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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Keith Ellison spoke at Minnesota conference attended by U.S. .Airways 'terrorist probe' Imams on "Imams and Politics"

Keith Ellison spoke at Minnesota conference attended by U.S. .Airways 'terrorist probe' Imams on "Imams and Politics"

November 29, 2006


Keith Ellison, Congressman For Terror

By Beila Rabinowitz

November 28, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On November 18th the North American Imam Federation held their "Fourth Annual Body Meeting" with the theme, "Towards Improving Imams Professionalism and Community Outreach."

The optimistically titled conference belied its true intent, which was to help Imams further insinuate themselves into the political and social life of the United States, with the goal of eventually abolishing the U.S. Constitution and implementing shari'a - Islamic law.

On hand to help the Imams with advice was Muslim convert Keith Ellison, the newly elected Congressman from Minnesota [who first official action was to snub President Bush's invitation to attend a dinner dedicated to getting acquainted with new congressmen] who spoke on the subject of "Imams and Politics."

The conference contained a dominating presence of hard-core Islamist radicals with Siraj Wahhaj - unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 plot to bomb New York Landmarks and "character witness" for the first WTC convicted bomber, the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman - and Ashrafuzman Khan who is alleged to have run death squads in the Bangladesh war, in attendance.

Of particular note and also present at this event was Imam Dr. Omar Shahin - who has been linked to fund raising activities for al-Qaeda and Hamas but is best known as the ringleader of a group of six Imams who were forcibly removed recently from a U.S. Airways flight at the St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota for creating a disturbance which involved making anti-American statements, loud praying and shouting "Allah" while boarding the plane.

Once on board they refused to take their assigned seats and in general acted as if they were casing the airliner for security breaches.

As was noted in today's Washington Times:

"That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane." A pilot from another airline said: "That behavior has been identified as a terrorist probe in the airline industry."

Ellison's presence at this conclave of Islamists proves the thesis that we advanced on November 5 in Keith Ellison, The Wahhabist Choice For Congress, that he is an unrepentant radical Muslim, who will use his Congressional position to advance the goals of America's enemies.


MIM: Ashrafuzzam Khan the former VP of ICNA who was accused of murdering at least 7 teachers in Bangladesh was also present at the Imam conference where Ellison spoke.

"....During (Zulfiqar Ali) Shah's period of leading the ICNA, Ashrafuzzman Khan was its Vice President - as well as the head of the ICNA local chapter in Queens New York.

To many immigrants, however, Khan was better known as the mad-dog leader of a death squad active in the Bangladesh war.

On 24th September 1997, a criminal complaint [case no. 115/1997 Ramana Thana] was filed against Asrafuzzaman Khan, as a result of war crimes allegedly committed by him during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

It is alleged that Khan personally murdered at least 7 intellectuals during that war, that he was a member of the much feared Al-Badr terror squads.

Professor Giasuddin Ahmed was killed as a result of the death squad activity. His sister, Mrs. Farida Banu, filed the case in Bangladesh.

In the complaint Mrs. Banu claims that Khan, along with others, kidnapped Ahmed. His body was found later at the Rayar Baazar killing fields, a disposal site used by the Al Badr death squads.

"Asrafuzzaman Khan, was one of the chief Al-Badr executioners. It has been clearly proved that he himself shot to death 7 teachers of the Dhaka University in the killing fields at Mirpur. A certain Mofizzuddin, who drove the vehicle, which took these helpless victims of Asrafuzzaman to Mirpur, has clearly identified Asrafuzzaman as the "chief executer" of the intellectuals. After Liberation, Ashrafuzzaman's personal diary was recovered from 350 Nakhal Para where he resided. On two pages of the diary, the names of 19 teachers of the University have been entered, as well as their addresses in the University quarters" - From the Weekly Thikana, a Bengali print journal published from New York December 15, 2000 http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=rabinowitz3.htm

  • A Visit by Keith Ellison
    NAIF has invited the United States' first Muslim Congressman Br. Keith Ellison to the "Community Night" to meet with the Imams and the community. Br. Keith is also the first African American congressman from Minnesota. A lawyer by training, Br. Keith currently serves on the Minnesota state legislature. His candidacy was supported by many local Shuyookh, members of different masajid, as well as non-Muslims who identify with his platform of peace, justice and equal rights. The strong support he has received from various entities led to his outstanding victory during the Nov. 7 election. His visit to our event will allow both the local community and Imams from around the nation to connect with him and have constructive discussions about common goals, concerns, and issues of interest for Muslims within the political context. Br. Keith is married with four children.
  • Conference Program 2006

