A recent post has discussed a statement by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) which disavows terrorism and which names Hamas and Hezbollah for the first time. This post also noted that ISNA has not been particularly consistent in the past with respect to terrorism, despite the statement’s claims to the contrary. The full text of the statement is now available on the ISNA website and it make further, equally disingenuous claims. For example, the ISNA statement asserts that:
ISNA was founded by Muslims in North America for the purpose of establishing an open, pluralistic platform for presenting Islam, supporting Muslim communities, developing educational, social and outreach programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities, civic and service organizations and all levels of government.
In fact, the organization’s corporate registration documents state that ISNA was founded with another purpose:
..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.
This statement is more in line with the “total Islam” ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood which is not surprising since, according to national media reports, the original ISNA complex in Plainfield, Indiana was funded by $21 million raised from Muslim Brotherhood leaders Youssef Qaradawi and Youssef Nada as well as the emir of Qatar.
The ISNA statement goes on to deny a connection with the Muslim Brotherhood:
…ISNA is not now nor has it ever been subject to the control of any other domestic or international organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood.
This position has become increasingly difficult to maintain in light of documents released in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case which clearly show that ISNA was part of the U.S Muslim Brotherhood (The phrase “subject to the control” is interesting as it does not deny a connection to the Brotherhood)
Finally, the ISNA statement asserts that ISNA “does not accept funding from foreign governments.” This claim is impossible to verify since, despite its claims of transparency, ISNA is classified as a religious organization and is therefore not required to make a public report of its finances nor has it voluntarily done so. It should be noted that Canadian media has reported that in 2002, Saudi King Fahd gave $5-million and an annual grant of $1.5-million to the Islamic Centre in Toronto which also houses ISNA and that in 2005, the Saudi Islamic Development Bank announced a $275,000 grant to ISNA’s high school, as well as a scholarship program.