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Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > MSA = Muslim Students of Allah - "Islam in Motion" conference targets New York City 3/25-26/05

MSA = Muslim Students of Allah - "Islam in Motion" conference targets New York City 3/25-26/05

March 2, 2005

MIM:The Muslim Student Association event poster: "Islam in Motion" - Building Momentum in Mainstream Culture", cynically uses American symbolism to hide their Islamist ambitions of tranforming this society into a 'United States of Allah' under the guise of "diversity". The MSA openly states that it not (Lady) Liberty, but "Islam which needs to be placed on a pedestal"


The the Statue of Liberty on the poster is a cynical facade for the Islamist agenda of the conference which is openly stated on the MSA website :It calls upon Muslims to reject the 'icons of lewdness and vulgarity' ... adding that " We know that Islam which must be placed on pedestal". (see complete text below).

"...Every generation, in every place, of every time, faces challenges when it
comes to embracing and practicing the Deen. We live in a time where lewdness
has become iconic and vulgarity has gained momentum. And yet, from the
guidance of Quran and Sunnah we know that Islam is what needs to be put on
a pedestal".

'Islam in Motion' aka 'Building Momentum in Mainstream Culture'.

Note that on the poster 'Lady Liberty' is superimposed on a map of New York city streets, and a picture of the edge of Manhattan devoid of the World Trade Center form the backdrop of this poster.

The array of organisations who are participating in the conference represent the multi pronged 'assault' which Islam is launching on American society.(see poster below)

MIM: *CAIR -The Council of American Islamic Relations, a Saudi funded front group for Hamas, falsely presents themselves as a Muslim civil rights group is conducting 'a workshop'. CAIr's executive director Omar Ahmad has declared that:

"Those who stay in America should be open to society without melting, keeping Mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam. If you choose to live here, you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam ... Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth." http://www.anti-cair-net.org/


MIM:* The Muslim Student Association itself is presently on a list of organisations compiled by the US Senate finance committee of groups which were 'supporting and promoting terrorism'. Of course this was denied by the MSA who responded with an indignent letter on their website which is also part of the url 'msanews/mynet/gatewayhamas'.

Which begs the question as to how a Saudi funded group which is linked to virtually every radical Islamist organisation in the United States, (and abroad), with a url listed as 'msa/gateway/hamas' can expect anyone to believe that "the allegations linking them to terrorism are false".

The MSA's agressive propagation of Islam is cynically distorted into a description themselves as a " group... "whose members strive hard to improve the quality of life for both Muslims and people of different faiths".(!)

MIM: This is the url showing the linkage with MSA gateway Hamas and the Google entry which lists the MSA/Hamas Gateway as "an excellent starting point for understanding the Resistance movement from various perspectives and sources..." http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=msa%2Fhamas&btnG=Search

.Gush Shalom composed of Israeli Jews, Palestinian Arabs, and all ...
... does. MSA Hamas Gateway an excellent starting point for understanding the
Resistance movement from various perspectives and sources. ...
www.geocities.com/SoHo/5705/pal-links.html - 4k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

http://msanews.mynet.net/gateway/hamas/ The MSA news gateway Hamas site url.


MIM: The MSA responds to terror funding accusations on their website:

See article below or click on link for "Some student groups under scrutiny" http://cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/2001/fyi/teachers.ednews/12/27/attacks.universities.ap/


"...On Wednesday January 14, 2004 , the Washington Post reported that the Senate Finance Committee has requested the IRS to turn over financial records of Muslim organizations including the Muslim Student Association. An unidentified senior aide to the Finance Committee is quoted in the article stating that the listed Muslim organizations are being targeted for their alleged role in supporting terrorism or disseminating the propaganda of terrorists..."

"...We are confident that the current investigation will prove that the allegations linking MSA to terrorism are false. At MSA National, we hope that the government will see the MSA chapters as a spiritual force whose members strive hard to uplift and improve the quality of life for both Muslims and members of other faiths..."http://www.msa-natl.org/news/letter.htm

MIM: In an article entitled "Islamism's Campus Club"-The Muslim Student Association is described as "Saudi front organization...very much the result of Saudi 'petroI.slam" diplomacy". http://www.meforum.org/article/603

'A Saudi Creation' (excerpt complete article below):

"...On its website, the MSA describes its emergence as spontaneous and disavows any link to foreign governments.[5] In fact, the creation of the MSA resulted from Saudi-backed efforts to found Islamic bodies internationally in the 1960s. Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy states,

The Saudis over the years set up a number of large front organizations, such as the World Muslim League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the Al Haramain Foundation, and a great number of Islamic "charities." While invariably claiming that they were private, all of these groups were tightly controlled and financed by the Saudi government and the Wahhabi clergy.[6]

In the United States, two leading Saudi-backed organizations were the MSA and the Islamic Society of North America (the MSA's adult counterpart), both of which received major funding, direction, and influence from Riyadh.

Personnel, money, and institutional linkages bound these organizations together from their inception, and all roads led eventually to Riyadh. Ahmad Totonji, an MSA co-founder, later served as vice-president for the notorious Saudi SAAR Foundation (a network of charities named after Saudi benefactor Sulayman ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ar-Rajhi), which closed down in 2001 after federal agents discovered links to terrorist groups.[7] Another MSA co-founder, Ahmad Sakr, served on a number of Saudi-affiliated organizations, such as the World Council of Mosques. The MSA is very much a result of Saudi "petro-Islam" diplomacy..."


MIM:*The Islamic Speakers Bureau are 'missionaries' who proselytise Islam using the pretense of 'education', 'sensitivity training', and raising 'awareness' and openly states that their goal is "to foster the harmonious existence of Muslims in America" i.e.by turning the US into an Islamic country under shari'a law.

"The Islamic Speakers Bureau of New York (ISBNY) provides educational presentations, seminars & other programs to dispel myths about Islam and Muslims and to foster harmonious existence of Muslims in America.

Our target audiences are public and private institutions through which Muslims come in contact with fellow Americans. We deliver tailored presentations to schools, media, law enforcement, corporations, and social service agencies." http://www.isbny.org/frame2.htm


*MIM: The National Muslim Law Students Association -NAML,- emphasises the role which the goals of the Islamisation of America play in career choices for Muslims who are striving to turn America into a country ruled by Islamic law. NAML's mission statement proclaims that it is "dedicated to the comphrehensive professional, spiritual,and academic development of all law students " and to "promote...active involvement of Muslim law students and attorneys in shaping the American legal landscape to promote civil rights and justice for all". For Muslims" civil rights and justice for all" are code words for shar'ia .According to Islam, "civil rights and justice" can only exist when everyone lives according to the shar'ia and the tenets of the Koran.

The NAML mission statement declares it intends "to promote improvements in American laws and the American system of justice". For Muslims, who believe that they are obligated to bring Islam and shari'a law to mankind,"improvements" to the American legal system are euphemisms for replacing the Constitution with the Koran.

MIM: Islam uber alles :The NAML 'mission statement' brazenly declares that the legal system in America should be used for the "well being and sucessful integration of Muslims into American society...and to 'protect' "our community's interests" which will "promote ...participation by Muslims in American society overall..."

