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Oprah's Islamist Nightmare: Talk show host's program exploited by the Muslim American Society

February 8, 2008

Oprah's Islamist Nightmare
By Joe Kaufman | Thursday, February 07, 2008

Oprah Winfrey, the popular television talk show hostess, probably doesn't realize it, but she is being used by a radical Muslim organization. Last month, she aired a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., where she featured the daughter of a well known Islamist leader. Now, the leader and his operation are spreading the word that Oprah has helped their group to hit the big time.

On January 21st, the Oprah Winfrey Show aired its ‘The Dream Lives: A Martin Luther King Day Special.' It was a very personal event for Winfrey, because she credits much of her success to Dr. King. She stated, "I wouldn't have the life – no part of the life that I have – had there been no Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the other people who stood with him to create a civil rights movement. Nothing that has happening in my life, since I was 16 years old would have been possible."

Dr. King's dream was that there would be a day when all children from all different backgrounds could interact with one another, without being hindered by unnecessary obstacles, such as the color of one's skin. To make this dream a reality, for at least one show segment, Winfrey gathered children from various ethnicities, races and religions to shoot a video honoring King's famous speech, ‘I Have a Dream.'

One of the kids in the special was a girl by the name of Anwar Omeish, who happened to be the eleven-year-old daughter of Esam Omeish, the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), an organization tied to the violent Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movement overseas.

MAS was incorporated in the state of Illinois in June of 1993, established by MB leaders, including MB's present Chairman, Mohammed Mahdi Akef. Found on MAS websites are a number of documents written by the creator of MB, Hassan Al-Banna. Also found are a number of materials containing the most vicious of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian rhetoric.

In April of 2004, MAS's Communications Director, Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his activities within the ‘Virginia Jihad Network,' a group that was conspiring with the Al-Qaeda-related Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT) to attack Americans and Indians abroad.

In April of 2007, MAS-New Jersey' youth director, Mazen Mokhtar, was indicted on two counts of failing to file business tax returns and three counts of filing false personal tax returns. Prior to that, Mokhtar was involved in the creation of "mirror" websites of one of the major sites raising funds and recruiting fighters for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, (Jihad in Chechnya). As well, Mokhtar has been quoted as fervently supporting Hamas and suicide bombings.

While anything connected to MAS should be seen as a potential threat, having Anwar Omeish on the show was not a problem, as the sins of the father should never be visited upon the children. Esam Omeish, this past September, was forced to resign his government appointed position to the Virginia Commission of Immigration, after a video surfaced showing him advocating violent jihad. The problem occurred when Esam Omeish and MAS used the girl and Oprah Winfrey to prop up their radical organization and extremist agenda.

On January 11th, MAS put out a news report stating, "The Muslim American Society's (MAS) Girl Scout Troop 3611 will be nationally recognized January 21, 2008, as one of its members, Anwar Esam Omeish, participates in the Oprah Winfrey Show's celebration of Martin Luther King Day... [MAS] congratulates MAS Girl Scout Troop 3611 for this outstanding achievement."

Anwar Omeish's appearance had nothing to do with the MAS troop. She had auditioned for the King video and had won a spot, along with nearly 100 other children. Yet, for MAS it was about something else. It was about taking the unwarranted opportunity to boast about "national recognition" for its organization, an organization that really has nothing to boast about, except a long record of support for extremists.

For the father, it was more of the same. A day after the airing of the show, he wrote on his personal blog, "Please check out the wonderful video here of MAS Girl Scout Troop 3611 (here in N. Virginia) being recognized in the Oprah Winfrey Show's celebration of Martin Luther King Day." And then, he nonchalantly threw in, "(The girl happens to be my daughter.)"

Both MAS and the father posted the same picture to their stories about Oprah's "embracing" of their MAS troop. The photo depicts Anwar Omeish, dressed in her Girl Scout garb, standing between two flags. On her left is the American flag. On her right is a MAS flag, reminiscent of young children being propped up by their families next to Hamas flags. Aside from the terrorist designation of one, there is very little difference, including in the name of the two.

People scream "child abuse," when a girl is forced to join a beauty pageant or a boy is pushed to play sports. What is it, then, when a child is forced to partake in groups connected to terrorism overseas?

