“In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech” – Benjamin Franklin
As presidential candidate Donald Trump headed to Chicago for a campaign rally on 11 March 2016, violent protesters took to social media and then to the streets to shut him down in President Obama’s hometown. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, MoveOn.org, and Bernie Sanders supporters joined in solidarity with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists and other jihadis, Marxists, leftists, progressives, and even the convicted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, a former leader of the Weather Underground. They assembled to protest Trump’s rally at the Pavilion on the premises of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), a campus stronghold for Muslim Brotherhood front organizations and regular staging area for leftists and antisemitic demonstrations. The chain of events that led to that assault on Americans’ First Amendment free speech rights began long before that fateful date, however, among a motley assembly of forces that coalesced that night and with intent to expand and replicate elsewhere along the campaign trail. This was truly a ‘Red-Green Axis’ of groups that include the Muslim Brotherhood in America, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a collection of communists, leftists, progressives and socialists whose sole unifying objective is to bring down the U.S. government. Those who fund them include many of the top U.S. and international liberal foundations, as detailed in a superb January 2016 article by Jim Simpson, “Black Lives Matter: The Roots of Black Lives Matter.”
When George Zimmerman was acquitted in the Trayvon Martin killing in July 2013, the BLM launched its Twitter hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter. As explained by Jim Simpson, “Exploiting blacks to promote Marxist revolution is an old tactic. The late Larry Grathwohl, former FBI informant in the Weather Underground, understood from personal experience how white communists exploited blacks and other minority groups.” Since its inception, the BLM movement has become synonymous with support for radical leftist causes as well as blatant promotion of vicious racism. As Simpson explains, “…while justifying violence to achieve ‘social justice,’ the movement’s goal is to overthrow our society to replace it with a Marxist one.” Now, with an eye on the 2016 election cycle, the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella organization constituting the first U.S. Muslim Brotherhood political party, and indeed the first religious identity political party in the history of this country, openly is allying itself with far-left anti-American, racist, revolutionary movements like Black Lives Matter.
Prior to the creation of the USCMO in March 2014, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) whose own leadership historically has been directly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood also understood the importance of these strategic relationships with leftist causes and organizations. On its website at the “Who We Are” section, the CIOGC states: “The Council not only builds and nurtures unity within the Muslim American community, but it also leverages the strength that comes with unity to work in coalitions and partnerships on shared issues and on common concerns with community-based and interfaith groups as well. This further empowers the Muslim American voice while lending its strength to the broader communities in which we live.” This includes a CIOGC partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In the beginning of 2012, the CIOGC shared information about programs offered by ICIRR with assistance from the far left Wellstone Action, a national leader in electoral organizing and training.
On 4 March 2016, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, past chairman of the CIOGC (2005-2008) issued a post on his Facebook page about the protest against the Republican Party presidential frontrunner Donald J. Trump’s rally at the Pavilion on the University of Illinois Chicago campus. He also confirmed in the statement his planned presence at this protest. Mujahid, founder of the Chicago-based Sound Vision, has troubling ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mujahid is the past president of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) which was founded on the principles of and widely considered a front group for Jama’at al-Islami (JI) in the United States. According to Holy Land Foundation trial documents, ICNA formally joined with the Muslim Brotherhood to present a united front in the 1990s.
ICNA is also a founding member of the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), which operationalizes the Brotherhood’s responsibility to purse Civilization Jihad in the U.S. in a specifically political way. In the course of national conventions by front organizations representing the Brotherhood in the United States, these entities were closely studying the BLM movement. Additionally, they sought ways to utilize alienated, angry minority populations to further the aims of the Brotherhood’s Muslim community.
It is significant to note that ICIRR played a role in the protests on the 11th of March 2016. ICIRR partners also happen to include the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), CIOGC, and the Mosque Foundation. ICIRR is an array of organizations that promote hardcore leftist causes. ICIRR’s board includes two leaders from the Muslim Brotherhood leadership: Zaher Sahloul and Ahmed Rehab (Executive Director for CAIR Chicago). Sahloul is a member of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) and past president of the Mosque Foundation. Both CAIR and The Mosque Foundation are USCMO members.
CAIR and ICNA previously were identified as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood during the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial which concluded in 2008. Sheikh Kifah Mustapha, who has worked with Ousama Jammal (Secretary General of the USCMO and current Mosque Foundation board member) at The Mosque Foundation, was listed by name as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. According to documents entered into evidence at the HLF trial, he was a “registered agent for HLF in Illinois” who acknowledged fundraising for the HLF from the mid-1990s until 2001. Mustapha has also raised money for MAS and ICNA initiatives during their annual conferences in Chicago.
That the Muslim Brotherhood has a leadership role within ICIRR is not coincidental, as USCMO members have routinely manipulated the civil rights narrative of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and social justice themes to establish their credibility among radical leftist organizations in the U.S. The Muslim Brotherhood’s ground game in these areas has been the focus of its leadership, which is evidenced in programs held during yearly MAS-ICNA, ICNA-MAS, and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) national conventions. The planning process for the Brotherhood’s involvement in this arena has benefited from the expertise of a well-experienced international Brotherhood leader who served as a conduit among USCMO members in 2014 and 2015.
