In an interview on Egyptian TV, Muslim Brotherhood leader claims to have converted 20,000 US troops to Islam at the time of the 1st Gulf War. According to a MEMRI translation of the interview:
Zaghloul Al-Naggar: In 1990, when I was teaching at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran [Saudi Arabia], the American forces came with all their soldiers and weapons. I heard their commanders saying: “This country bans the building of churches, restricts Christian activity, and prevents unveiled women from leaving their homes. We will force all these things upon it.”
The university students were upset by this, and said that they wanted to fight these people. I said: With what will you fight them? They have half a million soldiers and an unparalleled war machine. With what will you fight them? Besides, your government allowed them into the country. If you harm them in any way, you will be held accountable by law.
The students said: Are we supposed to just watch them from the sidelines? I said: No, call them to join Islam. The students laughed at me. They said: Call who? These arrogant people?! I said: Tell one of the Saudi liaison officers to ask them if they wanted to hear about the culture of this country, but don’t say anything specifically about Islam, because that would deter them. The [Americans] welcomed this, because they were psychologically unbalanced, due to the lack of their usual entertainment. So I approached them, with some colleagues from the university, from Aramco, and from SECO, who could talk about Islam in English. Within three months, more than 20,000 of their men and women converted to Islam.
Interviewer: More than…
Zaghloul Al-Naggar: More than 20,000.
Al-Naggar also said that he traveled to the US following the war “to help them contact Islamic centers close to their homes” and that he was invited to lecture at the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Washington D.C.”
Interviewer: Twenty thousand?!
Zaghloul Al-Naggar: Yes. We have lists with their names, addresses, and phone numbers. They were generals and privates, men and women, black and white. When they converted to Islam, they all said the same thing – as if Allah were speaking from their mouths. They said: “My parents will die as infidels only because you are lazy. You did not come [to the US]to call us to join Islam. We had to invade your country in order to hear about Islam.” I traveled to the US after they had returned, in order to help them contact Islamic centers close to their homes. They all brought along more people who had converted, after hearing the story of how these soldiers had converted to Islam. I was invited to a mosque in Washington, DC, called Dar Al-Hijra, to deliver a Friday sermon. I noticed that one of the congregants was a navy general. I was sure that he had been in the Gulf. After the prayer, he came to say hello. I asked him if he had been in the Gulf War, and he said: “No, my son was there, and he passed Islam on to us.” Therefore, I say to the officials in the Arab and Islamic world, that they must understand that we face the most difficult circumstances. Due to their material superiority, the non-Muslims have overcome us, and they are waging a fierce war, both overtly and covertly, against Islam. Our means to confront this cannot be financial, because our material capabilities will never be a match to theirs. Our only means is to preach the call to Allah, with good words, clear evidence, and proper logic. We can resolve all our political, economic, and scientific problems, and overcome our backwardness in some areas, by calling these people to join Islam, using the only language they understand – the language of science.
Dar Al-Hijrah is tightly tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Dar Al-Hijra web site, four of the nine board members must include the current Secretary General of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the current President of Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA), the current General Manager of North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) , and the current President of Muslim American Society (MAS). (Both MAYA and NAIT are components of ISNA.) In 2004, the Washington Post reported on the ties between Dar Al-Hijra and the MAS, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group close to the Egyptian organization. Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical imam with whom the Fort Hood shooter had been in contact, had been Imam of Dar Al-Hijrah to prior to 911 and in July 2005 Shaker Elsayed, the former secretary-general of the MAS was appointed as the Dar Al Hijrah imam. The former imam left to become the executive director of the Fiqh Council of North America, affiliated with ISNA.
Individuals convicted/indicted in terrorism-related cases that have been known to have attended Dar Al-Hijrah include:
- Abdurrahman Alamoudi, (convicted in plot assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia)
- Ismail Elbarasse (convicted of obstruction of justice in Hamas financing case)
- Abdelhaleem Ashqar (convicted of obstruction of justice in Hamas financing case)
- Randall “Ismail” Royer (convicted member of the Virginia Jihad Network)
- Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (al-Qaida operative convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush)
Two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour were also known to have attended Dar Al-Hijrah.
Dr. El-Naggar is most famous in the Islamic world as a proponent of “Bucailleism”, a kind of Islamic creationism that sees in the Koran signs of future scientific breakthroughs. According to a 2002 WSJ article, Dr. El-Naggar is also the mentor of Sheikh Abdul Majeed Zindani who is wanted by the United States in connection with his support of Al Qaeda in Yemen and is also said to be the “spiritual mentor” to Osama Bin Laden. El-Nagger is also known for his virulent anti-Semitic beliefs which have been discussed in a previous post. Dr. El-Naggar was extensively profiled in a previous post which discussed his background in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.