The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has reported the results of its 2014 elections for national leadership. According to the report:
(Plainfield, IN 8/27/14) Today, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is proud to announce the election of the incoming group of ISNA leaders elected to the Majlis Ash-Shura. They will begin their term on September 1, 2014.
The elected leaders join 16 current Majlis members with new ISNA President Azhar Azeez and ISNA Vice President Altaf Husain.
Below are the incoming members:
ISNA President: Azhar Azeez ISNA Vice President-USA: Altaf Husain ISNA Vice President-Canada: Pervez Nasim ISNA Majlis Member: M. Affan Badar ISNA Majlis Member: Ziauddin Mahmood ISNA Majlis Member Manzoor Ghori
‘ISNA members have elected a next group of leaders that will build from the foundations of a 50-year legacy, and take the organization to the next level that is relevant and receptive to the community we serve ,’ said ISNA Executive Director Hazem Bata. ‘I look forward to working with the elected leadership in continuing to provide not only the services and programs we currently offer, but also explore new ideas and services that meet the needs of our ever changing community. We invite the community to meet the incoming leadership at the convention.’
Read the rest here.
His current ISNA bio describes the he newly elected ISNA President as follows:
Azhar Azeez was born in HYDERABAD, INDIA and moved to US in 1995. He has a bachelors degree in Finance from the prestigious Osmania University and a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and currently is pursuing his PhD in Islamic studies. For 13 years he worked for major US corporations such as General Electric, American General Life and Capital One. He currently serves as the senior National Director of Islamic Relief USA which is one of the largest Muslim charity in the world. He is a member of ISNA Executive Council since 2002 and was elected as the vice president of ISNA. in 2010. He currently heads as the President of the North Texas Islamic council which represent 35 Islamic Organizations in Dallas/Fort worth area. He is the founder and the past President of Islamic Association of Carrollton, Texas one of the large mosques in the suburbs of Dallas, TX.
Mr. Azeez’s 2010 ISNA bio however, cited by the GMBDW when Mr. Azeez was elected as the ISNA VP, said that he was also a founding member and past President of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) –Dallas/ Fort Worth Chapter, a fact curiously omitted above. CAIR of course is well-known to be a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and tied to the Hamas support infrastructure in the US while in 2011, the GMBDW reported on the Brotherhood ties of both Islamic Relief USA as well as its parent organization Islamic Relief Worldwide.
In addition, as late as 2011 Azhar Azeez was listed as a member of the Grassroots Leadership Advisory Council of the Freedom and Justice Foundation (FJF), a now defunct organization co-founded by Mohamed Elibiary, a Senior Fellow of the US Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. Many of the other members of the FJF Advisory Council were known to be associated with the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) which operates the Dallas Central Mosque (DCM). Both the IANT and the DCM are known to be associated with the US Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas infrastructure in the US including the now defunct Holy Land Foundations (HLF). A former FBI analyst has also written that the two of the Elashi brothers, later convicted of terrorism financing as leaders of the HLF, had personal ties to the DCM, one serving as a board member and the other active in an affiliated Islamic School. After the arrests of the Elashi’s, the DCM hosted fundraising events for their legal defense. A 2005 report by the Center For Religious Freedom (CRF) found numerous examples of Saudi ideological material at the DCM (aka Richardson Mosque) Other members of the FJF Advisory Council were leaders of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), both organizations being important parts of the US Muslim Brotherhood.
A GMBDW profile, details ISNA’s own history of ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as well as its history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. In 2013, we posted an analysis titled “The Rehabilitation Of ISNA; Have They Really Changed?” in which we wrote:
…the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch has known for sometime that important elements of the US government were of the opinion that ISNA was an organization that had substantially changed in character over the years. In 2009, we met privately with an FBI official who told us that they were of the opinion that ISNA was under new leadership and that this reflected a meaningful change in the organization. Since that time, the GMBDW and its predecessor publication has reported on numerous occasions where the US government has acted in such a manner that suggests concurrence with this view of ISNA as a rehabilitated organization.
