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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > NJ Imam with terrorist ties was slated speaker at ICNA/MAS Muslim Youth Camp

NJ Imam with terrorist ties was slated speaker at ICNA/MAS Muslim Youth Camp

Muslim Youth Newsletter calls for Jihad -recommends the writings of Bin Laden mentor and Al Qaeda founder Abdullah Azzam
August 13, 2004

MIM: Looking for a few good men :Al Qaeda -ICNA/MAS -and Muslim Youth Camps





Invited Speakers:

Sheikh Ibrahim Negm
Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Madyun
Imam Musa Azam
Br. Fisal Hamouda
Br. Tayyab Yunus


Detailed Bios Coming soon!




Invited Speakers:

Sheikh Ibrahim Negm
Ustadh Muhammad AlShareef
Br. Safi Khan
Br. Mazen Mokhtar
Dr. Obeydullah Choudry
Br. Salman Ali
Br. Arif Husain

Detailed Bios Coming soon!




http://www.ymsite.com/summercamp/speakers.html

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NJ. Man Accused of Aiding Terrorists Called Moderate
W. Post
August 13, 2004

MIM: Imam Mazen Mokhtar was accused of ties to Al Qaeda was a scheduled speaker at a Muslim Youth Camp in Pennsylvania

The Muslim Youth Camps are run by ICNA and MAS , two groups behind the establishment of the Universal Heritage Foundation in Kissimmee Florida.

The Muslim Camp Theme was entitled "A Few Good Men". Another scheduled speaker was the web administrator for the UHF, Tayebb Yunus, more proof of "zero degrees of separation' between groups like Al Qaeda , and major Muslim organisations.

The youth camps used to be called "Jihad Camps" and "Afterlife Camps"

For more on this see:

MAS/ ICNA "Muslim American Subversives" and "Islamist Conservatives of North America"

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/216

Florida Trail of Terror

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/219

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N.J. Man Accused of Aiding Terrorists Called 'Moderate'

By Susan Schmidt and Michelle Garcia Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 12, 2004;

Page A03 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58065-2004Aug11.html

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J., Aug. 11 -- Mazen Mokhtar, a computer professional trained at Johns Hopkins University, is a familiar face to young activist Muslim men in New Jersey, often delivering what acquaintances describe as mild speeches extolling marriage and religious piety.

But Wednesday, Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born American citizen, found himself issuing a statement denying government accusations that he has aided violent terrorists. Some of those who know him expressed surprise at allegations that he worked with a British man who is accused of soliciting funds for terrorism by operating jihadist Web sites.

"I do not support and I have never supported any action that harms innocent people," Mokhtar, 36, said in the statement, released by his attorney. "I have never knowingly assisted any terrorist group."

Mokhtar has often lectured to youth groups at mosques, has spoken at Rutgers University rallies supporting the Palestinian cause and was invited to speak later this month at a summer camp run by the Young Muslims of North America.

"From our experience, he is a very nice guy," said Omar Ranginwala, an official with the Young Muslims group who is involved with the camp. Mokhtar, a father of three, is "soft-spoken and not known to have been associated with extremist views or Web sites."

"We are all very surprised that this thing came up," he said. At this point, group members "don't have much knowledge about it."

This year's camp is to be held at Villanova Academy, an Islamic school in Pennsylvania, and its theme is "A Few Good Men/Lives of the Khulafa Rashideen (Pious Caliphs)."

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the group's summer gatherings were called "Jihad Camp." Advertised speakers in August 2001 included Imam Siraj Wahaj, identified by federal prosecutors in 1995 as a "possible unindicted co-conspirator" in the terrorism case against blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and Saffet Catovic, a Bosnian associated with the Benevolence International Foundation, a now-defunct Muslim charity accused by the U.S. government of financing terrorism.

"It was to help them to understand what the concept of jihad really is," said Ranginwala, saying that it is more about a struggle to live a faithful life than about engaging in holy war.

Mokhtar's lawyer, Yasser Helal, confirmed that Mokhtar has been under investigation by U.S. authorities since at least March, when Homeland Security agents seized computer files and other records in a search of Mokhtar's North Brunswick, N.J., home. Helal said he was not prepared to discuss the investigation or to comment on allegations that Mokhtar worked with British citizen Babar Ahmad to create backup copies of the jihadist Azzam.com Web site when administrators shut down that site after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

In court papers filed in the case, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent contends that "a concerted effort existed between the administrators of Azzam, including Ahmad, and individuals in the U.S. . . . to further the goals of Azzam, that is, to solicit funds for blocked organizations, namely the Taliban and the Chechen Mujahideen, in an effort to support their goals."

Ahmad was swept up in a recent international wave of arrests of suspected al Qaeda operatives, some accused of involvement in scouting financial targets in the United States. Ahmad allegedly possessed classified routes of a 2001 U.S. naval battle group and is believed to be linked to captured al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Although Mokhtar is not named in the complaint filed by U.S. authorities against Ahmad, a Web site that Mokhtar registered and administered, www.minna.com, is cited.

Helal said Mokhtar wants to cooperate in the probe. He said authorities returned computer files and records to him two weeks after their search, but he believes they have made copies of the material.

Neighbors in Mokhtar's North Brunswick townhouse community said they had seen authorities searching his home earlier this year but knew little of his activities. One said small groups of men dressed in robes occasionally dropped by at night. He described the Mokhtar family as friendly but said they kept their distance.