"...The Mission of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML) is to be the national representative of the Muslim legal profession. We desire to serve Muslims, the general public and our profession by promoting justice for all peoples and to promote improvements in American laws and the American system of justice..."

"...We believe that our sustained involvement in American executive, legislative and judicial decision-making processes is essential to the long-term well-being and successful integration of Muslims into American society. Our community's interests are best protected by those with an understanding of and respect for the law, legal process, and the role of the legal profession in developing, enforcing and changing the law. We intend to promote meaningful access to legal representation for Muslims, and in turn to promote full, fair and equal participation by Muslims in American society overall..." http://www.namlnet.org/mission_statement.asp

MIM: NAML's promotes the efforts of Muslim law students "in shaping the American legal landscape".

"The National Muslim Law Students Association is a national organization dedicated to the comprehensive professional, spiritual, and academic development of all law students. NMLSA aims to create a national network of law students and Muslim Law Student Associations.

Through its programs and contacts with other national legal organizations, NMLSA aims to promote excellence and diversity in the legal profession and active involvement of Muslim law students and attorneys in shaping the American legal landscape to promote civil rights and justice for all. " http://www.namlnet.org/law_students_list_2.asp

MIM: NAML was started after a conference entitled "Rediscovering the Role of Religion in the Live of Lawyers and Those they represent". (Which begs the question as to if the Constitutional guidelines regarding the separation of Church and State were also up for discussion).

'In December 1998...a number of MuslimJD members met after-hours at a Fordham University School of Law Conference entitled "Rediscovering The Role of Religion in The Lives of Lawyers and Those They Represent." The enthusiasm of the Muslim attendees at the Fordham conference inspired them to write a Mission Statement and commit to organize a conference for Muslim lawyers.


MIM: Proof of the NAML's radical Islamist agenda is seen by the fact that the group gloated that it "has successfully petitioned to have an Islamic law course, taught by UC Berkeley Lecturer Hatem Bazian, offered at Boalt Hall." http://www.namlnet.org/law_students_list_2.asp

Hatem Bazian is a professor at Berkeley who openly called for Muslims to wage an intifada in the United States.

"...And he also said this in May, 1999. "The Day of Judgment will not happen until the trees and stones will say, ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him." That quote according to "The Detroit News." http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/1125

MIM: NAML openly states their goal is to have shari'a law implemented in the United States, and says that they"hope ...to increase law school offerings in Islamic law."

"...Activities held this year include a panel on secret evidence in US courts, two Islamic law seminars, a screening of Malcolm X, and a Ramadan iftar co-sponsored with the MSA. We also hope to welcome admitted Muslim law students and to increase law school course offerings in Islamic law..."

"...We believe that our future is bright, insha'Allah, and hope that you will join us in representing the interests and meeting the needs of Muslim legal professionals and the larger Muslim community..." http://www.namlnet.org/naml_history.asp


MIM: Conference announcement:

MSA East Zone Conference 2005

Click on above flyer for more information.


Important Note

Every generation, in every place, of every time, faces challenges when it
comes to embracing and practicing the Deen. We live in a time where lewdness
has become iconic and vulgarity has gained momentum. And yet, from the
guidance of Quran and Sunnah we know that Islam is what needs to be put on
a pedestal. There exist parallels between the social dynamics of the Prophet
sallalahu alaiyhee wa salum's time and our lives in a post Modern world. In
order to mirror the Prophet sallalahu alaiyhee wa salum's contextual response
we must invoke the Sunnah and strive for its incorporation into all aspects
of our daily lives. In doing so we honor diversity and allow for dialogue
while constructing a pragmatic and pluralistic society. By combining the
principles of Islamic scholarship and activism we can transform the ordinary
into the sacred and create a dignified existence for Muslims. The goal of a
conference with the aforementioned theme would be to use the primordality,
beauty and perennial relevance of the Sunnah to revitalize young Muslims and
encourage them to build and maintain momentum in mainstream culture beyond
ethnic, racial, ideological and socioeconomic divides, Insha Allah


Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid received his Masters degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and eventually become a lecturer at Southern Connecticut tate University. He then spent 7 years studying Islamic sciences in Syria. Upon return to the States in 2001, Imam Zaid reassumed his former position of Imam in Masjid Al Islam in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as working as a lecturer on Islam, Politics of the Middle East, and African-American issues. Imam Zaid recently moved to the west coast where he now resides in California with his family and is working as a teacher at the Zaytuna Institute in Hayward, California.

Sheikh Husain Abdul Sattar [confirmed]

Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar is currently a Pathology resident at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Born and raised in Chicago, he holds a B.S. from the University of Chicago and an M.D. from the University of Chicago's Prtizker School of Medicine. Additionally, for over a decade he has consistently pursued sacred knowledge from traditional scholars in the United States, Syria, and Pakistan, including a three-year stay in Islamabad where he completed a course of study at Jamia Faridia. He possesses several formal authorizations in the Islamic sciences.

Imam Siraj Wahaj

Originally from New York, Imam Siraj Wahaj, currently the Imam of Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brookyn, New York, is well known among Muslims in North America as a dynamic speaker and tireless supporter of Islamic causes. He accepted Islam in 1969 and received Imam training at Ummul Qura University of Makkah in 1978. Imam Siraj has been Vice President of ISNA U.S. since 1997 and has served on the Majlis Ash-Shura since 1987. He is a past member of ISNA's Planning Committee and has served as a member of the Board of Advisors for NAIT from 1989-1993. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the American Muslim Council. Imam Siraj has appeared on several national television talk shows and interviews especially about his anti-drug campaigns. He received high praises from the media and NYPD for initiating anti-drug patrol in Brooklyn, New York in 1988.

Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui

Imam Mokhtar received his doctorate in Physics from Syracuse University. He received his Islamic education in Algeria before coming to the U.S. He has been an Imam in the state of New York and is a Central Shura Member of the Islamic Circle of North America.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson [confirmed]

Dr. Ingrid Mattson was born in Canada, where she studied Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, earning her B.A. there in 1987. In 1987 Dr. Mattson obtained a grant from the Canadian International Development Agency to develop a training and support program for traditional midwives. Consequently, she traveled to Pakistan where she worked with Afghan refugee women for one year. Dr. Mattson earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 1999. Her research is focused on Islamic law and society, with emphasis on the early Islamic period. Her scholarly articles include studies on slavery, poverty, and Islamic legal theory. During Dr. Mattson's graduate studies in Chicago, she was involved with the local Muslim community, serving on the Board of Directors of Universal School, a parochial suburban Muslim academy, and as a member of the Interfaith Committee of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. Presently, Dr. Mattson is Director of Islamic Chaplaincy and Professor at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. Additionally, in 2001, Dr. Mattson was elected Vice-President of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest grass roots membership based Muslim organization in North America. Dr. Mattson is a member of the Board of Directors of The Nawawi Foundation, and she resides with her family in Hartford, Connecticut.

