U.S. media is reporting that a group of Muslim clerics and rabbis from 10 European countries has arrived in the U.S. for a series of interfaith visits that includes numerous points of contact with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Washington Times report:
A group of 28 imams and rabbis from 10 European countries arrived in New York and Washington this week for whirlwind visits to interfaith centers to break new ground on Muslim-Jewish relations and combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in each other’s communities. They will receive instructions from teams of American rabbis and imams who will show the Europeans how American-style ecumenism works on the ground. It’s the first visit of its kind to involve foreign Muslim and Jewish leaders coming to the U.S., where interreligious ties have a much longer history and track record of success….The impetus for the five-day visit came after “exponential” growth of anti-Semitism among Muslims in Britain, France and elsewhere in Europe, said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and chairman of the World Jewish Congress American Section.”We want to help strengthen those in the Islamic world who are projecting this voice of moderation and to help them take their religion back from the cadre of extremists and fanatics in Islam,” he said.
The report goes on to identify the schedule of the group’s activities:
- The Europeans’ first meeting Monday is with Imam Mohammad Shamsi Ali, head of the Islamic Cultural Center, New York’s largest mosque, who will talk about his contacts with the FFEU. Then it’s on to the United Nations, where the delegation will hear from Muzammil Siddiqi, chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America, the continent’s highest body of Islamic jurisprudence. What follows is an afternoon of panels at the Islamic Cultural Center, each with a local rabbi teamed with an imam.
- On Tuesday, the Europeans will visit Ellis Island and ground zero and hear from Robert Jackson, the lone Muslim member of the New York City Council.
- On Wednesday morning, the group takes a bus to Washington to tour the Holocaust museum. Rabbi Jack Moline, leader of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria and vice chairman of the Interfaith Alliance advocacy group, and Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, a mosque in Sterling, will speak on preventing future holocausts.
- After a tour of the U.S. Capitol, the group will meet with Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana, both Muslims, along with two leaders of the unofficial Congressional Jewish Caucus, Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York and Robert Wexler of Florida.The delegation then attends a dinner hosted by the ISNA at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, where they will hear from Imam Yahya Hindi of Georgetown University and Rabbi Gerry Serotta, North American chairman of Rabbis for Human Rights.
- On Thursday, the group will visit the White House to meet with Joshua Dubois, executive director of the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. After lunch at the Saudi Embassy, the group flies home.
Muzammil Siddiqi and the Fiqh Council of North America are associated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). As documented in a Hudson Institute report, ISNA grew directly out of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator as a result of what the government called “ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.” Although ISNA has recently issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history of support for terrorism. Also, as the Hudson Institute report observes, almost all of the ISNA founders remain active in the organization and ISNA maintains close relations with all other components of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Previous posts have discussed the growing ties between ISNA and the Reform Jewish community in the U.S.
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society has ties to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). The Hudson report also indicates that IIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003 in connection with the financing of terrorism. The organization appeared to withdrawn from public view following the 2003 raids, but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia. A report in the Washington Post from June 2007 indicated that IIIT and the SAAR Foundation were still under investigation by the Justice Department at that time.
Keith Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress and previous posts have discussed his ties to the Muslim American Society (MAS). The MAS was identified in the Hudson Institute report as a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to the Egyptian organization.
As discussed in an earlier post, one of the Muslim representatives to the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships has ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.