Written by Ryan Mauro
An interfaith dinner was held on July 27 at the Islamic Society of Frederick in Maryland, featuring local officials and Christian clergy. One of the speakers, a former leader of the “moderate” Islamic Circle of North America, explained its purpose: “Discrimination is part of the American way,” he explained, and “The only way to control that is to make alliances.”
The Islamic Circle of North America’s parent group is a Pakistani Islamist party named Jamaat-e-Islami. A Bangladeshi court just barred Jamaat-e-Islami from elections because of its opposition to the country’s secular governance. One of the former Secretary-Generals of ICNA, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, is on trial in absentia in Bangladesh for alleged war crimes he committed as a member of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing. The Investigative Project on Terrorism discovered that Khan remains on the board of ICNA’s New York chapter.
ICNA is mentioned repeatedly in a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memorandum. The author refers to meetings between Muslim Brotherhood and ICNA officials about a planned “merger” and the New York-based group is listed as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.”
The memo’s stated objective of waging a “kind of grand jihad…in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” is often mentioned in articles about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, but less mentioned are the methods to achieve that.
The memo states the “sabotaging” of Western civilization will happen “by their [non-Muslim] hands and the hands of the believers [Muslims].” The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood apparatus that ICNA belongs to is told to “possess a mastery of the art of ‘coalitions,’ the art of ‘absorption’ and the principles of ‘cooperation.’” You can almost hear the sarcasm in the author’s voice as he puts quotation marks around those friendly terms.
The President of ICNA, Zahid Bukhari, spoke at the event. He’s a known fan of former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, who he praises as having been a “visionary and brilliant leader of Turkey’s Islamist movement.”
Bukhari told the audience, “Discrimination is a part of the American way.” It is implied that the U.S. is inherently racist and oppressive towards minorities, with Muslims being only the latest victims. He explained, “The only way to control that is to make alliances.”
To put it another way using the secret text of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, the answer lies in “possess[ing] a mastery of the art of ‘coalitions,’ the art of ‘absorption’ and the principles of cooperation.’”
True, 1991 was over 20 years ago, but the Islamist ideology does not naturally decrease with age. Case in point: ICNA’s official Member’s Hand Book of 2010 for its Sisters’ Wing. It lays out a five-tiered strategy to assemble “the united Muslim Ummah [community] in a united Islamic state, governed by an elected khalifah in accordance with the laws of shari’ah.”
The handbook also states that ICNA is part of an international “Islamic Movement” that is an “organized and collective effort waged to establish Al-Islam in its complete form in all aspects of life.” The term “Islamic Movement” is used by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood to describe its campaign in its 1991 memo.
ICNA’s annual conferences are jointly held with the Muslim American Society, described by federal prosecutors in 2008 as “the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” This is confirmed by a convicted terrorist and former senior member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. These conferences are stocked with Islamist speakers who subtlety push the Islamist doctrine of “gradualism.”
In 2002, one speaker at ICNA’s convention said, “We may all feel emotionally attached to the goal of an Islamic state [in America]” but “We mustn’t cross hurdles we can’t jump yet.”
In 2011, radical Imam Siraj Wahhaj advised ICNA’s audience: “The trap we fall into is having a premature discussion about Sharia when we are not there yet,” as reported by the Clarion Project.
ICNA held its convention this year over Memorial Day Weekend. Imam Zaid Shakir’s message to 32,000 Muslims, while you honored the fallen U.S. servicemen, was that Sharia Law is superior to the U.S. Constitution because it isn’t based on equal citizenship for Muslims and non-Muslims. He actually said, “If Islam is the basis, the kafir won’t be equal with the Muslim. The Christian or the Jew will be a dhimmi. They won’t be equal with the Muslim.”
Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, other local officials and Catholic, Evangelical and Episcopal clergy were all in attendance. The messages they heard weren’t the ones in ICNA’s literature and events. It was tailored for the audience. After all, who can oppose a joint fight against discrimination?
In its latest fundraising letter, ICNA’s President says funds are needed to “counter the seeds of hate and bigotry being sown around us.” It urges prayers for “all those facing Islamophobia around the world.” The theme of Muslims under siege works because it automatically sets up ICNA as the victim and its critics as aggressors.
This rhetorical setup is used against ICNA’s foreign adversaries, as well as its domestic. Even though the Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown in Egypt at the request of millions of Egyptian Muslims, ICNA is outraged. It is trying to mobilize the Muslim-American community into pressuring the U.S. government to have the Brotherhood reinstated into power.
As ICNA admits, it is part of an international Islamist movement. Its interfaith partners need to recognize it as such.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
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