Br. Kamal el-Mekki [confirmed]

Br. Kamal is a young dynamic speaker, who serves as the Imam of George Mason University. Educated at the hands of numerous prominent Islamic scholars from across the world, he has served as a radio talk show host for the largest Islamic Radio station on 700AM and has been teaching Islamic studies in more than five mosques across the Washington DC metropolitan area for over four years. His claim to fame is the "How to give a Shahadah in 10 minutes!", a vibrant Dawah workshop which has lead to many people accepting Islam over the past few years.

Hajji Noor Deen [confirmed]

Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang in, a renowned master of Arabic calligraphy, was born in 1963 in Shangdong province, China. He researches into the vast field if Islamic culture at Hunan academy of science. He has already set up a correspondence course at Islamic college in Zhengzhou in order to reach out to more students all over China, who show keen interest in this fascinating art form Through ploughing and weeding with great concentration and probing into the essence of Arabic calligraphy, his works are terse and compact, and full of variations. And the work as a whole is elegant and beautiful, strong and dignified. His writing appears adept and precise, free and easy, having a specific style of being bright, lucid and lively. Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiangs thirst for knowledge has taken him to many Arab countries and the UK from which he built on the precious Islamic heritage by collecting over 500 historical forms of Basmallah and developed 60 more embellished forms of drawing based on his own inspiration.

Sis. Aisha Al Adawiya [confirmed]

Aisha al-Adawiya is the director of Women in Islam, a New York-based human rights organization. She has organized forums where Muslim and non-Muslim New Yorkers interact and discuss issues relating to civil liberties and freedoms that most Americans hold as being fundamental principles of the nation.

Imam Abdul Malik [confirmed]

Imam Abdul Malik, a former assistant Imam of Masjid at Taqwa in Brooklyn, is the chaplain of the New York City Metro Transit Authority.
[Biography to be added soon]

Sheikh Yahya Abdul Bary [confirmed]

Abdulbary was born in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. After the war, his parents came to the US where they have settled since that time. He grew up in Seattle, Washington and, after finishing high school, he went to Madinah University where he befriended Muhammad Alshareef.

They sat next to each other in their first year of studies. Upon graduation from the College of Shariah, Abdulbary returned to Vietnam and Cambodia and became a teacher and director of the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society in Cambodia and the Umm al-Qura Charity Organization in Vietnam. He is currently the Imam of Masjid Jaami ulMuslimeen in Seattle, the President of the Cham refugee community, and Vice President of the Islamic Center of Washington State.

Ustadh Abdulbary is teaching the classes related to Fiqh of Worship thru the AlMaghrib Institute. He has established himself as engaging, informative and dynamic. One of his first appearances as an Almaghrib Institute instructor was in Qabeelat Durbah (New Jersey) where he spoke on the issue of Salaat Al-Istikhaarah linking it to marriage and other decisions we make. The program was titled, "He loves me, he loves me not" and it was a great success.

Currently Ustadh Abdulbary is teaching "The Purification Act" in all the AlMaghrib Institute locations.

Br. Nouman Ali Khan [confirmed]

[Biography to be added soon]


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(4), grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with regional offices nationwide and in Canada. The national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Since its establishment in 1994, CAIR has worked to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. Through media relations, lobbying, education and advocacy, CAIR puts forth an Islamic perspective to ensure the Muslim voice is represented. In offering this perspective, CAIR seeks to empower the American Muslim community and encourage their participation in political and social activism.


The New Jersey Islamic Speakers Bureau, an affiliate of ING Islamic Networks Group, seeks to supplement an already existing curriculum about Islam and to educate students about Islam through interactive presentations given exclusively by NJISB Trained Speakers. NJISB would like to give a human face to the fastest growing faith in America. Our strategy for achieving this goal is face-to-face interaction between Muslims and school children and teachers. Our most effective process is participating in the existing public education of Islam in the context of World History and Social Studies. We are educators and a bridge between Islam and Americans of other faiths. We emphasize "local activism" and the importance of building honest, intimate, and long-term relationships, which we view as an effective process for clarifying Islam and the Muslim World. We stress face-to-face interaction—giving a human face to theoretical or foreign practices—which is the most powerful tool in overcoming stereotypes and prejudices. Our educational programs meet the needs of public institutions as well as the needs of Muslims. We work towards being a trusted source of information on Islam. We focus on being proactive, which means we initiate instead of react. We interact with people based on belief in their innate nature as decent and honorable human beings.


The Muslim Finance Professionals' Association was formed in 2002 by a group of Muslims working in or serving the finance and investment banking markets. The primary goal of the MFPA is to create a platform for Muslims involved in the finance and banking sectors to network with each other.empower the American Muslim community and encourage their participation in political and social activism.


The National Muslim Law Students Association is a national organization dedicated to the comprehensive professional, spiritual, and academic development of all law students. NMLSA aims to create a national network of law students and Muslim Law Student Associations.

Through its programs and contacts with other national legal organizations, NMLSA aims to promote excellence and diversity in the legal profession and active involvement of Muslim law students and attorneys in shaping the American legal landscape to promote civil rights and justice for all.

MSA National

The aims and purposes of MSA shall be to serve the best interest of Islam and Muslims in the United States and Canada so as to enable them to practice Islam as a complete way of life. Towards this end, it shall, in cooperation with the Islamic Society of North America:

1. help Muslim student organisations carry out Islamic programs and projects.
2. assist Muslim students organising themselves for Islamic activities.
3. mobilise and coordinate the human and material resources of Muslim student organisations.


Link above for website of the Muslim Student Association:


Logo for T-shirt for the ILM

MIM: Post 9/11 article detailing Muslim Student Association terrorism fundraising activities.


Some student groups under scrutiny

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- Muslim student organizations on college campuses around the country have openly raised money for groups whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. government because of alleged ties to terrorists.

While no direct connection between the campus groups and terrorism has been identified by authorities, some security experts are calling for closer scrutiny of the organizations.

The FBI refused to comment on the student organizations. But such organizations are already being looked at as federal investigators follow the money trail in an attempt to disrupt terrorism, said George Vinson, California's homeland security adviser and a 23-year FBI veteran. In light of September 11, he said, "shame on law enforcement if we didn't do this."

He would not give details on what is being done to scrutinize campus organizations.

Anti-terrorism consultant Larry Johnson, who once directed the State Department counterterrorism office, said he is advising his clients in the federal government to begin monitoring the campus groups' telephone calls, bank accounts and fund raising.

One group that has raised money for groups targeted by the U.S. government is the Muslim Student Association, which has more than 100 campus chapters around the country and conducts fund-raising by way of rallies, meetings and Web sites.

The MSA urges donations to such groups as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and the Benevolence International and Global Relief foundations.

All three groups have had their assets frozen by the Bush administration because of their alleged connections to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorism network or the militant Hamas organization.

All three have denied they are terrorist front organizations, insisting they raise money for food, schools and other social services.

The MSA's Ohio State University chapter produces a Web newsletter called MSA News, which has included news releases from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, which is on the State Department list of terrorist organizations that Americans are forbidden to support or finance, and the Islamic Salvation Front, a fundamentalist party banned in Algeria.

