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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > ADL Philadelphia's Muslim Board Member S.A .Ibrahim Signs Statement Together With Muslim Brotherhood Linked Leaders

ADL Philadelphia's Muslim Board Member S.A .Ibrahim Signs Statement Together With Muslim Brotherhood Linked Leaders

September 30, 2013

For more on SA Ibrahim's connection to Islamists see excerpt below and MIM article:

(It should be noted that "interfaith understanding" is an Islamist euphemism for "jihad through da'wa")

"S.A. Ibrahim: ADL To Elect Muslim Linked To Islamic Society of North America To Philadelphia Regional Board"


Global Muslim Delegation Issues Unprecedented Statement Against Anti-Semitism

(May 28, 2013) Imams and leaders from a number of Muslim majority countries condemned anti-semitism and Holocaust denial in a statement issued following their visit to Auschwitz, May 18-24. Led by Rabbi Jack Bemporad of the Center for Interreligious Understanding (CIU), imams and leaders from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Bosnia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Palestine and Turkey met survivors and those who tried to save Jews, and learned the history of the so-called Final Solution. The visit was organized by CIU, Catholic University of America and the Institute for Global Engagement.

Also joining this private delegation were U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Ira Forman; State Department's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Ambassador Michael Kozak; and Rashad Hussain, U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Statement of Muslim Intellectuals, Community Leaders and Imams on the Holocaust

"O you who believe, stand up firmly for justice as witnesses to Almighty God." (Holy Qur'an, al-Nisa "The Women" 4:135)

On May 18-24, 2013, we the undersigned Muslim intellectuals, community leaders and imams visited the sites of the Holocaust in Poland and Germany where we witnessed firsthand the historical injustice of the Holocaust.

We met survivors who, several decades later, vividly and bravely shared their horrific experience of discrimination, suffering, and loss. We saw the many chilling places where men, women and children were systematically and brutally murdered by the millions because of their faith, race, disability and political affiliation.

In Islam, the destruction of one innocent life is like the destruction of the whole of humanity and the saving of one life is like the saving of the whole of humanity (Holy Qur'an, al-Ma'idah "the Tablespread" 5:32). While entire communities perished by the many millions, we know that Muslims from Bosnia, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, and Albania saved many Jews from brutal repression, torture and senseless destruction. Indeed, we met and were touched by the experiences of several righteous people of all faiths who saved many innocent lives from destruction.

We bear witness to the absolute horror and tragedy of the Holocaust where millions upon millions of human souls perished, more than half of whom were people of the Jewish faith.

We acknowledge, as witnesses, that it is unacceptable to deny this historical reality and declare such denials or any justification of this tragedy as against the Islamic code of ethics.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish brothers and sisters in condemning anti-Semitism in any form. No creation of Almighty God should face discrimination based on faith or religious conviction.

We stand united as Muslim intellectuals, community leaders and imams and recognize that we have a shared responsibility to continue to work together with leaders of all faiths and their communities to resist the dehumanization, displacement and genocide of all peoples based on their religion, race, gender or ethnicity. With the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hatred, rhetoric and bigotry, now more than ever, people of faith must stand together for truth, peace and justice.

Together, we pledge to make real the commitment of "never again" and to stand united against injustice wherever it may be found in the world today.

Imam Muzammil Siddiqi
Islamic Society of Orange County
Chairman, Fiqh Council of North America
Orange County, California, USA

Imam Mohamed Magid
All-Dulles-Area Muslim Society
President, Islamic Society of North America
Sterling, Virginia, USA

Dr. Mohammad Rayyan (PhD)
Department of Foundations of Religion
Faculty of Shariah
Jordan University
Amman, Jordan

Muhamed Jusić
Islamic theologian and columnist
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dr. H. Andullah Rahim Yunus
Professor, Islamic History, Allauddin State Islamic University
Executive Chairman at Indonesian Moslem Scholar Association
Makasser, Indonesia

S.A. Ibrahim
American businessman and Muslim committed to interfaith understanding
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Safi Kaskas
Businessman and interfaith advocate
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ahmet Muharrem Atlig
Secretary General of the Journalists & Writers Foundation Platform for Intercultural Dialogue
Instanbul, Turkey

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi
Chief Imam
All India Imam Organization
New Delhi, India

Suhail A. Khan
Senior Fellow
Institute for Global Engagement
Washington, D.C. USA

Due to sensitive work in their home countries, several additional signatories wish to remain anonymous. http://www.isna.net/global-muslim-delegation-issues-unprecedented-statement-against-anti-semitism.html


"A local businessman is poised to become the first Muslim to serve on the Anti-Defamation League's regional board -- or any ADL board for that matter.

The expected election of S.A. Ibrahim on May 9 will mark the latest step in a life journey that has taken him from his native Hyderabad, India, to Philadelphia, where he has achieved enormous material success in the field of banking and finance....

He began to study Islam more seriously and traveled to Saudi Arabia to complete the Haj pilgrimage, as required by the faith...Though he'd never had any issues with Jews or Judaism, per se, he said he did absorb "by osmosis" from other Muslims some negative feelings toward Israel...

According to Sayyid M. Syeed, national director for the office of Interfaith and Community Alliances for the Islamic Society of North America, support for Israel's existence is becoming less of a third rail in the American Muslim community. "We had to educate our people," he said. "We had to recognize the excesses committed against Israel and we had to recognize the suffering of Palestine. On both sides, there has been so much suffering. We need to secure Israel's existence and provide a dignified resolution for Palestinian statelessness." Regarding Ibrahim, he said that "here you have somebody who is very sincerely following the pillars of his faith and he is passionately advocating a better understanding of the Jewish faith. That gives his work so much meaning."

