This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7866
NAIT Controls Majority Of "Most Radical" Mosques And Islamic Schools In The United States
October 6, 2020
North American Islamic Trust Chair Promotes Hamas and Hitler on Social Media
The 'unindicted co-conspirators' of the Holy Land Foundation trials continue to spread terror.
Fri Oct 2, 2020
Joe Kaufman, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative and the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
It has been over a decade since the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) federal terrorism financing trials ended, but many remnants from the trials still linger. Two of the remnants, labeled as 'unindicted co-conspirators' during the trials – the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and its current Chairman Gaddor Saidi – continue to spread terror. NAIT continues to maintain its ownership of radical mosques, and Saidi uses his social media to promote such sinister entities as Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Adolf Hitler. What will it take to stop these enemies of America and the West from operating here with impunity?
NAIT was created in 1973 to hold and protect the assets of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the first major Muslim Brotherhood organization established in the US. Today, NAIT continues to hold the assets of the MSA along with its affiliated Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). NAIT, the MSA and ISNA, which was also named an 'unindicted co-conspirator' during the HLF trials, all have their distinctive roles but are all part and parcel of the same organization. NAIT is, as well, the trustee (waqf) of hundreds of Muslim-oriented properties, including Islamic centers, mosques and children's schools (madrassas).
As stated by counter-terrorism expert Steven Emerson, in his book Jihad Incorporated, "NAIT mosques rank among the most radical in the United States." One of the NAIT-owned mosques, the Islamic Community of Tampa (ICT), a.k.a. Masjid Al-Qassam, was founded by convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader, Sami al-Arian, as part of a Southwest Florida PIJ network. ICT is currently run by fellow convicted PIJ member Hatem Fariz. Among NAIT-owned mosque alumni are: 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and Chattanooga, Tennessee military center shooter Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
It made sense that NAIT and ISNA were named 'unindicted co-conspirators' during the HLF trials, where all of the defendants were found guilty of financing Hamas. When HLF (originally named the Occupied Land Fund) was founded, in 1988, it used the same mailing address as ISNA: P.O. Box 38, Plainfield, Indiana 46168. Ads soliciting donations for HLF, using this address, were placed under printed communiques from Hamas. The address is still ISNA's mailing address. And of course, NAIT, at the time, controlled the assets of ISNA.
NAIT's longtime and current Chairman, Gaddoor Saidi, was too named an 'unindicted co-conspirator' for the HLF trials. Saidi regularly promotes Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and their leadership on social media. One of his postings was of global Hamas leader Ismail Haniya discussing how proud he was of Algeria for rejecting calls for normalization with Israel. Saidi, himself, has been very public with his harsh denouncements of nations making peace with Israel. Saidi's Hania posting, dated September 24th, was originally published by the Shehab News Agency, an affiliate of Hamas and a publication that Saidi likes to repost material from.
Saidi is a big fan of Muslim Brotherhood icons, like Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is banned from entering the US, England and France for supporting such horrific acts as suicide bombings, and deceased Brotherhood writer and ideologue Sayyid Qutb, whose advocacy for violent and offensive jihad has inspired terrorist groups worldwide. Saidi also regularly posts images of deceased Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, who died in prison after being removed from power by current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Saidi has, as well, promoted Adolf Hitler on his social media. In February 2018, Saidi posted an image of Hitler along with a quote (in Arabic) attributed to the former German dictator about ways to "control people," all under the heading, "Words of Great Men." The graphic was taken from Makmalin, an Egyptian satellite channel based in Turkey that: calls for the "demise" of Israel; memorializes the birth and death of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna; mourns the death of Morsi; and this past September 11th, remembered the 9/11 attacks by offensively posting photos of the World Trade Center in flames and people running from the destruction.
A section on the official website of NAIT, titled 'Islamophobia and NAIT,' is devoted to discussing the Holy Land Foundation trials. It is an attempt to fool people into believing that the US government falsely placed NAIT and other Muslim groups on the 'unindicted co-conspirator' list, throwing the designation off as being based on anti-Muslim hatred and "hearsay." But as this author has demonstrated, the Justice Department rightfully made the designation, as NAIT continues to affiliate with radical mosques and its leadership actively supports terror.