Nearby, in a working-class area of New Brunswick, about two dozen men filed into the storefront Masjid Al-Huda mosque Wednesday for midday prayers. Imam Abdul Basit, who came from Pakistan three years ago, said Mokhtar occasionally leads the Friday prayers.

"We sometimes invite him to come and give [a] sermon," Basit said. "If we knew from any day that he is saying something bad, we would stop him immediately." But, he said, "I never hear anything bad, only how we can be a good Muslim."

Magdy Mahmoud, president of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Mokhtar is one of many young men on the lecture circuit, "a wise man in the community, a humble man." Mahmoud said Mokhtar visited several mosques in New Jersey and was not affiliated with just one.

Mahmoud said Mokhtar distinguished himself by the "balanced views" he presented to his audience. "People with radical views don't usually attract large audiences," he said.

Mohamed Younes, president of the American Muslim Union in Paterson, N.J., said Mokhtar's lectures there were benign. "Compared to others, he was much more moderate," Younes said.

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Terror Suspect's Arrest Opens New Inquiries

By Dana Priest and Susan Schmidt Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, August 8, 2004; Page A10 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48936-2004Aug7.html

New York City investigators are attempting to retrace the steps of an al Qaeda suspect who was arrested in England last week and is believed to have been sent by Khalid Sheik Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to case financial targets in New York in early 2001, according to several law enforcement officials.

As the ripples from a recent spate of arrests and computer discoveries became apparent yesterday, law enforcement officials and documents disclosed that Eisa Hindi is believed to have been dispatched to New York with two other al Qaeda members whose mission was to take photographs and document security around symbolic financial buildings.

By retracing their steps and interviewing people identified in the surveillance photos, such as security guards on the job at the time, investigators hope to discover someone who may have been in contact with Hindi and might know more about his contacts in the United States, one law enforcement official said.

Several counterterrorism officials said yesterday that Hindi is not believed to have been in the United States since early 2001. They also disputed news reports that Hindi had come to Washington to surveil buildings.

Counterterrorism officials said Hindi was an alias for Issa al-Britani, who is a subject of the recently completed report on the 2001 terrorist attacks. Under interrogation, Khalid Sheik Mohammed described al-Britani as a trusted al Qaeda operative whom he sent to conduct surveillance of possible economic and Jewish targets in New York. Mohammed told interrogators that the casing mission was ordered by Osama bin Laden.

Mohammed, who has been in CIA custody in a secret location since his capture in Pakistan last year, also told interrogators he sent al-Britani in late 1999 or early 2000 to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to meet with Riduan Isamuddin, the top al Qaeda figure in Southeast Asia who is better known as Hambali. Hambali is also being held by the CIA.

The 9/11 commission report said al-Britani offered Hambali addresses of individuals in California and South Africa who al-Britani said could help Hambali.

Meanwhile, a New Jersey man is under investigation for having helped a British computer specialist, also arrested in London this week, allegedly solicit funds for a terrorist group by creating and operating an exact replica of the British man's Web site.

Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born imam and political activist, operated a Web site identified in an affidavit unsealed Friday by the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut. The Web site solicited funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujaheddin, according to the affidavit. It is an exact replica of Web sites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested in England on a U.S. extradition warrant this week.

The affidavit said the New Jersey home of the mirror Web site operator, identified on a Web site as Mokhtar, was searched in the recent past and that copies of Azzam Publications sites, operated by Ahmad, were found on Mokhtar's computer's hard drive and files.

Officials at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, which is leading the investigation, declined yesterday to comment on Mokhtar or the New Jersey investigation.

Ahmad possessed three-year-old classified routes of a U.S. naval battle group and is believed to be part of a branch of al Qaeda linked to Khalid Sheik Mohammed that authorities on three continents have been working to capture in recent weeks. He allegedly operated two U.S.-based Web sites, one in Connecticut and one in Nevada.

Ahmad, a British subject of Pakistani descent, faces four charges of involvement with terrorism. His attorney, appearing in a British court Friday, denied Ahmad was involved in terrorism.

According to the affidavit, Ahmad "worked in concert" with the New Jersey-based operator of www.minna.com, who is identified on the site as Mokhtar. Mokhtar is described in news reports as a U.S. citizen in his mid-thirties and an outspoken advocate of Palestinian causes. There was no answer at a phone listed at Mokhtar's home Friday or Saturday.

News accounts of rallies where Mokhtar has spoken have also described him as an imam, or spiritual leader, at the Masjid al-Huda mosque in New Brunswick, N.J. He was scheduled to speak later this month in Pennsylvania at a summer camp run by Young Muslims, at a seminar titled "A Few Good Men."

Ahmad is also the cousin of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, who was arrested last month in Pakistan. Khan's computers carried detailed surveillance of five financial buildings in New York, Newark and Washington and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to elevate the threat alert level to orange.

Staff writer Sari Horowitz and staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report

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Damra to speak at Muslim gathering

Friday, July 02, 2004

Amanda Garrett

Plain Dealer Reporter

Note: This article recounts a recent ICNA/MAS conference and mentions the fact that the organization is under investigation Fawaz Damra was recently tried on terror related charges and was convicted on immigration fraud charges and may be deported to Jordan and stripped of his US citizenship .

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:1MyMPERbK7wJ:www.cleveland.com/damra/index.ssf%3F/base/news/1088760862294481.xml+zulfiqar+shah+icna+&hl=en

About 4,000 Muslims from across the country will gather downtown this weekend, discussing everything from gay marriage to the role of Islam in America and the world.

