The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) issued a statement timed for its recent annual conference that for the first time named Hamas and Hezbollah in a condemnation of terrorism, something which the organization has repeatedly failed to do over the last years. The statement read:
ISNA remains consistent in its rejection of terrorism and violence…ISNA rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hezbollah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration. ISNA has encouraged and continues to encourage a just and fair settlement of disputes between Israel, the Palestinians and their neighbors through diplomacy and other peaceful means.
ISNA has not been particularly consistent in the past with respect to terrorism. For example, there is no indication that ISNA or its affiliates took any positions or issued any statements or fatwas on the subject of terrorism prior to the events of 911. Following 911, condemnations by ISNA have been weak and qualified with ISNA leaders such as Jamal Badawi expounding justifications for “defensive JIhad.” Key individuals within ISNA have been linked to both Hamas and Islamic Jihad and ISNA supported both the Holy Land Foundation and its successor organizations even after the HLF had been indicted. A recent post has reported on a disingenuous denial of ISNA’s connections to Holy Land made by the current ISNA Secretary-General. Given the failure of ISNA to be honest about its past and its position as a key component within the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, it is unlikely that the naming of Hamas and Hezbollah marks a significant change for the organization.