ISNA Holds Honors Qatari Interfaith Center; US OIC Envoy In Attendance


The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has announced that in late April it organized an interfaith discussion to honor the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) that was attended by White House officials including US Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) envoy Rashad Hussain. According to the announcement:

On Monday, April 26, 2010, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) organized a high level interfaith round table discussion and luncheon to honor and welcome the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID). This well attended event by the most prominent inter-religious leaders from across the nation was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The title of the event was “To Each a Key: Unlocking the Door to Interfaith Harmony” and the morning program was opened by Imam Mohamed Magid, ISNA’s Vice President. A round table discussion of 30 national interfaith leaders moderated by Dr. Sayyid Syeed, National Director, then took place, with brief presentations by some of our interfaith partners. Dr. Khalid Bin Nasser Al-Khater and Dr. Hamed Abdulaziz Al-Marwani, both board members of the Doha Center, made presentations about the DICID and appreciated the reports about the interfaith projects and activities going on in the United States. After the morning round table, ISNA facilitated the presence of many more leaders and partners for a luncheon with discussions on the same theme. ISNA Secretary General Safaa Zarzour opened the program, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Washington gave his remarks about the genuine efforts made by various organizations and individuals in promoting the dialogue. During the luncheon, Dr. Al-Marwani gave a presentation on the mission of the DICID and its achievement to an audience of 60 interfaith leaders. Ms. Mara Vanderslice, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, addressed the crowd and expressed the administration’s positive outlook and goals regarding interfaith work. Mr. Rashad Hussain, U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, reaffirmed the commitment of the Obama administration to the primacy of dialogue and trust building between the United States and the Muslim communities around the world. ISNA is honored to have had the opportunity to host and organize such a successful event where so many of our partners in dialogue had an opportunity to interact with each other and discuss future work and collaborative efforts. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the DICID, which is the largest and most well respected interfaith entity in the Gulf region, and it is our belief that such a partnership will promote dialogue and activities to benefit society on a global scale, as well as strengthen the work we do currently here in the United States.

The DICID board of directors and advisers includes many important representatives of the College of Sharia & Islamic Studies at Qatar University where Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi was formerly the Dean. Qaradawi appears to continue to enjoy close relations with the College where he recently attended a graduation and with whom his Center jointly organized a symposium. Qaradawi is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.

A report by the Hudson Institute has identified ISNA as a major part 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. Although recently ISNA has 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.

For a short time, Rachad Hussain was embroiled in controversy after the GMBDW reported both his associations with the US Muslim Brotherhood and remarks that he had made in 2004 about the prosecution of convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian that were later deleted from the publication that reported them.

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