    • Saturday, Nov. 18th

    • 4:40 P.M.: Maghrib and Ishaa Salat Led by Sheikh Waleed Al-Meneesey
    • 5:00 P.M.: Opening Remarks by Imam Dr. Mohamad Al-Ghalaieni (Flint, MI)
    • 5:15 P.M.: NAIF's Accomplishments by Imam Dr. Omar Shahin (Phoenix, AZ)
    • 5:30 P.M.: Host Speech by Imam Waleed Al-Meneesey and Dr. Farouk Assamura'e
    • 5:45 P.M.: Imam Introductions (Two minutes introduction by each attendee)
    • 6:30 P.M.: Dinner
    • 7:30 P.M.: Imams and Media by Imam Abdul-Malik Muhammed
    • 8:30 P.M.: Workshop and Open Discussion about Imams and Media
    • 8:45 P.M.: Presentation by Mercy USA (Sponsor)
    • 9:00 P.M : Graduate Theological Foundation by Imam Mohamad Al-Homsi (DDS)
    • 9:00 P.M.: Data Collection and Form Filling
    • 9:30 P.M.: Duaa and Adjournment
    • Sunday, Nov. 19th

    • 06:00 A.M.: Fajir Salat Led by Imam Bassam Obeid (Charlotte,NC)
    • 06:15 A.M.: Short Talk by Imam Muhammad S. Adly (Columbia,SC)
    • 06:30 A.M.: Breakfast
    • 07:30 A.M.: Presentation about PEACE (Sponsor) by Imam Abdurrahman Almanasrah (Chicago, IL)
    • 07:45 A.M.: Study Abroad Program by Imam Adam Fofana (Islamic University of Malaysia)
    • 08:00 A.M.: Imams and Interfaith Dialogue by Dr. Bashar Arafat (Baltimore, MD)
    • 08:15 A.M.: Workshop and Open Discussion about Imams and Interfaith Dialogue
    • 09:15 A.M.: Break
    • 09:30 A.M.: Data Collection and Form Filling
    • 10:00 A.M.: Imams and Politics by Congressman Keith Ellison (first Muslim Congressman newly elected Nov. 2006)
    • 10:15 A.M.: Workshop and Open Discussion about Imams and Politics
    • 11:15 A.M.: American Open University
    • 11:30 A.M.: Project for Imams and Masjids by Imam Dr. Omar Shahin
    • 11:45 A.M.: Presentation about "Life" by Dr. Khalil Jasim (Sponsor)
    • 12:00 P.M : How Islamic Centers Can Get Grants by Mr. Ihsan Al-Khatib (Attorney)
    • 12:15 P.M.: Muslim Legal Defense Fund (Sponsor)
    • 12:30 P.M.: Break and Zuhr and Asr Salat Led by Imam Ahmad Sheqarat
    • 01:00 P.M.: Lunch Break
    • 02:30 P.M.: Imam and Mosque Administration by Imam Siraj Wahhaj (NewYork, NY)
    • 02:45 P.M.: Workshop and Open Discussion about Imams and Administration
    • 03:45 P.M.: Imams and Responsibility towards Women by Imam Dr. Salah Assawy
    • 04:00 P.M.: Imams and Guidelines in Dealing with Women by Imam Dr. Al-Ghalaieni
    • 04:15 P.M.: Workshop and Open Discussion about Imam and Women
    • 05:15 P.M.: Dinner and Break
    • 07:00 P.M.: Community Night (Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Imam Dr. Omar Shahin, Mr.Keith Ellison)
    • 08:30 P.M.: Magrib and Ishaa Salat with the Community Led by Imam Waleed Al-Meneesey
    • Monday, Nov. 20th

    • 6:00 A.M.: Fajir Salat Led by Imam Mahmood Sulayman
    • 6:15 A.M : Short Talk by Imam Hatem Alihaj (MD)
    • 6:15 A.M.: Breakfast
    • 7:15 A.M : Islamic American University
    • 7:30 A.M : ISNA and Training Imams
    • 7:45 A.M.: Imams and Youth by Dr. Nabeel Sadoon
    • 8:00 A.M.: Workshop and Open Discussion about Imams and Youth
    • 8:45 A.M.: Final Remarks by Imam Dr. Abdullah Idrees
    • 9:00 A.M.: Form Filling and Data collection
    • 9:45 A.M.: Encouraging Words by Imam Al-Harbi, Imam Bassam Obeid and Dr.Zubeir
    • 10:00A.M.: Closing Remarks by Imam Dr. Omar Shahin and Imam Dr. Mohamed Al-Ghalaieni

    NAIF's Annual Body Meetings

    • Past Conferences

      In the past three years, during NAIF founding phase, three conferences were held that basically revolved around the establishment of the organization for Imams. Starting this year in shaa Allah, the conferences will be more focused on issues pertaining to Imams' problems, concerns, challenges and professionalism.