As we concluded:
….despite these notable developments, there are good reasons why the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch remains deeply skeptical about any true change in the nature of ISNA. To begin with, many important US Muslim Brotherhood leaders remain active in the organization.
In 2010, we reported on the problematic ties of the newly elected ISNA Secretary-General Safaa Zarzour and the election in 2014 of an ISNA president with the troubling background detailed above does nothing to alter this picture. We wrote only two weeks ago that we would be watching for any signs that our skepticism about ISNA was either justified or ill-conceived. Until such a time that ISNA is led by individuals with an untainted background, we see no reason to move from the skeptical position.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website is reporting that the an advisor to the deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, currently jailed and awaiting multiple trials, has send a message to Hamas in Gaza on behalf of Dr. Morsi congratulating Hamas on their “brilliant victory over the Zionist enemy – the epitome of terrorism in the world.” According to the Ikhwan Web report:
August 27, 2014 Ahmed Abdel-Aziz, National Media Advisor to President Mohamed Morsi, sent a congratulatory message on behalf of President Morsi and his presidential team to the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip.
Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt announced a ‘comprehensive long-term’ cease-fire truce between the Zionist entity and the Gaza Strip.
In the congratulations message, Abdel-Aziz said: ‘On behalf of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, his presidential team and the Egyptian people, I extend my congratulations to the political and military leaderships of the valiant Palestinian resistance, with all factions, in this brilliant victory over the Zionist enemy – the epitome of terrorism in the world’.
He concluded the message addressing Palestinian factions, saying: ‘I ask God to bless your unity, so you can ultimately liberate Palestine’. “
Meanwhile, Associated Press is citing Egyptian news agency reports that that Dr. Morsi has refused to answer a prosecutor’s questions about allegations that he leaked classified documents to Qatar via Al-Jazeera. According to the report, if the charges are referred to court, it would be the fourth case underway against Dr. Morsi who was deposed by the military last summer following mass protests against his rule. The GMBDW reported in February that Egyptian prosecutors had accused ousted President Mohammed Morsi of leaking state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Dr. Morsi could received the receive the death penalty as a result of his many trials.
In June 2012, the Egypt Independent published a revealing profile of Mohamed Morsi.
For a compendium of the extremist statements made by Morsi, go here.
US media is reporting that an Israeli civil rights attorney has sent a letter to the US Attorney General requesting that the US Department of Justice extradite Hamas military commander Saleh al-Arouri for his role in the kidnapping and murder of American citizen Naftali Fraenkel.
August 26, 2014 Israeli civil rights attorney, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant AG Leslie Caldwell, requesting the Department of Justice extradite Hamas West Bank commander, Saleh al-Arouri, for his role in the kidnapping and murder of American citizen Naftali Fraenkel.
Al-Arouri, who runs the U.S. deemed terror group in the West Bank from Turkey, was seen on a video last week, addressing the fourth conference of the World Union of Islamic Sages in the Islamic Republic, and ‘boasting’ that Hamas’ Qassam Brigades had carried out the June kidnapping and killing of Fraenkel and Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach and Gil-ad Shaar.
According to The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center near Tel Aviv, ‘He read his speech, saying that he was speaking on behalf of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.’
Darshan-Leitner, Founder and Director of the Shurat HaDin–Israel Law Center, a non-governmental organization (NGO), cites the aforementioned video in her letter to the Attorney General. She asks the Department of Justice to ‘take all necessary steps to compel the government of Turkey to extradite’ as well expresses confidence ‘that an investigation into the evidence of the kidnapping and murder of Fraenkel will result in the indictment and extradition of senior Hamas leader al-Arouri from Turkey.’
