ISNA’S INTERFAITH OVERREACH

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Frontpage, by Marilyn Stern,Sep. 28, 2015:

American interfaith groups are being infiltrated and undermined by the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliate, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).  In their eagerness to find Muslim faith partners whom they want to believe share their values of religious tolerance and mutual respect, Jewish interfaith leaders allow themselves to be exploited. Under the guise of interfaith dialogue, Islamist organizations like ISNA that have ties to extremism, insinuate themselves into faith organizations while advancing their hidden agendas.  Faith leaders who disregard ISNA’s ulterior motives place their congregations at risk.

In its June 2015 ruling in favor of Samantha Elauf, a Muslim woman who was denied employment for wearing a headscarf, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the American judiciary’s prohibition on workplace discrimination based upon religious practice.  In the American melting pot, there are benefits to all faiths that successfully negotiate societal challenges between the secular and the religious, but these benefits are only guaranteed by a legal system that upholds a universal human rights standard.  Blind spots in the interfaith movement, however, undermine common cause when religious leaders pursue interfaith outreach at any cost.

One such example was described in an article in a Jewish community paper written by a participant in a Christian/Jewish interfaith partnership with the Muslim organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).  The current head of ISNA’s interfaith relations, Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, a sociolinguist by training, is a founder and former executive of ISNA.  At the invitation of its rabbi, Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Syeed met with faith leaders of various denominations, professors of religion, and “interested citizens” at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in suburban Philadelphia.  The rabbi presented Syeed “to guide our thinking about these issues.” Rabbi Kreimer is founding director of the Multifaith Studies Department of the RRC, the seminary of a branch of Judaism on the left side of the political spectrum and self-described as liberal progressive.

In Kreimer’s article, “Standing with American Muslims, Upholding American Values,” also the title of ISNA’s key interfaith program, the rabbi extolled the virtues of partnering with ISNA in its interfaith initiatives.  She stated that ISNA is the largest membership organization of Muslims in America to support the RRC’s plan to engage in “relationship-building” retreats.  Kreimer’s article was published in the March 10, 2015 issue of the Philadelphia Jewish Federation’s newspaper, the Jewish Exponent, under its editor at the time, Lisa Hostein, whose stated priority for the paper was “inclusiveness.”  Kreimer’s endorsement of ISNA was disseminated to the Exponent’s circulation of 30,000 households.

ISNA’s website page, “About ISNA,” states that it works with various religious organizations on a range of public policy issues to “provide…outreach programs…with religious communities and civic organizations.”  Touted among “ISNA Accomplishments,” is that it has “condemned and rejected the actions of terrorists and terrorism as being completely antithetical to the teachings of Islam.”

Among the “relationship building” ISNA initiatives Kreimer referenced are the program, Shoulder-to-Shoulder, part of an interfaith coalition “dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment”; Walking the Walk, aimed at high school students as a project of the Interfaith Center of Philadelphia and Religions for Peace (USA); and ISNA’s online resource book, Sharing the Well: A Resource Guide for Jewish-Muslim Engagement.  Shoulder-to-Shoulder hosted a leadership seminar for Jewish and Christian “emerging religious leaders” who attended ISNA’s annual convention earlier this month.

What do all these initiatives share in common?  ISNA’s interfaith guide, Dr. Sayyid Syeed.

Who is Dr. Sayyid Syeed?

In 2003, prior to Syeed’s current role as ISNA’s interfaith guide, Syeed met with the editorial board of theDallas Morning News to discuss how reporters “needed to partner with ISNA to promote peace and tolerance.”  Rod Dreher, an editorial writer and columnist at the paper who had looked into ISNA’s board members, asked Syeed why, if ISNA claims to promote peace and tolerance, were so many of its board members directly connected to Islamic extremism.  Syeed’s mask of professorial demeanor abruptly dropped as he shook his fist at Dreher, comparing him to a Nazi inquisitor.  Rather than answering Dreher’s question, Syeed accused Dreher of bigotry and persecution with the veiled threat that Dreher should “repent.”

