NY Arab Advocacy Group Funding Linked to Qatar

The Arab American Association of New York and its Executive Director, Linda Sarsour, lists the Qatar Foundation International second on its website’s list of supporters. The Foundation is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, including the Hamas-supporting Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi and the Islamist-allied Qatari government.

Qatar Foundation International says it is “a U.S.-based member of Qatar Foundation (QF).” It maintains its independence but states that QF is its  "major donor."

Qatar Foundation is closely linked to the Qatari government, which former U.S. Treasury Department terrorism-finance analyst Jonathan Schanzer describes as “the ATM of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and its associated groups.” It hosts Al-Jazeera, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi and finances Hamas and Syrian extremists. Qatar’s Arab neighbors are fed up with its backing of the Brotherhood.

In 2008, the Qatar Foundation and Qatari Emir created the Al-Qaradawi Research Center, in honor of one of the most prominent Islamists, anti-Semites and Hamas-supporters on earth. The declared purpose of the Center is to promote Qaradawi’s preaching as “a pioneer of Islamic moderate thought, and presently its main theorist.”

In January 2012, QF opened its Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics. Its Research Director is Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and son of senior Brotherhood operative Said Ramadan.

Qatar Foundation also has a relationship with the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that came under a terrorism-financing investigation after 9/11. The Deputy Director of Qatar Foundation’s Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics, Dr. Jasser Auda, is a teacher for IIIT programs. His bio also says he is “affiliated” with IIIT.

IIIT is listed by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends” in a secret 1991 memo. The document articulates the objective of its American network as a “kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within…” Clarion’s full report on IIIT leaves no doubt that the group is Islamist in nature.

Sarsour also has questionable personal ties. 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.

She certainly shares the Hamas’s Islamist belief that Israel is an illegal entity that should not exist. She once tweeted, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism. Challenge racism.” However, she seems to accept that Israel cannot be eliminated now, saying in 2006, “Israel is there, and it is going to be there whether we like it or not. We have to learn to deal with that.”

Perhaps these facts help explain why the NYPD opened a “terrorism enterprise investigation” on Sarsour’s Arab American Association of New York 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 consistently depicts the U.S. government as an oppressor of Muslims and promotes paranoid theories about terrorist plots actually being governmental conspiracies. For example, she said in March 2012, “We believe that the NYPD informants actually manufacture these cases so they can justify the funding that comes to the NYPD.”

In March 2012, she wrote:

“The value of Arab life—whether nameless Palestinian children bombed by American-funded fighter jets or American youth profiled, questioned and incarcerated for frequenting a particular mosque—is spiraling downwards rapidly in the U.S. and at a more accelerated rate in the Arab World.”

When the government stopped the Al-Qaeda plot to destroy an airliner with a bomber using an explosive hidden in underwear, she tweeted that the operative was actually a CIA agent.

The comments are part of an overall narrative that the U.S. is inherently oppressive.

In one interview, she said “Islamophobia” is just the latest manifestation of American persecution of minorities. Her online magazine says the U.S. “is still a democracy with authoritarian overtones.” The title of the article was, “America: Democratic Nation with Authoritarian Undertones or Authoritarian Nation with Democratic Undertones?

Sarsour is known for her ferocious attacks on the integrity of critics that oppose Islamism and the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network, including Muslims. The Brotherhood-linked Qatar Foundation did not make a mistake when they decided to invest in her organization.