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Latest Islamist Watch Articles

Keith Ellison Withdraws AGAIN from Gathering of Extreme Islamists  Gatestone Institute  May 18, 2017
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah Should Pull Out of Toronto Islamist event  National Post  May 9, 2017
Do Not Be Fooled by These "Moderates" in Florida  Gatestone Institute  May 2, 2017

More Islamist Watch Articles...

Nonviolent Islamism in the News

UKIP's Paul Nuttall suggests internment for terror suspects  BBC News  May 29, 2017
Manchester Bomber's Mosque Comes Under Scrutiny  Voice of America  May 29, 2017
Sayeeda Warsi: UK policy on radicalisation 'has been flawed for years'  Guardian  May 29, 2017
Controversial Swiss mosque to shut down after Ramadan  Swiss Info  May 28, 2017
Trump travel ban on shaky ground  The Hill  May 28, 2017

More Islamism in the News...


Helping Hand for Relief and Development Hosts Anti-Jewish and Pro-Terror Preachers (Again)

by Sam Westrop  •  Sat, 20 May 2017, 5:37 PM

Islamist Watch has recently written a lot about charities that operate as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood. But all sorts of Islamist movements run charitable organizations, not just the Brotherhood. A closer look at all these different Islamist charities shows that the humanitarian facade is a thin one. Take Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD), a prominent Islamic charity regularly praised by both the government and media.

HHRD is closely aligned with Jamaat-e-Islami, a South Asian Islamist group complicit in acts of mass-murder during Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War. In 2006, Helping Hand gave money to "the Al-Khidmat Foundation, a Pakistani charity which gave a 6 million rupee check to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in 2006." Al Khidmat, Pakistani media reports, is the charitable wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.

HHRD appears to serve as a sister organization of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), which has publicly identified itself as a Jamaat-e-Islami organization.

And importantly, as with all Islamist charities, it frequently hosts extremist clerics at its fundraising events – perhaps the most obvious indication of its Islamist agenda.

On June 1, HHRD is hosting an "Iftar Dinner" at the Holiday Inn in Somerset, NJ. Two of the three listed speakers are of particular concern.

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Who is Nouman Ali Khan?

by Charlie Hastings  •  Wed, 3 May 2017, 3:33 PM

Nouman Ali Khan is a prominent Muslim cleric, and founder of Bayyinah, a religious training organization based in Texas, which he established with the help of Abdul Nasir Jangda, a prominent Deobandi cleric. On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Khan enjoys hundreds of thousands of social media followers. And in 2013, he was named as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.

Although Nouman Ali Khan has been portrayed as a moderate, open-minded Muslim, a look through some of his sermons reveal extremist rhetoric. The following sections highlight Khan's hatred of homosexuality, his justification of sex slavery and domestic violence against women, and his support for whipping prostitutes, pornographic actors and adulterers.

On top of this violent rhetoric, Khan has documented ties with notorious extremists such as the Indian televangelist, Zakir Naik, who has been banned from entering Canada and the U.K., as well as the infamous anti-gay cleric, Ismail Menk.

Permitting Physical Abuse of Women

Khan claims that physical abuse of women is acceptable if she is committing adultery and fails to show subservience to God. Khan adds that anyone who disagrees with the Quranic instruction that ostensibly permits this violence, is committing a "crime" against Islam:

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The 40 Most Important Islamism Stories From April 2017

by David M. Swindle  •  Tue, 2 May 2017, 6:33 PM

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 32 of the most important picks from April that you won't want to miss:

1. The London Times, April 1: Extremists to be held separately in prison

2. Gatestone Institute, April 2: The Muslim Brotherhood Swoops into Sweden

3. London Times, April 2: Top Met officer urges fellow Muslims to join battle against 'silent killer' of extremism

4. ABC Australia, April 3: Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancels speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand amid security concerns

5. Fox News, April 3: Muslim-American leaders support Australian imam's rejection of radical Islam

6. New York Post, April 3: Linda Sarsour: NYC's queen of hate

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Worst of the ICNA-MAS Conference 2017

by Sam Westrop  •  Tue, 18 Apr 2017, 2:46 PM

On April 14th, a three-day conference organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) opened in Baltimore. DNC deputy-chairman Keith Ellison was due to address the convention, but his name was withdrawn from the list of speakers just a few days before the conference started.