Organizers of the three-day meeting said they expect to highlight the presidential race, the handover of sovereignty in Iraq, the Patriot Act and the plight of Cleveland Imam Fawaz Damra, who was recently convicted on an immigration charge that could cost him his citizenship

At a news conference Thursday, convention organizers said Damra will address a leadership conference of 100 to 150 imams Saturday afternoon.

"He is a well-respected imam in the Muslim community," explained Naeem Baig, the general secretary of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), one of two groups holding the convention at the Cleveland Convention Center. "We respect his scholarship and we invited him to the program and we would like to listen to him and what he has to say."

Damra's lawyers yesterday filed a motion asking that his conviction be thrown out, arguing that the evidence was insufficient.

Cleveland Imam F. Qasim Khan, who helped bring the conference to Cleveland, said earlier in the week that Damra's case is emblematic of "how Muslims have been profiled throughout the country," adding that there is deep sympathy for Damra in the larger Muslim community.

Khan said the scrutiny of Muslims is so outrageous that he himself has been targeted. He said the FBI recently interviewed him about his travels to Muslim fund-raisers, and agents told him they had been watching him for 30 years.

"They're probably listening to this right now," Khan said during a telephone interview this week.

But some scheduled to speak at the conference are suspected of having ties to radical Islamic groups.

They include Iqbal Unus, a Virginia man whose house and business were raided in one of the largest ongoing terror probes in the county. Unus was an officer in the Safa Group, a conglomeration of more than 100 businesses and nonprofits accused of using everything from chicken farms to overseas banks to move millions of dollars to al-Qaida, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Also scheduled to speak is Zulfiqar Ali Shah, a Pakistani-born Florida imam who planned to turn a former homeless shelter near Disney World into an "interfaith theme park."

Christian and Jewish leaders voiced alarm last year when Shah invited anti-Western extremists to his first conference. Among them were the chief cleric of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, who has called on Arabs to stop trying to make peace with Jews, whom he described as "the scum of the human race."

Shah is also past president of ICNA, which itself is under federal investigation for ties to terrorism.

The other sponsoring group for the conference is the Muslim American Society, whose former spokesman began serving 20 years in prison this year for federal weapons charges connected to his role in a Virginia Jihadist group with ties to al-Qaida.

Leaders of both groups have vigorously denied allegations of links to terror groups.

Two men scheduled to speak at the conference were cleared of terrorist accusations.

Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim attorney from Oregon, was jailed for two weeks this year after authorities mistakenly matched his fingerprint to one found near the wreckage from the May 11 train bombing in Madrid. When Mayfield was released, the FBI apologized for its mistake.

James Yee, a Muslim Army chaplain who spent 76 days in prison during an espionage probe at the U.S. military's detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, last year, also will speak. All charges against him were ultimately dropped.

The weekend conference is ICNA's second in Cleveland. In July 2001, more than 7,000 Muslims rallied here for an event focused on Palestinians, India's control of Kashmir and the legal troubles of Jamil Al-Amin (aka H. Rap Brown), who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a Georgia sheriff's deputy

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http://www.ymsite.com/newsletters/newsletter3.html

MIM: The YM Newsletter below epitomises the militant Islamist mission statement and recommends the work of Abdullah Azzam, Bin Laden's mentor and the founder of Al Qaeda. Another book listed is called "Jihad in Islam".Note that ex ICNA president and Universal Heritage Foundation CEO Zulfiqar Ali Shah, is listed as a speaker at a recent Muslim Youth Conference together with New Jersey Imam Mazen Mokhtar., who is now being investigated for his ties to terrorism and running a website for Al Qaeda / Azzam publications. (see newspaper articles above) .

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Abdullah Assam: The Man Before Osama Bin Laden
by Steve Emerson

http://www.iacsp.com/itobli3.html




The Jihad in Afghanistan will broaden until the entire world will be conquered because Allah has promised the victory to Islam" declared Abdullah Azzam.

"The Muslim leader most responsible for expanding the jihad into a full-blown international holy war without borders was not Osama Bin Laden, or Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman (the radical Islamic cleric most known to the American public for his conviction in the World Trade Center bombing trials), but a leader whose name remains today virtually unknown to the West – Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, Azzam is more responsible than any Arab figure in modern history for galvanizing the Muslim masses to wage an international holy war against all infidels and non-believers until the enemies of Islam were defeated."

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MIM: Zero degrees of Separation : Al Qaeda/ICNA/MAS

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48936-2004Aug7.html

Meanwhile, a New Jersey man is under investigation for having helped a British computer specialist, also arrested in London this week, allegedly solicit funds for a terrorist group by creating and operating an exact replica of the British man's Web site.

Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born imam and political activist, operated a Web site identified in an affidavit unsealed Friday by the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut. The Web site solicited funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujaheddin, according to the affidavit. It is an exact replica of Web sites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested in England on a U.S. extradition warrant this week.

The affidavit said the New Jersey home of the mirror Web site operator, identified on a Web site as Mokhtar, was searched in the recent past and that copies of Azzam Publications sites, operated by Ahmad, were found on Mokhtar's computer's hard drive and files.

------------------------

MIM: Above:

News accounts of rallies where Mokhtar has spoken have also described him as an imam, or spiritual leader, at the Masjid al-Huda mosque in New Brunswick, N.J. He was scheduled to speak later this month in Pennsylvania at a summer amp run by Young Muslims, at a seminar titled "A Few Good Men."