Pursuant to the Treaty of Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between both the U.S. and Turkey, the Islamic Republic is legally bound to extradite al-Arouri if he ‘committed a criminal act that would be punishable by Turkey, had the offense been perpetrated within its territorial jurisdiction,’ wrote Darshan-Leitner. ‘The US is the only country that can bring Arouri to justice.’
Read the rest here.
Last week, the GMBDW was the first to report that that Salah al-Arouri, a Hamas military leader residing in Turkey, had admitted that the Hamas military wing was responsible for the kidnapping, an event which sparked the recent round of the Gaza conflict. The admission was made at an Istanbul meeting of the iInternational Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and attended by various Brotherhood luminiaries as well the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister. Subsequent Israeli media reports say that Salah al-Arouri (aka Saleh al-Arouri), who is based in Turkey, was also the mastermind behind what has been described as a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank that was intended to end the rule of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and spark a third intifada. False claims that the Israeli police had exculpated Hamas in connection with the crime were for a time a staple on websites linked to a or sympathetic to Hamas and/or the Muslim Brotherhood.
We also reported last week that Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal had further confirmed that Hamas members were behind the West Bank killing of three Israeli teenagers.
For a profile of Khaled Meshaal, go here.
For a profile of Saleh al-Arouri, go here.
For our report on the IUMS meeting, go here.
Israeli media is reporting that the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a Turkish group close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, has signed a ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ with Qatar. According to a Jerusalem Post report:
Bulent Yildrim, chairman of the Turkish IHH organization, and Qatar Charity CEO Yousef bin Ahmad al-Kuwari signed the strategic agreement that was announced at a press conference held in Doha, Qatar.
The agreement ‘will bring both organizations already existing union closer,’ with the two aid agencies becoming ‘permanent partners,’ the IHH website reported on Monday.
The two organizations plan to carry out short- and longterm projects in various places.
They plan to carry out joint projects and to support each other’s existing ones, said IHH.
Within two months, the organizations’ representatives will meet to discuss ‘priority projects.’
Doha and Ankara have been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups throughout the Middle East, upsetting relations with Israel and with status quo anti-revolutionary Sunni powers such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
IHH plans to send ships carrying aid to Gaza again to challenge the Israeli blockade, it said earlier this month.
Activists from 12 countries have decided to launch a convoy of boats to Gaza ‘in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression,’ IHH said.”
The GMBDW considers the agreement between IHH and Qatar another significant step in cementing the role of Turkey and Qatar as major state sponsors of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
A 2011 report report authored by the GMBDW editor looked at the role of IHH as the lead organization for the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. The report concluded:
- There was strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the flotilla with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network.
- Far from being merely a humanitarian organization IHH is rather is a highly politicized, Islamist group.
- Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
More recent GMBDW reporting on IHH has included:
- The GMBDW reported last month that the IHH was recruiting “human shields” to serve in the Gaza conflict.
- In September 2012, the GMBDW reported that that the IHH might have been involved in transporting weapons to Syria on behalf of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
- In June 2012, we reported that the IHH President was being investigated for allegedly financing al-Qaeda through his organization.
Qatar, in turn, is a major sponsor of the Global Muslim Brotherhood networks though its official and quasi-official organizations such as Qatar Charity, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the Qatar Foundation. Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal are also hosted and resident in Qatar which itself is a major funder of Hamas.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a press release indicating that its executive director has attended the funeral of Michael Brown, the teenager who was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Missouri. According to the statement:
August 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is attending today’s funeral for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Mo.
‘I believe it is important for all Americans to show their support for racial equality and social justice and to be part of the national dialogue on these important issues,’ said Awad.
Last week, CAIR joined the NAACP and other civil rights groups in calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting.
CAIR representatives also took part in a national American Muslim call-in discussion of the Michael Brown and joined almost 100 national civil rights groups, coordinated by The Leadership Conference and Civil and Human Rights, in calling for federal action to prevent discriminatory profiling.
