For the second time in two months, stars of the Islamist movement in America will come together in the Chicago area, parading as the moderate Muslims we need to guide us. This time, it’s the 11th annual convention of the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America on December 21-25.
Both the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) are in a 1991 internal Muslim Brotherhood list of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Imprisoned Brotherhood operative Abdurrahman Alamoudi testified that “everyone knows that MAS is Muslim Brotherhood.” ICNA is closely linked to a Pakistani Islamist group called Jamaat-e-Islami and its 2010 handbook laid out a five-step strategy that culminates in a “united Islamic state, governed by an elected khalifah in accordance with the laws of shari’ah (Islamic law).” A former president and secretary-general of ICNA, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, is accused of committing war crimes by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal.
The theme of the event is, “Toward a Renaissance: Believe, Act & Engage.” The “Arab Spring associated with the Islamic Awakening in many parts of the Muslim world” is given as an example of this “renaissance.” By “renaissance,” MAS-ICNA means the Islamist ideology. That is the message an expected audience of 9,500 will hear.
The roster of speakers is filled with Islamists, one of which is even called an Islamist in his biography on the convention website. The page for Sheikh Abdelfattah Mourou, a founder of the Tunisian political party Al-Nahda, says he “started his Islamist activities in the 1960s.” He worked alongside Rashid al-Ghannouchi, another one of the party’s founders, who has a very extreme past but is still consistently described as a “moderate” in the Western media.
One major speaker is Tariq Ramadan, who was banned from entering the U.S. in 2004 because of a donation he made to a Hamas front. The ban was lifted in 2010 on orders from Secretary of State Clinton. He is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and the son of Said Ramadan, who was a major Brotherhood leader in Europe.
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