On the King video, Anwar Omeish states the following, "With this faith, we'll be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together." This is in direct contrast to the themes promoted by MAS. For instance, on one of MAS's websites, the following can be read: "In view of the degenerate moral condition of the Jews and the Christians, the Believers have been warned not to make them their friends and confidants." And "The Holy Prophet (and through him the Muslims) has been reassured that he should not mind the enmity, the evil designs and the machinations of the Jews..." And "If you gain victory over the men of Jews, kill them."

If Martin Luther King lived for one thing, it was to say to America and to the world that hatred should have no place anywhere, at anytime. For MAS to exploit an eleven-year-old girl and the Oprah Winfrey Show to further their own hatred is an unforgivable abuse of the good will of a TV personality and that of the innocence of a young child.

And what's worse is that it was all done on the back of a great man, who died so that an injustice, such as this, would never occur.

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate, the founder of CAIR Watch, and the spokesman for Terror-Free Oil Initiative.


MIM: Fatwas supporting suicide bombings from the American Muslim the MAS online magazine.

Fatawa (Scholarly Opinions)
Questions about Palestine

My question relates to the blind support the US gives the Zionist State, Israel, in everything, even in killing the innocent Muslims. Does that policy make the US Dar Al Harb?

Answer Sheikh Fawsal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research:
Dar Harb is a juristic norm used by Muslim scholars in a certain epoch of time to refer to non-Muslim countries that have no peace treaty with Muslims. So, if we have what we call Dar Islam that adequately serves as a sine qua non for having Dar Harb. But we have to assert that it is the Muslim ruler who possesses the authority of determining which place is Dar Harb and which one is Dar Al-‘Ahd (country that maintain peace with Muslims).

As for the case nowadays, most Muslim countries have slipped away from Shari‘ah, confining its application to family cases, i.e., codes governing personal status. Some Muslim countries even refuse to apply Shari‘ah in such cases, thus, giving in completely to man-made law to gain ground and govern everything, without exception.

Thereby, the notion of Dar Islam is hardly applied to many Muslim countries nowadays. But we prefer to consider countries whose populations are mainly Muslims Dar Islam in essence that Islamic law should be the one to prevail in those countries, thus, drawing the attention of their rulers to the duty of accomplishing that task.

Given the afore-mentioned fact that the duty of determining places to be called Dar Al-‘Ahd is left with the rulers and the fact that most Muslim countries are now members of the UN, it has been agreed upon by all the Muslim rulers that all the world countries now are Dar Al-‘Ahd not Dar Harb.

But as we know, we, the subjects, are not obliged to give our rulers blind support in everything; we should not obey their orders that run counter to the ordinances of the Creator, Almighty Allah. Apart from that, we are to obey and support them in order to cater for the welfare of the society. Coupling with that is our constant advice to them and constructive criticism for some of their policies.

Despite all the blind support that the US gives Israel, it has not reached the extent of making explicit declaration of war against Muslims. Besides, the Palestinian Islamic movements, despite their condemnation of the US biased policy in the Middle East, have made it clear that their defensive operations are totally against the Zionist state that occupied their land, and they totally go against exporting these operations outside the border of the occupied territory. Based upon this, we can not consider Muslims as being in a state of war with the US.

Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said that nations will haunt against us. Can we say that this is happening right now?

Answer Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi:
The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Nations are about to scheme against you in the same way as greedy eaters vie with one another on the dining-table. One of the companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Will that relate to being few in numbers?' The Prophet said: ‘No, but your huge number will be of little effectiveness, and (Allah) will cast Al-Wahan in your hearts.' They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what does Al-Wahan mean?' He said, ‘Your hearts are strongly attached to life luxuries and you feel strong aversion to death'." (Ahmad and Abu-Dawud)

The previous Hadith is considered one of the miracles with which the Prophet (pbuh) was aided. The Hadith refers to what will happen by the end of this world. In other words, it shows the extent of the moral decay that will affect the Muslim Ummah, and will encourage its enemies to haunt it, especially after neglecting Allah's Commands and ignoring His Prophet's teachings.

