Media Fails to Note Muslim Group’s Controversial History

One of the largest Muslim organizations in North America is considering plans to build a summer camp on 114 acres of land in the Adirondacks.  Via the Albany Times Union

“The Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim advocacy group based in New York City, hopes to raise money to develop a camp for children and families of all religions on land donated to it last year.”

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), based in Queens, New York, is not devoid of controversy in a history that spans over 40 years, yet there is scant mention of these controversies by the media.  The Times Union article states that, “U.S. law enforcement agencies have investigated, but never prosecuted, ICNA for terrorist connections.”  And there is coverage of a fundraiser involving speakers having made anti-American statements in the past, which is quickly justified by saying, “the meeting raised money for homeless women.”

But the ICNA has so much more to offer in the way of newsworthiness, including an event involving radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as a link to the presently relevant Muslim Brotherhood.

Observe…

  • In the book, American Jihad, author Steven Emerson claims that the ICNA has praised terror attacks in the past, is allied with militant fundamentalist movements, and supports the imposition of sharia law.   
  • The same book mentions a statement by Senator Mitch McConnell in 1996 that the group is allied with the Islamic Association for Palestine in North America, which has ties to the terrorist organization, Hamas.
  • The ICNA has demonstrated deep ties to the fundamentalist Pakistani political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, whose main objective is the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law.
  • Ran a series of Muslim subway ads in 2008, promoted by a Brooklyn imam whom federal officials had linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks.
  • Have expressed great reverence for such outstanding individuals as the Ayatollah Khomeini and Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, a man famous for calling the holocaust a ‘myth’, and stating that ‘Israel must be wiped off the map.’

Additionally, radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was asked to speak at a convention sponsored jointly by the ICNA and the Muslim American Society (MAS) in July of 2002.  Awlaki has been connected with three of the 9/11 hijackers, and has since praised the murderous rampage by the Fort Hood shooter that took 14 lives, and the failed attempt by the Christmas Day bomber to kill 278 innocent people.  What’s more, Awlaki spoke alongside Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 

It should be noted that the ICNA released a statement denouncing Awlaki’s views – nearly eight years later – but noting that at the time of his appearance, he had not been accused of any extremist ties, and that he had only started making radical lectures after being detained in 2007. 

This is, of course, a flat-out falsehood.  In fact, here’s a bit of what was already known regarding Awlaki at the time of his ICNA appearance:

  • In 1996, he encouraged a student at his mosque to fight jihad, prompting an elder to confront him, eventually leading to his departure.
  • In 1998 and 1999, served as Vice President of a charity founded by Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, an associate of Osama bin Laden and a man designated by the U.S. government as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’.
  • The F.B.I. first took notice of Awlaki in 1999 based on his relationship with militants and his role in running a ‘front organization to funnel money to terrorists’.
  • The 9/11 Commission had shown that F.B.I. investigators were divided over Awlaki’s involvement in the terrorist attacks, but had expressed concern over his role as spiritual advisor to two of the hijackers, with one detective saying he believed Awlaki ‘was at the center of the 9/11 story’.

But if you’re looking for a current piece of news regarding the ICNA, then look no further than Egypt.  Considered to be the North American branch of the aforementioned Jamaat-e-Islami, the ICNA also maintains close ties to international groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.   The Muslim Brotherhood has objectives far different than the simple establishment of a camp for various religions.  Their stated motto:

Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

Joe Kaufman, in Front Page Magazine wrote:

“When tens of thousands of Iranian violence-driven malcontents scream “Death to America” in chorus, we Americans have a right to know who here is screaming with them. And once we find out who, law enforcement and intelligence needs to investigate and take appropriate action, so that inappropriate action is not taken upon us.”

Or, in the case of today’s media, we can simply watch them build a summer camp without so much as a cursory look at who’s behind the project.

Nothing to see here…

Cross-posted at the Mental Recession