Thursday, July 31, 2008



Obama mother's original Social Security Number Application:

Also: Obama's sister's Tax Warrant

Jay McKinnon, a self-described Department of Homeland Security-trained document specialist, has implicated himself in the production of fraudulent Hawaii birth certificate images similar to the one endorsed as genuine by the Barack Obama campaign, and appearing on the same blog entry where the supposedly authentic document appears.

The evidence of forgery and manipulation of images of official documents, triggered by Israel Insider's revelation of the collection of Hawaii birth certificate images on the Photobucket site and the detective work of independent investigative journalists and imaging professionals in the three weeks since the publication of the images, implicate the Daily Kos, an extreme left blog site, and the Obama campaign, in misleading the public with official-looking but manipulated document images of doubtful provenance.

The perceived unreliability of the image has provoked petitions and widespread demands for Obama to submit for objective inspection the paper versions of the "birth certificate" he claimed in his book Dreams from My Father was in his possession, as well as the paper version of the Certificate of Live Birth for which the image on the Daily Kos and the Obama "Fight the Smears" website was supposedly generated.

Without a valid birth certificate, Obama cannot prove he fulfills the "natural born citizen" requirement of the Constitution, throwing into doubt his eligibility to run for President.

McKinnon, who says he is 25-30 years old, operates a website called and uses the OpenDNA screen name on various web sites and blogs, including his comments and diary on The Daily Kos.

In recent years he has divided his time between Long Beach, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a Democratic political activist, frequent contributor to the left wing Daily Kos blog, and a fervent Barack Obama supporter.

Meanwhile, Obama's family are so confident he will win, they are already heading for the White House. (see below).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


John McCormack catches Wes Clark in a couple of egregious errors on the surge today on Morning Joe.

The lesser mistake is Clark’s insistence that the surge didn’t involve Anbar at all, when as McCormack notes the Marines sent two extra battalions to the hotbed of terrorist activity as part of the increased deployment.

Worse, though, Clark tries to tell Scarborough that the surge had nothing to do with the Marines, and everything to do with the Saudis paying off the Sunni tribes:

This isn’t exactly a lost history.

Actually, 4,000 extra Marines went to Anbar. The extra Marine battalions got a lot of attention in the beginning of the surge, especially since they had the toughest job in clearing Anbar, while the Army focused more on Baghdad.

Despicable partisan idiot, trampling on the graves of our heroes. How dare he. He really thinks he earning his cabinet post .. made his deal with the devil.

Wesley Clark is the Marshall Applewhite of retired generals. Got himself forced to retire with his amibitious, arrogant and ignorant actions overseas.

He’s not called Weasel for nothing and he’s also a liar.

Several years ago Chrissy Matthews asked him why he was relieved of command and Weasel about had a heart attack. He said he wasn’t relieved but just decided to retire early, that was an out and out lie.

This little narcicisstic, political skunk is palpable proof that our military is top heavy with generals in name only.

SCUMBAG!!!!!!! Weasely Clark pisses all over US Marines in order to try to propagandize for his candidate.

The talking points are out - the Surge must be discredited at all costs so the Boy King Obama cannot be said ever to be wrong about anything. What a load of crap.

Hat Tip Freepers

And here is a look at the Obama and Clark support crowd

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Alan note: Executions in Iran in 2008 have already DOUBLED over last year and currently run at over ONE PER DAY.

Last week the Mullahs executed 10 people for various "crimes" including "disagreeing with the regime" (mokhalefat ba regime).

Not satisfied with this escalated pace, the Islamic parliament (Majless) is in the process of expanding death penalty reasons. Including making a change of religion or apostasy a mandatory death sentence.

As the average Iranian's disatisfaction with the Mullahs increases, so does the cadence and number of the people they kill or arrest and torture to instill an ever deeper fear into anyone even thinking of voicing any protest.

And the Mullahs have successfully cowed the populace into submission with their brutal mass suppression tactics. Bloody suppression hiddden from the West in the hundreds of "private" prisons that various scurity factions have established to arrest and make disappear anyone of wom they they do approve or fear might cause a political problem.

Not on a national scale but in a single neighborhood. What might be termed "disturbing the peace" in the West has a torture and death sentence hanging over it in Islamic Iran for anyone who dares confront the authorities, including enighborhod level ones.

As an example, not one of the Code Pink group in the USA would still be alive today for what they do with protected impunity here.

In Islamic Iran, the protected immunity is granted to the Bassiji Suppression Brigades for their ruthless killing and maiming of the citizenry - at will and without reproach. On the contrary with reward and encouragement to do so.

As for the stoning, note the regulation that the size of stones used should not be large enough to individually cause death! Death should be by attritional suffering.


At least eight women and one man are reported to have been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran.
The group, convicted of adultery and sex offences, could be executed at any time, lawyers defending them say.

The lawyers have called on the head of Iran's judiciary to prevent the sentences from being carried out.
The last officially reported stoning in Iran last year drew strong criticism from human rights groups and the European Union.

The eight women sentenced, whose ages range from 27 to 43, had convictions including prostitution, incest and adultery, Reuters news agency reported.

The man, a 50-year-old music teacher, was convicted of illegal sex with a student, reports said.

Moratorium imposed

Under Iran's Islamic law, stoning to death is the punishment for the crime of adultery.

In 2002 Iranian judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi imposed a moratorium on stoning, but at least three people are reported to have been executed by stoning since then.

Alan note: he also banned public executions but who listens as the Mullah judges want to terrorize and the "security" and law enforcement operatives are glad to oblige to show their power and say "be afraid, be very, very afraid"!

Shadi Sadr from the Volunteer Lawyers' Network, which is representing the women, said: "We are very worried as there are at least eight women and one man with a definitive verdict which can be carried out any moment.

"There are no guarantees that the punishments will be halted or commuted."

She called on the international community to back their efforts, adding: "We are in close touch with human rights organisations and many of them have supported our campaign."

Fellow defence lawyer Mariam Kian-Arsi said: "Our specific and clear demand is to have the stoning sentence stopped by Ayatollah Shahroudi since the defendants are liable to be stoned at any moment."

Women 'poorly represented'

In theory the penalty of stoning to death applies to both men and women.

But the lawyers say that in practice, many more women than men receive the sentence because they are less well educated and often poorly represented in court.

Human rights group Amnesty International earlier this year called on Iran to abolish "this grotesque punishment" and said many facing execution by stoning were sentenced after unfair trials.

Under Iran's strict penal code, men convicted of adultery should be buried up to their waists and women up to their chests for stoning. The stones used should not be large enough to kill the person immediately.

Alan note: if a person condemned to be stoned to death manages to escape from the pit, they are then granted a pardon. Note how men are buried to their waists while women to their chests to make escape for the latter not only more difficult but impossible.

Another consequence, intended or otherwise, results in men taking many more painful blows to their torsos, while women get hit more often in the head and neck.

For a feel of this. imagine the pain of being hit repeatedly in the spine or chest/sternum with small fist size stones. And in the head but not enough to render you unconscious.

And Obama wants to "chat" with these "Iranians"?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US has been increasingly concerned about its
relations with Muslim communities. Domestically, it has reached out to various Islamic
organizations in an effort to engage the Muslim-American population in the “war on terrorism” and
the fight against Islamic radicals. One partner of the US State Department in this area has been
the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a self-described “umbrella” organization for Muslims
in North America. ISNA has been involved in various State Department efforts to reach out to the
Islamic world, such as a 2005 conference in Belgium that was intended to help create an
international network of Islamic moderates. An important factor in ISNA’s special relationship with
the US government is its designation and reputation as a “moderate” group. However, there is a
substantial body of evidence that leads to the opposite conclusion. This is troubling from the
standpoint of US policy, because if a major partner in the State Department’s relations with Muslim
communities is associated with Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism, it would undermine and
discredit the anti-extremism efforts of the US government.
ISNA is, in fact, an organization seriously tainted by extremism—the current views of the State
Department and ISNA’s own protestations of moderation notwithstanding. This conclusion stems
from a close analysis of three characteristics that can be used as indicators of extremism. ISNA’s
organization was evaluated based on the presence of fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and
connections to terrorism. In this analysis, Islamic fundamentalism refers to “a political ideology
based on a ‘selective and arbitrary politicization of religion.’” Charges of anti-Semitism can be
leveled against individuals and organizations who decry “Zionist conspiracies,” such as the control
of the media or governments. Terrorist organizations are designated according to the State
Department’s own list. In looking at these criteria, an overwhelming body of evidence emerges
that ISNA as an organization—its founding, funding, and leadership—is connected to a global
network of extremists. Moreover, both its ideology and its practices exhibit clear extremist

Outside money played a particularly important role in ISNA’s founding, and evidence indicates that
its influence continues today. The complex that first housed ISNA’s operations was built in the late
1970’s and early 1980’s by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), an ISNA affiliate. The
complex included a $3.5 million 500-person mosque, an 80,000 volume library, and a research
facility. The source of funding for such an impressive venture? 21 million dollars from Muslim
Brotherhood leaders Youssef Qaradawi and Youssef Nada as well as the emir of Qatar.

Qaradawi, who has multiple ties to ISNA’s founding and recent history, is by no means a
moderate influence. His extremism is well documented: Qaradawi has issued fatwas backing
suicide bombings against civilians in Israel and U.S. troops in Iraq and defended “the death
penalty under sharia law for homosexuals”.

