FEATURED STORY: New ISNA President Has Troubling Background; Azhar Azeez Has Multiple Ties To US Muslim Brotherhood And Hamas Support Organizations


The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has reported the results of its 2014 elections for national leadership. According to the report:

Azhar Azeez
Azhar Azeez

(Plainfield, IN 8/27/14) Today, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is proud to announce the election of the incoming group of ISNA leaders elected to the Majlis Ash-Shura. They will begin their term on September 1, 2014.

The elected leaders join 16 current Majlis members with new ISNA President Azhar Azeez and ISNA Vice President Altaf Husain.

Below are the incoming members:

ISNA President: Azhar Azeez ISNA Vice President-USA: Altaf Husain ISNA Vice President-Canada: Pervez Nasim ISNA Majlis Member: M. Affan Badar ISNA Majlis Member: Ziauddin Mahmood ISNA Majlis Member Manzoor Ghori

‘ISNA members have elected a next group of leaders that will build from the foundations of a 50-year legacy, and take the organization to the next level that is relevant and receptive to the community we serve ,’ said ISNA Executive Director Hazem Bata. ‘I look forward to working with the elected leadership in continuing to provide not only the services and programs we currently offer, but also explore new ideas and services that meet the needs of our ever changing community. We invite the community to meet the incoming leadership at the convention.’

Read the rest here.

His current ISNA bio describes the he newly elected ISNA President as follows:

Azhar Azeez was born in HYDERABAD, INDIA and moved to US in 1995. He has a bachelors degree in Finance from the prestigious Osmania University and a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and currently is pursuing his PhD in Islamic studies. For 13 years he worked for major US corporations such as General Electric, American General Life and Capital One. He currently serves as the senior National Director of Islamic Relief USA which is one of the largest Muslim charity in the world. He is a member of ISNA Executive Council since 2002 and was elected as the vice president of ISNA. in 2010. He currently heads as the President of the North Texas Islamic council which represent 35 Islamic Organizations in Dallas/Fort worth area. He is the founder and the past President of Islamic Association of Carrollton, Texas one of the large mosques in the suburbs of Dallas, TX.

Mr. Azeez’s 2010 ISNA bio however, cited by the GMBDW when Mr. Azeez was elected as the ISNA VP, said that he was also a founding member and past President of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) –Dallas/ Fort Worth Chapter, a fact curiously omitted above. CAIR of course is well-known to be a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and tied to the Hamas support infrastructure in the US while in 2011, the GMBDW reported on the Brotherhood ties of both Islamic Relief USA as well as its parent organization Islamic Relief Worldwide. 

In addition, as late as 2011 Azhar Azeez was listed as a member of the Grassroots Leadership Advisory Council of the Freedom and Justice Foundation (FJF), a now defunct organization co-founded by Mohamed Elibiary, a Senior Fellow of the US Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. Many of the other members of the FJF Advisory Council were known to be associated with the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) which operates the Dallas Central Mosque (DCM). Both the IANT and the DCM are known to be associated with the US Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas infrastructure in the US including the now defunct Holy Land Foundations (HLF). 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) Other members of the FJF Advisory Council were leaders of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), both organizations being important parts of the US Muslim Brotherhood.

A GMBDW profile, details ISNA’s own history of ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as well as its history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. In 2013, we posted an analysis titled “The Rehabilitation Of ISNA; Have They Really Changed?”  in which we wrote:

…the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch has known for sometime that important elements of the US government were of the opinion that ISNA was an organization that had substantially changed in character over the years. In 2009, we met privately with an FBI official who told us that they were of the opinion that ISNA was under new leadership and that this reflected a meaningful change in the organization. Since that time, the GMBDW and its predecessor publication has reported on numerous occasions where the US government has acted in such a manner that suggests concurrence with this view of ISNA as a rehabilitated organization.

 As we concluded:

….despite these notable developments, there are good reasons why the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch remains deeply skeptical about any true change in the nature of ISNA. To begin with, many important US Muslim Brotherhood leaders remain active in the organization.

In 2010, we reported on the problematic ties of the newly elected ISNA Secretary-General Safaa Zarzour and the election in 2014 of an ISNA president with the troubling background detailed above does nothing to alter this picture. We wrote only two weeks ago that we would be watching for any signs that our skepticism about ISNA was either  justified or ill-conceived. Until such a time that ISNA is led by individuals with an untainted background, we see no reason to move from the skeptical position.

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