Top Muslim leaders arrested at Speaker Ryan’s office

Linda Sarsour arrested by Capitol Police with other Muslim activists March 5, 2018, in front of the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Linda Sarsour arrested by Capitol Police with other Muslim activists March 5, 2018, in front of the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Declaring their solidarity with the children of illegal immigrants, a prominent Muslim activist and several leaders of a U.S. front-organization for the Muslim Brotherhood were among the people arrested Monday in a protest outside the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan in which they demanded a meeting to express their concerns.

Capitol Police led away in handcuffs Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and two CAIR chapter leaders along with Linda Sarsour,
the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, who drew national attention last year as co-chairman of the Women’s March.

Linda Sarsour speaking at last year's ISNA convention. She re-appeared at this year's convention, held July 1-3 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Linda Sarsour speaking at the 2016 convention of the Islamic Society of North America.

In a speech last year near Chicago to a Muslim Brotherhood group, Sarsour urged Muslim immigrants not to assimilate and called for “jihad” against the Trump administration.

The other protesters arrested Monday were Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR Michigan; Zahra Billoo, civil-rights attorney and the executive director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter; Omar Suleiman, president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research; Mujahid Fletcher, CEO of the advertising agency FocusPoint Studios; and Talib Shareef, president and imam of the Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad, in Washington, D.C.

Suleiman said Trump administration immigration policies are “creating real fear,” explaining he and his colleagues are fighting white supremacy because “Islamophobia,” racism and hostility against immigrants all stem from the same roots, reported Al Jazeera.

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The White House and Republican and Democratic congressional leaders are engaged in negotiations over the status of nearly 700,000 children in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, established through a constitutionally questionable executive order by President Obama. Trump announced last year a plan to phase out the program and set a deadline of March 5 for Congress to decide the fate of the illegal immigrants. However, a lower court ordered the administration to continue to accept renewal applications indefinitely, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined last month to take up the administration’s appeal.

At the protest, Shareef, quoting Malcom X, said: “Almighty Allah has told us to stand for justice. We are not weak in faith and we are here for a mobilization.

“We stand here in the spirit of Malcolm X with the people who are affected by these policies,” he said, according to Al Jazeera.

Fletcher, who came to the U.S. illegally from Colombia as a child, said: “We don’t want to live based on fear. We want to live according to the principles of freedom of speech, of religion.”

State of rage

Last July, Sarsour gave a speech at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood front group, in which she called for “jihad” against the Trump administration and urged Muslim immigrants not to assimilate into American society.

Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR (VOA Photo/M. Elshinnawi)

Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR (VOA Photo/M. Elshinnawi)

She said that if Muslims in America are not constantly in a state of rage against the Trump administration, they are traitors to Allah.

“Why sisters and brothers, why are we so unprepared? Why are we so afraid of this administration and the potential chaos that they will ensue on our community?” she asked. “I hope that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad.”

In December, Sarsour was accused of ignoring allegations of sexual harassment during her time as executive director of the Arab American Association. Asmi Fathelbab, the alleged victim, claimed Sarsour body-shamed her, dismissed the allegations and called her a liar.

One of the founders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also has urged Muslim immigrants not to assimilate.

In 1998, a local newspaper reported Omar Ahmad, CAIR’s former chairman, told Muslims at a meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area that they were in America not to assimilate but to help assert Islam’s rule over the country. CAIR and Ahmad have denied the newspaper’s account, but WND caught CAIR falsely claiming that it had contacted the paper and obtained a retraction, insisting Ahmad never made the statement. Three years later, the issue arose again, and WND found CAIR was claiming it had obtained a retraction but still had not contacted the paper.

The FBI cut off ties to CAIR in January 2009 after the group was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas, the largest terrorism-finance case in U.S. history.

Omar Ahmad, founder and former chairman of CAIR

Omar Ahmad, founder and former chairman of CAIR

More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.

FBI wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case showed CAIR executive director Awad and Ahmad was at an October 1993 meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in Philadelphia. CAIR, according to the evidence, was born out of a need to give a “media twinkle” to the Muslim leaders’ agenda of supporting violent jihad abroad while slowly institutionalizing Islamic law in the U.S.

A federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate CAIR as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, affirming the Muslim group had been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”

Along with Ahmad, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper also has expressed a desire to replace the U.S. system of government with an Islamic state.

“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”

CAIR is engaged in an ongoing lawsuit against the author of a WND Books bestseller, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which documented CAIR’s radical origins through an undercover investigation.

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