The influence of Saudi money in ISNA’s operations
has been decried by other Muslims as early as the early 1980s. As recently as 2002, the Islamic
Centre in Toronto, which houses ISNA, and an ISNA-run high school and scholarship fund were
the beneficiaries of Saudi grants. Additionally, financial information relating to NAIT’s ownership of
nearly a third of American mosques is markedly opaque, although media reports have tied NAIT’s
assets to Saudi funding as well. Both ISNA’s founding and its recent history are marked by funding
from outside extremist groups and individuals, and the organization has nothing to show in the
way of transparent financial statements to dispel these accusations.
ISNA’s links to Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi are by no means ISNA’s only
connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that one international terrorism consultant
called a “stepping stone” to radical Islam and terrorism. ISNA’s founders and parent organizations,
such as the Muslim Student Association (MSA), had unambiguous roots in the Muslim
Brotherhood network. ISNA and its leadership also have ties to numerous Muslim Brotherhood
affiliates, such as the Gesellschaft Muslimischer Sozial und Geistenwissenschaftler (GMSG) in
Germany, the Muslim Association of Britain, and the fundamentalist Pakistani political party
Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI). Prominent figures in ISNA, such as board member Jamal Badawi, have
appeared at conferences held by these groups, and leaders of these groups, such as JEI leader
Zazi Hussain Ahmad, have spoken at annual ISNA conferences. ISNA is also tied to two key
Saudi groups—the Muslim World League (MWL) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth
(WAMY)—groups that have been targeted by US government investigations into fundraising and
support for religious extremism... As recently as July 2002, former ISNA President and current
board member Dr. Siddiqi were part of a Muslim World League delegation which toured the United
States. The group included Abdullah al-Turki, secretary general of the MWL and one of the reports
described Dr. Siddiqi as a member of the League. Although for the sake of its image ISNA officials
may try to distance their organization from these extremist groups, in practice the connections are
rooted in ISNA’s history and continue to this day.
The global Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood network is only the beginning, however, as ISNA also has
ties to groups with even more immediate links to terrorism. One particularly salient example is
Kuwaiti-born Sami Al-Arian, who in May 2006 was sentenced to almost five years in prison in
connection with his role as a leader of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the
United States. After Al-Arian’s arrest, an ISNA statement criticized the government, saying that Al-
Arian was being targeted as a Muslim. The defensive reaction should not be too surprising,
however, considering ISNA’s history with Al-Arian. The International Institute of Islamic Thought
(IIIT) provided funding for Al-Arian and his organization when it was headed by the current
president of the ISNA affiliated Fiqh Council of North America (FNCA), Taha J. Alwani. ISNA’s
connection to terrorism goes beyond a single individual, as it is also linked to various Hamas front
groups and affiliates. Even ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed admitted donating money to
Hamas fundraiser the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and to the defense fund of Hamas leader
Mousa Marzook, who was deported from the US in 1997 and is on the State Department’s
designated terrorist list. Syeed’s defense of ISNA’s support is characteristically weak: “It doesn’t
hurt if you give a few words of support or if you give a few words of sympathy”—this in reference
to a known terrorist!
As it did with Al-Arian’s arrest, ISNA responded to US actions against the HLF with criticisms and
accusations, claiming in December 2001 that HLF had been “targeted by pro-Israel organizations
and individuals,” calling investigations an “unjust and counterproductive move.” Since that time,
the HLF and several of its directors have been indicted on criminal charges in connection with
terrorist attacks by Hamas. ISNA’s ties to Hamas also involve a group named by a Treasury
Department intelligence official as the “mouthpiece” of Hamas in the United States, the Islamic
Association for Palestine (IAP). A federal judge found that the group was legally responsible for
the death of an American teenager killed by Hamas—not exactly the hallmark of a moderate
partner. In 2000, current FCNA board member Solah Sultan “spoke in support of martyrdom
operations” at an IAP convention. One would think that a “moderate” organization would be more
careful, after these previous unsavory connections, to partner with groups that may have ties with
extremism. ISNA, however, has not. After denying knowledge of the HLF’s connection to
terrorism, ISNA quickly became involved with KindHearts, described by a Treasury Department
investigation as “the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation.” There were
numerous signs that any conscientious moderate organization would have taken as a warning of
connections to terrorism, such as the fact that much of the leadership of KindHearts, including its
founder and CEO, had previously held positions in HLF and other Hamas groups. Despite these
warning signs, however, ISNA developed a working relationship with KindHearts, including letting
KindHearts advertise in ISNA’s Islamic Horizons magazine that lasted up until four days before the
U.S. Treasury Department froze KindHeart’s accounts on February 19, 2006.
ISNA is clearly connected to Islamic radicals and terrorist organizations, but it is not simply guilty
by association—its own ideology is marked by extreme social, political, and religious views.
Although the organization declares itself to be nonviolent, such fundamentalist views are still
dangerous, as evidenced by a 1995 speech by Youssef Qaradawi that illustrates the strategy of
ISNA and likeminded groups: “Conquest through dawah, that is what we hope for…we will
conquer America, not through the sword but through dawah.” Examples of ISNA’s fundamentalist
leanings are numerous, but a few key issues stand out. The first is on women’s issues, where
ISNA has taken a very conservative, regressive stance, supporting the hijab, restricting women’s
rights to travel and associate with men, and supporting some form of corporal punishment for
wives. Former ISNA president Muzzamil Siddiqi, for example, said in a 2004 fatwa that a husband
could have recourse to “light disciplinary action in order to correct the moral infraction of his wife.”
ISNA board member Jamal Badawi characterized the hijab as “a command of Allah to Muslim
women,” denying its role as a symbol, whether religious or political.
A second area of fundamentalism in ISNA’s ideology is its leaders’ views of Islam within the
context of religion and politics, where they believe in Islamic supremacy. FCNA chairman Dr.
Alwani leaves particularly little room for other faiths: “In considering the earth as an arena for
Islam, Allah has promised its inheritance to His righteous people, and He has promised that Islam
will prevail over other religions.” With such a stance of Islamic exceptionalism, it is difficult to
imagine that the organization could be fully committed to pluralism and a liberal political system
that is based on the idea of equality. In fact, it isn’t. Referring to the hijab, Dr. Badawi said that it
would ideally be enforced by an Islamic state: “So long as there is a state in place, an Islamic
state, it would be the duty of the state to enforce [the Hijab] on other levels.” ISNA supporters may
point to its willingness to engage in the democratic political process in the United States, but their
activity is disingenuous. The political engagement that ISNA advocates is not done out of the
same ethos of civic duty and responsibility that is the life-blood of American domestic politics;
instead, it is simply a means of furthering their Islamic goals. Dr. Siddiqi put it this way: “In Islam
there is no division between religion and politics…We have to see everything from the Islamic
point of view, whether social, economical, or political.” The sense of political responsibility, then,
springs not from a commitment to the American political system, but from a duty to promote the
Muslim ummah. There is no room for commitment to American civil society, as Dr. Badawi makes
clear: “Muslims should not melt in any pot except the Islamic brotherhood pot.” It is not surprising
then, that ISNA is not ultimately committed to the political process in which it participates, since the
culmination of their view of the ummah’s interests is in the establishment of an Islamic state. Dr.
Siddiqi sums up the view nicely: “We must not forget that Allah’s rules have to be established in all
lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.”
This conservative ideology is not limited to a few isolated members of ISNA’s leadership. On the
contrary, it is enforced throughout the organization through various pressures that are brought to
bear on all those with opposing interpretations of Islam and Muslim duty. ISNA claims it is “nonsectarian,”
and Secretary-General Syeed points to a combination of Shia and Sunni leaders as
well as a female vice president as evidence of his assertion. However, there is a difference
between window-dressing and the reality of ideological control. ISNA has excluded individuals and
groups, such as Sufi cleric Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of
America (ISCA). Through a combination of bureaucratic niceties and intimidation by security
officials, ISNA has prevented Shaykh Kabbani and other progressive Islamic groups from
participating in their conferences and conventions. Another, more insidious tactic is the takeover of
mosques through ISNA-affiliated NAIT. Multiple reports have shown the following pattern: NAIT
assumes the deed of a mosque that has previously been run by relatively moderate leaders. NAIT
is able to invest large sums of money in the mosque, drive out the former leaders, and install new,
fundamentalist clerics in their place who espouse and enforce their conservative views on the
community, segregating women and men for services and promoting a Wahhabi interpretation of
Part of the danger of ISNA’s extremism, apart from its lack of commitment to American societal
and political values, is that it provides ideological support for terrorism while simultaneously
protesting its support for nonviolence. One way of doing this is by preaching anti-Semitism. Even
in a time of intense national sensitivity, ten days after the 9/11 attacks, Dr. Alwani blamed the
tragedy on a joint American/Israeli intelligence operation, calling it “the merger between two
security theories, the Israeli and the American.” Self-serving Zionist conspiracy theories are
rampant among these leaders, as they are throughout Muslim extremist groups; Dr. Badawi
emphasized that “the Zionist Israel propaganda have succeeded…to make the truth falsehood
and the falsehood truth, to make real terrorism self-defense and self-defense terrorism,” saying in
a separate sermon that the “pro-Zionist lobby” controls “the White House, the Congress, the
media, everything.” ISNA is also linked to virulently anti-Semitic individuals through its leadership
and involvement in hosting conferences. Dr. M. Amir Ali, the founder of the Institute of Islamic
Information and Education (IIIE) in Chicago, of which Dr. Siddiqi was elected Chairman in 2002,
states in an article on his website: “When Hitler reluctantly started to implement his “final solution”
in dealing with German Jews…whatever else he was, he was no dummy! What did he know –
about which we are as yet blissfully unaware?” Hatem Bazian, a speaker at an ISNA-sponsored
conference in 1999, said this: “in the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight
the Jews…until the trees and the stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me.
Come and kill him!”
With its connection to ideologies of hatred and conspiracy theories that fuel that hatred, an
organization that was committed to nonviolence should have been a strong critic of the terrorism,
especially religious-inspired terrorism that has grown as a threat in the last few years. ISNA,
however, has done the opposite. Shortly after 9/11, Dr. Badawi made the following statement to a
Muslim Community Conference in Dallas, Texas: “Suicide out of despair is not
acceptable…Giving one’s life in a military situation is different and can be heroic if there is no other
way of resisting…Killing civilians should be avoided is possible, but not everyone out of uniform is
a civilian.” Such a statement can easily be interpreted as providing a justification for suicide
bombings by redefining them as “a military situation.” ISNA’s negligible actions in opposition to
terrorism lend further credence to this interpretation. A July 28, 2005 fatwa against terrorism was
issued by FCNA Muzzamil Siddiqi, who was accompanied by ISNA president Nur Abdallah,
among others. The fatwa received broad-based criticism, however, for a number of problems that
rendered it a feeble and ineffectual alternative to opposing fatwas in support of the attacks made
by Salafist clerics. For example the authors of the fatwa were unwilling to invoke religious
language to condemn the attacks, calling them simply unlawful; the fatwa was not specific, i.e. not
unequivocally in condemnation of bin Laden, al-Qaeda, etc., and the term “civilian” was undefined.
Coupled with the previous statement by Dr. Badawi, the latter criticism is especially troubling,
because it leaves open the possibility of designating Israeli citizens as legitimate targets.
While some attempts were made to clarify the fatwa after the criticisms were widely reported,
ISNA’s reaction came nowhere near to what would have been necessary to constitute a strong,
unequivocal, impassioned opposition to terrorism and the hijacking of the great religion of Islam by
radical, violent extremists. This is simply yet another instance in a string of half-measures, selfserving
denials, and last-minute assertions of innocence by ISNA and its leaders. From Al-Arian,
to KindHearts, to terrorism itself, ISNA has publicly distanced itself from extremists only when
there was no other choice. As one of the largest Muslim American organizations in the United
States, its failure to strongly oppose terrorism is inexcusable, but not particularly surprising when
one considers the organization in greater depth. ISNA’s history and past and present leadership
are characterized by a long-standing relationship and connection with extremist groups and
fundamentalist ideology. It has taken no decisive actions toward reform, such as purging its
leadership of those members who have been most clearly linked with extremist views. Ultimately,
the weight of evidence pointing toward ISNA’s extremist nature is too great to be explained away
by coincidence, circumstance, or ignorance. It must be held accountable for its harmful influence,
and certainly does not merit its status as a “moderate” partner of the State Department on the
increasingly crucial area of relations with the Muslim community.
Extremism and the Islamic Society of North America
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) describes itself as an umbrella organization for U.S.
Islamic groups that is non-sectarian, moderate, and transparent. This report provides substantial
public evidence that ISNA and its key leadership are, in fact, associated with Islamic
fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and support for terrorism. Despite a track-record of self-serving
denials with regard to extremism, ISNA continues to function as an important component of the
Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood global network.
In April 2006, a U.S. State Department bulletin announced that the United States hoped to help
create an “international network that allows mainstream Muslims in Europe and North America
regularly to discuss issues of alienation and extremism.” 1 The bulletin cited Tom Korologos, U.S.
ambassador the Belgium, who said that the concept was initiated at a November 2005 meeting in
Belgium of American and Belgian Muslims that was partially hosted by the U.S. Embassy.
Ambassador Korologos went on to say that “Four or five more conferences like this can lead to a
network of moderate Muslims.” Ambassador Korologos testified before the U.S Senate that “We
vetted, checked and rechecked those we invited.” 2 He acknowledged that:
“Some of the organizations whose members participated in the Conference have been accused of
being extremist. It is possible that some individual members of those organizations have made
statements that have been termed extremist. Our view however, was to base our selection on the
stated policies and specific actions of organizations and individuals today with regard to
harmonious Muslim integration into American and European society. We wanted them to hear and
participate in our dialogue with fellow moderates.”
According to the organization website, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) “played a
major part in facilitating the planning of the conference from the US side” while the State
Department release reported that: 3
“Representatives of the Islamic Society of North America attended the conference and announced
a package of internships, scholarships and exchanges for Belgian imams, Muslim leaders,
teachers and students to visit the United States and continue their interactions with the U.S.
Muslim community.”
The ISNA website also indicated that other U.S Muslim groups attended the conference including
the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and
the Muslim Students Association of the US and Canada (MSA).
It is clear that the State Department has designated ISNA, CAIR, and the other U.S Muslim groups
as” moderates”. However, these same groups have been repeatedly accused by opponents of
being extremists with connections to fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. This report
examines the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to determine whether or not the charge of
extremism can be supported.
This inquiry used a relatively simple set of criteria to assess the charge of extremism, or more
properly, to determine whether or not ISNA should be considered a moderate organization.
1. Fundamentalism
The term fundamentalism is used in many different contexts. Perhaps the most common usage is
in reference to the belief that particular religious scriptures are the “authentic and inerrant word of
God.” 4 This usage characterizes beliefs held in many religions and serves no useful purpose in
this inquiry which will instead rely upon the work of Syrian-born Muslim scholar Bassam Tibi who
distinguishes “between Islam as a religious belief” and Islamic fundamentalism as a political
ideology” based on a “selective and arbitrary politicization of religion.” 5
2. Anti-Semitism
Common expressions of anti-Semitism are not difficult to identify but problems arise when
attempting to distinguish between criticism of the State of Israel and anti-Semitism. Often, anti-
Semitism is couched using references to “Zionism” but there are also those who argue that
criticism of the founding of the State of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic. For purposes of this inquiry,
criticism of “Zionism” as an ideology is not considered anti-Semitic but positing of “Zionist
conspiracies” such as the “Zionist control” of media or government is taken as evidence of anti-
3. Terrorism
This inquiry will rely upon the State Department’s own list of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations.” a
Evidence of any form of support for an organization on this list will be considered support of
For the purposes of this report, an organization will be said to be moderate if it is reasonably free
of these three characteristics. Both the organization and/or its key leadership were examined and
where possible, the most recent activities of the organizations were evaluated. This inquiry into
ISNA was confined to the subject of extremism and in doing so, the record of the organization in
doing “good works” was not examined. Experience with some Islamic charities has shown that a
record of socially useful activities does not necessarily preclude involvement with extremism.
a See
By their own admission, the Saudi government has spent “many billions of Saudi Riyals” in a
massive effort to propagate Islam around the world. According to a Saudi government newspaper:
“The determination of the Kingdom to support Islam and Islamic institutions to the best of its ability
was evident from the formation of the Kingdom by King Abdul Aziz but it was only when oil
revenues began to generate real wealth that the Kingdom could fulfill its ambitions of spreading
the word of Islam to every corner of the world, of assisting Muslim countries less well endowed
economically and of alleviating the suffering of Muslim minorities wherever they might live." 6
A former Treasury Department official estimated in 2004 that the Saudis had spent over $75 billion
in this effort.7 A Council on Foreign Relations report identifies the nature of the Saudi campaign:
“As a core tenet of its foreign policy, Saudi Arabia funds the global propagation of Wahabism, a
brand of Islam that, in some instances, supports militancy by encouraging divisiveness and violent
acts against Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We are concerned that this massive spending is
helping to create the next generation of terrorists and therefore constitutes a paramount strategic
threat to the United States. Through the support for madrassas, mosques, cultural centers,
hospitals, and other institutions, and the training and export of radical clerics to populate these
outposts, Saudi Arabia has spent what could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars around the
world financing extremism.” 8
Some scholars such as French scholar Gilles Kepel have documented the formation of Saudi
Arabian institutions created to propagate Saudi fundamentalist Islam throughout the world. These
include the Muslim World League that was established in 1962, followed by the International
Federation of Student Organizations and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.9 10 These and
other such institutions were often staffed by members of the Muslim Brotherhood who had fled to
Saudi Arabia from Egypt and other countries, both fleeing oppression in their home countries and
seeking the wealth and employment offered by Saudi Arabia. Evidence indicates that ISNA
emerged from a matrix of Islamic organizations that were created as part of this partnership
between Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Three individuals; Ahmed Totonji, Hisham Altalib, and Jamal Barzinji; played critical roles in the
founding of these organizations. All were all born in the Kurdish, northern part of Iraq and may
have met there or possibly later in the UK, where all three received their undergraduate education
in engineering.11 12 13 After completion of their studies in the UK, the three came to the United
States, ostensibly for graduate study but also to continue organizing Muslim youth activities. Dr.
Totonji and Dr. Barzinji are known to have been instrumental in the early history of the Muslim
Student Association (MSA), first established in 1963 at the University of Illinois at Champaign-
Urbana.14 15 A September 2004 Washington post article cites a speech by Muslim Brotherhood
leader Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi in which he confirms the connections between MSA and the
Muslim Brotherhood as well as the fundamentalist nature of the organization: 16
“In a 1995 speech to an Islamic conference in Ohio, a top Brotherhood official, Youssef Qaradawi,
said victory will come through dawah -- Islamic renewal and ….’Conquest through dawah, that is
what we hope for,’ said Qaradawi, an influential Qatari imam who pens some of the religious
edicts justifying Hamas suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. ‘We will conquer Europe, we will
conquer America, not through the sword but through dawah,’ said the imam, who has condemned
the Sept. 11 attacks but is now barred from the United States. In his speech, Qaradawi said the
dawah would work through Islamic groups set up by Brotherhood supporters in this country. He
praised supporters who were jailed by Arab governments in 1950s and then came to the United
States to ‘fight the seculars and the Westernized’ by founding this country's leading Islamic
groups. He named the Muslim Students Association (MSA), which was founded in 1963.”
The article also documents the connections between Dr. Barzinji, MSA, and the Muslim
Brotherhood stating that “An engineering student and top MSA leader, [Dr. Barzinji] joined MSA
associates in 1971 to host the top leaders of the Egyptian Brotherhood, just released from 16
years in prison, for two weeks of meetings in Indiana.” 17
Further confirmation of Dr. Barzinji’s connection to the Muslim Brotherhood is provided by the
Washington Post article which reported that Dr. Barzinji “fled his native Iraq in 1969 when the
Baathist regime started executing fellow Islamists.” b 18
Barzinji, Totonji and Altalib appear to have spent the next decade continuing their Muslim youth
activities. The International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO), an international
counterpart to MSA, was founded in 1969. After a series of exploratory meetings in Africa, an
organizational meeting was held in Mecca during February 1969 and a draft constitution for the
organization circulated. The IIFSO held its first and second meetings in 1969 and 1971 in Aachen,
a known center of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in Germany.19 A letter to the UN Secretary
General from Dr. Totonji dated 24 August 1969 identifies Dr. Totonji as the IFSO Secretary
General and, according to his own biography; Dr. Hisham Altalib was the second IIFSO Secretary
General.20 21 Dr. Kepel has written that the IIFSO translated the works of Sayyid Qtub, Sayyid
Mawdudi, and Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. These three authors are
key ideologues in the Muslim Brotherhood and fundamentalist Islamic movement.22
Following the establishment of the IIFSO, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) was
created with its headquarters in Saudi Arabia. As the IIFSO website explains:
“It was out of the IIFSO’s experience of success that the WAMY was born. WAMY was founded in
1972 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at an international meeting of Islamic workers involved in youth
activities and representatives of youth organizations. It was established to help youth
organizations around the world implement their planned projects.” 23
Dr. Totonji and Dr. Barzinji were both involved in the founding and early history of WAMY and Dr.
Totonji served as the Deputy to the first Secretary-General - Dr. Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman.c 24
In 1982, Dr. Barzinji was listed as a board member of WAMY with an address in Saudi Arabia.25
The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) was established on May 23, 1973 and later became
known as an affiliate of ISNA. According to the incorporation documents, the purpose of NAIT was
to “serve the best interests of Islam and the Muslim Student’s Association of the United States and
Canada” by establishing a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation to hold “investment property.” Dr.
Altalib was listed as the Resident Agent for the corporation whose address was the Masjid Al-
Amin Mosque in Gary, Indiana and Dr. Barzinji was one of the four original board members. The
establishment of NAIT appears to have been part of an effort by Dr. Barzinji, and Dr. Altalib to
move their Islamic organizing efforts from the campus to the outside world. An Islamic scholar
“With its ability to raise funds, especially from overseas, MSA began establishing business and
professional organizations useful in establishing off-campus institutions. The North American
Islamic Trust (NAIT) became instrumental in establishing masajid, student houses, Islamic
centers, full-time schools, and literature publishing (under the American Trust Publications,
International Graphics Press, and Islamic Book Service). Its members created the American
Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE), the American Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), and the
Islamic Medical Association (IMA).” 26
b The year is probably wrong since Dr. Barzinji appears to have graduated in the UK in 1962.
c For Dr. Sulayman ‘s resume, see
In 1975, the MSA developed plans to set up a permanent secretariat and a center for Islamic
activities in North America.27 The MSA headquarters was moved from Gary, Indiana to
Indianapolis and in September 1976, NAIT acquired 124 acres of land a few miles west of the
Indianapolis airport. MSA offices were immediately moved into the existing buildings.28 29
An Islamic author has reported that in 1977, Dr. Totonji and Dr. Barzinji participated in a meeting
held in Lugano Switzerland described as the “first organized conference on the Muslim intellectual
crisis, which was held in Lugano, Switzerland during 1977.” This conference was said to be hosted
by Mahmoud Abu Saud, an important figure in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and an expert in
Islamic banking. Other important attendees included the following important Islamic
fundamentalists: d 30
• Mahmud Rashdan former secretary general of the Muslim Students
Association and ISNA founder
• Ismail al- Faruqi proponent of the “Islamization of Knowledge”
• Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman founder of WAMY, founder of International Institute
of Islamic Thought
• Youssef Qaradawi well known extremist Islamic cleric
• Muhammad al Mubarak probably professor Muhammad ibn Sa’ood University
• Jamaluddin Atia a.k.a. Gamal Attia, expert in Islamic banking
• Khurshid Ahmad leader of Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami
• Ahmad al Assal President, International Islamic University, Islamabad
• Taha J. Alwanii President of International Institute of Islamic Thought
and Chairman, Fiqh Council of North America
In June 2003, Soliman Biheiri, an Egyptian businessman linked to Saudi Arabia and the Muslim
Brotherhood, told U.S. Customs agents that “he had heard of a famous Islamic conference in
Lugano, Switzerland in 1973, concerning the contemporary problems of the Muslim ummah.” Mr.
Biheri stated that he believed this conference took place in the home of Youssef Nada, an
important Muslim Brotherhood leader, and that “many high-ranking individuals in the Islamic world
took part.” He also stated that he believed that the conference provided a "blue print" for much of
the worldwide Islamic movements in the 1980s.31
Another meeting was held in 1977 in Plainfield, Indiana which established a task force that
recommended establishing a “broader umbrella organization” to be known as the Islamic Society
of North America. An Islamic scholar gives the rationale for the founding of ISNA:
"The leaders of MSA who were no longer students realized that they had to formally change their
name and structure to meet the needs of the Muslims and maintain any leadership status among
Muslims in America. It was aware of other national groups which were focused on community
development before it. However, it felt that those groups of converts were not knowledgeable
enough to lead them so it had to try to fulfill that need" 32 33
In May 1977, Dr. Barzinji was quoted in local news media about NAIT’s plans to construct a
mosque on the land purchased by NAIT. He was described at that time as the “general manager”
d The affiliations listed for these individuals are those deemed to be most significant.
of NAIT.34 In January 1978, plans were announced for a 42-acre compound on the Plainfield,
Indiana site to include a mosque, classrooms, residences, gymnasium, and recreational area.35 In
early March 1978, the local zoning authority approved the plans for the complex which had an
estimated cost between $5 million and $10 million dollars.36 There are varying reports on when
construction actually began, but what was called Phase 1 appears to have been completed in
January 1983 and consisted of a $3.5 million 500-person mosque, 80,000-volume library, and a
research facility. 37 According to local histories, the compound reportedly began serving as
headquarters for MSA, ISNA, and NAIT as well as for other affiliated organizations while ISNA
was referred to as being “led by the Muslim Brotherhood.” 38 39 The Washington Post reported in
2004 that the complex was funded by $21 million raised from Muslim Brotherhood leaders
Youssef Qaradawi and Youssef Nada as well as the emir of Qatar.e 40
ISNA was officially incorporated in Indiana on July 14, 1981 with the stated purpose “to advance
the cause of Islam and serve Muslims in North America so as to enable them to adopt Islam as a
complete way of life.” 41 The address for ISNA at that time appears to be the Plainfield property
where the new facility was built. f The three Incorporators were listed as: g