NAIT, a Muslim extremist organization with ties to terrorism, has no place in Western society and should be banned from operating within the United States. All NAIT-related entities, including mosques and schools, need to be investigated and shut down immediately.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
MIM: Information about NAIT, their connections and activities.
Alhamdulillah, masajid and Islamic schools are expected to be perpetual. Unfortunately, many Islamic centers founded in the 19th and early 20th Century were lost. To prevent this in the future, a national Waqf organization, the North American Islamic Trust, Inc. (NAIT) was founded in 1973 by the Muslim Students' Association of the United States and Canada (MSA). NAIT maintains its foundational supporting relationship with MSA and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
As a Waqf, NAIT holds titles to the real estate assets of Islamic centers and schools in more than forty States. Properties held as Waqf are operated primarily for the purpose of religious worship. In addition to its Waqf role, NAIT pools the American Muslim community's assets under its Islamic Centers Cooperative Fund, and publishes credible Islamic literature under its American Trust Publications. Through a wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary, NAIT develops financial vehicles that are compatible with both the Shari'ah (Islamic law) and the American law, e.g. mutual funds.
Islamic Centers Division
Islamic Centers Cooperative Fund
American Trust Publications (ATP)
The North American Islamic Trust is a not-for-profit, American religious institution, tax-exempt under IRS section 501(c)(3). It was founded in the 1970s in order to assist the growing nascent Muslim community in the United States. As many immigrants from Asia and the Middle East arrived for higher studies and to settle down with their families, there were very few indigenous masajid or Islamic centers, particularly in the rural and suburban areas of the United States. The students and other immigrants realized that organizing their lives around a masjid would be central to the growth of a spiritual healthy American Muslim community.
Accordingly, the young Muslim Student's Association of America and Canada helped to launch NAIT in 1973 as a waqf or trust organization. Even though Muslims have been immigrating to the United States since the founding of the nation, many people and communities ultimately lost or abandoned their Islamic heritage due to social, and political reasons. Indeed, many indigenous masajid and centers were lost or forgotten. To prevent this in the future, the organizers believed that creating a waqf or general trust to safeguard the properties of masajid and Islamic centers would be vital for the growth and maintenance of the American Muslim community.
NAIT's waqf program is a variant of the conventional Trust/Endowment program, because of two important aspects of waqf, i.e. the perpetual status of the waqf properties and the unalterable sanctity of the will of the donor. Even the donor cannot alter his/her intent at a later time. Thus, NAIT is unique among national Muslim non-for-profit organizations. However, NAIT does not manage, organize, or interfere with any masjid or Islamic center. Each masjid or Islamic center is independently organized, managed and controlled. NAIT serves as the record owner of the property in the capacity of a trustee for the local community. While, the decision-making body of a non-profit corporation can dispose of, or encumber communal property, NAIT management cannot do so to waqf properties.
In addition to its waqf role, NAIT develops financial vehicles that are compatible with both the Shari'ah (Islamic law) and the American law, pools the American Muslim community's assets under its Islamic Centers Cooperative Fund, and publishes credible Islamic literature under its American Trust Publications.
In the United States, corporate culture has permeated all spheres of life, and religious world in to immune to its influence. Under the influence of this prevalent corporate culture, most mosques are governed by a Board of Trustees/Directors. Such a governing board may be tempted to act as if its reach of governance is unfettered to the extent that it can change the use of the property, use it as a collateral for a loan, prohibit some universally accepted mode of worship, permit an un-Islamic activity, etc. None of such actions would be feasible if the property is part of the NAIT Waqf Family of Islamic Centers.
Since 1973, Muslim communities have entrusted as Waqf, titles of properties in 42 States to NAIT. More are added every year. Market value of these is several hundred million dollars. Waqf properties and the value of these properties are Restricted Assets as Waqf on a perpetual basis, to serve the Islamic objectives prescribed at inception. Neither the donor, nor the beneficiary, not even NAIT, can encumber or unilaterally dispose of these Waqf communal properties. Perpetual status of the Waqf properties and the unalterable sanctity of the will of the donor are hallmark of NAIT's Waqf program. A waqf property can be replaced with another one of the same use and equal benefit to the beneficiary community, to the fullest extent feasible. It is not permissible, for example, to apply sale proceeds of a deserted and unusable masjid to a cemetery, retirement/assisted living, or other facilities even though those are to serve Muslims of the same locality.
