Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has been under fire for saying communities should be able to stop the construction of mosques. So he apologized, following a visit to a mosque led by Imam Mohamed Magid, the president of Muslim Brotherhood branch the Islamic Society of North America.
On Wednesday, Cain took a tour of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society of Sterling, Virginia. ADAMS Board Member Robert Marro said:
I think that the meeting today has changed his mind 100 percent. From the tenor of the conversation, I can’t see him repeating such things. … [The apology was] as close to a heartfelt and sincere apology that I’ve seen from any politician anywhere.
A statement from Cain following the meeting read:
While I stand by my opposition to the interference of Sharia law into the American legal system … I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.
If Cain opposes Sharia-based governance, then he picked the wrong group to reach out to.
As noted above, Mohamed Magid is also president of the Islamic Society of America (ISNA). The group says it “rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration.” However, ISNA was listed as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial. The HLF had been found guilty of being a front for Hamas set up by the Muslim Brotherhood.
ISNA, likewise, is listed in the Muslim Brotherhood’s own documents as one of its fronts.
ISNA has fought a losing battle to have this label removed. In July 2009, a judge ruled that the government had “ample evidence” connecting ISNA to the Holy Land Foundation, Hamas, and the Islamic Association of Palestine, another Brotherhood front shut down for financing terrorism. For example, HLF received checks to the “Palestinian mujahideen,” a reference to Hamas’ military wing, from ISNA accounts. As far back as the 1980s, an FBI document was warning:
[ISNA events] provided opportunities for the extreme fundamentalist Muslims to meet with their supporters.
ADAMS itself is not free of terror ties. In March 2002, ADAMS had its offices raided as part of a terrorism investigation.
Magid previously served as an advisor to the Sterling Charitable Gift Fund, which also had its offices raided.
On October 15, 2004, Magid accused elements of the Bush administration of being “intent on dismantling Muslim organizations and bringing them down.” Magid and other ADAMS officials have relationships with a wide array of Islamic entities that have been targeted in terrorism investigations.
The former president of ISNA from 1997 to 2000, Muzammil Siddiqi, supports the Sharia-based governance Cain declared his opposition to. In October 2008, he proclaimed at a rally:
America has to learn that because if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.
In 2001, he said:
Once more people accept Islam, insha’allah, this will lead to the implementation of Sharia in all areas.
In another speech, Siddiqi saluted the “Intifada movement in Palestine.” He continued:
We shall be celebrating insh’allah the coming of Jersualem and the whole land of Palestine insh’allah and the establishment of the Islamic State throughout the area.
Siddiqi remains on the governing board of ISNA.
ISNA events promote extremist literature and host radical speakers such as Siraj Wahhaj, Zaid Shakir and Imam Warith Deen Umar, the New York prison chaplain who was fired for celebrating the 9/11 hijackers as “martyrs” to inmates. In 2008, ADAMS held a fundraiser where Luqman Abdullah spoke. Abdullah led a group called “Ummah” that sought to establish Sharia-governed enclaves within the United States. He was killed on October 28, 2009, after he opened fire on the FBI agents trying to arrest him. The federal affidavit said he called “on his followers to an offensive jihad, rather than a defense jihad. He regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric.” (Unsurprisingly, ISNA’s fellow Brotherhood affiliate, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, denounced the FBI.)
To be fair to Herman Cain, he is just one on a long list of officials who have embraced ISNA and other Brotherhood fronts. On March 6, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough spoke at ADAMS and specifically praised Imam Magid and ISNA. He said that he, “along with my White House colleagues — have benefited from the advice of many of your organizations through our Office of Public Engagement.”
ADAMS was so impressed with Cain that they are willing to let him give an apolitical “brief sermon” as a Baptist preacher. If he agrees, it will be a stunning development to have one of the most vocally anti-Islamist candidates help legitimize a Brotherhood front tied to Hamas.
If Herman Cain wants to be the darling of the anti-Islamist voters in the Republican primary, he has shot himself in the foot.