The Islamic Society of North America’s Destructive Agenda
… and its ties to a number of leading Democrats.
Editor’s note: Below is the fourth installment in a series of articles highlighting the network of major hate groups in America that are supported and funded by the Left. Click the following for the previous profiles on the Souther Poverty Law Center, Students for Justice in Palestine and the New Black Panther Party.
A number of major Democrats have cultivated highly significant ties to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). For example: Congressman Keith Ellison (Minnesota), who narrowly lost in his bid to become DNC chairman a few days ago, has spoken at ISNA’s massive national conferences on a number of occasions. Congressman Andre Carson (Indiana) has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from ISNA-affiliated donors, as have Keith Ellison, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. And ISNA president Mohamed Magid was a key figure in Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, where he was authorized to train and advise personnel affiliated with the FBI and other federal agencies.
Yet most Americans are entirely unaware of just how subversive and anti-American the Islamic Society of North America is.
ISNA was established in July 1981 by U.S-based members of the Muslim Brotherhood who also had been leaders of the Muslim Students Association (MSA). Muslim Brothers would dominate ISNA’s leadership throughout the Society’s early years, when it was highly dependent upon Saudi funding. ISNA’s founding mission was “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.” Today ISNA is the largest Muslim organization on the continent. Its annual conferences routinely draw 30,000 to 40,000 attendees.
When ISNA was incorporated on July 14, 1981, its headquarters were located at the same address as those of the MSA. Eventually, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)—the U.S.-based financing wing of Hamas—would share the address as well.
One of ISNA’s key founders in 1981 was Sami Al-Arian, who subsequently became the North American leader of the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was indicted by the Justice Department in 2003, was held under house arrest for several years, and finally was deported in 2015.
Another ISNA co-founder was Muzammil Siddiqi, who went on to serve two terms (1997-2001) as ISNA president and continues to sit on the organization’s governing board. Siddiqi has praised Islamic suicide bombers as “those who die on the part of justice” and consequently reside “with the Lord” in a place of “the highest honor.” Moreover, he has defined jihad as “the path” and “the way [for Muslims] to receive the honor.”
Yet another prominent founding member of ISNA was Mahboob Khan, who in 1983 helped establish the California-based Muslim Community Association, which at least twice hosted and raised money for Ayman al-Zawahiri, who would later go on to become al Qaeda’s second-in-command.
In November 1987, ISNA established its own Political Awareness Committee headed by Abdurahman Alamoudi, a Muslim Brotherhood operative who in 2004 would be convicted on terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Declassified FBI memos indicate that ISNA was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front as early as 1987, and a 1988 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood document bluntly identified ISNA as part of the “apparatus of the Brotherhood.” Further, ISNA was explicitly named in a May 1991 memorandum as an ally that shared the Brotherhood’s goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation by means of a “grand Jihad.”
ISNA leadership rejects all practices and social mores that fail to comport with the Wahhabist vision of Islam propagated by Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood. For instance, Muzzamil Siddiqi calls homosexuality “a moral disorder,” “a moral disease,” “a sin,” and a “corruption” that merits the death penalty.
ISNA plays a major role in providing Wahhabi theological indoctrination materials to a large percentage of the mosques in North America. As such, it is able to influence the nature of the sermons given in those mosques, the selection of reading materials that are available in mosque libraries and bookstores, and the policies governing the exclusion of dissenters from any given congregation. Kaukab Siddique, a Lincoln University professor who has called for the destruction of Israel, avers that “ISNA controls most mosques in America and thus also controls who will speak at every Friday prayer, and which literature will be distributed there.”
ISNA’s central tenet is Jew hatred. On May 24, 1998, ISNA was one of 11 organizations that sponsored a Brooklyn College event where the Egyptian cleric Wagdy Ghoniem spoke about the “infidelity,” “stealth,” and “deceit” of the Jews, and referred to Jews as “descendants of the apes.” Three years later, when the U.S. government designated the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) as a terrorist organization, ISNA, which had raised money for the group, complained that HLF was being unfairly “targeted” by “pro-Israel organizations and individuals.” In December 2003, U.S. Senators Charles Grassley and Max Baucus of the Senate Committee on Finance listed ISNA as one of 25 American Muslim organizations that “finance terrorism and perpetuate violence.”
During its 2006 national convention, guest speaker Kamran Memon rationalized al Qaeda’s terrorist activities as understandable reactions to provocative American policies overseas: “Some Muslims in the Muslim world decided that they were just not going to take it anymore. They were angry at our ongoing support from their enemies, so they began to attack American targets to pressure our government to change its foreign policy.”
At ISNA’s convention a year later in Illinois, Parvez Ahmed of the Council on American-Islamic Relations defended the jihadist activities and agendas of Hamas and Hezbollah as “legitimate.” And at ISNA’s 2008 convention, a guest speaker lauded the “amazing work” that Hamas was doing to promote education and health care in the West Bank.
Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, assesses ISNA as follows: “ISNA … officials refuse to condemn both [Hamas and Hezbollah], will not label either as terrorist organizations, but instead refer to Hamas favorably as the ‘democratically-elected Palestinian government.’ ISNA studiously ignores the Hamas Charter—a virulently anti-Semitic tract which states that ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it’—and the fact that violent jihad is a core principal of Hamas and Hezbollah.”
The truly incredible fact that ISNA’s president occupied a seat on Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security speaks volumes of the utter contempt in which Obama holds the United States and Israel alike.