According to a Reuters report, Georgetown University Imam Yahya Hendi discussed the situation of American Muslims before an unidentified gathering of Saudi Academics on a visit to Saudi Arabia. Hendi, linked to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the Fiqh Academy of North America, made the following comments:
I think the future is bright, because of our wisdom in dealing with the reality, Hendi, a Palestinian by birth, told a gathering of Saudi academics on a visit to Saudi Arabia. ‘There are serious efforts being made among the second and third generation to become part of the political establishment. The challenge we face is in the media and from some Christian extremists who don’t want an Islamic presence in America.’ Hendi said U.S. Muslims, whose number he put at 7 to 9 million, were working on ‘nationalising’ Islam as part of the fabric of U.S. society, including cutting funding links to Muslim countries.’Last year we elected the first Muslim to Congress and I expect that by 2015 there will be three or four as well as at least 30 mayors,’ he said, adding there were now 400 Muslim lawyers in the United States compared to nine before Sept. 11….He said he did not feel there was general animosity towards Muslims in American society, and that he encouraged Muslims to join intelligence bodies like the CIA and FBI.
Several aspects of the statement are interesting. First, Hendi identifies “Christian extremists” and the media as the basic problems for Muslim, leaving out the Jewish community and/or the “Neocons” which are sometimes alluded to in statements by other Muslim Brotherhood figures. Second, Hendi vastly overstates the number of U.S. Muslims which, as a Pew study determined, stands at some 2.35 million. This overstatement is also a common strategy in Muslim Brotherhood circles. Third, the concept of cutting funding links to Muslim countries does seem to be part of the Brotherhood plan to negate criticism of such links. Finally, this is the first time that the prospect has been raised of a substantial number of Muslim mayors and hints at an emerging Brotherhood political strategy as does the comment about encouraging Muslims to join the FBI and CIA.