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Latest Islamist Watch Articles

Turkey Stokes Unrest Over Jerusalem Recognition  The Daily Caller  February 14, 2018
Pakistani Islamism Flourishes in America  National Review  January 24, 2018
LIFE Goes on for Embattled Islamist Charity  The Daily Caller  January 23, 2018

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Nonviolent Islamism in the News

Film at Berlin fest examines how Islamic State jihadists recruit European brides  Reuters  February 18, 2018
Hungary's Orban steps up anti-migrant rhetoric as election nears  AFP  February 18, 2018
Italian Minister Calls for Extension of Imam Training Partnership with Fes' Al-Qarawiyyin University  Morocco World News  February 18, 2018
London's 'Modest' Fashion Show Celebrates Sharia-Compliant Clothing Weeks After Women Burn Hijabs in Iran  Breitbart  February 17, 2018
Islamic scholar facing rape charges hospitalised in France  AFP  February 17, 2018

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Blog

Interfaith Commercial Designed by Hate Group

by Sam Westrop  •  Wed, 7 Feb 2018, 7:06 PM

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The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is rather proud of its involvement with Toyota's recent Super Bowl commercial. Writing on Facebook, ICNA's Council for Social Justice team expresses its "appreciation for the opportunity to work with Toyota USA for their Super Bowl commercial entitled 'One Team' and provide consultation. ... CSJ was involved in the production of the commercial including script writing, scouting for locations, talent search, filming and editing."

The commercial features a rabbi, pastor, imam and a monk all attending a football together, ending with the line: "We're all on the same team." Nothing wrong with that.

But if you've read Islamist Watch's recent articles, you'll know that ICNA is not a champion of interfaith dialogue, but a hardline Islamist organization tied to terror abroad and deep-seated bigotries at home.

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Yemeni-American's Felony Precludes Him from Holding Public Office

by Samantha Rose Mandeles  •  Thu, 1 Feb 2018, 12:11 PM

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Last Monday, January 22, the Supreme Court of New York State rendered a judgement in the case of Mohamed Albanna, city councilman-elect and convicted felon. In a long-awaited decision, the court ruled that Albanna, who, in 2006, plead guilty to the federal crime of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, is thus "ineligible to assume the office of city councilman."

In 2002, the New York Times profiled Albanna, a prominent businessman in the Lackawanna, NY Yemeni-American community. He, along with two of his relatives, had just been arrested and indicted for illegally sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to Yemen. Albanna, incidentally, also served as vice president of the American Muslim Council of Western New York-- an Islamist organization whose president, Dr. Khalid Qazi, has a long history of "Islamic extremist activity, including raising money for an Al Qaeda charity and serving as a director of a Pakistani intelligence operation aimed at buying influence with American politicians."

Albanna's nephew, Jaber Elbaneh, was identified as "uncharged co-conspirator B" in another Buffalo-area case--that of the Lackawanna Six-- wherein six young men were charged with forming a terrorist cell. The Washington Post noted that Albanna had emerged as "one of the most visible community advocates for the young defendants. [He] described the suspects as family men who played soccer and were between jobs."

According to a 2006 article in The Buffalo News, U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Flynn said that, "In early 2002, Lackawanna Six member Yahya Goba used Albanna's hawala--an illegal, unlicensed money-transmitting company--to send money to Kamal Derwish, an alleged recruiter for the al-Qaida terrorist network, in Yemen."

"Authorities have never alleged that any of the money was used for terrorist purposes, but Flynn said that, because no proper records were kept, authorities have no way of knowing."

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The 31 Most Important Islamism Stories in January 2018

by Samantha Rose Mandeles  •  Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 2:58 PM

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For many years now Islamist Watch's senior research fellow David Rusin has maintained an archive of links and excerpts to stories relating to Islamism both at home and abroad. He usually adds 5-10 items each day and here are 31 of the most important picks from January that you won't want to miss:

1. BBC, January 31: Tariq Ramadan Arrested Over Rape Allegations

2. Investigative Project, January 30: Google Partners with Anti-Semitic Extremists

3. London Times, January 29: Cowardice Allows Muslim Extremism to Thrive

4. London Times, January 28: St. Stephen's Head Likened to Hitler After Hijab Ban

5. New York Post, January 27: Radical Imams Spew Anti-Semitism With Impunity

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CAIR Keeps Silent on Hate Speech

by Samantha Rose Mandeles  •  Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 12:02 PM

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In December 2017, Islamist Watch documented three different instances in which the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) ignored Islamist hate speech against other minorities.

