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Latest Islamist Watch Articles

How CAIR Shaped San Diego's Public Schools  California Political Review  June 15, 2017
How Sex Slavery Apologists Subverted America's Wealthiest Community Foundation  The Daily Caller  June 7, 2017
Are Interfaith Dialogues Being Exploited To Promote Islamist Bigotry In The West?  Dunya News  June 7, 2017

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Nonviolent Islamism in the News

Austria cracks down on Turkish citizens with 2 passports  Associated Press  June 24, 2017
Maajid Nawaz Tells Bill Maher He's Suing Southern Poverty Law Center for Defamation  Mediaite  June 23, 2017
Number of refugees admitted to U.S. drops by almost half  Los Angeles Times  June 23, 2017
Austria: Fewer migrants returning home, despite cash offer  Associated Press  June 23, 2017
Ofsted will crackdown on extremism and promote 'British values', Amanda Spielman vows  Telegraph  June 23, 2017

More Islamism in the News...


Nouman Ali Khan & Friends

by Charlie Hastings  •  Mon, 19 Jun 2017, 5:16 PM

We have recently written quite a lot about Nouman Ali Khan. After looking through some of his sermons, we found this Salafi imam from Texas preaching that prostitutes and pornographic actors are "filth" and that "you have to punish them ... They're not killed; they're whipped. And they're whipped a hundred times." He has also declared that God gives men "license" to beat unfaithful wives and that Muslim women are committing a "crime" if they object to the religious text that he says permits this abuse.

Khan's latest offering is a post on his Facebook page, helpfully listing all the Islamist clerics he "loves" and "respects." He includes a photo of himself with each one. He decided to publish this post, Khan tells us, "to defend some people."

Whom, then, does Nouman Ali Khan want to defend? Whom does he "love"?

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Tariq Ramadan Defends Female Genital Mutilation: 'Part of Our Tradition' and an 'Internal Discussion' for Muslims Only

by David M. Swindle  •  Wed, 14 Jun 2017, 5:43 PM

Last week Imam Shaker Elsayed of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, was roundly condemned after a video emerged, courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), in which he recommends female genital mutilation to avoid "hypersexuality."

Elsayed has since tried to withdraw his comments and apologized, saying "I admit that I should have avoided it. I hereby take it back. And I do apologize to all those who are offended by it."

Elsayed's weak-tea apology has not slowed the loud calls in the Muslim community for the Dar al-Hijrah mosque to fire him. But on Monday, influential Islamist thinker and activist Tariq Ramadan released a 10 minute video on Facebook expressing support for Elsayed staying on. Ramadan stated Muslim leaders who advocate for FGM should be understood as "brothers," part of "our community" and Muslims who disagree should engage them with "internal discussion" and are instructed "not to expose them." Here are some of the highlights from this video.

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ISNA Shows Its Colors

by Oren Litwin  •  Fri, 9 Jun 2017, 3:03 PM

On June 30th, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) will kick off their annual convention in Chicago. As in previous years, the convention's featured speakers will include exceptional community activists, journalists, academics, and religious scholars from the American Muslim community.

Unfortunately, the ISNA Convention will also be featuring several speakers with extremist histories or links—again, as in previous years. Several of these extremists are considered leaders of American Muslim community institutions (including ISNA itself), which surely places the community in something of a quandary. ISNA needs to decide if it will continue to welcome such hateful views at the very same time as it claims to be opposing radicalism, or if it will truly turn over a new leaf and allow a new, more tolerant generation of leaders to emerge.

Perhaps the worst of the extremist speakers include:

1. Nihad Awad

Nihad Awad is executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was branded an unindicted co-conspirator during the 2008 trial of the Holy Land Foundation. Awad publicly supported the terrorist group Hamas as far back as 1994 and referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as "liberation movements" in an Arabic interview with Al-Jazeera in 2004.

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Hardline Salafist Yasir Qadhi Headlines Islamic Society of Boston's Ramadan Fundraiser

by David M. Swindle  •  Fri, 2 Jun 2017, 2:45 PM

The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) has long established itself as one of America's most virulent wellsprings of Islamist activism. Originally founded in 1981 by Muslim Students Association members from the surrounding universities -- including the Al Qaeda operative Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who 20 years later would plead guilty to conspiring to assassinate the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and receive a 23-year prison sentence -- and formerly affiliated with entities established by the Muslim Brotherhood, the ISB has frequently hosted fundamentalist imams preaching hateful doctrines.

Now, with tomorrow's Ramadan fundraiser, the ISB reaffirms its position as the vanguard of Islamist hate in America. The featured guest will be Yasir Qadhi, a Salafi imam with a long record of preaching hateful views about Jews, gays, Christians, liberals, adulterers, Shia Muslims, and non-Muslims. Due to his extreme ideas, the United Kingdom's Charity Commission is currently investigating a charity for hosting him.

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The 45 Most Important Islamism Stories From May 2017

by David M. Swindle  •  Thu, 1 Jun 2017, 4:47 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 my picks for 40 of the most important items from May that you won't want to miss:

1. University at Buffalo Spectrum, May 1: Discontent spreads as Robert Spencer's visit to UB nears

2. Buffalo News, May 1: No violence, but UB speaker greeted with tension, heckling

3. FrontPage Magazine, May 1: CNN's Islamist Offers Christophobia, Judeophobia and Hinduphobia

4. Free Beacon, May 2: DNC Quiet on Vice Chair's Full-Throated Defense of Anti-Israel Activist

5. Copenhagen Post, May 2: Denmark reveals first blacklist for hate preachers

6. Detroit News, May 2: Senate panel OKs tougher bills for genital mutilation

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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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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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