According to the conference program, an official of the U.S. State Department appeared together inn December with representatives of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation in order to encourage Muslims to join the U.S. Foreign Service. The program describes the session, titled “Engage Muslim Youth Career Opportunities”:
Besides being a citizenship duty, there are benefits that Muslims can add to the American Muslim community and the global Muslim world by joining the US Foreign Services. This session will shed light on the different career opportunities for Muslim youth in the US Foreign Services Department. It will also clear any concerns that many people have feared about pursuing in this career.
The three individuals featured in the session were identified as:
- Mark Ward (U.S. State Department)
- Ayman Hammous (Executive Director, MAS N.Y)
- Oussama Jammal (MAS, Vice-President Bridgeview Mosque Foundation)
Mark Ward is described by his State Department bio as follows:
Mark S. Ward is the Deputy Special Coordinator in the Office of Middle East Transition at the U.S. Department of State, the office that coordinates all civilian assistance to Middle Eastern countries in transition to democracy. Mr. Ward is a Career Minister in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States.
The MAS was identified in a Hudson Institute report as a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to the Egyptian organization and In March 2012, a post discussed a report that imprisoned U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi had testified that the MAS is, in fact, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. In June of 2011, the MAS closed its political action wing, known as the Freedom Foundation (MAS Freedom), due to lack of “resources”, presumably meaning funding. MAS Freedom had been headed by MAS leader Mahdi Bray who, as reported in a post from January, was recovering from a cerebral stroke. Numerous posts have discussed the activities of Mr. Bray who according to a 2009 Investigative Project investigation had an undisclosed criminal background.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is a less well-known part of the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S., generally thought to be closely tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami organization of Southeast Asia, itself known to be allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. ICNA is particularly close to the Muslim American Society, a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and tied to the Egyptian organization, and the two organizations have been holding joint annual conventions for many years. Previous posts have discussed ICNA ad campaigns intended to present Islam to the U.S. public. The New York campaign drew national media attention when it was reported that Siraj Wahajj, an American Islamic convert associated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was behind the New York campaign. A post from March reported on a new ICNA educational campaign on Shari’ah (Islamic Law) . A post from August 2011 discussed a personal appeal for donations from the founder and former president of ICNA to support ICNA’s “Understanding Shari’ah” campaign.
A 2004 Chicago Tribune report documented extensive connections between the Bridgeview Mosque and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Hamas fundraising.