Jewish media in the U.S. is reporting that two individuals and two members of Congress with varying degrees of ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood have signed a letter to Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal urging the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. According to a report in the Jewish Telegraph:
A group of prominent American Muslims issued a letter urging Hamas to immediately release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The Aug. 26 letter’s 11 signatories include the two Muslim members of Congress – Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Andre Carson (D-IN)—as well as Muslim academics and communal figures. “We believe Hamas’ harsh treatment and five-year detention of Shalit is wrong,” the Muslim leaders wrote in their letter, which was addressed to Khaled Mashal, the Syrian-based chairman of Hamas’ political bureau. The letter said that Hamas has complained about the conditions under which Israel holds thousands of Palestinian prisoners. Citing the teachings of Muhammad, the letter’s signatories wrote that Muslims are “instructed to ‘repel the evil deed with one that is better.’”“The struggle for Palestinian human rights and self-determination must be based on this ethical and moral code,” the letter said. “Hamas’ inhumane detention of Shalit undermines the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for human rights and a state of their own, existing in peace and security beside Israel.” Along with the two congressmen, the letter’s signatories include Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, who was involved initially in the controversial effort to build a Muslim community center near Ground Zero; Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances; and Akbar Ahmed, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United Kingdom who now teaches at American University.
Full text of the letter here.
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. Congressman Carson is currently listed as a speaker for ISNA
According to his biography, Dr. Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC. and is frequently described as a prominent Islamic moderate who has received numerous awards and accolades. However, Dr. Ahmed also has a long association with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) established in 1980 by some of the most important figures in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Dr. Ahmed is also a member of the advisory board of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, the publication of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, another part of the U.S. Brotherhood and headquartered at IIIT .
Congressman Ellison is the first Muslim-American to be elected to Congress. Previous posts have discussed the controversy over his trip to Mecca which was funded by the Muslim American Society, a well-known U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group close to the Egyptian organization.