By Altaf Husain
“…The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (MSA National) began as a spiritual and social support initiative for international students and transformed over the last five decades to become a truly American institution. On January 1, 2013, MSA National celebrated 50 years since its founding. This is a historic milestone for many reasons.
First, the small group of Muslim students who founded MSA National in the winter of 1963 on the campus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) reflected a microcosm of the hundreds of thousands of young people who come to study at American universities and colleges. Although we have welcomed international students throughout our history, the cohort who founded MSA National were among the students who arrived post World War II. Many of these students were fleeing conditions of conflict and turmoil in their home countries. Some of these students represented the best and brightest of their nations with high hopes of returning home after graduation, having experienced democracy and civic engagement first hand in America. Some students did return home and led major reforms in education, medicine, science, technology and even government. Others were employed by various American public and private institutions and ultimately became permanent residents and then citizens. Both students who returned home and those who became naturalized Americans became the best ambassadors of American values and a testament to the goodwill we have generated through a meaningful immigration policy. This milestone is significant today because of the ongoing debate about the Dream Act and immigration policies related to international students, and visas to employ foreign nationals in critical industries, to name a few.
Second, the founding of MSA National fifty years ago is a historic milestone because it reflects the best of what America has to offer in terms of institution and capacity building. The students who founded MSA National alongside individual chapters of the MSA on American college and university campuses during these past five decades have done so because of the freedoms afforded to them in America….”
And it goes on… more here
The above article is a whitewash of the Muslim Students Association. For a factual piece, read from Discover the Networks:
“…The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada, or MSA (also known as MSA National), was established mainly by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in January 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nyack College theologian Larry A. Poston writes that “many of the founding members of this agency [MSA] were members of, or had connections to,” the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-i-Islami. Thethree most significant founders of MSA were Ahmed Totanji, Jamal Barzinji, and Hisham al Talib, all of whom were MB leaders of Iraqi descent. Other noteworthy individuals who served as early co-founders of MSA were Mahboob Khan and Malika Khan.
The creation of MSA resulted from Saudi-backed efforts to establish Islamic organizations internationally in the 1960s, for the purpose of spreading its Wahhabist ideology across the globe. According to Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy: “The Saudis over the years set up a number of large front organizations, such as theMuslim World League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the Al Haramain Foundation, and a great number of Islamic ‘charities.’ While invariably claiming that they were private, all of these groups were tightly controlled and financed by the Saudi government and the Wahhabi clergy.” Moreover, these organizations commonly shared personnel, money, and institutional affiliations.
The Saudis’ first foray into the United States came in the form of MSA, which, like the aforementioned Saudi-based groups, received its major funding and direction from Riyadh. According to a February 2008 New York Times report, MSA, from its earliest days, “pushed the [Saudi] kingdom’s puritan, Wahhabi strain of Islam.” In the 1960s and 70s, adds the Times piece, MSA chapters “advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations and would brook no criticism of Saudi Arabia.” In subsequent years, a number of additional Islamist organizations would grow out of MSA, whose own website states: “MSA National was the precursor of ISNA [the Islamic Society of North America], ICNA [the Islamic Circle of North America], MAYA [the Muslim Arab Youth Association], IMA [the Islamic Medical Association of North America], AMSS [the Association of Muslim Social Scientists], AMSE [the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers], MYNA [Muslim Youth of North America], Islamic Book Service, and the North American Islamic Trust.”
Stating that its mission is “to serve the best interest of Islam and Muslims in the United States and Canada so as to enable them to practice Islam as a complete way of life,” MSA presents itself as an apolitical, religious and cultural organization. In reality it is a radical political force and a key lobbying organization for the Wahhabi sect of Islam, telling students that America is an imperialist power and Israel an oppressor nation. MSA speakers routinely spew anti-Semitic libels and justify the genocide against the Jews which is promoted by Islamic terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and by the government of Iran. The Center for Security Policy’s Alex Alexiev states:
“The majority of Muslim Student Associations at U.S. colleges are dominated by Islamist and anti-American agendas, as are most of the numerous Islamic centers and schools financed by the Saudis. Intolerance and outright rejection of American values and democratic ideals are often taught also in the growing number of Deobandi schools that are frequently subsidized by the Saudis.”
Hamid Algar, a faculty member at UC Berkeley, is the biographer of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and one of the world’s leading historians of Islamic spirituality. In his 2000 publication, Wahhabism: A Critical Essay, Algar candidly acknowledged MSA’s historicalties to radical Islam:
“Some Muslim student organizations have… functioned at times as Saudi-supported channels for the propagation of Wahhabism abroad, especially in the United States. The [MSA] was established in 1963, one year after theMuslim World League [MWL] with which it had close links. Particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, no criticism of Saudi Arabia would be tolerated at the annual conventions of the MSA … The organization has, in fact, consistently advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaati Islam…. Although the MSA progressively diversified its connections with Arab states, official approval of Wahhabism remained strong.”
