The Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a radical mosque with a lengthy record of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, has been honored by the Virginia House of Delegates in a jaw-dropping testament to the ignorance of lawmakers regarding Islamism.
The leadership of Dar al-Hijrah (DAH) has been consistently Islamist with preachers that spread anti-Americanism and support for terrorism. The most famous former DAH imam is Anwar al-Awlaki, who acted like a “moderate” to the press and U.S. government officials until he left the country to lead a branch of Al-Qaeda. He was killed in a drone strike in Yemen.
A Customers and Border Protection file on DAH in 2002 explicitly said it is “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in the U.S.” A December 2007 document said it “has been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing” and “has also been associated with encouraging fraudulent marriages.”
The Virginia House’s Joint Resolution 484 compliments the mosque for the following actions:
- “Uplifting members of the Northern Virginia Muslim community and conducting outreach…”
- “Strengthen[ing] the Muslim faith in the region through seminars, sermons, lectures, social activities…”
- “Encouraging the members of the Muslim community to become productive members of the society, the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center promotes cooperation, tolerance, and mutual understanding among other faiths…”
- “[C]onducts outreach in the community, offering educational classes and making charitable donations to those in need…”
- “[A]ffiliated with the Muslim American Society, a national religious, educational, cultural, and charitable organization…”
Dar al-Hijrah (DAH) is officially affiliated with Islamic Society of North America and North American Islamic Trust, two groups that the Justice Department says are U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities. They were also labeled as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history.
Last January, Imam Sheikh Shaker of DAH was videotaped preaching in favor of violent jihad at a Virginia high school. He told Muslims to understand the “power of armament” and condemned Muslim leaders who “bow down to Western pressure.”
“[Muslims are last in line] if anything is being distributed, except for if it is arms for jihad. We are the first to rush and run to defend our community and to defend ourselves. The enemies of Allah are lining up. The question is for us; Are we lining or are we afraid because they may call us terrorists? Let me give you the good news. They are already calling us terrorists anyway! You are a terrorist because you are a Muslim…Make this title worth it.”
He also said:
“Be a Muslim who spreads peace when peace is to be received and be a Muslim who fights back when there is an attack on yourself, your community, your society, your nation, your religion, your dignity, your honor, your women, your children or your neighbors.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to DAH. Read the entirety of its background here.
The resolution’s praising of DAH for its affiliation with the Muslim American Society is especially troubling, because an Internet search would have immediately shown that it is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and puts on conferences full of Islamist speakers with inflammatory track records.
In 2008, federal prosecutors said in a court filing that MAS “was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” Convicted terrorist and admitted Muslim Brotherhood operative Abdurrahman Alamoudi admitted in 2012, “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Internal MAS documents show it has a strategy of using deceptive semantics to appear moderate.
A 2004 investigation by the Chicago Tribune recovered one of its memos advising members to duck questions about the group’s links to the Brotherhood. They were advised to say MAS is independent and refer to its seemingly innocuous name by saying, “It is a self-explanatory name that does not need further explanation.”
When asked about terrorism, MAS officials were told to condemn the vague term with the private understanding that jihad does not qualify as terrorism.
Don’t prepare to confront the legislators that passed the resolution, because it was passed by a voice vote. That means every official voted anonymously and cannot be held accountable. That is an affront to democracy.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.