In Dreher’s words:

I told him mine was a fair question, and that I would appreciate an answer.  I didn’t get one.  But I had learned an important lesson about how groups like his operate: by evading legitimate queries, and browbeating journalists into retreat by calling them bigots and persecutors.

Soon after reporting his experience in the paper, Dreher found himself labeled “The New Face of Hate” on an Islamic blog because of his paper’s investigative articles uncovering “alleged connections between the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) charity and Hamas.”  HLF is a known affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, a supremacist Muslim organization with its origins in the Middle East, and Hamas, designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997.

The term “Islamophobia” is invoked by Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations to avoid scrutiny from journalists like Dreher, enforce Islamic sharia anti-blasphemy laws and restrict freedom of speech.  A mass media campaign to promote the use of the term was launched by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 2005 as the Ten Year Programme of Action.    According to the OIC’s website, it is “the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has membership of 57 Member States spread over four continents.”  Since 1998, the OIC has pressed for a U.N. resolutionto counter what it calls discrimination against Islam.  The OIC’s public relations campaign adopted the term “Islamophobia” from a 1997 report by the Runnymede Trust, a British think tank, to muzzle critics of sharia anti-blasphemy law.

The OIC Secretary General endorsed ISNA’s interfaith programs and Syeed attended a June 2013 OIC-hosted meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, held to “determine how best to implement ‘measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief.’”  As a result of the OIC’s successful “Islamophobia” propaganda campaign, First Amendment-protected free speech in America has suffered, primarily through self-censorship.  This censorship ranges from a largely complicit mainstream media to individuals intimidated by U.S. Islamist entities attempting to silence them through lawsuits, as part of an intimidation strategy that has come to be called lawfare.  The “Islamophobia” label is a handy tactic employed by Brotherhood groups to shield Islamists from exposure as the OIC inches closer to their goal of criminalizing any perceived slight to Islam.

Dreher’s 2008 Hudson Institute article, “Reporting the Muslim Brotherhood,” included ISNA as one of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s front group organizations.  Challenging Syeed’s disingenuousness, Dreher concluded that while ISNA and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood-related groups have the right to their beliefs as long as they don’t engage in violence, these groups deserve “informed opposition” to expose their hidden agendas and make them, and their apologists, accountable.

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Brotherhood Influence Op Inside U.S. Academia: Success

Hartford Seminary

By Ryan Mauro:

In 1988, an FBI informant warned that the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a Muslim Brotherhood front, was focusing on getting “peacefully get inside” U.S. academia. Proof of that mission’s success comes in the form of Hartford Seminary, a non-denominational, interfaith graduate school with extensive Islamist ties.

IIIT’s latest newsletter has a photo of Dr. Heidi Hadsell, President of Hartford Seminary and Dr. Vanda MacMurty, chairman of Hartford Seminary’s board, visiting IIIT headquarters in Virginia on April 21.

The photo shows them standing next to IIIT leaders Yaqub Mirza, Jamal Barzinji, Abubaker Al-Shinghieti, Ermin Sinanovic and Hisham Altalib. Several of these IIIT officials are the original founders of the organization when it was set up as a Muslim Brotherhood front.

The picture is a symbol of the close relationship that IIIT has established with Hartford Seminary, including a $1 million donation to endow a faculty chair in Islamic Chaplaincy at the school in March 2013. Separately, Hartford received $17,500 in 2008 from an Iranian government front.

In July 2012, Dr. Hadsell spoke at an IIIT fundraiser where she thanked it for its assistance “particularly in the area of Imam training and education, and the study of Christian-Muslim relations in general.” She was also booked to speak at a scheduled IIIT event at the Woodrow Wilson Center on December 9 that was cancelled.

IIIT Executive Director Abubaker Al-Shingieti is a Hartford Seminary trustee.

Much more at Clarion Project

National Intel Misled Congress About Brotherhood Contacts

Claptrap

The members of Congress – and the American people – have a right to know the truth: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence does have a relationship with domestic organizations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood – and, it is a truth that needs a formal evaluation and investigation.