Since its founding, MSA has grown into the most influential Islamic student organization in North America. It currently has chapters on nearly 600 college campuses; just over150 of these chapters are affiliated with the national organization, while the remainder are independent entities whose policies and views may differ from those of MSA National.
MSA’s activities are guided at all times by a set of Islamist agendas that emphasize the importance of gaining power in the U.S., one campus at a time. Toward that end, the organization has published an MSA Starter’s Guide: A Guide on How to Run a Successful MSA, which states:
“It should be the long-term goal of every MSA to Islamicize the politics of their respective university … the politicization of the MSA means to make the MSA more of a force on internal campus politics. The MSA needs to be a more ‘In-your-face’ association … For example, the student body must be convinced that there is such a thing as a Muslim-bloc.” The Guide further advises: “Aim to rise within the ranks of the Union [student government] and to get on selected executive committees … I cannot stress this enough, the Union has vast powers that Muslims need to control.”
In its quest for increased influence, MSA devotes many of its efforts and resources to the practice of da’wa — i.e., proselytization which consists of “inviting” non-Muslims, or “infidels,” to join the Islamic faith. Nyack College theologian Larry A. Poston characterizesMSA as “undoubtedly the most activist of the da’wa organizations in America.” InJanuary 2005, former MSA UCLA member Ahmed Shama said:
“The only justification … that Muslims have to live in this country is da’wa…. [I]f we are not doing something to invite people to Islam, Muslims and non-Muslims, then we are missing the point what Islamic Movement is about…. The end goal of everything I was talking about is the establishment of, the reestablishment of, Islamic form of government.”
In 2007, MSA National’s website featured a document entitled, “Da’wa: Time to Come Out of Our Boxes,” advising MSA members to strategically adapt their da’wa to the particular cultural sensibilities of North Americans. For example: “Instead of using ‘Holy War’ to translate the word Jihad, use a more comprehensive and proper term like, ‘struggle’ or ‘striving’… Try to use language that is more appealing to North Americans.”
“[T]he women’s liberation movement was not begun by women but was revealed by God to a man in the seventh century by the name of Muhammad … The Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith or Sunnah) are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties. … Islam, fourteen centuries ago, made women equally accountable to God in glorifying and worshipping Him — setting no limits on her moral progress. Also, Islam established a woman’s equality in her humanity with men. … In Islam, a woman has the basic freedom of choice and expression based on recognition of her individual personality. … The Muslim woman was given a role, duties and rights 1400 years ago that most women do not enjoy today, even in the West.”
Part and parcel of MSA’s da’wa strategy is to make the presence of Muslim students and traditions increasingly ubiquitous on college and university campuses. According to MSA’s Muslim Accommodations Task Force (MATF), campus MSAs can achieve this goal by demanding that their universities become more “Muslim-friendly,” and by claiming that a school’s failure to do so would make Muslim students feel like outcasts….”
Much more here
Rice University has an MSA: http://msa.rice.edu/
University of Houston has an MSA: http://uhmsa.com/
Kempner HS MSA in Fort Bend ISD: http://campuses.fortbendisd.com/campuses/khs/ActivityDetail.cfm?activityIndex=11698
Clements HS MSA in FBISD: http://campuses.fortbendisd.com/campuses/chs/ActivityDetail.cfm?activityIndex=12062
Michael E. DeBakey HS for Health Professions has an MSA: http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/13672
Does your childs/grandchild’s school have a radical, Muslim Brotherhood-connected MSA?
One last quote regarding the MSA:
“Writer Jonathan Dowd-Gailey has made some insightful observations about how the MSA has affected Americans’ view of Muslims, both in the United States and around the world:
“Ironically, although one of the founding missions of the MSA is to increase favorable awareness of Muslim life among non-Muslims, the effect of the MSA’s activities is the opposite: they confirm the worst suspicions of American society at large. The MSA’s refusal to identify jihadists and jihadist sympathizers within its ranks, its indiscriminate opposition to U.S. policies following the September 11 attacks, its vitriolic anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, and its solidarity with ‘Leftover Left’ radical activist organizations, together reinforce an image that the MSA, and by extension, Muslim college students, are a divisive, angry, and potentially violent group on our campuses. By monopolizing the Muslim student voice in America with ‘radical chic’ to create a ‘single Muslim bloc,’ an opportunity to forge a healthy discourse on the diverse attitudes of Muslim students is lost to the confrontational language of radical dissent and resistance.”
Intolerant of ideological non-conformity, MSA has ostracized Muslim students who do not share its anti-American, anti-war views. For example, when Oubai Shahbandar, an Arizona State University (ASU) student of Muslim heritage, expressed support for the Iraqi invasion, he suffered condemnation from MSA members who, he said, “personally attacked” him “for not being a real Muslim” and for being “a hater of Arabs and Muslims.” “We are told [by MSA that] America’s foreign policy is based on racist neo-imperialism, Shahbandar reported. “We are taught that national security is a foul epithet to be reviled; we are told the Jews and Israel are to blame for the hatred against us.”