    • The 2003 Conference
      The first conference took place in Phoenix, Arizona where the founding members discussed the issue of establishing the federation.
    • The 2004 Conference
      During the 2004 conference, which also took place in Phoenix, Arizona, the federation constitution was drafted and presented to the General Body Meeting. In addition, the Board of Trustees (7 Imams) and the Executive Committee members (9 Imams) were elected.
    • The 2005 Conference
      At the 2005 conference, which took place in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, the General Body set the goals and budget of the federation.
    • The 2006 Conference
      This year, about 120 Imams registered to attend the conference which is taking place in the Twin Cities for the second time. The conference features several keynote presentations centered on our theme of Towards Improving Imam's Professionalism and Community Outreach. After each keynote speech, open forums are scheduled to allow participants to discuss and give input and feedback on the selected topics. In addition, in response to Imams' requests, the conference features a "Community Night" for the Shuyookh to meet with local Muslims. This will enable further sharing of ideas, concerns, and goals between the Imams and the ummah.
    • Conference Program
    • Themes
      The conference will focus on equipping the Imams with the skills they need to communicate effectively with the different groups that make up their communities. Particular attention will be paid to the following themes:
    • Imams and the Media
      Islam is now almost constantly on the news, and Imams must be capable of dealing effectively with the media. Good communication skills encompass being able to respond to media inquiries and field questions of journalists as well as addressing misinformation about Islam, generating positive story ideas, and writing commentaries and letters to the editors when necessary, among other things. Communication with the media should not be limited just to responding to misconceptions, but Imams should also take advantage of the different opportunities to highlight the activities in local mosques and the contribution of Muslims to local communities.
    • Imams and the Youth
      Muslim youth living in western societies face unique challenges and encounter influences and values that may be disparate with Islamic teachings. Imams must be able to recognize the issues that impact youth within this context in order to be able to initiate a dialogue with them, to educate them and to facilitate their growth as young Muslims. Hence, it was thought necessary to specifically figure out appropriate ways to address the problems that youth face as well as to maximize opportunities to help make them active members of the masajid and Islamic community centers
    • Imams and Non-Muslims
      Imams interact with non-Muslims in many settings such as inter-faith meetings, da'wah projects, social work and community events among other things. It is imperative that they be able to communicate the message of Islam to the diverse audiences, answer questions, clarify matters, teach basics, and dispel misconceptions. There should be an understanding that non-Muslims do not all have the same level of knowledge about Islam. They also have different types of attitudes regarding the religion. Therefore, the professional Imam is one who is able to strike a balance and find ways to reach out to the different types of audiences.
    • Imams and Masajid
      Imams must be able to collaborate well with the masjid administration for the smooth operation and progress of the masajid as well as the well-being of the members. Unfortunately, in some communities, the so called "masjid politics" have created rifts between the Imams and the administration, leading to unnecessary conflict and divisions. Imams must find ways to work with the administration under various circumstances and to implement constructive solutions to resolve any problematic issues, especially when there are contrasting opinions.
    • Administration
    • Imams and Women Groups
      Muslim women play an important role in the advancement of local communities. In many areas, they do not only attend the masajid for salat and halaqat, but they are also actively involved in da'wah work, adult and children's educational programs as well as administration and community outreach activities. Imams must, therefore, be able to foster an environment that is not only inclusive of women but also supportive of their specific needs and concerns in accordance to Islamic guidelines
    • Imams and Politics
      Many Muslims around the United States are involved in political activities at different levels. Recognizing the sensitivity of political issues and the potential for divisiveness within the communities as a result of divergent political views, Imams must be able to provide Muslims with proper guidance and to educate them on the etiquettes of any political involvement within the Islamic context. Questions also arise as to whether Imams and Islamic centers should be involved in politics at all and what the extent of this involvement should be; therefore, it was thought important that Imams should have an opportunity to address these concerns in our conference this year. Overall, it is important that Imams would be aware and understanding of the general political climate of their communities as well as especially conversant with the issues that affect Muslims.
    • Registration
      Registration for the conference was closed for this year.
    • Organizing Committee
      All thanks are due to the Organizing Committee members and their volunteers for their extensive work in planning the logistics and the program for this conference. NAIF would particularly like to extend its hearty thanks to the following members
    • Twin Cities Logistics Team Coordinators
      Overall Event Management: Br. Ibrahim Hafidh
      Welcome Committee: Br. Nabi Naser
      Transportation: Br. Afzal Mohideen
      Video Recording: Br. Razi Masood
      Community Night: Br. Mashood Yunus
      Chaperone: Br. Sudqi Salaymeh
      (We cannot but pray that Allah would reward you all for your great efforts to make this event come true in the best possible way)
    • Publication Team
      Sr. Dahlia Sabry
      ( Without your ceaseless sincere efforts day and night, and masterly coordination between all the members, this significant event would have come out lacking a great deal of its grandeur and organization )

      Sr. Ayisha Yahya
      (Your sincere dedication for data collection and editing the parts you helped with in this publication is unmatched)
      Sr. Safiya Sallam

      Br Louis Muhammad
      (You were indeed God-sent! Without you, we wonder how our publications would have seen the light in such wonderful layout and design!)

