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U.S. Military Hires Chaplains Endorsed by Brotherhood Entity

BY RYAN MAURO

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, is proudly announcing that the U.S. military is again using their chaplains for active-duty service after a 15-year lull.

ISNA has a well-documented extremist history. In 1991, the Muslim Brotherhood listed ISNA as one of its main fronts. Declassified FBI memos said ISNA is a component of the Muslim Brotherhood, who sees its “work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

In 2007, the U.S. government labeled ISNA a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial involving the Holy Land Foundation funneling money to Hamas. The label was upheld in 2009 because of “ample” evidence linking ISNA to Hamas. Last year, ISNA’s Canadian affiliate lost its status as a charity because of its accounting discrepancies and links to Pakistani terrorists.

The two chaplains endorsed by ISNA are Sgt. Mustapha Rahouchen, who will be used by the U.S. Army, and Captain Rafael Lantiqua, who was chosen by the U.S. Air Force.

In April 2013, the Clarion Project broke the story that the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps had paid ISNA almost $5,000 for two advertisements in its magazine. When we contacted the Air Force about ISNA’s ties to the Brotherhood, we received the following response:

“The Islamic Society of North America is one of many religious organizations recognized by the Department of Defense that satisfy the ecclesiastical requirements to endorse qualified religious ministry professionals to serve as chaplains within the Military Departments.”

This story speaks to the broader threat posed by Islamist involvement in Muslim chaplain programs….

…Former Defense Department Inspector-General Joseph Schmitz was alarmed enough by loopholes in the system of vetting chaplains that allowed extremist organizations like ISNA’s involvement that he wrote a letter in 2010 describing his efforts to close them. He revealed in 2004 that he urged the Pentagon to adopt a policy that would prevent extremist groups, Muslim or otherwise, from involvement in the chaplaincy program.

He said that a policy should disqualify groups that support violent sedition, have an endorsing agent with a criminal history, are on a terrorism watch-list or have leaders convicted on terrorism-related charges. The Armed Forces Chaplains Board rejected his advice because it was “legally problematic.”

Here’s what’s really “problematic”: The U.S. government says ISNA is a Muslim Brotherhood entity and labeled it an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism trial. That same government is using ISNA to pick military chaplains and is a top outreach partner of the U.S. government.

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