Altaf Husain, national president of the MSA, said his organization has no plans to stop raising money for various groups unless federal authorities crack down. He called suspicions about terrorist links post-attack "hype," and said it is up to the government to trace the money.

"We are as American as anyone else. Why should we be the ones looking for all these so-called 'sleeper cells' or whatever?" said Husain, whose organization has denounced the September 11 attacks.

Husain said federal investigations after September 11 stem from the belief "that any group raising money for Muslims is funneling money to terrorists."

The president of another group, the Islamic Association for Palestine, often gives speeches sponsored by university student groups. Israel has said the Texas-based group is a front for Palestinian militants, and federal authorities have subpoenaed the group's records for an investigation into Hamas connections to U.S. organizations.

The president, Rafeeq Jaber, said his aim is "to let people know the truth" about Israel and the occupied territories.

An anti-terrorism law signed in October makes it illegal to provide material support or resources to terrorist organizations. It also allows the deportation of aliens who knowingly solicit funds or membership or provide material support to a terrorist organization.

But that's "a very difficult case to make," said L. Paul Bremer III, chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism. "It's easy for a person to say, 'I didn't know it was going to that organization."'

At the University of California at Los Angeles, the latest issue of the MSA's magazine, Al-Talib, features three full-page color advertisements soliciting donations for the Holy Land, Global Relief and Benevolence International foundations.

If the money raised on campus "goes to families of those who have died in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I don't see anything wrong with that," said the magazine's publisher, Mohammad Mertaban, 20, a junior from suburban Chino Hills. "I don't understand how people can label Palestinians terrorists."


Ummah - Arabic for community,
next to US Pledge of Allegiance



Islamism's Campus Club: The Muslim Students' Association
by Jonathan Dowd-Gailey

The northern Virginia-based Muslim Students' Association (MSA) might easily be taken for a benign student religious group. It promotes itself as a benevolent, non-political entity devoted to the simple virtue of celebrating Islam and providing college students a healthy venue to develop their faith and engage in philanthropy. Along these lines, its constitution declares the MSA's mission as serving "the best interest of Islam and Muslims in the United States and Canada so as to enable them to practice Islam as a complete way of life."[1]

Today, over 150 MSA chapters exist on American college campuses (divided into five regional chapters), easily establishing this organization as the most extensive Muslim student organization in North America. A Washington, D.C.-based national office assists in the establishment of constituent chapters and oversees fundraising and conferences while steering a plethora of special committees and "Political Action Task Forces."

Yet consider some of these recent activities of the MSA:

  • At a meeting in Queensborough Community College in New York in March 2003, a guest speaker named Faheed declared, "We reject the U.N., reject America, reject all law and order. Don't lobby Congress or protest because we don't recognize Congress. The only relationship you should have with America is to topple it … Eventually there will be a Muslim in the White House dictating the laws of Shariah."[2]

  • During an October 2000 anti-Israeli protest, former MSA president Ahmed Shama at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) stood before the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, shouting "Victory to Islam! Death to the Jews!" MSA West president Sohail Shakr declared at the same rally, "the biggest impediment to peace [in the Middle East] has been the existence of the Zionist entity in the middle of the Muslim world."[3]

  • Prior to September 11, 2001, the MSA formally assisted three Islamic charities in fundraising: the Holy Land Foundation, Global Relief, and Benevolence Foundation. After that date, all three were accused by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of having serious links to terrorism and were ordered closed. The MSA issued a formal statement of protest: "How three of the nation's largest Muslim charities could be made inoperable at the peak of the giving season of Ramadan seemed unbelievable."[4]

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is overwhelming evidence that the MSA, far from being a benign student society, is an overtly political organization seeking to create a single Muslim voice on U.S. campuses—a voice espousing Wahhabism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism, agitating aggressively against U.S. Middle East policy, and expressing solidarity with militant Islamist ideologies, sometimes with criminal results.

A Saudi Creation

On its website, the MSA describes its emergence as spontaneous and disavows any link to foreign governments.[5] In fact, the creation of the MSA resulted from Saudi-backed efforts to found Islamic bodies internationally in the 1960s. Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy states,

The Saudis over the years set up a number of large front organizations, such as the World Muslim League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the Al Haramain Foundation, and a great number of Islamic "charities." While invariably claiming that they were private, all of these groups were tightly controlled and financed by the Saudi government and the Wahhabi clergy.[6]

In the United States, two leading Saudi-backed organizations were the MSA and the Islamic Society of North America (the MSA's adult counterpart), both of which received major funding, direction, and influence from Riyadh.

Personnel, money, and institutional linkages bound these organizations together from their inception, and all roads led eventually to Riyadh. Ahmad Totonji, an MSA co-founder, later served as vice-president for the notorious Saudi SAAR Foundation (a network of charities named after Saudi benefactor Sulayman ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ar-Rajhi), which closed down in 2001 after federal agents discovered links to terrorist groups.[7] Another MSA co-founder, Ahmad Sakr, served on a number of Saudi-affiliated organizations, such as the World Council of Mosques. The MSA is very much a result of Saudi "petro-Islam" diplomacy.

Current estimates suggest that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spends $4 billion annually on international aid, with two-thirds of that sum devoted to strictly Islamic development. Much of this largesse has ended up at Islamist organizations like MSA. Funded through private donations or through foundations and charities (only some of which the MSA officially reports),[8] MSA offers its Saudi benefactors a powerful tool. However, until the MSA's tax records are made public (on January 14, 2004, the Senate Finance Committee publicized a list of Islamic organizations whose financial records are sought, including the MSA),[9] the exact extent of foreign funding for the organization cannot be known.

But even without the tax records, there is plenty of evidence for the MSA's strident advocacy of the Saudi-style Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. In "Wahhabism: A Critical Essay," Hamid Algar of the University of California-Berkeley writes,

Some Muslim student organizations have functioned at times as Saudi-supported channels for the propagation of Wahhabism abroad, especially in the United States … Particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, no criticism of Saudi Arabia would be tolerated at the annual conventions of the MSA. The organization has, in fact, consistently advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaati Islam.[10]

The MSA has played a major role in spreading Wahhabism. "Its numerous local chapters," Algar explains, "would make available at every Friday prayer large stacks of the [Mecca-based] World Muslim League's publications, in both English and Arabic. Although the MSA progressively diversified its connections with Arab states, official approval of Wahhabism remained strong."[11]

Stephen Schwartz goes further, stating in his June 2003 testimony to the U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security,

Shia and other non-Wahhabi Muslim community leaders estimate that 80 percent of American mosques out of a total ranging between an official estimate of 1,200 and an unofficial figure of 4-6,000 are under Wahhabi control … Wahhabi control over mosques means control of property, buildings, appointment of imams, training of imams, content of preaching including faxing of Friday sermons from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and of literature distributed in mosques and mosque bookstores, notices on bulletin boards, and organizational and charitable solicitation … The main organizations that have carried out this campaign are the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which originated in the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).[12]

The MSA reflects a prime characteristic of militant Islamic groups: a refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of secular society and personal spirituality. The MSA's Starters Guide contains an open call to Islamicize campus politics:

It should be the long-term goal of every MSA to Islamicize the politics of their respective university … the politicization of the MSA means to make the MSA more of a force on internal campus politics. The MSA needs to be a more "In-your-face" association.[13]

All of this, the guide explains, results from the MSA's duty "to bring morality back into the campus" and to convince students to practice Islam "as a complete way of life."

