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ISNA Becomes the New Belle of the Islamist Ball
by David J. Rusin • Jun 26, 2009 at 12:17 pm
With the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) weighed down by legal problems, it was just a matter of time before the government found a fresh partner for its Muslim outreach efforts. Now we know who it is: the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Yet rather than representing some moderate alternative to CAIR, ISNA's ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood may be even more pronounced.
The Obama administration's courtship of the Islamic Society started early, as ISNA president Ingrid Mattson was invited to participate in the inaugural prayer service at the National Cathedral on January 21. This honor came despite her disturbing views of Wahhabism as a simple "reform movement" and the West being at the root of the Muslim world's decline.
The initial flirtation has now blossomed into a full-blown relationship, as demonstrated by a pair of insider emails disseminated over the past week. The first message indicates that FBI Executive Assistant Director Tom Harrington met at agency headquarters with Imam Magid (Mohamed Hagmagid Ali), the vice president of ISNA. It also references FBI leaders' "decision" to "use ISNA as their official point of contact with the American Muslim community." How does the FBI square this approach with its mission "to protect and defend the United States," when a Muslim Brotherhood memo identifies ISNA as one of the "organizations of our friends" that could help advance the Brotherhood's "grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within"?
A second email, leaked to Pajamas Media, indicates that the Department of Justice will run an information booth at ISNA's convention over the July 4 weekend. "Volunteers needed for unique opportunity," the message begins — and no doubt the opportunity is unique. It is not every day that Justice Department staffers have the chance to attend the convention of a group named by their own agency's prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terror financing trial. Robert Spencer reminds us of the rebuke that ISNA and its sister organization, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), earned after they protested their designation:
The mainstream's embrace of ISNA will only grow warmer from here, as seen in the news that "purpose-driven" pastor Rick Warren plans to speak at the group's upcoming shindig. Interfaith gurus such as Warren are all about brotherhood. However, he, like the Obama administration, one day may regret promoting ISNA's "purpose-driven" Islamists — and their Brotherhood of a very different kind.