Islamic Centers Cooperative Fund (ICCF) has funds from over four hundred Islamic centers. ICCF facilitates establishment of Islamic centers, mosques and schools by extending limited interest free loans to needy communities.
American Trust Publication (ATP) has published over 100 books on a wide variety of topics of interest to Muslims and Non-Muslims since 1976.
ISLAMIC FINANCE: NAIT develops Islamic financial vehicles that address the investment and financial needs of Muslim organizations, individuals and their businesses within the boundaries of Shariah. Over the last three decades, NAIT spearheaded the establishment of the two leading sharia compliant mutual funds in North America: Amana and Iman Fund, that invest in companies that meet the universal ethical principles of Islam. NAIT is now only associated with Iman Fund.
Since 2000, the Iman Fund (IMANX) has been offered by Allied Asset Advisors, a for-profit subsidiary of NAIT. As a "growth fund", it seeks growth of capital while adhering to Islamic principles. IMANX includes common stocks of domestic and foreign companies that meet Islamic principles, avoiding those that derive interest income as primary source of income or engage in alcohol, pornography, gambling and other harmful businesses. Iman Fund Prospectus is at www.investaaa.com.
Ka'bah in Makkah was the first Waqf (Surah Al-Imraan, verse 96). Masjid Quba and Masjid An-Nabaweeh in Medinah were the first Waqf properties established by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Since then, titles to religious properties, including mosques, Islamic centers, and schools are held by a Waqf (Islamic trust) institution. Waqf properties and their value become restricted on a perpetual basis, to serve the Islamic objectives prescribed at inception by their founders for the benefit of the specified community.
Waqf (plural: awqaf) generally means the permanent dedication of a portion of one's wealth for the pleasure of Allah. This means that a portion of a persons property is alienated from him/herself and transferred to Allah. Ownership thus passes from the waqif/a (person making the waqf) to Allah. The property is then used for purposes that are shariah compliant. Essential to the scheme is that the corpus of the property remains intact while income derived therefrom, or the property itself, is used for diverse Islamic causes as a sadaqa jariya (recurring, continuous or on-going charity) including socio-economic, military, or political purposes for the benefit of Muslims as well as non-Muslims. The amount or value of the waqf may be as little as a cent. Hence it is not the preserve of the wealthy. Anyone, subject to certain shariah conditions, can be a waqif/a. A waqf may be made during one's lifetime or up to one-third of ones distributable estate through wasiyya or ones's will. There are generally two types of waqf, viz (a) waqf lil awlad (waqf for family) and (b) waqf-lillah (waqf for Allah).
In Sura Al- Muzammil 73:20 Allah says: "And establish regular Prayer; And give regular Charity; And loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan;"
From the foregoing verse it may be discerned that Allah is giving a command to the believers to establish three specific institutions: salah, zakah and the third is recognised as, amongst others, waqf by scholars and ulama.2) A loan is generally capital in nature and repayable some time in the future. In this case the loan is to Allah and He will repay it in due course to the lender, as the Prophet said "with great profit and reward". 3) The cue is that the loan remains capital in nature and it is used in a way that will be beneficial to Allah's cause. While salah and zakah are regarded as fundamental pillars and compulsory in shariah, waqf is considered voluntary but highly desirable. Further, while zakah has fixed percentages and earmarked usage, waqf is flexible and open ended. Both zakah and waqf are important pillars in the funding of Islamic causes and both are needed to empower the Muslim ummah.
