As a tune-up for the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa later this summer, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) hosted a regional conference there this past weekend to rally supporters for the upcoming elections.
However the presence of one of the keynote speakers, Egyptian-Canadian Islamic leader Jamal Badawi, is not only raising ongoing questions about the leadership of ISNA, but also of the Department of Homeland Security’s continued reluctance to stop Badawi’s extensive travels inside the United States despite abundant evidence of his terrorist support and extremist views, including evidence submitted by federal prosecutors fingering Badawi in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.
Even before the conference this past weekend, the Investigative Project on Terrorism noted last week Badawi’s radicalism, including recorded statements he made in 2009 in support of suicide bombings.
No doubt Badawi’s supporters will point to the questionable 2005 “anti-terrorism” fatwa he signed as a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (failing to note that the fatwa nowhere defines terrorism nor condemns any actual terrorist groups), but in fact Badawi has himself violated the terms of the fatwa he signed.
One of the provisions of that fatwa prohibits associating with known terrorists, but as I reported at the time in July 2007 Badawi was a featured speaker at a conference in Qatar honoring Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi, where Badawi shared the speaker’s podium with Khaled Mishaal, the head of Hamas and a designated terrorist by both the U.S. and Canada. Badawi’s remarks were posted on Qaradawi’s website (now since removed).
During the event, Mishaal praised Qaradawi as the first major Sunni cleric to endorse the use of suicide bombings, and Qaradawi publicly reaffirmed his support for the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations – all without the slightest word of dissent by Badawi.
That’s not the only connection. Badawi also sits on the board of directors of Qaradawi’s International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), which just a few months after its founding in 2004 issued a fatwa authorizing the killing of American troops in Iraq. The Iraqi resistance even published the news of the IAMS fatwa on their own English-language website.
That’s right: Homeland Security continues to allow Badawi into the U.S. despite sitting on the board of a group that religiously authorized the killing of American service men and women.
It isn’t like Homeland Security doesn’t know who Jamal Badawi is. In 2007, federal prosecutors individually named Badawi (pg. 4, #20) as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, the Holy Land Foundation case.
Badawi was identified in that court document as among the “individuals who participated in fund-raising activities on behalf of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.” All five Holy Land Foundation executives were convicted on all charges and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
In an unsealed opinion by presiding federal Judge Jorge Solis, he noted that “the government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” (pp. 14-15)
Several media reports have also observed ISNA’s long history of financing global terrorist organizations, including the Islamic charity that bankrolled the network that conducted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
During the Holy Land Foundation trial, prosecutors also entered into evidence a seized leadership directory of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America. Again, Badawi was listed (pg. 2) on the Muslim Brotherhood’s shura council/board of directors.
In another terrorism trial federal prosecutors said that the Muslim American Society (MAS) had been “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States”. One of the three founders of MAS was none other than Jamal Badawi, who is listed on the group’s articles of incorporation.
Getting back to the group that that issued the bogus “anti-terrorism” fatwa (that again, Badawi sits on the board of), it should be noted that the offices of the Fiqh Council were raided by Customs and Treasury Department agents in 2002 as part of the Operation Greenquest terror finance investigation.
This was no surprise, however, as the Fiqh Council, comprised of Badawi’s closest associates, is a virtually “Who’s who” of terrorist cheerleaders and terror supporters – several of whom are in federal prison, have been deported for their terror support activities, or are now banned from reentering the U.S.
Despite this overwhelming evidence, including Badawi’s being personally named unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, his supporters will no doubt claim I’m engaging in “guilt by association”, saying that Badawi himself isn’t bad, he just has some unsavory friends.
But let’s take a look at some of his own extremist religious rulings on such topics as:
- Polygamy (it’s consistent with “Islam’s realistic view of the nature of man and women and of the various social needs, problems, and cultural variations”);
- Wife-beating (It’s OK as long as it’s never on the face);
- Acceptable conditions for suicide bombings (permitted as long as its for “repelling unprovoked aggression or resisting severe oppression);
- Justification for executing Muslim apostates (when it’s considered treason against the Islamic state).
So all of this again raises the question: why does the Department of Homeland Security allow Jamal Badawi to freely enter the country, even though he is not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, to spread his brand of noxious Islamic extremism? And why does ISNA continue to be so closely allied with the Obama White House?