• Iqbal J. Unus current dean of students, School of Islamic and Social Sciences
• Talat Sultan current President Islamic Circle of North America
• Mahmoud Rashdan h former secretary general of the Muslim Students Association
The initial Board of Directors was listed as:
• Sayyed M. Syeed current ISNA Secretary-General
• M. Naziruddin Ali current NAIT General Manager
• Talat Sultan current President Islamic Circle of North America
• Imtiaz Ahmad current VP ISNA Canada
• Haroon Qazi current Member Islamic Medical Association of North America i
As indicated above, all but one of the ISNA founders remains active either in ISNA or in one of its
affiliated organizations. It should be noted that according to his resume, Sami Al-Arian also played
a role in the founding of ISNA.42 Dr. Al-Arian was leader in the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic
Jihad and will be discussed later in connection with ISNA and terrorism.
It appears that Saudi money was funding ISNA from the very beginning of the organization. Dr.
Mohammad Omar Farooq, an associate professor of economics and finance at Upper Iowa
University, has stated:
“It was in 1981 when I first attended ISNA convention. I attended its convention again in 1985. The
Saudi money was having serious influence on ISNA during these periods, which caused
significant problems in various communities, where there were attempts to control khutbah,
activities and services of those mosques and centers that were with the ISNA's Trust. We have
e Barzinji and Altalib were known to have worked for Youssef Nada during this time period.
f RR 1 Box 667 Plainfield, IN 46168
g The affiliations for these individuals are current affiliations.
h Probably Prof. Dr. Mahmood Rushdan (Jordan) associated with the Dawa Acadmy in Islamabad. See
i The Islamic Medical Association is affiliated with ISNA.
experienced this first hand, even in academic-type affiliates, such as Association of Muslim Social
Scientists (AMSS), where I have presented papers several times.” 43
Another report quotes Kaukab Siddique, the radical editor of New Trend, an Islamic periodical:
“New Trend tried right from 1977 to warn the people about this danger of monopoly created by
funds coming in from Saudi Arabia... the Ikhwan mafia, a group of six were bringing in funds from
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.j The movement for reform was quashed by the mafia (who are
the revered ‘elders’ of ISNA) who went from city to city.” 44
Today, ISNA now supplies “educational and support services to about 1100 of the
approximately 1500 North American mosques.” 45
Since its inception, ISNA has grown to the point where it describes itself as “the largest and oldest
umbrella organization for the estimated 6-8 million Muslims embracing over 300 community
organizations and professional organizations in North America.” 46 The organization is probably
best known for its annual conference which had an expected attendance of some 40,000 in
2005.47 The current website, which according to its secretary-general receives an average of 2.6
million hits a month, describes ISNA as:
“an association of Muslim organizations and individuals that provides a common platform for
presenting Islam, supporting Muslim communities, developing educational, social and outreach
programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities, and civic and service
organizations.” 48 49
ISNA membership confers the following benefits on affiliated community organizations: 50
• Free ISNA magazine subscriptions for all members and 25% discount on advertising
• Endorsements for domestic and overseas fundraising projects
• Five members of the ISNA Board elected from affiliates
• Access to ISNA Speakers Bureau
• Discount on ISNA membership for all members
ISNA publishes Islamic Horizons, described as “a news and information magazine which is read
by about 250,000 people” and operates the ISNA Leadership Development Center which: 51
• Sets standards, trains and certifies imams and chaplains.
• Conducts conferences, seminars, workshops, continuing education for imams and
community leaders
• Publishes guides, manuals, handbooks, and other material for training purposes.
• Organizes programs with various universities and colleges in North America. 52
j An Arabic term usually translated as the Muslim Brotherhood.
Other services offered by ISNA include a Zakat fund as well as Shahadah, Islamic marriage and
Halal certification.k ISNA has recently been involved with “cultural sensitivity training” for law
enforcement and other organizations.53 54 The organization has also has already received two
grants in 2003 and 2004 under the faith-based initiative from the Department of Health and
Human Services in order to conduct social services training.55
ISNA has a number of affiliated organizations which are so closely related that their activities and
leadership are included in this report.l These include:
1. The Association of Muslim Social Scientists
As noted earlier, the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) grew directly out of MSA.
The current AMSS website states:
“AMSS was founded in 1972 to provide a forum through which Islamic positions on various
academic disciplines can be promoted. From the beginning, AMSS has based its activities on the
belief that the development of Islamic thought is vital for the prosperity of the Muslim world and for
the continuity of the Islamic intellectual heritage.” 56
Dr. Jamal Barzinji was a founding member of AMSS and the first President of AMSS was Ismail
Faruqi, one of the founders of IIIT.57 58 AMSS has sponsored annual conferences for 32 years,
publishes a journal entitled American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) in conjunction
with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), and has published numerous papers. m 59
2. Fiqh Council of North America
According to its current website, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) explains its origins as
follows: 60
"The Fiqh Council of North America traces its origins back to the Religious Affairs Committee of
the then Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada in the early 1960s. This
Religious Affairs Committee evolved into the Fiqh Committee of the Islamic Society of North
America (ISNA) after the founding of ISNA in 1980. As the needs of the Muslim community and
the complexity of the issues they faced grew, the Fiqh Council was transformed into the Fiqh
Council of North America in 1986. The Council continues to be an affiliate of ISNA, advising and
educating its members and officials on matters related to the application of ShariÌah in their
individual and collective lives in the North American environment." n 61
In March of 2002, the Fiqh Council was targeted in a Treasury Department raid, codenamed
“Operation Greenquest,” along with its director, Taha Jaber Al-Alwani. The mission of this
raid was to “destroy the US based terrorist funding infrastructure through identification,
disruption, prosecution and dismantling of the terrorist funding networks.” 62 This raid,
according to the Treasury Department, "initiated 859 financial investigations involving
suspected terrorist financing and referred 1,109 leads on potential terrorist financial
activities…[this]…resulted in 47 arrests, 28 indictments, and the seizure of $7.3 million." 63
k Charity donations, Islamic conversion, and food certification respectively.
l Two other organizations closely affiliated to ISNA, the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers and the Muslim
Youth of North America, will not be examined in this report.
m The connections between ISNA and IIIT will be explored later in this report.
n One scholar cites FCNA head Taha Alwani as stating that FCNA was established on March 10th 1988. See
3. North American Islamic Trust
According to the current website, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) explains itself as
“The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) is a waqf, the historical Islamic equivalent of an
American trust or endowment, serving Muslims in the United States and their institutions. NAIT
facilitates the realization of American Muslims' desire for a virtuous and happy life in a Shari'ahcompliant
way. NAIT is a not-for-profit entity that qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under
Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. NAIT was established in 1973 in Indiana by the
Muslim Students Association of U.S. and Canada (MSA), the predecessor of the Islamic Society
of North America (ISNA). NAIT supports and provides services to ISNA, MSA, their affiliates, and
other Islamic centers and institutions. The President of ISNA is an ex-officio member of the Board
of Trustees of NAIT.” 64
The NAIT website goes on to explain:
“NAIT holds titles to mosques, Islamic centers, schools, and other real estate to safeguard and
pool the assets of the American Muslim community, develops financial vehicles and products that
are compatible with both the Shari'ah (Islamic law) and the American law, publishes and
distributes credible Islamic literature, and facilitates and coordinates community projects.”65
The NAIT website states that it “holds the title of approximately 300 properties” a figure consistent
with a LEXIS/NEXIS search showing 332 properties in the real-estate related database and with a
report by the Council on American Islamic Relations which says that NAIT owns about 27 percent
of the estimated 1200 mosques in the United States.66 67 In a hearing before the United States
Senate, witness testimony shows that NAIT holds the deeds to between 50% and 79% of
American mosques. 68
The North American Islamic Trust also served as an adviser group to Amana Mutual Funds
Trust, whose founder, Yacqub Mirza, was targeted in raids conducted by the Treasury
Department and the FBI on several Virginia-based Islamic charities in 2002. 69
The leadership structure of ISNA consists of an executive council and a board of directors which is
attached to this report as Appendix 1. The following five individuals have been active since the
beginnings of ISNA and were judged to be the most important members of this leadership based
on factors such as length of service, public visibility, media attention, and other institutional
affiliations. All have early backgrounds in Islamic fundamentalism although it should be noted that
all mention of their origins in fundamentalist Islamic political movements have been omitted from
their standard biographies.
1. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed (Secretary-General)
Dr. Sayyid was born in Kashmir where, according to a magazine interview, he was incarcerated
for two years, possibly in connection with activities related to the Kashmiri separatist movement.70
71 Following his emigration to the U.S, he graduated from Indiana University in 1984 and appears
to have spent his entire professional life working for organizations related to ISNA. According to
this ISNA biography:
"As President of the Muslim Students Association of USA & Canada (1980-1983), he pioneered its
transformation into the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). During 1984-1988, he was
Secretary General of the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO)…Dr.
Syeed has been General Secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), a
national professional organization founded 31 years ago. " 72
Interestingly, Dr. Sayyid’s ISNA biography does not mention that from 1984 until 1994, he was the
Director of Academic Outreach at the International Institute of Islamic Thought, an organization
discussed later with extensive ties to Islamic extremism. 73 Dr. Sayyid has served as the ISNA
Secretary-General since 1994.74
2. Muzammil H. Siddiqi (Board Member and Past President)
An Islamic scholar has said that Indian-born Dr. Siddiqi was “reared in Pakistan's religious party”,
reported to be Jamaat -e- Islami (JEI), the large Pakistani Islamic political party founded in 1941 by
Islamic ideologue Maulana Abul Ala Maududi.o 75 76 77 An authoritative Islamic biography says that
Dr. Siddiqi received his early education at Aligarh Muslim University and Darul Uloom Nadwatul
Ulama, Lucknow, India all known to be associated with JEI as well as the Muslim World League.78
79 80 According to his ISNA biography, Dr. Siddiqi graduated with a BA in Islamic & Arabic Studies
in 1965 from the University of Medina, founded in 1961 and staffed by “Wahhabi clerics and
members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who had sought asylum in the Kingdom.” 81 A
British journalist has described the University as:
“one of the Muslim world's most prestigious universities, founded in 1961 by the Saudi king ‘to
convey the eternal message of Islam to the entire world’. Teaching at Medina is orthodox and
ultra-conservative, based on a literal reading of the Koran, a rigid interpretation of Islamic law, and
constant harking back to the lives and deeds of the earliest Muslims. But outside the classrooms,
the university is known as a recruiting ground for militants and fighters, despite official
clampdowns. Some students are who studied at Medina are known to have drifted into circles
associated with the Saudi-born terrorist Osama bin Laden.” 82
While completing a doctorate in theology at Harvard, Dr. Siddiqi served as the Chairman of
Religious Affairs Committee of the Muslim Students Association in US and Canada and Chairman
of the Department of Religious Affairs at the Muslim World League Office to the United Nations
and U.S.A. from 1976 to 1980.83 After a short stint as Director of the Islamic Center in Washington,
Dr. Siddiqi became the Religious Director of the Islamic Society of Southern California where he
has served since 1981.84 85 Dr. Siddiqi served as the president of ISNA from 1996 – 2000 and has
also been a member of the board of the North American Islamic Trust.86 He is currently a member
of the ISNA Executive Council and chairman of the election committee.87 88
3. Jamal Badawi (Board Member)
According to online biographies and local media reports, Dr. Badawi was born in Egypt sometime
in 1939 or 1940.89 One online biography states that Dr. Badawi received his undergraduate
degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, known to be a center for Muslim Brotherhood activity
at that time. 90 Well-known Islamic extremists with connections to terrorism were known to have
studied at Ain Sham during that time period including Sheikh Ahmed Yassine, the late Hamas
leader and Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, then head of Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood. and
known to be the spiritual mentor for Osama Bin Laden.91 92 93 A connection between Dr. Badawi
and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is further supported in a local media profile which stated:
o In an April 2005 Islamic radio interview, Dr. Siddiqi was asked directly about his father’s profession and avoided answering
the question only stating that his father was born in India. See time 6:05
“[Dr. Badawi] left Egypt when President Abdul Nasser's revolution of 1952 rolled out a new sense
of communism and, with it, ushered in fear and oppression that ultimately hastened the exodus of
young Arab Islamists in the '60s.” 94
According to a media interview, Dr. Badawi arrived in the US in 1963 to obtain his PhD in
management at the University of Indiana.p During his studies at the University, local media
reported that Dr. Badawi joined the Muslim Student Association. Following completion of his
Masters and PHD, local media reported that Dr. Badawi taught briefly at the University of Maine
and then moved to Halifax in 1970 where he began teaching management at Saint Mary’s
University, a position he held until his retirement last year. 95 96 97 In a media interview, Dr. Badawi
acknowledges having been a member of the Islamic Association of North America (ISNA) since
the inception of the organization.98 According to an ISNA biography, Dr. Badawi joined the board
of the Islamic Association of North America (ISNA) board in 1988 and served on the board of the
North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) from 1991 until 1993.99 100 Over the last ten years, Dr.
Badawi appears to have spent an enormous amount of time speaking at various venues around
the world. He has told the media that he has spent as many as 40 weekends a year traveling on
speaking engagements and has been was invited as a guest speaker in 27 other countries. 101 102
p The year is mentioned at (home page)
4. Mohammed Nur Abdullah (President)
An online biography of Sheikh Abdullah states:
“Sheikh Mohammed Nur Abdullah was born and raised in Sudan. After completing schooling in
Sudan, Sheikh Nur attained a B.A. in Shari’ah from the Islamic University in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Afterwards, he worked on his M.A. in the same concentration from Umm Al Qura University in
Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Upon completion, Imam Nur emigrated to the United States in 1978. Imam
Nur Abdullah continued his studies upon arrival in the United States, where he enrolled in a
masters program in Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago (Illinois). He is currently a Ph.D.
candidate at the University of Chicago. Aside from continuing his studies, Sheikh Nur is, to put it
lightly, an active member of his community. Since 1982, Sheikh Nur has been a vital member of
the Fiqh Council of North America. He was also for some time the Chairman of the Fiqh Council
for the Islamic Society of North America. He is also a member of the Shari’ah Scholars Association
of North America, based in Royal Oak, Michigan. Aside from legal studies, Sheikh Nur works hard
on the education of Muslim youth and currently serves as principal of the Al Salaam Day School.
He also is presently the full time Imam and Director for the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis.
Along with all these commitments, Sheikh Nur is the current president of the Islamic Society of
North America (ISNA). …. He presently works as a marriage counselor in his community, and so
writes from his own experiences. He currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri with his family.” 103
5. Taha J. Alwani (Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America)
An online biography of Dr. Alwani states:
“Dr. Taha Jabir Alalwani, was born in 1935 in Iraq and received both his primary and secondary
education there. Afterwards, Dr. Alalwani left home and began a career as a student in the
College of Shari’ah and Law at al Azhar University (Cairo). In 1959, he graduated with an Honors
Degree. He continued at the college, and in 1968 was awarded a Master’s Degree, receiving his
doctorate in Usul al Fiqh in 1973. Ten years following the completion of his doctorate, Dr. Alalwani
taught Usul al Fiqh at Imam Muhammad ibn Sa’ood University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Following
this, Dr. Alalwani came to America and immediately started work in his community. Dr. Alalwani
was a founding member of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and currently serves
as the institute’s president as well as being a member of the board of trustees. He was a founding
member of the Council of the Muslim World League in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He currently also
serves as president at the school run under the institute, The Graduate School of Islamic and
Social Sciences, in Virginia. He is also a professor at this institution, and occupies the Imam Al
Shafi’i Chair in Islamic Legal Theory. Since 1988, Dr. Alalwani has been president of the Fiqh
Council of North America, run under the Islamic Society of North America. He is also a member of
the OIC Islamic Fiqh Academy based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and has been a member since
1987.” 104
It should be noted that Muhammad ibn Sa’ood University is generally described as Saudi Arabia’s
premier Islamic educational institution known for upholding strict, fundamentalist Islamic
teachings.105 In August 2004, the Washington Post called the University the “main citadel for
Wahhabi instruction.” 106
The secretary-general of ISNA has stated that the organization preaches “transparency,” yet there
appears to be little information available regarding the organization’s funding.107 ISNA is classified
as a Church for tax purposes and therefore not required to file Form 990’s. It does appear
however, that as in the beginning, Saudi Arabia has played an important role in funding the
organization. A former FBI analyst has testified before the Senate about a 1991 ISNA financial
statement which indicated that Saudi Arabia was the largest source of donations at that time.108 In
1996, a national media report indicated that the Saudi royal family had cut funding for ISNA when
ISNA took no position on the Gulf war in 1990 but another news report indicates that in 1994,
ISNA accepted at least $500,000 in donations from Saudi Arabia.109 110
In the wake of a 2004 Senate investigation into possible links between Islamic charities and
terrorism, ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid M. Syeed made several statements denying that the
organization received funds from Saudi Arabia:
• In January 2004, he told the New York Times that “his group once accepted money from
Muslims overseas but had not for the last two or three years. Dr. Syeed said he was
confident that the only overseas Muslims who sent money to the Islamic Society were
people who supported the moderate vision that he said his group represented.” 111
• In March 2004, Dr. Syeed stated in an interview that ISNA received no funds whatsoever
from the “Saudi government or Saudi citizens with close ties to the royal family.” 112
• In May 2004, Dr. Syeed told a Florida newspaper that Saudi financial backing for ISNA
had ended “more than 10 years ago.” 113
In November 2005, however, Canadian media reported that in 2002, Saudi King Fahd gave $5-
million and an annual grant of $1.5-million to the Islamic Centre in Toronto which also houses
ISNA and that in 2005, the Saudi Islamic Development Bank announced a $275,000 grant to
ISNA's high school, as well as a scholarship program.q 114 The website of the Islamic
Development Bank confirms both awards.115 116
According to an ISNA newsletter, the 2004 operating budget for the organization was
approximately $3 million, two-thirds of which was being sought through fundraising.117 No
explanation was given for the source of the remaining third. The ISNA 2004 Annual Report
indicates that the organization received approximately $400,000 above their expenses resulting in
cash in hand of approximately $2.1 million.118
The ISNA website states that “our eventual goal is to help ISNA become financially self-sufficient
through the Endowment Fund.” The ISNA 2004 Annual report indicates that the endowment fund
grew from $1.4 million in 2003 to $2.9 million in 2994. No source for the large increase was
reported.119 As early as 1994, there was a media report that ISNA had invested in at least one
Halal meat processing plant.120
Even more ambiguous is the source of funding for the ISNA affiliated North American Islamic Trust
(NAIT) which as noted above, holds title to a large number of Islamic properties. According to the
NAIT website, the organization both raises funds and “has advanced millions of dollars in interestfree
loans to centers to complete their infrastructure projects.” 121 A variety of media reports
indicate that NAIT directly purchases properties for use as Islamic facilities.122 However, the
organization is a 501(c)3) Public Charity and is not required to file an annual return with the IRS
because it claims an income of less than $25,000.123 One media report stated that “The Islamic
trust now owns nearly a third of all mosques and Muslim centers in the United States, many of
them acquired in the 1980s through funds provided by the Saudi government.” 124 An investigation
by a Florida newspaper revealed that a local mosque received “secret funding” by Saudi Arabia
after NAIT took title to the property.125
q The article also says that the awards were featured on the ISNA website but there was nothing found concerning the
awards on the ISNA site at this time.
ISNA has strong ties to both international and U.S extremist organizations. The following section
will examine some of these connections.
Saudi Arabian Fundamentalism
This report has already documented the massive efforts of Saudi Arabia in partnership with the
Muslim Brotherhood to propagate fundamentalist Islam throughout the world. In August 2004, the
Washington Post cited a study of U.S mosques that was sponsored by four Islamic organizations
including ISNA. Even this study showed that showed the impact of the Saudi Arabian campaign:
“The most comprehensive study, a survey of the 1,200 U.S. mosques undertaken in 2000 by four
Muslim organizations, found that 2 million Muslims were "associated" with a mosque and that 70
percent of mosque leaders were generally favorable toward fundamentalist teachings, while 21
percent followed the stricter Wahhabi practices. The survey also found that the segregation of
women for prayers was spreading, from half of the mosques in 1994 to two-thirds six years later.”
The article went on to quote John L. Esposito, a Georgetown University scholar known to be
sympathetic to the Saudi Arian/Muslim Brotherhood network, who acknowledged that the Saudi
campaign had resulted in:
"the export of a very exclusive brand of Islam into the Muslim community in the United States" that
"tends to make them more isolationist in the society in which they live."
This report has also documented the formation of the major Saudi institutions designed to facilitate
this effort. Numerous sources have provided evidence about the role that these Saudi
organizations have continued to play in this global campaign that only began to draw government
scrutiny after 911.r This report has shown that ISNA was created within the same matrix that
created two of the most important Saudi organizations- the Muslim World League (MWL) and the
World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). The following section presents evidence that both the
MWL and WAMY continue to facilitate extremism and that ISNA maintains close relationships with
1. Muslim World League
The Muslim World League (MWL), also known as the Rabita, is located in Mecca and reportedly
has the following organizational objectives: 127
• To disseminate Islamic Dawah and expound the teachings of Islam.
• To defend Islamic causes in a manner that safeguards the interests and aspirations of
Muslims, solves their problems, refutes false allegations against Islam, and repels inimical
trends and dogma which the enemies of Islam seek to exploit in order to destroy the unity
of Muslims and to sow seeds of doubt in our Muslim brethren.
The Virginia U.S offices of the MWL were raided by in 2002 and 2005 by Federal law enforcement
agents reportedly looking for evidence that the organization was used to fund Al-Qaida.128
In September 2005, a U.S Government Accounting Office (GAO) report cited State Department
officials when it stated that the MWL was among the Saudi charities that have been linked to
supporting Islamic terrorist organizations globally.” 129 “As recently April of this year, an Assistant
Secretary of State testified that:
r For a comprehensive journalistic account of the Saudi effort, see r How billions in oil money spawned a
global terror network
“We continue to stress the need for appropriate regulatory oversight of all charitable organizations
headquartered [in Saudi Arabia], such as the World Muslim League, the International Islamic
Relief Organization (IIRO) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). 130
In 2004, the ISNA Secretary-General acknowledged receiving funding from the Muslim World
League in the past “when it was considered a legitimate and respectable institution” but attempted
to disassociate ISNA from the organization:
“Now, many of [these types of organizations] have been reluctant to support ISNA. The Salafi
influence in them is very powerful, and ISNA was seen as too moderate.” 131
Despite this statement, key ISNA leaders appear to enjoy recent and close relations with the
MWL. Past president and current ISNA board member Muzzamil Siddiqi is particularly close to the
• Dr. Siddiqi was the Chairman of the Department of Religious Affairs at the Muslim World
League Office to the United Nations from sometime in the 1970’s until 1980.
• In July 1998, Dr. Siddiqi was among a group of speakers at the opening ceremonies for
the King Fahd Mosque near Los Angeles, financed by Prince Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.
Speakers included Dr. Abdullah Al-Obaid, Secretary-General of the Muslim World
League; Warith Edeen Muhammad, of the Muslim American Society and Pete Wilson,
Governor of California.132
• Media reports indicate that Dr. Siddiqi was part of a Muslim World League delegation
which toured the United States in July 2002. The group included Abdullah al-Turki,
secretary general of the MWL and one of the reports described Dr. Siddiqi as a member
of the League.s 133
• An internet publication reported in March 2004 that Dr. Siddiqi was listed on the MWL
website as the organization's official representative in the United States.134
• Online biographies indicate that Dr. Siddiqi is a member of the Supreme Council of
Mosques in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, described on a MWL website as “created in
accordance with a resolution adopted at the conference on the vocation of the Mosque
which was held in Makkah in mid-Ramadan 1395 H. at the behest of Rabita.135 136
ISNA leader and board member Jamal Badawi also has ties to the MWL:
• Dr. Badawi was part of the Muslim World delegation that toured the United States in
2002 headed by headed Dr. Abdullah al-Turki, Secretary General of the Muslim World
• Dr. Badawi is currently listed among the Muslim World League “Scholars” posted on the
Canadian Muslim World League website.138
Taha J. Alwani, head of the ISNA affiliated Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), also has
connections to the MWL:
• A 2003 Malaysian media report refers to Dr. Alwani as one of the founders of the
Muslim World League (MWL).139
s It is not clear whether or not Dr. Siddiqi actually toured with the group.
• An online biography refers to Dr. Alwani as a current member of the MWL140
• The Canadian office of the MWL lists Dr. Alwani as one of its “scholars.”141
Other links from ISNA to the MWL include:
• Past funding as acknowledged by the ISNA Secretary-General. 142
• The MWL Canada website lists ISNA as one of only a handful of U.S Islamic
organizations designated as its “International Connections.” 143
• The ISNA website currently lists a report from Muzzamil Siddiqi on the MWL Fourth
General Conference in Saudi Arabia from April 6-9, 2002.144
• The MWL Canada website continues to post an ad for the 31st Annual ISNA Canada
Convention May 21-22 2005.145
• The ISNA Canada and MWL Canada offices are less than five miles apart in the
same Toronto suburb.146 147
2. World Assembly of Muslim Youth
The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) has described itself as:
“an independent international organisation and an Islamic forum that supports the work of Muslim
organisations and needy communities the world over. WAMY's headquarters are based in Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia.” t 148
According to the Saudi government, the work of WAMY includes building mosques, distributing
religious literature, and humanitarian relief.149 Although the above description states that WAMY is
“an independent organization”, the current President of WAMY, Sheikh Saleh Al-Asheikh, is also
the Saudi Minister of Islamic affairs.150 151
In 2005, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report which linked WAMY to:
“Saudi funding and export of a particular version of Islam that predominates in Saudi
Arabia has had the effect, whether intended or not, of promoting the growth of religious extremism
globally.” 152
As recently as this year, U.S. officials expressed concern about WAMY and its activities. In an
April 2006 testimony before Congress, an Assistant Secretary of State testified that:
“We continue to stress the need for appropriate regulatory oversight of all charitable organizations
headquartered [in Saudi Arabia], such as the World Muslim League, the International Islamic
Relief Organization (IIRO) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).” 153
WAMY has been linked to fundamentalist and/or terrorist financing and activities in Bosnia, India,
and in Israel through financial support of Hamas.154 155 156 A 2002 study by two NGO’s found that
“Saudi officials disseminate hate literature openly in the United States, through such entities as the
Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (IIASA), in Fairfax, Va. and the World
Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), in Alexandria, Va. They show that official Saudi
t Interestingly, the latest version of this description omits any mention of Saudi Arabia. See
representatives in the United States promote belief that Jews are the source of all conflicts in the
world, that Shi’a Muslims are part of a Jewish conspiracy, and that Muslims, Jews, and Christians
cannot live together.” 157
This report has already noted that the important early founders of ISNA were also founders and