Ibrahim has participated in some of ISNA's interfaith programs, but is not a supporter or member of the group. ISNA was identified as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the federal terrorism funding trial against the Holy Land Foundation.

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the group's leadership has maintained ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and has pursued a radical ideology...

Marin man makes history as first Muslim on an ADL board

by bryan schwartzman & emma silvers, special to j.

As a young man growing up in Hyderabad, India, social justice work was the furthest thing from S.A. Ibrahim's mind.

"Even 20 years ago, if you would have asked me about fighting prejudice, I was too focused on my career," said the businessman who calls Tiburon home — even though his work as the CEO of Radian, a private mortgage insurance company, keeps him in Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., most of the time.

It might be a surprising sentiment, coming from the first Muslim to serve on an Anti-Defamation League board. Ibrahim was elected to the ADL's Philadelphia regional board May 9, in a move that the 60-year-old banker sees as "pioneering."

"It's an unprecedented step, that they were this comfortable putting somebody like me on the board," Ibrahim said of the ADL's Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware regional chapter. "They're an outstanding team of passionate, committed people, and this just further illustrates their commitment to fighting hate of all kinds."

The 60-year-old's election to the regional board came six months after he spoke to that body about his first trip to Israel, in 2010, and his behind-the-scenes efforts to open channels between American Muslims and Israelis.

"We have to address the continued bias against Jews, as well as new biases against new immigrants — Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs," Ibrahim said, speaking of his decision to join the ADL. "It shows that in the U.S., we can collaborate and create new partnerships between peoples."

Marc Kaplin, an ADL regional chair in Philadelphia, said Ibrahim's story "speaks for itself. He has reached out across religious and ethnic lines. We are pleased to have him."

So how did somebody who spent much of his life thinking about business and little about religion evolve into an interfaith activist, one who has become knowledgeable about the Koran and a student of the Torah?

Ibrahim said if he learned one lesson growing up in the fourth- largest city in India — the product of a cosmopolitan, business-oriented Muslim family — it was that religion need not serve as a barrier between peoples. In Hyderabad, Hindus and Muslims often took part in one another's religious festivals, he said.

He attended Catholic and Anglican schools and read everything he could get his hands on, including the works of Chaim Potok and Leon Uris, mostly because he was obsessed with America in general.

"I always viewed Jews as an extension of me. When I was a kid, I went to see ‘The Ten Commandments.' I thought it was a movie about my own religion," he said.

"Unfortunately, we live in a world where people growing up will get very negative information about Jews or Muslims," Ibrahim added. "I was fortunate that my childhood did not have that kind of negative stereotyping."

After graduating in 1975 from Osmania University in Hyderabad with a degree in mechanical engineering, he went to Philadelphia and, in 1978, earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

S.A. Ibrahim on the Haj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia S.A. Ibrahim on the Haj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi ArabiaHis meteoric rise in business took him to top-tier management stints at GreenPoint Mortgage (which is based in Novato), American Express and Chemical Bank. Since 2005, Ibrahim has been at the helm of Radian, a firm that employs about 1,100 people in offices in New York and Philadelphia. Recently, he was one of two finalists to become the new CEO of Fannie Mae, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Like so many Americans, especially Muslim Americans, the lives of Ibrahim and his wife, Nina, also a Muslim of Indian ancestry, were changed, and deeply shaken, by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I never thought I was any less American than anyone else. All of a sudden, there was stuff in the media, and people confronted me and somehow made me feel that I couldn't be American because of my faith," he said.

"I was just as offended by the people who caused 9/11 to happen as anybody else," he added. "I don't see how I could even identify with them. Anyone who attacks my country, regardless of my faith, is just as much my enemy as anybody else's."

He began to study Islam more seriously and traveled to Saudi Arabia to complete the Haj pilgrimage, as required by the faith. He also studied other religious texts and said he saw more commonalities than differences.

Enlisting the help of his now 25-year-old son, Winston — who was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the Jewish fraternity at Johns Hopkins University — he established the Ibrahim Family Founda-tion. Three years ago, the father-and-son team created the Ibrahim Leader-ship and Dialogue Project, which each year takes a group of about six college students — Muslims, Jews and Christians — on a trip to Israel for several weeks, with a stop in at least one Arab country for frank exchanges with individuals who span the religious and political spectrum.

Even though he was funding trips to Israel, Ibrahim didn't visit the Jewish state himself until late in 2010.

"I had some deep reservations about Israel and how I would be treated there," Ibrahim said. "It was an eye-opening trip. I was made to feel more welcome than I ever could have imagined."

In 2009, Ibrahim served as an informal adviser to the White House in advance of President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world, delivered in Cairo.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL and a friend of Ibrahim's, said, "The fact is, there are few voices such as his that reject extremism and fundamentalism. I'm just delighted he's there [in Philadelphia]."

Ibrahim said he one day would like to work with the S.F.-based Central Pacific Region of the ADL, when he begins to spend more time at his Tiburon home and in the area. He said that Silicon Valley is one place where embracing diversity of ethnicity, race and religion has proven to be not only good business sense, but an ideal recipe for creative innovation.

"One of the best models of how this can work exists right in our backyard," he said. "People of all colors, religious backgrounds and different orientations have contributed to making this a center of innovation. It's one of the reasons I'm proud to live here."

Ibrahim said he often finds himself wondering when more religious and lay leaders will "start using religion as a force to bring people together rather than as a force to divide us," he said. "You can look at it either way, and God knows there are plenty of people who are looking at it the other way."

Bryan Schwartzman is a staff writer for the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent; Emma Silvers is a staff writer for j.


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