DNC hopeful Keith Ellison to rub elbows with radicals at Islamic confab
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. (F, 26%), the frontrunner to become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, is set to speak at an event next week that is being described as a “rogue’s gallery of the Islamist world.” He will be joined by a plethora of speakers who have espoused dangerous views and engaged directly with jihadist organizations.
The Muslim American Society (MAS) and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) are co-hosting the “American Muslims Islamic Duties and Civic Obligations” convention in Chicago next week. And Ellison is scheduled to be a featured guest speaker Tuesday night.
Federal prosecutors have described MAS — which paid for Ellison’s hajj to Mecca — as an “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood. ICNA, for its part, advocates for a global Islamic caliphate ruled by sharia law.
On his own, the Minnesota congressman has a history of menacing commentary and associations, most evident by his attendance at gatherings of fringe Islamic groups. Moreover, Rep. Ellison has likened the 9/11 attacks to a false-flag event, and once compared George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.
But enough about Ellison for now. Take a look at the company he keeps. Many of the speakers who will share the MAS-ICNA podium with him consist of a who’s who of radicals.
Kyle Shideler, director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, told Conservative Review that Ellison will be accompanied by a “treasure trove of bad guys.”
There’s Siraj Wahhaj, who was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj has advocated for the establishment of an Islamic state inside the United States.
Also at the event will be Nihad Awad, founder and director of the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Council on American Islamic Relations. Awad has declared that he is “in support of the Hamas movement,” a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip.
There is Mohammed Ratib Al-Nabulsi, a Syrian sheikh who once declared that “all the Jewish people are combatants,” and, as such, justifiable targets for suicide bombings. He’s also called for the death penalty for homosexuals.
Jamal Badawi, a founding member of MAS and a former Muslim Brotherhood official, is listed as a speaker. At a 2006 conference, he declared that Islamic suicide bombers were “freedom fighters” against oppression.
Imam Suhaib Webb of the Islamic Society of Boston will also be in attendance. Webb, once a close friend of deceased al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, presides over a congregation that has drawn over a dozen suspected or convicted terrorists
Then there’s Mazen Mokhtar, who was identified in a July 2004 affidavit as someone who solicited financing for the Taliban and Chechen mujahideen. The indictment against him, however, was later dismissed and he is now the director of the MAS New Jersey chapter.
Khalil Meek, once a spokesman for the Holy Land Foundation — a now-defunct group that was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror financing case in American history — will also speak at the conference.
“The fact is, Rep. Keith Ellison will be attending an event with a veritable rogue’s gallery of the Islamist world,” the Center for Security Policy’s Kyle Shideler told CR. “MAS-ICNA is proudly advertising speakers who have endorsed suicide bombings, called homosexuality a ‘repugnant disease,’ multiple unindicted co-conspirators for terrorism cases, and an imam the DHS is actively attempting to deport for Hamas ties.”
Steven Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, told Conservative Review:
“Both MAS and ICNA are radical Islamist groups which were derived from the Muslim Brotherhood. For years, both groups have openly issued incendiary statements defending terrorist groups, have had officials from their groups openly linked to terrorist groups, and year after year featured openly radical Islamic fundamentalists as the primary speakers at their conferences.”
By appearing at the Islamic supremacist MAS-ICNA conference, Rep. Keith Ellison does no favors for his campaign to mainstream his candidacy to the Democratic Party at large.