In August 2014, a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leader named Sabri Samirah (banned from the U.S. from 2004-2014 as a national security risk) revealed plans at The Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview Illinois, which are instrumental in the promotion of the ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’. Samirah’s research to determine Muslim population centers in jurisdictions where they could affect key election outcomes was indicative of his underlying strategy for the Muslim Brotherhood to establish a unified voting bloc. The launch then of an ambitious voter mobilization program aligned with key issues inevitably set the stage for the upcoming 2016 presidential election cycle.
But most importantly, the strategy emerged clearly when Samirah and fellow operatives discussed co-opting non-Muslim African American and Latino communities with which Muslims proposed to join in solidarity through exploiting such themes as civil rights issues, in return for these communities backing issues of prime importance to the Muslim community. By the end of 2015, USCMO members, including CAIR (its key leadership group), had a very clear direction for commandeering the Black Lives Matter movement.
During the 14th Annual Muslim American Society-Islamic Circle of North America (MAS-ICNA) Convention held in December 2015 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Brotherhood leadership discussed their role within the BLM movement and how they could impart lessons to African Americans by holding up the Brotherhood as the community that staged revolutions across the world. The Center’s video, “Star Spangled Shariah or Muslim Brotherhood Revolution?”, from that convention highlights the radical statements of three of its top jihadi leadership figures that should be chilling to all Americans who cherish the Constitution and oppose the expansion of shariah.
Dr. Hatem Bazian, Chairman of American Muslims for Palestine (another USCMO founding member), issued a statement via Twitter on 12 March 2016 about the previous night’s protests in Chicago. Crucial to note, Bazian was elected as a chairman of the National People of Color Student Coalition and an executive board member of the United States Student Association in the late 1980s. Not only was he an outspoken advocate for affirmative action as a student then, but he also supported the Central American Solidarity Movement, which advanced communism.
In July 2014, Bazian condemned the U.S. for its deportation of illegal aliens and suggested that more than two million African Americans were incarcerated because of their skin color. As shown in his tweets, Bazian echoes points of strategy delineated by Brotherhood leader Sabri Samirah and urges the funding of progressive efforts.
On 13 March 2016, as Chicagoans continued to absorb the impact of previous days’ violent events before the start of the weekend that began the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, a convicted jihadist was represented at the afternoon community gathering “Political Repression, the National Security State & Collective Legal Resistance” hosted by the National Lawyers Guild Chicago chapter.
The event was described on a Facebook page as the following: “Over the past fifteen years, people in the United States–and dissidents in particular–have witnessed a steady escalation of the National Security State, including invasive surveillance and infiltration, indiscriminate police violence, and unlawful arrests. These concerted efforts to criminalize dissidents and undermine meaningful social change are made more repressive by the coordination of numerous local, state, and federal agencies often operating at the behest of private corporations.”
A representative from the national Free Rasmea Odeh campaign was invited to speak alongside other presenters, as individuals gathered to discuss their grievances about the arrests of protesters made by the Chicago Police Department the previous Friday evening.
Rasmea Odeh had been convicted in federal court in Detroit in November 2014 on charges that she lied on her immigration and naturalization forms. She was found guilty of falsification of information by her denial that she’d ever been arrested, convicted or imprisoned, stemming from her role as a convicted bomber of the SuperSol supermarket in “West” Jerusalem in 1969, which resulted in two fatalities.
Evidently, these facts of the Odeh case did not matter to the National Lawyers Guild, Chicago organizers whose focus was legal support for the lawbreakers promoting progressive social movements.
In response to the subversive elements that gathered in Chicago to suppress protected First Amendment free speech, Abdul Malik Mujahid smugly issued the following statement in praise of their actions on his Facebook page on 12 March 2016.
As the country heads into the next months of supercharged presidential electioneering, it is important to identify those taking to the streets in protest and violence for what they represent: an in-your-face challenge to our Constitutional rights, law and order, and the very foundational principles of the Republic itself. As Jim Simpson so presciently noted in his Jan 2016 article, “Islamist organizations have also jumped on the BLM bandwagon, reminding us of the unholy alliance that exists between them and the radical Left. In September 2015, the Muslim Brotherhood front-group Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) joined BLM activists in storming California Governor Jerry Brown’s office. CAIR also participated in the Ferguson protests. Meanwhile ISIS is recruiting American blacks for its cause.”
Make no mistake: in true Alinsky form, the aim of the Red-Green Axis is anarchy. Divisiveness, racism and violence are their means—but shutting down the free speech of those who call them out for what they are (street thugs) is top of their To Do list. Our best defense remains a vigorous exercise of the right of free speech that is enshrined in the First Amendment.
To conclude as we began this essay, with Ben Franklin: “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved,” wrote Founding Father Benjamin Franklin in The Pennsylvania Gazette.”