As one of the largest events in the American Muslim calendar, the listed speakers at the ICNA-MAS conference disappointingly included a large number of extremist clerics. Here, we detail some of the worst and provide a collection of their most extreme sermons.

Every day, Islamism occupies headlines news. And yet while these conventions receive positive coverage in the media, journalists fail to investigate the Islamist rhetoric of the clerics invited to address thousands of American Muslims from the conference stage. These preachers advocate hate, and play a key role in the growing problem of radicalization within the American Muslim community. Islamist Watch will continue to record extremist clerics and their sermons, and publish our findings as a resource for our anti-Islamist allies, the public, and even journalists -- for the day when the media eventually decides to start investigating the ideas and rhetoric that underpin the growing threat of terror and extremism.

Siraj Wahhaj

The US Attorney for New York previously named Siraj Wahhaj one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing. During the trial of Omar Abdel Rahman, whose group was responsible for the attack, Wahhaj served as a character witness, describing Rahman as a "respected scholar" and "bold, as a strong, preacher of Islam."

Sermons uncovered by the Middle East Forum reveal that Wahhaj has a long history of inciting violence and hatred against minorities:


"The prophet cursed, la'ana, cursed the feminine man and the masculine woman. Cursed. The feminine man and the masculine woman. ... I don't believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society ... I want you to be able to defend against these homosexuals."


"And you know, brothers and sisters, 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. Now let me stop there and say this. I don't want us to go get sticks and start running outside looking for homosexuals. Don't do that. No. We don't condone that, no, no, it's not right. Even if they were outside, brothers and sisters, open homosexuals, you don't beat them up. You don't have that right. Let's go to them and invite them to Islam and make them feel uncomfortable, but don't beat them up."

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Boston Islamic Seminary to Host Hate Preacher Siraj Wahhaj for Ramadan Fundraiser

by David M. Swindle  •  Tue, 18 Apr 2017, 9:24 AM

On June 10, the Boston Islamic Seminary (BIS) will feature a program titled "Unlocking Your Potential With Suzy Ismail and Imam Siraj Wahhaj" at $35 a ticket. Who are these speakers and what does their presence reveal about this new Seminary?

Wahhaj's name is very familiar to observers of the Islamist lecture circuit. For decades Wahhaj has been a regular speaker at events put on by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). His long record of anti-gay, misogynist, anti-Western, and racist remarks are available for any to hear.

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With Friends Like These...

by Sam Westrop  •  Mon, 17 Apr 2017, 1:20 PM

On April 15, the Green Party published a briefing paper titled "Islamophobia: Another Social Construction of Racism." Across the Western world, Green parties have a long-established history of downplaying the threat of Islamism, and even working with extremists. This briefing paper is no exception.

You can read the 13 page document here. The authors get off to a bad start when they define Islamophobia as "a contrived fear or prejudice" directed at a "perceived or real Muslim threat" [our emphasis].

The paper takes a brief glance at actual anti-Muslim violence – which Islamist Watch and the Middle East Forum agree is extremely worrying – but it then quickly moves onto the problem of "attacking the Muslim faith." In the Green Party, blasphemy, it seems, is a sin.

In denying the existence of Islamism, and the threat it poses, the authors, without irony, warn the readers about the dangers of "theocratic Christian organizations." Similarly, a later section extolls "feminist" tenets of Islam, but claims that Christians work "to preserve patriarchal culture and control."

In America, the paper continues, the "struggle for equality and gender justice" is no different than the challenges faced by "women in Muslim-majority nations." Forced to cover their faces, banned from driving, or locked in a burning building because they were uncovered – Muslim women under Salafist rule might disagree.