By Ryan Mauro:

Newly declassified documents obtained by the Clarion Project show that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) misled members of Congress in 2012 about its involvement with Muslim Brotherhood-linked entities.

Further, the documents show that there were even a number of internal communications within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence expressing concerns about the Brotherhood links of these entities.

The story of the deception began when the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified to Congress on February 10, 2011 saying that the Muslim Brotherhood is “a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has described Al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”

In the same hearing, Clapper was asked by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) about the administration’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. He answered, “There have been outreaches to the Muslim community in general, but I guess we’re not aware of any direct outreach to these particular organizations. That is, if you’re speaking domestically.”

FBI Director Mueller then chimed in, saying there is “no relationship with the Brotherhood. Period.” The CIA Director Leon Panetta then agreed, dismissively laughing in the process.

Clapper’s office later issued a clarification, backtracking on his inaccurate statement that the Brotherhood is “secular.”

Just four months later, on June 12, 2012, a 90-minute “Roundtable Discussion” took place at National Intelligence’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia. At the meeting, Clapper met in person with a representative of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Also present were National Counter-Terrorism Center Director Matthew Olson and Alexander Joel, ODNI Civil Liberties Protection Officer.

The email invitation ISNA received to participate in a "Round-Table" discussion

The email invitation ISNA received to participate in a “Round-Table” discussion

In 2007, the Justice Department listed ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and designated them as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism-financing trial of the history of the U.S. In that trial, the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood front, was found guilty of funding Hamas.

Yet in 2012, the president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Magid, was invited to meet with the Director of National Intelligence. Unable to attend, he sent a substitute in his place.

The email that went out inviting ISNA’s president (among others) stated that he was chosen because, “We believe you have important insights to share with the Intelligence Community (IC) about how the IC pursues its mandate of providing the most insightful intelligence possible, while simultaneously safeguarding civil liberties and privacy.”

Magid’s replacement was ISNA’s Director of Community Outreach, Mohamed Elsanousi.

Read more at Clarion Project

Islamist-Interfaith Alliance Battles Foreign Law Bans

IslamWillDominateWhiteHouseBy Ryan Mauro:

Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith coalition allied with the Islamic Society of North America, is mobilizing its supporters against state legislation that stops foreign law from superseding the Constitution. The Islamists’ non-Muslim allies are helping frame it as an unnecessary, bigoted initiative that threatens all people of faith.

The coalition is holding a webinar on February 27. The announcement correctly notes that current legislation does not mention Shariah, though it is covered under the terminology of “foreign law.” Seven states have passed such bills since 2010.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder’s description makes it sound like the legislation is a ban on foreign law influencing judges’ decision altogether. It states:

“Most religious laws that influence these contracts (like Jewish Halakha, Catholic Canon law, or Islamic Shariah law) were not developed within the United States and would be considered foreign law under such legislation. While anti-Muslim sentiment is still the motivating factor behind these laws, Americans of every faith should be concerned about their impact on religious freedom.”

This is an easily refutable misrepresentation of the bills, based on the American Laws for American Courts draft legislation. It does not ban religious contracts like those mentioned by Shoulder-to-Shoulder, nor is it a blanket ban on foreign law. It only applies when there is a conflict between the U.S. Constitution and foreign law in court and it victimizes no one, especially not Muslims because Muslim-Americans are benefactors of it.

2011 study found 50 cases where Shariah or foreign law based on Shariah influenced the court case. The American Public Policy Alliance has a list of 10 cases where a Muslim-American party objected to the role of Shariah. The summary is as follows:

“In cases 1-3, the Appellate Courts upheld Shariah law; in cases 4-7, the Trial Courts upheld Shariah, but the Appellate Courts reversed (protecting the litigant’s constitutional rights); in cases 8-10, both Trial and Appellate Courts rejected the attempts to enforce Shariah law.”

