune reported that “when Najib was mosque attorney in the 1980s, he believed that the newcomers would keep the mosque free of politics. Now he regrets ever representing them. ‘It was just plain blind stupid,’ he said.”

The Chicago Tribune also reported that Muhammad Salah, another mosque leader, had been arrested at a Gaza strip checkpoint and received a five-year Israeli prison sentence. He was “accused of financing Hamas military operations.”

While imprisoned, he made a statement to authorities in Israel, which he later retracted, that he was recruited into the Muslim Brotherhood by “Sheik Jamal.” This led to his Hamas involvement.

In May, 2003, Jamal Said raised $50,000 for Sami Al-Arian, “who is charged with being the U.S. leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” according to The Chicago Tribune.  The Chicago Tribune added that Said praised Sayyid Qutb, author of “Milestones.” Qutb’s writings are part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological foundation.

The Mosque Foundation “made over $100,000 in donations to other organizations later shut down by the U.S. government for ties to terrorism financing, including Benevolence International Foundation and Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA) and the Global Relief Foundation (GRF).”[15]



[1] Kaufman, Joe, “CAIR Banquet Features Imam with Ties to Hamas,” Gatestone Institute, October 26, 2012,


[2] http://s1227.photobucket.com/user/kaufmanforcongress/media/Kifah_Mustapha_HLF_Registered_Agent.jpg.html

[3] IPT Report: “Who is Kifah Mustapha?” p. 1, The Investigative Project on Terrorism,  http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/440.pdf

[4] CAIR Florida 12th Annual Banquet brochure, http://i1227.photobucket.com/albums/ee431/kaufmanforcongress/Oct_2012_1–4×6-Front.gif

[5] James, Adil, “CAIR Fundraiser Grosses  $130K,” The Muslim Observer, March 26, 2009, http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=3812

[6] IPT Report: “Who is Kifah Mustapha?” p. 5-6, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/440.pdf

[7] IPT Report: “Who is Kifah Mustapha?” p. 3, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/440.pdf

[8] IPT Video: “HLF Search-73 Video B,” The Investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/813/hlf-search-73-video-b

[9] “Mosque Foundation of Chicago (Bridgeview Mosque),” The investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/391

[10] IPT Report: “The Mosque Foundation’s Troubling Record,” p. 2, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/632.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,0,800

[11] IPT Report: “The Mosque Foundation’s Troubling Record,” p. 3, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/632.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,0,800

[12] Mauro, Ryan, “Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR),” The Clarion Project, January 17, 2013, http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/council-islamic-relations-cair

[13] Ahmed-Ullah, Noreen; Barker, Kim, Cohen, Laurie; Franklin, Stephen; Roe, Sam, “Hard-Liners Won Battle for Bridgeview Mosque,” Chicago Tribune. February 8, 2004, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0402080265feb08,0,3486861.story?page=1

[14] Mauro, Ryan, “NAIT,” The Clarion Project, http://www.clarionproject.org/category/tags/nait

[15] IPT Report: “The Mosque Foundation’s Troubling Record,” p. 5, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/632.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,0,800


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