The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has announced that Rashad Hussain, President Obama’s Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, has attended a meeting in Mauritania that was hosted by Abdallah bin Bayyah, an associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. According to the ISNA report, the subject of the meeting was “challenges faced by religious minorities in Muslim-majority communities” and participants included:
The meeting last week was hosted by Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, Vice Chair of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, in his new Global Centre for Renewal and Guidance in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Participants included Dr. Nourredine al-Khademi, Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs; Dr. Ahmed Toufiq, Moroccan Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowment; Mr. Rashad Hussain, President Obama’s Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Dr. Ahmed Ould Neini, Mauritanian Minister of Islamic Affairs; Dr. Abderrazak Juessoum, President of the Algerian Muslim Scholars Association; and other prominent scholars. The scholars also met with President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania to brief him on the purpose of their visit to Mauritania and the goal of their project. The President was very supportive and offered the scholars his assistance facilitating the development of solutions to this enormous challenge.”
Abdallah Bin Bayyah, last known to be living in Saudia Arabia, is a well known global Muslim Brotherhood figure also from Mauritania. According to an on-line biography, Sheikh Bin Bayyah was born in Eastern Mauritania and was the son of “one of the greatest scholars of his time.” According to this source, Sheikh Bin Bayyah was taught Islamic subjects by his father and in his early 20’s, was sent by the Mauritanian government to Tunis to study Islamic jurisprudence. Upon his return to Mauritania, he became a judge in the Ministry of Justice. He was also chosen to be the head of the Shariah section of the court of appeals and later to “High Authority for Religious Affairs.” Sheikh Bin Bayyah held numerous government posts including Vice-President, Prime Minister, and Permanent Secretary of the People’s Party of Mauritania. Sheikh Bin Bayyah is a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, the theological body headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and affiliated with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, essentially comprising the European Muslim Brotherhood.
The ECFR meets annually and a Wall Street Journal reporter who attended a 2004 meeting described the extremism and antisemitism that took place:
“…members, speaking in Arabic, explained how European Muslim family life was under attack. ‘Extremist fundamentalist powers based on aggression on the part of the Crusader and Zionist alliance in the West are now preparing their cultural strategy according to a new wave of secular tendencies,’ said Ahmed Ali Al- Imam, a Sudanese religious figure who advocates the implementation of sharia in his religiously divided country. Other papers accepted traditional norms that directly contradict Western law and society, especially regarding women and marriage. Women should only cut their hair with their husbands’ permission, and “any woman who would marry without a male guardian’s consent, her wedding is invalid,” declared Muhammad Hawari, a Germany-based member of the group. Sometimes the group’s advice seems aimed at Muslims from another era. ‘Children should eat clean food and use clean water. They should not urinate in water wells,’ Mr. Hawari wrote in a paper. Adoption, he added, was forbidden, because a woman might be seen in a state of undress by a child other than her biological offspring. And if a child is adopted, Mr. Hawari said they should not be given equal rights to biological children.”
The same reporter also wrote that a Council member cited “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious anti-Semitic forgery written in czarist Russia, in a position paper on how Muslim families are under threat in Europe. “The Protocols, the speaker said, was evidence of a Jewish plot to undermine Muslim moral values through sexual permissiveness.” Qaradawi himself is a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement.
For a short time, Rashad Hussain was embroiled in controversy after the GMBDW reported both his associations with the US Muslim Brotherhood and remarks that he had made in 2004 about the prosecution of convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian that were later deleted from the publication that reported them. Mr. Hussain at first denied remembering that he had made the remarks calling the prosecution “politically motivated persecution” but later, after an audio tape surfaced documenting the remarks, he acknowledged the comments but said that they had been “ill advised.” Mr. Hussain also admitted that he had complained to the publication about being misrepresented after the remarks were first reported but that the publication had deleted them on their own volition. The remarks did not appear to have been deleted until after Mr. Hussain had been appointed White House Counsel. (for an analysis of these events, go here). Since that time, Mr. Hussain has appeared at numerous events sponsored by the US Muslim Brotherhood including those held by the Center for the Study of Islamic and Democracy (CSID), the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). A Hudson Institute report identifies both the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) as elements of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Previous posts have discussed the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood ties of the other organizations.
In May, a post reported that ISNA held a symposium together with the Georgetown University’s Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) which featured prominent members of the global Brotherhood including Abdallah Bin Bayyah and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi.
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.