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A Changing of the Guard For CAIR-Dallas/Fort-Worth

by David M. Swindle  •  Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 1:00 PM

Last week saw a consequential change in leadership at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Alia Salem once seemed to have a future filled with promise at CAIR as the executive director of its Dallas-Fort Worth branch. In 2015, she won CAIR chapter of the year, an award largely in response to her role promoting the Ahmed "Clock Boy" Mohamed media incident. Here she is appearing on MSNBC with Mohamed and host Chris Hayes, a longtime editor of The Nation:

But last week, news came that Salem is now out, replaced by Iyad Alnachef, a man with his own prior history of Islamist activism. Alnachef formerly served as National Youth Director for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA,) an organization named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial and as one of "our organizations and the organizations of our friends" in an internal Muslim Brotherhood memorandum.

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ICNA Relief Banquet Features Anti-Semitic, Homophobic Preachers

by Sam Westrop  •  Thu, 6 Apr 2017, 3:01 PM

On May 6, ICNA Relief, the charitable wing of the Islamic Circle of North America, is hosting a banquet to show off its latest project, the Amal Women's Center – a shelter for women who have suffered domestic abuse.

This noble cause is blighted, however, by the choice of speakers: two extremist preachers with a history of inciting hatred, Mikaeel Smith and Abdulhakim Ali Mohamed.

Ali Mohamed is best known as the Imam of the mosque where the terrorist Carlos Bledsoe was radicalized. In 2009, Bledsoe opened fire on a military recruitment office in Little Rock, Arkansas – killing one soldier and wounding another. As Politico notes, "When Carlos converted to Islam, he assumed the name Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, apparently taking inspiration from the imam."

In his sermons, Ali Mohamed did not hide his extremism. Americans for Peace and Tolerance has uncovered recordings in which Ali Mohamed declared: "Jews believe that everyone created on the face of the earth was only created for their service. They became as vicious as the Pharaoh, throughout history till today. ... The true evil today is the existence of one state." Elsewhere, Ali Mohamed preached: "Aren't we this near for a mass battle and war against the Jews? Aren't they gathering themselves in Palestine?"

Mikaeel Smith is a graduate of Dar ul-Uloom al-Madania, an Islamic seminary in New York state, that belongs to the Deobandi sect, a hardline South Asian movement whose offshoots include the Taliban. In an article published at Muslim Matters, Smith describes homosexuality as "evil" and like a "tumour."

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Where's Wahhaj this Week? A Preacher of Hate Comes to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania…

by David M. Swindle  •  Tue, 4 Apr 2017, 4:41 PM

This Saturday, April 8, a fundraiser will take place for the terrorism-linked charity Helping Hand at the Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg (ISGH). Among the advertised speakers is Imam Siraj Wahhaj, one of the most vocal defenders of Islamist violence and extremism in North America. See this profile of Wahhaj here at the Middle East Forum blog, which features both audio excerpts and transcriptions from his bigoted sermons.

Some of Wahhaj's most disturbing statements include such calls to violence as "And you know, brothers and sisters, 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." He is also an advocate of racial bigotry, saying in a sermon, "Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you."

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The 33 Most Important Islamist Stories in March 2017

by David M. Swindle  •  Fri, 31 Mar 2017, 9:13 PM

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 29 of the most important picks from March that you won't want to miss:

1. John Rossomando at the Investigative Project, March 1: 'Explanatory Memorandum' Detractors Ignore Evidence About MB in America

2. John Perazzo at FrontPageMag, March 2: The Islamic Society of North America's Destructive Agenda

3. The Local, March 3: Debate rages in Sweden over Muslim Brotherhood report

4. Judith Bergman at Gatestone Institute, March 3: The West Submits to Blasphemy Laws

5. Khadija Khan at Gatestone Institute, March 8: Canada's New Blasphemy Laws

6. Deeba Abedi at Independent Journal Review, March 8: I Am A Muslim Woman - I Will Not Support The Women's March Until Its Leader Denounces Sharia Law

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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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