In the process, the MSA preaches a creed of "special treatment" and "self-segregation" that sounds reminiscent of, and may actually borrow from, Afro-centric campus politics of the 1990s. Demanding that universities be more "Muslim-friendly," the MSA's newly established National Religious Accommodations Task Force (RATF) directs local MSA chapters to insist that universities provide separate housing and meals for Muslims only.[14]

The politics of segregation practiced by the MSA have included blanket marginalization of its own female members. Shabana Mir, writing for the American Muslim, summarizes the plight of Muslim women on campus:

It is particularly important to know what is happening with Muslim women pursuing higher education. Many Muslim women in MSAs are working toward the justice and the equality that Islam ordains for humankind. A survey of sisters' participation in MSAs conducted in 1994 shows that women's activism in MSAs is at an abysmally low level due in large part to "brother domination." A related problem is "there is a common attitude that strict segregation should exist between the genders and that sisters should not appear in public!" On an MSA mailing list, a popular article gives a long list of conditions that women must fulfill to gain access to the mosque. These include obtaining permission from her male guardian, wearing hijab [veil], not wearing "fancy clothes" or perfume, not mixing with men, leaving immediately after the prayer, and so on![15]

Political Monopoly

Just as the MSA promotes a single theology, it similarly projects a monolithic political voice, one openly antagonistic to Muslim American diversity and in complete opposition to existing U.S. foreign policy. Although Muslim students in the United States exhibit the full range of political views found in America today, the MSA invariably adopts lopsided adversarial positions, as in these three cases:

Patriot Act: The MSA categorically opposes this legislation, describing it as "infamous." Chapters across the country have agitated against it, as well as against virtually every other security initiative since 9/11. At an MSA rally at the University of Pennsylvania, the co-chair of Muslims for Justice declared, "the Patriot Act is sending us in a backwards spiral, where the destination is chaos."[16]

Afghanistan: The MSA opposed the military intervention against the Taliban regime, instead calling for a "police investigation." MSA National further advised that the entire matter would be best addressed at the International Criminal Tribunal. MSA chapters organized rallies demanding a ceasefire and held "Solidarity Fasts" to honor Afghans who, the MSA charged, would face massive starvation as a result of the war.

Iraq: Even before the crisis of 2003, the MSA opposed every U.S. policy towards Iraq over the last twelve years. It strongly opposed the United Nations (U.N.)-authorized sanctions, claiming that the sanctions were "nothing short of a systematic genocide being carried out against civilian people."[17] The MSA condemned former president Clinton's 1998 strike against Iraq following Saddam Hussein's ouster of U.N. weapons inspectors, declaring that its "brothers and sisters in Iraq are once again being terrorized by the self-appointed champions of democracy."[18]

MSA National consistently pledges support for the war on terror and claims to merely "represent" student views. But it maintains control of the political agenda, leaving the chapters simply to mobilize support. Its chapters pointedly ignored the New York Shi‘ites who held vigils for their Iraqi brethren and the Michigan Kurds who rallied for Hussein's ouster. The MSA's decision to mobilize against the Bush administration took place without public debate and with no attempt at representing diverse views within the MSA. This approach is in keeping with the MSA's goal, as its official literature states, that the student body "be convinced that there is such a thing as a Muslim-bloc."[19]

Muslim students who refuse to submit to the MSA's position often find themselves harassed by their MSA peers. Oubai Shahbandar, an Arizona State University (ASU) student, expressed support for the Iraqi invasion and suffered condemnation from MSA members. Shahbandar states,

When I, a proud American of Arab descent and Muslim faith, took a stand on behalf of the liberation of my oppressed Iraqi brethren, the ASU Muslim Students' Association personally attacked me for not being a real Muslim and announced to the ASU student body in editorials in the student paper that I, Oubai Mohammad Shahbandar, was a hater of Arabs and Muslims.

Shahbandar also explains what the MSA preaches on his campus:

We are told America's foreign policy is based on racist neo-imperialism; we are taught that national security is a foul epithet to be reviled; we are told the Jews and Israel are to blame for the hatred against us.[20]

Playing the Victim

The MSA's adoption of the politics of victimization is reminiscent of wider campus trends of the 1990s. In the days immediately after the 9/11 attacks, the MSA stated,

In light of the Bush administration's casting blame for the attack on Osama Bin Laden, MSA National recognizes that Muslim students on college campuses will be subject to backlash.

Ominously, an "awareness" document describes post 9/11 Homeland Security policies in the same terms as do extremist Muslims abroad—that is, as an assault explicitly against Islam. America: Post 9/11, an MSA document, states,

Soon after [9/11], the attacks against our religion began at the hands of the media and the political establishment.[21]

Not surprisingly, the MSA has expressed resistance, outrage, and cynicism with virtually every high-profile arrest of Muslim Americans charged with conspiring with terrorists. When former University of South Florida (USF) professor Sami al-Arian was arrested for directing U.S. operations for the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Florida campus MSA chapter held a press conference and stated:

We come before you today on behalf of the Muslim Student Association at USF as well as the National Muslim Student Association of the U.S. and Canada to express our shock, deep concern, and plea for justice regarding the recent arrests of two USF professors, Dr. Sami al-Arian and Sameeh Hammoudeh … we are concerned that the USF professors were arrested for their political views.

The problem is that the MSA has been unable or unwilling to recognize that some Muslims, including its members, have crossed the line between political advocacy and material support for jihadist activities. In fact, MSA members and activities have repeatedly surfaced in police investigations. Some of these arrests received national media coverage, including the following:

  • In February 2003, former head of the MSA chapter at the University of Idaho, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, was arrested with an indictment that he raised over $300,000 for the Islamic Assembly of North America, a group under federal investigation for funding terrorist groups. FBI agents believed Hussayen was communicating with two radical clerics, nicknamed the "awakening sheikhs," known for inspiring young Muslims to pursue the path of jihad and credited as major ideological mentors to Osama bin Laden.[22]

  • In April 2003, the home of Arizona State University MSA president Hassan Alrafea was raided by the FBI, whose agents confiscated his computer and unspecified documents.[23]

Extreme Friends

In 2002, when the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe hit a twelve-year high, French Jewish leader Roger Cukierman observed a peculiar phenomenon on the European street —a loose fusing of extreme Left, Right, and Muslim political forces—what Cukierman terms the "brown-green-red alliance."[24] The three disparate constituencies have incompatible ideologies, but all three have a shared hatred for the pluralized world order, globalized market economies, U.S. preponderance, and the state of Israel. Cukierman has observed these forces forming an alliance of convenience in the post-9/11 world with potentially dangerous results.