early executives of WAMY. Also, U.S. government documents indicate that Taha Alwani, head of
the ISNA affiliated Fiqh Council of North America, was a director of WAMY in October 1980 and
listed his address at WAMY in Saudi Arabia.158 Ties between WAMY and ISNA have continued
until the current day. For example, the ISNA affiliated Association of Muslim Social Scientists
(AMSS) enjoys a close relationship with its German counterpart the Gesellschaft Muslimischer
Sozial und Geistenwissenschaftler (GMSG).u According to the organization’s website, GMSG was
founded in 1996 with the “support” of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and the
Association of Muslim Social Scientists (USA).159 A newsletter of the AMSS identifies FCNA
affiliate Chairman Dr. Alwani as an “international advisor” for GMSS and Dr. Alwani has visited
Germany at least twice in the last 10 years in connection with GMSG activities..160 161 162 Also, a
conference was held September 27-29, 2002 in Bonn Germany entitled “Muslim Education in
Germany.” The conference was jointly sponsored by GMSG and AMSS.163 Attending the
conference were Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman and Dr. Taha J. Alwani. An important leader and
founder of the GMSG is Ibrahim El-Zayat, also the head of WAMY for Western Europe.164 165 166
Other connections between ISNA and WAMY include:
• In 1998, then WAMY Secretary-General Maneh Aljohani appeared during the welcome
and inauguration of the ISNA Annual Convention.167
• In 1999, a WAMY website listed ISNA as one of only three Islamic organizations in the
United States.168
• Two widely quoted booklets of ISNA leader and board member Dr. Jamal Badawi,
“Gender Equity in Islam” and “The Status of Women in Islam, are published by WAMY
and the WAMY website lists Dr. Badawi and Tariq Ramadan as the two speakers for a
September 2005 WAMY conference on “Youth Identity.” v 169 170 171
• In September 2003, Canadian media reported that WAMY Canada and ISNA shared the
same building in a suburb of Toronto.172
Muslim Brotherhood
A Washington Post article describes the Muslim Brotherhood as:
“a sprawling and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries. It is dedicated to
creating an Islamic civilization that harks back to the caliphates of the 7th and 8th centuries, one
that would segregate women from public life and scorn nonbelievers. In some nations -- Egypt,
Algeria, Syria, Sudan -- the Brotherhood has fomented Islamic revolution. In the Palestinian
territories, the Brotherhood created the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, which has
become known for its suicide bombings of Israelis. Yet it is also a sophisticated and diverse
organization that appeals to many Muslims worldwide and sometimes advocates peaceful
persuasion, not violent revolt. Some of its supporters went on to help found al Qaeda, while others
launched one of the largest college student groups in the United States. For decades, the
Brotherhood enjoyed the support of the government of Saudi Arabia and its oil billions, which
helped the group expand in the United States.” 173
u Society of Muslim Social Scientists
v The “Gender Equity” booklet may indicate that Dr. Badawi is or was a member of WAMY.
However, the Treasury Department’s former counter terrorism chief, Juan Zarate, told the
Washington Post that until recently, “there wasn’t a recognition of the logistical and
financial ties to terrorism through the Muslim Brotherhood.” 174
Although the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is officially committed to “non-violence”,
as the above article notes, it created the terrorist group Hamas and close relations between the
two have persisted until the present time. In September 2005, Middle Eastern media reported that:
“Egypt's banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood movement watched Friday as hundreds of
armed militants from Hamas paraded through the ruins of a former Jewish settlement. Nizar
Rayan, a Hamas leader, urged a huge crowd of supporters to welcome the Brotherhood visitors
from Egypt, as more than a thousand Hamas militants marched, brandishing M-16s and rocketpropelled
grenade launchers.” 175
There are other reasons to suspect the group’s commitment to non-violence. In April 2005, A
Council on Foreign Relations analyst wrote:
“One reason the Brotherhood’s commitment to nonviolence is unclear: The original Egyptian
organization has spawned branches in 70 countries. These organizations bear the Brotherhood
name, but their connections to the founding group vary and some of them may provide financial,
logistical, or other support to terrorist organizations. Some terrorist groups—including Hamas,
Jamaat al-Islamiyya, and al-Qaeda—have historic and ideological affiliations with the Egyptian
Brotherhood. In addition, some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists were once Egyptian
Muslim Brotherhood members, including Osama bin Laden’s top deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri. The
organization is like “stepping stone,” says Evan Kohlmann, an international terrorism consultant.
“[For] someone who is interested in dedicating their lives to a radical Islamist cause, it can be a
pathway up…to a more serious dealing with Islam.” 176
In September 2004, the Washington Post reported that:
“For years federal agents paid little heed to the Brotherhood, but after Sept. 11 they noticed
that many leads went back to the Brotherhood. ‘We see some sort of nexus, direct or indirect,
to the Brotherhood, in ongoing cases,"’said Dennis Lormel, until recently a top FBI
counterterrorism official.” 177
In addition to terrorism, there is concern that Muslim Brotherhood fundamentalism poses a threat
to democratic government. A recent Wall Street Journal article has warned about the potential
threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe:
“As Europe has become Islam's new frontier, the Brotherhood has spread political Islam, which
weds religion and politics into a potent force that clashes with pluralistic democracies.” 178
Muslim Brotherhood leaders have also made a series of anti-Semitic statements centering on
Holocaust denial. In December 2005, the Supreme Guide Muhammad Mehdi Akef was reported
to have said that: 179
“Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as
far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned."
He reportedly cited as evidence the cases of French convicted Holocaust denier French Roger
Garaudy and the British historian David Irving who was also later convicted of Holocaust denial.w
In February 2006, Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi said on Qatar TV:
“Can you mock the Jews? Here they stopped. The Jews are protected by laws - the laws that
protect Semitism, and nobody can say even one word about the number [of victims] in the alleged
w Mr. Akef’s office later issued a denial that this statement was Holocaust denial.
Holocaust. Nobody can do so, even if he is writing an M.A. or Ph.D. thesis, and discussing it
scientifically. Such claims are not acceptable. When Roger Garaudy talked about it, he was
sentenced to jail, according to the laws.” 180
This report has already noted that the founders of ISNA had strong ties to the Muslim
Brotherhood. Although there was a reported falling out between the Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia
over criticism of the Kingdom’s decision to allow the Americans to defend them against Saddam
Hussein, evidence indicates that the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and ISNA
continue to the present day.181
1. Youssef Qaradawi
Perhaps the clearest example of the ties between ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood is the
association between ISNA and Qatari Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, generally acknowledged to be
an important Muslim Brotherhood leader.182 The Wall Street Journal notes that Dr. Qaradawi:
“has also has issued fatwas backing suicide bombings against civilians in Israel and U .S . troops
in Iraq. And he has defended the death penalty under sharia law for homosexuals, writing : "While
such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic
society and to keep it clean of perverted elements ." 183
Dr. Qaradawi has appeared at ISNA Annual Conferences and one media source reports that
ISNA has been selling Dr. Qaradawi’s book through its internet site.184 185 When questioned about
Dr. Qaradawi’s appearances at ISNA conventions, ISNA Secretary-General Syeed was reported
to have said “that may have happened ‘ten to fifteen years ago -- some time when he was totally a
non-entity.’” 186
Although Dr. Syeed may be trying to minimize ISNA’s with Dr. Qaradawi, Islam Online, an internet
Islamic news service owned by Dr. Qaradawi, does not appear to be minimizing the relationship. A
Google search for Islam Online web pages that mention ISNA shows 504 such pages.x 187 Also,
ISNA leader and board member Jamal Badawi and FCNA member Salah Soltan are members of
the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) where Dr. Qaradawi is President.188 189 A
Spanish Islamic center also identifies FCNA Chairman Dr Taha Alwani as a member of the ECFR.
The Wall Street Journal has described the ECFR as:
“Europe's most influential Muslim rulemaking body ….It was set up by an organization and
scholars tightly allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that has widely
penetrated Muslim life in Europe .” 191
The article goes on to report that although the ECFR has issued some relatively moderate rulings,
at one ECFR meeting:
“a council member cited "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a notorious anti-Semitic forgery
written in czarist Russia, in a position paper on how Muslim families are under threat
in Europe . The Protocols, the speaker said, was evidence of a Jewish plot to undermine Muslim
moral values through sexual permissiveness.”
2. Gesellschaft Muslimischer Sozial und Geistenwissenschaftler
Another example of the ties between ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood can be seen in ISNA’s
relationship with the Gesellschaft Muslimischer Sozial und Geistenwissenschaftler (GMSG). As
x A current ISNA webpage cites the rulings of the ECFR in its discussions about terrorism.
noted above, the ISNA affiliate the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) enjoys a close
relationship the GMSG. The most important leader of the GMSG is Ibrahim El-Zayat, also head of
the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland, officially designated by the German internal
intelligence agency as the representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany.192 Also, Tariq
Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, attended the 2002 conference
in Bonn, jointly sponsored by GMSG and AMSS.193
3. Muslim Association of Britain
Ties between ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood also exist through ISNA leader and board
member Jamal Badawi’s relationship to the Muslim Association of Britain. These ties were clearly
visible in the summer of 2004 when Dr. Badawi made numerous appearances in the UK most of
which were associated with the visit of Dr. Qaradawi to the 2004 ECFR meeting:
• Dr. Badawi gave a talk at the annual conference of the Federation of Students’ Islamic
Societies (FOSIS) held at Nottingham University from 17 to 20 June, 2004. Other
speakers included Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood figures Tariq Ramadan, Turki al-Faisal, and
Ahmed Al-Rawi, head of FIOE.194 195 FOSIS is known to be close to the MAB.196
• Dr Badawi was scheduled to speak at was described by local media as the “first
conference of a campaign to safeguard the right of Muslim women to wear the Hijab”
which was held on July 12, 2004 at London City Hall. Other speakers included the Mayor
of London Ken Livingston, Tariq Ramadan, and Youssef Qaradawi. The conference was
sponsored by a group called Pro-Hijab that has strong connections to the MAB. 197 198
• Dr. Badawi spoke at the MAB annual summer conference in London on July 10, 2004
entitled “Islam, Mercy to Mankind.199
• Dr. Badawi served as the translator for Youssef Qaradawi at a conference on the
education of Muslims in the West entitled “Our Children Our Future.” 200
Connections between the MAB and the Muslim Brotherhood include:
• One of the original founders of the MAB was Dr. Kamal Al-Helbawi, known to be the
former spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.201
• The MAB has stated that “MAB enjoys good relations with every mainstream Islamic
organisation in the UK and abroad. One of these organisations is the Muslim
Brotherhood.” 202
• Dr. Osama Altikriti, the father of Anas Altikriti has been a member and leader of the
Muslim Brotherhood since he was 15.
• In a letter to a British newspaper, the MAB stated that it “shared ideas, values and
expertise” with the Muslim Brotherhood. 203
4. Jamaat-e-Islami
ISNA has close relations with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), a fundamentalist political party in Pakistan
and which is known to have a close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. 204 205 Evidence for
this relationship includes:
• A media report states that Qazi Hussain Ahmad, a JEI leader, has been a frequent guest
speaker at ISNA conferences and there is documentation of his appearance at the 1998
ISNA conference. 206 207 208
• The 1999 ISNA Annual Convention was addressed by Dr. Ayyub Thukar, President of the
World Kashmir Freedom Front.209 Dr. Thukar was associated with Jamiat-e-Talaba,
described as “a student organization ideologically born of the JI.” 210 211
• In 2003, ISNA provide booth space at its annual convention to the US-based Islamic
Foundation, known to be associated with the JEI.212 213
The International Board of Educational Research and Resources
ISNA has ties to an organization known as the International Board of Educational Research and
Resources (IBERR) founded by Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and ISNA board member Abdalla
Idris Ali. 214 An IBERR document describes the organization as follows:
“The International Board of Educational Research and Resources (IBERR) represents a core of
international educationists committed to implementing the aims and objectives of the First World
Conference held in Makkah in 1977. IBERR, through its global network of several hundred
schools in the USA, UK, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia and other countries, is involved in several
research initiatives. IBERR’s plans include helping existing and new schools to cope with the
academic and cultural needs of Muslim communities.” y 215
IBERR appears to be part of an international Islamic educational network that includes the
following known Islamic fundamentalist organizations: 216
• World Muslim League
• Iqra Charitable Society (Jeddah)
• International Islamic University (Malaysia)
• Zarqa University (Jordan)
• Islamic University (Uganda)
• IIIT (Herndon, Virginia, USA)
• Islamic Schools Trust (Nigeria)
The stated goal of IBERR is to promote the “islamization of knowledge” as first expounded by
Ismail Faruq with an emphasis on developing Islamic curriculums for grades 1-12.217 In the U.S,
IBERR appears to be closely related to ISNA .One of the founding members and Trustee of
IBERR, Dr Abdalla Idris Ali, is a current board member and former president of ISNA and has
described his background in Islamic education dating back to the origins of the MSA in 1963.218 At
least one IBERR meeting has been held at an ISNA school in Canada and IIIT has designed the
book criteria for the IBERR curriculum.219
Tablighi Jamaat
In July 2003, a New York Times article featured an Islamic group known as the Tablighi Jamaat
(TJ) calling it:
“one of the most widespread and conservative Islamic movements in the world. It describes itself
as a nonpolitical, and nonviolent, group interested in nothing more than proselytizing and bringing
wayward Muslims back to Islam.” The name Tablighi Jamaat is Arabic for the "group that
propagates the faith," and its members visit mosques and college campuses in small missionary
y The 1977 meeting date is consistent with other conferences identified in this report that played a role in the founding of
bands, preaching a return to purist Islamic values and recruiting other Muslim men - often young
men searching for identity - to join them for a few days or weeks on the road.” 220
The article goes on to cite concerns by law enforcement and security officials that (TJ), although
itself non-violent, may be playing various roles in facilitating terrorism.
A former Indian counter terrorism official stated in 2003 that ISNA was “closely associated” the
TJ.221 ISNA leader Dr. Muzzamil Siddiqi appears to support this claim when he wrote on Islam
“the Tablighi Jam’ah is one the active Islamic organizations in the field of Da’wah, mostly among
Muslims. They have done a good service by reminding Muslims to observe their religious acts of
worship (‘ibadaat). Their approach is very limited, but we ask Allah to reward them, for all of their
good efforts. At present, the Tablighi Jama’ah of the United States is not apart of the North
American Shura council. But I hope they will join in the future.” z 222
Within the United States, ISNA and its affiliates are part of a constellation of Islamic organizations
that are connected to each other though their founders, current and interlocking boards of
directors. These organizations include the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the
American Muslim Council (AMC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the
Muslim American Society (MAS). All are listed by the MWL Canada website lists as only a handful
of U.S Islamic organizations designated as its “International Connections.” 223
The connections between ISNA and IIIT are numerous and include:
• Four of the important individuals involved with the either the ISNA predecessor
organizations or the founding of ISNA itself were also involved with the founding of IIIT in
1980- Jamal Barzinji, Ahmed Totonji, Taha J. Alwani, and Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman.
At that time, they listed WAMY in Saudi Arabia as their address.224 225 226 227
• Dr. Barzinji, Dr. Totonji, Dr. Alwani, Dr. Abu Sulayman and Hisham Altalib are all listed as
current IIIT officers and/or Trustees.228
• Louay Safi, the current Executive Director of the ISNA Leadership Development Center,
served as the Executive Director (1995-97) and Director of Research (1999-2003) of
• Current ISNA Secretary-General Sayiid. Syeed was Director of Academic Outreach
(1984-1994) at IIIT.230
• The 2004 IIIT tax return lists numerous donations to ISNA as well as to CAIR.231
Connections between ISNA and the other U.S Islamic organizations include but are not limited to:
• Abdulrahman Alamoudi is the founder of the American Muslim Council (AMC) and a
former member of the board of directors as well as its Executive Director for several
years. According to his resume, from 1985 to 1990, he was executive Assistant to the
President of the SAAR Foundation, a foundation founded and operated by Jamal Barzinji,
Ahmed Totonji, Hisham Altalib, and Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman. Alamoudi was at one
time "regional representative" for ISNA's Washington, D.C. chapter. 232 233
z Dr. Siddiqi is chairman of the Council.
• The ISNA affiliated Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) was founded by Jamal Barzinji
and Abdulrahman Alamoudi. Incorporation documents indicate that the registered
address for FCNA was the same address used by the SAAR Foundation and its many
affiliates including IIIT. The documents state that upon dissolution of the organization,
FCNA assets should be distributed either to the Safa Trust, IIIT, or the North American
Islamic Trust. Current FCNA Chairman Taha Alwani was the President of IIIT at the time
of FCNA’s incorporation.
• According to the organization’s website, ISNA leader and board member Dr. Badawi is a
board member of the Canadian chapter of the Council on Islamic-American Relations
(CAIR-CAN).234 235 At least two other ISNA board members hold board positions with
local CAIR chapters.236 237
• Dr. Badawi is also closely affiliated with the Muslim American Society (MAS). In 2002, he
was referred to as the MAS Da’wah chairman for the on the website of an American
Islamic organization. 238 In 2003, a local MAS chapter listed him as an MAS board
• A December 2001 CAIR web page lists six ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed, as a
member of the CAIR Advisory Board.240 241
It is interesting to note that many of these same organizations shared the same Internet hosting
service provided by InfoCom, a company operated by three brothers recently convicted on a
variety of terrorist offenses and believed by the U.S: government to be “front for Hamas.” 242
Organizations using the service of InfoCom included ISNA, CAIR, and WAMY USA.243 244 245
Leaders of the above organizations often appear together at ISNA conferences and a recent
statement by CAIR identified itself, ISNA, the MAS, and other related organizations as
“mainstream Muslim groups.” 246 247
All of these groups have strong ties to Islamic extremism. The connections of CAIR to extremism
will be discussed in the second part of this report. A full examination of the extremist connections
of IIIT, the AMC, and the MAS are beyond the scope of this report. However, it is clear that all
three have connections to terrorist and/or extremist activity. In May 2006, Kuwaiti-born Sami Al-
Arian was sentenced to almost five years in prison in connection with his activity in support of
Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the United States. During his sentencing, the Federal judge who heard
the case made the following remarks to Dr. Al-Arian:
“You looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with the Palestinian
Islamic Jihad. This trial exposed that as a lie.... The evidence was clear in this case that you were
a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad... But when it came to blowing up women and children on
buses, did you leap into action then? ... No. You lifted not one finger, made not one phone call. To
the contrary, you laughed when you heard about the bombings, what you euphemistically call
“operations.” ... And yet, still in the face of your own words, you continue to lie to your friends and
supporters, claiming to abhor violence and to seek only aid for widows and orphans. Your only
connection to widows and orphans is that you create them, even among the Palestinians; and you
create them, not by sending your children to blow themselves out of existence. No. You exhort
others to send their children... You are indeed a master manipulator.” 248
A Federal search warrant identified the following ties between IIIT, Al-Arian, and Al-Arian’s
organization known as the World and Islamic Studies Enterprise (WISE): 249
• “A[hmed] Totonji is also referenced in another seized letter from Al-Arian to Alwani. In this
letter, Al-Arian solicited more funding and referred to a meeting he had with Totonji where
Totonji promised him another $20,000. As recently as November 1, 2001, Totonji signed
a check for $10,000 to Al-Arian through Al-Arian’s organization known as the Tampa Bay
Coalition for Justice and Peace, drafted on the account of Safa Group charity IIIT”
• “Discovered in the Tampa searches in 1995 were letters indicating that in 1991 and
1992, IIIT contributed at least $50,000 to PIJ front-group WISE. Moreover, another
document seized during these warrants was a 1991 letter from Shallah – now the leader
of PIJ – to an administrator of the University of South Florida, with a copy to Nafi, stating
that IIIT was the largest contributor to WISE. connections between IIIT and both Al-Arian,
and Nafi remained close even after WISE and ICP shut down operations”
• “Al-Arian sponsored Nafi into the United States in 1992 and 1995, on the grounds that
Nafi was to be the Director of Research for WISE in Tampa, Florida. In July 1996, Nafi
was removed from the United States pursuant to a deportation order based on allegations
that included that although he was admitted as a worker for WISE, in October 1994 he
was employed at IIIT, a Safa Group charity in Herndon, Virginia.”
There are other allegations against IIIT and its related organization known as the SAAR
Foundation and in March 2002, they were raided as part of a Federal law enforcement operation
known as Operation Green Quest.250 The outcome of this investigation is still pending.
In October 2004, Abdurahman Alamoudi of the AMC plead guilty and was sentenced to 23 years
in prison for his role in a Libyan plot to kill Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.251 Supplemental Federal
documents also indicate that Mr. Alamoudi was involving the financing of Hamas.252
The Muslim American Society is known to be closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, al
ready identified as an important Islamic extremist organization. 253 It should be also noted that the
MAS has recently been holding joint conferences with the Islamic Circle of North America. 254 255 A
full analysis of ICNA is also beyond the scope of this report but there is evidence to suggest that
the organization has close connections to the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood network. Various
sources have asserted that ICNA is closely tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami organization of Southeast
Asia, known to be allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the current President of ICNA, Talat
Sultan, was formerly associated with both MSA and ISNA. aa bb 256 257 ISNA leader and board
member Dr. Jamal Badawi has been speaking at numerous ICNA events since at least 1991.258
259 260
The introduction to this report introduced a definition of fundamentalism as a political ideology
based on a “selective and arbitrary politicization of religion.” 261 ISNA and its key leaders can be
classified as fundamentalists based on this definition. Evidence for this determination is as follows.
Statements of Leaders
While ISNA’s key leaders have made a large number of public statements over the years, it is
always difficult to characterize the belief system of individuals based solely on media interviews,
press releases, and the like. The charge is often made that such statements are “taken out of
context”, misquoted by journalists, or subject to other sorts of distortions. Nevertheless, the
aa In September 1998, Maulana Siraj ul Hasan, described as the “Amir-e-Jamaat-e-Islami, India” was scheduled to speak at
an ICNA event in Los Angeles. See “Pakistan Link Headlines”
aa A previous report has documented that Talat Sultan was one of the original founders of iSNA
available statements by ISNA’s leaders do appear to reveal a common extremist ideology which is
consistent with the other evidence of extremism presented in this report.
1. Rejection of Other Islamic Practices
The ISNA leadership does not accept Islamic practices that fall outside the version of Islam
propagated by Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, past ISNA President Dr.
Siddiqi’s views can be characterized as in line with “Wahhabi” teachings. An April 1999 media
report stated that Dr. Siddiqi rejects “hierarchies, holy men and the ‘grave worship’ of saintly
intercession,” views that are known to be facets of Wahhabi doctrine.262 263 A January 2000 media
report indicates that Dr. Siddiqi is quite enthusiastic about Koran memorization, another practice
associated with Saudi Wahhabism. 264 Most telling, however, is a July 2002 media report which
indicated that the President of Dr. Siddiqi’s mosque “acknowledged that the Muslim World League
adhered to Wahhabism” and that he and Dr. Siddiqi both defended Wahhabism by explaining that
it is “ simply a more doctrinal '’pure’’ form of Islam that does not advocate violence.”
In a fatwa carried on Islam Online, Fiqh Council of North America chairman Dr. Taha Alwani
admonishes what he calls “Innovative Sufism.” 265 This fatwa appears to reject the legitimacy of
Sufism as practiced by groups such as the Islamic Supreme Council of America discussed below:
“We should be careful when we deal with this issue and we should judge the people and the
orders according to the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be
upon him. We need to adopt the Sufism which was practiced by the Companions and the Rightly
Guided Caliphs.”
Another example of the Islamic theology supported by ISNA is the reading list recommended by
author Rukhsana Khan who is touted in a 2003 Islamic Horizons article as an Islamic author for
children. 266 Her recommended works on Islam include such fundamentalist authors as ISNA
leader Dr. Jamal Badawi, German Murad Hoffman, and Dr. Maurice Bucaille." 267
2. Extreme Social Views
The views of the ISNA leadership on social issues are quite orthodox and harsh. Dr. Alwani has
called homosexuality “an abomination and a crime” and that homosexuals should “seek a cure for
themselves from their own illness” and not be allowed to mix with and “corrupt” Muslim children. 268
Muzzamil Siddiqi has said that ““Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and
corruption.” A June 2001 media report indicates that Dr. Siddiqi supports the death penalty for
homosexuality in countries where such laws exists. 269
With respect to women, Dr. Alwani also upholds the Hijab (head covering) for women. In a
January 2000 media interview, Dr. Alwani characterized the Hijab as:
“part of the protection of the family and family values….We don't like to see in society any woman
to show herself in a way that attracts husbands of other wives."
ISNA leader and board member Dr. Jamal Badawi is also a strong defender of the Hijab for
women. In a fatwa posted on Islam Online, he states that unlike religious symbols such as the
cross: 270
• “It is not a matter of religious symbolism, but it is a command of Allah to Muslim women,
and it is part of their religious practice, not symbolism.”
• “Muslim women who choose to observe that religious practice are not doing that to
challenge the political system, but to practice their due religious freedom, which is by no
means intended to hurt others or make any political statements. “
• The nature of Islam as a religion is such that the practice of modesty includes both private
and public life. This is part of secularism, not to promote religion or oppress it for that
In a statement posted on an Islamic website, Dr. Badawi suggests that although “vigilantism” is
unacceptable, the Hijab would ideally be enforced by an Islamic state: 271
"It must be emphasized that the concept of vigilante is unacceptable in certain kinds of
enforcement of the law….So long as there is a state in place, an Islamic state, it would be the duty
of the state to enforce it [the Hijab] on other levels. It is not the right of individuals or groups to
enforce criminal law, for example, otherwise it would be a total chaos, because these are matters
that require due process of law in front of competent judges. One cannot refer to the broad
Quranic injunction to enjoin the good and forbid the evil to justify enforcement of criminal law.
Organizations however, may within the boundaries of the law advise and encourage the enjoining
the good and forbidding the evil just as individuals do."
In an August 1996 statement currently posted on Pakistan Link, Dr. Siddiqi also makes it clear that
the headscarf is obligatory for women:
“A woman has to wear the scarf when she is in the presence of non-mahram men, otherwise in
her own home, in front of other women or mahram men she is allowed to take off her scarf.” 272
Dr. Siddiqi has gone even further in advocating the restriction of rights for women:
• In a November 2005 fatwa, he stated that it was forbidden for boys and girls to socialize.
“In all our correspondence and conversations we must observe haya' or modesty. Boys
and girls should not chat with each other just for socialization or passing time. It is haram
(unlawful) for a non-mahram Muslim male and female to indulge in long conversations
with each other unless it is necessary for education or for business.” 273
• In a statement currently posted on Pakistan Link, Dr. Siddiqi has also written that “it is not
allowed in Islam to take a non-mahram person or persons of the opposite gender as a
very close friend.” cc
• In a December 2000 fatwa posted on Islam Online, Dr. Siddiqi ruled that women generally
cannot travel alone: “However, a woman cannot travel without a mahram unless there is a
big need for her journey like her parents are sick.” dd 274
Dr. Badawi also endorses some form of travel restrictions on women although he says “the verdict
on travel may change with time, place and circumstance, as long as the basic tenets of Islam are
retained.” 275 He also has stated that men and woman who are unrelated are not allowed by Islam
to enjoy “complete privacy” with each other:
“the Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him] taught Muslims to avoid having a complete privacy
between males and females who are not married or are not close kins like fathers, mothers,
sisters.” 276
Both Dr. Siddiqi and Dr. Badawi support some form of corporal punishment for wives in line with a
1984 book by Youssef Qaradawi in which he wrote:
cc Mahram refers to the group of people who are unlawful for a woman to marry due to marital or blood relationships.
dd In an April 2001 rulling, Dr. Siddiqi seems to soften this position somewhat. See “Islam-Online Web Site - Your Source To