Below:Information on Mokhtar Mazen's association with Al Qaeda via Azzam publications by Evan Kohlman of the Investigative Project, a counter terrorism research group directed by Steven Emerson . Mokhtar operated a website which called for Jihad and suicide bombings.

----------------------------------

PDF] Dossier: Azzam Publications UK (Azzam.com, Qoqaz.net) and Mazen ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Page 1. © 2004 Evan Kohlmann (http://www.globalterroralert.com – info@globalterroralert.
com) Dossier: Azzam Publications UK (Azzam.com, Qoqaz.net) and Mazen ...
www.globalterroralert.com/azzam-mokhtar.pdf - Similar pages

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Azzam Publications UK (Azzam.com,

Qoqaz.net) and Mazen Mokhtar

• Azzam Publications UK is widely considered to be the premiere English-language

mouthpiece for Al-Qaida. Based in London, Azzam Publications regularly disseminates

radical jihadi material, including statements by Al-Qaida leaders, obituaries of fallen Al-

Qaida terrorists (including the one-time roommate of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias

Moussaoui), and Al-Qaida-linked propaganda videos such as The Martyrs of Bosnia and

Russian Hell in the Year 2000.

• Following the September 11

th

attacks, the Azzam Publications-owned site Qoqaz.net

featured an article titled "The Monumental Struggle Of Good Versus Evil;" the article

contained photos of the burning Pentagon alongside various religious exhortations

concerning "fighting in the path of Allah."

• In a written reply to criticism by JihadUnspun.com, Azzam Publications explained its

mission in its own words:

"To begin with, we would like to introduce Azzam Publications to those who are new to

it. Azzam Publications is an independent media organisation, established in 1996, that

has been providing authentic news and information about Jihad and the Mujahideen

everywhere, from a network of informed correspondents on the ground in troubled

hotspots… Since November 2001, Azzam.com has been providing authentic news,

information, interviews and statements about the current Jihad in Afghanistan, from

sources and correspondents on the ground inside Afghanistan. Another one of Azzam's

correspondents, Shaheed Suraqah Al-Andalusi, was killed in December 2001, in the


Page 2

© 2004 Evan Kohlmann (http://www.globalterroralert.com – info@globalterroralert.com)

Battle for Tora Bora, by an American cluster bomb. His biography and will were

published on Azzam.com early in 2002, and any of the Foreign Mujahideen commanders

in Afghanistan today can confirm the efforts of Shaheed Suraqah Al-Andalusi in

providing media coverage of the events in Afghanistan."

• According to Ibn ul-Khattab, the late Arab-Afghan commander of foreign mujahideen in

Chechnya:

"The brothers in Britain, may Allah reward them, have put in much efforts to publicize the

Jihad. There is an organization by the name of Azzam Publications, which is run by

brothers who are known to us and maintain regular contact with us. So anyone who

wishes to support us or requires any further information about the situation here, they

should contact this organization. We keep them informed with news updates about the

state of affairs here, so if the people have any questions we can answer them through

this organization. So the brothers at Azzam Publications, may Allah preserve them, are

cooperating with us in media efforts. They have made many commendable efforts to

publicize the Jihad, so if you make contact with them and support them, Inshallah, it will

be very beneficial."

• On August 6, 2001, the numeric Internet addresses for the domain Qoqaz.net were

changed by its administrators to correspond directly with those of another existing

domain: Minna.com. Thus, all web visitors to qoqaz.net and minna.com were likewise

shown the same identical Qoqaz.net homepage.

• At that time, Minna.com was registered to:

Mokhtar, Mazen (MMZ265) mazen@ABETTERMARKET.COM

Minna International Corporation

216 Bishop Blvd.

North Brunswick , NJ 08902

Mazen Mokhtar

• Mazen Mokhtar has reportedly served as the

Imam (religious leader) of Masjid al-Huda, a

mosque located in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

• On February 15, 2004, Mokhtar spoke at a

humanitarian fundraiser in Bronx, NY organized

by the Islamic Society of Rutgers University and

Islamic Relief, an international Muslim

charitable organization with offices in Burbank,

California.

• On April 10, 2004, Mokhtar spoke at an Islamic

Youth conference held in Brooklyn, NY

explicitly on behalf of Masjid al-Huda and the

New Jersey chapter of the Muslim American

Society (MAS).


Page 3

© 2004 Evan Kohlmann (http://www.globalterroralert.com – info@globalterroralert.com)

• On several occasions, Mazen Mokhtar has used the Internet to post extremist

newsgroup messages that have included calls to religiously-inspired violence:

o "Covenant Of The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas]… I have read the

covenant, I support the covenant." (February 1993)

o "Hamas has no victims, it only has legitimate targets." (E-mail signature used by

Mazen Mokhtar)

o The nations of the Arab world are divided "[b]ecause they are run by corrupte

[sic], unIslamic, oppressive, power-hungry, murderous secularists. They were

installed by colonial powers for the purpose of keeping the Muslims divided.

The only force which is actively combatting them is Islam." (October 1996)

o Suicide bombing should be encouraged "[b]ecause it's an effective method of

attacking the ennemy [sic] and continuing jihad, which is at the very least a

[religious requirement] on the Muslims… Those who commit suicide seek death,

but martyrs are not counted as dead, as Allah said above. They seek a greater

life for themselves with Allah, and a greater future for Muslims. May Allah

support them, bless them and forgive us for not being with them." (April 1996)

© 2004 Evan Kohlmann (http://www.globalterroralert.com – info@globalterroralert.com)

----------------------------------------

MIM: Note that the Muslim Youth newsletter openly calls for its members to wage jihad and shows support for Al Qaeda by promoting the work of Muslim brotherhood members and Al Qaeda founder Abdullah Azzam.The Muslim Brotherhood is a militant Islamist group which is banned in many countries in the Middle East.

