By Patrick Poole
As a tune-up for the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa later this summer, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) hosted a regional conference there this past weekend to rally supporters for the upcoming elections.
However the presence of one of the keynote speakers, Egyptian-Canadian Islamic leader Jamal Badawi, is not only raising ongoing questions about the leadership of ISNA, but also of the Department of Homeland Security’s continued reluctance to stop Badawi’s extensive travels inside the United States despite abundant evidence of his terrorist support and extremist views, including evidence submitted by federal prosecutors fingering Badawi in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.
Even before the conference this past weekend, the Investigative Project on Terrorism noted last week Badawi’s radicalism, including recorded statements he made in 2009 in support of suicide bombings.
No doubt Badawi’s supporters will point to the questionable 2005 “anti-terrorism” fatwa he signed as a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (failing to note that the fatwa nowhere defines terrorism nor condemns any actual terrorist groups), but in fact Badawi has himself violated the terms of the fatwa he signed.
One of the provisions of that fatwa prohibits associating with known terrorists, but as I reported at the time in July 2007 Badawi was a featured speaker at a conference in Qatar honoring Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi, where Badawi shared the speaker’s podium with Khaled Mishaal, the head of Hamas and a designated terrorist by both the U.S. and Canada. Badawi’s remarks were posted on Qaradawi’s website (now since removed).
During the event, Mishaal praised Qaradawi as the first major Sunni cleric to endorse the use of suicide bombings, and Qaradawi publicly reaffirmed his support for the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations – all without the slightest word of dissent by Badawi.
That’s not the only connection. Badawi also sits on the board of directors of Qaradawi’s International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), which just a few months after its founding in 2004 issued a fatwa authorizing the killing of American troops in Iraq. The Iraqi resistance even published the news of the IAMS fatwa on their own English-language website.
That’s right: Homeland Security continues to allow Badawi into the U.S. despite sitting on the board of a group that religiously authorized the killing of American service men and women.
It isn’t like Homeland Security doesn’t know who Jamal Badawi is. In 2007, federal prosecutors individually named Badawi (pg. 4, #20) as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, the Holy Land Foundation case….