Evidence of awqaf also comes from the Sunnah. The Prophet (S) approved Abu Talha's (RA) action to give one of his best date orchards, named Bairuha located in a prime position near the Masjid Nabawi as waqf and also advised him as to its distribution i.e. to his relatives. 3) Another case in point is where the Prophet (S) advised Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA) to give his most valuable land in Khaibar as waqf. Umar declared that the property must not be sold or inherited or given away as a gift. The waqf was devoted to the poor, to nearest of kin, to the emancipation of slaves, and in the way of Allah (Jihad), and guests.4) With regard to sadaqa jariya, the Prophet (S) is also reported to have said: When a person dies, his/her acts come to an end, but three: sadaqa jariya (recurring or ongoing sadaqa), useful/beneficial knowledge, or a pious child who prays for the deceased. 5) The thawaab for these good actions are continuous even after one passes away.
The Holy Prophet (S) also advised sahaba that up to one-third of one's estate be willed as sadaqa, provided that heirs are not impoverished or left in hardship or difficulties. 6) This sadaqa may be in the form of a waqf. Furthermore, one person may make a waqf on behalf of another, for example: a person may make a waqf for his/her deceased parents with the continuous thawaab going to his/her parents. It is also reported that every Sahaba, including the abovementioned, made a waqf. For example, Abu Bakr Siddiq, Uthman Ghani, Ali Ibn Abu Talib, Zubair, Muaz ibn Jabal, Zaid ibn Thabit, Saad ibn Waqqas, Khalid ibn Walid, Jabir ibn Abdullah, and Abdullah ibn Zubair (RA) had all made a waqf. 7;9)
Narrated Ibn 'Umar (Radhiallaho anho): When 'Umar (Radhiallaho anho) got a piece of land in Khaibar,
he came to the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) saying, "I have got a piece of land, better than which I have never got. So what do you advise me regarding it?" The Prophet said, "If you wish you can keep it as an endowment to be used for charitable purposes." So, 'Umar gave the land in charity (i.e. as an endowments on the condition that the land would neither be sold nor given as a present, nor bequeathed, (and its yield) would be used for the poor, the kinsmen, the emancipation of slaves, Jihad, and for guests and travelers; and its administrator could eat in a reasonable just manner, and he also could feed his friends without intending to be wealthy by its means." Bukhari Vol. 4 : No. 33.
Sanctity of the donor's intent draws its supremacy from the core Islamic right of private ownership, and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet. Intent and expressed will of the Waqf donor(s) is immutable; neither NAIT, nor the donor, nor the beneficiary can alter the donor-designated use, objectives and location of the Waqf property. The only exception is the replacement of the property with another one of equal benefits, and value to the beneficiary community, to the fullest extent feasible. In case of competing interests of the beneficiary local organization and the beneficiary community, the Nazerul Waqf (NAIT) is to give due deference to the best interests of the local Muslim community, albeit within the confines of the donor's will. Sanctity of the donor's intent draws its supremacy from the core Islamic right of private ownership, and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet.
As many of you know, in the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration began a systematic targeting of American Muslim organizations and especially charities. The government closed charities, deported thousands and arrested many others, often with little or no due process. Specifically, the government filed a case against one such charity called Holy Land Foundation (HLF) back in 2004, for allegedly providing material support to a terrorist organization, namely Hamas. As part of that case, the government listed nearly 250 Muslims and Muslim organizations as "unindicted co-conspirators." Along with ISNA and CAIR, NAIT was listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator." The purpose of that designation was NOT because NAIT or any of these organizations committed a crime or were criminally responsible. Rather, it was a prosecutorial tactic to avoid the evidentiary rule known as HEARSAY.
What does hearsay mean? Generally speaking, a defendant at trial cannot testify about what another person said about a particular issue outside of court. This is known as hearsay. For example, person A, who is testifying, cannot repeat what he heard person B says at a private meeting. But there are several exceptions to this rule. Once such exception exists if the person or entity is a co-conspirator, involved in the criminal conspiracy, then its statements can be used in court. So, if person B is a co-conspirator (in furtherance of the criminal conspiracy) then his statements can be repeated by person A, who is testifying in court. Federal prosecutors have wide discretion to name anyone as an unindicted co-conspirator. But the US Federal Prosecutors Manual discourages this use without justification.