The World Of Islam! Communication Center”
dd This appears to be related to similar rulings by Youssef Qaradawi.
"If the husband senses that feelings of disobedience and rebelliousness are rising against him in
his wife, he should try his best to rectify her attitude by kind words, gentle persuasion, and
reasoning with her. If this is not helpful, he should sleep apart from her, trying to awaken her
agreeable feminine nature so that serenity may be restored, and she may respond to him in a
harmonious fashion. If this approach fails, it is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands,
avoiding her face and other sensitive parts.” 277
In an April 2004 Fatwa, when asked if wife-beating is permissible in Islam, Dr. Siddiqi states that
“light disciplinary action” is permissible: ee
“It is important that a wife recognizes the authority of her husband in the house. He is the head of
the household, and she is supposed to listen to him. But the husband should also use his authority
with respect and kindness towards his wife. If there arises any disagreement or dispute among
them, then it should be resolved in a peaceful manner. Spouses should seek the counsel of their
elders and other respectable family members and friends to batch up the rift and solve the
differences. However, in some cases a husband may use some light disciplinary action in order to
correct the moral infraction of his wife, but this is only applicable in extreme cases and it should be
resorted to if one is sure it would improve the situation. However, if there is a fear that it might
worsen the relationship or may wreak havoc on him or the family, then he should avoid it
completely.” 278
In an article entitled “wife-beating”, Dr. Jamal Badawi writes:
“In the event of a family dispute, the Qur'an exhorts the husband to treat his wife kindly and not
overlook her POSITIVE ASPECTS (see Qur'an 4:19). If the problem relates to the wife's behavior,
her husband may exhort her and appeal for reason. In most cases, this measure is likely to be
sufficient. In cases where the problem continues, the husband may express his displeasure in
another peaceful manner, by sleeping in a separate bed from hers. There are cases, however, in
which a wife persists in deliberate mistreatment and expresses contempt of her husband and
disregard for her marital obligations. Instead of divorce, the husband may resort to another
measure that may save the marriage, at least in some cases. Such a measure is more accurately
described as a gentle tap on the body, but NEVER ON THE FACE, making it more of a symbolic
measure than a punitive one.” 279
Dr. Badawi also supports the idea that Western societies should allow Muslims to have their
“personal law” and that under such laws, polygamy would be permissible in the West:
“If, however, in the future the non-Muslim societies give Muslims the same right to their personal
law that Islam gives to its minorities, that is a different issue. It is known that historically and, in
principle, Islam does allow religious minorities to have their own personal law regarding marriage,
divorce, division of the estate, and custody of the children according to their own religious
teachings. The Christians in Egypt enjoy such a right though they are only a tiny portion of the
population. If the Western world reciprocated to Muslims in the West the same kind of tolerance
and acceptance of autonomy in issues pertinent to religious practice, including marriage, I think
polygamy would be quite legitimate, and there would be no contradiction between what is
permissible under the Islamic Shari’ah and what is permissible under the Western laws.”
3. Islamic Supremacy
Despite extensive interfaith activities, the ISNA leadership also appears to believe that Islam is
superior to and destined to replace all other religious belief. In an article posted on Youssef
Qaradawi’s website Islam Online, Dr. Alwani makes it clear that he considers the Koran to be
superior to all other religious texts:
“The Islamization of knowledge is an attempt to re-introduce the majestic Qur’an to the World,
Ummah and resurgence movement as the only book that is capable of delivering-not only our
Ummah but also-the whole mankind. Solely, the majestic Qur’an has the alternative, universal,
epistemological and systematic conception” 280
In another statement on Islam Online, Dr. Alwani makes also makes it clear that he believes that
Islam is destined to replace all other religions:
“In considering the earth as an arena for Islam, Allah has promised its inheritance to His righteous
people, and He has promised that Islam will prevail over other religions.” 281
Dr. Siddiqi also considers Islam to be superior to all other religions. In a fatwa posted on Islam
Online, he wrote in July 2004:
“The Qur’an makes us fully aware that there are a variety of religious communities, each happy
with its own version of the truth (Al-Mu’minun: 53; Ar-Rum: 32). They all possess some truth which
is a part of the true Islam in their midst, but regrettably none of them has preserved the message
of Allah in its complete and authentic form (Al-Ma’idah: 13-14). Allah sent Prophet Muhammad to
guide humanity to the original and authentic faith and the message of Allah.” 282
Dr. Siddiqi has also been critical of Christianity. For example, he appears to hold Islam superior to
Christianity because of the lack of unanimity in Christianity with regard to religious texts. In August
2003, he stated in an ISOC sermon:
“A Christian friend once told me, ‘You Muslims have different interpretation of the Qur’an, but you
have an advantage over us. You believe that the text is authentic and it is all from God. But we
Christians neither agree on the text of the Bible nor on its interpretation.’ This was obvious last
week when one of the major churches, the Episcopalians, elected by majority a self-proclaimed
homosexual as their bishop. This shows that they neither agree on the text of the Bible nor on its
interpretation. Now some of them want to do the same thing with the Qur’an and Islam.” 283
Islam Online cites a fatwa issued by Dr. Siddiqi which references the following Quranic verse
which prophesizes the end of Christianity and the conversion of the “People of the Book” to Islam:
“Soon the Son of Mary will descend among you as a just judge. He will break the cross, kill the pig,
remove the Jizyah and the wealth will overflow to the extent that people will get disinterested in it,
and until the prostration (as-Sajdah) will be better than the world and whatever is in it. Then Abu
Hurayrah said, 'Read if you wish, 'And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in
him before his death and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness on them." 284
Dr. Badawi has also made it clear that he believes it is incumbent upon Muslims to convert non-
Muslims, though he says he prefers to use other language:
“To start with, and we must be frank about it, the Qur'an makes it incumbent on the Muslim to
convey Allah's message in its final form, the Qur'an, to all humanity. We are not talking here about
conversion. I do not like that word. Indeed, to turn to Islam, the religion of all the prophets in its final
form, is not to turn one's back on the preceding prophets. It is an augmentation, rather than a
conversion, because it does not involve changing one's basic spiritual nature. In the Qur'an, pure
human nature is a "Muslim nature," which knows its Lord and wishes to submit to Him. The Qur'an
states, "Let there be no compulsion in religion." (al-Baqarah; 2:256). My substitute for the term
"conversion" is "reversion," in the sense of a return to the pure monotheism in which we were all
created. Thus the Muslim is taught to be tolerant towards others. Indeed, the Qur'an not only
prohibits compulsion in religion, but it prohibits aggression as well, although it allows defense:
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but commit no aggression; for Allah loves not
transgressors (al-Baqarah; 2:190).” 285
4. Politics and Religion
The ISNA leadership encourages Muslims to view the political process solely through the eyes of
their religion. In another statement posted on Islam Online, Dr. Alwani sets forth the basis on
which he supports Muslim participation in American politics:
“Based on these considerations, I have reached the following conclusions regarding the
participation of Muslims in American politics:
I. First, it is incumbent upon Muslims to actively participate for the following reasons:
1) In order to protect our rights as American citizens, we must be involved in politics.
2) Our involvement can facilitate our support of our fellow Muslims around the world.
3) Our interaction with non-Muslims and our involvement will help to spread Islam's message.
4) It helps to convey the universality of Islam.
Our participation is an obligation in Islam, and not merely "a right" that we can choose to forfeit at
will. It affords us the opportunity to protect our human rights, guarantee the fulfillment of our needs,
and work for the improvement of living conditions for Muslims and non-Muslims in America and
II. Whatever helps us to achieve these noble goals becomes Islamically obligatory. This includes:
1) Nominating qualified Muslims for public offices (as mayors, governors, Congress members,
etc.) and supporting Muslim candidates in an effort to promote good and to forbid and prevent evil
for the welfare of our society.
2) Individual Muslims nominating themselves for such offices.
3) Supporting (both politically and financially) those non-Muslim candidates whose beliefs and
values are most compatible with ours as Muslims, and who most address and support our issues
and causes.
4) Pursuing American citizenship because it is the basis by which we can exercise our rights.
5) Registering to vote and then voting. Although separate acts, they are both an essential part of
the electoral process. Our participation in that process is mandatory.” 286
Dr. Siddiqi also believes that for Muslims, life in the West should be viewed entirely through the
eyes of their religion. In August 1989, not long after coming to the United States, Dr. Siddiqi made
it clear that the notion of a total Islam also applied to politics:
"In Islam there is no division between religion and politics…We have to see everything from the
Islamic point of view whether social, economical or political." 287
In a January 2003 Fatwa, Dr. Siddiqi sets forth his vision of a total Islam:
“Faith in Allah has everything to do with every aspect of our lives. We cannot compartmentalize
religion or life. Islam requires that we live our whole life, every aspect of life in obedience to Allah.
We are not part-time servants of Allah. We belong to Allah. We are for Allah, by Allah and moving
towards Allah. We are His servants every moment of our life and we must live our whole life in
obedience to Him. Our work, school, athletics activity, family life, economics, politics everything
must be according to Allah's Rules. Whatever He Almighty has allowed is allowed for us, and
whatever He Almighty has forbidden is forbidden. All His rules are for our own good and we must
live by them. Religion in Islam is everything and it should be the common denominator in all the
activities of our daily life. Our worship is religion. Our business is part of our religion. Our family,
our education, our entertainment, our day and our night, and everything is part of our religion.” 288
Dr. Badawi holds similar views. In the absence of Islamic law, he has suggested that Muslim
participation in the Western political process should not include ultimate allegiance to anything but
the Muslim “Ummah.” When asked about the notion of a “melting pot” for Muslims, Dr. Badawi
“Muslims should not melt in any pot except the Islamic brotherhood pot. How could a person or
community who [which] gives up its identity and world view as a Muslim guide others? There is a
difference between ability to live in a pluralistic setting and losing ones identity for the sake of
joining the Joneses.” 289
Dr. Badawi also believes that the only basis for a Muslim voting in the West should be whether or
not the vote is beneficial or harmful to “Muslim causes”. When asked if Muslims should support
political candidates in the U.S or Canada, Dr. Badawi replied:
“On the first question I don't need to give verdict because many scholars, like the names I
mentioned earlier, are of the opinion that if a person is doing that within the boundaries and the
precautions that you can speak about then there is no harm if indeed it falls within these basic
rules of Shariah. That the voting is likely to bring greater benefit or remove greater harm. I'll just
give you one specific example. Suppose you have two candidates for president, for example. Both
of them might be not even sympathetic to just Muslim causes, suppose. In most cases that is
actually the situation. However, in terms of relative harm and benefit which is a rule of Shariah it
may be the collective wisdom, for example, of Muslim voters that one of them would do even
greater harm to Muslim causes than the other. Do you see what I mean? Well in that case,
obviously, the lesser of the two harms, i.e. electing or voting for someone who will do less harm to
Muslims obviously would be much better than sitting on the sidelines and just criticizing both and
doing nothing about it. Having no clout or no use of the Muslim voting power to minimize the harm
that is being done to Muslims whether in North America or overseas.” 290
Dr. Badawi goes on to give a specific example:
“By the way, it's not all a matter of overseas. Suppose two presidential candidates who are hostile,
even, to Muslim candidates but one of them may be more inclined on the basis of the principles of
democracy and American constitution to repeal the Secret Evidence Act which has terrorized
many innocent people, for example, I'm just giving a practical example of the things that are
current even in the news. Is it better to try to remove some of that harm than just sitting there and
being totally apathetic to what is going on? So yes, in terms of our best judgment, if that is
beneficial, yes we can vote, no problem.” 291
5. Islamic Rule
The ISNA leadership believes that it is their duty and obligation to work towards the establishment
of universal Islamic rule. Dr. Alwani has noted the existence in the Islamic world of concepts such
as Dar al-Harb (Land of War), or Dar al-Kufr (Land of Infidelity) in which the world is carved up into
two spheres according to whether or not the area is under Islamic rule.292 Although in one
statement, Dr. Alwani seems to reject this distinction along with other Wassatiya scholars such as
Youssef Qaradawi, one scholar has noted that there appears to be a contradiction between Dr.
Alwani’s Arabic and English pronouncements on this subject.ff 293 In a statement posted on Islam
Online, Dr. Alwani suggests that Muslims should interact with non-Muslims only in an attempt to
understand them rather than to integrate into Western societies:
“I think that we should be not afraid to go out and socialize with the non-Muslim societies at all. We
don't have to drink alcohol at their parties, dance and frolic around, but we should mingle with
them in an effort to understand their culture, their values and norms. Muslims do not understand
ff Dr. Qaradawi has alluded to the coming conquest of the West. See
the West and such occasions can be our chance to develop a deeper understanding of their
culture, history and civilization. I have seen some people in the Muslim communities in the West
who have been out here for decades and who cannot speak the local language. They have
absolutely no clue to the ethos of these people. We should not dismiss the Western societies
readily as un-Islamic and therefore not worth spending time with.” 294
Although one media article quotes Dr. Alwani as stating that the U.S: Constitution is Islamic, a
course description posted on the GSISS website suggests that current Western democracies are
not appropriate for Muslims who view freedom instead as being led by clerics and intellectuals:
“Western scholarship and policy have set impossible cultural standards to achieve democracy in
the umma. The reason is that the so-called universalism of democracy is in fact not universal. It is
drawn from the European Enlightenment for use by the West. Hence the accusation of "illiberal
democracy" that is pinned on Muslim aspirants for democracy. It is the ancient Western
philosophy of republican democracy that is more appropriate for Muslims. Beginning with the
Roman Livy down through Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Hamilton and Madison, freedom consists of
confronting the tyrannical state through the leadership of the ulama and intellectuals acting on
behalf of the masses. This is the theory of the Prophet in Medina and that of al-Mawardi and
others down to the present day. Freedom is the ability to look the ruler straight in the eye and not
blink.” 295
Dr. Muzzamil Siddiqi has asserted that U.S. public policy should be subordinate to Islamic
dictates. One media report cites a 1991 statement by Dr. Siddiqi In which he says that a
military draft is not allowed under Islam to defend non-Muslim countries:
"Islam will not allow a Muslim to be drafted by non-Muslims to defend concepts, ideologies and
values other than those of Islam. A Muslim shall defend non-Muslim lands not by bullets, chemical
rockets or nuclear warheads.” gg 296
Dr. Siddiqi clearly has stated that it is the duty of Muslims to work toward an Islamic state:
“It is true that Islam stands for the sovereignty of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and Allah's rules are
not limited to the acts of worship, they also include social, economic and political matters. By
participating in a non-Islamic system, one cannot rule by that which Allah has commanded. But
things do not change overnight. Changes comes through patience, wisdom and hard work. I
believe that as Muslims we should participate in the system to safeguard our interests and try to
bring gradual change for the right cause, the cause of truth and justice. We must not forget that
Allah's rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.” 297
In September 1998, a Pakistani media site reported that Dr. Siddiqi “prayed for the success of
Pakistan in enacting a truly Islamic system” at the 35th ISNA Convention at which attendees
“warmly welcomed the Pakistani initiative to make Shariah law as the supreme law of the country.”
At the root of Dr. Jamal Badawi’s political ideology is the idea that Islam is the basis for all viewing
all political relationships. In one of his papers posted on a Christian website, Dr. Badawi states
clearly that he believes in this notion of “total Islam”:
“Conceptually, Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life founded on divine guidance. It
makes no distinction between the religious and material aspects of life.” 299
In a December 2005 sermon, he said:
gg The source of the original statement is cited as The Message International, "Basic Principles of Involvement in War in
Islam," February 1991. The original statement could not be located.
“Islam by its very nature is not a religion in the sense of worship and good deeds and all of that…it
is a complete way of living there is no separation between so called secular and religious…they
are intermingled.” 300
In another paper posted on Islam Online, he writes:
“Islam consists of a set of beliefs which organizes the relationship between the individual and his
creator; between the person and other human beings; between the person and universe; and
even the relationship of the person to himself.” 301
Consistent with these views, Dr. Badawi does not support the separation of Church and State:
“Although this separation can be understood in terms of the circumstances surrounding the rise of
the Church and its history in Europe, this doesn’t mean that this principle of separation is either
universal or that it has to be imposed on Islam, as Islam has its own system.” 302
Instead, Dr. Badawi believes that the Islam should be the source off all law. In a radio interview
posted on the Canadian Muslim World league website, he stated:
“if a Muslim believes that there is any human being who has the right to make laws other than
Allah then obviously this is total divergence from the path of Islam. Or any person who believes
that secularism is superior to the law of Allah, he's violating the basic Quranic tenets.” 303
Ultimately, Dr. Badawi believes that it is the duty of all Muslims to work toward an Islamic state.hh
In a 2004 article posted on Islam Online he wrote:
“The Qur’an is full of direct and indirect, implicit and many times explicit indications that show that
the establishment of the Islamic order is a requirement on Muslims whenever possible.” 304
Ideological Control
The above analysis shows that ISNA’s leadership holds a consistent set of extremist views. The
following demonstrates how such ideology is enforced by the organization itself. Evidence
indicates that ISNA maintains tight ideological control through several mechanisms.
1. Exclusionary Policies
According to the current ISNA Secretary-General, the organization is “non-sectarian”:
"We are non-sectarian" said Sayyid M. Syeed, ISNA's secretary general, who said his group has
had leaders from both the Shia and Sunni currents of Islam and whose current vice president is a
woman. "If we were Saudi-oriented, we would never have a Shia president or a woman in such a
role", he said, adding that his group is also actively engaged in many "inter-faith partnerships". 305
Despite this statement, some have complained that ISNA has not only excluded them from
participating in the organization’s activities, but have actively conspired to work against their
interests. Perhaps the most well known complainant is Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the
Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA), described as “a scholar and Sufi sheikh of the
Naqshbandi order.” 306 The ISCA website identifies ISNA as one of the organizations in the
following complaint:
hh It should be noted that Dr. Badawi has been a strong and vocal supporter of so-called “Shariah courts”, civil arbitration
tribunals based on Sharia law. See
“In an attempt to censor the viewpoints of moderate Muslims living in America, the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in concert with six other ‘American’ Muslim organizations have
unified to stifle the First Amendment rights of Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic
Supreme Council of America (ISCA), and have instigated a modern day Muslim lynch mob. On
February 25, 1999, seven Muslim organizations (see end of release), issued a statement
condemning the discussion by Shaykh Kabbani at a State Department Open Forum on Islamic
extremism and demanded that he issue an apology and retraction. They deliberately distorted the
words and took phrases out of context from the speech, knowing it would incite furor and hatred
towards the council and its chairman. In response, many emotionally-charged individuals have
issued threatening statements to Shaykh Kabbani and his council members.” 307
Among other complaints, a member of Sheikh Kabbani’s organization wrote in an October 1998
article that Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, General Secretary of ISNA, approached a prominent Malaysian
businessman and asked him to start funding ISNA rather than this “group of Sufis, whose
organization will expire after this conference.” 308 The article goes on to list a detailed and problemladen
effort to have Sheikh Kabbani and the ISCA participate in the ISNA Annual conventions:
“A group of mainstream scholars who had long been stifled by existing Islamic organizations
requested Shaykh Hisham Kabbani to approach the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on
their behalf and on behalf of the silent majority of Muslims in America. Shaykh Kabbani appealed
to ISNA executives in 1994, requesting they include in their annual conference planning, speakers
who represent the silent majority of Muslims, those following the traditional mainstream teachings
of the Ahl as-Sunna wal-Jama`at. Despite similar requests by numerous other members of the
Muslim community, ISNA used bureaucratic tactics to consistently evade these requests. In the
following months General Secretary Sayyid M. Syeed repeatedly answered in circles, saying that
approval must be sought by various committees within the organization. No answer was ever
given nor action taken.” 309
The article goes on to describe the “remarkable pattern of exclusion” which the author states
prevented any meaningful participation by Sheikh Kabbani in the conferences.
Another group which has complained about being excluded from ISNA is called Muslim WakeUp,
described by the Christian Science Monitor as “a progressive online Muslim-American magazine.”
310 The website has described what they call the “police state mentality among ISNA officials” at
the 2005 ISNA annual convention. This account cites the following incidents:
• “’s reporter, Mike Knight, was invited by ISNA to attend a press
briefing by Karen Hughes. But during the press briefing, ISNA authorities asked security
to get him out. They were suspicious about an image at the back of his jacket; then, they
once again told him to go back and attend the briefing.”
• “The publishers of a Sufi magazine, New Track, were allegedly thrown out of the
convention area and a message announced to attendants discouraging alternative voices
of Islam.”
• “Flyers promoting an event with Muslim artists, comedian Azhar Usman, Nasheed singers
786 and Malaysian singer, Ani Zonneveld were snatched from volunteers and other
attendants who had paid tickets to attend ISNA, and tossed out by ISNA representatives
who called it ‘trash’ and ‘un-Islamic filth.’”
• “One of the women was so humiliated as a result of ISNA’s security methods that she
began weeping as she waited outside for her family. ‘I have never been stalked like this in
my life,’ she said. Later ISNA organized its thugs to parade a procession with banners
and chants against the website and the event held. They yelled, ‘Haram! Haram! Haram!’”
2. Control of Mosques
ISNA also appears to exercise control over the 332 mosques it owns through its subsidiary the
North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). The NAIT website claims:
“The fundamental motivation for entrusting the title of a center to NAIT is that the founders who
establish Islamic centers, and the committed successors who perpetuate them, want to keep
these centers true to the Islamic purpose for which they were established. Many Islamic centers
founded in the U.S., Europe, and Australia in the 19th and early 20th century became social clubs,
or were lost through demographic changes, disrepair and property taxes. Placing a center in trust
with NAIT ensures that a third party of national scope and stature is responsible for the
preservation of the center for the Islamic aims for which it was founded. The trust document
between the Islamic center and NAIT leaves the administration of the center to the local
community, but requires NAIT to preserve it to serve the Muslim community in the cause of Islam.”
However, a February 2004 Chicago Tribune investigation revealed that NAIT played an important
role in the takeover of a Chicago-area mosque by Islamic fundamentalists who seized control from
the original, moderate leaders of the mosque.ii 312 According to the newspaper, the original leader
and members of the mosque were uneducated immigrants from a small Palestinian village who
purchased land in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview in order to build a mosque. By 1978, a new
wave of more “political and educated” immigrants had arrived in Chicago and promised to help
solicit funds for the construction of the mosque. These individuals were elected to the mosque
foundation’s board of directors and helped to raise $1.2 million from the Saudi and UAE
governments as well as Kuwaiti donors. The new leadership replaced the mosque leader with
Ahmad Zaki Hammad, described as “a conservative Islamic scholar from Egypt.” An assistant
prayer leader was appointed who was identified as a Palestinian from Jordan who belonged to the
Muslim Brotherhood. The mosque leaders were reported “adhering to a strict interpretation of
Islam “who instructed women to cover their hair, wear looser clothing, and to stop smoking. The
mosque’s older faction fought the leadership’s plans to deed the mosque to NAIT alleging that
"the essence of NAIT is the [Muslim] Brotherhood" and wishing to preserve “the Islam of flexibility
and commitment to faith rather than fundamentalism and tension." After a bitter and sometimes
violent struggle, the mosque was deeded to NAIT in 1981.
In the following years, the mosque became one of the area’s largest Islamic centers and Friday
prayers grew from 75 people in 1982 to 800 in 1993. In 1985, Jordanian Sheikh Jamal Said
became the new mosque prayer leader, replacing Ahmed Zaki Hammad who later became the
President of ISNA. Sheikh Said was reported to have been inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood,
educated at a Saudi Arabian University, and noted for his sermons espousing strict Islamic
fundamentalist views and critical of America as “a land of disbelievers.” Part of his salary was paid
by the government of Saudi Arabia. Evidence of extremist activity at the mosque under Sheikh
Jamal’s directions included:
• Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden's mentor, visited the mosque in the mid-1980s as
part of a national tour to recruit supporters for the Afghan war against the Soviet Union.
• One of the mosque's eight-member executive committee was Muhammad Salah, a
Muslim Brotherhood member who was arrested in Israel in 1993 and has since been
identified as a Hamas military commander.
• Sheihk Jamal raised as much as $1 million a year from mosque members which was
then sent to overseas Muslim charities. In 2000, he raised money at one national Islamic
conference by “asking people to donate in the memory of a Palestinian suicide bomber.”
ii The following discussion of the Bridgeview mosque is based on this article.
• The mosque donated money to three Islamic charities that have since been identified as
involved in financing terrorism—the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International,
and the Global Relief Foundation.
• Mosque leaders were also leaders of the Al Aqsa Educational Fund, the Quranic Literacy
Institute, and the Islamic Association for Palestine, all known to be associated with
• In March 2002, the mosque hired a new assistant prayer leader who had run the local
office of an Islamic charity until it was closed by the federal government for alleged
terrorism ties.
• Sheik Jamal raised $50,000 in May 2003 for Palestinian Sami Al-Arian, a former
professor at the University of South Florida who was recently convicted and imprisoned
for his support of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. At that time, Sheikh Jamal called Israel "a
foreign, malignant and strange element on the blessed land.
• Most of the mosque's 24 directors belong to the Muslim American Society (MAS) are
known to be strongly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The mosque vice
president runs the society's local chapter of the MAS.
As of the time the article was written, Sheikh Jamal was still leader of the mosque and continued
to espouse fundamentalist views, calling for an Islamic state, praising the views of Muslim
Brotherhood ideologue Savid Qtub, and stating that women should not travel long distances
without chaperones. The evening prayers at the mosque have reportedly grown to 2000
worshippers and the mosque community is said to be “more conservative than ever.”
A 2003 investigation by the St. Petersburg Times revealed a similar pattern when NAIT assumed
control of a Tampa, Florida mosque in 1989:
“In 1989, two years after the melee in Tampa, the trust took title to the mosque in Temple Terrace.
The trust also owns the Islamic Academy of Florida, the school founded by Al-Arian, indicted Feb.
19 for his alleged leadership role in the Islamic Jihad. It is unclear whether Al-Arian would call
himself a Wahhabist, but in taking over the Tampa mosque, his disciples appeared to follow the
Wahhabi script. They drove out moderates, handed title of the mosque to the Islamic trust, and
received secret funding linked to Saudi Arabia, documents show. ….Moderate Muslims filed a
lawsuit in the early 1980s in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the Wahhabi takeover of their
mosque in Bridgeview, Ill. The fundamentalists "infiltrated our community," the lawsuit said,
"tearing down what we have been attempting to build for half a century." 313
The news investigation reported that “Similar scenarios took place in California, Illinois, Texas and
Arizona” and states: “A law professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, professor Khaled
Abou el-Fadl, told the New Republic magazine last year that radicals once chased him out of a
mosque in Austin, Texas, owned by the Islamic trust. He says they threw a shoe at him. Khalid
Duran, an Islamic scholar and author, said the trust wants "all the mosques to be ideologically
pure in their own Wahhabist line. They want to prevent others from having influence." Duran and