-----------------------------

The Newsletter openly exhorts Muslim Youth that their obligations as Muslims are the following:

"… the spreading of the message of Islam (da'wa), the establishment of the Islamic State (khilafah) and the defense of Muslim lands (jihad)."

http://www.ymsite.com/newsletters/newsletter3.html

Young Muslims Newsletter Issue 3.

In This Issue:

  • Intro to this Issue
  • YM News
  • Movementation: 'Why should we work in a jama'ah?'
  • Reflection: 'Prerequisites of Tazkiya (Cont'd)'
  • YM Iraq Campaign: 'Your Responsibility'
  • YM Dawah Campaign: 'An Introduction to the YM Dawah Booklet'
  • Dope Quotes
  • Exclusive pictures!
  • Interesting Articles on the web

Intro

In our third Issue we will continue to provide a fresh outlook of Islamic Work to Muslim Youth, and to also give you updates of the progress of our Organization, Young Muslims. Due to so many YM activities, and campaigns taking place alhumdulilah this edition of the newsletter will be jam packed with relevant material to all Islamic workers out there!


MIM: Speakers at recent Muslim Youth conference included Al Qaeda linked New Jersey Imam Mazen Mokhthar , and CEO and ex ICNA president Zulfiqar Ali Shah

YM News

YM and MYD (Young Muslims and MAS Youth Department) held a Youth Conference entitled: "Living & Teaching Islam; Reform begins with Self Development" On December 25-29 in Chicago. This conference ran parallel to the MAS-ICNA Convention.

Speakers at the Youth Conference included:

Br. Mady Bray, Imam Suhaib Webb, Imam Yahya Hindi, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah and many more. We held a basketball tournament at the convention in which over 150 youth participated. The main sessions can now be viewed on Islamicity. On January 8-10 The North East Region held a Tarbiya Camp for selected members. The theme of the camp was "Catalysts for Change". Sheikh Ibrahim Negm, Br. Mazin Mokhtar, and Br. Salman Ali were some of the instructors.

On January 18th many YM members attended International A.N.S.W.E.R.'s protest against the War on Iraq in Washington DC. The crowd of protestors was estimated to be around 500,000 people. This Eid ul-Fitr marked the end of the month of Ramadan, and this year's Ramadan Campaign. Inshallah a Ramadan Report including details of all the YM Units efforts will be made available on our website soon. It will include planning at all structural levels (National, Regional, Sub-Regional and Neighbornet). For the YM Dawah campaign brothers Asim Ranginwala (NY) and Kiran Pillai (NY) have started their work on a 'Dawah Booklet', which will serve as a guide to today's Da'ee. Parts of this booklet will be released in a series of articles in this newsletter! You can find the first introductory article in this issue.

The North East Regional Team(shura) met on 11-08-2002. After the National Coordinator (Salman Yasir) consulted with the team, It was decided that Br. Habeeb Hussaini would be the new Regional Coordinator. His responsibilities include: Visiting existing neighbornets in his region, overlooking sub-regions (i.e. YM NY, YM NJ), and expansion in the region. In Chicago Br. Abid Shariff was elected as the new City Coordinator. Inshallah we pray to Allah (S) to give them strength and enable them to successfully carry out their new tasks. May Allah (S) bless our efforts, and accept them. The YM National Shura will be meeting on February 15, 16. If any members have any suggestions or complaints please send them to shura@ymusa.org. All planning meetings for the year 2003 have already taken place. A complete plan (including local, and national plans) for 2003 will be made available soon.

A members login section has been added to our website http://www.ymusa.org. You will now need to login to access the discussion board, newsletter, and now over 100 books! So signup now! 11 new books were recently added to the site. The titles of the newly added titles are: Jihad in Islam by Syed Abul 'Ala Maududi, The Authentic Creed by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz, The Muslims Belief by Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin, The Signs before the Day of Judgment by Ibn Kathir, The Quran and Modern Science - Compatible or Incompatible? by Dr. Zakir Naik, The Prostration for Forgetfulness in the Prayer by Shaikh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaimeen, Guarding the Tongue by Imam Nawawi, The Life of This World is a Transient Shade by Abdul Malik Al-Qasim, 20 ways to Show Off by Sheikh Salman b. Fahd al-Oadah, Causes Behind the Increases and Decreases of Eemaan by Shaykh Abdur-Razzaak al-Abbaad, and Women in the Shade of Islam by Abdulrahman Al-Sheha.


Movementation: Why should we work in a jama'ah?

Why should we today work in a jama'ah? Surely, all these different groups today are a disease in the Ummah, and if anything they are serving to increase the problems. Yes, there are many sincere people working in these jama'ahs but at the end of the day they end up fighting each other so how can they be a good thing, and why should I join these jama'ahs when this will probably mean that I will end up arguing against other Muslim brothers. These are the arguments of the Muslims today against all the different groups that are operating within the Ummah. Many people use these arguments as a basis for them to work individually by giving a few hours and a few pounds here and there and insha-Allah this will be sufficient to deal with the problems of the Ummah.

