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Daily Show Host Trevor Noah to Speak at Islamist Convention

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Trevor Noah (Photo: Roy Rochlin/2018 Getty Images)
Trevor Noah (Photo: Roy Rochlin/2018 Getty Images)

The host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, Trevor Noah, will be speaking at the annual conference of an Islamist group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization has announced.

Noah’s acceptance of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is especially out-of-place considering his status as a top progressive voice. ISNA’s Islamist orientation puts it at odds with progressive values, such as the organization’s expelling of a pro-LGBT group named Muslims for Progressive Values.

The U.S. Justice Department lists ISNA as an “entity” of the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist organization that the administration is planning on banning as a terrorist organization.

Yet, Trevor Noah has agreed to speak at ISNA’s 59th annual convention. By speaking at the event, Noah is not only helping ISNA raise money through ticket sales but fosters the false impression that ISNA tries to cultivate – that they are moderate leaders of the Muslim-American community.

 

The Facts

Muzammil Siddiqi, who was president of ISNA from 1996 to 2000 and is the chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America (an official affiliate of ISNA), endorsed the execution of homosexuals by Sharia-based governments in 2001. Siddiqi, unsurprisingly, has a long history of working for and with extremist organizations.

Contrary to ISNA’s claims of being a mainstream Muslim organization, a 2011 Gallup poll found that only four percent of Muslim-American men and seven percent of Muslim-American women identified ISNA as the group that most represents their interests.

When the foreign-backed groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood like ISNA and CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) were established in North America and their influence ascended, many Muslims fought against them.

In most cases, the Islamists’ network was too powerful and Muslim opponents were marginalized, with some seeing their mosques taken over.

It’s easy to see why ISNA and other Brotherhood-linked groups have failed to win popular support: ISNA’s radical background, the behavior of its current leadership and how ISNA books inflammatory speakers at its events.

That’s why progressives like Trevor Noah should see ISNA as highly objectionable.

The most well-known fact about ISNA is that it was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, Muslim Brotherhood group that was found to be financing the terror group Hamas (the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing).

It was during this trial that the Justice Department explicitly listed ISNA as an “entity” of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network.

This determination was supported by irrefutable, publicly available evidence and internal Brotherhood documents. The Holy Land Foundation even operated from within ISNA, with money for Hamas passing from ISNA accounts to the foundation for distribution to the terrorist group.

U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis upheld the designation of ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in 2009, citing “ample” evidence linking ISNA to the Hamas/Brotherhood operation.

However, it was conceded that the designation should not have been made public.

The current president of ISNA, Sayyid Syeed, was one of ISNA’s founders when it was established by the Brotherhood in 1991.

In fact, at the time, a Brotherhood memo described their “work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

Syeed was filmed in 2006 saying, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.”

The Fiqh Council of North America, originally part of ISNA, is now independent but is actually an official “affiliate” of ISNA, consisting of former ISNA officials and frequent speakers at ISNA events.

The Fiqh Council’s website explains:

“The Council continues to be an affiliate of ISNA, advising and educating its members and officials on matters related to the application of ShariÌah [shariah, Islamic law] in their individual and collective lives in the North American environment.”

The Council’s Executive Director, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, is a former president of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), another related extremist group with ties to radicals in Southeast Asia. ICNA published an educational guide for members displaying a theocratic, anti-American agenda that includes deception as a primary tactic.

One executive member of the Fiqh Council is Muhammad Qatanani, who the Department of Homeland Security sought to deport for having extensive ties to Hamas.

You can read more about the radical makeup of the ISNA-affiliated Fiqh Council here.

The website for ISNA’s upcoming convention does not currently list its speakers but, if the past is any indication, it will include known extremists who appear moderate for condemning Al-Qaeda and ISIS and “terrorism” but support other terrorists like Hamas and an assortment of extremist, bigoted and anti-Western conspiracy theories.

Hopefully, by the time the inevitably radical speaker lineup is announced, Trevor Noah will have realized that ISNA is not an organization for which a proud progressive should be performing or helping fundraise.

 

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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.