Nihad Awad was cited last week in an IslamOnline article urging Americans to “value every precious life:”
Nihad Awad, national executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed, and said what’s happening in Ferguson is symptomatic of long-standing historical injustices that black people have suffered in America for decades.
“Our nation has been trying to heal for years, but there is a deep social history that has to be fixed by restructuring our perception of culture and showing respect to one another,” he said. “We have to value every precious life.”
Given his historical association with Hamas, Mr. Awad’s seeming attempts to reinvent himself as a spiritual leader strike us as disingenuous and hypocritical to say the least and his publicized attendance at the funeral in rather poor taste.
The GMBDW reported last week on what appears to be the growing effort by the US Muslim Brotherhood to gain increased legitimacy by associating itself with broader civil rights issues in the US.
For a profile of CAIR, go here.
The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a new umbrella group for the US Muslim Brotherhood, has issued a condemnation of the murder of the American journalist James Foley by what the statement calls the “so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” According to the statement:
(WASHINGTON DC 08/20/2014) — The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of several leading national and local Muslim organizations, condemns the murder of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
We offer our deepest condolences to James’ family and pray they will find comfort and solace during this difficult time. The USCMO roundly condemns this group and rejects its ideology and actions. The terror organization, which is also known by the acronym ISIS, does not speak or act on behalf of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. In fact, they have killed so many Muslims indiscriminately. Their actions are reprehensible, inhumane and completely contravene all aspects and tenets of Islam. ‘We are heartbroken by the brutal death of Mr. Foley,’ said Oussama Jammal, USCMO secretary general. ‘It states in the Qur’an that the taking of one life is the equivalent of killing of all humankind and the saving of one life is equivalent to the saving of all humankind. Islam abhors and rejects the murder, mayhem and terror being spread by this group of criminal individuals.’ The USCMO also warns the public to avoid spreading Islamophobia by using the actions of ISIS to characterize and demonize all Muslims, globally and here in the United States. We agree with the words of James’ mother, Diane, who told the media that, ‘Jim’s death can bring our country together in a stronger way in the values that Jim held dear. He never wanted us to hate or be bitter.’”
The GMBDW notes that the ISIS murder and the organization itself have been widely condemned by the US Muslim Brotherhood.
The GMBDW reported in March on the formation of the USCMO, now comprised of seven US Muslim organizations and a secretary-general almost almost all tied tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood. As we noted in 2010, one of the common tactics of the US Muslim Brotherhood is to construct coalitions of its own front organizations as well as inter-related groups and individuals, giving the appearance that the Brotherhood has more broad-based support than it actually enjoys. The new US Council of Muslim Organizations is just the latest in a long series of such “umbrella groups” formed by the US Muslim Brotherhood.
August 14, 2014 Egyptian media is reporting on the formation of a Egyptian opposition group based in Turkey. According to an Al-Ahram online report, the spokewoman for the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) claims that “Muslim Brothers comprise less than 20 per cent“ of the group’s members:
Only days before the one-year anniversary of the break-up of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins, a new opposition group has announced its formation from its base in Turkey.
The Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) held its first press conference on Friday in Istanbul. The group claims it is ‘resisting the 3 July military coup’ and battling for the ‘bread, freedom, social justice and dignity’ that was the rallying cry of the 25 January Revolution.
Speaking in the Turkish capital, the ERC said it is ‘an entity for Egyptian forces and individuals abroad … who maintain the principles of the 25 January Revolution, are faithful to constitutional legitimacy, seek a civil state and oppose all forms of corruption, tyranny and the military coup and its consequences.’
The ERC listed its goals as ‘uniting all revolutionary forces and youth, mobilising international support, realising the 25 January Revolution’s aims, dismantling corrupt institutions and establishing equal citizenship, justice, freedom and human dignity.’
The group called on foreign states to support the council against Egypt’s ‘military-backed government.’