Well, let's ask a question. How many Muslims today are working to solve the problems of the Ummah? One million out of one billion? Ten million? How many? And the problems that we are facing today, are they small-scale or are they very large and serious problems? So these ten million people will they help the Ummah by working individually or by working collectively? Will the Ummah be able to solve its problems by all these people acting in an individual manner and then somehow these actions would coincide to provide the all-encompassing and eagerly anticipated solution. How likely is it that we will be able to solve our problems by everybody working separately? Would we win the wars, would we establish the hospitals, would we build our mosques as individuals? Even in our Islamic Societies, what would happen if every member of the Islamic Society decided to do his own thing as he saw fit, quite simply there would be chaos and we would never achieve what Allah demands of us. So collective work is necessary, and individual work is a disease affecting our Ummah.

What is it that these jama'ahs are trying to achieve? Well, there are certain things which Islam makes fard (obligatory) on us to do collectively. These include the spreading of the message of Islam (da'wa), the establishment of the Islamic State (khilafah) and the defense of Muslim lands (jihad). All of these are fard on the Ummah and surprisingly enough we have not fulfilled any of these. The Shari'ah states that all of these duties are fard and a quick scan of some of the Islamic Movement's texts on these subjects would make this quite clear (this can be found in the key books of any of the following: Hasan al-Banna, Abul A'la Mawdudi, Ahmad ar-Rashid, Assam al-Bashir and Abdullah Azzam).

For example, the Qur'an in Sura al-Maidah from verses 48-50 makes it clear that the implementation of the Shari'ah is fard. Therefore, the Ummah has to implement the Shari'ah and since the Khilafah is the only way to implement the Shari'ah in its totality then it is fard on the Muslims to establish the Khilafah. Now today the only way that the Khilafah can be established is through collective work, and there is an usul-ul-fiqh which states that "anything which leads to something which is necessary is in itself necessary". Since the implementation of the Shari'ah is fard, establishment of the Khilafah is fard, and therefore collective work is also fard, if this is the only way to establish the Shari'ah. Some of the scholars are of the opinion that the situation of the Ummah is so bad that collective Islamic work is fard 'ayn i.e. if somebody is not working as part of a group then he is sinning. Although this is the opinion of some scholars and not all of them agree.

So Muslims have to unite around the Qur'an and the Sunnah so that they can relieve this fard. But today there are many groups that are working to establish Islam so how does one decide between the various groups? First of all, everybody should keep an open mind whether they are part of a group or not, and secondly, they should observe the ethics of disagreement and then they should measure each group by the Qur'an and the Sunnah and the opinions of the scholars. Essentially, an Islamic group should not focus onto one issue in itself but rather should focus onto Islam as a whole and work to implement all of it. The criteria which form this group are therefore the criteria of other Muslims as a whole, i.e. the characteristics of ahlus Sunnah wal Jama'ah. One attempt to clarify the key points of ahlus sunnah has been made by Imam Hasan al-Banna in his twenty principles which define the understanding of the Islamic movement (this has been supported and explained by many scholars, one of them is Shaykh Abdullah Khateeb).

There are though many problem between groups today in [North America], but we should ask ourselves a question here. Are these problems the fault of the groups by definition or are they the problems of the people within these groups. The answer is simple. As long as the brothers and sisters have open minds and as long as they observe the ethics of disagreements then there will not be a problem. Nowadays, most people join different groups because of their friends or their situations, not because they have measured all of the groups by the Qur'an and the Sunnah, so there is no need for this extremism in the first place. But if people close their minds to their own scholars and their own friends, and argue with their brothers and sisters on this basis then there really is little hope because this is a victory for ignorance.

Finally, one has to ask everyone one question. Is it possible that we will be able to keep ourselves Islamic by ourselves alone? Do we not need the help of our brothers and sisters to keep us on the right path? Does Islam not encourage collectivity in prayer, pilgrimage, and in our societies for any other reason except to provide strength to the Muslims? And is it not the case that Shaytan attacks the lonely but leaves those who unite for the pleasure of Allah? Even when we walk through town, why is it that we can look at a girl when we are by ourselves but we we would never do so when we are with our brothers. It is because we are stronger as brothers and sisters than we are as individuals. And in today's increasingly individualistic society we need a mechanism by which we can keep ourselves in touch with other good Muslims. Yes, group-ism is wrong because anybody can be wrong, but collective work with modesty and an understanding of the ethics of disagreement is the only way for us to achieve the duties that Allah has made obligatory for us.

taken from ymuk.net and edited.

To learn more about the Islamic Movement visit our special discussion forum for Islamic Workers- The Islamic Worker


Reflection: Prerequisites of Tazkiya (Cont'd)

2. Genuine Effort
In order to succeed, you must have a deep desire to make a genuine effort to fulfill your obligations as a Muslim:

But as for those who strive hard in Our cause - We shall most certainly guide them onto paths that lead unto Us: for, behold God is indeed with the doers of good. [al-Ankabut 29: 69.]

With desire, of course, come actions. But know that it is not solely the results of your endeavours that count; what matters most is that you made your best effort. This is a very important point to appreciate because without genuine effort nothing can happen. Those who think that Prayer alone can work miracles are not living in a realistic world. Prayers are part of the effort, but Prayers are not the whole answer. If you pray, `Allah! Guide me and make me good', it is not going to bring you any benefit unless you are also determined to become good and make an effort towards becoming good. Once you have done the latter two things, then, of course, Prayer will be a source of baraka or Divine grace that will further inspire and strengthen your efforts. The initial desire and the ensuing effort to do and become good, is part of the continuing process of self development, a process that may begin at any point in life that you choose and continue till your last breath:

O you who have attained to faith! Be conscious of Allah with all the consciousness that is due to Him, and do not allow, death to overtake you until you have surrendered yourselves unto Him. [Ali Imran 3: 102.]

