Several local North Carolina news outlets are quoting Khalilah Sabra, director of the Raleigh chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS), regarding the arrests of homegrown Islamic terrorists in that state. What do those news outlets, like My NC and News & Observer know about the Boyd’s spokeswoman and MAS?
Daniel (aka “Saifullah” or “Sword of God”) Boyd, his two sons, and four others were arrested and charged with planning violent jihad. When Sabra was asked by The News & Observer about the arrests of the North Carolina jihad suspects, she responded:
“It’s an illusion. Either the defendants have created an illusion, or the agents have created an illusion, but the reality has yet to be seen.”
My NC reported Sabra defending Boyd against any jihad charges:
Boyd asked Khalilah Sabra of the Muslim American Society to read the statement issued earlier Tuesday. Boyd’s two sons Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya Boyd, 20, are also named in the federal indictment.
“He was there fighting against the Soviets with the full backing of the United States government,” Sabra said. “She does not want Afghanistan to be used to connect him with any kind of terrorism.”
“I think he thought it was part of his patriotic duty as a Muslim and an American to go there and fight.”
Do readers and news outlets know that Khalilah Sabra, like Boyd – a convert to Islam, also lived and trained in Pakistan like Boyd and therefore is defending herself when defending Boyd’s mujahid experience?
Do they know she was recruited to Pakistan by the so-called “godfather of jihad” and “one time mentor to Osama bin Laden” who was in the United States recruiting mujahid?
Do they know Khalilah Sabra was one of the people Osama bin Laden’s mentor did recruit to Pakistan?
Does anyone in the media care? Does the FBI care? Do any of our elected politicians care?
One politician – Larry Shaw, a North Carolina state senator – apparently had no concerns about Sabra’s recruitment by the “godfather of jihad”. Shaw actively mentored Sabra despite the fact that she was recruited by bin Laden’s mentor and know one really knows what she did in Pakistan or who she interacted with.
Sabra arrived back in the United States from Pakistan a week before 9/11, received mentoring from Larry Shaw – who is also now the chairman of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) – an unindicted co-conspirator to a Hamas funding case – and then became director of the Muslim American Society’s Raleigh chapter.
Sabra’s activism can be traced to her childhood in Los Angeles as the daughter of a white Navy officer and a black woman. Her birth name was Christina Couzin, and even as a teenager, she was drawn to revolutionary ideas.
In high school, she invited a communist to speak to her Roman Catholic high school class. After graduating, she met a group of Muslims at the local mall. One month later — and much to her late parents’ chagrin — Christina converted to Islam and became Khalilah.
She soon met Muslims from Sudan, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East at a mosque near UCLA, and her eyes were opened to the cultural and historical circumstances of Muslims around the world. In 1988, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, the godfather of jihad and onetime mentor to Osama bin Laden, spoke at her mosque.
Azzam came to the United States to recruit fighters and humanitarian volunteers to help the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet invaders. A charismatic leader, he was at the time supported by the U.S. government. Sabra was impressed and eventually agreed to go with him to Afghanistan.
For about a year, she lived in Peshawar, Pakistan, and made regular trips to nearby Afghan refugee camps delivering food and medicine. In 1989, Azzam was assassinated and Sabra returned to the United States. But her days of international travel were far from over.
In Los Angeles, she married Jihad Sabra, a Lebanese man and a U.S. citizen, and the couple moved to Lebanon, where Sabra saw firsthand the consequences of the Israeli and Syrian occupations of that country. It was after a funeral for a child killed by Israeli bombs when it first occurred to Sabra that she might effect change in the Middle East by lobbying her own government to change its policies toward Israel.
“As an American my voice might be heard louder than the Lebanese who suffers,” she said.
Sabra, her husband and five children arrived in Raleigh one week before the events of 9/11 when Jihad Sabra was reassigned to Cisco’s Research Triangle office.
Her political views, she acknowledges, have evolved. She used to support armed resistance to aggression, and now believes in dialogue and peaceful resistance.
