While you were spending Memorial Day Weekend barbequing and honoring the U.S. servicemen who gave their lives for the country, 18,000 people attended an annual Muslim-American conference in Connecticut. An additional 14,000 watched online. And the message they heard from one prominent speaker was particularly offensive in light of the holiday: The U.S. Constitution is inferior to Islamic Sharia Law.
The imam is named Zaid Shakir; he’s no stranger to readers of the Clarion Project. We’ve documented his Islamist ideology and anti-American rhetoric repeatedly. Despite the shredding apart of his “moderate” costume, he continues to be a sought-after speaker at Islamic venues across the country. He’s also co-founder and chairman of Zaytuna College in California, the subject of a recent New York Times whitewashing.
He spoke at the annual Islamic Circle of North America-Muslim American Society conference on May 25 at the Hartford Convention Center in Connecticut.
A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo, which defines its “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” lists ICNA as one of its fronts. Predictably, ICNA demands that the U.S. cut off military aid to Egypt in retaliation for the military’s overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The subject of his speech was “The Legitimacy of Secularism” and a video of his speech has been posted online. It was an attack on secularism, modernity and how the U.S. Constitution based “membership” on equal citizenship instead of religion.
“One of the great dilemmas of modernity is that it pits rootless freedom … you can do anything you want in a liberal free society, as long as it does not violate the rights of others … that freedom creates a state of rootlessness.” (7:15-9:00)
“So one of the aspects of modernity is that it’s hegemonic. It doesn’t allow for any competition. It crushes any competition if it can. Now it’s trying to crush Islam.” (10:10)
“Rootless freedom, freedom that is devoid of any ability to give meaning—this is modern society. This is secular society versus ‘oppressive’ tradition. Now, Islam says there’s a solution. Islam says tradition is the real path to freedom and the freedom that secular and modern society advertise is a myth.” (12:10)
“Secularism says we keep religion out. Why? Because if we have religion and religion is the basis of membership in the community, we can’t have perfect equality. We can’t have perfect equality. If Islam is the basis, the kafir won’t be equal with the Muslim. The Christian or the Jew will be a dhimmi. They won’t be equal with the Muslim. (12:52)
“[Modernity/Secularism says] we can’t have religion as the foundation of membership in the political community. Citizenship has to be the basis of membership in the political community because as citizens, we’re all equal. As citizens, we’re all equal. And we have the foundation, a constitutional foundation, that guarantees certain rights for citizens.” (13:25)
“Now the problem with that [constitutional/equal citizenship] arrangement is, it’s a lofty ideal but after 200, 300 years of experimentation, we find that inequality is greater than it has ever been in the history of humanity.” (14:05)
Shair goes on to blasts the legitimacy of modern secular society’s constitutional “arrangement” by saying that political power is monopolized and President Obama’s failure to achieve the “redistribution of political power” proves that “elections don’t always translate into political power.” He claims that “[American] militarism is greater than it ever has been” and that the U.S. commits “indiscriminate killings.”
“[With Islam] rootless freedom can be freedom within rational, moral parameters, that gives us meaning.” (19:00)
“We [Muslims] understand that apparent oppression is the way to real liberation because one cannot journey to one’s Lord unless one restrains one’s self.” (19:40)
Shakir condemns terrorism like Al-Qaeda, but says their “idiotic ways” show that they are “slaves of modernity.” It sends the wrong message of “you’re crazy and we need to nuke you,” he explains. In other words, Al-Qaeda’s faults can be attributed to Western influence.
Shakir is reinforcing the theme of the 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo that says Islam presents a “civilization alternative” to the West and Muslims must engage in a “Civilization-Jihadist Process.”
If you go to his website, his biography states:
“While many have cited Imam Shakir as example of Islamic moderation, his critics have questioned his moderate credentials by citing his expressed hope for the conversion of America to Islam and adoption of Islamic law in America. Dr. Ingrid Mattson stated that Imam Zaid is solidly grounded in the Islamic legal, ethical and intellectual tradition, which all Muslims share, as well as his personal understanding of the current political context.”
Read that carefully.
hakir does not deny wanting the “adoption of Islamic law in America.” In fact, 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.”
Instead, Shakir cites Dr. Ingrid Mattson, the former female president of the Islamic Society of North America (another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity), to prove that he’s right.
Another speaker at the convention was Imam Siraj Wahhaj. He spoke at the event in 2011, where he told Muslims to wait to talk about Sharia because “we are not there yet.”
As the Clarion Project showed, Wahhaj has long advocated Sharia for America through gradual means. And, significantly, Wahhaj was invited back to speak again at this year’s ICNA-MAS convention after saying that.
ICNA has launched an "Understanding Shariah" campaign in response to those who warn (read: Islamophobes) that “the steady adoption of Shariah’s tenets is a strategy [Islamic] extremists are using to transform the United States into an Islamic state.”
You can understand what ICNA is advocating by listening to the sermons given at its events. Apparently, listening to ICNA’s speakers constitutes “Islamophobia.”
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.