by John Rossomando
A number of U.S.-based Muslim group leaders who vehemently reject evidence connecting them to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in public made a point of publicly mourning the group’s former spiritual guide, who died in prison Friday.
Mohamed Akef was praised as the “Sheikh of the Mujahidin” and received prayers that Allah place him “in the higher paradise with the prophets, the pious, and the martyrs.”
“What kind of tyrannical regime would imprison a sick 90 years old man?” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote Saturday after Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Akef’s death. “Who resisted the colonizer, and raised generations on righteousness and the love of their country? #Mahdi_Akef, consider not Allah to be oblivious.” His Twitter post was in Arabic, so many of Awad’s U.S. followers may not have appreciated its significance.
Esam Omeish, a past Muslim American Society president who serves on the board of Northern Virginia’s Dar Al-Hijrah mosque, along with a fellow board member, are among the religious leaders and political activists who publicly eulogized the Brotherhood’s leader.
Akef led the Muslim Brotherhood from 2004-2010. During his tenure, all members had to swear a religious oath of allegiance to him known as bayah. As supreme guide, his word was absolute for members. He signed a 2004 fatwa written by Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi which said Muslims had “an obligation … to kill American citizens in Iraq, since they are in Iraq in order to assist the soldiers and the occupation forces; it is forbidden however to desecrate their corpses.” Bombings against American soldiers in Iraq and against Israelis in the Palestinian territories were “religious obligation[s],” Akef said months before signing that fatwa during an interview with Egypt’s Al-Arabi newspaper that was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Akef was just 12 years old when he joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1940. He worked closely with founder Hasan Al-Banna and spent more than 20 years in Egyptian prisons. Akef joined the Muslim Brotherhood’s “secret apparatus” that was involved in bombings and assassinations in the late 1940s.
Akef helped inspire the foundation of the Muslim American Society (MAS) during his trips to the U.S. in the early 1990s, a 2004 Chicago Tribune article said.
Brotherhood members founded MAS and continued to be inspired by Brotherhood ideology, Shaker Elsayed, imam of the Falls Church, Va. based Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, told the Tribune.
Omeish, one of Dar Al-Hijrah board members responsible for Elsayed’s continued employment, prayed that Akef be placed “in the higher paradise with the prophets, the pious, and the martyrs, whose company is exalted. The best of people is he who lives longer and perfected his deeds. I remember this giant man, I remembered his smile and the warmth of his faith, as a pious guide, a compassionate father, a decisive leader, and an ascetic laborer.”
Omeish acknowledged his past Brotherhood membership during a 2011 talk at American University, calling it a “wonderful experience.” He also lavished praise on the Muslim Brotherhood last December in another Facebook post.
Much more, read it all. These same Muslim Brotherhood groups are placing Muslims in elections across the U.S.A.