The main plaintiff in the Hawaii case blocking President Trump’s revised temporary travel ban is an imam with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The irony is hard to miss: Trump has talked about declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and now it is a Brotherhood-backed imam who is playing a key role in blocking his executive order on immigration.
Imam Ismail Elshikh, 39, leads the largest mosque in Hawaii and claims he is suffering “irreparable harm” from the president’s executive order, which places a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from six countries.
One of those six countries is Syria. Elshikh’s mother in law is Syrian and would not be able to visit her family in Hawaii for 90 days if Trump’s ban were allowed to go into effect.
Hawaii’s Obama-appointed federal judge, Derrick Watson, made sure the ban did not go into effect, striking it down Wednesday while buying Hawaii’s claim that it amounts to a “Muslim ban.” The state’s attorney general, along with co-plaintiff Elshikh, claims the ban would irreparably harm the state’s tourism industry and its Muslim families.
Elshikh was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, the home base of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is to spread Shariah law throughout the world.
Elshikh is living in the U.S. on a green card, which gives him permanent legal status.
The proof that his mosque is affiliated with the Brotherhood is found in the court records for Honolulu County, which lists the deed holder as the North American Islamic Trust.
John Guandolo, a former FBI counter-terrorism specialist and now private consultant to law enforcement at Understanding the Threat, said all mosques under the “Muslim Association of” moniker are typically affiliated with the Brotherhood.
But the clincher in this case is that the mosque property is traced to NAIT, “confirming it is a Muslim Brotherhood organization,” Guandolo told WND in an email.
A bill in Congress, the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015-16, has been languishing in committee since November 2015. House Speaker Paul Ryan has not advanced the bill or done anything to promote it.
But instead of banning the Brotherhood, the U.S. is letting a Brotherhood-backed imam dictate U.S. refugee and visa policy, Guandolo said.
Judge Watson, who was a Harvard law classmate of Barack Obama’s, issued an injunction halting Trump’s executive order from going into effect, agreeing with Hawaii’s claim that the temporary ban, 90 days on visa travelers and 120 days for refugees, would irreparably harm the state’s tourism industry and its Muslim families.
As for refugees, Hawaii takes very few. Of the 49 states participating in the federal refugee resettlement program, only Mississippi has taken in fewer refugees than Hawaii since 2002. Only 127 refugees have been sent to Hawaii since 2002, and nearly zero have been Muslims from the six nations on Trump’s list.
Read it all. More via The radical ties of the Imam behind the Trump immigration lawsuit
According to the Muslim Association of Hawaii website, Imam Elshikh is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), a fringe Islamic organization that has a board and current leadership stacked with radical Islamic connections.
Kyle Shideler, a terrorism expert and director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, tells CR that it’s concerning that Imam Elshikh is a part of NAIF.
“Given NAIF’s history it should come as no surprise that the end goal of this lawsuit is, ultimately, weakening American counter-terrorism or immigration security efforts,” Shideler said.
He added: “That a member of an organization whose leaders have included a convicted war criminal, an individual who defended donating money to a Hamas linked charity, and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism bombing wants to tell the American people who they can admit for immigration should say a lot about why such an executive order is needed in the first place.”
Steven Emerson, the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, also voiced his concerns about Elshikh’s associations. He tells CR:
“NAIF is an extremely radical Islamist group whose leaders and members have defended some of the most violent terrorist groups in the world. Some members have been found to be actually linked to acts of Islamist terrorism. This is a group, some prosecutors have argued, whose incitement for violence could qualify their categorization as a providing material support for terrorism.”
Current NAIF board members include the former leader of an al-Qaeda-connected mosque and a radical preacher. Former leaders include a man convicted of leading an international death squad, and a prominent Islamist preacher who has praised Osama bin Laden.
Another former NAIF board member is Siraj Wahhaj, who was infamously listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Wahhaj testified in defense of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who served a life sentence for being the mastermind behind terrorist plots in the United States.
More at the link above and an update from a reader who found that Elshikh was sent to the U.S. by the Egyptian government:
The young scholar was recruited to be imam at the Muslim Unity Center in Detroit in 2000 after being sent for three years by the Egyptian government to lead Ramadan observances in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Michigan.
Familiarity with American life was another attribute local Muslims sought in a spiritual leader for a diverse community that includes immigrants from many countries as well as American-born converts, students and military members, blue-collar workers and professionals.
“Our culture is Islam, not a home country,” said the imam.
And it doesn’t end with the imam, via: Hawaii Hires Al Qaeda’s Best Lawyer to Lead Suit Against Trump
The lead attorney for the latest legal challenge to President Trump’s executive order implementing a 90-day suspension on visa issuance to U.S.-bound travelers from six countries where terrorism remains a heightened concern, also volunteered to serve as legal counsel for Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, Samir Hamdan on a pro-bono basis.
Neal Katyal sued the U.S. government in 2006 on behalf of Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard, Samir Hamdan in the landmark legal case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. In his arguments however, Katyal made several questionable arguments, including equating the criminal justice rights of legal U.S. green card holders to captured foreign al Qaeda terrorists under the military commission system at the time.