There will never be a point when you will be able to say that you are now a perfect person or that you have achieved your full potential. If at any point you feel so, then be sure that is the starting point of your downfall, On the other hand, you may find that the greater your desire to fulfill your obligations as a Muslim, the more you feel beset or plagued by frustration, despondency and despair in your heart and mind. All of us, whether young or old, have experienced these diseases, and often just give up. What we should try to remember at such times is that it is the intention and effort that matters, not the result. This effort must be a continuing process:

Be not, then, faint of heart, and grieve not: for you are bound to rise high if you are believers. [Ali Imran 3: 139]

3. Sustaining Willpower
To achieve the ultimate goal in life requires a sustained determination to do so, a willpower that is forever responsive and strong. In Quranic terminology this is called irada. Irada is basic to all our efforts. Without willing to do something you cannot do anything.

Irada is very different from desire. You always hear people reflecting upon unfulfilled aspirations. One of the main reasons why aspirations and dreams remain unfulfilled is that they are no more than desires which faded to assume the status of irada.

The Quran explains that one of the basic weaknesses in human nature which impedes self development is the weakness of will. While narrating the story of Adam, Allah informs:

And, indeed, long ago We made Our covenant with Adam; but he forgot and We found no firmness of purpose in him. [Ta Ha 20:115]

Irada requires strength and consistency and is indeed the antithesis of doubt, hesitation or lethargy. Once irada is firmly in place, then you must have no doubts and you must not hesitate.

Now, what purpose should irada serve? The Quran makes it clear that this will power must be a firm resolve to seek the pleasure of Allah because this is the part of the bargain that you must deliver:

And whoever desires [arada] the Life to Come, and strive for it as it ought to be striven for, and are [true] Believers withal-they are the ones whose striving finds favour [with God]. [al-Isra 17: 19]


Taken from the book "In the Early hours; Reflections on Spiritual and Self Development" available at Young Muslim Maryland website - Written by the Late Khuram Murad

Next Issue: 'Prerequisites of Tazkiyya' (Continued)


YM Iraq Awareness Campaign: Your responsibility

written by Omer Choudry from YM Jersey City, New Jersey

It is with much regret and apprehension that we witness the unchallenged actions taken by the Bush administration in recent times. The Muslim community nationally and globally has been the victim of an aggressive demonizing effort, tainting its image so that any and every action can be taken against it with worldwide approval, or acquiescence to say the least. In order to attempt to counter the current wave of anti-Muslim hysteria, it is incumbent upon all people of consciousness and a sense of justice to stand up firmly for the truth, to serve as a voice for those that have none, and to serve as bearers of justice in a world that has forgotten it.

It is with the strict sense of justice that Islam teaches us and with our sense of duty to the country in which we hold citizenship that we express our tremendous disapproval of any military action against the sovereign nation of Iraq and feel that everyone should similarly do so. Anything short of this would be a disregard to the sacred and blessed teachings of Islam and the laws that govern humanity. The mere fact that one possesses ability to strike and bully another is not reason to do so. Ever since the Gulf War, people of conscious have looked on with horror at the sorry plight of the Iraqi people. The entire destruction of a nation and its infrastructure is not the workings of those that wish peace. Then came the effects of the strangling sanctions on the nation and we witnessed the slow but steady death of thousands, perhaps millions, of innocent Iraqi children whose only crime was that they were born into a country ruled by a dictator. A dictator and criminal indeed. The criminal that was fed by the same people who destroy a nation in his name. Oppression is oppression and injustice is injustice regardless of the background of its victims. If the attacks in New York and Washington were wrong, then the sufferings of the Iraqi innocents are wrong as are the suffering of innocents all across the world. A life in Iraq is worth no less than the lives that perished in the Pentagon and World Trade Center. It is the working of terrorists to regard certain innocent lives less than others.

To attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people with the truth is a duty from which we will never be exempt.

Visit our special discussion forum on our Iraq Awareness Campaign http://pub126.ezboard.com/fyoungmuslimsfrm22


YM Dawah Campaign: Introduction to the YM Dawah Booklet

written by Asim Ranginwala & Kiran Pillai from YM New York City

Your heart beats faster. Trying to avoid eye contact is not going to work. The victim is onto you. Your palms are sweaty, and you try to crack a smile to break the tension, but that doesn't work either. You see him try to avoid you, almost like two positive sides of magnets, but you studied his movement patterns for half a block now and you're ready to intercept his sway. He's within arms length, this is your chance. You extend your arm to reach the prey. Using the wrist action you've been practicing for a while, you've put the bait out there. Now, the waiting game… will he take the bait? The victim's arm starts moving in the right direction. You can almost hear Chris Berman exclaiming "AND LOOK AT HIM GO! HE – COULD – GO – ALL – THE – WAY!" And there it is!

You have just handed out your first Islamic pamphlet. The crowd goes wild, and now you too can join the rest of the people who have turned this activity into their habitual way of Dawah. You too can count how many leaflets you've handed out while Dawah mode was in the on position.