The miracles that Allah Almighty has granted His Prophets, peace and blessings be upon them all, to help in delivering their messages, are not only rules and regulations from which the Muslim Ummah can seek guidance regarding what is lawful and what is prohibited. Rather, They serve as a means of encouraging the Muslim to bear the sufferings and tribulations of life with patience and perseverance, keeping in mind that Allah will never forsake him.

The words of the Hadith show that the state of weakness facing the Muslim Ummah nowadays is transitory.

Unfortunately, the Muslim Ummah's hands are tied, finding themselves handicapped to put an end to the brutal massacres and mass killing of Muslims in many places of the world, in addition to gross violation of Muslim human rights.

The main reason behind all this can easily be ascribed to forsaking the Islamic umbrella, which encompasses economy, mass media and education, as well as politics.

Every member of the Muslim Ummah has a share in this responsibility; it is a collective one. We are together in the same boat and we have to start rowing before it is too late.

Stressing the fact that, despite the sorry state of affairs of Muslim Ummah now, there is a glimmer of hope lying in the future, we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi:

"Some scholars claim that the Doom is approaching and that the darkness looms large and there are troubles on the horizon. Actually, such premonitions bring benefits to none and make things get worse. This leads to the belief that there is no hope for a change or reform and that the coming days carry nothing but bad events. This is, in fact, a very wrong way of thinking and it is plainly a pessimistic approach to life. Muslims are to stick their mind to many glad tidings of the coming victory of Islam, and they should have faith in Allah that the coming days will be more bright and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thus, it is necessary for Muslims to derive from the following glad tidings glimpse of light to fill their hearts with and let despair vanish and fade away. Here are some of the glad tidings mentioned in the Qur'an:

1) Almighty Allah says: "He it is who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, however much the idolaters may be averse." (At-Tawbah: 33)

2) Almighty Allah also says: "Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light however much the disbelievers are averse." (As-Saff: 8)

In these verses, Almighty Allah makes it clear that at the end sweeping victory and triumph will be for Islam and Allah's light will cover all corners of the globe.

The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) is also a record of many Hadiths that give glad tidings of the coming victory of Islam. Here, we would like to cite some of these Hadiths:

1) In his Sahih, Imam Muslim recorded that Thawban quoted the Prophet (pbuh) as saying: "Almighty Allah has gathered the earth for me so that I could see all its corners. My nation will rule over all that which Almighty Allah has gathered for me."

2) Ibn Hibban quoted the Prophet (pbuh) as saying: "This matter (i.e. Islam) will spread to cover all area where there is night and day. Allah will never leave a house in a rural area or in urban community without its people being Muslims. Honor is for those who embrace it (i.e. Islam) while disbelievers are doomed to disgrace and humiliation."

This Hadith, along with many others, give us glad tidings that the patch of the Muslim state will expand to cover the whole earth and that the strength of this state will grow and become obvious to all. This also denotes good news for the long-cherished hope of revival of Muslims unity and rebirth of Islamic Caliphate.

Also, there are many other glad tidings in the reality of being a Muslim, for any wise man knows that no falsehood is to remain forever. Life has its ups and downs and days has their own vicissitudes. After hardship comes ease and every cloud has a silver lining. The bitter reality of the Muslim nation will come to an end, and tomorrow will be definitely better than today.

The emergence of the Islamic awakening has breathed in the Muslim nation a sense of confidence and hope in the future. Viewing this awakening as a threat, the enemies of Islam have tried their utmost to suppress it. However, it is Allah's will that the Muslim awakening will endure all tribulation without being affected. Such movement is worthy of leading the Muslim nation to utter victory once there are leaders who are rightly guided by Almighty Allah and filled with wisdom."

We plea to Allah Almighty to guide the Muslim Ummah back to the right track. This is the only way we can find a place in the modern world where non-Islamic systems impose distorted ideologies in the name of civilization.

Some people say that the operations carried out by Palestinians are considered suicidal acts and not a kind of Jihad, is that true? Please tell me whether these acts are martyr operations and a kind of striving in Allah's Cause or not?

Answer: Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi:
Martyr operations are not suicide and should not be deemed as unjustifiable means of endangering one's life. Allah says in the Glorious Qura'n: "And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good." (Al-Baqara:195).

