Democratic Presidential candidate Barrack Obama has named Mazen Asbahi, a Chicago lawyer with ties to a financial organization close to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, as National Coordinator for Muslim American Affairs for his campaign. According to the Obama campaign website :
The Obama campaign appointed Mazen Asbahi to further the campaign’s outreach and get-out-the-vote efforts in the Arab American community. Mazen brings substantial experience and enthusiasm to his role within the Campaign. Mazen is a business lawyer with a major Chicago law firm who serves as general counsel to a number of Arab American and Muslim American businesses and community institutions. He also recently completed the Fellows Program of Leadership Greater Chicago. Mazen will serve as National Coordinator of Arab American Affairs and will be based in Chicago at the Campaign’s headquarters. The Obama campaign is working hard to connect with Americans of every faith and ethnicity in an unprecedented grass-roots movement to build an America rooted in compassion and a government that, in the Senator’s words, “reconciles the beliefs of each with the good of all.”
According to a May 4, 2000 SEC filing, Asbahi was listed as one of six trustees of the Allied Asset Advisors Funds, identified in an earlier post as a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and adviser to the Dow Jones Islamic Fund, both affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to the SEC document, the six Trustees of Allied Asset Advisers are:
- Bassam Osman (NAIT)
- Muzamil Siddiqi (Fiqh Council of North America, former president of ISNA)
- Abdalla Idris Ali (NAIT, American Muslim Council, former president of ISNA)
- Jamal Said (likely the Imam at the Bridgeview Mosque in suburban Chicago which has been tied to Hamas fund raising and the Muslim Brotherhood)
- Mohammed Kaiseruddin (NAIT)
- Mazen Asbahi
A research report on ISNA describes the origins of NAIT and the role that it played in the early development of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood:
The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) was established on May 23, 1973 and later became known as an affiliate of ISNA. According to the incorporation documents, the purpose of NAIT was to “serve the best interests of Islam and the Muslim Student’s Association of the United States and Canada” by establishing a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation to hold “investment property.” …: An Islamic scholar writes: “With its ability to raise funds, especially from overseas, MSA began establishing business and professional organizations useful in establishing off-campus institutions. The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) became instrumental in establishing masajid, student houses, Islamic centers, full-time schools, and literature publishing (under the American Trust Publications, International Graphics Press, and Islamic Book Service). Its members created the American Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE), the American Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), and the Islamic Medical Association (IMA).”
The report goes to describe how NAIT today has become the custodian of a large number of U.S. mosques and Islamic centers:
The NAIT website states that it “holds the title of approximately 300 properties” a figure consistent with a LEXIS/NEXIS search showing 332 properties in the real-estate related database and with a report by the Council on American Islamic Relations which says that NAIT owns about 27 percent of the estimated 1200 mosques in the United States. In a hearing before the United States Senate, witness testimony shows that NAIT holds the deeds to between 50% and 79% of American mosques.
The report also describes examples of how NAIT played a role in the ideological takeover of two U.S. mosques, driving out moderate leaders and replacing them with those close to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. One of those mosques was the Bridgeview mosque who imam, Jamal Said, is one of the Allied Asset Advisers trustees listed above. A document released in 2007 by the prosecution in the Holy Land Terrorism financing case names NAIT as one of the entities that is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
In addition, to Mr. Asbahi’s position as a Trustee of Allied Assets Advisers/NAIT, he also has other connections to ISNA, an organization with a history of fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and support for terrorism. He is listed as a speaker for ISNA and has spoken at ISNA conferences as well as serving as a board member of the Nawawi Foundation, an Illinois organization that also has Ingrid Mattson, the current ISNA president on its board. ISNA had its origins in the Muslim Student Association as well as NAIT and internal documents from the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood refers to ISNA as one of its constituent organizations. As previous posts discussed, federal prosecutors have named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land foundation terrorism financing case.
Mr. Asbahi has also been listed in the past as a speaker for the the Muslim Student Association, another organization known to be close to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.