Since then, we've continued to ask CAIR for comment on egregious instances of Islamist bigotry. CAIR often condemns hate speech when it's committed by the far-Right, but it appears silent when extremists within the Muslim community - which it claims to represent - express similar rhetoric.

So far, 2018 has already brought us four examples. On January 2, we contacted CAIR Texas to ask for comment on a Houston-based imam named Raed Saleh Al-Rousan, who had preached, "Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims will kill the Jews...This is the promise of Allah." Both CAIR-Texas executive director Mustafaa Carroll and communications director Ruth Nasrullah ignored our request.

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LIFE CEO Spews Jew-Hate

by Samantha Rose Mandeles  •  Tue, 30 Jan 2018, 6:00 PM

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Last week, on January 23, we published a piece about a Michigan-based Islamist charity named LIFE for Relief and Development. In our article, we detailed LIFE's involvement with overseas terrorist groups, and its staffers' history of organizational mismanagement.

Even beyond these incriminating factors, the simple bigotry of LIFE's leadership shows that the group is not worthy of its charitable status.

As we recently discovered, LIFE's current chief executive, Dr. Hany Saqr has long been in the habit of sharing wild, explicitly anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook page.

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And a FOURTH Foreign Imam Promotes Hatred—Cancel His Visa!

by Oren Litwin  •  Fri, 12 Jan 2018, 4:52 PM

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The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has yet again discovered an extremist imam who delivered an anti-Semitic sermon in Arabic, this time in Raleigh, NC. The imam, Syrian-born Abdullah Khadra, spoke on December 8, 2017—the same day as the violent sermon delivered by Aymen Elkasaby in New Jersey, and that of Raed Saleh Al-Rousan in Houston, which followed the Trump administration's acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Just as the others did, Khadra called upon Muslims to "contribute to regaining" control over Israel, saying, "The Prophet Muhammad gave us the glad tidings that at the End of Time, we will fight those Jews until the rocks and the trees will speak: Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me." Here, Khadra was referencing the infamous Hadith which continues, "...there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Along with the Davis, CA imam Ammar Shahin, who in July 2017 called on Muslims to kill Jews around the world, this brings the number of extremist imams revealed by MEMRI since 2017 to four.

Astoundingly, all four of these imams came to the United States using a student visa or a religious-worker (R-1) visa. Khadra first came to America on an R-1 visa in 2011. (In April 2017, he was reported to be applying for political asylum.) Elkasaby's employer applied for an R-1 visa for him in 2016.

Shahin came to the United States in 1999 on a student visa — initially to study computer science, but then remaining as a perennial student of Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Islamic Sciences. (He is currently a PhD student at the Islamic University of Minnesota, which is known for pervasive links to extremism.) Similarly, Al-Rousan came to the U.S. in 2007 from Jordan to pursue a masters degree at the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana, almost certainly using a student visa.

As the saying goes, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence... but four times? America has no need to import hatred from abroad, to infect our own communities. An easy first step is to simply enforce existing law. The Trump administration's "extreme vetting" program imposes no new requirements on visa applicants, merely providing the resources and bureaucratic mandate for screeners to apply the requirements that already are in place. Beyond that, visa holders who incite violence in this fashion should jeopardize their legal status in this country. Abuse our hospitality, and we have no reason to continue extending it.

All we need is the political will to enforce our own laws, and to protect the U.S. Muslim community from the virus of foreign hatreds.

 

Muslim Groups' Gathering in Atlanta Troubling

by David M. Swindle  •  Fri, 29 Dec 2017, 12:17 PM

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The 23rd annual ICNA-MAS Southeast Convention in Atlanta earlier this month featured a host of extremist speakers.