Yes, unfortunately, there is a state of mind called "Dawah Mode". This concept has percolated throughout the fabric of the Ummah in my part of the world. Somehow, somewhere, some people got the idea that others would love to read about their way of life, especially if printed on crusty paper with "exciting" colors. Add in a few grammar and spelling mistakes, take away as much human interfacing as possible, replace "keepin' it real" with prepared Islamic statements and memorized explanations, mix it with a "pick-your-own-hours" schedule, and you have "Dawah Mode". You can be sure that you were in Dawah Mode if, once you are out of Dawah Mode, you can relax, think back, and say, "Boy, that was good Dawah".

Brother Habeeb Hussaini recently related a story to me that will further elucidate my point. He and another person had just walked out of his building, and they saw a man snatch a purse from a lady and jet faster than I run to food (and once again, you could hear Chris Berman's voice, but we won't get into that here). Taking quick action, Habeeb started running to his car so that he could chase down the purse snatcher, but was stopped by the other person who screamed, "No, wait! I have a better idea!" He quickly ran inside. Habeeb stood there comforting the lady, thinking that his friend is calling the police or hopefully something better. The man came running back with a big smile on his face and dawah pamphlets in his hand. He hands the lady the Dawah literature and requests that they be on their way.

Yeah, great idea buddy! Why do what's right when we can have people read about it. I mean sure, you could have at least gave chase, but that would be going a little overboard, don't you think? Especially when a pamphlet can explain what they should have done, and isn't that what really counts?

I don't know what enrages me more. This story or the fact that falling coconuts kill more human beings than sharks, and The Discovery Channel has NEVER done a special on "Killer Coconuts".

I'm sure if I could speak to the person who first used dawah pamphlets, she would explain to me that it was used complementary to all the other efforts that were happening. This was not supposed to turn into the main form of invitation. And even if it did, someone out there would be observant enough to see that it can only be used at specific times and places, and that it has the potential of turning more people off than on. Some people have taken this creative and informative idea, and overdosed on it. The situation has gotten so bad that the terms "giving dawah" and "giving pamphlets" can be used synonymously. These people believe that handing out pamphlets is the raison d'etre of the existence of the opposable thumb in human beings.

The idea of dawah is being debased. People are now looking at it as just an activity to do, words to preach, and finding the right time to do it. Dawah is all these things and much more. The word means to invite. What can invite better than sincerity. Someone giving me a drone-like invitation to an event is not as appealing as the person giving a sincere invitation. Plus, when it's an invitation to something that guarantees to improve life as we know it, it better be evident, in the most real form (as opposed to disingenuous smiles and hypocritical talks about great changes while their life is falling apart because of it), in the person inviting.

Let's play a little game. Think about what comes into your mind when you see the word "inviting", but this time think of the adjective, not the verb. What makes something inviting. Sincere, prosperous, tranquil, peaceful, attractive are some of the usual words that come to mind. When you invite, keep some of these things in mind. You must be inviting while you are inviting.

After hearing a lot about Islam, a person attending a session at a Young Muslims event in New York said, "All this sounds really good. But what would convince me about Islam is seeing someone actually doing these good things".

And that is what really counts.


Dope Quotes

"What can my enemies do to me? My paradise is in my heart, it is with me wherever I go. To imprison me is to provide me with seclusion. To send me into exile is to send me away in the Path of Allah. And to kill me is to make me a martyr."

-Ibn Taymeeyah

"Truly in the heart there is a void that can not be removed except with the company of Allah. And in it there is a sadness that can not be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him. And in it there is an emptiness that can not be filled except with love for Him and by turning to Him and always remembering Him. And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness."

-Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyya

Surely I am not crying being attached to this world, but rather for the long journey awaiting me, and the little provisions I have prepared for it. This morning, I am descending upon either paradise or hell, and I have no idea towards which of the two I will be taken.

-Abu Hurayrah ra, (when asked about his tears on his death bed)

"There is no responsibility on us except conveying the truth."

-Abul A'la Mawdudi


Exclusive Pictures

1- Irbaz Shah from YM Houston, gives visiting National Shura members a warm welcome- view
2- Umer Akbar (NJ) and Awwab Arif (NY) get busy at YM North East Summer Camp- view
3- YM NY Members taking a break at Six Flags Muslim Youth Day- view
4- YM in Saudi! at the International Youth Camp 2001- view
5- Br. Khurshid Khan (ICNA) pleas for parents to purchase YM Shirts on the main stage at the ICNA Convention- view
6- Faisal Hamouda breaks down the concept of Ehtisaab at a Neighbornet Coordinators Conference- view
7- National Shura member Waheed Akbar poses with Boxing Champion Hasim Rehman- view
8- Imam Siraj Wahhaj and Imam Zaid Shakir go toe to toe in a Free throw contest! at a YM Basketball Tournament- view
9- Carlos (Chicago) mans the YM Booth at the ICNA Convention- view
10- YM Maryland group picture from a YM Parents Program- view


Interesting Articles on the Web
(YM does not necessarily agree with any of the views expressed in these articles- we just thought that these would make for interesting reads :) )

Reading makes a country Great!- http://www.islamonline.net/english/Views/2002/09/article13.shtml
Condemned by "Terrorism"- http://www.readmirror.com/wa/nov068607.htm
The Mosque - A Welcoming Place for Would-be Converts? -http://www.islamfortoday.com/emerick3.htm
Universities and Corporate Control -http://www.captiveminds.org/edu/education.htm
What we don't teach our kids- http://www.masnet.org/newsviews/2002-12/12/article2.htm
Hollywood's responsibility for Smoking Deaths -http://www.captiveminds.org/env/smoke.htm

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