The same pattern is also emerging in the United States with groups of the extreme Left forging bonds with specific Muslim organizations, and here again we find the MSA figures prominently. Given the MSA's propensity for radical politics in a campus environment, it is no surprise that it has become arguably the Muslim organization most enmeshed with American leftists. Consider the following:

  • Perhaps as a reward for its total opposition to every U.S. policy since the September 2001 attacks, the MSA has been given a seat on the steering committee for International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). ANSWER is an organization dedicated to defending rogue states and fighting "U.S. imperialism," and has been distinguished by its ability to organize the largest peace demonstrations in North America. ANSWER was formed by International Action Center, a communist organization that supports Stalinist regimes worldwide, including North Korea and Hussein's Iraq. [25]

  • In its aggressive protest activities against recent Middle East wars, the MSA has developed strong working ties with numerous activist groups of the extreme Left. Among them: Free Palestine Alliance, Nicaragua Network, Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Mexico Solidarity Network, Korea Truth Commission, Young Communist League, Young Peoples' Socialist League, and Black Radical Congress.

As these examples suggest, the MSA boasts institutional ties with a host of radical issue-specific activist groups, all of them vehemently opposed to U.S. policy, and many of them openly anti-American.

The Center for Security Policy's Alex Alexiev argues,

The majority of Muslim Student Associations at U.S. colleges are dominated by Islamist and anti-American agendas, as are most of the numerous Islamic centers and schools financed by the Saudis. Intolerance and outright rejection of American values and democratic ideals are often taught also in the growing number of Deobandi schools that are frequently subsidized by the Saudis.[26]

The following examples illustrate both the degree and pervasiveness of hate-America vitriol that characterize the MSA:

  • Taliban propaganda is featured on the website of the University of Southern California MSA chapter.[27]

  • One featured article in Al-Talib (a magazine developed by the UCLA chapter of the MSA and not affiliated with the Taliban of Afghanistan) entitled, "The Spirit of Jihad," praised Osama bin Laden as a "prominent Muslim activist." The article goes on to say,

    When we hear someone refer to the great mujahideen Osama bin Laden as a ‘terrorist,' we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter; someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah's cause and speak out against oppressors. [28]
  • Another Al-Talib article entitled "Americanization" states,

    A dangerous weapon has once again been unfurled by the U.S. military in this War on Terrorism … This weapon comes in the form of cultural warfare … In this new War on Terrorism, the colossal brunt of this production machine is now squarely targeted at the Muslim population.[29]
  • At an Al-Talib event to offer support for Imam Jamil al-Amin, convicted of killing a policeman, guest speaker Imam Abdul-Alim Musa said,

    When you fight [the U.S.] you are fighting someone that is superior in criminality and Nazism … the American criminalizer is the most skillful oppressor the world has ever known …They beat the British at everything, isn't that right? They are a better colonizer, a better murderer, a better killer, a better liar, a better thief, a better infiltrator than old British.[30]

This anti-Americanism blends together almost seamlessly with a virulent discourse against the Jews and Israel. Consider the following:

  • At the 2001 MSA West conference, hosted by UCLA, cleric Imam Muhammad al-Asi stated,

    Israel is as racist as apartheid could ever be … you can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew.[31]
  • The MSA continues to celebrate violence against Israel on its websites. At the MSA Northwest site, for example, images of Hamas suicide squads and child soldiers are proudly displayed above jihadist poetry, whose verse (erratically capitalized) celebrates violence:

    two soldiers spotted me in their sight … i had to blast 4 shots hitting each one in the face and waist. a trace of blood drips from my arm as i make my away thru streets with an injured zionist as a hostage … seen a group of israeli soldiers run out and began pulling the trigger when sounds of rounds began playing a deadly melody. Each gun dropped two …[32]
  • In 2002, the MSA at the University of Michigan helped host the Second National Student Conference for Palestine Solidarity Movement. At that conference, one of the guest speakers was ex-University of Florida professor Sami al-Arian, who is now awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.


Ironically, although one of the founding missions of the MSA is to increase favorable awareness of Muslim life among non-Muslims, the effect of the MSA's activities is the opposite: they confirm the worst suspicions of American society at large. The MSA's refusal to identify jihadists and jihadist sympathizers within its ranks, its indiscriminate opposition to U.S. policies following the September 11 attacks, its vitriolic anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, and its solidarity with "Leftover Left" radical activist organizations, together reinforce an image that the MSA, and by extension, Muslim college students, are a divisive, angry, and potentially violent group on our campuses. By monopolizing the Muslim student voice in America with "radical chic" to create a "single Muslim bloc," an opportunity to forge a healthy discourse on the diverse attitudes of Muslim students is lost to the confrontational language of radical dissent and resistance.

Universities that host student organizations have an obligation to enforce basic standards of conduct, standards that the MSA has clearly breached. At the very least, MSA's most egregious behavior must face censure from those responsible for monitoring student conduct. University administrators must unchain themselves from cultural relativism and the ideology of "validation" and deal squarely with such misdeeds.
More importantly, however, the problem of the Muslim Students' Association illustrates the great question that confronts the West today: how does it cultivate liberalism in Muslim communities living at home and abroad? Just as the U.S. policy of détente with the Arab world collapsed after September 11, to be replaced by a "forward strategy of democracy," it may be time to adopt a "forward strategy" within U.S. borders, focused on promoting moderate voices in mosques and campuses. To improve campus life for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, universities should work with moderate students to inaugurate a new Muslim students' organization, one that eschews the radical politics of the "old world" in favor of authenticity, diversity, and integration. A new Muslim student organization would return to the primary mission of religiously-based campus groups—to celebrate and share in the fellowship of faith.

Jonathan Dowd-Gailey is a writer in Washington State.

