Esam Omeish (left) and Mahdi Bray (right) - leaders and partners in the Muslim Brotherhood "grand jihad"
Among the speakers were national MAS leaders Esam Omeish and Mahdi Bray, respectively the MAS president and head of their Virginia Commission on Immigration just weeks after his appointment. According to a September 28, 2007 article in the Washington Post, Omeish was forced out when a video surfaced of Omeish preaching holy war against Israel at a December 22, 2000 Jerusalem Day rally in Washington DC, where he said:
“...you have learned the way, that you have known that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land...and we shall do everything we can to help your cause.”
On May 15, 2004, Bray also bestowed terrorist leader Abdurahman Alamoudi with a MAS Freedom Foundation award in abstentia as he was awaiting trial on terrorism charges (which he would later be convicted of and sentenced to 20 years in prison). Bray called him an “outstanding American Muslim who has courageously stood in defense of freedom and justice,” and vowed, “I don't care what they say, we're gonna continue to work with him, and the other detainees, Abdelrahim, and we are gonna continue to fight back. Let our people go! Let our people go!”
Bray’s enthusiasm for Abdurahman Alamoudi goes back many years, in fact. At an October 2000 rally in Lafayette Park across from the White House, Bray can be seen standing beside Alamoudi enthusiastically cheering his friend and compatriot (who again is currently serving 20 years in prison on terrorism charges) as he cheers the HAMAS and Hezbollah terrorist organizations:
As can be expected, the local dead-tree media showed up at the MAS conference and wrote a glowing report, “Muslims’ roots in America branch out”, describing MAS as “a charitable, religious, social, cultural, and educational nonprofit organization.” No mention was made by the Toledo Blade of the recent controversies surrounding Omeish or Bray, or the terrorist connections and Muslim Brotherhood origins of the MAS, which were covered in an extensive investigation of the organization by the Chicago Tribune in 2004. They also could have consulted the meticulously documented MAS dossier prepared by the Investigative Project on Terrorism to provide at least a thin measure of background on the group to their readers.
Had the Toledo Blade bothered to conduct actual research, they also would have discovered that the organization of yet another speaker at the MAS Toledo conference, Dawud Walid, state director for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Michigan affiliate, had been named as unindicted co-conspirator this past summer in a federal terror financing trial. During that same trial, the DOJ entered into evidence and FBI agent Lara Burns testified concerning documentation proving that MAS had been founded and controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
But in the event that the dead-tree media had asked too many questions, or stumbled accidentally upon any one of these scandalous background and activities of Esam Omeish, Mahdi Bray, or the MAS itself, no doubt Mahdi Bray would have been sent forth to attack the paper and the reporter as “Islamophobic”, and steadfastly deny even the most readily provable claims.
Such was the case following a Dallas Morning News article by terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross following the 7/7 London suicide bombings, who noted that MAS had published in their March 2002 edition of their American Muslim magazine a fatwa authorizing suicide bombings, and that their membership study curriculum features a number of Muslim Brotherhood works and well-known jihadist tracts advocating for terrorism and violence.
Mahdi Bray responded by denying both charges, essentially accusing Gartenstein-Ross of lying, as expressed in a follow-up editorial in the same paper. He categorically denied the claims about the suicide bombing fatwa:
Additionally, Mr. Ross asserts that a fatwa (religious opinion) in our March 2002 American Muslim magazine supports suicide bombing. There is absolutely no such fatwa in the March 2002 edition of the American Muslim magazine.
As I pointed out in an article last May in FrontPage Magazine, “Cover-up and Deny”, while MAS had removed the fatwa in question from the magazine’s website (which read exactly how Gartenstein-Ross represented), the fatwa could still be found on various websites not controlled by MAS. Bray's public denial was intentionally fabricated to conceal his organization's institutional extremism.
In response to the terrorist-inciting jihadist tracts in the MAS membership curriculum, MAS responded by having all of their chapters remove the curriculum from their respective websites in a deliberate effort to conceal from the public their radical agenda. Once again, unfortunately, MAS could not remove the evidence from the Internet archive, which contains a copy of the curriculum as printed in the April 2001 edition of MAS’s American Muslim magazine. The entire MAS membership reading list can be found in the second-part of my response to Bray’s false denials, “Cover-Up and Deny, Part 2”.
