Can Buying Food Contribute to Terrorism?

The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America partners with terror-financier ISNA.

In October 2010, news broke about how the Campbell’s Soup company received an Islamic (halal) certification for some of its product line, and many were outraged. There was a legitimate concern – not with the fact that Campbell’s received the certification, but with what organization the certification came from, that being the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group co-founded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian.

In 2007 and 2008, ISNA was named by the U.S. Justice Department as a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. The defendants of the trials were the leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and HLF itself. In the end, each was found guilty of all charges.

There was good reason for ISNA being named. For years, since HLF was established in 1987 as the Occupied Land Fund (OLF), the group advertised its mailing address as the same one being used (to this day) by ISNA. ISNA’s main youth group, the Muslim Students Association (MSA), asked for donations to be sent to the address in OLF’s name.

This information, along with the backlash Campbell’s received, might have contributed to Campbell’s ending its association with ISNA and becoming the client of another halal group, the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA). However, Campbell’s may have acted too soon, as ISNA has now announced that it and IFANCA have forged an agreement to work together. As was posted this month on ISNA’s site, “ISNA has built an alliance with the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA), the largest Halal certifying body in the U.S., for support in establishing the national Halal standards and accreditation body.”

But regardless of ISNA’s connection to IFANCA, IFANCA has major terror-related problems of its own.

Ahmad H. Sakr is a member of IFANCA’s Board of Directors and has been with IFANCA since its inception. According to Sakr’s bio, he “co-founded the Muslim Students’ Association in North America in which he led for some time.” Established in 1963, the Muslim Students Association (MSA) was the first major Muslim Brotherhood organization within the U.S. Sakr, as well, served as an officer and sat on the Board of Directors of the MSA-created North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), a group named by the U.S. Justice Department as a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.

Also according to his bio, Sakr was “the first director and representative of the Muslim World League to the U.N.” As stated by the Anti-Defamation League, the Muslim World League (MWL) “has a long history of providing financial support to terrorist groups or having organizational links to them, including to Hamas, Abu Sayyaf group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Jemaat al Islamiyya, and Al Qaeda. The MWL also provides a platform for inflammatory speech, including anti-Semitism.”

In Sakr’s book, ‘Pork: Possible Reasons for its Prohibition,’ he describes Jews as being cursed, monkey-like, filthy and corrupt. He wrote: “It is known that some of the children of Israel regularly disobeyed Allah and as a result, were cursed. Some of them stagnated spiritually and mentally and hence became idol-worshippers; others lost their mission in life as human beings and became entertainers (if such a term is to be used) like monkeys, apes and chimpanzies [sic], and still others became filthy of mind and body, gluttonous eaters of carnivorous animals, and lived totally a corrupted life as swines [sic].”

Roger M. Othman sits on the Board of Directors of IFANCA and previously served as the first Managing Director of IFANCA. According to his bio, Othman “has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Mosque Foundation.”

The Mosque Foundation (MF), located in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, has been a haven for Palestinian terror-related activity. MF has held fundraisers for Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian and Hamas’s former American finance wing, the Holy Land Foundation. In July 2007, one of Othman’s fellow MF Executive Committee alumni, Muhammad Salah, was convicted of obstruction of justice for making false statements during a legal proceeding and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. According to the FBI, Salah was recruiting and training Hamas members and was raising money for Hamas.

IFANCA, itself, partners with the Mosque Foundation, as they are both member organizations of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). Other members include: Islamic Relief (IR), which has been associated with both Hamas and al-Qaeda financing; Helping Hand (HH), which partnered with a Pakistani charity at the same time that charity delivered close to $100 thousand to the residence of the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal; and the Muslim American Society (MAS), which has used the internet to propagate materials degrading to women, cursing Christians, and calling for the murder of Jews.

All of this should be of concern to the numerous companies that give IFANCA big money to place IFANCA’s ‘Crescent M’  symbol on their food products. This includes not only Campbell’s soups, but Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Sun-Maid raisins, Nestle chocolate, and according to the bio of IFANCA’s President Muhammad Munir Chaudry, Hershey and Pepsi too. In fact, at a 2011 Islamist forum moderated by then-ISNA Secretary General Safaa Zarzour, one of the featured participants, Pepsi’s Chief Scientific Officer Mehmood Khan, claimed that Pepsi “collaborates” with IFANCA with “those 24 countries we [Pepsi] have halal certification.”

This is truly disturbing, given IFANCA’s extremist leadership and terrorist ties.

At the 2011 forum, Chaudry spoke, stating, “I see only opportunities… opportunities by Muslim businessmen to create more businesses, and there are opportunities for non-Muslim-owned corporations to service us, to service our needs.” The question is: Which needs is he referring to? The ones that are food-related or the ones that move his group to associate with co-conspirators?

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