In this case, although listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator", NAIT was never charged with any crime or indicted by the HLF Prosecutor or any government authority. In fact, the United States Attorney who brought the terrorism case against the HLF, specifically told NAIT's lawyers on June 27, 2007 that including NAIT on the list of unindicted co-conspirators was never meant to imply that NAIT was part of a criminal conspiracy or that it acted with criminal intent. Moreover, after NAIT filed a motion in the case to have its name removed from the list of unindicted co-conspirators, the District Court in the Northern District of Texas, Judge Jorge Solis, held that the government violated NAIT's Constitutional rights by including its name on the list of "unindicted co-conspirators" without any legitimate governmental reason. However, the decision by Judge Solis declaring that the government violated NAIT's Constitutional 5th Amendment right, was sealed by the Court without public access and without any explanation, thereby prohibiting NAIT and others to disseminate this information to the public.
NAIT appealed the sealing of Judge Solis' decision and again won. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Judge Solis should not have sealed his decision that the government had violated NAIT's constitutional rights. The Court of Appeals honored the right of the US Attorney to name anyone, including NAIT, as unindicted co-conspirators, but declared that any statements made in passing by the District Court regarding NAIT's connection to the HLF were irrelevant to the entire case and had no basis. It further ruled that the District Court never "made a judicial determination that evaluated NAIT's connection to the case." In other words, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals essentially said that the HLF case did not demonstrate that NAIT had any connection to the case. Indeed, the Fifth Circuit went further and reminded everyone that the "Government never labeled NAIT a criminal co-conspirator." So, no US Court, or government agency has ever ruled that NAIT was criminally or unlawfully involved with the HLF defendants. Indeed, no US Court or US government agency has ever accused, or charged NAIT for any crimes, wrongdoing, or any unlawful activities.
Despite these facts and this reality, Islamophobic organizations, right-wing websites, and pundits, along with a handful of attention-seeking public officials continue to tarnish and malign NAIT by false attribution and fear mongering. In effect, these bigots and fear mongers seek to undermine the American Muslim community by unfairly targeting Muslim institutions such as NAIT and other Americans for merely being Muslim. But NAIT will not be deterred and will continue to forge ahead and serve the Muslim community as trustee for mosques, Islamic centers, and schools.
It has never been easy for people of faith. The world challenges believers constantly. People of faith often face financial, political, and social challenges to their religious beliefs and way of life. But fortunately, God has endowed us with wahy (revelation) and aql (reason) to fulfill His Will and to promote peace within our selves and justice in society. Through the shield of revelation and the sword of reason, human beings can transcend the whisperings of the devil, the temptations of the nafs (self), and the nefarious acts of people.
History is replete with examples of people overcoming tremendous odds to victory. The most famous historical example is Prophet Dawood (David) and the Israelites defeating the powerful army of Jalut (Goliath) and the philistines. Indeed, the Quran reminds us of this example, "How many a small company has overcome a large company by permission of Allah . And Allah is with the patient." (2:249).
Closer to home, American society overcame the pernicious legacy of slavery and Jim Crow with the passage of Civil Rights legislation, according equal treatment to African-Americans. While much work remains to be done, particularly with the current killings of un-armed African-American young men by some members of law enforcement, patient resolve and determination for justice, led to legal and political emancipation. For American Muslims, history can serve as an important guide for our own struggle against prejudice and bigotry. Once again, America is facing the challenges of welcoming & integrating those that are religiously and culturally different from the majority population of Americans. Our communities, masajid, and young people are under tremendous stress. Our Muslim organizations are routinely maligned for challenging the political status quo, and for standing for justice and the underdog.
After 9/11, pillar organizations such as ISNA, NAIT, CAIR, and others came under government scrutiny, not because of any unlawful activities, but mostly for political reasons that were driven by overzealous bureaucrats in the so-called "war on terror", or unwise foreign policy motivations. Despite these challenges, Muslim organizations have persevered because of the common good they promote. For over 30 years, NAIT has provided the Muslim community with protection of their masjid and Islamic centers and schools. It has arbitrated and mediated inter-community disputes. It provides financial products consistent with Islamic values of finance. NAIT will continue to provide positive and essential services to Muslim communities and to American society, inshallah.
NAIT truly appreciates your confidence and support in its efforts to build and enhance the Muslim community in the United States.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7866