Early this month, a disturbing video surfaced after the Muslim American Society (MAS) Philadelphia chapter uploaded its “Ummah Day” celebration, where young boys and girls donning Palestinian keffiyehs sang about how they would fight to destroy Israel and reconquer Jerusalem.
The children performed Islamist chants with lines such as “chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
While the video showed America a glimpse of what goes on inside the MAS Philadelphia chapter, the national news media expressed little interest in the story and little interest in asking what exactly goes on at MAS’s other chapters spread throughout the United States.
This lack of media curiosity allowed MAS chairman Ayman Hammous to say the group had successfully “managed and contained the Philadelphia crisis” in a recent MAS newsletter.
The Muslim American Society (MAS) is part of an Islamist network that promotes anti-Semitism and Islamic supremacy coast to coast, and is a façade for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, as first revealed in a 2004 report published in the Chicago Tribune, which noted that “Brotherhood members would call themselves the Muslim American Society, or MAS (…).”
Philadelphia isn’t the only place where MAS is promoting vile anti-Semitism. Consider MAS Milwaukee, which recently held its annual convention in April at the Crowne Plaza Airport hotel in Milwaukee.
One of the main leaders of MAS Milwaukee is Salah Sarsour, who has been accused of fundraising for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), an organization that was shut down and its members convicted in the U.S. for funneling over $12 million to U.S.-designated terror organization Hamas.
Sarsour is on the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) national board, which held its annual convention last November in Chicago. AMP is a sister organization to MAS that promotes the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement that aims at destroying Israel and promoting anti-Semitism.
In his political activities, Salah Sarsour promotes traditional anti-Semitism. For example, in November 2018 he attributed perceived failures of Arab nation-states to a Jewish conspiracy wrought by Theodore Herzl (died 1904), the founder of the World Zionist Organization.
In addition to Sarsour, the conference lineup included extremist preacher Ragheb El-Sergany. El-Sergany has promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. In an article on Jews, Zionism, and America, El-Sergany wrote:
In the sixteenth century Jews took a very serious move that led to a strategic change in Europe and the world as whole. This move was nothing but altering the Christianity -which already was altered and distorted before- with the aim of changing it into a religion that serves the Jewish interests in the name of new Christianity. This new Christianity is called “Protestantism.”
Other radical speakers at MAS Milwaukee’s convention included Hatem Bazian, a leader of American Muslims for Palestine, who in 2017 was widely criticized for retweeting two vile anti-Semitic images that referred to Jews as “Ashke-Nazis” and accused them of rape, murder, and organ trafficking; and AMP leader Osama Abu Irshaid who, speaking at the 14th annual MAS convention, held in Chicago, said: “Remember that Israel was not created just to take and swallow Palestine. It was created to divide and to weaken that part of the world.”
Despite being contacted regarding MAS’s long record of extremism and antisemitism, the Crown Plaza Airport hotel refused to respond to critics or address concerns regarding MAS’s history and behavior.
Islamism and anti-Semitism are alive and kicking in North America. What appeared in that MAS Philadelphia video is merely the tip of the iceberg, and no apologies by MAS could remedy the malady of extremism that gnaws at those communities.
Further, we are not served by a media that minimizes and downplays such incidents instead of seeking to truly understand the depth and nature of Islamism in the United States. The same can be said of private corporations that permit Islamists to utilize their venues and resources to promote their hateful content, turning a blind eye to the group’s history and statements.
Only through the honest and hard work of isolating and discrediting radical movements like MAS, and encouraging moderate Muslim leaders, can we hope to build healthy Muslim communities that reject the Islamist ideology of hate and anti-Semitism and embrace American values of pluralism and tolerance.
Hesham Shehab is the Illinois Associate for the Counter-Islamist Grid (CIG).