Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > Beverly Hills synagouge to do interfaith with 9/11 hijacker mosque and Al Qaeda spokesman mentor
Beverly Hills synagouge to do interfaith with 9/11 hijacker mosque and Al Qaeda spokesman mentor
November 16, 2008
In May 2003, the State Department refused reentry to the chief imam of the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, Fahad al Thumairy, who also was a Saudi diplomat at the consulate in Los Angeles. The Sept. 11 commission report later said the State Department had determined "he might be connected with terrorist activity."
MIM: A biography of Muzzamil Siddiqi from Discover The Networks
The Foundation is a national non-profit dedicated to strengthening relations between ethnic communities. We are committed to the belief that direct, face-to-face dialogue between ethnic communities is the most effective path towards the reduction of bigotry and the promotion of reconciliation and understanding
Board Members and Officers
Rabbi Marc Schneier - President and Co-Founder
Russell Simmons - Chairman of the Board of Directors
Ken Sunshine - Secretary/Director
David Renzer - Director
Michael Heningburg, Jr. - Treasurer
Robert J. Cyruli - Counsel
Ilana Kats - Executive Director [email protected]
Amanda Ritz - Director of Programs [email protected]
Walter Ruby - Muslim-Jewish Relations Program Officer
Daniel Solomon - Executive Assistant [email protected]
Rabbi Marc Schneier Makes Historic Appearance at
In an historic appearance, Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, was a featured speaker along with Dr. Muhammed Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at the national dinner of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) which took place at the Manhattan Penthouse on Fifth Avenue in New York City. In his address, Rabbi Schneier applauded the landmark statement by leading Muslim intellectuals entitled, "A Call to Peace, Dialogue and Understanding between Muslims and Jews". Rabbi Schneier affirmed the necessity of participating in this dialogue, stressing the significance of this welcome opportunity of standing together and forging alliances of tolerance and understanding between Muslim Americans and Jewish Americans that can serve as a paradigm for the rest of the world. Rabbi Schneier also announced two major initiatives that The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding will be spearheading this year including a public service announcement featuring Rabbis denouncing Islamphobia and Imams denouncing anti-Semitism, which will be broadcast nationally. In November 2008, The Foundation is facilitating a National Day of Twinning between mosques and synagogues across America which will focus on joint social action programs between the Muslim American and Jewish American communities . https://www.ffeu.org/article_mpac.htm
MIM: A profile of MPAC from Discover The Networks
Founded in 1988, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) describes itself as "a public service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives." The organization consists of eight chapters in California, and one each in Texas, Kansas, Nevada, and Iowa.
MPAC's vision is "to establish a vibrant Muslim American community that will enrich American society through promoting the Islamic values of Mercy, Justice, Peace, Human Dignity, Freedom, and Equality for all." In an effort to achieve this objective, the Council's mission consists of: "effect[ing] positive change in public opinion and in policy with the purpose of realizing our vision"; "promoting an American Muslim identity"; "fostering an effective grassroots organization"; "training a future generation of men and women who share our vision"; "promoting an accurate portrayal of Islam and Muslims in mass media and popular culture"; "educating the American public, both Muslim and non-Muslim, about Islam"; "building alliances with Muslim and non-Muslims groups"; and "cultivating relationships with opinion- and decision-makers."
From its inception, MPAC presented itself as more inclusive, and more open to peaceful coexistence with Jews and Christians, than other Arab and Muslim groups, and sought to make Americans comfortable with Islam by showing how much the religion embraced core American values. Throughout the 1990s, MPAC nurtured this image of moderation by organizing Muslim-Jewish dialogues in Los Angeles. Its members received invitations to the Clinton White House and appointments on federal commissions; they were similarly courted by the Bush campaign as the Clinton presidency drew to a close. MPAC's Senior Advisor, Maher Hathout, who has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and espouses the radical brand of Islam known as Wahhabism, was invited to address the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles in 2000. Shortly thereafter, however, MPAC endorsed George W. Bush for U.S. President.
MPAC's centrist public image unraveled after the September 2000 launching of the Second Palestinian Intifada, when the Council severed its ties to the Jewish community and issued one-sided condemnations of Israel's response to the Arab violence.
MPAC's support for President Bush similarly disintegrated after 9/11, when the Council actively opposed Bush's military incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as his "excesses" in the war on terror. In February 2003, MPAC joined the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American Muslim Council, and the American Muslim Alliance in forming a coalition to repeal and amend the Patriot Act, which these organizations depicted as an assault on the civil liberties of Americans, particularly Muslims. Seven months earlier (on July 14, 2002), MPAC National Director Ahmed Younis had stated that "if Thomas Jefferson or Madison or the like were alive today, they would go to John Ashcroft's house and just shoot him." (Ashcroft was the Attorney General who sought to enforce the Patriot Act.)
MPAC claims that Islam is a religion of peace and moderation, and contends that Muslim extremists are no more numerous or dangerous than fundamentalists in any other faith. "There are radical Christian, Jewish and Hindu movements, too," says MPAC, "which are also capable of slaughtering innocents." On occasion, MPAC has publicly condemned Islamic suicide bombings. These condemnations, however, are invariably accompanied by endorsements of Muslim "resistance" and "armed struggle" which MPAC frames as justified retribution against prior Israeli or Western transgressions.
Holding Israel entirely responsible for the "pattern of violence" in the Middle East, MPAC asserts that Hezbollah "could be called a liberation movement." The Council likens Hezbollah members to American "freedom fighters hundreds of years ago whom the British regarded as terrorists." In a November 1997 speech at the University of Pennsylvania, MPAC Co-Founder and Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati steadfastly refused to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization; he justified the existence of Hamas as a political entity and a provider of social programs and "educational operations"; and he equated jihad with the sentiments of the American statesman Patrick Henry, whose "Give me liberty or give me death" declaration was, in Al-Marayati's view, "a way of looking at the term jihad from an American perspective." In a 1999 position paper, MPAC justified Hezbollah's deadly 1983 bombing of the American Marine barracks in Lebanon as a "military operation" rather than a terrorist attack. As Maher Hathout puts it: "Hezbollah is fighting for freedom, an organized army, limiting its operations against military people, this is a legitimate target against occupation. … this is legitimate, this is an American value -- freedom and liberty."
MPAC's worldview is further revealed by its many additional public statements on a wide array of issues and events:
In September 2005, MPAC joined with the anti-war organization Code Pink for Peace to sponsor a Culver City, California event promoting a new book by UC-Irvine professor Mark LeVine, who contends that an "Axis of Empathy" is the only strategy that can bring about a long-term solution to the war between radical Islam and the West. MPAC has also worked closely with International ANSWER, which has intimate ties to Ramsey Clark's International Action Center and the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party.
MIM: Paul Sperry on ISNA's terrorist ties. ISNA is also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas funding trial.
WAR ON TERROR
Posted: May 29, 2004
By Paul Sperry
WASHINGTON – The California imam who helped convert an al-Qaida suspect to Islam headed a Muslim activist group under investigation here for possible financial ties to terrorist front groups.
Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, ministered to a 25-year-old Muslim convert now the subject of an FBI manhunt.
Adam Gadahn allegedly traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to train at al-Qaida camps following his conversion while attending the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove, Calif., in the late 1990s. Siddiqi is head of the mosque there.
Congress is reviewing the financial records of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, as part of a post-9-11 investigation into alleged ties between tax-exempt Muslim organizations and terrorist groups.
Siddiqi served as president of ISNA from 1996 to 2000. He still serves on its board. ISNA did not return phone calls to its Indianapolis headquarters.
The Senate Finance Committee, which is heading the probe, earlier this year asked the IRS for tax records on ISNA – the nation's largest Islamic organization – to determine the source of the non-profit group's funding. Names of donors are redacted from public tax documents for privacy reasons.
It's suspected that many U.S.-based Muslim groups receive the bulk of their money from Saudi-based charities tied to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
Many also have been financially linked to Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the largest Muslim charity in the U.S., which was shut down after 9-11 for ties to the terrorist group Hamas. Its assets have been frozen.
ISNA and Holy Land Foundation shared a web portal before authorities raided the offices of the Muslim-owned web hosting company in 2001.
In a TV interview, Siddiqi said Gadahn did not discuss any plans to travel to Afghanistan with him when he attended his mosque in 1996 and 1997.
"Who knew about al-Qaida at that time?" he said. "We had no idea of anything like that."
Siddiqi, who was reared in Pakistani religious politics and studied Islam at a Saudi university, made a public appeal for his former pupil to turn himself in to authorities. Siddiqi held the press conference Thursday after FBI agents questioned him.
He told Gadahn he should not get involved with any group that advocates "terrorism." The thin, mild-mannered Siddiqi asserted in an interview that "Islam is the religion of peace."
According to "Silent No More: Confronting America's False Images of Islam" – a book on the Council on American-Islamic Relations' recommended reading list – Siddiqi is regarded as "one of the most respected Muslim leaders" in America.
In September 2001, President Bush invited him to lead a prayer during the 9-11 memorial at the Washington National Cathedral. He also read from the Quran.
ISNA's website says its mission is to "advance the cause of Islam and Muslims in North America." It lists training imams as its No. 1 goal.
But critics say ISNA is an extremist group disguised as a moderate group.
ISNA "enforces Wahhabi theological writ in the country's 1,200 officially recognized mosques," said terror expert Stephen Schwartz, author of "The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism." Wahhabism, a puritanical, anti-Western strain of Islam, is the official religion of the Saudi government. It's also practiced by Osama bin Laden.
Members of ISNA's board include controversial New York imam Siraj Wahaj, named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal case last decade against terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman, a.k.a. the Blind Sheikh.
Siddiqi and Wahaj spoke at the Islamic Circle of North America's 2001 convention in Cleveland together with Saudi Shaikh Abdur Rahman al-Sudais, senior imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, who has been quoted vilifying Jews as the "scum of humanity" and "the grandsons of monkeys and pigs." The three were scheduled to speak again in December at an Islamic conference in Kissimmee, Fla.
Siddiqi, who writes a weekly column for a Pakistani publication, has spoken at pro-Hezbollah and pro-Hamas rallies, and has supported an Islamic state in the U.S., while praising martyrdom for the Islamic cause, according to the SITE Institute, an anti-terror watchdog group.
On Oct. 28, 2000, Siddiqi issued a stern warning to America during an anti-Israel rally across from the White House. He and other Islamic leaders had organized the demonstration to protest America's pro-Israel policy and to support what they called just resistance to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
"America has to learn," Siddiqi was quoted as saying, "if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come. Please, all Americans. Do you remember that?"
Then he stressed: "If you continue doing injustice, and tolerate injustice, the wrath of God will come."
Abdurahman Alamoudi, the former American Muslim Council president arrested last year on terrorism-related charges, appeared with Siddiqi at the 2000 protest rally. And he proclaimed: "Hear that, Bill Clinton! We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish to add that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah."
ISNA's secretary-general, Sayyid M. Syeed, is the former director of academic outreach at the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Northern Virginia think tank raided in 2002 by federal authorities on suspicion of terror-financing.
The book "Silent No More" describes Syeed, a native of Kashmir, as a "prominent mainstream Muslim."
The FBI fears al-Qaida is recruiting American converts like Gadahn to blend in to American society and not raise security suspicions before carrying out suicide attacks in America.
Agents are searching for Gadahn and six other al-Qaida suspects in an attempt to disrupt a possible al-Qaida plot to attack America again this summer.