Last month, Keith Ellison’s name disappeared from a list of speakers at one of the largest conferences in the Muslim calendar. The annual event, which took place in Baltimore from April 14-16, was organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).
April’s conference was no different. Speakers included Siraj Wahhaj, an imam who addresses Muslim events across the country every week, and is a former advisory board member of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Wahhaj has preached:
“I don’t believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society. … you know what the punishment is, if a man is found with another man? The Prophet Mohammad said the one who does it and the one to whom it is done to, kill them both.”
Elsewhere, Wahhaj cites the death penalty for adultery, advocates chopping off the hands of thieves, and tells Muslims:
“Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you. Don’t you know our children are surrounded by kafirs [disbelievers]. I’m telling you, making the hearts of our children corrupt, dirty, foul.”
Other listed speakers included Abdul Nasir Jangda, who advocates sex-slavery and gives husbands permission to rape their wives; Suleiman Hani, who claims that “Freedom of speech is a facade” used to stifle “objective discussion” of the “Holocaust and Jews”; Mohammad Elshinawy, who claims that women who fail to wear the hijab will contract breast cancer; and Yasir Qadhi, whose violent homophobia was recently the subject of an investigative report by The Times.
Such extremism is not confined to the speakers. The organizing bodies, MAS and ICNA, are not ordinary Muslim organizations, but Islamist groups with long-standing ties to extremism at home and abroad. Senior MAS-ICNA official Ahmed Taha, the organizer of the December conference, is a strident anti-Semite. He published a text on social media that states, “O Muslim, O servant of God. There is a Jew behind me, come kill him.”
MAS was founded in 1993 by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, while ICNA has identified itself as an American front for Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), a South Asian Islamist group that Bangladeshi officials have linked to terrorism. One of the other listed speakers at the ICNA-MAS conference was, in fact, Yusuf Islahi, a member of the Central Advisory Council of the Indian branch of Jamaat-e-Islami. According to the academic Irfan Ahmad, Islahi claims that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks, as part of a conspiracy to defame Islam.
Non-Muslims either do not know any better, or else are seeking votes. Neither reason helps anyone but the extremists. Politicians and journalists — by speaking at Islamist conferences, or treating the Muslim community as a homogenous bloc represented by self-appointed groups such as MAS or ICNA — actually serve to legitimize extremist Islamist leadership.
Read it all.
Samuel Westrop who authored the piece at the Middle East Forum thinks MAS-ICNA is the most extreme. We’re not so sure and it doesn’t seem to differ from other Muslim conferences in the U.S.
CAIR and ISNA, both Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. hold Islamic conferences. Hizb ut Tahrir holds events in the U.S. They all have the same goal – sharia. Many of the same notorious Muslims speak at these conferences. They are all on par with ICNA and MAS if not worse.
In fact, both CAIR and MAS are designated terrorist groups by the UAE.
Furthermore, are the conferences any different than the thousands of mosques in the U.S.?