Washington Post Fails To Identify U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Ties Of Dar Al-Hijrah


The Washington Post has reported on the Washington D.C. Dar Al-Hijrah mosque and its imam Johari Abdul Malik. The article describes the mosque as follows:

The mosque’s name means “land of migration,” and every Friday more than 3,000 worshipers from more than 35 countries pack into Dar Al-Hijrah’s prayer hall. Doctors from Pakistan kneel next to hotel workers from Sudan. Refugees from Somalia pray alongside naturalized citizens from Egypt. It was founded by a group of Arab college students in the 1980s. Through local fundraising drives and assistance from a few foreign donors such as the Saudi Embassy, the congregation bought 3.4 acres in Falls Church and began constructing a $5 million prayer hall. Today, its immense stone facade — chiseled with a verse from the Koran and adorned with a minaret and domes — is just off Leesburg Pike, hidden by evergreens. Its members are, for the most part, intensely committed to their faith and deeply conservative. Monday through Thursday, when many Muslims pray at home or near work, Dar Al-Hijrah regularly draws 200 to 400 worshipers, with many rising before dawn to get to prayer.

The Post article, however, fails to identify the close ties between the mosque and the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Dar Al-Hijra constitution, four of the nine mosque 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.) All are part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. In 2004, the Washington Post did report 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 discussed in the current Post article 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.

In addition, an earlier post discussed reports that Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center was scheduled to host a 2010 fund-raising dinner for the ongoing legal fees of Sabri Benkahla, sentenced in 2007 to 10 years in prison for lying to authorities about training with militants in Pakistan. One of the three featured speakers was Jamal Badawi, a leader in many of the most important organizations of the global Muslim Brotherhood including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR Canada), the Fiqh Council of North America, the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the European Council for Fatwa and ResearchDocuments released during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial indicate that he was (and probably still is), a member of the leadership structure of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The other two scheduled speakers at the dinner were Rodwaan Saleh, the ISNA Affiliates Coordinator, and John Sheldon, Mr Benkahla’s attorney.

Individuals convicted/indicted in terrorism-related cases that have been known to have attended Dar Al-Hijrah include:

  • Ismail Elbarasse (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.

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