Media Miss Islamists at the National Prayer Breakfast

Dr. Benjamin Carson captivated the media’s attention with his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, but another attendee deserved some of the spotlight: Sayyid Syeed, the interfaith liaison for the Islamic Society of North America, who was recorded in 2006 saying, “[O]ur job is to change the constitution of America.”

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) originates in the Muslim Brotherhood, but has been embraced on a bi-partisan basis. FBI sources reporting back to the mid-1980s identified it as a Brotherhood front. In 2007, the U.S. government designated ISNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation, listing it as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.

A 1991 Brotherhood memo, which describes its “work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” likewise mentions ISNA and several of its components as its fronts. In 2009, a federal judge upheld ISNA’s designation as an unindicted co-conspirator because of “ample” evidence linking it to Hamas.

The same 1991 memo lays out how the Brotherhood network must “posses a mastery of the art of ‘coalitions,’ the art of ‘absorption,’  and the principles of ‘cooperation.’” It explicitly talks about using the “hands” of the “nonbelievers” to advance its agenda.

The work of ISNA and its allies in forging interfaith partnerships is undoubtedly a fulfillment of this directive. ISNA has used these interfaith relationships to slam its critics as “Islamophobes,” as it did at an event on January 15 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.

Sayyid Syeed, ISNA’s Secretary-General from 1994 to 2006, is now the Director of ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances. New footage has been released of him stating in 2006, “[O]ur job is to the change the constitution of America,” as seen in the film, The Grand Deception.

Syeed and ISNA were invited to the National Prayer Breakfast at which President Obama spoke. Syeed also addressed about 100 evangelical leaders during the Middle East/North Africa Prayer Breakfast. Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, ISNA’s Director of Community Outreach, also spoke.

The National Prayer Breakfast was organized by the Fellowship Foundation and hosted by co-chairs Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Other speakers included Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) and, ironically, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), one of the brave congressmen who wrote letters asking for investigations into the relationships between ISNA and other Brotherhood legacy groups and the U.S. government.

Shortly after the National Prayer Breakfast, Syeed was the keynote speaker at the annual legislative conference of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was attended by over 700 faith community leaders, and the Coalition includes the Minnesota Council of Churches, Minnesota Catholic Conferences, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Islamic Center of Minnesota. He also spoke at the University of St. Thomas’s Muslim Christian Dialogue Center.

Syeed’s preaching is echoed by Muzammil Siddiqi, a member at large of ISNA’s board of directors. He was also the president from 1997 to 2000. He has spoken in support of the long-term implementation of Sharia Law and said in 2001 that Muslims “should participate in the [democratic] system to safeguard our interest and try to bring gradual change for the right cause, the cause of truth and justice. We must not forget that Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.”

The rhetoric of both ISNA officials is in line with the Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrine of gradualism, a phased approach towards implementing Sharia-based governance. Contrary to the Al-Qaeda-type Islamists, Brotherhood Islamists encourage involvement in secular democratic governments if necessary.

Terms made popular by these governments are even reinterpreted through Islamist lenses. Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi preaches, “What I am for is a genuine type of democracy, for a society driven by the laws of Sharia that is compatible with the values of freedom, human rights, justice and equity.”

The Islamist orientation of ISNA is also apparent in the guest speakers it has and the causes it chooses to, or chooses not to, champion. Last year, Tunisian Islamist Rachid Ghannouchi was booked to speak at its annual convention. Last month, ISNA hosted Somalia’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked President.

On the other hand, secular democratic activists opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood are never given a platform. ISNA is silent when crowds of Egyptians protest the Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA says not a word when tens of thousands of Muslims stand against Islamists in Bangladesh in what has been called “the first time ever in the Muslim world there has been a popular uprising against the fascism of Islamist parties.”

ISNA’s presence at the National Prayer Breakfast is exactly what the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood envisioned when it told its network to master “the art of ‘coalitions.’”

The Institute on Religion and Democracy sponsored this article.

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  • AdinaK

    Once again, here is the plan of the Muslim Brotherhood Mafia, as reflected by those who control the power centers within CAIR and all its terror offshoots. The "go to" addresses for the Demsters and some Repubs, national prayer breakfast and all –

    Clear as a bell.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • Brujo Blanco

    I recall the confrontation between Muslims and Christians in Dearborn where a Muslim "security" guy would hit a Christian and state repeatedly, "I am not hitting you.".

    • defcon 4

      The security guard/brownshirt should have said I'm hitting you in the interests of freedom, human rights, justice and equity.

  • Asher

    Be Aware that has been the goals all along to change the Constitution that our founding fathers put in place by radicals that neither care about peace or Freedom!

  • mcmorrowpc

    Why wasn't the KKK invited to speak to? They are as vicious as the Muslim Brotherhood, but are least shunned by anyone with a brain. To have a spokesman for a known front for a terrorist organization speak at a prayer breakfast is outrageous.

  • clarespark

    The Islamists have found the chink in the American armor: multiculturalism, a social policy invented by the liberal foundations to co-opt and contain mid-1960s urban riots. But this program had a long historyamong "progressives" that I traced in these blogs:…. "Index to multiculturalism blogs."

  • defcon 4

    What will "islamophobes" be called in the future?


  • geneww1938

    Why would a Muslim go to a Prayer Breakfast where most attendees profess to be Christians unless to attend to disrupt and destroy as Satan Emissary
    Find a person who can prove God did not author the Bible or a person who can prove that Satan did not author the Koran.
    I have documented the proof that God authored the Bible and the internet provider considers the other proof as 'spam', hatred', "not PC" ….

  • Lan Astaslem

    If muslims want to live under sharia, they should go back to the islamic cesspools they came from.

  • Dawn Street

    But they want our stuff, our houses and lands, our standard of living, indoor plumbing, and our infra-structure and all those arms that Obama is buying up. It is dirty and dusty and miserable in their countries so they come here to change ours to match theirs.

    • karen

      I think you are right, but what they don't understand America and our values out of the picture it will be just like where they come from,, Sharia Law is anything but freedom, human rights, justice and equity.”,, Stoning, or lapidation, is a form of capital punishment whereby a group throws stones at a person until death ensues.,, I do not think that is how America works ..

  • goemon

    It's our job as freedom-lovers to ban Islam. Yes, a constitutional amendment to ban islam. but i am okay with legalizing the koran but for entertainment purposes only. it is a weapon of mass destruction but Bush never realized this when he went looking for them in iraq. You should be required to pay $1000 dollars to get a permit to own the damn book.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    How could Muslims be invited to a prayer breakfast or lunch when it is clear they are here to
    eat your dinner. They pray to enslave you and failing that kill you, not very collegiate.
    Kick them out of America before we have to fight them for our Country…………William

  • Mutantone

    And Obama is still supporting their efforts world wide, with our Troops, equipment and funds, with out a person calling it foul, of the Constitution and the laws of our Nation do do so. When will the voice of the People be heard ? When will there be an out call on his treason?

    • karen daulton

      Obama does what he has been groomed for, WE all better get used to this crap or GET THEM THE HELL OUT OF OUR COUNTRY,, along with the UN and Nato and any treaty that has been slid in on the American public..

  • Don Carlson

    As long as the followers of Islam promote the destruction from within of their hosts, so long do they ask to be outlawed as an ideology–as the Communist Party was, until it disavowed its aim to violently overthrow the United States Government.