Steven Emerson, the head of the Investigative Project, has published a report on the recent American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)’s conference titled “American Muslims For Palestine’s Web of Hamas Support.” The article begins:
Muslims convicted in America of supporting terrorist groups are heroes and the victims of injustice, a national convention of Palestinian activists was told. In addition, speakers said the fight for a Palestinian state will center on American college campuses.. American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)’s conference on Palestinian activism in America attracted more than 2,000 people Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago. Last year’s AMP’s conference revealed the organization’s goal to delegitimize the State of Israel in America. This year’s conference reinforced that message, while taking it a step further. At the opening ceremony, Jamal Said, an imam at the Mosque Foundation in Chicago (Bridgeview Mosque) hailed “the activists and freedom fighters who gave up their personal ambitions and their own lives so our cause may live.” Said was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas financing trial. The U.S. Treasury froze HLF assets in 2001 after concluding its money went to Hamas. Last week, a federal appeals court upheld the conviction of five HLF officials in November 2008 who had been accused of illegally routing more than $12 million to Hamas. During a session held in Arabic, Archbishop Atallah Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem supported Palestinians imprisoned by Israel for conducting acts of terrorism: “There are more than 8,000 Palestinian prisoners in the prisons of the Occupation. They are the pick of Palestinian youth, of honorable strugglers, who served the Palestinian cause. They were sentenced to the prisons of the racist Occupation because they defended the cause of their people, because they resisted, because they struggled, because they waged Jihad, because they were not those who were silent, who kept apart, who stood with their arms crossed, in the face of what was committed against their Palestinian people. They are prisoners of freedom.” [Emphasis added] Hanna, an Israeli citizen, ended his speech assuring the audience, “We in Palestine, Christians and Muslims, stand in one trench to confront the Occupation… This Occupation will vanish. Palestine will be liberated and will return to its owners.” Other speakers attacked the designation of terrorist groups by the United States. Othman Atta, the executive director of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, argued that such designations are “political decisions” made by Congress: “It is clearly a political decision. When the PLO was designated as a terrorist group – political decision – Hamas, Hizballah and other groups, when they’re designated as terrorist groups, it is a political decision. They don’t designate Israel, that has been occupying Palestinian lands for decades….” Congress does not designate terrorist groups or individual terrorists. Statutes empower both the U.S. State Department and the Treasury Department to do so. Atta is a frequent speaker at AMP events. Some of the members of the Islamic Center in Milwaukee were “involved in raising money in the name” of HLF “that is actually for Hamas,” according to a November 2001 FBI memo.
Read the rest here.
According to its website, the current President of the AMP is Hatem Bazian. An online biography provides the following details about Dr. Bazian:
Hatem Bazian is the current president of the American Muslims for Palestine. Dr. Bazian received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in near eastern studies and ethnic studies and a master’s degree in international relations from San Francisco State University. Currently, Dr. Bazian is a senior lecturer in the Near Eastern Studies and Ethnic Studies Departments at UC-Berkeley. In addition, Dr. Bazian is an adjunct professor at: UC-Berkeley Law School at Boalt Hall, religious studies at Saint Mary’s College of California and UC-Davis. Dr. Bazian co-hosted “Islam Today”, a weekly radio magazine show covering Islam and its diverse people around the world. Since 9/11, he has appeared on many TV and radio interviews and was also a translation consultant for the San Francisco Chronicle on a number of stories relating to Islam, Muslims and global politics.
Video from an April 2004 antiwar-rally shows Hatem Bazian calling for an “Intifada” in the US:
“Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Well, we’ve been watching intifada in Palestine, we’ve been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is that what are we doing? How come we don’t have an intifada in this country? Because it seem[s]to me, that we are comfortable in where we are, watchingCNN, ABC, NBC, Fox, and all these mainstream… giving us a window to the world while the world is being managed from Washington, from New York, from every other place in here in San Francisco: Chevron, Bechtel, [Carlyle?] Group, Halliburton; every one of those lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving individuals are in our country and we’re sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s]fundamentally the political dynamics in here. And we know every— They’re gonna say some Palestinian being too radical — well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet!”
One of the other board members of the AMP identified by the website is Salah Sarsour, also a board member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee as well as the registered agent for the Wisconsin chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood closely tied to the Egyptian organization. The Sarsour family in Milwaukee is known to have many ties to the Hamas infrastructure in the US. A previous post discussed a a “Gaza Solidarity Day” jointly organized by the MAS, the far-left A.N.S.W.E.R coalition, and the AMP.