Middle East studies in the News
Islam Denounces Terrorism? [incl. Tariq Ramadan]
by Joe Kaufman
When people look up the word "hypocrisy" in the Islamist dictionary they will see the Muslim American Society (MAS) and its Freedom Foundation (FF) Executive Director Mahdi Bray side by side with those responsible for The American Muslim publication. This is because the groups and their leaders say they're against terrorism and extremism, while they go about promoting these things. Could it be that they actually believe that Hamas is anything but a terrorist group or that extremists are anything but extremists?
Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia (HAMAS), the Islamic Resistance Movement, began in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood of Palestine a.k.a. the Islamic Society or Islamic Association. Since it was established, Hamas has been responsible for hundreds of Israeli deaths, many via such horrific means as suicide bombings.
Amongst Hamas's founders, the most notable was Ahmed Yassin, a wheelchair bound individual who was executed by the Israelis in March 2004. During the five year anniversary of the assassination, March 2009, Yassin's likeness was placed on MAS's Freedom Foundation website by Khalilah Sabra, the Director of FF's North Carolina chapter. Today, the pic is found on FF's National Executive Director's page, under the title 'Mahdi Bray's Photos.'
It is not strange to see Bray have a picture of Yassin placed prominently on his page. Bray has had a long history of support for terrorist-related entities. This includes an October 2000 rally in Washington, D.C.'s Lafayette Park, where Bray is clearly shown standing on a stage, enthusiastically pumping his fists in the air, as soon-to-be convicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi asks rally attendees if they support Hamas and Hezbollah.
As well, it is not strange to see Yassin's image posted to a MAS run website, for MAS is more than just a part of the acronym HAMAS. Like Hamas, MAS was a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood. As such, the group tends to support overseas extremists and violently opposes the state of Israel. As an example of this, in March 2002, MAS published an article which stated that Palestinian suicide bombings were justifiable and should not be deemed as suicide.
What is strange is that, next to the photo of Yassin, there is a colorful graphic which states the following: "ISLAM DENOUNCES TERRORISM." Question: What kind of message is Bray and MAS trying to send by placing these contradictory images next to one another?
Clicking on the "anti-terrorism" graphic, one is brought to a web page published by The American Muslim (TAM), entitled 'Muslim Voices Promoting Islamic Non Violent Solutions,' a collection of articles compiled by TAM Editor Sheila Musaji. The page itself is a contradiction, as it contains a number of pieces written by well-known extremists, including:
· Parvez Ahmed, the former National Chairman of the Hamas-affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who has called for the release of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist Sami Al-Arian
· Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director of CAIR, who has refused to condemn both Hamas and Hezbollah
· Muzammil Siddiqi, the former President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), who has threatened America with the "wrath of G-d"
· Tariq Ramadan, who has had dealings with Al-Qaeda and who has been banned from entering the United States, due to his association with Hamas-related charities
This is eerily similar to the 'Fatwa Against Terrorism' that was issued shortly after the July 2005 London bombings, by individuals who themselves were involved in terrorism. They included co-conspirator of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas financing trial, Jamal Badawi; co-conspirator of the Sami Al-Arian trial, Taha Jabir Al-Alwani; former President of the American propaganda wing of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), Muhammad Al-Hanooti; and South Asia Director of the Hamas-affiliated charity KindHearts, Zulfiqar Ali Shah.
The two web pages, MAS's Mahdi Bray page and the TAM "Muslim voices" page highlight the paradox between reality and fantasy in the radical Muslim world. While the individuals and groups involved might be lying in order to hide the truth, in the same respect, they might very well believe – falsely, of course – that groups like Hamas are not terrorist organizations and people such as Ahmed, Hooper, Siddiqi and Ramadan are somehow men of peace.
Whatever the case, the inconsistencies – or hypocrisy – concerning sites such as these must be exposed to the public, so citizens understand the threat that lurks within their country's borders. Support for terrorist groups and support for those who are connected to them should have no place in our society.
Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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