ALAC is sometimes criticized as unnecessary and driven by unsubstantiated paranoia. It is hard to imagine that an American judge would ever rule give foreign law precedence over American law. The American Public Policy Alliance explains that the bill fixes a troublesome loophole:

Most states merely state that foreign laws and judgments that violate the state’s “public policy” shall not be recognized. But the courts consistently rule that the state legislature has the responsibility to articulate clearly what the state’s public policy actually is.

The ALAC website points out the hypocrisy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In response to business dress codes enforced on Muslim-American women in France, CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper unwittingly supported the rationale behind ALAC.

“A discriminatory dress code implemented in France does not supersede American laws protecting the religious rights of American citizens,” he said. He said CAIR is “defending American law from foreign intrusion.”

The American-Islamic Forum for Democracy supports ALAC-type bills because it has seen how Shariah has affected Muslims in Europe. The bills’ purpose is not to pre-empt a hypothetical situation. It’s a reaction to what is actually happening right now.

2010 study found that Shariah courts in the United Kingdom lack accountability, to say the least. There are not clear standards for appointing judges and monitoring proceedings and rulings often conflict with British law. For example, British courts’ first priority is the interest of the child. Shariah courts rule that children automatically go into the custody of the father after a certain age.

The British Justice Ministry investigated Shariah courts and had to end give up because of a lack of cooperation from the court staffs.

The misrepresentations by Shoulder-to-Shoulder stem from its relationship with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The Foundation was another Brotherhood entity that was shut down for financing Hamas. This isn’t six degrees of separation: The Holy Land Foundation operated within ISNA, according to a 2009 ruling by a federal judge.

ISNA said on its website last month that it “founded” Shoulder-to-Shoulder to counter increasing bigotry against Muslims. Elsewhere on its website, ISNA saysit “helped convene” the coalition of 28 religious organizations. Whichever way it is worded, the point is that Shoulder-to-Shoulder is largely a product of ISNA.

And who is the ISNA official leading its interfaith campaign and, therefore, its work with Shoulder-to-Shoulder? Former Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed, who is seen in The Grand Deception documentary saying in 2006, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.” His current job title at ISNA is National Director of ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

Read more at Front Page

CAIR Honors Islamist for ‘Lifetime Achievement’

ssBY RYAN MAURO:

The rest of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network is admiring the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for its success in forging interfaith partnerships. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that its 19th annual banquet will honor the Islamist that has become the face of that success: Sayyid Syeed of ISNA.

CAIR blasted out an email announcing Syeed as the winner of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. The biography provided by CAIR in the email shows how Syeed has dedicated his life to the Islamist cause, moving from one U.S. Brotherhood entity to the next.

Today, he is the Director of ISNA’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances. Prior to that, he served for 12 years as the Secretary-General of ISNA. In 2006, he was videotapedsaying, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.”

In his capacity as ISNA’s main interfaith liaison, Syeed has established relationships with a long list of churches, synagogues, other faith groups and the Obama Administration. President Obama sent a videotaped address to ISNA for its 50th annual convention, singling out its interfaith campaign for praise.

ISNA is part of two major interfaith coalitions, Shoulder-to-Shoulder and Religions for Peace USA.  ISNA and its allies fight together against the NYPDhold events with mega-churches, and support each other politically.

ISNA chose Syeed for this role because is one of their most seasoned officials.

He was president of the Muslim Students Association from 1980 to 1983, the first Muslim Brotherhood front set up in the U.S. He has also been the general secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. From 1984 to 1994, he was the director the director of academic outreach for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

In 1988, right in the middle of Syeed’s tenure at IIIT, an FBI informant inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network said that IIIT’s leaders had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” The current task was to “peacefully get inside the United States government and also American universities.”

Read more at The Clarion Project

CAIR Honors Leading Interfaith Islamist

1002260-295331-1-450x309By :

The rest of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network is admiring the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for its success in forging interfaith partnerships. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that its 19th annual banquet will honor the Islamist that has become the face of that success: Sayyid Syeed of ISNA.

CAIR blasted out an email announcing Syeed as the winner of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. The biography provided by CAIR in the email shows how Syeed has dedicated his life to the Islamist cause, moving from one U.S. Brotherhood entity to the next.