[1] "The Constitution of the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/about/constitution.html.
[2] WorldNetDaily, Mar. 18, 2003, at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31571.
[3] Frontpage Magazine, Apr. 4, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=7098.
[4] Sakeena Mirza and Ameena Qazi, "Robbing the Poor," al-Talib, vol. 12, no. 3, at http://www.al-talib.com/articles/v12_i3_a04.htm.
[5] "A Little Taste of History," Muslim Students' Association of U.S. and Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/about/history.html.
[6] Alex Alexiev, "The Missing Link in the War on Terror: Confronting Saudi Subversion," Center for Security Policy, at http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=alexiev.
[7] FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 23, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7395.
[8] "List of Organizations that Donate Islamic Books and Da'wah Materials," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-natl.org/resources/Donation_Books.html.
[9] "Senators Request Tax Information on Muslim Charities for Probe," Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, Jan. 14, 2003, at http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2004&m=January&x=20040114155543zemogb0.8868524&t=usinfo/wf-latest.html. For details, see http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/164.
[10] Hamid Algar, "Wahhabism: A Critical Essay," in Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Adair T. Lummis, eds., Islamic Values in the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 124.
[11] Ibid..
[12] Stephen Schwartz, "Terrorism: Growing Wahhabi Influence in the United States," testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, June 26, 2003, at http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/congress/2003_h/030626-schwartz.htm.
[13] MSA Starter's Guide: A Guide on How to Run a Successful MSA, 1st ed. (Washington, D.C.: Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Mar. 1996), at http://www.msa-natl.org/publications/startersguide.html.
[14] "Religious Accommodations Task Force," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/taskforces/religious.html.
[15] Shabana Mir, "Gender-based Exclusionism at a Muslim Student Association, Part I," The American Muslim, July/Aug. 2003, at http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/2003jul_comments.php?id=347_0_21_0_C.
[16] "Rally against the Patriot Act," University of Pennsylvania Muslim Students' Association, at http://www.upenn-msa.org/subcommittees/pmj/patriotact.html.
[17] "MSA National Demands an Immediate End to the Inhumane U.N. Sanctions," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., Apr. 6, 2001, at http://www.msa-national.org/media/pressreleases/040601.html.
[18] "Muslim Students Condemn U.S. Attack on Iraq," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., Dec. 17, 1998 at http://www.msa-national.org/media/pressreleases/121798.html.
[19] MSA Starter's Guide, at http://www.msa-natl.org/publications/startersguide.html.
[20] Oubai Mohammad Shahbandar, "Open Letter from an Arab-American Student," FrontPage Magazine, June 2, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=8143.
[21] "MSA National Political Action Task Force, America: Post 9/11," Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, D.C., at http://www.msa-national.org/media/actionalerts/political.pdf.
[22] The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2003.
[23] Oubai Shahbandar, "U.S. Muslims as Patriots," The Arizona Republic, Oct. 11, 2003.
[24] Quoted by Mark Strauss, "Anti-Globalism's Jewish Problem," Foreign Policy, Nov./Dec. 2003.
[25] "National Conference against War, Colonial Occupation and Imperialism, May 17-18, New York City," ANSWER, at http://www.internationalanswer.org/news/update/041203m17conf.html.
[26] Alexiev, "This Missing Link on the War on Terror," at http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=alexiev.
[27] Syed Rahmatullah Hashimi, "Taliban in Afghanistan," University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Mar. 10, 2001, at http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/Taliban/talebanlec.html.
[28] Al-Talib, July 1999, quoted in FrontPageMagazine.com, Apr. 23, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=7113. Al-Talib is listed as an official MSA Project by the UCLA chapter of MSA, at http://www.msa-ucla.com/projects.htm.
[29] Ghaith Mahmood, "Americanization: Solutions for a Small Planet?" al-Talib, vol. 12, no. 3, at http://www.al-talib.com/articles/v12_i3_a05.htm.
[30] Erick Stakelbeck, "Islamic Radicals on Campus," FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 23, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7395.
[31]"UCLA Sponsors of Terrorism," FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 4, 2003, at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7098.
[32] Atlantiz Miztery, "Palestine in War," South Seattle Community College Muslim Students' Association, at http://sscc.msanw.org/forum.htm.


MIM: Implementing Shar'ia law regarding the paying of interest (riba) in established financial institutions is part of the radical Islamist agenda. The information below comes Lariba one of the largest Muslim financial organisations in the United States whose name includes the word "Riba" the term for interest which is forbidden according to Islamic law. Here again we see that LARIBA is another group which is spearheading the Islamistion of America by bringing Islam to this country's financial istitutions.

LARIBA 'corporate profile'.

  • American Finance House - LARIBA was established in 1987 in the City of Pasadena, California, USA.
  • The company founders are a group of business men and women who believe in the LARIBA system of banking as the true expression of "halal" Banking and Financing.
  • LARIBA is the acronym for " Los Angeles Reliable Investment Bankers Associates." American Finance House is licensed in the state of California as a Finance lender.
  • The company is headquartered in Pasadena, California ( 18 miles or 32 kilometers north east of Los Angeles).
  • The company is registered to conduct business in all the states except New York. http://www.lariba.com/company/index.htm


    THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN AMERICA: Where We Are & Where We Are We Heading?

    Current Scene:

    1. Major Islamic National "Non-Political" Organizations

      There are two organizations; ISNA, Islamic Society of North America) and ICNA, (Islamic Circle of North America) claim to be the Representatives of the Muslim Community. These are forums that have built their name on the accumulated experience of over 35 years. No infrastructure. No Organizational Structure. No grass roots. They hold local seminars on different subjects and one annual convention. At least 30,000 Muslims attend the annual conference of ISNA and over 12,000 attend the ICNA annual convention. Most of those who attend are first generation Muslims mainly from the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent with their children. The most attended sessions are the main sessions given by "Supper Star" lecturers like Hamza Yousuf and others, followed by sessions on family and finance, followed by political action.

      These organizations are controlled by the remnants of the Muslim Movement in the Arab World in the 1950's and 1960's (Ikhwan) and Asia (Jama'aa Islamia). They accumulated their money from strong connections with the Arab Gulf countries (mainly Saudi Arabia in the case of ISNA) and affluent American Muslims from India (ICNA.)

      MAS (Muslim American Society) is used as the name of two organizations:

      The first one is MAS of Imam W. Deen Muhammad, which represents the African American Muslims. This group represents the main stream Islamic Values but deep inside it still suffers from disorganization, lack of followers, lack of infrastructure and lack of purpose and leadership. They hold their annual conference in Chicago. In 2001 the annual conference was not well organized and was held during same weekend as that of ISNA. It was attended by less than a 1000 members. This is much less than those African American Muslims that attended the ISNA conference.

      MAS of the African American Muslims does not have much financial resources. Its Imams are those who were trained during the Original Black Muslim movement are getting old and are standing alone to help bring the African Muslim Community together with many financial, internal politics problems. Many members of the community are joining in with the first generation immigrant American Muslims in the mainstream Muslim community centers. This is especially the case where African American Muslim leaders are invited by the particular center to deliver the Jum'aa Khutba. They also are introduced to other messages, ideas and community members. They like it and they stay behind.

      The second one is MAS of the Muslim Brotherhood of America. This organization is still new and its inclinations are not clear yet. However, some of its leaders are known to have had connections with the Saudi Embassy in the Washington D.C. This group obtained good media access during the period that immediately followed September 11, 2001 horrific events. They appeared behind President Bush when he visited the Islamic Center of Washington DC, which is controlled by the Ambassadors from the Muslim Countries with the Saudi Arabian embassy as the major source of its management, resources and direction.

    2. The Regional Islamic Centers - Grassroot Organizations
    3. The Political Action Organizations - Mainly CAIR and MPAC.
    4. The News Media Organizations - Two small a circulation and the numbers are not ver much certified. ISNA's Islamic Horizons claims 80,000-circulation while the Minaret claims less than 6,000 copies.
    5. The Islamic Schools.
    6. The Islamic Financial Institutions.

