As war with Iran moves closer to reality, it behooves the U.S. government to keep an eye on those groups and individuals within our borders that could be seen as fifth columns. This is especially the case with regard to entities that have expressed support for the enemy government of Iran. One of those organizations is the Islamic Circle of North America or ICNA, a group with deep ties to the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami. Its present support for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and its past (and present) support for the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini make the group worthy of investigation.
It is understood by many that the catalyst that drove the Islamist movement of the 1980s and beyond was the Iranian Revolution of 1979, where religious fundamentalists replaced the largely Westernized government of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. And while those in power were Shiites – a minority faction of Islam that many Sunni Muslims consider to be heretical – the takeover was widely embraced as a symbol of religious domination and the beginning of a return to Islam’s past, which Islamists had been praying for for over 50 years. Indeed, the Sunni group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) had used the Revolution as a basis for its founding.
Support for the Revolution was felt worldwide, including within the United States. Of course, any defense of the Iranian regime coming from America would be seen as nothing less than treasonous, especially after the hostage crisis that witnessed 52 Americans being held in captivity for nearly 450 days. One group based in the U.S., the Islamic Circle of North America, it seems, hasn’t worried too much about any negative labels ascribed to itself, as it has gone out of its way to laud the leaders of Iran, including the face behind the Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the country’s current President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In April of 1999, ICNA placed on its website a section entitled ‘GREAT MUSLIMS OF THE 20TH CENTURY.’ ICNA still has it up on one of its sites, under the title ‘Great Leaders of Last 100 Years.’ Featured within it are six individuals. One of the six is Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), otherwise known as the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan. Being that ICNA is the American arm of this organization, it would make sense that the group would honor him with a page on its site. Another of the individuals honored is Sayyid Qutb, an author and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who many consider to be the father of the modern-day Islamist movement.
A third honoree is Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, the Grand Ayatollah (Supreme Leader) of the Islamic Republic of Iran. ICNA saved the most praise for him, as none of the other five tributes come anywhere close in length. The piece places Khomeini on a pedestal, stating, “The legacy of Imam Khomeini was considerable. He had bequeathed to Iran not only a political system enshrining the principles both of religious leadership and of an elected legislature and head of the executive branch, but also a whole new ethos and self-image, a dignified stance of independence... He was deeply imbued with the traditions and worldview of Shi’i Islam, but he viewed the revolution he had led and the republic he had founded as the nucleus for a worldwide awakening of all Muslims.”
As well, the tribute takes aim at the United States – which Khomeini, while he was alive, referred to as the “Great Satan” – and Israel (the “Little Satan”). It states that Khomeini “correctly regarded the United States as the principal instigator of the [Iran-Iraq] war...” and that Khomeini alerted those going on pilgrimage to the “dangers arising from American dominance of the Middle East, the tireless activity of Israel for subverting the Muslim world, and the subservience to America and Israel of numerous Middle Eastern governments.”
At the time of the Iranian Revolution, Iran’s current President, Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, was a student activist. Photographs taken during the hostage crisis suggest the possibility that he played a key role as one of the captors. Several former hostages have alleged the same. Today, of course, Ahmadenijad has been the subject of numerous controversies, calling the Holocaust “a myth” and sponsoring a cartoon contest about it, stating that “Israel must be wiped off the map,” announcing to the world that Iran has enriched uranium needed to make nuclear fuel, supplying sophisticated weaponry to insurgents in Iraq, and claiming that his nation is free of homosexuals.
The past and present (and possibly future) evils of Mahmoud Ahmadenijad are difficult to ignore – that is, unless you are an Islamist organization with an anti-American agenda. Just as ICNA did with Khomeini, the organization has disregarded the depravity of Ahmadenijad and has worked to prop him up as a source of pride and inspiration.
Young Muslims (YM) is the youth wing of ICNA. Apart from the jihad camps and conferences that the group is involved with, one of the ways YM gets out its message of hatred and violence is via its website. Featured on its site is an interactive forum, where leaders and members post messages to one another. Most of the material posted is tame and innocuous. However, a number of the postings have involved favorable statements concerning terrorist organizations and overt animosity towards the United States.
The individual that runs the YM forum goes by the name Salafisticated. Last year, in the midst of violent outbreaks between Hamas and Fatah, Salafisticated defended Hamas and attacked Fatah, stating that Fatah was a “secular party” that “can’t stand to see someone come into power that will establish Islam in the land...”
A couple months later, in August of 2006, Salafisticated began a new discussion, writing elatedly about how Ahmadinejad opened up a website to voice his own personal views, including his view that the United States’ war on terrorism is “illegal and immoral.” He exclaimed, “President Ahmadinejad starts own BLOG!” and provided a link to it. [Later, he would blame the Iranian Holocaust cartoons on the Jews.] Forum members responded to the post with their own pro-Ahmadinejad statements. Member Yassy wrote, “This guy is cool.” Big Umar wrote, “I’ve read that President Amadinejad is pretty well versed in literature and writing. He’s not a doping leader like some...”
But by far, the most laudatory of the statements came from Senior Member Iklas. He wrote, “I think that he is one of the few Muslim Leaders who’s actually ‘got some guts’ and is ready to speak his mind to anyone unlike some other corrupt, hypocrite leaders who enjoy hugging and kissing the enemies of Islam even as they insult all Muslims... P.S. He is a million times better than Anti-Islam Bush.”
As well, on a separate forum located on the website of ICNA’s Why Islam?, Senior Member Dow Buzz wrote, “I am inspired by the president of Iran. Standing up to the rest of the world, proclaiming the rights of Iran, in the face of those that are determined to make him submit. I like this guy, he challenges me.”
These kind words propagated by leaders and members of ICNA for two completely corrupt and degenerate people, as are Ayatollah Khomeini and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, cannot be overlooked. By glorifying them, ICNA has aligned itself with sworn enemies of the United States – enemies who have been responsible for loss of American lives.
When tens of thousands of Iranian violence-driven malcontents scream “Death to America” in chorus, we Americans have a right to know who here is screaming with them. And once we find out who, law enforcement and intelligence needs to investigate and take appropriate action, so that inappropriate action is not taken upon us.
“The Irani Government, Syria, and Lebanon are the only ones standing up to the Pharaohs of today, where are the rest of the so called ‘Muslim’ leaders. Those Muslim leaders need to be reminded that unjust colonialism ended more than a half-century ago, its time we took our future in our own hands, Inshallah!”
– Young Muslims Senior Member Iklas, September 3, 2006