Ryan Mauro (@RyanMauro)
On June 9, the Clarion Project reported that the U.S. envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will be speaking at an Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) regional conference, sharing the stage with at least three Islamists. But there are some other featured guests: ISNA’s interfaith allies, including Pastor Bob Roberts of NorthWood Church in Texas.
ISNA is identified in a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memorandum as one of its fronts. The U.S. government also listed ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity when it designated the group an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The so-called “charity” was another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that, in the words of Judge Jorge Solis, “operated from within ISNA.” ISNA denies it has “ever been subject to the control of…the Muslim Brotherhood.”
ISNA’s South Central Conference will be held in Dallas on June 15. The event will feature an interfaith panel that includes its Community Outreach Director, Mohamed Elsanousi, who attended a Muslim Brotherhood-linked conference in Mauritania last year.
Other participants include Rabbi Joshua S. Taub of Temple Emanuel and Cristina Warner, the Campaign Director of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign, an ISNA-allied interfaith coalition. ISNA is so proud of Shoulder-to-Shoulder that its success was a top talking point of senior officials when they met with the Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey.
The most high-profile interfaith speaker at the ISNA regional conference is Pastor Bob Roberts of NorthWood Church, a critic of “Christian Zionists.” As reported last month, Pastor Roberts’ NorthWood Church is holding its own Islamist-stocked interfaith event called the Global Faith Forum in November. Pastor Roberts’ speakers include ISNA officials, former senior Saudi officials and a former director-general of Al-Jazeera.
The Clarion Project’s original article on the event provides insight into some of the fellow speakers of Pastor Roberts, Rabbi Taub and Cristina Warner.
The keynote speaker is Dr. Jamal Badawi, who will also be on panels about Sharia and having a healthy family. His record includes praise for Hamas, “combative jihad,” and justifying the physical disciplining of wives (or, as he says, “a gentle tap on the body” for disobedience). His name also appears in a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood phonebook from 1992 and he hangs out with Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi. The radicalism of his resume is strong enough to prompt counter-terrorism expert Patrick Poole to ask, “Why is Jamal Badawi Still Allowed into the United States?”
ISNA official Yusuf Ziya Kavakci will be handling the opening remarks, leading a prayer and joining Badawi for the panel on Sharia. He used to lead a mosque that an article in 1999 said “is considered to be one of the most active centers of Hamas activity in the United States[.]” The mosque was linked to the Holy Land Foundation, the aforementioned U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that was housed by ISNA and shut down for financing Hamas.
The notorious Imam Siraj Wahhaj is listed as an invited speaker at the event. His radicalism is unquestionable. He has preached that “America is the most wicked government on the face of the planet Earth.” America, he told his audience, is a “garbage can” that he prays “crumbles.” Unlike some Islamists, he doesn’t hide his desire for Sharia Law in America.
“If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. If we were united and strong, we’d elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word, if eight million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us,” he said.
The book Muslim Mafia quotes Wahhaj even condoning violence. “We don’t need to arm the people with 9mms and Uzis. You need to arm them with righteousness first. And once you arm them with righteousness first, then you can arm them,” he said, as well as “I will never tell people, ‘Don’t be violent.’ That’s not the Islamic way.”
Wahhaj’s rhetoric lines right up with the private words of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The 1991 memorandumthat identified ISNA as one of its fronts said its “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
Page 21 of the document states: “[W]e must possess a mastery of the art of ‘coalitions’, the art of ‘absorption’ and the principles of ‘cooperation.’” That is the context that ISNA’s interfaith alliances need to be put in.
After my last article on NorthWood Church was published, a reader emailed me to say that he posted it to the Facebook page of the church and the personal page of Pastor Roberts. It didn’t take long for it to be deleted. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.
This blog post originally appeared as an article on the First Things website.