AMP, founded in 2005, promotes extreme anti-Israel views and has at times provided a platform for anti-Semitism.

Opinion: Palestinian Islamists Ally with Left against Israel at Fundraiser in Chicago

Recently fired CNN Contributor Marc Lamont Hill will be keynote speaker for a Chicago-based group the Israel government recently declared “terrorists in suits.”

Hill, who was fired as a contributor for CNN following a speech at the United Nations where he used the anti-Israel eliminationist rhetoric “from the river, to the sea”, will be the keynote speaker, at a fundraising event for American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) near Chicago in March.

AMP, founded in 2005, promotes extreme anti-Israel views and has at times provided a platform for anti-Semitism. The organization seeks to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state. In addition, the organization plays a leading role in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the United States.

The BDS is a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets what the campaign describes as Israel’s “obligations under international law.” The campaign is organized and coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee under the guise of human rights in order to delegitimize and destroy Israel.

The AMP carries out campaigns with the aim of depicting the State of Israel as an apartheid state and calls for an end to American aid to Israel.

A report published by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs this month noted that leaders and senior members of AMP were involved, directly and indirectly, in providing funding assistance to Hamas.

The Israeli report added that the funding activity took place through the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and through the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an organization the U.S. government alleged was set up to provide propaganda services to Hamas. While at one time the largest Islamic charity in the United States, HLF and five of its directors were convicted of multiple terrorism-related charges, including material support for terror. The report concluded that leading figures in HLF and IAP joined AMP and hold senior positions in the organization.

A lawsuit filed by the parents of Hamas victim David Boim, alleging that AMP is the alter ego or successor organization of IAP is currently making its way through the courts.

Marc Lamont Hill will be joined by several local Chicago-area Islamic leaders who share AMP’s long history of ties to Hamas-linked groups.

The AMP event will feature two leaders of the Bridgeview Mosque, also known as The Mosque Foundation, its Imam, Jamal Said and Orland Park Prayer Center Kifah Mustapha.

The Mosque Foundation and several of its leaders, including Said and Mustapha have a long history of ties and support to Islamist groups and organizations known to fund terror groups. In 2005 The mosque had its bank account shut down by its local bank over concerns related to large donations to the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), which was designated as an Al Qaeda-funding charity. In total the mosque allegedly provided $374,00 to organizations that the government would designate for financing terror.

According to an investigative report by the Chicago Tribune published in 2008, Jamal Said was put into his position as Imam following a takeover of the Bridgeview mosque by hardliners with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood who forced out a group of moderates who founded the mosque.

Matthew Levitt, in his work Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, described Said as “a leader of the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.”

Documents submitted as evidence during the Holy Land Foundation trial show Said on a Palestine Committee phone list. The Palestine Committee was an organization established by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas, according the organizations own records, also submitted at trial.

Another Mosque Foundation leader with alleged ties to Hamas, Muhammad Salah, told Israeli security officials that Said recruited him into the Muslim Brotherhood. He later retracted the claim.

It’s unsurprising to find Said speaking at the AMP fundraiser, given his history of appearing at conferences of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), where he called for providing funds to the families of “martyrs.”

Levitt concluded that “such Islamists do not believe in the rule of law and order in the West and try to build Islamist communities that reject the civil authorities in the West, instructing their members not to talk to law enforcement.”

Local Muslim residents have reported to this author that Sheikh Said has chastised Bridgeview Muslims and those in the surrounding area who go to the police to report crimes, instead of reporting them to the Mosque Foundations leaders to be handled within the community.

Said has used weekly sermons to urge Chicago’s Muslim population to oppose assimilating within American society, culture and lifestyle. Said has called upon male Muslims to keep their female household members under control and demand that they don the hijab and apply Sharia in their lives.

The radical Bridgeview imam often calls upon devout Muslims to donate generously for the expansion of the mosque or the creation of new programs for the Muslim youth “before it becomes too late and we may lose our children because they are living in an un-Islamic society.”

Progressive Left may be enamored and intrigued by the fight Palestinian Islamists put up against Israel. But they should consider the negative impact that radical leaders like Jamal Said have on young Palestinian and Arab immigrant communities.

Chicago-area Muslims deserve leaders who reject radical Islam and anti-Semitism, not those like Jamal Said, whose rhetoric drives Muslim communities to the abyss of extremism, or bog their communities down in supporting the cycle of violence and terrorism in the Middle East and beyond.

Hesham Shehab

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Hesham Shehab
Hesham Shehab
Educator, Journalist, Columnist, Islamic Expert, Muslim Expert, Human Rights Activist, Pastor at Salam Christian Fellowship | Website

Adjunct Faculty at College of DuPage, Formerly Adjunct Faculty at American University of Beirut and Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church Lombard, IL Name pronounciation: HI-shahm SHI-hab  Hebrews 12: 4 & Philippians 1: 29

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