The 50th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) featured the usual long list of Islamists that profess to be pro-Sharia and “moderate” in the same breath, but this year the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity had a special speaker: A gleaming President Obama thanking ISNA for its partnership and interfaith campaigns.
In congratulating ISNA on its 50th anniversary, Obama endorsed an event with over 20 Islamist speakers, most of whom teach multiple sessions. The most frequent speaker is Imam Zaid Shakir, who taught 32,000 Muslims over Memorial Day Weekend that the U.S. Constitution is inferior to Sharia Law because it grants equality to Muslims and non-Muslims. He is teaching at least eight sessions.
As originally reported by the Clarion Project, Obama’s videotaped address praised the “proud legacy” of ISNA. A confidential source within the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network informed the FBI as early as 1987 that ISNA is a front whose purpose is to advance the “Islamic Revolution” in America.
This source is vindicated by a secret U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum written three years later that listed ISNA and its components as part of its network to wage a “kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
In 2007, the U.S. government labeled ISNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas-financing “charity” that shared an address with ISNA. The Brotherhood’s apologists contest the significance of that label, but what they can’t contest is that federal prosecutors specifically listed ISNA as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.
Stunningly, President Obama boasted of his administration’s relationship with ISNA:
“[M]y administration is proud to be your partner in our shared efforts to promote economic opportunity, accessible health care and affordable education in Muslim communities throughout our country,” he said.
Ponder that for a moment. The U.S. government concluded that ISNA is a Brotherhood entity, yet the leader of that government is heaping praise upon it.
“[H]ere we have the United States government going into federal court saying, ‘These are the bad guys, they’re supporting terrorism, they’re a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.’ And then as soon as they leave federal court, ‘These are our outreach partners, these are the moderates, these are the people that we need to be dealing with,’” Poole explained.
The best example of ISNA’s influence is the Clarion Project’s May 2013 expose of the role of ISNA and other Islamist-friendly groups and individuals in crafting training guidelines for the Department of Homeland Security. As you probably guessed, these guidelines reject instruction based on the broader Islamist ideology and teaching about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network and its legal methods.
ISNA is also a political ally of the administration. The administration courted ISNA to rally Muslim support for gun control and for immigration reform. The White House’s Office of Public Engagement admits that ISNA is its primary Muslim outreach partner.
President Obama was sure to specifically point out the accomplishments of ISNA’s interfaith programs:
“I’m especially grateful to the work that ISNA has done to advance interfaith understanding and cooperation here at home and around the world,” he said.
The interfaith campaign praised by Obama is led by former ISNA Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed, who was recorded in 2006 saying, “Our job is to change the Constitution of America.”
ISNA’s website has an entire page dedicated to its interfaith efforts. It has a list of official interfaith partners that includes major Christian and Jewish organizations. ISNA’s interfaith political coalition, Shoulder to Shoulder, was presented to the Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey as one of its crowning achievements.
To put Syeed’s achievement in the proper prospective, we must look at his background.
In 1987, the FBI informant in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network warned that a front called the International Institute of Islamic Thought had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States,” beginning with “peacefully get[ting] inside the United States government…”
The Director of IIIT’s Academic Outreach at that time was Sayyid Syeed—the same official whose work was just praised by Obama.
The transferring of Syeed from Secretary-General of ISNA to Director of its Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances shows how much importance ISNA places in its interfaith work. Earlier this year, Syeed spoke in front of about 100 evangelical leaders at the National Prayer Breakfast.
This embrace of ISNA helps explain the pro-Muslim Brotherhood angle of American foreign policy. When the government embraces U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities as partners and advisors, we should expect nothing less.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
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