FEATURED STORY: US Syrian Foundation Tied To Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas Sponsors US Tour Of Controversial Sheikh


Two US organizations tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure are sponsoring the US tour of a controversial Syrian cleric who once called for suicide bombings against civilians in Israel and for the death penalty for homosexuals. According to an announcement on the website of the Texas-based Shaam Relief Foundation:

Shaam Relief Foundation in cooperation with the Syrian American Council is pleased to announce that Dr. Mohamad Rateb Al-Nabulsi will be touring the US supporting the cause of the Syrian people. The nationwide tour will start in January 2014 until early February ….

The announcement goes on to list seventeen US cities where Dr. Al-Nabulsi will be visiting. According to an online biography (edited for brevity):

logoDr. Al-Nabulsi was educated first in Syria and later received a Ph.D. in education from “Dublin University” where his Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Education of Children in Islam”. In 1974, he was appointed orator in the mosque of his grandfather, tSheikh Abdulghani An-Nabulsi, and a religion lecturer in the mosques of Damascus; and he has been orating and teaching in An-Nabulsi mosque, and also in other mosques. ke was also appointed member of several committees setup by the Ministry of Awqaf. The Minister of Awqaf issued an order whereby he appointed him as one of the orators of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, and a religious teacher in it. He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran and Prophetic Sunna”, “Outlooks on Islam”, “Contemplations on Islam”, among others. He also wrote articles for some Syrian, Arab, Islamic, and Western magazines and newspapers. He is married and has three daughters, all of whom are married. He also has two sons, the first of whom has a post-graduate degree in Business Administration from the USA, and the second works in the field of business and trading.

In April 2001, Dr. Al-Nabusi posted his thoughts on “martyrdom operations in Palestine” in which he writes that although he is not a mufti, he makes clear that he approves of the following rulings of religious scholars (translated from the Arabic):

  • That the bombing of the Muslim mujahideen themselves against the occupiers is a legitimate resistance, the greatest jihad in the cause of God.”
  • That suicide bombings are also acceptable in Islamic countries “under occupation.”
  • That Jews are the “most inferior and most evil of peoples and the greatest enemies of Allah and of Islam and its people.”

Dr. Al-Nabusi also writes that there is no such thing as an Israeli civilian and that as such, all Israelis are legitimate targets of suicide attacks which, in his opinion, should be called ““martyrdom operations” in line with rulings by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi.

In April 2011, Dr. Al-Nabus appeared on Hamas TV and supported the death penalty for homosexuals.

US tax documents identify the Treasurer of the Shaam Foundation as Ghassan Hitto who resigned in July of 2013 as the prime minister of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC). Our predecessor publication was the first to report on the extensive US Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas ties of Mr. Hitto that include:

  • According to investigative research conducted by the GMBDW Editor, Mr. Hitto was a Secretary-Treasurer of the American Middle Eastern League for Palestine (AMELP), another name by which the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) operated and that shared the same office and officers. The IAP was known to have been part of the Hamas infrastructure in the U.S.
  • In 2002, U.S. media also identified Mr. Hitto as a “friend of the Elashi family” and who appeared to be acting as their spokesperson. In 2009, Ghassan Elashi was sentenced to 65 years in prison for his role in financing Hamas as part of the Holy Land Foundation.
  • In 2002, U.S. media identified Mr. Hitto as the Vice-President of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Dallas Fort-Worth Chapter (see Note 1). A Hudson Institute report , also authored by the GMBDW Editor, identifies CAIR as part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure in the U.S.
  • According to the Texas Secretary of State, Mr. Hitto is a director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Youth Center of Dallas. He has also been listed in the past as the contact person for the Dallas chapter of the MAS. The Hudson Institute report also identifies the MAS as part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and close to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr. Hitto is not the only Shaam Foundation officer tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure. The organization’s tax documents also identify Ayman Alkurdi, likely the same individual who is listed as giving a December 2013 Khutba (sermon) at the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) which operates the Dallas Central Mosque (DCM). The DCM was described in a 1999 article in a Counterterrorism Journal as:

… considered to be one of the most active centers of Hamas activity in the United States and hosts the leadership and members of both the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Both organizations are the primary conduits for Hamas activity and fundraising in the United States. (See Note 2)

A former FBI analyst has also written that the two of the Elashi brothers, later convicted of terrorism financing as leaders of the HLF, had personal ties to the DCM, one serving as a board member and the other active in an affiliated Islamic School. After the arrests of the Elashi’s, the DCM hosted fundraising events for their legal defense. A 2005 report by the Center For Religious Freedom (CRF) found numerous examples of Saudi ideological material at the DCM (aka Richardson Mosque). Previous posts have also detailed the ties between US Department of Homeland Security Advisor Mohamed Elibiary and the DCM.

According to an Al-Jazeera report, in 2012 Ghassan Hitto also became a national board member of the Syrian American Council (SAC), the second sponsor of Dr. Al-Nabulsi’s US tour. The SAC was founded on November 20, 2005, in Burr Ridge, Illinois and describes it self as seeking “To be recognized as a leading organization for the empowerment of Syria Americans to promote educational, civic, economic, and human development, as well as supporting civil liberties and human dignity in Syria. In March 2013, Foreign Policy.com identified Najib Ghadbian, as a political science professor who also works at the SAC. In September 2011, we identified Dr. GhadbIan as a board member of the Center for the Study of Islamic and Democracy (CSID), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood that has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace. The Foreign Policy article also identified Louay Safi, a Syrian-American fellow at Georgetown University as a former chairman of the SAC. Our predecessor publication had also reported that Louay Safi, along with GhadbIan a leading member of the Syrian National Council, is also a leader in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Earlier this month, the GMBDW reported on another US group known as the Syrian Emergency Taskforce (SETF) which is also close to the US Muslim Brotherhood.

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