Muslim American Society
|Headquarters||Falls Church, Virginia|
|Mission||"To move people to strive for God consciousness, liberty, and justice, and to convey Islam with utmost clarity."|
According to its website, the society is a “dynamic charitable, religious, social, cultural, and educational, organization” with over 50 chapters across the United States. Over the past two decades, the organization has evolved into “a nationally recognized grassroots movement” that strives to promote active involvement of U.S. Muslims in communities across the U.S.
MAS has instructed its members to evade questions about the group's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and to define jihad as a "divine legal right" of Muslims to be used for defense and the spread of Islam. MAS leaders have said that these views are not now held by MAS leaders.
Towards this end, and often in cooperation with other organizations, MAS provides opportunities to engage U.S. Muslims to participate into a variety of social experiences including community service, interfaith and youth programs, civic and political activism.
MAS’ mission is to better the individual-in-society by imparting Islamic knowledge that would “move people to strive for God consciousness, liberty and justice” towards a “virtuous and just American society.”
In 2016, at a point when representative Keith Ellison was the leading contender to become Chair of the Democratic National Committee, it was discovered that in a speech at a 2010 Muslim American Society fundraiser, Ellison had asserted that United States foreign policy is "governed by" Israel.
Publications and projects
The Muslim American Society advertises on its website a number of publications produced by MAS’ prominent members and affiliates or deemed essential for the educational purposes.
Among the publications currently sponsored by MAS are:
- the second edition of Sincerity: The Essential Quality, a book on the value of that virtue originally authored by the Egyptian Sunni preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi translated and published in 2007 by MAS Youth;
- al-Ma’thurat, a short book compiled by the founding father of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Hasan al-Banna consisting of supplications and Qur'anic verses based on the authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.
MAS also promotes several projects:
- the video series “InTheShadeOfRamadan.tv” produced by MAS Youth on a yearly basis featuring “educational and motivational reflections on the month of Ramadan;"
- an online community of American Muslim women, “GrowMama.com,” providing “a supportive, friendly, and non-judgmental space for women to share experiences, support one another, grow in their spirituality, and inspire each other;”
- “40HadithNawawi.com,” a comprehensive compilation of hadith that attempt to convey the real essence of Islam;
- “MAS Immigration Justice Clinic” (MAS IJC), providing a variety of services in the legal field.
MAS says that it helps students to “properly understand, recite, and memorize the Quran” through its Quran Institute.
Muslim Brotherhood’s role
Evidence confirms MAS’ enduring affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. Both a detailed account of MAS’ history published by The Chicago Tribune in 2004 and Washington expert Matthew Levitt’s testimony in 2007 established that the organization is in fact the representative of the Islamist organization on American soil.
Legal proceedings related to the trials of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), eventually designated by the U.S. authorities as a terrorist front providing material support to Hamas reinforced the case for MAS’ affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood. FBI agent Laura Burns, who was involved in the HLF investigation, testified that a phonebook found at the home of an unindicted co-conspirator and former assistant to Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook, Ismail Elbarrasse, included the names of the three founding incorporators of the Muslim American Society among the contact information of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the United States. The founders of the Muslim American Society were, in fact, Ahmad Elkadi, Jamal Badawi, and Omar Soubani.
MAS has acknowledged in the past its Muslim Brotherhood foundations, as affirmed by the 2004 statements of then Secretary General of MAS Shaker Elsayed, who famously declared: “Ikhwan [Brotherhood] members founded MAS…”
Ahmed-Ullah, Roe and Cohen also claimed that Muslim Brotherhood leaders both in the U.S. and in Egypt campaigned for the founding of the Muslim American Society in the early 1990s. According to the authors, the goal of the organization was to promote the same ideological goals as the Muslim Brotherhood, namely the reformation of American society through the spread of Islam towards the final establishment of Islamic rule on American soil.
Moreover, the connection between MAS and the Muslim Brotherhood was definitively corroborated by Abdurrahman Alamoudi, an influential lobbyist and fundraiser, once advisor to Bill Clinton’s administration who pleaded guilty in 2004 to charges including engaging in illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government and facilitating a Libyan plot to assassinate then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Alamoudi testified in court in 2012 that MAS was a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
More in general, MAS overtly advertises on its website publications authored and/or promoted by prominent Muslim Brotherhood figures, such as the well-known scholar and radical preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the founder of the movement Hasan al-Banna, which are reputed to be essential readings for training purposes.
In fact, in an article published by the Counterterrorism Blog in 2007 Mohamed Habib, a Cairo-based senior Muslim Brotherhood official, reportedly ascribed the reasons for MAS’ simultaneously espousing the Muslim Brotherhood ideology and distancing itself from the global movement to “security inconveniences” experienced by the organization after 9/11 in the U.S.
MAS has participated in interfaith dialogue with the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
United Arab Emirates versus United States accusations
In November 2014, MAS was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates. The United States State Department rejected the claim made by United Arab Emirates and stated the following during a press conference:
The United States does not consider these U.S. organizations to be terrorrist organizations and we are seeking more information from the government of U.A.E. about why that designation was made by them.
Stephen Schwartz, the former communist and author of Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa’ud from Tradition to Terror, claimed that the Muslim American Society is a prominent actor of the “Wahhabi lobby channeling money from and in the interest of Saudi Arabia".
- The North American Muslim resource guide: Muslim community life in the United States and Canada, Mohamed Nimer, Taylor & Francis, 2002, ISBN 0415937280.
- "About The Muslim American Society". Muslim American Society. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America, Brigitte Gabriel, Macmillan, 2008, ISBN 0312358385.
- They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It, Brigitte Gabriel,Macmillan, 2008, ISBN 0312383630.
- "A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America" http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/chi-0409190261sep19,0,7534398,print.story
- ."A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America" http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/chi-0409190261sep19,0,7534398,print.story
- Cillizza, Chris (4 December 2016). "Keith Ellison's coronation as DNC Chair is over". Washington Post. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- "MAS Projects". Muslim American Society. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- "MAS Immigrant Justice Center". MAS Immigrant Justice Center. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- "Quran Institute". Muslim American Society. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- "A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- "Counterterrorism Blog: Counterterrorism Blog Expert, Matthew Levitt, Takes the Stand in Dallas HAMAS Trial". counterterrorismblog.org. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- USA vs Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, et al, 3:04-CR-240-G (TX ND), List of Unindicted Co-Conspirators and Joint Ventures
- "1992 Phone Directory" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- "The Boston Globe's Paean To Boston's Jihad Enablers". Center for Security Policy. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- "Counterterrorism Blog: Muslim Brotherhood Phonebook Confirms that MAS is Brotherhood's Baby". counterterrorismblog.org. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- Muslim American Society, Retrieved 2007-10-21
- "UAE Includes 2 US Muslim Groups on Terror List". Voice of America. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
Nafeesa Syeed (17 November 2014). "Two U.S. Islamic Groups Called Terrorist by U.A.E.". Bloomberg. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- “Video: U.S. Rejects UAE Labeling of Two American Muslim Groups” www.huffingtonpost
- "FrontPage Magazine - Portrait of a Wahhabi". archive.frontpagemag.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.