BREAKING NEWS: ISNA Official Suspended From Working On Military Bases; Criminal Inquiry In ProgressBy
The Dallas Morning News has reported on the suspension and criminal inquiry by the U.S. military into the activities and lectures of Louay Safi, the Development Director for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). According to the report:
After the worst military base massacre in U.S. history, officials acknowledged that they failed to “connect the dots” – the shooter had been corresponding with an imam tied to al-Qaeda and had condemned the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a war against Islam. But Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan wasn’t the only one working on a Texas Army base the day of the shooting who had links to radical Islamists. At Fort Bliss, an experienced military trainer was teaching soldiers about his Muslim faith. He, too, had denounced government counterterrorism efforts, and public records show he and some of his closest associates had ties to terrorism suspects. But when The Dallas Morning News first inquired about the instructor, Louay Safi, military officials praised him. Only later did they say that Safi had been suspended from working on military bases pending a continuing criminal inquiry….In January, military officials told the newspaper that Safi was under investigation and that his lectures had been suspended. The investigation, begun by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was recently referred to the Army, said Ed Buice, an NCIS spokesman. He would not elaborate, but other military officials said the inquiry began after a Dec. 3 complaint about ISNA. The complaint came in as Safi concluded three days of lectures at Fort Hood, which is still traumatized by the Nov. 5 massacre.
The Dallas Morning News report also provides some background on Dr. Safi:
Safi is a senior official of the Islamic Society of North America, the country’s largest Muslim organization. ISNA has been consulted for years by Washington and is described as a partner in the fight against terrorism. In addition to serving as ISNA’s communications director, Safi runs its program certifying Muslim chaplains for work in the U.S. military and prison system. He publicly denounces terrorism and advocates peace. Safi was also named by government prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in one terrorism case in 2005. His last two employers were implicated in other government terrorism investigations while he worked for them. He was never charged, nor included among the targets of those investigations. But Safi has called the widespread raids on Muslim organizations after 9/11 “a campaign against Islam” – a term that 9/11 Commission director Philip Zelikow says is part of “the jihadi narrative.” Safi has also complained that Muslims are treated differently from Christians and Jews when they do wrong. They are unfairly identified by and questioned about their religion, he says, treatment that can lead to isolation and aggression. “The extremist ideology responsible for violent outbursts is often rooted in the systematic demonization of marginalized groups,” Safi said in an Internet posting after the Fort Hood shooting.
A report by the Hudson Institute has identified ISNA as a major part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Although recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history.
In addition to his current role at ISNA, Dr. Safi has also served as the Research Director for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a founding board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), and President of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), all important parts of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. As discussed in a previous post, he was also part of the advisory board of a journal published by the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), a part of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and founded by Hamas deputy political chief Mousa Abu Marzook. Dr.Safi has also been a faculty member and Dean/Deputy Dean at the International Islamic University Malaysia, closely associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood.
The report also notes that at least one other individual tied to the U.S. Brotherhood is serving as one of the military trainers:
Military officials would not identify the five other trainers. They said federal privacy law forbids naming the subcontractors without their consent, which they did not give. One trainer who has previously identified himself publicly is Yahya Hendi, a chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center near Washington. He serves with Safi on ISNA’s chaplaincy board and sits on the ISNA-affiliated Fiqh Council of North America, which issues Islamic legal decrees. He did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.
As discussed in an earlier post, Yahya Hendi has also served as community relations and development coordinator for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), another U.S. Brotherhood group.