The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization with ties to Hamas and other terrorist groups, will hold its annual convention—the largest yearly gathering of Muslims on the continent—in Washington, D.C. over the Fourth of July weekend.
And the keynote speaker will be Reverend Rick Warren, founder and senior minister of the Saddleback Church, an evangelical mega-church located in Lake Forest, California.
Rev. Warren has become one of America's leading Christian leaders. Over 400,000 pastors attend his "purpose-driven" church seminars and his books, including "The Purpose Driven Life," have become international best-sellers.
Why did Rev. Warren commit to appear at such a controversial gathering?
The nation's leading Protestant evangelist was unavailable for comment, but his scheduled visit at the convention follows ISNA leader Sayyid Syeed's appearance at the Saddleback Church last December.
Why is the ISNA so controversial?
The organization's website contains the following quotations:
- "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. 'O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.'"
- "May Allah fight the Jews and the Christians? They took the graves of their Prophets as places of prostration. Two deens [religions] shall not co-exist in the land of the Arabs."
- "I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim."
- "The Dajjal [Devil, Antichrist] would be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan wearing Persian shawls."
- "Ibn Umar reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) stoned to death the Jews, both male and female, who had committed adultery."
ISNA, purportedly the largest Muslim organization in North America, has its roots in the extremist Muslim Brotherhood - - the group responsible for the formation of al Qaeda, Hamas, and most other international terror entities.
Since its formation in 1981, ISNA has been responsible for distributing and promoting radical Wahhabi theological indoctrination materials to mosques throughout North America. Many of these mosques were recently built with Saudi money and are required, by their Saudi benefactors, to strictly follow the dictates of Saudi Arabian imams – an edict that affects the tone and content of the sermons given in the mosques, the selection of books and periodicals that may be read in mosque libraries or sold in mosque bookshops, and the policies governing the exclusion or suppression of dissenters from the congregations.
Through its affiliate, the North American Islamic Trust – a Saudi government-backed organization created to fund Islamist enterprises in North America – the Saudi-subsidized ISNA reportedly holds the mortgages on 80% of all mosques in the U.S. and Canada.
Kaukab Siddique, the editor of New Trend, a radical Islamic periodical, proclaims: "ISNA controls most mosques in America and thus also controls who will speak at every Friday prayer, and which literature will be distributed there."
Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz describes ISNA as "one of the chief conduits through which the radical Saudi form of Islam passes into the United States."
Terrorism expert Steven Emerson maintains that ISNA "is a radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation"; that it "convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred" (for instance, al Qaeda supporter and PLO official Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi addressed a previous ISNA conference); that it has held fundraisers for terrorists (after Hamas leader Mousa Marzook was arrested and eventually deported in 1997, ISNA raised money for his defense); that it has condemned the U.S. government's post-9/11 seizure of Hamas' and Palestinian Islamic Jihad's financial assets; and that it publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Islamic Horizons, that "often champions militant Islamist doctrine."
Emerson writes: "I think ISNA has been an umbrella, also a promoter of groups that have been involved in terrorism. I am not going to accuse the ISNA of being directly involved in terrorism. I will say ISNA has sponsored extremists, racists, people who call for Jihad against the United States."
WTHR, an Indianapolis television station located close to ISNA's Indiana headquarters, says it has found "about a dozen charities, organizations and individuals under federal scrutiny for possible ties to terrorism that are in some way linked to ISNA."
In December 2003, U.S. Senators Charles Grassley and Max Baucus of the Senate Committee on Finance listed ISNA as one of 25 American Muslim organizations that "finance terrorism and perpetuate violence."
ISNA is described in a Muslim Brotherhood document—entitled "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America" – as an organization which shares the Brotherhood's goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation.
Rev. Warren will be sharing the podium with Ingrid Mattson, professor of Islamic Studies at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies, and of Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut.
In her article "Finding the Prophet," Ms. Mattson writes that she came across a book entitled Islam, by Fazlur Rahman in the summer of 1987 - - the time of her conversion from Roman Catholicism to Islam. "His book sparked in me a keen desire to study the classical heritage of Islamic theology and law," she recalls. In his book, Rahman wrote of an attack on a Jewish tribe that, in his estimation, was "occupying Medina" and that, as punishment for their "Jewish treachery," they were "ruthlessly massacred." He maintained that the "most sinister and heartless role was played by the 'Hypocrites' [Muslim traitors] who were no doubt in league with the Jews."
Evidently, Rahman's book had "sparked" much more in her, as she soon after would leave for Peshawar, Pakistan to do "relief" work. Peshawar, at the time, was the home base of the organization that would later become Al-Qaeda. For one year, from 1987 thru 1988, Mattson was the Director of Projects for Afghan Refugee Women. She operated out of Akora Khattak, a small town where dozens of Taliban leaders, including Taliban Commander Mullah Mohammed Omar, were educated at Darul Uloom Haqqania a.k.a. "University of Jihad."
At present, Ms. Mattson participates in 'Live Dialogues' on Islam Online, a website that supports suicide bombings, mandates attacks against American troops, prescribes murder for homosexuals, and discusses how to behead human beings.
Rev. Warren's presence in such questionable company will come as small surprise to many of his critics and detractors.
At President Barack Obama's Inauguration, Rev. Warren offered an Invocation in which he quoted the Koran and spoke of Jesus as "Isa," the Muslim's name for the founder of Christianity.