others said the trust often takes title to a mosque after extremists have seized control. Soon,
Wahhabi literature shows up in the mosques and related Islamic schools, only Wahhabi-oriented
speakers are allowed to talk and often women are separated from men for services.” 314
Confirming this ideological control, a 2005 report by the Center For Religious Freedom (CRF)
found numerous examples of Saudi ideological material in a Texas mosque identified as the
Richardson Mosque in Dallas Texas otherwise known as the Dallas Central Mosque.jj 315
jj 840 Abrams Road Richardson, TX. 75081
According to the ISNA website, Yusuf Ziya Kavakci is an ISNA board member and the mosque
website identifies him as the imam for the Islamic Association of North Texas which controls the
mosque. The materials found at the mosque included: kk 316
1) The fatwa of former Saudi religious authority Bin Baz is explicit. Published by Saudi Arabia’s
General Presidency for Managing Research and Religious Fatwas, and collected from the
Richardson mosque in Dallas, it states:
“It is not right for a Muslim to support the unbelievers, or to ask them to support him against his
enemies, they are the enemy, do not trust them…. Muslims should not be recruited into their
Army, whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs, because the unbeliever is the enemy of the believer.”
2) King Fahd himself is quoted in Patriotism and Its Requirements in Light of Islamic Teaching,
copies of which were found at the Richardson Mosque in Dallas, Texas, and published by the
Saudi Press Ministry:
“[W]e consider ourselves to be in a continuous war against the Zionist enemy in every way until
we achieve the hopes of the Arab nation driving the occupier out.’”
3) A publication by the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America Research Center,
explains that Wahhabi attention to issuing detailed fatwas for Muslims living in the West emanates
from the fear that Muslims abroad have “strayed from the principles set forth by the Koran” and
fallen “prey to foreign ideologies,” becoming victims of “Western colonial power manipulation
through the process of education”
4) In a polemic against Arab nationalism compiled by the General Presidency for Managing
Research and Religious Edicts in Saudi Arabia and gathered from the Richardson Mosque in
Dallas, Texas, Bin Baz labels this call to Arab nationalism a conspiracy “created by westerners
and Christians to fight Islam and to destroy it in its own home”[Document No. 20]. He emphasizes
that all calls to Arab nationalism or any other kind of nationalism are false and aim to divide
Muslims instead of uniting them. He describes them as “an apparent aberration, a flagrant
ignorance, and a malicious plan against Islam and its people”
5) A collection of articles [Document No. 19] gathered from the Richardson Mosque in Dallas,
which were published by the Saudi-established Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences Research
Center. The article explains how Western educational institutions established African, Asian, and
Caribbean studies departments designed to promote new “scholars” and “experts” on these
regions, and assisted by former colonial administrators who were described as “experts on the
developing nations.” At the same time, a campaign was launched to reinterpret Muslim aspirations
“to conform to what came to be known as the Western tradition.” Thus Western culture and values
became the standard to follow and the norm to emulate, and most of the newly developing
countries “blindly accepted this subordinate position and exposed themselves to some of the
world’s worst forms of manipulation.” The Saudi tract adds that students were taught that their
countries were underdeveloped because “their social and cultural institutions” were not “conducive
to development,” and it was “their own backward forms that resisted the ‘progressive’ influence of
colonialism” (The United States is cited as leading in this conspiracy of ideas against Islam).
kk The following numbered sections are all excerpted from the CRF report. Portions within quotation marks are the actual material
found in the mosque.
3. Conference Speakers
ISNA also enforces ideological control through it selections of speakers for its annual conference,
the largest such Islamic gathering in the United States. An examination of the program for its 2005
convention reveals no identifiable speakers outside what is known to be the Saudi/Muslim
Brotherhood network.317 In the past, ISNA had invited notable personalities from this network
• Tariq Ramadan 318 319 Grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood
• Murad Hoffman 320 German Islamist connected to Muslim Brotherhood
• Sheikh Mahfoud Nahna 321 Algerian Islamist
• Youssef Qaradawi 322 Muslim Brotherhood leader
• Rachid Ghannoushi323 Tunisian Islamist ll
• Qazi Hussain Ahmad 324 Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan
4. Prison Chaplains
According to a U.S. Justice Department report, ISNA has provide endorsements for Federal prison
Islamic chaplains from 1987 through 2001 and three of the ten current Islamic prison chaplains
were endorsed by ISNA.325 In addition, approximately five Muslim volunteers and contractors
have also been endorsed by ISNA. The report was issued following Congressional concern over
the potential role of organizations such as ISNA in promoting extremism within the Federal prison
system.326 The report does not specifically link ISNA to any extremist activity but it should be noted
that ISNA has ties to an organization known as the Institute of Islamic Information & Education
(IIIE), discussed later in this report in connection with anti-Semitism. There is evidence that IIIE
has been active in corresponding and distributing literature to U.S. prison inmates and at least one
report has indicated that an anti-Semitic booklet published by the World Assembly of Muslim
Youth (WAMY) was circulating in a New York correctional facility.327 Both IIIE and ISNA have ties
to WAMY.
Consistent with ISNA’s goal of ideological conformity, ISNA called for the application of
Shari’ah law in Canada during 2005. Urging the importance of putting the power of the
state behind Shari’ah law as a means of resolving Muslim family disputes, ISNA was
ultimately denied the use of this law for such disputes by the Canadian government. 328
Despite frequent denials, ISNA and its key leadership have an association with anti-Semitic
attitudes and individuals. This association has taken place in several different venues.
Anti-Semitism and ISNA Leaders
Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) leader Dr. Taha Alwani has made statements that could be
considered anti-Semitic. A 1994 article column written by a Bahraini journalist refers to a conflict
between “world Jewry and world Islam” expressed by Dr. Alwani.329
ll The ISNA publication Islamic Horizons has also defended Mr. Ghannoushi’s organization, the Islamic fundamentalist
group known as al-Nahda. See Islamic Horizons
In an Arabic language interview given 10 days after 9/11, Dr. Alwani blamed the attacks on a joint
U.S/Israel intelligence operation:
“Britain has released many documents on World War II; some of them indicate how the British fox
Churchill dragged America into WWII by, among other things, arranging an Axis attack on the
American Navy in the middle of the ocean. This operation [i.e. Pearl Harbor] is considered the
most dangerous intelligence operation of that generation. America swallowed the bait and the
cowboy entered the area and tipped the scales… in favor of the Allies… The events of Black
September 11 are nothing more than the beginning of the merger between two security theories
[strategies], the Israeli and the American." 330
Dr. Taha Alwani and FCNA member Nazih Hammad are both members of the Islamic Fiqh
Academy (IFA), an organ of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), an intergovernmental
organization grouping fifty-six States including Saudi Arabia. 331 332 333 Dr. Alwani’s
online biographies state that he has been a member of IFA since 1987 and the IFA site currently
lists him as a “designated member.” mm 334 335 In November 1998, IFA passed a resolution
containing the following language which illustrates the fundamentalist and anti-Semitic character of
the organization: 336
• “First: Secularism (which. is the separation between religion and daily life) started as a
reaction to the arbitrary acts committed by the Christian Church in the medieval ages.”
• “Second: Secularism spread in the Muslim countries with the force of colonization and its
stooges, and under the effect of orientalism, and thus led to the fragmentation of the
Muslim Ummah, to casting doubts on the true belief and to the distortion of the bright
history of our nation. It also led to the spreading of misconception among the young
generation that there is discrepancy between reason and Shari'a texts; and thus
secularism strived to replace the perfect Shari'a by man-made laws and promote
licentiousness, moral degradation and the destruction of noble values.”
• “Third: From secularism spread destructive ideologies which invaded our countries under
different names, such as racism, communism, Zionism, freemasonry, etc., which led to
the dissipation of the Ummah's resources and the deterioration of economic conditions,
The result was the occupation of some of our holy lands, such as Palestine and Al-Quds.
This is an indication of its failure to do our Ummah any good.”
• “Fourth: Secularism is a man-made system based on principles of atheism which run
counter to Islam, in part and whole. It converges with international Zionism and calls for
licentiousness. Therefore, it is an atheist sect that is rejected by Allah and His Messenger
and by all the believers.”
• “Fifth: Islam is a religion, a state and a comprehensive way of life. It is suitable for every
time and every place. It does not approve of the separation between religion and life. It
requires that all laws and regulations emanate from it, and that practical life follow its
system whether in politics, economics, sociology, education, media, or any other sphere
of life.”
According to an online biography, Dr. Alwani is a member of an Iranian organization called The
World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, whose current leader has expressed
favorable views of Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.nn 337 338 339 Dr. Alwani is also a member of
mm There is also an organization known as the Islamic Fiqh Council which is affiliated with the Muslim World League and
sometimes the OIC affiliated organization is called by the same name. These do not appear to be the same organizations.
nn PO. Box 15875/6995 Tehran Islamic Republic Of Iran Tel. (+98 21) 8153381 - 8153373 - 8848975
the European Council for Fatawa and Research which, according to the Wall Street Journal, made
use of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion at its 2004 meeting in England.340
ISNA leader and board member Dr. Jamal Badawi has been even more vociferous in expressing
anti-Semitic attitudes. In a March 1999 posting made to the forum associated with Dr. Badawi’s
Islamic Information Foundation, the author (most likely Dr. Badawi) characterizes the Jews in the
time of Mohammed in the harshest of terms:
“At Makkah the Quran generally addressed the mushrik Quraish who were ignorant of Islam but at
Al- Madinah it was also concerned with the Jews who were acquainted with the creed of the Unity
of Allah, Prophethood, Revelation, the Hereafter, and angels. They also professed to believe in the
law which was revealed by Allah to their Prophet Moses (Allah's peace be upon him) and in
principle their way was the same (Islam) that was being taught by Prophet Muhammad (Allah's
peace be upon him). But they had strayed away from it during the centuries of degeneration and
had adopted many un- Islamic creeds rites and customs of which there was no mention and for
which there was no sanction in the Torah. Not only this : they had tampered with the Torah by
inserting their own explanations and interpretations into its text. They had distorted even that part
of the Word of God which had remained intact in their Scriptures and taken out of it the real spirit
of true religion and were now clinging to a lifeless frame of rituals. Consequently their beliefs their
morals and their conduct had gone to the lowest depths of degeneration. The pity is that they were
not only satisfied with their condition but loved to cling to it. Besides this they had no intention or
inclination to accept any kind of reform. So they became bitter enemies of those who came to
teach them the Right Way and did their worst to defeat every such effort. Though they were
originally Muslims they had swerved from the real Islam and made innovations and alterations in it
and had fallen victims to hair splitting and sectarianism. They had forgotten and forsaken Allah
and begun to serve mammon. So much so that they had even given up their original name
Muslim" and adopted the name "Jew" instead and made religion the sole monopoly of the children
of Israel. This was their religious condition when the Holy Prophet went to Al-Madinah and invited
the Jews to the true religion. That is why more than one third of this Sura has been addressed to
the children of Israel. A critical review of their history their moral degeneration and their religious
perversions has been made; side by side with this the high standard of morality and the
fundamental principles of the pure religion have been put forward in order to bring out clearly the
nature of the degeneration of the community of a prophet when it goes astray and to draw clear
lines of demarcation between real piety and formalism and the essentials and non-essentials of
the true religion.” 341
An April 1999 posting follows up this statement and appears to direct the admonition to today’s
Jewish community:
“This Sura is an invitation to the Divine Guidance and all the stories incidents etc. revolve round
this central theme. As this Sura has particularly been addressed to the Jews many historical
events have been cited from their own traditions to admonish and advise them that their own good
lies in accepting the Guidance revealed to the Holy Prophet. They should therefore be the first to
accept it because it was basically the same that was revealed to Prophet Moses (Allah's peace be
upon him).” 342
In a 2003 sermon, Dr. Badawi addresses what he calls the “Zionist-oriented” Jews:
“The same applies to the so-called State of Israel...the Jews in their lives have suffered a great
deal ….some of them were burnt alive in Europe...only under Islam whether in Spain or the
Ottoman empire did these people enjoy freedom progress and security. With that history of
suffering one would expect that they would be more sensitive to suffering but unfortunately and I
am not generalizing about all the Jews, I am talking about the Zionist oriented ones. There are
Fax. (+98 21) 8848974
some Jews even speaking even against the establishment of the State of Israel like the Natura
Kartei Jews in NY. We are not talking about religion we are taking about those who abuse the
good name of religions for there own aims—racist Zionist type of philosophy.” 343
In the same sermon, he describes the Bush administration as:
“An administration that surrounded itself by war mongers, and ardent Zionists like
Wolfowitz…people are pushing for war for an agenda to serve not only America, it will probably
hurt America more, but to serve the occupying entity in the Muslim land of Palestine.”
Dr. Badawi has also indicated that believes in theories involving the notion of “Zionist” control. In a
March 2004 sermon entitled “Sheikh Ahmed Yassin: Lessons and Obligations” given at the
“Canada Masjid” in Halifax, Dr. Badawi made the following remarks about the “Zionist controlled
media.” 344
• “There is a great deal of education that is needed in view of the Zionist controlled media
that act only as cheerleaders for all cruelty that happens in the world sometimes just try
to appear to be impartial they might give a faint exposure of the other side.”
• “The Zionist Israel propaganda have succeeded with their resources and expertise of their
domination on the media to convert to make the truth falsehood and the falsehood truth to
make real terrorism self-defense and self-defense terrorism. That should not really
surprise us for a prophecy was made by our prophet Mohammed when the value system
will be upside down.”
In a December 2005 sermon, Dr. Badawi again implied “Zionist control of the media”:
“The foreign policy of Canada which is very biased against Palestinians, very biased against
Arabs, very biased against Muslims ….lets admit that and all parties are guilty of that there might
be some exceptions…. [Politicians] are influenced by the propaganda that is very well financed,
that’s very well dominant in the Western world in Canada and the US in particular … to defend the
rights for Muslims and non-Muslims is something which is commendable even if you cant exert for
the time being as much influence as the Zionist lobby for example in the US has done with respect
to the disregard of Palestinian rights.” 345
In another sermon, he goes further:
“We know how much influence for example the pro-Zionist lobby has in this country the hold they
have in the White House, the congress the media, everything.” 346
Dr. Badawi has also associated with other individuals and institutions known to be anti-Semitic. In
October 2002, he appeared at an event sponsored by the Windsor Islamic Association and the
Arab Student Association at the University of Windsor that also featured William Baker, identified
as “an author and founder of Christians and Muslims for Peace.” 347 Local media has detailed the
rightwing extremist and anti-Semitic background of Dr. Baker which included the following: 348
• “In 1984, Baker was national chairman of Costa Mesa-based Holocaust denier Willis
Carto’s Populist Party.”
• “Baker delivered a 1983 speech to the racist Christian Patriot Defense League in Licking,
Missouri, in which he made several references to Carto’s neo-Nazi newspaper, Spotlight.
A 23-page transcript of that rambling speech reveals a number of anti-Semitic remarks.”
• “During the same period, Baker wrote and published Theft of a Nation, a 1982 book
whose salient feature is its unrelenting pro-Arab, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish politics.”
ISNA Past President and board member Muzzamil Siddiqi also has a relationship with Dr. Baker.
In April 1998, Mr. Baker published a book entitled “More in Common Than You Think” described
as “mapping the common ground between Islam and Christianity." 349 Dr. Siddiqi wrote a publicity
letter for the book in which he stated:
“We Muslims and Christians together make up more than half of the world population today. Better
understanding, communication and the peaceful relations between our communities are not only
good but they are essential for our well being and for the well being of the world at large. The
present volume is a valuable effort in this direction. I admire Dr. William Baker's contribution in
building the bridges of understanding between Christians and Muslims. I agree with him that we
have much more in common than we think or accept.” 350
Also, in his capacity as President of ISNA, Dr. Siddiqi wrote a letter of recommendation praising a
book by Harun Yaya.oo 351 Harun Yaya is the pen name of an individual identified as Adan Oknar,
the well-known author of several anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial books.352
Institute of Islamic Information & Education
Both ISNA and its key leaders have had a long-standing relationship with Dr. M. Amir Ali, the
founder and former President of the board of directors of the Institute of Islamic Information &
Education in Chicago (IIIE).pp An article written by Mr. Ali states that Ahmed Zaki Hammad, a past
President of ISNA, helped him move to Saudi Arabia to manage a hospital supply business there.”
353 According to Mr. Ali, he founded IEEE in 1985 or 1986 after returning from Saudi Arabia and as
a result of his thought about “about the problem of hate against Islam in the West”. 354 355 Early
members of the board included:
• Maneh Hammad Al-Johani Secretary General of WAMY
• Muzzamil Siddiqi ISNA past President
• Jamal Badawi ISNA board
• Imam Siraj Wahhaj ISNA board
Mr. Ali has stated that Dr. Siddiqi was elected as the new IIIE Chairman in September 2002 and
that ISNA President Mohammad Nur Abdullah and ISNA Vice-President Ingrid Mattson have been
hosted as speakers by IIIE.356 357 Along with ISNA, the MWL Canada website lists IIIE as one of
only a handful of U.S Islamic organizations designated as its “International Connections.” 358
IIIE is currently registered as a tax-exempt public charity in Chicago.qq Mr. Ali’s family has
described the work of IEEE as follows:
“To date, the III&E has distributed over 7 million brochures about various aspects of Islam; has
donated hundreds of books to libraries; witnessed the conversion of thousands of people to Islam;
educated millions of people either in person or though its literature. A weekly television program
about Islam was developed and aired for 3 months in 1993. Several national da’wah conferences
were held to discuss the current state of da’wah in North America. In 1996, Amir and his wife went
to Nigeria to attend a da’wah training course that was developed there. He brought the knowledge
gained from this course back to Chicago, developed it further, and introduced the Da’wah
Intensive Course, a 90 hour training course for Muslims to give them a thorough grounding in
Islamic knowledge through Quran and Hadith, how to conduct da’wah, how to answer commonly
oo The Evolution Deceit: The Scientific Collapse of Darwinism and its Ideological Background published by Okur
Publications 1999.
pp Mr. Ali died in November 2005. See
qq 4390 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago, IL 60641-2146
Tel: (773) 777-7443 Fax. (773) 777-7199 Web site: Email:
asked questions about Islam, information on the basic concepts in Christianity and Judaism; all to
train others to continue da’wah work wherever they may be. In 1997, the III&E moved its
automatic phone-based information service to the Internet with its website at Amir started
the Muslim International email newsletter, whose subscribers number in the thousands, to
circulate articles he wrote and the articles of others. He opened a personal website,, in
2002 to publish his own political commentary and the commentary of others that he endorsed.” 359
There is also evidence that IIIE has been active in corresponding and distributing literature to U.S.
prison inmates, describing its work as an opportunity for Dawahrr. According to an article by Mr. Ali
posted on the ISNA website, this activity began shortly after the inception of IIIE and grew to “an
average of 2000 letters a year” over a five year period.” 360 The webpage goes on to describe
IIIE’s relationship with WAMY, ISNA, and other Islamic organizations associated with ISNA:
“From the beginning the Institute has adopted the policy of cooperation with other sister Islamic
organizations and da’wah workers. Time to time some Islamic organizations have asked for the
help of the III&E in handling correspondence with the prisoners. World Assembly of Muslim Youth,
WAMY, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, receives many letters from the U.S. WAMY used
to refer all their letters from prisons to the III&E which were responded. All letters received by the
III&E from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America are sent to WAMY because she has the
resources to handle such letters. The Institute has handled letters referred to her by Muslim
Community Center, Chicago (MCC), American Islamic College, Chicago, Islamic Circle of North
America (ICNA) but these organizations no longer refer their letters to the Institute. For the last one
year Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) began sending some of the letters she receives to
the Institute for responding. The Institute response to all referred letters begins with an introductory
sentence to let the inquirer know that it was the response to their letter sent to so and so
The article also describes IIIE’s efforts to personally visit in prison and, in at least two cases,
provide employment for prisoners after their release.
Until his recent death, Mr. Ali maintained a website that contains numerous articles that he has These articles are filled with extremely virulent expressions of anti-Semitism that include
the following statements.
• “The Jews raise their children with the idea ingrained in their heads that they are the
"chosen" people, which meant that they are born to rule the world. They give their young
the best of education and through their job training and job placement centers, using their
internal network of influential Jews, find jobs where they can peddle influence.”.” 361
• “The Jewish-dominated American mass media and the Israeli-controlled politicians do not
want the American people to fully realize the incredibly high price America pays for blindly
supporting Israel.” 362
• “When one reads the Bible he/she finds that this is the most anti-Semite (anti-Jew) book
in the world. The following is in no way an exhaustive study of the Bible for finding God's
condemnation of the Jews but an introduction to the study of the topic. I hope that
someone will undertake a thorough study of the Bible and history of the Jews to present
truth to the world.” 363
• “Now, Jews are in the government and running the government at local and national
levels enjoying influence beyond their proportion in population (under two percent).
Jewish involvement in the political process has changed their position, that is, from the
rr Dawah means Islamic proselytizing.
ss registered to 3902 W. Arthur Ave. Lincolnwood, IL 60712 847-675-
most hated people around the 1900s to the most powerful people in the year 2000.
Actually, it took Jews in America less than sixty years (two generations) of hard work to
accumulate the power they have. These anti-Islam forces are working as hard as possible
to keep the growth of the Muslim population in America in check and certainly, Muslim
political participation in check.” 364
• “WHO really runs the U.S. today? Most of the country's 'key' positions of power are
occupied by none other than the Jewish establishment! Here is a partial list. Only 1 out 45
U.S. citizens is a Jew (2.2%), Yet they have managed to capture 10% of the 100 seats in
the U.S. Senate and 6% of the 434 in the House. Let alone the way in which they have
insidiously penetrated all of the key positions surrounding the President and in the State
Department. Is it any wonder that the Arabs are getting a raw deal from the world's only
remaining super power? And, to think that all this is paid for by OUR tax dollars. We need
to circulate these alarming facts among as many non-Zionist American friends as we can
- so as to raise a ground swell of protest. How about encouraging everyone to write a
letter to our Congressman?” 365
• (When Hitler reluctantly started to implement his "final solution", in dealing with German
Jews, was he trying to rid his country of the stranglehold that a tiny monolithic minority of
his citizens had over the country's destiny? Whatever else he was, he was no dummy!
What did he know - about which we are as yet blissfully unaware?) 366
• “It is the rising Muslim population in the U.S. that is very scary for the Zionists. Zionists
know that sooner than later, Muslims will become politically active and economically rival
the Zionists, and that will be the end of American economic, political and military support
for Israel. The top of the Israeli agenda is to not only arrest the Muslim growth in America
but to reduce Muslim influence. By equating Islam to terrorism and Muslims to evil Israel
thinks that it can achieve this goal. Zionists want to create terror in the minds of American
people when they hear Islam, Muslim and Arab. Zionists want to see that Muslims and
Arabs are attacked and their properties burned down so that the environment of the
Spanish inquisition days are recreated in the 21st century U.S. They want to see that
Muslims either leave Islam for their own security or are murdered or exiled.” 367
• “This author continues to believe that the WTC bombing of 1993 was the work of Israelis,
and resulted in amendments to the immigration laws and the Secret Evidence Law of
1996, restricting immigration of Muslims and creating an environment of fear for some.
However, this was not enough to reduce Muslim influence in America and required more
work. Air crashes at the WTC and the Pentagon are their follow up to create terror in the
American public so that they will turn against Muslims and the Arabs. It is obvious,
therefore that the Israelis and the Zionists have strong motivation to carry out attacks and
label it upon the Muslims and the Arabs. In fact, this is the only way left for their own
security and keeping the U.S. as their protector. I, therefore, suggest that any sincere
investigation must include state terrorism by the State of Israel and its supporters within
the U.S. and worldwide” 368
Mr. Ali’s website also contains articles written by known extremists such as William Collins
Conference Speakers
ISNA has participated in and/or sponsored a number of conferences in which anti-Semitic
individuals also participated. A counter-terrorism journal reports that on May 24 1998, an all-day
program was held at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York sponsored by eleven Islamic
organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of
North America, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and the Islamic Circle of
North America.370 At the event, Wagdi Ghuniem, a militant Islamic cleric from Egypt spoke in
Arabic about the "infidelity," "stealth" and "deceit." of He stated that “The conflict with the
Jews, he said, was not over land but one of religion. "The problem of Palestine is not a problem of
belief. . . suppose the Jews said 'Palestine--you Muslims can take it.' Would it then be ok? What
would we tell them? No! The problem is belief, it is not a problem of land." “Ghuniem also
reportedly led the audience, in song, the audience responsively repeating each refrain: “No to the
Jews Descendants of the Apes We Vow to Return Despite the Obstacles. “
Wagedi Ghuneim was also scheduled to speak at a December 2003 Florida conference entitled
“Islam for Humanity” sponsored by the Universal Heritage Foundation, whose Chairman is FCNA
member Zulfiqar Ali Shah, and where ISNA leaders Dr. Muzzamil Siddiqi, Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed,
and Dr. Abdullah Idris Ali were also scheduled to participate.371372 The keynote speaker for the
conference was originally to be Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Sudais , a Saudi cleric who was quoted
in various newspapers in April 2002 as having “prayed for the Jews to be terminated” and calling
Jews "the scum of humanity, the rats of the world, the killers of prophets and the grandsons of
monkeys and pigs.” 373 According to another media report, , al-Sudais' name disappeared from
conference materials following the media exposure and later ISNA board member Siraj Wahhaj's
name was also dropped.uu 374 The same report noted that the ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid
referred to the media controversy by stating: “This does not represent the Islam mainstream
…these misguided imams….We should clearly announce they are not representing us or the
message of the prophet as mercy to mankind."
However, the conference moderator announced that the address by Egyptian cleric Sheikh
Wagdy Ghunaim would be rescheduled but would take place according to the report. Mr Ghoneim
later left the country in connection with immigration violations and a government website indicates
that he was suspect of being involved with fundraising for terrorism including for Hamas.375 When
asked about Mr. Ghoneim in November 2004, local media reported that Dr. Siddiqi said that Mr.
Ghuneim had taught at the ISOC mosque and described him as “an intelligent man who spoke
mostly in Arabic.” 376
Also reportedly speaking at the Brooklyn conference was an individual identified in a news report
as Abdul Malik Ali.vv Mr. Ali has been accused by the Anti-Defamation League of making “many
hateful and virulently anti-Semitic speeches” that center around Zionist control and
ISNA’s 35th Annual Convention, held in September, 1998 in St. Louis, featured Secretary
General Sayyid Syeed, who “informed the audience that Qazi Hussain Ahmad, spiritual
leader (Ameer) of the Islamic Group (Jamaat-e-Islami) in Pakistan, was unable to attend the
convention due to the present circumstances in his region after the American bombing of
Sudan and Afghanistan.” 378 Other speakers included Congressman David Bonior, Nihad
Awad and Omar Ahmad of the Hamas-affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR). 379
A counter-terrorism journal reported that on May 29, 1999, the American Muslims for Jerusalem
sponsored a conference and fund-raiser in Santa Clara, California. The event was co-sponsored
by twenty-six organizations including ISNA and CAIR. At the event, Hatem Bazian, Director of the
Al-Qalam Institute of Islamic Sciences at the University of California at Berkley and one of the
conference's featured speakers reportedly stated:
tt Another common spelling of his name is Wagdy Ghoneim.
uu Mr. Wahhaj will be discussed later in connection with terrorism.
vv aka Abdul Malik Ali, Abd Al-Malik and Amir Abdel Malik Ali
"in the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews. They are on the
West side of the river, which is the Jordan River, and you're on the East side...until the trees and
the stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him! And that's in
the Hadith about this, this is a future battle before the Day of Judgment." 380
The September, 2000 ISNA Convention held in Chicago featured, among others,
Oussama Ahmad of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP).
Addressing the 2002 ISNA Convention, Sheikh Hamza Yusef remarked, “we shouldn’t
be ashamed of anything we say. There is nothing Prophet Muhammad ever said that
we should be ashamed of … The only America that I am proud of is the America of
dissent.” 381
In May 2005, ISNA sponsored a conference in Santa Clara, California at which Dr. Bazian was
again scheduled to speak during a session moderated by ISNA Secretary-General - Dr. Sayyid M.
Islamic Horizons
A complete analysis of the ISNA publication Islamic Horizons is not currently possible as the back
issues have been removed from the ISNA website.383 The few articles which are available in the
Internet archives indicate that ISNA has been helping to fan anti-Semitism though inflammatory
language. For example, a 1993 article refers to a “vicious smear campaign” allegedly “unleashed”
by Jewish organizations against a Muslim leader. The same article refers to Israel as the “Jewish
entity.”384 Another 2003 article praises the appearance at a rally of:
“Orthodox Jewish rabbis who expressed their support for the Palestinian cause and asked people
not to confuse Judaism with Zionism, which they regard as inherently racist and contrary to Jewish
spiritual teachings.” 385
This is undoubtedly a reference to the members of Neturei Karta, a group considered by
mainstream Jewish leaders and organizations to be deeply involved with anti-Semitic activities.386
The same article refers to “the Israeli massacre of Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp”, a claim
which has been refuted by human rights agencies.387
Statements and Positions
ISNA, its key leaders, and its affiliated entities appear to have made few statements regarding
terrorism before the events of September 11, 2001 and the statements which were made
generally expressed concern that Muslims would be stereotyped and or in some other way
victimized as a result. However, there is evidence that ISNA had been providing ideological
support for terrorism in areas that the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood network consider appropriate. In
July 1995, Muzzamil Siddiqi made the following comments following an early suicide bombing in
Tel Aviv:
"in order to eliminate an injustice, [a Muslim] should not do a greater injustice…. Islam teaches the
use of non-violent methods, such as speaking out and demonstrating. Islam says you have the
right to defend yourself, and if you die, this is a blessed death….But not in aggression. This is not
very different from other communities, where you are considered a hero if you die defending your
country. In religious terminology, you have eternal life, a blessed life. Those who die on the part of
justice are alive, and their place is with the Lord, and they receive the highest position because this
is the highest honor. But it does not apply to those who die for unrighteousness. " ww 388
In 1996, the ISNA magazine, Islamic Horizons, stated:
“It is also pertinent that Muslims enlighten their children about the valor of their co-religionists who
are sacrificing their lives to establish the way of Allah. Muslim children need to know and honor not
only those martyrs who are laying down their lives in Algeria, Bosnia, Chechenya, Kashmir,
Palestine and Mindanao, but also those who are sacrificing their livelihoods to establish the rule of
Allah in lands that are now held hostage to the whims of despots." 389
Shortly after the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001, Siddiqi commented, ““We want to
awaken the conscience of America. Because if you remain on the side of injustice, the
wrath of God will come. Please all Americans, do remember that, that Allah is watching
ww Dr. Siddiqi has tried to defend himself in regard to this comment by asserting that he could not have been justifying suicide
bombings since “." I do not recall that in 1995 there were any Palestinian or Muslim suicide bombers.” However, the first
suicide bombings in Israel date back to 1994.
everyone. If you continue doing injustice and tolerating injustice, the wrath of God will
come.” 390
Following the events of 911, ISNA and its leaders issued a blizzard of statements condemning the
attack which will not be detailed here. However, statements made by ISNA leader and board
member Jamal Badawi indicate that ISNA may not view terrorism in the same way as the U.S.
government. Dr. Badawi made it following 911 that he believes the most serous problem
concerning terrorism to be what he calls “state terrorism.” In this answer to a question posted on
Islam Online, Dr. Badawi defines terrorism in a very broad manner to include any use of violence
against innocent individuals:
“In the absence of any comprehensive internationally accepted definition of terrorism, it may be
defined as ‘any indiscriminate act of violence committed against the innocent by individuals,
groups or states whether the victims and/or culprits are Muslims, Christians, Jews or any other
faith community.” 391
In a July 2005 Australian media report quotes Dr. Badawi as expanding the definition of terrorism:
"To me terrorism could be committed by individuals, groups or states, which is more dangerous
because they (the states) have access to destructive weapons." 392
Referring to July 1998 air strikes in Iraq, he labels the British and American governments as “state
terrorists” because “they victimized innocents to make a political point." 393 In a March 2003
sermon entitled “U.S Styled Liberation”, Dr. Badawi identified the war in Iraq and Israeli actions as
examples of “state terrorism”:
“What do you mean exactly by terrorism, does that also include state terrorism such as the one
you are committing and such as the one your allies the occupying Zionist entity in Palestine has
been doing do the Palestine people. Isn’t state terrorism more dangerous than a few outlaws or a
few outlaw organizations even when states have access to the most devastating and destructive
military means….is it not part of the understanding of the terrorism to terrorize the innocent men
woman and children especially in the largest cities of Iraq.” 394
Dr Badawi has been particularly insistent that the term “jihad” has been misunderstood. 395 396 A
statement issued after 911 and endorsed by Dr Badawi explains that Jihad ”has an internal,
societal and combative dimension.”397
In an article entitled “What Does Jihad Mean?” Dr. Badawi further explains “combative Jihad”:
“That later form; the combative Jihad, is allowed in the Qur’an for legitimate self-defense in the
face of unprovoked aggression or in resisting severe oppression, on religious or other grounds
….Combative Jihad is not only restricted in terms of what may or may not justify it, it is also strictly
regulated. Prophet Muhammad taught how to behave in the battlefield. As a “hated act”, war
should not be resorted to if other peaceful and just means may stop aggression or oppression.
Intentions must be pure and no selfish personal or nationalistic agenda should be the driving force.
There must be a declaration of war by a legitimate authority after due consultation. No noncombatants
should be hurt. All must refrain from looting and unnecessary destruction. Prisoners of
war and the injured must be treated humanely.”
In other statements, Dr. Badawi defines the parameters of such “legitimate self-defense”
Shortly after 911, local media reported that Dr, Badawi made the following remarks to a Muslim
Community Conference in Dallas, Texas in which he appears to redefine suicide bombings as
“Giving one's life in a military situation.”
“Suicide out of despair is not acceptable…Giving one's life in a military situation is different and
can be heroic if there is no other way of resisting…Killing civilians should be avoided if possible,
but not everyone out of uniform is a civilian…These are the issues that scholars debate,…But no
scholars say you can go onto a school bus or a school full of children and kill them." xx 398
At the above cited conference, Dr. Badawi claimed that he was only “reporting the rulings of
others.” However, in a March 2004 sermon posted on Islam Online about the death of Sheik
Ahmed Yassine, the spiritual leader of Hamas, he made the following remarks appearing to praise
those who died in attacks against Israel:
“There are those who die in the state of defense, self-defense for themselves defense of
their nations their dignity and their freedom but the bottom line and in the final analysis
everybody is going to die. The difference here is not the issue of death which is general the
issue is what is after death--punishment from Allah that could be eternal for those who
committed cruelties and massacres against the innocent and the reward for those who died
in the legitimate state of self-defense against oppression….if they don’t succeed and they
get killed in the processes it is also good because this life as compared to eternal life is
nothing (referring to those fighting against oppression).” 399
There is no indication that the ISNA affiliate the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) took any
positions or issued any statements or fatwas on the subject of terrorism prior to the event of
September 11, 2001. Following 911, FCNA issued at least two statements strongly condemning
the attacks calling them “catastrophic” and stating that they were in violation of Islamic law.400 401
However, about a month after 911, a national media article cited FCNA Chairman Taha Alwani
who claimed that FCNA had insufficient funds for the research necessary to take up the subject of
terrorism:.yy 402
On July 28 2005, FCNA issued a fatwa against terrorism that was drew national attention and
wide scale media coverage. The fatwa was issued at the National Press Club by Muzzamil Siddiqi
who was accompanied by ISNA president Nur Abdallah as well as other leaders of organizations
tied to the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood network. zz aaa The FCNA fatwa was criticized by a number
of Islamic and non-Islamic commentators.403 404 405 406 The criticism included the following
• The fatwa was not specific and mentioned neither specific groups or individuals
• The act of terrorism was designated only as haram (unlawful) rather than a stronger
designation such as apostasy
• The term civilians was undefined, leaving open the possibility that Israeli citizens, for
example, might be excluded as Youssef Qaradawi has rule in his fatwas
• No Arabic translation was provided
• The fatwas did not include the armed forces of the United States given that FCNA is an
American organization
• The fatwas provided insufficient theological justification necessary to compete with the
fatwas issued by so-called Salafist clerics.
xx In other reports on the conference, Dr. Badawi also reportedly included “the elderly” as example of who else should not
be attacked. See beliefnet:
yy It should be noted that FCNA receives a steady income by acting as Shariah advisor to an Islamic mutual fund. See
zz The list of leaders at the press conference was drawn from various media reports and may not be accurate. None of the
media reports included a list of the participants in the press conference.
aaa The full text of the FCNA fatwa can be found at
One observer contrasted the FCNA fatwa to:
“a fatwa issued in March by the Spanish Muslim Council, on the first anniversary of the Madrid
train bombings, which declared Osama Bin Laden an apostate and urged other Muslims to
denounce the Al Qaeda leader. The Spanish ruling marked the first time Muslim clerics had
denounced terrorism in religious vocabulary, invoking genuine Islamic instruments, such as fatwa
and apostasy, instead of the qualified, secular, and arguably ineffective condemnations that had
been issued in the past.” 407
There was some effort made by the ISNA leadership to clarify the fatwa, although the language
used fell far short of that used by the Spanish Council. For example, Muzzamil Siddiqi stated on
pubic radio in August 2005:
“Even Palestinians--they are not allowed to go and blow up the cafes and buses and--where the
common people are moving around, and they're not involved in the war--men, women and
children.” 408
In 2005, ISNA established what is identified on an ISNA-related website as the “Anti-Terrorism
Anti-Extremism Committee” (ATAEC). There is no evidence of any activity on the part of the
ATAEC other than a brochure on the ATAEC Internet site which condemns terrorism in much the
same manner as the FCNA fatwa.409
ISNA Links to Terrorism
Despite the denials and the FCNA fatwa, ISNA and its key leaders have a disturbing record of
association with organizations and individuals that are accused and/or convicted of providing
assistance to terrorist organizations as defined by the U.S State Department. The largest body of
evidence concerning these associations relates to ISNA’s support of the Palestinian terrorist
groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
1. Palestinian Islamic Jihad
The earliest evidence of ISNA-related support for terrorism concerns activities by FCNA Chairman
Taha J. Alwani, who became President of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in
1986.410 Several years after arriving in the United States, Dr. Alwani and/or organizations under
his control, began activities and associations related to support of the Palestinian terrorist
organizations. According to U.S. government documents, a confidential asset of the FBI provided
a copy of a fatwa signed by Dr. Alwani at between December 1988 and November 1989 stating:
“the truth by the powers invested in us by Allah, that Jihad is the only way to liberate Palestine;
that no person or authority may settle the Jews on the land of Palestine or cede to them any part
thereof, or recognize any right therein for them.”
In May 2006, Kuwaiti-born Sami Al-Arian was sentenced to almost five years in prison in
connection with his activity in support of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the United States.bbb
During his sentencing, the Federal judge who heard the case told al-Arian, “The evidence was
clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” 411 According to media
reports, Dr. Alwani is most likely an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. ccc 412
According to U.S government documents, Dr. Alwani and IIIT provided the following ideological
and financial support to Sami-Al-Arian and organizations he controlled: 413
bbb PIJ is designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization. See
ccc This is supported in
• Dr. Alwani attended and spoke at conferences organized by the Islamic Committee for
Palestine (ICP) during 1988-1992. Other speakers at these conferences included U.S
based PIJ leader Sami Al-Arian, PIJ leader Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, spiritual leader
and a co-founder of PIJ Sheik Abdel Aziz Odeh, and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman
currently imprisoned for his role in the 1993 WTC bombing. According to the American
Jewish Committee, from December 22-25 1989, Dr. Alwani attended an ICP conference
in Chicago entitled "Palestine, Intifada, and Horizons of Islamic Renaissance." One of the
speakers included Abd Al-'Aziz Al'Awda whom the U.S. government currently lists as a
Specially Designated Terrorist and “Chief Ideological Figure of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”.
414 415 416
• In a letter dated November 19, 1991, Dr. Alwani referred to the payment of monies from
IIIT to PIJ, and wrote that he and his colleagues, and their organizations, considered
themselves to be indistinguishable from Al-Arian, Shallah, and other founders and
members of PIJ.
• In 1991 and 1992, while Dr Alwani was President, IIIT contributed at least $50,000 to the
PIJ front-group WISE. A 1991 letter from PIJ founder Ramadan Abdullah Shallah stating
that IIIT was the largest contributor to WISE. 417
The documents also indicate that after search warrants were executed involving the U.S.–based
PIJ, Safa Group members stopped openly supporting the PIJ and rerouted financial support
through Safa businesses and charities. These same documents state that in early 2000, Dr.
Alwani admitted to FBI agents that he was acquainted with Bashir Nafi and Sheik Omar Abdel
Rahman and that he maintained “regular contact” with Sami Al-Arian. This report has already
noted further support from IIIT to Al-Arian and WISE while Dr. Alwani was President of IIIT.
This report has also noted that Sami Al-Arian may have played a role in the founding of ISNA and
that Sayyid Syeed, the current ISNA Secretary-General, was employed at IIT from 1984 to 1994
during which time IIIT was providing support to Dr. Al-Arian. 418 A television news station reported
that when Al-Arian was arrested, ISNA issued a statement critical of the government. When asked
about this statement, Dr. Syeed stated:
"Sometime we might have said that so-and-so should not be targeted just because he's a Muslim,"
he said. "But once you know there's a definite case in court, ultimately it will be the court that will
decide. No one else will decide."
When the station asked about the connections between IIIT and Al-Arian, Dr. Syeed said that
"It was a surprise for me, a shock for me" and that he “no longer has any ties” to IIIT. However, as
the TV station report noted, Dr. Syeed is still on the advisory board of its journal and this report has
already documented strong associations between ISNA and IIIT.
2. Hamas
ISNA, its key leadership, and affiliated organizations have ties to a constellation of organizations
that according to the U.S government, constituted the Hamas support and fund-raising apparatus
in the United States. ddd The first of the organizations is known as the Holy Land Foundation (HLF).
A series of U.S. government reports indicate that the HLF was the key component of the Hamas
operation in the U.S. In November 2001, the FBI Assistant Counter-Terrorism Coordinator issued
a memo in which he stated:
• “In 1993 and 1994, the FBI monitored meetings of identified HAMAS leaders and senior
representatives from the HLFRD. During these meetings, discussions were held
ddd Hamas is designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization. See
regarding the need for HAMS fund-raising in the United States, as well as the primary role
of the HLFRD to serve this function.”
• “FBI investigation has determined that in the early 1990s, HAMAS, through Mousa Abu
Marzook, provided substantial funds to the HLFRD. “
• “FBI investigation has determined that a majority of the funds collected by the HLFRD are
used to support HAMAS activities -in the Middle East.”
• “Key decision-makers within the HLFRD have been identified as active members of
In December 2001, the U.S. Treasury Dept designated the HLF as a Specially Designated
Terrorist stating:
“The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was designated under Executive
Orders 13224 and 12947 as a charity that provided millions of dollars of material and logistical
support to HAMAS. HLF, originally known as the Occupied Land Fund, was established in
California in 1989 as a tax-exempt charity. In 1992, HLF relocated to Richardson, Texas. It had
offices in California, New Jersey, and Illinois, and individual representatives scattered throughout
the United States, the West Bank, and Gaza. In the year 2000 alone, HLF raised over $13 million.
HLF supported HAMAS activities through direct fund transfers to its offices in the West Bank and
Gaza that are affiliated with HAMAS and transfers of funds to Islamic charity committees ("zakat
committees") and other charitable organizations that are part of HAMAS or controlled by HAMAS
members. Mousa Mohamed Abu Marzook, a political leader of HAMAS, provided substantial
funds to the Holy Land Foundation in the early 1990s. In 1994, Marzook (who was named a
Specially Designated Terrorist by the Treasury Department in 1995) designated HLF as the
primary fund-raising entity for HAMAS in the United States. HLF funds were used by HAMAS to
support schools that served HAMAS ends by encouraging children to become suicide bombers
and to recruit suicide bombers by offering support to their families. HLF and several of its directors
were indicted on criminal charges in July 2004.” 419
In July 2004, the U.S. government indicted HLF and its key leadership on charges of providing
material support to a foreign terrorist organization.420 The indictment states that the HLF:
• “provided significant financial resources to known Hamas leaders and strategists”
• “Subsidized Hamas’s recruitment and reward efforts in Gaza and the West Bank”
• Sponsored “orphans and families whose relative had died or were jailed as a result of
furthering Hamas’s violent campaign, including suicide bombings.”
In November 2004, a Federal judge found the HLF “knowingly gave material support to Hamas
and were legally responsible for David Boim's death”, an American teenager who was killed by
Hamas terrorists in 1996 in the West Bank.421
The connections between the HLF and ISNA include:
• The 2001 FBI memo identifies current ISNA-affiliated Fiqh Council of North America
member Mohammad Al-Hanooti as a participant in a 1993 Philadelphia meeting of “senior
leaders of HAMAS, the HLFRD and the Islamic Association of Palestine. The memo also
cites FBI informants who said that Al-Hanooti “was a big supporter of HAMAS and that “it
was well known in the Palestinian community in the northern New Jersey area that Al-
Hanooti was an active HAMAS supporter, purportedly holding fund-raising activities, as
well as supporting visitors to the United States from Israel and Jordan, to speak on behalf
of HAMAS.” Another FBI informant stated that “In 1993, that Al-Hanooti collected over six
million U .S. dollars for support of HAMAS in Israel.” 422
• In December 2001, ISNA joined other U.S. Islamic organizations associated with the
Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood network in claiming that HLF has been “targeted by pro-Israel
organizations and individuals” and asking President Bush to “reconsider what we believe
is an unjust and counterproductive move that can only damage America's credibility with
Muslims in this country and around the world and could create the impression that there
has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam." 423
• In 2004, ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed acknowledged donating money to HLF
calling it “innocent support for what the organization believed was a good cause.” 424
• Dr. Sayyid also acknowledged supporting the legal defense fund of Hamas leader Mousa
Marzook who was deported from the U.S. in 1997 and is on the State Department's
designated terrorist list stating "It doesn't hurt if you give a few words of support or if you
give a few words of sympathy." Marzook was reported to have thanked ISNA in an open
letter of appreciation for support of his legal defense fund.425 The original board chairman
of HLF was Mohammed El-Mezain, a cousin of Mr. Marzook.426
It should also be noted that there is evidence that persons and organizations associated with
FCNA chairman Dr. Alwani provided financial support for Hamas. According to U.S. government
documents, the Safa Group “maintained $162,000 as ‘a library trust”’ for HAMAS -front HLF [Holy
Land Foundation]. In 1997, HLF received three Safa Trust checks in the amounts of $75,000,
$87,500, and $162,500…” 427
ISNA also has ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), described by a Treasury
Department intelligence official as “intimately tied to the most senior Hamas leadership.” 428
According to this same official, IAP was the “mouthpiece” for Hamas in the United States and has:
• published Hamas communiqués calling its followers to Jihad
• Held conventions and conferences at which pro-Hamas speakers and singers rallied
support for Hamas including the 1989 conference in Oklahoma City held in honor of
Abduallah Azzam and which featured a hooded Hamas activist who called for financial
assistance for terror attacks and which also featured Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef
• Organized support rallies for jailed Hamas leaders including Mousa Abu Marzook
• Distributed flyers and communiqués in support of Hamas and raising funds for Hamas
• Assisted the HLF in fund raising efforts
• Former FBI counter-terrorism chief Oliver “Buck” Revell stated in The Washington Post that,
“IAP is a Hamas front…It’s controlled by Hamas, it brings Hamas leaders to the US, it does
propaganda for Hamas.” 429
In November 2004, a Federal judge found the IAP “knowingly gave material support to Hamas
and were legally responsible for David Boim's death”, the American teenager who was killed by
Hamas terrorists in 1996 in the West Bank.430
The connections between ISNA and the IAP include:
• According to an Islamic source, current ISNA affiliated Fiqh Council of North America
(FCNA) board member Mohammad Al-Hanooti was present in Chicago at an early event
organized by the IAP.431 Mr. Hanooti was a President of IAP sometime before 1990 and
attended the 1999 and 2000 IAP conventions. 432 433 434
• Federal court documents indicate that current FCNA board member Solah Sultan “spoke
in support of martyrdom operations” at the 2000 IAP convention.435
• ISNA board members Jamal Badawi and Abdalla Idris Ali were featured guests at the
1999 IAP convention.436
• ISNA has provided booth space for the IAP at its annual conventions.437
• Many individuals associated with ISNA served on the last known CAIR Advisory Board
including ISNA Past President Muzammil Siddiqi, current ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid
M. Syeed, and ISNA leader Jamal Badawi. 438 As documented in the companion to this
report, CAIR leadership emerged out of the IAP in 1994 and has maintained a
relationship with the organization since that time.
ISNA additionally has ties to the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI), a Chicago area institution which
found responsible by a Federal court in the death of David Boim'.439 According to court
documents, the Boim family had claimed that QLI, while claiming to be in the business of
translating and publishing Islamic texts, was actually: 440
• “Raising and laundering money for Hamas.”
• Providing legitimacy for Hamas leader and military commander Mohammad Salah by
providing a “cover identity” for him as a computer analyst
• Serving as a means by which Salah “channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars to
Hamas operatives.”
Connections between QLI and ISNA include:
• Past ISNA President Ahmad Zaki Hammad was one of the QLI founders and the
organization’s president.441 442 In September 1998, a Chicago newspaper reported that
Dr. Hammad was also on the board of the ISNA affiliated North American Islamic
Trust.443 Court records indicate that Dr. Hammad made checks out to Mohammad Salah
from his personal account.444
• Bassam Osman, the head of the ISNA affiliate the North American Islamic Trust, was
previously the director of the Quranic Literary Institute.445
• The QLI secretary Amer Haleem was at one time an acting ISNA Secretary General.446
• ISNA leader and board member Jamal Badawi was reported to be an advisor to the
Quran Project, associated with QLI.448
• Ibrahim Abusharif is a former editor of Islamic Horizons magazine, published by the ISNA.
From 1990 to 1998, he was an editor and board member of the Quranic Literacy
• ISNA acknowledged making a donation to QLI.450
When asked to comment in 1998 on past ISNA Dr. Hammad President, Dr. Siddiqi said, “He's not
a political figure…He's an academic person…What I know of him, I don't think he's involved in that
kind of thing." 451 In 2004, ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid Sayyid said that Hammad was
“expelled from ISNA on bad terms stating "He might not have been sharing the same vision that
this organization has.” 452 It should be noted that on April 13, 2006, ISNA issued a press release
expressing “deep concern over the course of legal proceedings against Muhammad Salah.” 453
ISNA’s connections to organizations supporting terrorism has continued up until the time of this
writing. On February 19 2006, the U.S Treasury Department announced that it was freezing the
accounts of a Toledo, Ohio charity known as KindHearts stating:
“The U.S. Department of the Treasury today blocked pending investigation accounts of
KindHearts, an NGO operating out of Toledo, Ohio, to ensure the preservation of its assets
pending further investigation. ‘KindHearts is the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global
Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the façade of
charitable giving.’” 454
The Treasury Department cited KindHearts financial assistance to Hamas in Lebanon and in the
West Bank as reasons for its action. There are substantial reasons why potential donors should
have been suspicious of KindHearts.
• KindHearts and the HLF foundation were strongly connected. The founder and CEO of
KindHearts is an individual identified as Khaled Smaili who established KindHearts from
his residence in January 2002.455 456 According to the Treasury Department, Mr. Smaili
was a former official of the Global Relief Foundation, designated by the U.S. government
a terrorist organization for its support of both Hamas and Al Qaida Other KindHearts
leaders and fundraisers also once held leadership or other positions with HLF and GRF
according to the government.457
• The KindHearts fundraising coordinator was identified as Mohammed El-Mezain, indicted
by a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas on charges of providing material support to
Hamas. According to the Treasury Department, Mr. El-Mezain spoke and encouraged
donations at a September 2003 KindHearts fundraising event at which a “KindHearts
fundraiser spoke and encouraged the crowd to appreciate the efforts of the terrorist group
Hizballah in supporting Hamas. The fundraiser then encouraged the crowd to give money
and manpower as support against Israel.” 458
• KIndHearts had a strong relationship to the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP).
KindHearts listed the IAP as its “Fundraiser Organizer” in its tax filings.459 Also, the IAP
displayed an ad for KindHearts on its website and according to one organization, IAP
distributed an email from KindHearts CEO Khaled Smaili.460 461
• According to its spring 2004 newsletter, KindHearts presented the Bridgeview Mosque
Foundation with its “Mosque of the Year” award in recognition of their members’
tremendous support” and KindHearts President Khaled Smaili presented the award to
Mosque Foundation President Osama Jammal. The newsletter stated that “this
community as a whole donated $195,000 for KH to fund its relief efforts for the innocent
victims of home demolitions in Rafah Refugee Camp, Gaza.” 462 The Chicago Tribune
has documented extensive connections of the Bridgeview mosque to support of
Despite the visible warning signs, ISNA developed a relationship with KindHearts that lasted up
until the Treasury action. This relationship included:
• KindHearts advertising in the ISNA magazine Islamic Horizons that according to ISNA
only ended “four days before the federal government froze the assets of the KindHearts
organization.” 464
• KindHearts participation in the Fall 2005 “Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force” that
included ISNA as well as other Islamic organizations, some affiliated with ISNA.465
• KindHearts participation in a 2002 ISNA convention.466
• KindHearts was provided booth space by ISNA at its 2003 annual convention
• KindHearts executive Khalifah Ramadan also worked as a training and evaluation
consultant for ISNA.467
• Fiqh Council of North America member Zulfiqar Ali Shah was the Director of South Asia
division of Kind Hearts.468
3. Other Terror Connections
ISNA also has connections to other individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. These
• Current ISNA board member and former Vice-President Siraj Wahaj was a character
witness for Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called “blind-sheikh” convicted in connection with
the 1st World Trade Center bombing. The Federal prosecutors have listed Mr. Wahaj as
one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the sheikh's
case.469 470
• U.S. government documents allege that members of the “Safa Group” including the ISNA
affiliated Fiqh Council of North America chairman Taha Alwani engaged in “offshore
transfers, layered transactions, and payments to suspect charities” all in probable support
of terrorism.471
• ISNA leader and board member Jamal Badawi is the Halifax, Canada Director of Human
Concern International, a global Islamic charity whose regional director in Pakistan was
arrested for helping to “facilitate” an attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad
Pakistan in November 1995 and who according to a Canadian research institute is “is
believed to be among