Letter to the Editor:

Last weekend, metro Atlanta was the site of a convention for two controversial Muslim groups, the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society.

ICNA began in 1971, as the American arm for Pakistani Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami, an organization linked to the Taliban.

MAS started in 1993 and federal prosecutors dubbed it "the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America."

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CAIR Condemns Anti-Semitism...Or Not

by Samantha Rose Mandeles  •  Wed, 20 Dec 2017, 2:53 PM

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On December 13 and 18, Islamist Watch contacted Afaf Nasher, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) New York branch to ask for comment on a video from the December 8 anti-Israel rally in Times Square. As multiple video clips show, protesters were caught screaming the popular Islamist chant, "Khaybar, Khaybar ya Yehud! Jaysh e Muhammad sa ya'ud!" ("Khaybar, Khaybar, O you Jews! The army of Muhammad is returning!")

The phrase refers to a battle fought by Muhammad and his army against a tribe of Arabian Jews, (in which the tribe was largely exterminated) and is now used to threaten modern Jews with a similar fate.

Chants led by staff members of CAIR's frequent event partnersAmerican Muslims for Palestine and Al Awda: Palestinian Right of Return Coalition—included hysterically screeched renditions of "With spirit and blood, we'll redeem Al Aqsa!" and "Intifada, Intifada, long live the Intifada!"

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A Surprising Statement from CAIR-New Jersey

by Oren Litwin  •  Wed, 13 Dec 2017, 6:09 PM

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On Friday, Dec. 8th, a New Jersey imam gave a hate-filled sermon in which he called for the Jews to be killed "down to the very last one," as we wrote about previously. Today, asked to comment on the episode, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) New Jersey director Jim Sues released a gratifying statement in response.

Here is Mr. Sues's statement to Islamist Watch: "CAIR has a long history of challenging anti-Semitism in all its forms. We believe that statements expressed in this sermon are inappropriate and should be condemned."

We applaud Mr. Sues for his willingness to confront anti-Semitism—a willingness which is especially noteworthy because other CAIR branches and CAIR's national office have often turned a blind eye to anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred as well. For example, extremist cleric Siraj Wahhaj is often tapped to headline CAIR events—including a banquet held by CAIR-San Francisco just a few weeks ago—despite his longstanding bigotry and support for actual violence.

Indeed, on this very topic of the New Jersey sermon, media figures have reached out to CAIR-National communications director Ibrahim Hooper for a statement, and to date have been ignored. (We will update this post if they do get a response.)

We hope that the courage shown by Jim Sues will soon become the norm among CAIR chapters, and perhaps, in time, CAIR National itself.

 

Montel Williams Abandons CAIR for Blasting NYPD after Terror Attack

by David M. Swindle  •  Tue, 12 Dec 2017, 5:35 PM

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It's hard to tell which is more stunning, the statement itself or the fact that the New York branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chose to act as messenger and megaphone.

ABC-7 New York reported today that the family of 27-year-old Akayed Ullah – arrested on Monday after a bomb attached to him exploded in an underground corridor near Times Square -- issued the following statement, read by CAIR-NY legal director Albert Fox Cahn:

We are heartbroken by the violence that was targeted at our city today, and by the allegations being made against a member of our family. But we are also outraged by the behavior of law enforcement officials who have held children as small as four years old out in the cold and who held a teenager out of high school classes to interrogate him without a lawyer, without his parents. These are not the sorts of actions that we expect from our justice system, and we have every confidence that our justice system will find the truth behind this attack and that we will, in the end, be able to learn what occurred today. Thank you for your time.

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ISLAMIST WATCH, a project of the Middle East Forum, combats the ideas and institutions of lawful Islamism in the United States and throughout the West. Arguing that "radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution," we seek to expose the Islamist organizations that currently dominate the debate, while identifying and promoting the work of moderate Muslims. Islamist Watch specifically does not deal with counterterrorism but works to establish that lawful Islamism is by and of itself a threat.

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