The verse obviously indicates that failing to spend in Allah's Cause is like casting oneself into ruin. That is the reason behind the revelation of the noble verse. Reviewing the Islamic rule: "Words should be construed as imparting general meanings regardless of their specific occasions", the meaning of the afore-mentioned verse is bound to extend to include any negligence of a religious duty; i.e. forsaking a religious duty entails casting oneself into ruin. The same applies to committing sins.

Therefore, it's quite an abysmal analysis for someone to focus on the afore-mentioned verse through a narrow a perspective, without taking into consideration all relevant points.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) strictly forbade suicide and made it clear that anyone who commits suicide would be cast into hell. But in such case suicide means Muslim's killing himself without any lawfully accepted reason or killing himself to escape pain or social problems.

On the other hand, in martyr operations, the Muslim sacrifices his own life for the Sake of performing a religious duty, which is Jihad against the enemy as scholars say. Accordingly, a Muslim's intention when committing suicide is certainly different from his intention when performing a military operation and dying in the Cause of Almighty Allah. So it is natural that the religious legal status would differ in each case, as Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him says in a Hadith: "Actions are but by intention, and every man shall have but that which he intended."

This means that martyr operations are totally different from the forbidden suicide. Concerning the Palestinians, the enemy has occupied their land, their houses and their sacred places and has driven about four million of them out of their houses replacing them with even larger numbers of Jewish settlements. The enemy relies on sophisticated military equipments while, at the same time, denies the Palestinians their basic human rights, killing their women, children and men mercilessly, and rendering the Palestinians powerless and incapable of defending themselves — even all the Arab countries face the same fate, lacking necessary weapons.

So the Palestinians have nothing but throwing stones at their enemy in order to defend their country. This, despite its indication of a high morale, cannot deter the enemy this way. So the Palestinians resort to martyr operations, in which the martyr seriously harms the enemy meanwhile sacrifices his own life.

What is the significance of Jerusalem and Masjid Al-Aqsa? Why did Allah choose the Masjid Al-Aqsa as the Qibla before the Ka‘bah?

Answer: Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi:
Most High, says, "Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Nearer, the Seer." (Al-Isra': 1)

Al-Aqsa is the first Qiblah (direction of Prayer) of Muslims, and the land of Al-Isra' and Al-Mi‘raj. Our hearts bleed for all the sacrilegious acts been perpetrated against Al-Aqsa. The status of Al-Aqsa is clearly explained in the Hadith that reads: "People are not to travel except to three mosques: The Sacred Mosque (in Makkah), Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem), and my Mosque (in Madinah)."

Shedding more light on this issue, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America states:

The city of Jerusalem was chosen at the command of Allah by Prophet Dawud (David), peace and blessings be upon him, in the tenth century B.C. After him his son Prophet Sulayman (Solomon), peace and blessings be upon him, built a mosque in Jerusalem according to the revelation that he received from Allah. For several centuries this mosque was used for the worship of Allah by many Prophets and Messengers of Allah. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in the year 586 B.C., but it was soon rebuilt and was rededicated to the worship of Allah in 516 B.C. It continued afterwards for several centuries until the time of Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus), peace and blessings be upon him. After he departed this world, it was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 C.E.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was taken there in his miraculous journey of Al-Isra' and from there he went for Al-Mi‘raj. When Muslims took the city of Jerusalem in 636 C.E. during the caliphate of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, he ordered for the building of this mosque again and it stands until now as a Masjid for the worship of Allah as it was originally built by our Prophet Sulayman, peace and blessings be upon him.

The significance of Jerusalem is that it is the city of many Prophets of Allah as Makkah is the city of Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma‘il (Ishmael) and Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon all of them. The Masjid of Al-Aqsa is one of the ancient mosques and in the Qur'an Allah called it and its land "the blessed surroundings" (Surat Al-Isra': 1).

When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was in Makkah and also for about 17 months after his Hijra to Madinah, he and his followers used to pray towards the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. This was to establish in the minds of Muslims the link between the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and other prophets of Allah, peace and blessings be upon them all. When this principle was established in their minds then Allah ordered Muslims to turn to the Ka‘bah and pray towards its direction.

Now we are not allowed to pray to the direction of Jerusalem and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, but we must respect and honor the city of Jerusalem and its blessed mosque. It is also the duty of all Muslims to guard and protect this mosque from any harm and damage, for the mosque belongs to those who believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah."

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at