    The Financing:

    The American Islamic Movement has been blessed by a number of Important Factors:

    1. It is widely spread in a large country. This makes it very expensive for foreign influences from rich countries in order to control like what is happening in Europe. There are some Islamic Centers that are controlled and/or influenced by political money from outside. These centers do not have the grassroots and community depth as those independent centers. Such politically influenced centers are usually well endowed, offer the basic religious services and their Imams are usually hand picked by those forces in the embassy of interest in that center.
    2. It represents a community that has been endowed with educated and affluent professionals who are the best in the Muslim world. They refuse to be dazzled or influenced by outside money. They insist on relying on their own resources and efforts.

    Who Runs The Centers:

    1. The 1960 - 2000+

      Mainly religiously motivated pious Muslim Immigrant professionals with good Islamic independent study and education or connections to Jamaa Islami or Muslim Brotherhood. Very few came from Al-Azhar but did not have much influence. They are helped by lower level "Imams or religious directors" who have been formally educated in the Madrassah System in Pakistan as Hafiz or as "Scholar" or from Al-Azhar.

      A Board of Directors that may be elected or appointed depending on the bylaws of the center would manage the Center.

    2. The Future:

      PROBLEMS: ALL WORK SHOULD BE Fi Sabeel Allah to All People of All Faiths

    • The Influence of the $$$$$ Money.
    • The One-Man Show Syndrome.
    • Lack of Spirituality, except in Ramadan, compared to the weekly prayers in the Synagogues.
    • Lack of a wide based community participation in the Friday and Sunday weekend programs.
    • The Quality and Emphasis of Education program for adults, youths and children.
    • No Well Defined, Debated and Credible MISSION.
    • No Clear Vision of the Future.
    • Individualism.
    • Ignorance of History and Educating Romantic Islamic History.
    • Lack of Specialization among current leaders.
    • Lack of In-Depth Professional Training to implement in the Center Management.
    • Lack of Human Resources like Well Educated, Rounded, globally exposed, and spiritually motivated Imams.
    • Lack of Respect for leaders, Imams, other Muslim Cultures and others at large.
    • Lack of Independent Financial Muscles through community development and financial institutions.
    • Lack of Developed, tested and live networks and their use in a non-fragmented way to benefit the Ummah at large.
    • Lack of a FIGURE HEAD that represents Muslims locally, nationally and internationally. FRAGMENTATION on all levels.
    • Lack of an Independent Focal Point that would represent the Real Center of Gravity in all aspects for All Muslims especially in Makkah, Madinah and Jerusalem.
    • Lack of A model Voluntary-Based Pool to supply the needs of the System.
    • Lack of a Credible, high quality, enriching and proven educational system on all levels.
    • Lack of a Proven Hospital Health Care System.
    • Unhappy Families! Teaching Men and Women how to please each other spiritually, physically and materially.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------


    From George Washington to Wahhabism: The logo of the Muslim Student Association at NYU.



    Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania Muslim Students' Association. Please browse through our website to find out more about the MSA and its future events. If you want more information or have any suggestions, please let us know through the "contact us" page.
    announcements http://www.upenn-msa.org/

    Uncovering the Veil
    Islam Awareness Week 2006!
    (November 2nd - 9th)
    List of Events:

    1. Day of Interfaith Service (Thursday, 11/2 @ 7 pm)
    2. Open Friday Prayer on College Green (Friday, 11/3 @ 1 pm)
    3. Celebration of Eid and Islamic Culture (Sunday, 11/5 @ 6 pm)
    4. Where Do We Stand? – Intisar Rabb, P.H.D. Candidate at Princeton University (Monday, 11/6 @ 7 pm)
    5. Man and Nature: The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man – Dr. Seyyed Hossain Nasr, Professor at George Washington University (Tuesday, 11/7 @ 7 pm)
    6. Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land – Movie Screening with Arsalan Iftikhar, National Director of Council of American-Islamic Relations (Wednesday, 11/8 @ 7 pm)
    7. Guilty Until Proven Innocent? – James Yee, Former Chaplain to the U.S. Army at Guantanamo Bay (Thursday, 11/9 @ 7 pm)


    Day of Interfaith Service
    Date: Thursday, November 2, 2006
    Location: 315 South 41st Street
    Time: 7 pm

    Students will get together to bake items that will be sold on Locust Walk throughout the week. All proceeds will benefit the charity.

    Open Friday Prayer on College Green
    Date: Friday, November 3, 2006
    Location: College Green
    Time: 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm

    Learn more about Islam by observing a weekly Friday prayer outside on the Green! Pick up some informational material, enjoy some hot chocolate, and hear a thought-provoking sermon by P.H.D. student, Haroon Moghul.

    Celebration of Eid and Islamic Culture
    Date: Sunday, November 5, 2006
    Location: Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall
    Time: 6-8 pm

    Share the joyous festivities of the Eid holiday with other Penn students and celebrate the cultural heritage and ethnic diversity of Islam. See the beauty of Arabic calligraphy, get a Henna tattoo, listen to festive music, and enjoy a delicious catered banquet!

    Where Do We Stand?
    Date: Monday, November 6, 2006
    Time: 7 pm
    Location: Terrace Room, Logan Hall

    Both American and Islamic values underscore each person's duty to help the next person. One year after Katrina, what have we done? What can we do? And why? Intisar Rabb will discuss the duty to engage in civic action on issues of social justice on the local scale in light of American law, Islamic law, and the shared moral values between the two. She will discuss legal and moral actions that shape (or should shape) the core identity of every American -- Muslim or non-Muslim. Particular emphasis will be placed on the contribution that Blacks have made to developing moral consciousness in America, and the analogous one that Islam encourages and that Muslim Americans should make.

    Man and Nature:
    The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man
    Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2006
    Time: 7 pm
    Location: Terrace Room, Logan Hall

    "The quest for knowledge, specifically knowledge which enables man to understand the true nature of things and which furthermore liberates and delivers him from the fetters and limitations of earthly existence, has been and continues to be the central concern and determinant of his intellectual life." - Dr. Seyyed Hossain Nasr
    This lecture will touch on the rarely broached subject of science and religion on a deeper level. We will explore the significant impact that modern ideas and scientific philosophies have had on people's faith.

    Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land
    Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2006
    Time: 7 pm
    Location: Terrace Room, Logan Hall

    We will hold a 20 minute movie screening followed by a moderated open discussion by Arsalan Iftkhar, National Legal Director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites--oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others--work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

    Guilty Until Proven Innocent?
    Faith and Patriotism Under Fire
    Date: Thursday, November 9, 2006
    Time: 7 pm
    Location: Terrace Room, Logan Hall

    When Capt. James Yee was arrested last September, it was easy to assume he was a spy. A Muslim chaplain serving suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, he'd been caught traveling with "secret data." Anonymous government officials told the press Yee might be part of a spy ring at the military base. Depicting a journey of faith and service, we will hear the story of a pioneering officer in the U.S. Army, who became a victim of the post-September 11 paranoia that gripped a starkly fearful nation. And it poses a fundamental question: If our country cannot be loyal to even the most patriotic Americans, can it remain loyal to itself?

    We hope to see you at all our events!
    Jummah Prayer Every Friday, 1:15-1:50p.m. Arch Auditorium, 2nd Floor (36th/Locust St.) We will be resuming Jummah on-campus on September 8th thru the end of the semester.

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