Muhammad Nur Abdullah, President
Ingrid Mattson, Vice President – US
Syed Imtiaz Ahmad, Vice President – Canada
Mohamed Magid Ali, East Zone Rep – US
Azhar Azeez, Central Zone Rep – US
Mohamad Rajabally, West Zone Rep – US
Syed Afaq Moin, East Zone Rep – Canada
Muzammil Siddiqi, Past President
Mohammad Nur Abdullah, President
Ingrid Mattson, Vice President – US
Syed Imtiaz Ahmad, Vice President – Canada
Faizul Khan, Chapter President
Faroque A. Khan, Chapter President
Sayed Gomah, Chapter President
Kareem Irfan, Chapter President
Jamal A. Badawi, Member at large
Khadija Haffajee, Member at large
Abdalla Idris Ali, Member at large
Siraj Wahhaj, Member at large
Muzammil Siddiqi, Member at large
Ameena Jandali, Member at large
Yusuf Ziya Kavakci, Member at large
Mohamed Sheibani, President, Muslim Students Association
Mujeeb Cheema, Chairman, North American Islamic Trust
Khurshid A. Qureshi, President, Association of Muslim Scientists & Engineers
Rafik Beekun, President, Association of Muslim Social Scientists
Pervez Nasim, Chairman, Canadian Islamic Trust
Omar J. Siddiqi, Chairperson, Muslim Youth of North America
Qaiser Imam, Chairperson, Council of Islamic Schools of North America
Omar J. Siddiqui , Chairperson, Muslim Youth of North America
Ilyas Ba-Yunus, Chairperson, Islamic Media Foundation