That information is directly from a News & Observer piece we covered in 2008. Oddly enough, at some point after we here at Creeping Sharia wrote about it, and both the author of the piece and Sabra herself left comments on our blog, both the News & Observer and the Shaw University Mosque websites revised their stories with shorter versions of the story on their respective websites.
All discussion of Khalilah Sabra being recruited by Azzam and admitting her support of armed resistance were removed and remain absent in republications of the story that remain online. However, we have copies of the original from multiple sources and you can see the full version of the story here or in PDF format here. Expect those to disappear soon too as Sabra and Shaw climb their respective political ladders.
What Sabra learned from her recruiter Abdullah Yusuf Azzam is unclear, yet what ‘Azzam espoused is quite clear:
‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Azzam (1941-89), a Palestinian who fled to Jordan after the Six-Day war, adopted many elements of both Ibn Taymiya, an early fourteenth century Islamic scholar who laid the philosophical groundwork for the Islamic fundamentalism adopted by Saudi Arabia centuries later, and [Sayyid] Qutb to promote the belief in an inevitable clash of civilizations. He emphasized the necessity of violent revolution through jihad against both secular governments in majority Muslim states and against the West. He is credited with being the first Sunni Islamic figure to instill the Islamic community with a divine myth of invincibility of jihad and terrorism.
‘Azzam was a major intellectual influence upon Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.
Could that be where Sabra got the notion that it was Boyd’s patriotic duty as a Muslim to wage jihad in Afghanistan where she also aided the mujahideen? Again from Middle East Forum on the intellectual origins of al Qaeda:
Rather, they are a synthesis of two interlinked and equally important sources of influence: first, the teachings of ‘Abdallah ‘Azzam, the leader of the Afghan mujahideen during the 1980s; and second, the Saudi opposition movement which arose in the early 1990s and sought to Islamize Saudi society in response to a perceived Western “cultural attack” on the Muslim world.
There, many Saudis—including Osama bin Laden—became followers of ‘Abdallah ‘Azzam. A Palestinian who fled to Jordan after the Six-Day war, ‘Azzam joined the Muslim Brotherhood and obtained a doctorate in Islamic law from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University in 1973 before settling down to teach Islamic law at the University of Jordan. He was fired for involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood and moved to Saudi Arabia where, in 1981, he joined the faculty of King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz University in Jeddah. He did not stay long and traveled to Islamabad and then to the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier to organize the anti-Soviet jihad. Bin Laden became ‘Azzam’s close ally, assisting him with finance and logistics.
‘Azzam argued that it was the personal obligation (fard al-‘ayn) of every Muslim to defend Islamic lands against the penetration of the infidels. This duty was no different than the responsibility to fast or pray. A son neither would need his father’s approval nor a wife her husband’s approval to fulfill it. Primary responsibility for the fight against occupation of the infidels rested upon the victimized residents but, if they did not possess force enough to resist, every Muslim should join them in battle. Waging war against Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and Israel were the highest priorities because these two states represented beachheads from which the infidels would expand. However, ‘Azzam argued Afghanistan was more urgent because the battles at the time were at their peak and because in Afghanistan the resistance was purely Muslim; there were no Christian populations, as there are on the West Bank.
Several Saudi ulema endorsed ‘Azzam’s ideas. He also claimed to have the endorsement of Sheikh ‘Abd al-Aziz bin Baz, head of the Council for Senior Ulema, the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, though he offered no proof for this claim. However, he went beyond the concerns articulated by the Saudi ulema: he made the struggle an individual one, giving up on the idea that Muslim states are able to defend Muslim soil. He also shifted the struggle from the sociocultural to military dimension. While his colleagues in Saudi Arabia preached about the dangers of Western penetration into the Muslim world, ‘Azzam transformed his ideas into a successful armed struggle for which he eventually sacrificed his life, dying with two of his sons in a November 1989 explosion in Peshawar, apparently the work of Soviet agents. It was this legacy of an active, armed, and nongovernmental struggle against Western penetration that he bequeathed to bin Laden when the war in Afghanistan ended in a Soviet defeat.
