Local media is reporting on the formation of the Midland Islamic Council, a new Islamic umbrella group in the Kansas City area whose inaugural meeting was addressed by leaders of the US Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:
Muzammil Siddiqi, a guest speaker at the inaugural meeting of the Midland Islamic Council, said united, Muslims are strong. Samira Hussein, who attended the council meeting, believes it was a visible first step toward forming a central body in the area. Guest speaker Shakeel Syed is executive director of a successful umbrella Muslim council in Southern California. The newly formed Midland Islamic Council wants to change that. And it also has other ambitious goals, such as unifying the various Muslim groups in the area. “Most of us came from different countries, traditions and cultures,” said Shakil Haider, chairman of the council. “When we came here, we settled in different areas.” Islamic centers and mosques were formed to meet religious, social and education needs. Haider estimates the area’s Muslim population at more than 25,000, including 5,000 Somalis. “Immigrant Muslims are mostly in suburban areas, and African-American Muslims, mostly in Kansas City, and they conduct activities mainly in their own areas,” he said. But two weeks ago, about 200 Muslims of various cultures came together in Pierson Auditorium at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for the council’s inaugural dinner meeting…..Siddiqi told those gathered that Muslims need to respect one another’s identity, diversity and background. They must work together on the things they have in common and excuse one another for the things on which they disagree. They should follow the law of Allah and the law of the land, he said. Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Southern California Shura Council, said that what happens with Muslims anywhere affects Muslims everywhere, and all are held responsible. “And we are expected to say something,” he said. Syed, who also spoke at the council’s inaugural meeting, urged Muslims to keep their communities informed, making use of new technology to reach the younger population, and said the Shura Council is ready to answer any call and address any issue affecting Muslims elsewhere. “Imagine a Muslim here whose dignity is challenged, and all you have to do is make one call, and the council will stand up for that Muslim,” he said. So far 17 mosques and Muslim organizations have joined the council, including groups in Lawrence, Topeka and St. Joseph. The council anticipates embracing others in Wichita and parts of Iowa and Nebraska. Among its stated goals are to promote collaboration and cooperation among Muslim groups and to build consensus on issues of common interest. It aims to provide a unified voice on civil rights, Muslim identity, Islamophobia, and social and humanitarian issues.
According to an online biography, Dr. Siddiqi graduated with a BA in Islamic & Arabic Studies in 1965 from the University of Medina, founded in 1961 known to be staffed by Saudi fundamentalist clerics and members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who had sought asylum in the Kingdom. While completing a doctorate in theology at Harvard, Dr. Siddiqi served as Chairman of the Department of Religious Affairs at the Muslim World League Office to the United Nations and U. S.A. from 1976 to 1980. He has been a past President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and continues to be a leader of ISNA, an important member of the U.S Muslim Brotherhood.
Dr. Siddiqi is also the former chairman of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (ISCSC), referred to above. The ISCSC website identifies the the following individuals, all tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood organizations, as members of the current Shura Council Board:
- Dr. Maher Hathout- Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Islamic Center of Southern California
- Edina Lekovic- MPAC
- Dr. Ahmed Soboh- Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
- Taha Hassane, Muslim American Society (MAS)
Also close to the ISCSC was Hassan Hathout, now deceased, who was the brother of Maher Hathout and likely a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt before emigrating to the US. Earlier posts have reported that the ISCSC often acts in “coalitions” with other US Muslim Brotherhood organizations.
The Midland Islamic Council website is here.