RECOMMENDED READING: “Jamal Badawi: Enduring Link To ISNA’s Radical Past”


The Investigative Report has published a profile of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi titled “Jamal Badawi: Enduring Link to ISNA’s Radical Past.” The profile begins:

IPT News May 8, 2012 For an organization that has tried to distance itself from its Muslim Brotherhood roots, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) continues to rely on a Muslim Brotherhood official as a key speaker at many of its events. Jamal Badawi is scheduled to speak during three sessions at ISNA’s East Regional Conference in Tampa this weekend. Among them, ‘Understanding Shari’ah: Sacred Principles in Striving for the Human Development.’ Badawi, a member at large on ISNA’s governing board, is deeply rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood’s North American infrastructure, records show. He is listed on the first page of a 1992 telephone directory of Brotherhood members. He also was founding member of the Muslim American Society (MAS), identified as the Brotherhood’s U.S. arm in a 2004 Chicago Tribune story. ‘Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood,’ Abdurrahman Alamoudi testified in a Virginia courtroom last month. Alamoudi, once the nation’s most influential Muslim political figure, acknowledges his own Brotherhood involvement. Brotherhood members also created ISNA in 1981 as an outgrowth of the Muslim Students’ Association. The Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, has surged to power in recent Egyptian elections and has a global Islamic state, or Caliphate, as its ultimate goal. Its American arm cited an educational program Badawi ran in 1991 as a foundation for ‘dawa,’ or proselytizing, in America. That same document described the Brotherhood’s work in America as ‘a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.’ Badawi’s comments over the years show he views Islam as superior to democracy and that he defends violent jihad, including suicide bombings, as a form of martyrdom. Such statements, in addition to his Brotherhood connections, make it difficult for ISNA to claim that it has shed its radical past and MB ties.

Read the rest here.

Dr. Badawi is a leader in many of the most important organizations of the Global and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood including the Islamic Society of North America ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR- Canada), the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), the Muslim American Society MAS), and the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR). He recently retired from an academic position at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and continues to be one of the most widely traveled North American Muslim Brotherhood leaders. In 2007, as one of the GMBDW’s earliest posts, we analyzed the role of Dr. Badawi in the leadership structure of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. 

As documented in a Hudson Institute reportISNA grew directly out of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Contrary to its claim that ISNA has a “long record of fighting hate, extremism, and bigotry, including anti-Semitism”, the organization actually 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 as a result of what the government called “ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.” Although it is true that 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 of support for terrorism. Also, as the Hudson Institute report observes, almost all of the ISNA founders remain active in the organization and ISNA maintains close relations with all other components of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A previous post discussed the ties between the ISNA Secretary-General, a former leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Chicago chapter, and an Illinois school with close links to the Mosque Foundation, itself tied to fundraising for Hamas.

Despite it’s long history of association with fundamentalism, terrorism, and anti-Semitism, ISNA has been successful of late in building alliances with Jewish leaders and organizations. Former ISNA officials such as Muzammil Siddiqi, Sayyid Syeed, and Mohamed Magid have been particularly active in promoting Holocaust awareness, including participating in a trip last August to concentration camp sites in Europe.

post from October 2011 reported on a  controversial conference associated with ISNA that was accused by a critics of being sponsored by organizers who made of anti-Semitic and anti-gay remarks.

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