ISNA Holds 49th Annual Conference; Many Speakers Tied To Global Muslim Brotherhood

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The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) held its 49th Annual Convention over the weekend. While the event appears to have attracted no media attention, the convention program identifies a myriad of speakers tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood including:

  • Tariq Ramadan (grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood)
  • Jamal Badawi (leader of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood)
  • Rachid Ghannouchi (leader of the Tunisan Muslim Brotherhood)
  • Radwan Ziadeh (Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy)
  • Tawakul Karman (Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood)
  • Nihad Awad (leader of Council on American Islamic Relations)
  • Yaqub Mirza (ISNA, former SAAR Foundation)
  • Fatima Mirza (ISNA, relative of Yaqub)
  • Susan Douglas (International Institute of Islamic Thought)
  • Jasser Auda (International Institute of Islamic Thought, colleague of Youssef Qaradawi)

Other individuals of interest included University of California professor Hatem Bazian who once called for an “Intifada” in the US and Reform Rabbi David Saperstein who has been engaged in a longstanding interfaith effort with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. 

One of the scheduled conference sessions was titled “Partnering with Our Government for the Common Good” to included “ Representatives from the US Agency for International Development, US Dept. of Justice, US Dept. of State, US Dept. of Homeland Security, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, The White House, and USAID. Also scheduled to attended was Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim Congressman. 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. Also notable is the scheduled participation of Mazen Asbahi who then candidate Obama appointed as his campaign Muslim outreach advisor. Asbahi was a former MSA leader who resigned his position after less than two weeks on the job when the GMBDW detailed his ties to the USMB.

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. A 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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