The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) press release says she'll be praying.
"linked to Hamas" ??ISNA is one of about 300 co-conspirators in a federal case involving the Holy Land Foundation of Richardson, Texas. Federal prosecutors say that the HLF funneled over $12,000,000 to Hamas.
I'm not terribly surprised to see ISNA in the list of co-conspirators. ISNA bills itself as an umbrella organization for all Muslims in North America. The Holy Land Foundation is a Muslim organization, and a big one. It would be a little odd if ISNA and HLF didn't write to each other once in a while.
That scary term "co-conspirator" aside, it looks like federal law enforcement is being thorough, compiling a list of who might, possibly, be involved in funding terrorists, and letting the judicial process sort out who's actively involved, and who's not.
ISNA's Been Through This BeforeAround five years ago, ISNA was one of the groups being investigated for possible connections to terrorist activities. They were cleared. My guess is that they'll be cleared this time, too.
ISNA isn't exactly a bland, unaligned, organization. They've got definite views: condemned bombings in London, too.
It looks like ISNA is another well-meaning advocacy group, with an arguably dubious taste in associates.
ISNA and Wahhabi IslamISNA apparently promotes the Wahhabi brand of Islam, although they don't go out of their way to advertise it. And no wonder: That's the brand of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, where prominent clerics declare that women should use one eye at a time if they must go outside, and that Mickey Mouse is an agent of Satan.
And, for all of ISNA's talk of being an open forum for ideas, Wahhabi leaders in America don't seem to like people questioning their beliefs or position.
Remember, though: Although ISNA seems to promote Wahhabi Islam, not all followers of Wahhabi Islam in America necessarily belong to ISNA.
The Obama Administration: ISNA's Big BreakISNA's president has been chosen as one of the people to pray at an inaugural function.
Since Obama's inaugural promises to be a huge event, covered with an enthusiasm equal only to what's lavished on the Super Bowl and American Idol, this is ISNA's chance to shine. If the organization has smart leaders and a competent public relations staff, they'll come out smelling like a rose.
My guess is that they'll avoid complaining loudly about " 'Islamophobia,' expressed in racial profiling and hate crimes" and being 'publicly branded as criminals' for a few months, at least.
Good Enough for Obama, Good Enough for the BlogrollI was a little surprised to see that ISNA wasn't on the blogroll here. I've corrected that oversight.
In the news:
- "Obama prayer leader from group US linked to Hamas"
The Associated Press (January 17, 2009)
- "Obama prayer speaker comes from group feds say is linked to Hamas"
Politico (January 17, 2009)
- "Jakes, Caldwell, Wuerl join inaugural services"
FOXNews (January 16, 2009)
- "MUSLIM AMERICANS REPRESENTED IN INAUGURAL NATIONAL PRAYER SERVICE"
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) (January 16, 2009)
- " 'Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:' Michigan"
(October 20, 2007)
- "Islam: Salafi, Wahhabi, and That's Just a Start"
(October 4, 2007)
- "Muslims Are Not All Alike"
(August 19, 2007)
- "New York City Counterterrorism Report: Profiling, Stereotyping, or Common Sense"
(August 17, 2007)
- "Senate Finance Committee concludes investigation of American Muslim groups; Finds no wrong doings"
American Muslim Perspectives (November 21, 2005)
- "Islamic Society of North America Cleared in Senate Investigation (Indiana)"
Religious Diversity News / The Pluralism Project (November 15, 2005)
(excerpt from The Indianapolis Star (November 15, 2005) - link to full article no longer valid)
- "American Muslims Condemn London Bombings"
GlobalSecurity.org (July 21, 2005)
- "Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an Operational Base.
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
GlobalSecurity.org (October 14, 2003)
Update: (January 19, 2009)
More, at "ISNA, Hamas, Obama's Inaugural, and the Usual Suspects" (January 19, 2009)
1Considering what's been going on in the Middle East for the last few decades, I couldn't help not the rather precise wording: "All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam."
All you have to do is say that whoever gets killed is an enemy of Islam, and that enemies of Islam aren't really civilians, and anything goes. Still, I'm impressed that ISNA went this far, agreeing with the Fiqh Council of North America's cautious Fatwa.