The ERC appeared on the scene a week ahead of the first anniversary of the dispersal of Islamist protest camps in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares. Its avowed aims are almost identical to those of the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy (NCSL), the group of Brotherhood sympathisers that has been leading calls for Morsi to be reinstated as president.
‘The ERC is not a replacement for the NCSL,’ ERC spokesperson Maha Azzam told Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubasher. The NCSL operates in Egypt, while the ERC will address the international community. According to Azzam, Muslim Brothers comprise less than 20 per cent of the ERC’s members.
She said the group may take the lead in trying to refer members of the current regime to the International Criminal Court.
Read there rest here.
The GMBDW doubts, given the background of the ERC spokeswoman, that her definition of who or who is not tied to the Muslim Brotherhood can be trusted.
ERC spokeswoman Maha Azzam, an associate fellow at the UK Chatham House, was part of a June 2006 panel event sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and titled “Engagement or Quarantine: How to Deal with the Islamist Advance.” The description of Ms. Azzam’s presentation says that she argued “as Islamism becomes more entrenched, it brings with it stronger barriers against violence.” Also participating in the Carnegie event were:
- Radwan Masmoudi, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a group close to both the Muslim Brotherhood and the US State Department that has long argued for bringing Islamists to power.
- Najib Ghadbian, University of Arkansas, known to be an advocate for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood
- Mark Perry, Conflicts Forum, a group whose advisory board includes Azzam Tamimi, a UK Muslim Brotherhood leader and Hamas spokesman, and Ismail Patel, head of the UK pro-Hamas Friends of Al-Aqsa,
Recent events have shown the ever increasing importance of Turkey as a key center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
US media is reporting on the broad mix of extremist and hate group behind recent anti-Israel protests in Britain. The Breitabart.com report begins:
August 15, 2014 Recent anti-Israel protests have been attended by thousands across Europe. These protests come in opposition to attempts by Israeli forces to quell the rocket fire aimed at Israeli citizens by the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In Britain, the protests in support of Hamas have been chiefly organized by a mixture of Sunni Islamist groups and groups aligned with the Socialist Workers Party. The attending protestors, though, seem to come from across the political and religious spectrums. European hatred for the small Jewish state, or Jews in general, apparently continues to transcend all ideological differences to the point where pro-Assad activists can march alongside Sunni Islamists, while neo-Nazis stand shoulder to shoulder with Marxists.
Parliamentarians such as Andy Slaughter MP and George Galloway MP walked next to Islamist activists such as Ismail Patel, a supporter of the late French Holocaust Denier Roger Garaudy. Patel advocates the killing of adulterous women and has previously stated: ‘Hamas is no terrorist organization…we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel.’ Marching between Andy Slaughter and Ismail Patel was Hafiz al-Karmi, an official from the Palestinian Forum of Britain, one of the UK’s leading pro-Hamas organizations.
Activists from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, closely aligned with Britain’s Socialist Workers Party, seemed happy to march alongside James Thring and Lady Renouf, two neo-Nazi activists. Thring, described as ‘an anti-Zionist activist who has been vocally supported by former the Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke,’ has been featured in revisionist pro-Nazi documentaries and is aligned with the ‘New Right’ society, a British neo-Nazi organization.
Read the rest here.
As reported earlier this month, most of the Islamic groups identified in the article as protest organizers are part of the UK Muslim Brotherhood.