The story of the MAS conference in Toledo earlier this month is a tale of an organization that readily demonstrates its extremist roots when it believes no one is looking, and its officials, who are prepared to flagrantly lie to conceal the true nature of their covert agenda. The plans for the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts in North America were also revealed this past summer when a document was made public outlining their goals to wage a “grand jihad” to undermine our systems and values to replace them with a strict fundamentalist version of Islam. The document outlines the true agenda of the MAS and its allied organizations:
The Ikhwan [the Muslim Brotherhood's name for itself] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions.
The people of Toledo, however, cannot afford to ignore what’s at work in their community, especially in light of Mahdi Bray’s appearance in town just a few months ago. With three Toledo area residents already facing terrorism charges, can the citizens of the Glass City afford to remain ignorant about the Muslim American Society, Esam Omeish, Mahdi Bray and their intent to wage their “grand jihad” in Northwestern Ohio? As evidenced by the recent MAS conference, the grand jihad is already well underway.
By Art Moore http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58616
November 10, 2007
A Washington, D.C., imam states explicitly on the website for his organization that he is part of a movement working toward replacement of the U.S. government with "the Islamic State of North America" by 2050.
With branches in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Philadelphia, the group As-Sabiqun - or the Vanguard - is under the leadership of Abdul Alim Musa in the nation's capital.
Musa's declaration of his intention to help lead a takeover of America was highlighted by noted Islam observer Robert Spencer on his website Jihad Watch.
Spencer told WND that figures such as Musa should not be ignored, "Not because they have the power to succeed, but because they may commit acts of violence to achieve their purpose."
Musa's website declares: "Those who engage in this great effort require a high level of commitment and determination. We are sending out a call to the believers: Join with us in this great struggle to change the world!"
Musa launched the group in the early 1990s at the Al-Islam mosque in Philadelphia. His group says it is influenced by the writings and life work of Muslim thinkers and leaders such as Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb and Iranian revolutionary Ayatollah Khomenei.
The writings of Al-Banna and Qutb figured prominently in al-Qaida's formation.
Musa's organization says its leadership "has delivered numerous speeches in the United States and abroad, contributing their analyses and efforts to solve contemporary problems in the Muslim world and in urban America."
"The paramount goal of the movement is the establishment of Islam as a complete way of life in America," the group declares. "This ultimate goal is predicated on the belief - shared by many Muslims worldwide - that Islam is fully capable of producing a working and just social, political, economic order."
The groups says it does not "advocate participation in the American political process as an ideal method for advancing Islamic issues in the U.S.; instead, it believes in a strong and active outreach to the people of the U.S."
Spencer told WND he does not know of any direct influence Musa has on prominent Muslim leaders or on U.S. policymakers, but he says it's "unclear how much 'mainstream' Muslim leaders harbor similar hopes - because no one dares question them about it."
As WND reported, the founder of the leading Islamic lobby group CAIR, the Council on Islamic-American Relations, reportedly told a group of Muslims in California they are in America not to assimilate but to help assert Islam's rule over the country. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper also has said, in a newspaper interview, he hopes to see an Islamic government over the U.S. some day, brought about not by violence but through "education."
In London last summer, as WND reported, Muslims gathered in front of the London Central Mosque to applaud fiery preachers prophesying the overthrow of the British government - a future vision that encompasses an Islamic takeover of the White House and the rule of the Quran over America.
Musa says he wants to avoid what he calls an "absolutist" outlook on "the advancement of Muslims."
His group's philosophy is to stress unity between the various streams of Islam "in the attainment of common goals."
Although As-Sabiqun is a Sunni movement, it has publicly voiced support for Shia movements and organizations such as the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran and the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah, which waged war on Israel in the summer of 2006.
Musa, the group says, repeatedly has "stressed that the tendency by some Muslims to focus on the differences between Sunni and Shia Islam at this juncture in history is counterproductive to the goals of the Islamic movement as a whole."
The group says it encourages social-political advancement concurrent with a program of spiritual and moral development according to the Quran and Sunnah, compilations of stories from the life of Islam's prophet Muhammad.
The group says it has a six-point plan of action which is implemented at each location where a branch of the movement is established.
Establishing a mosque "as a place to worship Allah in congregation and as a center of spiritual and moral training."
