Mich. Gov. Snyder is getting an up-close look at the extremism of the Islamic Society of North America, an group that purports to be moderate
BY RYAN MAURO:
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is getting an up-close look at the extremism of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). AfterClarion Project brought attention to his speaking engagement at ISNA’s conference, his spokesperson defended ISNA. Now, he is facing an Islamist backlash merely for stating his support of Israel’s right to exist.
ISNA has a moderate presentation but an extremist history. ISNA was labeled an unindicted co-conspirator in 2007 during the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The Justice Department said ISNA is an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, a determination supported by the Brotherhood’s own documents.
Our article mentioned these facts and reviewed the speaker lineup for ISNA’s conference, which consists largely of Islamist radicals. Significant media coverage followed our report. We provided this information to Governor Snyder’s office and asked for a response.
Press Secretary Sara Wurfel responded by defending ISNA as a moderate organization. The official statement read in part:
“ISNA has been consistent in rejecting all acts of terrorism and violence, and Congressional investigations and inquiries have resulted in no ties to terrorism, and the organization has as its mission ‘to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam.
“ISNA has advocated for a ‘just and fair settlement of disputes between Israel, the Palestinians, and their neighbors through diplomacy and other peaceful means.’ ”
Snyder personally complimented ISNA during his remarks. He said,“Thank you for your interfaith efforts with Christian and Jewish organizations.” He even endorsed ISNA’s Islamist-filled schedule,stating, “The tracks of your program are well-selected and meaningful to all of us.”
But then he uttered one line that has raised the ire of Islamists who also spoke at the event: “I’m a strong supporter of Israel and believe in its right to exist.”
The Islamists say the comment is offensive and anti-Muslim. Of course, nowhere did he actually attack Muslims or Palestinians. All Snyder did was state his opposition to the Islamist goal of destroying Israel.
Now some of ISNA’s top speakers are vowing to punish him politically.
Hatem Bazian, the chairman of American Muslims for Palestine, is the loudest voice. He spoke twice at the ISNA conference, once on “Islamophobia” and once on the Muslim-American identity. He is also a founder of the Islamist-led Zaytuna College, which led another ISNA session.
Read more at Clarion Project