Mahdi Bray, one of the leaders of the U.S Muslim Brotherhood, has denied that a video depicting him pumping his fist in response to a call for support of Hamas and Hezbollah were indications of his support for terrorism. Local media reported Mr. Bray’s response to the video in an article discussing the relationship of the governor of Virginia with the Muslim American Society (MAS). As a previous post has reported, Dr. Esam S. Omeish, President of the MAS, recently resigned from the Virginia State Commission on Immigration following the pubic release of videos showing him condemning Israel and advocating “the jihad way. The new report indicates that Governor Kaine had also been the keynote speaker at the MAS Freedom Foundation “Standing for Justice Dinner” and was photographed with leaders of the group, including Imam Mahdi Bray, the executive director of the foundation. In response to the video which featured Abdurahman al-Amoudi, later convicted of providing money to Saudi militants, Bray stated:
Bray said Monday that he and others at the video weren’t cheering for the terrorist organizations.” The majority of the people they were kind of raising their hands, and kind of cheering, and so on because this was so uncharacteristic of al-Amoudi,” Bray said. “We didn’t know he had a problem with law enforcement. He was considered the pillar of the American Muslim community.”Bray said his gestures weren’t in support of Hamas and Hezbollah.” You saw me pumping my fists. You didn’t see me raising my hands. If they had shown the audience, you would have seen people in the audience raising their hands and falling out laughing,” he said. “For him to come and make these kinds of radical rants, no one took him seriously.” Bray said he does not support violence, and would have been more judicious in his reaction had the event happened after Sept. 11, 2001.
Bray also charged that calls from the governor’s political opponents to distance himself from the MAS had racist motives and could be a “throwback” to Virginia’s racist past.” The MAS is a less well-known part of the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S. exposed in September 2004 as part of the Brotherhood by a newspaper article.