"Calling the general society" to embrace Islam.
Establishing a full-time school "that raises children with a strong Islamic identity so they can, as future Islamic leaders, effectively meet and deal with the challenges of growing up in the West."
Establishing businesses to "make the movement financially stable and independent."
Establishing "geographical integrity by encouraging Muslims of the community to live in close proximity" to the mosque.
Establishing "social welfare institutions to respond to the need for spiritual and material assistance within the community as well as the general society."
In addition to daily classes, each mosque in the movement "also provides youth mentorship, marriage counseling, a prison outreach program, and employment assistance for ex-convicts."
As-Sabiqun says its branch in Los Angeles "was instrumental in creating a free health clinic in cooperation with other Islamic groups. The headquarters branch in D.C. has developed scout programs for young members of the community."
The group says the inspiration for its name comes from Quran, 9:100:
"The vanguard (as-Sabiqun) of Islam - the first of those who forsook their homes, and of those who gave them aid, and also those who follow them in all good deeds - well-pleased is Allah with them, as are they with Him: For them hath He prepared Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever: that is the supreme Felicity."
By M. Zuhdi Jasser http://www.familysecuritymatters.org
Islamism is a veiled political insurgency
Last month, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released specific concerns about the Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia. The USCIRF raised a number of issues of concern for American security in their October 19 release not least of which is the operation of a school for high school age children, The Islamic Saudi Academy, on American soil in northern Virginia administered and funded by a foreign embassy. The USCIRF also specifically brought attention to hate and violence against other faiths expressed in some of the texts used at the Academy.
The Commission press release stated, "Several studies, including by Saudi experts themselves, have pointed to serious concerns that these texts encourage violence toward others, and misguide the pupils into believing that in order to safeguard their own religion, they must violently repress and even physically eliminate the "other." This is only one example poignantly raised by the USCIRF on the heels of their recent trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a nation whose metastatic Wahabism is arguably the primary cancer cell in global militant Islamist ideology. It should, however, just be the first step in an American journey toward a public accountability for "Islamic" educational institutions in the United States.
Islamic education or Islamist education?
America's public attention to the curricula and texts of Islamic parochial schools should not only be limited to this single foreign school on our soil, but also more comprehensively to the curricula of all Islamic schools in the United States. This is not about profiling much as Islamists may try to say in their protestations to this debate. But rather it is about understanding the penetration of an ideology which consciously and subconsciously teaches the superiority of a political system of governance at odds with the American political and justice system. This is also centrally relevant in the conflict against militant Islamism. At odds with the American way of life is not only the more obvious militant 'jihadist' fringe component of political Islam but also the less obvious, more pervasive and more insidiously dangerous movement of political Islam as a way of life.
For the Islamic educational institutions in America founded only with the purpose of teaching our Muslim children the love of God, righteousness, Islamic theology, pluralism, humanitarianism, character, humility, charity, and other personal religious principles as it applies to God, I see no threat to our freedom in the U.S. However, the more relevant questions are how these institutions of Islamic education handle topics of American government and law. As an anti-Islamist Muslim, I am waiting anxiously to hear a public debate about what is taught in their U.S. history and government classes as compared to the Islamic jurisprudence classes of these "Islamic" schools. The schools around the country are all relatively new and wasting no time in creating a generation of students which are more likely than not to be defenders of Islamism over anti-Islamist systems based in universal liberty. While only a minority of Muslims send their children to these schools, they are a growing and significant minority countered only by a silent majority of Muslims.
Most American Muslims are not products of Islamist education
Having grown up in a small Midwestern town, I am a product of K-12 and undergraduate public education in northeastern Wisconsin. While I mostly learned the personal rules of my faith and theology from my family and weekend school at the mosque in my youth, I gained the foundations of my appreciation for the sanctity of our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and American legal system through that Wisconsin public education system. For example, I recall participating in the American Legion Constitution contest- an annual competition of Wisconsin high school students best able to memorize the U.S. Constitution. Islamic schools will similarly have Koran memorization contests which are also admirable, but will they also have Constitution contests? More importantly will their government classes teach primary allegiance to it over the Koran in as far as guiding documents for governments?
