The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) released their second statement in the last couple of months saying that they are “appalled” by Donald Trump’s politics against radical Islamic extremists.
The ICNA called Trump out for issuing what they deem “Islamophobic statements,” calling them “preposterous, xenophobic, and borderline-fascist.”
Last month, the group issued a statement against Trump’s campaign in general saying his “racist, bigoted politics of division will separate Americans rather than focusing on the immense challenges facing our nation.”
This all seems pretty rich considering the ICNA most recently appeared in stories involving the San Bernardino terrorists. The terrorist couple and their mother had stickers and certificates of appreciation for membership in the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in New York.
The group’s ties to terrorism don’t end with San Bernardino either. They have known ties to terrorist organizations, and have seen members and speakers which have included Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical preacher who had significant ties with three of the 9/11 hijackers.
The Islamic Circle of North America has also been promoting a program called WhyIslam, a billboard campaign to ‘reclaim the message of Islam’ after it had been tainted by events such as those in Paris.
The WhyIslam campaign however, has controversy of its own. The group’s former chair, Amir Mertaban, referred to Hamas terrorists as freedom fighters who have ‘done a lot of good’ in Palestine, refusing to denounce the group.
In 2008, WhyIslam ran a series of Muslim subway ads, promoted by a Brooklyn imam whom federal officials had linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks. That Brooklyn imam is Siraj Wahhaj, the unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The WhyIslam message is run under the umbrella of the ICNA, which promotes some very controversial ideas by some very controversial individuals. Various reports show that the ICNA has a prolific resume, including:
- Supporting the imposition of sharia law.
- Having ties to the terrorist organization, Hamas.
- Demonstrating deep ties to the fundamentalist Pakistani political party, Jamaat-e-Islami.
- Ran a series of Islamic subway ads in 2008, promoted by Wahhaj, whom federal officials had already linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks.
- Maintaining close ties to international groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, whose motto reads: Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
- Presenting Anwar al-Awlaki as a guest speaker alongside Wahhaj at a co-sponsored convention. Awlaki had been connected with three of the 9/11 hijackers, and had praised the murderous rampage by the Fort Hood shooter that took 14 lives, and the failed attempt by the Christmas Day bomber to kill 278 innocent people.
It should be noted that the ICNA released a statement denouncing Awlaki’s views – nearly eight years later – but noting that at the time of his appearance, he had not been accused of any extremist ties, and that he had only started making radical lectures after being detained in 2007.
This is, of course, a flat-out falsehood. In fact, here’s a bit of what was already known regarding Awlaki at the time of his ICNA appearance:
- In 1996, he encouraged a student at his mosque to fight jihad, prompting an elder to confront him, eventually leading to his departure.
- In 1998 and 1999, served as Vice President of a charity founded by Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, an associate of Osama bin Laden and a man designated by the U.S. government as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’.
- The F.B.I. first took notice of Awlaki in 1999 based on his relationship with militants and his role in running a ‘front organization to funnel money to terrorists’.
- The 9/11 Commission had shown that F.B.I. investigators were divided over Awlaki’s involvement in the terrorist attacks, but had expressed concern over his role as spiritual advisor to two of the hijackers, with one detective saying he believed Awlaki ‘was at the center of the 9/11 story’.
Awlaki, who had inspired many to acts of Islamic terror, was killed in an American drone strike in 2011.
Here is some more background reading about the key players at the ICNA.
It took the ICNA eight years to issue statements denouncing radical terrorist mentor Anwar al-Awlaki. For Trump, they issue statements persistently and immediately.