“Across the Sacramento area, there are four new billboards seeking to demonstrate how the fights against systemic racism and the coronavirus pandemic are foundational to Islamic beliefs,” writes Elyse Pham in a July 30 Sacramento Bee report headlined, “‘Stop Racist Killings’: Sacramento Islamic organization launches billboard campaign.”
The organization is the Islamic Circle of North America and one of the ICNA billboards reads, “We the people can’t breathe. Stop racist killings” and another proclaims, “Saving one life equals saving entire mankind (Quran 5:32). Thank you healthcare workers!” The billboards, to be set up nationwide, include the website whyislam.org and the group’s phone number.
Local ICNA president Ijaz Arif told the Bee “nobody is superior based on race, language, or color,” and people can only be differentiated by degrees of “piety and righteousness.” According to Arif, Muhammad “taught the basic methods of dealing with a pandemic event: personal hygiene and containment,” and “These are the very same rules that WHO and government offices around the world are asking people to abide by.”
The Bee cited a July 27 ICNA press release tying the billboard campaign to “the problem of systemic racism within the society and to demonstrate Islam guidelines during pandemics.”
According to Pham, the “nonprofit grassroots organization” took action because of “recent instances of police brutality,” and ICNA is “also galvanizing projects spearheaded by Black Muslim leaders.” At the same time, Ijaz Arif told the Bee, “at ICNA, we are committed to the principles of equality and justice for all.”
ICNA followed a similar campaign in the wake of the January, 2015, Islamic jihadist attacks on the French Charlie Hebdo magazine. The attack claimed the lives of 17 journalists and security personnel in Paris. The ICNA responded with billboards, first appearing in Sacramento, California, reading: “Looking for the answers in life? Discover Muhammad.” As ICNA deputy general secretary Wazas Syed told Reuters, “We thought a proper approach would be to actually educate the larger public about his personality, which exemplifies love and brotherhood.”
An ICNA billboard in Miami proclaimed, “Muhammad believed in peace, social justice, women’s rights.” Bodia Wardany of Sacramento’s Salam Islamic Center told reporters the billboards addressed “all the misperceptions about the faith and the terrorist, fanatical groups misrepresenting the faith itself.”
As Joe Kaufman noted in 2016, “ICNA is the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding out and where he was eventually killed by US Navy SEALs. ICNA has been linked to terrorist financing and has promoted terrorist groups such as Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban.”
Izhar Khan, imam of Masjid Jamaat al Mumineen, attended a Florida ICNA event as a relief volunteer. In May of 2011, Khan was arrested on terrorism charges and spend 20 months in a federal detention center. As Kaufman also noted, ICNA relief secretary Abdul Rauf Khan, “has used his Facebook page to post videos dedicated to Nation of Islam leader and anti-Jewish fanatic Louis Farrakhan and Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Reuters report cited “the mainstream Islamic Circle of North America.” In similar style, the Sacramento Bee called ICNA a “grassroots” organization but provided no information on Jamaat-e-Islami. The organization was founded in 1941 by Abdul A’la Maududi, who urged followers in all countries to “change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to the rule and make laws from those who do not fear God.”
Hizbul Mujahedeen, a designated terrorist organization, is part of JI and so are Helping Hands for Relief and Development (HHRD) and ICNA. In a November 1, 2019 letter, congressmen Jim Banks, Randy Weber and Chuck Fleishman urged State Department counterterrorism coordinator Nathan sales to “further investigate the potential terror finance links between groups like ICNA and HHRD and U.S and UN Security Council designated terrorist groups like Kashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahedeen.”
The Sacramento Bee reported that ICBN is “galvanizing” projects by “Black Muslim leaders,” but provided no information on the projects, the leaders, or Black Muslims in general. Founded by Elijah Muhammed, the group is now known as the Nation of Islam and headed by Louis Farrakhan. Though seldom exposed by establishment media, information on the Nation of Islam is readily available.
In the Nation of Islam view, noted Stanley Crouch in a 1985 Village Voice piece, “the white man was a devil ‘grafted’ from black people in an evil genetic experiment by a mad, pumpkin-headed scientist named Yacub. That experiment took place 6,000 years ago. Now the white man was doomed, sentenced to destruction by Allah.” The Nation of Islam “proclaimed that the black man was the original man, the angel, and that since the first devils to roll off Yacub’s assembly line were the Jews, the idea of their being the chosen was a lot of baloney.”
The Quran says nothing about Yacub and his genetic experiments but that is no problem for the Islamic Circle of North America. The “mainstream” group is now promoting Islamic pandemic guidelines, dealing with systemic racism, and galvanizing projects of the Black Muslims.