Fiqh Council of North America

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The Fiqh Council of North America (originally known as ISNA Fiqh Committee) is an association of Muslims who interpret Islamic law on the North American continent.

According to its website, the Fiqh Council traces its origins back to the Religious Affairs Committee of the then Muslim Student Association of the United States and Canada established in the 1960s.[1] In 1980, after the founding of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Religious Affairs Committee evolved into the Fiqh Committee of the Islamic Society of North America, and was eventually transformed in to the Fiqh Council of North America in 1986.[1]

Its 18 members issue religious rulings, resolve disputes, and answer questions relating to the Islamic faith. As outlined in its by-laws, the Council's primary objectives include: "To consider, from a Shari'ah perspective, and offer advice on specific undertakings, transactions, contracts, projects, or proposals, guaranteeing thereby that the dealings of North American Muslims fall within the parameters of what is permitted by the Shari'ah." The Council's opinions are not binding.[2]

Ties to the Muslim Brotherhood[edit]

A document from May 1991 issued by the Muslim Brotherhood and titled “An Explanatory memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” listed the Fiqh Council of North America among the 29 like-minded organizations that shared the common goal of destroying America and Western civilization and ultimately aimet at turning the U.S. into a Muslim nation.[3]

The Memorandum offers a roadmap for the “Enablement of Islamic in North America, meaning: establishment an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islami as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”[3]

The authors of the document emphasized the importance of understanding fully the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America as responsible for waging a grand jihad that would ultimately destroy the Western civilization from within.[1] They stressed that this struggle would succeed in “sabotaging its miserable house by their hands at the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”[3]

According to the Memorandum, the mission of the first generation of affiliated Muslim Brothers coming to the U.S. was indeed to create a practical framework for the gradual achievement of the Muslim Brotherhood objectives on American soil. Towards that goal, the authors of the document listed 29 organizations that were supposed to silently work together to accomplish that mission. Fiqh Association of North America appears on that document as “ISNA Fiqh Committee.”[3]

The other organizations listed in the manuscript included:

  • Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE)
  • Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
  • Muslim Students Association (MSA)
  • Muslim Communities Association (MCA)
  • Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS)
  • Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE)
  • Islamic Medical Association (IMA)
  • Islamic teaching Center (ITC)
  • North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)
  • Foundation for International Development (FID)
  • Islamic Housing Cooperative (IHC)
  • Islamic Centers Division (ICD)
  • American Trust Publications (ATP)
  • Audio-Visual Center (AVC)
  • Islamic Book Service (IBS)
  • Muslim Businessmen Association (MBA)
  • Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA)
  • ISNA Political Awareness Committee (IPAC)
  • Islamic Education Department (IED)
  • Muslim Arab Youth Asociaation (MAYA)
  • Malaysian Islamic Study Group (MISG)
  • Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)
  • United Association for Studies and Research (UASR)
  • Occupied Land Fund, later known as Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development)
  • Mercy International Association (MIA)
  • Islamic Circle of North America (ISNA)
  • Baitul Mal Inc. (BMI)
  • International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT)
  • Islamic Information Center (IIC)

Operation Green Quest[edit]

In 2002 the Council was searched by federal agents as part of Operation Green Quest, a task force created to track and disrupt terrorist financing.[4] No arrests were made, and the Council denies any links to terror financiers, and has no official links to charities (the search was because a few board members publicly contributed to numerous Islamic charities in America and abroad).

Fatwa[edit]

  • Terrorism: In July 2005, the Council issued a fatwa stating Islam's condemnation of certain terrorism and religious extremism.[5]
  • Capital Punishment: The Council has issued a fatwa calling for a moratorium on Capital Punishment in the United States, based on the fact that several of the presupposed requirements for the carrying out of the law, according to Sharia, are not being met in most cases.[6]

Criticism[edit]

Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl, a University of California law professor, said in 2001 that the Council lacked authority among Muslims in the US.[2]

Executive Committee and members[edit]

Executive Committee:[1]

Members:

Most of the Fiqh Council members have strong Islamist records, and are or were affiliated to one or more organizations listed in the May 1991 Memorandum.

Muzammil Siddiqi was a founding member of ISNA who once served as President of the organization.[7] During a Live Dialogue on IslamOnline.net on May 31, 2001, he was asked about the possibility of implementing Sharia law in the U.S. He declared that Sharia must ultimately be established in the United States: “The criminal law of the shariah is not practiced here and it is not even required for Muslims to practice the criminal law in a non-Islamic state…Once more people accept Islam, insha’allah, this will lead to the implementation of sharia in all areas.”[7]

Once affiliated to the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood (1973-1977), Mohammed Adam El-Sheikh was a founding member of the Muslim American Society (MAS), that overtly pursued the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America. From May 2003 to August 2005 El-Sheikh served as the imam of Darl al-Hijrah Islamic Center, known for its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and al-Qaeda.[8] He was also the regional director for the Islamic American Relief Agency, which the U.S. Treasury sanctioned on October 13, 2004 as an entity supporting terrorism.[9] Jamal Badawi, who used to be listed as a member of the Board of Directors of ISNA, was mentioned among the unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial, the largest case of terror financing trial in the U.S. history.[10] Over the years Badawi has consistently supported Palestinian terrorists and justified Palestinian combative jihad as well as the killing of Israelis in the Gaza strip.[11][12]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "History of the Fiqh Council | Fiqh Council Of North America". www.fiqhcouncil.org. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  2. ^ a b Glaberson, William (October 21, 2001). "Interpreting Islamic Law for American Muslims". NYTimes.com. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d An Explanatory memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, May 22, 1991. In Arabic.
  4. ^ "FT.com – Special Reports / Attack on Terrorism". Specials.ft.com. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ Heard on All Things Considered (July 28, 2005). "U.S. Muslim Scholars Issue Edict Against Terrorism". NPR. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  6. ^ "General Fiqh Issues Articles". Fiqhcouncil.org. June 14, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "CAIR Spokesman Condemned Cali. Attack, But DIRTY Secret Was Just Exposed". Tea Party, Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Facing New Realities as Islamic Americans (washingtonpost.com)". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Protecting Charitable Organizations - I". www.treasury.gov. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  10. ^ List of Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Venturers, Attachment A, United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development et al.
  11. ^ "Jamal Badawi: Enduring Link to ISNA's Radical Past". The Investigative Project on Terrorism. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  12. ^ Mauro, Ryan (4 March 2014). "ISNA: Largest U.S. Muslim Org, Dominated by Islamists". The Clarion Project. Retrieved 10 February 2016.