Permeating my own educational experience was the preeminence of America's pluralism and Constitutional legal system based in individual liberty over all other systems from communism to fascism to theocracy. I was taught the value of criticizing authority and proving my ideas in the public arena of debate. Do Islamic schools teach their students to question the authority of their imams (teachers)? The Enlightenment was taught as a liberation of the human mind over the suffocation of the theocrats. How do Islamic schools teach Enlightenment compared to an Islamist theocratic society?
It is time to discuss in a comprehensive public manner, the context in which Islamic parochial schools teach Islamic history. Is the Islamic state and its history with a caliphate, Islamic dynasties, and Islamic law taught to naïve Muslim children as the 'glory days' of Islamic dominance? Or was it simply a period of historical advancement in the context of mankind's evolution toward the far more free and humanitarian western societies of today based in real religious liberty?
This historical paralysis is manifested in two basic areas. First, Islamic law as it exists in our Muslim theological texts today is frozen in basically the 13th or 14th Century when ijtihad (modernization of Islamic law) ended. Additionally, do these Muslim youth learn in their formative years that access to government and political leadership should be open to every citizen equally regardless of faith or religious education (as it is in the west)? Or do they contrarily learn that government and rule-making is the domain of the self-appointed Islamist scholars (ulemaa) who seek to control societal law?
Schooling which teaches the 'preeminence' of a sharia-based legal system (Islamic jurisprudence) over any other governmental system should raise profound concern in non-Muslim and Muslim Americans about the creation of an insidious political insurgency.
Discerning Islamist from non-Islamist Schools - a guide to begin the debate
The only way to counter such an insidious ideological insurgency is for us as a nation to undertake a far-reaching analysis and public discussion about what students at these Islamic schools are actually being taught about 'sharia' law and its role in the society. Here are a few questions American communities may want to pose to principals and curriculum coordinators of local Islamic schools in order to understand whether the school has a political agenda in its teachings or not.
How does the school teach American history and the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights? What is taught about the struggle of our founding fathers against theocracy? Is European Enlightenment ideology taught? Are students encouraged to learn from non-Muslim philosophers especially those who influenced our founding fathers and taught liberty and freedom?
Are students taught that sharia is only personal or that it also specifically guides governmental law? Does their answer change whether Muslims are a minority or a majority?
Do they view non-Islamic private and public schools as part of a culture of 'immorality' and decadence since they are not Islamicized or can non-Islamic schools be morally and equally virtuous?
Do they teach their children that 'being American' and being 'free' is about moral corruption or is being American and free about loving the nation in which they live and sharing equal status before the law regardless of faith tradition?
Is complete religious freedom a central part of faith and the practice of religion? In the Islamic school, how are children treated who refuse to participate in school faith practices?
Are the children taught Muslim exclusivism with regards to the attainment of paradise in the Hereafter? From that, are the children also taught that government and public institutions must thus be 'Islamic' in order for the community as a whole to be able to enter the gates of Heaven?
How are student discussions, debate, and intellectual discourses approached regarding American domestic and foreign policy? Do the teachers have a political agenda? Does that agenda demonstrate a dichotomy between Islamist interests and American interests?
Is the historical period of Muslim rule of Spain (Andalusia) taught in the context of the history of the world during the Middle Ages or is it looked upon as superior to current day American ideology even after the advances of the Enlightenment?
Is the pledge of allegiance administered every day at the beginning of the school day?
Certainly, this analysis and exposure would not be in any way to limit the freedom of Muslims to establish and operate these private educational facilities. But rather, quite the contrary, with exposure of the political Islamist agenda of many of these schools, Islamist schools will be slowly marginalized or obligated to reform. Then the non-Islamist and anti-Islamist schools will flourish while teaching reasoned pluralistic Islamic thought wholly compatible with the foundational principles of America.
It is not too much to expect schools operating on American soil to manifest an ideology which is not politically anathema to the founding ideals of our nation.
The scope of the problem - taxpayer complicity
A recent 2004 study by the NCES documented 182 Islamic private schools in the United States. Just last week the Voice of America trumpeted a report that, "Muslim Americans Establish own Schools in the U.S." This statement of fact was presented with the apparent assumption that such a fact was good for Muslims and good for America. That would be the case if Islamism was not being taught and they would in fact be an asset if anti-Islamist ideas were being encouraged and debated. However, the simple fact that the schools taught Arabic seemed enough to the VOA reporters. Someone needs to inform them that translation services are often only as good as the ideological and political agenda of the translators themselves. In today's oversimplified discourse on Islam it seems to matter little to the media or government whether Islamic schools are creating growing legions of pro-Islamist Muslims or not.
