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A Legacy of Hate: Congressman Keith Ellison delivers eulogy at funeral of head of MAS Minnesota

February 11, 2008

A Legacy of Hate
By Joe Kaufman | Monday, February 11, 2008 Hesham Hussein, the President of the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS-Minnesota) and former board member of MAS National, was a walking contradiction -- "was," because he is no longer in existence. He was killed in an auto accident that took place in Saudi Arabia. Now that he's gone, his friends, including those in the media, are singing his praises. In doing so, they are discounting the hatred and violence that his group, an American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, represents.

On January 26, 2008, Hesham Hussein was in Saudi Arabia visiting family and traveling from Medina, a city considered holy by Muslims, when he died in a car crash. At the time he was headed to Mecca, also considered holy. At present, he is buried there.

A memorial for Hussein took place on February 2nd, at the MAS Center in Inver Grove Heights. Speaking at the event were such dignitaries as Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Assistant Chief of the Saint Paul Police Department, Dennis Jensen. Ellison has been a supporter of MAS, giving addresses at conferences for both the local group and the national organization. He has called Hussein his "close friend."

Media outlets have also taken a liking to Hussein. Following his death, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio lauded him as a "bridge builder" and a "uniter." They have painted a picture of him as a man of peace, respectful of all religions. But in embracing Hussein, as some in the government and the media have done, they choose to ignore the hatred and violence the organization he led represents.

In 1993, the Muslim American Society was created as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun. Indeed, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, a co-founder of MAS, is currently the international MB Chairman.

MAS's abhorrent roots have not been lost on the local organization. In June of 2003, Hussein and MAS-Minnesota held a summer youth camp, where MAS National Executive Director Souheil Ghannouchi gave a lecture tited, ‘The Islamic Movement,' which is a pseudonym for the Muslim Brotherhood.

As well, during Hussein's residence as MAS-Minnesota's President, the group's website featured the vilest of hatred aimed at Jews and Christians, contradicting all of his interfaith activities. The following statements could be read on the site:

  • "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..."
  • "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."
  • "If you gain victory over the men of Jews, kill them."
  • "May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship."

Also, while Hussein led MAS-Minnesota, its site praised Hamas, an organization found on the U.S. State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), as a "steadfast, brave, aware Islamic resistance movement" and said: "Hamas is an embodiment of the Palestinian People's belief in its Muslim and Arab origins, and a testimony that this people is still alive and will never die and that its jihad will be carried on by pure hands and clean hearts until victory is achieved with the will of Allah."

Furthermore, During Hussein's Presidency, MAS-Minnesota posted on its site a threat to the West. It stated, "Western secularism moved into a Muslim world already estranged from its Qur'anic roots, and delayed its advancement for centuries, and will continue to do so until we drive it from our lands. Moreover, we will not stop at this point, but will pursue this evil force to its own lands, invade its Western heartland, and struggle to overcome it until all the world shouts by the name of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam spread throughout the world."

All of the above quotes are still found on MAS-Minnesota's site today.

During Congressman Ellison's eulogy of Hussein, he stated the following: "He was well aware that in the post-9/11 America, many people in the Muslim community feel -- and continue to feel -- very vulnerable. And his answer was not to be bitter or anything. His answer was to say, ‘Well, let's let the community know us. Let's get out there. Let's talk to people. Let's meet the people.'"

The statements found on Hussein's website make Ellison's words look entirely out of place, for the statements are a complete rejection by Hussein of his fellow man.

Who is the real Hesham Hussein? It's something we may never find out. The truth could very well be buried along with him in Mecca, thousands of miles from his family and home in Metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul. In his wake, he leaves a wife, five children, a mother, a sister and a large number of violent anti-Semitic and anti-Christian statements.

Hussein's sudden death also leaves a deep void in MAS. Not only was he President of MAS-Minnesota, but he was, as well, the group's representative in the National MAS General Assembly.

Hussein's successor will have to face his own scrutiny. Will he keep the legacy of MAS hate alive and well, or will he welcome others with open arms?

Or like Hussein, will he do both?

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

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