Despite opposition from the usual alphabet soup of Muslim Brotherhood-offshoot “advocacy” groups in the U.S., Congressman Peter King is forging ahead with planned mid-March hearings on what he terms domestic “Muslim radicalization.” In a December 19, 2010 Newsday editorial Congressman King cited these eminently reasonable concerns as justification for the hearings:
As I became more immersed in attempting to unravel the radical Islamic threat to our nation and our civilization, it became more and more obvious to me that the moral myopia of Long Island’s Muslim leaders and their apologists in the media was the rule — and that there were few exceptions. Federal and local law enforcement officials throughout the country told me they received little or — in most cases — no cooperation from Muslim leaders and imams …. I also know of imams instructing members of their mosques not to cooperate with law enforcement officials investigating the recruiting of young men in their mosques as suicide bombers. We need to find the reasons for this alienation.
We believe direct cross-examination of clerics from the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), including a frank discussion of their public “fatwas” (Islamic religious rulings), is essential to the congressman’s critically important goal of understanding Muslim radicalization in America.
The AMJA mission statement maintains:
[The AMJA was] founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America. … AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities.
A report in The Muslim Observer published October 21, 2010, highlighting AMJA’s “seventh annual American conference of imams,” confirms that the organization is accepted as such by the mainstream American Muslim community. AMJA and its recent “training” conference for American imams were described in these banal terms:
The organization AMJA (Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America) has a list of scholars associated with it which stretches from Al-Azhar University to Virginia’s Open University, and back across the ocean to the professors at Saudi universities. Its website, amjaonline.com, provides fatawa on many issues and promises 24-hour access to scholars who can give legal opinions on the issues people face. AMJA focuses on providing fatwas to Americans, and believes it is able to provide culturally appropriate fatwas although many of their scholars are not American–because they have some American scholars and because of the technological ties that bind AMJA’s American scholars with those abroad. AMJA just had, in Houston, its seventh annual American conference of imams, and two local Michigan imams attended, namely Imam Musa of Bloomfield’s Muslim Unity Center, and Imam Ali of MCWS. Mr. Sadiqul Hassan of AMJA explained that “the event was the 7th annual imam workshop.” Mr. Hassan said that AMJA is “a fiqh council basically,” with “scholars who live abroad and inside the U.S.; we have experts in different fields to educate about life in the U.S. — fatwa are based on life in the U.S.”
Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its recent seventh annual American conference in Houston (October 15-18, 2010) to train American imams, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates, “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”), or adulterers (by stoning to death), and condone marital rape and female genital mutilation. Moreover, AMJA, despite some equivocation, has also issued a blatantly anti-American fatwa directed at U.S. troops and their mission, which was deemed an “occupation.” Indeed, as AMJA cleric Katem Al-Hajj explained in a 23 page 2007 fatwa forbidding U.S. Muslims to work for the FBI or U.S. security services because of the ostensible harm these institutions cause Muslims, Muslim minorities in non-Islamic countries are “subject to man-made laws, which Islamic law [Sharia] does not recognize, either fully or in part.”