Let us also not forget that many of these institutions are operating with tax benefits and tacit government endorsement. A few receive direct government support as charter schools which is incomprehensible in the setting of what should be a separation of religion and state in America. Others, however, receive indirect government support through tax incentives as exists in Arizona or voucher programs as have been implemented in Ohio. There needs to be a greater public awareness of whether the ideology taught at these schools is compatible with Americanism and freedom as we know it.
Islamic schools are an important front in the battle of ideas
Many are finally realizing that as a nation we are not simply fighting a tactic of terrorism but rather an ideology-militant Islamism. The origins of that malignant ideology is political Islam and the dreams of an Islamist state and Islamic hegemony over Muslim dominated lands and for some Islamists over the western world.
Some have begun to try and unravel the mystery of the generation of homegrown terror cells- despite protestations of American Islamist organizations. The recent NYPD report on "Radicalization in the West: the Homegrown Threat" began to peel the onion of the realities behind the transformation of nonviolent Islamists into militant ones willing to die for the cause and barbarically murder innocents in the process. The LAPD recently announced a similar project to attempt to map the LA Muslim community by "assessing groups that might be susceptible to ideologically based extremism and propaganda." In the predictable fashion of victimology the local and national Islamist groups including CAIR and MPAC immediately objected to the plan while providing little to no reassurance to American security agencies that the community would lead such an organized counter-Islamist effort on its own.
They know all too well that behind those who commit terror are not only organizations and individuals which have names that they generally refuse to specify in their condemnations but they are also driven by a political motivation which they refuse to intellectually deconstruct.
Simply denying that terror has anything to do with Islam or Muslims misses the diagnosis and thus avoids the treatment. However, realizing that Islamist terror arises from the transnational goals of political Islam will awaken Muslims to their responsibility of defeating Islamism from within the faith.
Militancy may be a tool of only a very small portion of Islamists who accept violence. But ultimately activists and specifically youth who are driven by an understanding that the "Islamic state" is superior to any other form of governance on earth will always remain apologists for the cause of militants whether they believe in the means or not. A far more effective treatment in the prevention of radicalism in the name of Islam would be to evaluate the origins, education, and inculcation of political Islam in the Muslim community and replace it with a different narrative separating the political from the spiritual from a very young age.
Muslim Youth of Islamic Schools - Finding an American nationalist Identity
The only logical way to defeat the transnational goals of political Islam in a lasting manner is to separate the national identity of Muslim youth, their Americanism, from their spiritual identity- Islam. But this must come from within the Islamic consciousness. I was able to do this in my youth growing up in a small Midwestern town, going to public schools, and learning my faith from devout conservative Muslim parents who had never equivocated about their American nationalism. They freely admitted to me and my siblings in our youth all the benefits of freedom given to them as they embraced American nationalism and the complete failure of Syrian nationalism in their own youth. There was never an equivocation in that battle of ideas.
I also somehow learned to internalize enlightenment ideas and to separate my faith identity and my personal relationship with God from my national and political identity as an American citizen. If I have learned anything as an anti-Islamist activist in the Muslim community over the past 25 years is that youth who have not been irrevocably conditioned by Islamists are very receptive to this separation. Established Islamists are, however, as a rule intransigent in their willingness to look upon national identity through anything but a collectivist Muslim lens- the lens of the ummah (the Muslim nation). If Muslim youth are unable to wrap themselves comfortably in the warmth of American freedom and nationalism, defeating Islamism, whether militant or not, will be nearly impossible. One indicator would be to compare the number of American Muslim youth who join the American military out of parochial Islamic schools versus those who do so out of public schools.
While all Americans should be free to establish parochial schools. They should not be insulated from public scrutiny. While my personal belief is that Islamic schools contribute to the segregation and isolation of Muslims psychologically and physically, I will always endorse their right to exist especially as spiritual institutions. However, our national security interests demand that we not allow them to become incubators for political Islam where they can influence and control impressionable youth.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor M. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist.