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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

Temple Emanuel will be having an interfaith event tomorrow with the King Fahd mosque which was attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and Muzammil Siddiqi former president of ICNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas Founding trial. The evening is also sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. According to Discover The Networks"A few hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, MPAC Co-Founder Salam Al-Marayati told a Los Angeles talk radio audience: "If we're going to look at suspects, we should look at the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies." (see complete post below).

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Confronting Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism Together

Category: General Membership
Time: Monday, November 17, 2008
6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Description: Temple Emanuel Sanctuary

Doors Open at 6:30 PM, Please arrive early to leave time for security

The Beginning of a Dialogue with the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City

The evening will include brief presentations from Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America, an opportunity to witness each other?s prayer traditions with ISHA, the Muslim evening prayer, and for Ma?ariv, the Jewish evening prayer, and a conversation between Aziza Hasan and Malka Haya Fenyvesi, interfaith coordinators of NewGround, a Muslim- Jewish partnership-for-change that trains young professionals in a fellowship program sponsored by Progressive Jewish Alliance and the Muslim Public Affairs Council which will be facilitated by Brie Loskota of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. (And, of course, the opportunity to socialize over dessert!)

Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), (www.ffeu.org), a New York and Washington, D.C. based national non-profit dedicated to strengthening relations between ethnic communities in the United States

http://www.tebh.org/calendar/index.php?action=display&id=1098&day=17&month=11&year=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."

The report also said that two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, "spent time at the King Fahd mosque and made some acquaintances there." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13266-2004Aug18_4.html

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MIM: A biography of Muzzamil Siddiqi from Discover The Networks

  • Former board president of the Islamic Society of North America


Muzammil Siddiqi is the former president of the board of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Saudi-funded organization that is used by the Muslim World League (MWL) to finance and exercise control over most of the mosques in the United States. Prior to his work at ISNA, Siddiqi was a top figure in the MWL, whose American headquarters in Virginia were raided by a Treasury Department task force in March 2002 on suspicion of ties to terrorism. Siddiqi has also chaired the Religious Affairs Committee of the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada. In addition, he is a member of the Fiqh Council, another government-raided entity.

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1061

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(For more on Muzammil Siddiqui and his role in the conversion to Islam of Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn see below.)

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MIM: About the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding run by Rabbi Marc Schneier.

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

Staff Members

Ilana Kats - Executive Director ikats@ffeu.org

Amanda Ritz - Director of Programs aritz@ffeu.org

Walter Ruby - Muslim-Jewish Relations Program Officer

Daniel Solomon - Executive Assistant dsolomon@ffeu.org

https://www.ffeu.org/about_us.htm


Rabbi Marc Schneier, President, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding; Dalia Mahmoud, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)/NYC Executive Committee; Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director of Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Rabbi Marc Schneier Makes Historic Appearance at
National Dinner of Leading Muslim American Organization

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

  • Los Angeles-based Muslim organization whose leadership defends extremist violence
  • Opposes the shutdown of Muslim charities suspected of supporting terrorism
  • Opposes the Patriot Act

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:

  • According to MPAC: "Israel was established by terrorism"; its founding "involved the unjust and illegal usurpation of Muslim and Christian land and rights"; and "to recognize the legitimacy of that crime is a crime in itself."
  • MPAC characterizes Israel as a "racist, chauvinistic and militaristic" state that is prosecuting "a war to steal land from Palestinians, to decimate their leadership, to humiliate the Palestinian people."
  • Condemning Israel's "apartheid-like ideology," MPAC warns: "History shows that Muslim and Christian religious rights are not safe under Israeli occupation."
  • Israelis are "the worst terrorists in the world," says MPAC, " Yet Israel is not found on the list of state sponsors of terrorism in the [U.S.] State Department Report on Terrorism."
  • MPAC co-sponsored pro-Palestinian rallies in the fall of 2000, where MPAC speakers chanted "Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the Army of Muhammed is coming for you!" The rally featured literature and many placards calling for the annihilation of the Jews and Israel.
  • A few hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, MPAC Co-Founder Salam Al-Marayati told a Los Angeles talk radio audience: "If we're going to look at suspects, we should look at the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies."
  • On November 30, 2002, MPAC Vice Chairman Aslam Abdullah said: "Those who are part of the political Zionist movement in America know it very well that without the support of the United States their country, namely Israel, would not be able to pursue its apartheid and racist policies in the Middle East. They will use every means possible to ensure that American administration stays on their side. They will create false enemies, they will distort facts, they will manipulate events; and they will concoct and fabricate lies. They have taken America hostage."
  • MPAC was a signatory to a MAY 20, 2004 Joint Muslims/Arab-American Statement on Israeli Violence in Gaza, which "strongly condemn[ed]" Israel's "indiscriminate killings of innocent Palestinians, including many children," and its "demolition of Palestinian homes" -- but made no mention of Arab terrorism.
  • On March 23, 2005, MPAC National Director Ahmed Younis spoke at a Muslim Students' Association-sponsored event, where he explained that because Adolf Eichmann was himself a Jew, it could accurately be said that Jews had killed themselves in the Holocaust.
  • MPAC endorsed a November 1, 2001 document characterizing the 9/11 attacks as a legal matter to be addressed by criminal-justice procedures rather than military means. Ascribing the hijackers' motives to alleged social injustices against which they were protesting, this document called on the United States "to promote fundamental rights around the world."
  • MPAC speakers regularly complain that the U.S. is "dominated" by Zionists and favors Jews over Muslims.
  • Opposed to efforts to shut down Islamic charities that fund terrorism -- alleging that such efforts interfere with freedom of religion and the exercise of the Muslim obligation to give to charity -- MPAC states that the U.S. government should instead investigate what it terms Jewish "terrorists" like the Jewish Defense League. The Council signed and sponsored a petition to reinstate the assets of Hamas' charitable front, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, after it was designated as a front for terrorist financing.
  • According to MPAC, "A major threat to the safety of the Muslim community is the Islam-bashing that has been very evident since 9/11. There has been a steady stream of attacks on the Quran These attacks are vicious, mean-spirited, and politically motivated. [T]he most sustained and vitriolic [attacks] are from right-wing Christian groups led by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson."
  • The MPAC 2002 Annual Banquet featured Ali Al-Mazrui, a SUNY-Binghamton professor who said: "There is also suspicion that some members of the Bush administration in collusion with Israel are more than ready to plunge the Middle East into turmoil in the hope that the final outcome would be to the territorial advantage of Israel and the strategic advantage of the United States. All this is part of the emerging external sadism of the United States, a readiness to hurt others abroad."
  • In a May 7, 2004 statement, MPAC said: "The scandal of Abu Ghraib was not an isolated incident but a manifestation of hate rooted in a distortion of American culture. The soldiers charged for torturing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners were reflecting, among other things, an irrational hatred against Arabs and Muslims. Hatred in Abu Ghraib is inextricably linked with hatred increasingly fostered by some elements of our government, our media, and other major national institutions."
  • After a series of arrests made in connection with an August 2006 airline terror scare in London, President Bush called the uncovered plot "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation." MPAC spokeswoman Edina Lekovic reacted, "When the people we need most in the fight against terrorism, American Muslims, feel alienated by the President's characterization of these supposed terrorists, that does more damage than good."

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.


Parts of this profile are adapted, with permission, from Stand4Facts.org.
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6177

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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
American al-Qaida suspect's imam headed probed group
Congress poring over tax records of ISNA to see if Muslim nonprofit got Saudi money
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38715

Posted: May 29, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

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

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.


Adam Gadahn

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.

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