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Sankore Institute of Islamic African Studies International / Light of the Age Mosque

Address: Los Angeles, California 90043

Year Founded: 1986

Website: www.siiasi.org and www.lightoftheage.org

 

The Sankore Institute of Islamic-African Studies International (SIIASI) says it is a “non-profit, non-political educational institution founded for the sole purpose of researching into the educational, political, cultural and religious heritage of Islamic Africa. The primary area of concern is that of Black Africa traditionally known as the Bilad ‘s-Sudan (The Land of the Blacks).”[1] The Light of the Age Mosque is at the same location.[2]

The organization was first created in Sudan in 1985 by Imam Muhammad Shareef, who is also a co-founder and former board member of the Muslim Alliance in North America. Shareef regularly refers to the U.S. as “Amerikka.”[3]

In 2010, he preached on the SIIASI website against “the pseudo-religion redefined by the pacifist ‘imams’ who deny the obligation of jihad and who have deluded their followers into the fruitless activity of supporting democratic constitutional government.” He then quotes Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, as saying, “There is coming upon man a time when some of the religious scholars will say, ‘This is not a time for jihad.’  For whoever comes upon that time, then know that the most blessed action during that time will be jihad.”[4]

The SIASSI membership consists largely of ex-felons[5] and photos on the website show them with swords and guns.[6] The SIASSI website features a photo of Shareef leading Muslim inmates in prayer at a prison. It says it is “active in the area of prison reform and outreach as it pertains to Muslim inmates.”[7]

SIASSI claims that the U.S. has imprisoned a large number of Muslim “political prisoners” and is subjecting them to torture. It calls on Muslims to wage “litigation jihad” on their behalf to move the U.S. towards Sharia (Islamic) law:

“It is by waging a litigation jihaad in the U.S. penal system that some redress can be made in the  international community, as well. It is for this reason that Muslim inmate legal actions in the US courts constitute the front line of  defense of Islam. Every successful Muslim litigation passed in the U.S. courts, is a standardization and recognition of the Islamic shari`a…”[8]

The organization says that Jamil Al-Amin, previously known as H. Rap Brown, is a “political prisoner.”[9] He was a member of the Black Panthers terrorist group and was convicted of murdering a police officer in 2000. He is also anti-American, stating, “If America doesn’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down,” and “I say violence is necessary. It is as American as cherry pie.”[10]

SIASSI started the Jawala Scouts in 2005. Photos of the Jawala Scouts show boys as young as seven years old dressed in military fatigue and learning combat techniques and playing paintball.[11]

The SIASSI’s Jawala Scouts is registered with the same address as the United Muslim MovementThe United Muslim Movement’s founder, Kenny Gamble, is also listed as the e-mail contact for the Jawala Scouts. In addition, UMM President and board member Carlin Saafir was the legal officer and first lieutenant of the Jawala Scouts.[12] He was and is the Community Outreach Chair for CAIR-Philadelphia.[13] 

SIASSI is also home to the Light of the Age Masjid, founded in 2004.[14] In 2006, the FBI raided the site and arrested Larry M. Williams, also known as Hasan Ali, a convicted felon that had been attending the mosque for about three years.[15]

He was found in Utah with parts for a pistol and associated ammunition and a magazine for an assault rifle, which were confiscated. He was accidentally not apprehended at the time. Later, an arrest warrant was issued for him. He subsequently was arrested outside the Light of the Age Masjid. FBI agents then searched the mosque for four hours and questioned six members for two hours.[16] The mosque leadership and its allies condemned the FBI for unfairly targeting Muslims and African-Americans.[17]

Another prominent member of SIASSI/Light of the Age Masjid is Hamza Perez, a member of a hip-hop duo called “Mujahideen Team.” He was an Islamic teacher in a jail with a security clearance until anti-American statements he made in 2003 came to light. He now says he was immature and believes that jihad is an internal spiritual struggle against sin.[18]

In their song “Welcome Home,” the rap duo refers to Muslim inmates as “soldiers” and prisons as slave plantations:

“Coming out of the jails, out of the prisons, out of the slave plantations, man/Welcome home, all my soldiers that were locked/Welcome home, free from the prison blocks.”[19]


[1] Home page, SIIASI website, http://siiasi.org/

[2] Ayad, Moustafa. “Mystery Surrounds FBI Raid on North Side Mosque,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 1, 2006. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/mystery-surrounds-fbi-raid-on-north-side-mosque-440359/

[3] Kaufman, Joe and Beila Rabinowitz. “Philadelphia’s Islamist Boy Scouts,” FrontPage Magazine, July 13, 2010. http://frontpagemag.com/2010/joe-kaufman-and-beila-rabinowitz/philadelphia%E2%80%99s-islamist-boy-scouts/

[4] Shareef, Shaykh Muhammad. “The Sunna: the Means for Social Transformation,” SIASSI website, June 16, 2010. http://www.siiasi.org/sawq%27l-umma.html

[5] Kaufman and Rabinowitz.

[6] “Sankore Institute,” Americans Against Hate, http://www.americansagainsthate.org/Sankore_Institute.html.

[7] “Incarcerated Muslims,” SIIASI website, http://siiasi.org/incarcerated-muslims-2

[8] Ibid.

[9] “A Recent Interview with the Political Prisoner Imam Jamil al-Amin,” SIIASI website, http://siiasi.org/imam-jamil-al-amin

[10] “H. Rap Brown Quotes,” BrainyQuote, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/h_rap_brown.html.

[11] “Jawala Scouts,” Americans Against Hate, http://www.americansagainsthate.org/Jawala_Scouts.html

[12] Kaufman, Joe and Beila Rabinowitz. “Philadelphia’s Islamist Boy Scouts,” FrontPage Magazine, July 13, 2010. http://frontpagemag.com/2010/joe-kaufman-and-beila-rabinowitz/philadelphia%E2%80%99s-islamist-boy-scouts/

[13] “Board & Executive Committee,” CAIR-Philadelphia website, http://pa.cair.com/about/board-ec/

[14] “About Us,” Light of the Age website, http://www.lightoftheage.org/about.php

[15] Ove, Torsten and Moustafa Ayad. “Muslims Upset Over North Side FBI Raid,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 7, 2006. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/muslims-upset-over-north-side-fbi-raid-441111/

[16] Ove, Torsten and Moustafa Ayad. “Muslims Upset Over North Side FBI Raid,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 7, 2006. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/muslims-upset-over-north-side-fbi-raid-441111/

[17] Dyer, Ervin. “Mosque Members Denounce FBI Raid as Desecration,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 8, 2006. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/mosque-members-denounce-fbi-raid-as-desecration-441219/

[18] New Muslim Cool documentary, http://www.newmuslimcool.com/film

[19] “M-Team Song Lyrics,” New Muslim Cool page on PBS website, http://www.pbs.org/pov/pdf/newmuslimcool/nmc_lp_handout.pdf

 

 

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