Recent statements by Youssef Qaradawi suggest that the 87-year-old leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood is under great deal of stress no doubt related to pressure he and Qatar, his host nation, are facing from a variety of quarters.In a filmed interview for the Turkish media before the recent Istanbul meeting of his International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and reviewed by the GMBDW:
Qaradawi stressed that they are having this conference in Istanbul, the capital of the [Historic] Caliphate, and that new Turkey brings together religious and non-religious issues, the Arab and non-Arab, and the nation in Asia and Africa, adding that “the nation should be based on it”. Qaradawi blessed Erdogan for his election as the Turkish President; in order to justify Erdogan’s success, Qaradawi quotes a Quranic verse which speaks about the Prophet’s cooperation with Allah and states that “Angle Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his] assistants. (Quran 66:4)
In what appears to be a battle of dueling caliphate claims, the GMBDW had reported in July that Qaradawi had ruled that a declaration of a Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is “void under Shariah.” In addition to apparently declaring Turkey to be the capital of the Caliphate, an Egyptian news report of unknown reliability said recently:
- Sources close to Qaradawi have said that he is considering relocating to Turkey due to the deteriorating relations between Qatar and the Gulf countries.
- An agreement has been reached to form a new Islamic alliance of Arab and Islamic countries to be headed by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. The agreement was said to have been reached during meetings of the “International Muslim Brotherhood” held on the sideline of the Istanbul conference and where Erdogan and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood figure Amr Darrag were present.
- Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi will take over IUMS from Qaradawi.
The GMBDW cautions that as noted, this Egyptian report cannot be independently confirmed and appears to be contradicted in part by Qatari media reports that Qaradawi was re-elected as IUMS Chairman during an election held at the Istanbul conference.
At the end July, the Investigative Project translated other remarks by Qaradawi in which he defended the building of military tunnels by Hamas with the interesting interpretation that they were needed to protect Hamas from Israel:
Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide and popular Al-Jazeera program host, appeared on the network earlier this month to defend Hamas as “nothing but a group that is defending itself, defending its country, defending its brethren, defending its honor, defending its (Muslim) Ummah.” It is not, he added, a terrorist group. The Investigative Project on Terrorism translated Qaradawi’s remarks. He also said Hamas “did not fire at anyone. It’s only defending itself. Doesn’t Gaza have the right of self defense? People want Hamas exposed. [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu said Hamas received building blocks and used it to build the tunnels. No, they built many things that they ought to, and built-among many things, the tunnels. They don’t want [Hamas] to have the tunnels to protect them; they want Hamas to remain exposed to their cannons, bombs and jets, from the land, and from the sea and from the air. They want it to be bombarded while exposed so they can kill whomever they want. Is this logical?”
The GMBDW is proud to inaugurate a new Humor category with this report by journalist Ben Flanagan who explains how he was involuntarily locked in a room at the Finsbury Mosque by mosque officials. The report, complete with video of the incident, begins:
August 24, 2014 London’s Finsbury Park Mosque is still struggling to shake off its association with ‘hate preacher’ Abu Hamza – yet it does not seem to be doing itself many favors in the public-relations stakes.
Abu Hamza al-Masri’s sermons attracted the likes of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and failed shoe bomber Richard Reid, earning the mosque the reputation as a ‘suicide factory’ and ‘Al-Qaeda camp in the heart of London.’
The dark days of Abu Hamza are long gone: Finsbury Park Mosque came under new management in 2005; its hook-handed former imam was this year convicted of 11 terrorism charges in the United States.
But as the mosque continues to rebuild its reputation, I can offer a few words of PR advice: Generally speaking, it’s best not to lock journalists in rooms against their will, no matter how much their questions may irk you.
Read the rest here.
Interestingly, as Mr. Flanagan reported, mosque officials appeared rather touchy when asked if the Finsbury Mosque had any links to the Muslim Brotherhood so it may be worth noting that yesterday the foreign relations official of the political arm of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood had this to say about the mosque:
Successive British governments have worked with the Muslim Brotherhood for decades, knowing that the Muslim Brotherhood ideology is reformist, moderate and tolerant. This is why Abu-Hamza’s mosque (in London) was handed over to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In April 2013, the GMBDW reported that a Saudi newspaper had published an article detailing how the Finsbury mosque was taken over by the U.K Muslim Brotherhood.
In July, the GMBDW was the first to report the HSBC Bank had closed several accounts tied to the Muslim Brotherhood including that of the Finsbury Mosque.