Thursday, March 03, 2005

Must-read on Muslim American Society, Muslim Brotherhood, and KSA

From the September 19, 2004 issue of Chicago Tribune (free registration required), A rare look at secretive [Muslim] Brotherhood in America

This article focuses on Ahmed Elkadi of Sterling, VA, a former personal physician to King Faisal, who was instrumental in bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to America.

Here are some bon-bons from that article:

"Leading the U.S. Brotherhood during much of this period was Ahmed Elkadi, an Egyptian-born surgeon and a former personal physician to Saudi Arabia's King Faisal. He headed the group from 1984 to 1994 but abruptly lost his leadership position. Now he is discussing his life and the U.S. Brotherhood for the first time. … Once one of America's most influential Muslims, Elkadi now spends most of his days in front of the TV in his two-bedroom condominium in Sterling, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington."

"By 1990, U.S. Brotherhood members had made headway on that plan by helping establish many mosques and Islamic organizations. Some of those efforts were backed financially by the ultraconservative Saudi Arabian government, which shared some of the Brotherhood's fundamentalist goals. … Some of those organizations eventually would distance themselves from the Brotherhood. The Islamic Society of North America, the umbrella group for the Muslim Youth of North America and the Muslim Students Association [mailing address: P.O. Box 1096; Falls Church, VA 22041], says Brotherhood members helped form those groups but that their overall influence has been limited."

"In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. … Shaker Elsayed (photos), a top MAS official [who was photographed walking alongside Faten and Omar Abu Ali when the judge ordered that their son be detained before trial], says the organization was founded by Brotherhood members but has evolved to include Muslims from various backgrounds and ideologies.

"MAS says it has about 10,000 members and that any Muslim can join by paying $10 a month in dues.

But to be an "active" member--the highest membership class--one must complete five years of Muslim community service and education, which includes studying writings by Brotherhood ideologues al-Banna and Qutb."

In the timeline, the article has this item:

"2003: U.S. authorities investigating alleged terrorism funding describe Virginia businessman Soliman Biheiri as the Brotherhood's "financial toehold" in the U.S. Biheiri denies any terrorist links." As noted on Northern Virginiastan, Biheiri was sentenced to 13 months in prison this past January for lying about his business dealings with HAMAS leader and former Falls Church resident Musa Abu Marzook (photos).

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