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July 28, 2005

The American Islamic Leaders' "Fatwa" is Bogus

Steven Emerson
The Investigative Project on Terrorism
Email: Stopterror@aol.com

This morning a group of American Islamic leaders held a press conference to announce a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against “terrorism and extremism.” An organization called the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) issued the fatwa, and the Council on American - Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized the press conference, stating that several major U.S. Muslim groups endorsed the fatwa.

In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism. It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader. In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate. In fact, officials of both organizations have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations. One of them is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to Al-Qaeda.

I spoke with Judea Pearl, father of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl who told me that the fatwa was “vacuous because it does not name the perpetrators of Islamic terrorist theologies and leaders of Islamic movements like Yousef Al Qaradawi, Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahari, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.” Pearl told me that these groups are “trying to perpetrate a deception on the American public.”

Officials of both groups have been linked to various terrorist organizations:

The Chairman of the Fiqh Council, Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami al-Arian, the alleged North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose trial began in June 2005 in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Alwani has been named in court documents as an official of several entities in northern Virginia suspected of being connected to terrorist financing. Documents released in the Al Arian trial show that Alwani funded the Islamic Jihad front groups in Tampa.

Another past trustee of the Fiqh Council, Abdurrahman Alamoudi, is serving a 23-year prison sentence for illegal financial dealings with Libya and immigration fraud, has admitted to his part in a plot to assassinate the Saudi Crown Prince, and has vocally announced his support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Additionally Alamoudi was just named by Treasury as having been a financier for Al Qaeda.

In 1998, Fiqh Council member Sheikh Muhammad al-Hanooti, gave a speech calling for jihad against the United States and the United Kingdom, saying that “Allah will curse the Americans and British” and “Allah, the curse of Allah will become true on the infidel Jews and on the tyrannical Americans.” Additionally, Hanooti is strongly linked to Hamas, having served on the board of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). A 2002 INS memo extensively documented IAP’s support for HAMAS and noted that the “facts strongly suggest” that IAP is “part of HAMAS’ propaganda apparatus.”

On October 28, 2000, Muzammil Siddiqui, the President of FCNA, at a rally in Lafayette Park in Washington D.C., said, “America has to learn -- if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come!"

In the past 4 years, several CAIR officials have been convicted of or charged with various terrorism-related offenses.

CAIR has championed and defended officials of Islamic terrorist groups including Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian, Palestinian Islamic Jihad fundraiser Fawaz Damra, and the radical Egyptian cleric Wagdy Ghoneim.

CAIR has repeatedly attacked the prosecutions of Islamic terrorists arrested and/or convicted since 9-11 and has attacked the government’s freezing of Islamic terrorist fronts as part of a “war against Islam” by the United States.

CAIR has led protests against the deportation of radical Islamic clerics who have called for Jihad or who have been fundraisers for Hamas.

CAIR has asserted that the indictment of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian on conspiracy to murder more than 100 people was “politically motivated” and instigated by “the attack dogs of the pro-Israeli lobby."

CAIR has been named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the family of former FBI official John O’Neill, who was killed on 9-11.

One of the signatories to today’s fatwa is Fawaz Damra who was convicted of immigration fraud related to his ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and denaturalized. He is currently awaiting a deportation hearing.

Another signatory, the Muslim American Society, is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States and whose publications have repeatedly supported suicide bombings.

For a comprehensive background paper on the links to Islamic terrorist and extremist groups, please click here.

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