    • Significant Events
    • The Community Night
      For the first time, NAIF will host a "Community Night" for Imams to meet and interact with community members. The event is scheduled for the last night of the conference, after ishaa. Considering that part of this year's theme is "Community Outreach" and that NAIF's overall goal is to foster strong relationships between Imams and their communities, this event is just one opportunity for Imams to engage in open dialogue with the public. There will be short, informal talks and question-and-answer sessions to allow community members to get to know the Imams and benefit from their knowledge. In turn, in shaa Allah, we hope the Imams will also gain from these interactions with a diverse group of Muslims. Refreshments will be served.
      The Muslim community in the Twin Cities has been growing steadily over the last decade. Muslims from all over the world reside here with large populations of people from East Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. Overall, it is estimated that more than 100,000 Muslims live in Minnesota.
      There are about 25 masajid within the Twin Cities and the surrounding areas. In addition, there are several Islamic organizations and educational centers that provide various services and resources. Minnesotans will soon have, in shaa Allah, their first masajid with a minaret. Once completed, this extension of masjid Al-Nur, now located in Minneapolis, will make it the largest masjid in the area
    • A Visit by Keith Ellison
      NAIF has invited the United States' first Muslim Congressman Br. Keith Ellison to the "Community Night" to meet with the Imams and the community. Br. Keith is also the first African American congressman from Minnesota. A lawyer by training, Br. Keith currently serves on the Minnesota state legislature. His candidacy was supported by many local Shuyookh, members of different masajid, as well as non-Muslims who identify with his platform of peace, justice and equal rights. The strong support he has received from various entities led to his outstanding victory during the Nov. 7 election. His visit to our event will allow both the local community and Imams from around the nation to connect with him and have constructive discussions about common goals, concerns, and issues of interest for Muslims within the political context. Br. Keith is married with four children.
    • Excursion to Al-Huda Masjid
      NAIF has made special arrangements to take interested Imams to masjid Al-Huda in Minneapolis for salat al-fajr on Monday, November 20 in shaa Allah. The Imam of masjid Al-Huda is Sheikh Farouq Assamarai. For more information on this masjid, please visit http://www.alhudacenter.org/index.htm
    • Sponsors
      The Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of NAIF would like to extend sincerest thanks and gratitude for all those who sponsored the 2006 conference through their generous donations, thus making it possible and in a better form this year than before. In this regard, we would like to thank:

    1. All the Imams who sent donations from their community members.
    2. The Muslim communities in Minnesota, Flent, and Arizona.
    3. All the masajid which hosted NAIF Imams' fundraising initiatives:

    • Grand Blanc Islamic Centre: Fundraiser Imam Mohamad Mwafaq Al-Ghalaieni
    • Islamic Centre of Charlotte: Fundraiser Imam Bassam Obeid
    • Dar Al-Farooq: Fundraiser Imam Waleed Edrees Menesee
    • Masjid Annoor: Fundraiser Imam William Henderson
    • Islamic Centre of Des Moi: Fundraiser Imam Ibrahim Dermali
    • Islamic Society of PC: Fundraiser Imam Haitham Barazanji
    • Al-Salah Mosque Foundation: Fundraiser Imam Abdel Rahman Manasra
    • Masjid Assalam: Fundraiser Imam Masudur Rahman
    • Al-Rribat Al-Islami: Fundraiser Imam Saad Al-Degwi
    • Islamic Society of Augusta: Fundraiser Imam Mohamad Alhomsi

    4. Life, PEACE and Mercy USA organizations.
    5. Muslim Legal Defense Fund (MLDF)

    Through donations to NAIF, you not only sponsor our conferences but also:

    • Support Islam as you help us offer the world with a better image of our faith by hosting courses and workshops to enhance the professionalism of its ambassadors.
    • Help NAIF, a not-for-profit organization , offer the representatives of your Muslim community services that would make them in a better position to serve you.
    • Contribute to the Imams Retirement Endowment Fund to honour your community servants upon aging.
    • Help us reach out to the media and voice Muslims' perspectives.
    • Sponsor research on critical issues of Muslims' life in the States to be published by NAIF.

    May Allah reward you all for your kind deeds and compensate you for your charitable contributions. He (SWT) says,

    Those who spend their wealth in God's cause are like grains of corn that produce seven ears, each bearing a hundred grains. God gives multiple increase to whoever he wishes: He is Limitless and All-knowing. Those who spend their wealth in God's cause, and do not follow their spending with reminders of their benevolence or hurtful words, will have their rewards with their Lord: no fear for them, nor will they grieve. (Al-Baqara, 261-262)


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