Clearly, Sabra’s recruiter was a monumental figure in the Islamic jihadi ideology that prevails today. While she may absolve herself by stating, “She used to support armed resistance to aggression, and now believes in dialogue and peaceful resistance,” her defense aligns perfectly with the Muslim Brotherhood’s directive to its American entities:
The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers [Muslims] so that it is eliminated and God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and we have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet.
A mission as significant and huge as the settlement mission needs magnificent and exhausting efforts. As for the role of the Ikhwan, it is the initiative, pioneering, leadership, raising the banner and pushing people in that direction [Jihad]. They are then able to employ, direct, and unify Muslims’ efforts and powers for this process. In order to do that, we must possess a mastery of the art of “coalitions”, the art of “absorption” and the principles of “cooperation”.
Sabra’s employer, MAS, was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood. Shaker Elsayed, a top MAS official admitted to the Chicago Tribune:
“Ikhwan [Brotherhood] members founded MAS, but MAS went way beyond that point of conception,” he says.
But to be an “active” member–the highest membership class–one must complete five years of Muslim community service and education, which includes studying writings by Brotherhood ideologues al-Banna and Qutb.
There are about 1,500 active members, including many women. Elsayed says about 45 percent of those members belong to the Brotherhood.
MAS’ precise connection to the Brotherhood is a sensitive issue, says Mohamed Habib, a high-ranking Brotherhood official in Cairo.
“I don’t want to say MAS is an Ikhwan entity,” he says. “This causes some security inconveniences for them in a post-Sept. 11 world.”
The Qutb again mentioned is Sayyid Qutb, former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and proponent of offensive jihad. Qutb helped form the ideologies of Khalilah Sabra’s recruiter ‘Azzam, and both Qutb and ‘Azzam are credited with forming the ideological basis for terrorist group al Qaeda. We can presume being a director at MAS is one of the highest membership classes and hence Sabra must have studied Qutb to achieve a leadership position with the Brotherhood-founded MAS.
Are Americans supposed to believe that homegrown jihadists are an “illusion” when the woman making the claim was recruited by one of the founders of al Qaeda? A woman who rather than work with DHS, challenges them; who rather than fight against jihad actually aided mujahideen in Afghanistan and is now reading statements on behalf of accused jihadists?
Are Americans supposed to be comforted by an American woman who converted to Islam, was recruited by bin Laden’s mentor – the “godfather of jihad” and member of the Muslim Brotherhood? Are we to believe her claims to have changed her views on armed resistance when she defends a suspected jihadist whom she believes was being patriotic in waging jihad? Not to mention her receiving tutelage from a Democratic state senator who is now the chairman of a group which both Democrat and Republican members of Congress, and the FBI, have recommended not having any involvement with over connections to terror group Hamas.
*”Yes, politics – like war – is a deception.”
* Transcript of audio recording from Hamas-funding Holy Land Foundation founder Shukri Abu Bakr during same trial that evidenced the Muslim Brotherhood memo referenced above.
The Jawa Report also details another oddity related to the North Carolina jihad case:
…the Islamic Center of Raleigh has a peculiar way of demonstrating its’ “moderation”. In response to the arrests, a report published yesterday indicates that the center brought in a virulent racist and anti-Semite, Abdul Malik Ali, from Oakland, California to address the congregation during Friday prayers last week
In recent years, Ali has been caught making statements targeting Jews, justifying suicide bombings as Islamic martyrdom, and saying that Islamic terrorists are really freedom fighters (seven months after the 9/11 attacks no less). And in 2006, Ali gave a speech at UC-Irvine where he was videotaped standing at a podium emblazoned with a sign stating “Israel, the 4th Reich”. His DiscoverTheNetworks profile provides us with some of his greatest hits…
“In America, you’re mostly fighting with your tongue, but you should also learn how to fight with the sword.”
So any statements from anyone representing the Islamic Center of Raleigh claiming their organization is “moderate” might warrant a fair degree of skepticism. [read the entire Jawa Report post for details and links]