Today, he is the Director of ISNA’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances. Prior to that, he served for 12 years as the Secretary-General of ISNA. In 2006, he was videotaped saying, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.”

In his capacity as ISNA’s main interfaith liaison, Syeed has established relationships with a long list of churches, synagogues, other faith groups and the Obama Administration. President Obama sent a videotaped address to ISNA for its 50th annual convention, singling out its interfaith campaign for praise.

ISNA is part of two major interfaith coalitions, Shoulder-to-Shoulder and Religions for Peace USA.  ISNA and its allies fight together against the NYPDhold events with mega-churches, and support each other politically.

ISNA chose Syeed for this role because is one of their most seasoned officials.

He was president of the Muslim Students Association from 1980 to 1983, the first Muslim Brotherhood front set up in the U.S. He has also been the general secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. From 1984 to 1994, he was the director the director of academic outreach for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

In 1988, right in the middle of Syeed’s tenure at IIIT, an FBI informant inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network said that IIIT’s leaders had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” The current task was to “peacefully get inside the United States government and also American universities.”

As IIIT’s director of academic outreach, Syeed was the point man in achieving that objective. He then went on to lead ISNA from 1994 to 2006. Brotherhood documents identify all four groups he led as its fronts.

His wife also co-founded the Kashmiri-American Council, a Pakistani government front, in 1990. She did this with a now-convicted agent of Pakistani intelligence named Ghulam Nabi Fai. He oversaw massive Pakistani influence operations in the U.S.

The other speakers at CAIR’s “Faith in Freedom” 14th annual banquet are Ebrahim Rasool, Ambassador of South Africa and, revealingly, Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

In 2011, Wahhaj offered the following advice to a large Muslim audience, as reported by the Clarion Project: “The trap we fall into is having a premature discussion about Sharia when we are not there yet.”

Wahhaj should follow his own advice, as it is his words that are among the most damning evidence.

Read more at Front Page

 

Obama Addresses American Islamist Convention

obama isnaBY RYAN MAURO:

President Obama addressed the 50th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America via videotape, praising the U.S.Muslim Brotherhood entity for its partnership with his administration. A Clarion Project report showed that the convention’s roster of speakers includes many extremists.

“Over the last half-century, you’ve upheld the proud legacy of American-Muslims’ contributions to our national fabric and this gathering is a testament to that tradition,” Obama says to ISNA.

The gathering is anything but a testament to American tradition. The speaker with the most sessions (eight), Zaid Shakir, preached earlier this year that the U.S. Constitution is flawed because it grants equality to Muslims and non-Muslims.

Siraj Wahhaj, who is teaching five sessions, has a history of anti-American preaching and now advises Muslims to avoid discussion ofSharia because “we are not there yet.”

ISNA’s 50-year history is nothing to be exalted. In 1991, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo placed ISNA at the top of a secret list of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” The document said the organization’s “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within…”

In 2007, federal prosecutors named ISNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity housed within ISNA. The U.S. government identified ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. The designation was upheld in 2009 due to “ample” evidence linking ISNA to Hamas.

An FBI informant inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network identified ISNA as a Brotherhood front as early as 1987. The source was documented as being “convinced” that the Brotherhood fronts have “a secret agenda which includes the spread of the Islamic Revolution to all non-Islamic governments in the world which does include the United States.”

President Obama complimented ISNA’s engagement of non-Muslims:

“I’m especially grateful to the work that ISNA has done to advance interfaith understanding and cooperation here at home and around the world,” Obama said.

ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances is led by Sayyid Syeed, previously the Secretary-General of ISNA. In 2006, he was recorded saying, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.”

Syeed was also the Director of Academic Outreach for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, from 1984 to 1994.

The aforementioned FBI source specifically warned in 1988 that IIIT’s leadership talked about a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” The current objective was to “peacefully get inside the United States government and also American universities.”

Syeed, whose interfaith work is praised by President Obama, was one of IIIT’s leaders at the time that warning was written.

Read more at The Clarion Project