This weekend, the University of South Florida (USF) and the town of Temple Terrace, a suburb of Tampa Bay, Florida, will once again be hosting the Muslim American Society’s Olympics. Once again, the school known as Jihad U and the local area will be associating themselves with terrorism and radical Islam.
On March 8th through the 9th, the Tampa chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS-Tampa) will be holding its 6th Annual Olympics, now referred to as MYathlon (“MY” meaning MAS Youth). The venues for the event are remaining the same as last year, when the boys used the sports facilities at USF, and the girls used those at the Temple Terrace Recreation Complex, which is owned by the city. Given the history of the Muslim American Society, and given the local chapter’s past, one can’t help but think how reckless and irresponsible it is for the venues to allow this event to take place.
MAS was established in 1992, incorporated in ’93. It was created by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), a global Islamist political/religious movement that is the forebearer of such terror groups as Al-Qaeda and Hamas. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, as stated in a December 2007 federal court brief, “MAS was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”
MAS-National’s Freedom Foundation, along with its Executive Director Mahdi Bray, has defended convicted terrorists Sami Al-Arian, Abdurahman Alamoudi and Ali Al-Timimi. MAS National President Esam Omeish was forced to resign his government appointed position on the Virginia Commission of Immigration, after video footage surfaced showing him advocating violent jihad. And MAS-National’s magazine, The American Muslim, in March of 2002, published a fatwa supportive of suicide bombings.
MAS, as well, has local chapters around the United States. One of these chapters, MAS-Minnesota, uses its website to call for the murder of Jews (“If you gain a victory over the men of Jews, kill them.”) and to laud terrorist organizations (“The [Islamic] revolution... has been crystallized in the steadfast, brave, aware Islamic resistance movement ‘Hamas.’”)
Another MAS chapter is MAS-Tampa. Up until a year and a half ago, the group’s website was saturated with violent and hateful material, much of which came from the MAS-Minnesota site. However, much of it came from MAS-Tampa, itself.
Prior to August of 2006, viewers of MAS-Tampa’s website were treated to texts written by such individuals as the founder of the International Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun), Hassan Al-Banna, and the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan (Jamaat-e-Islami), Syed Abul Ala Maududi. Additionally, one of the texts states that it was edited by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). In March of 2002, IIIT’s Virginia offices were raided by the FBI in a terror financing probe.
The following anti-Semitic, anti-woman, anti-homosexual and pro-violence statements were published on MAS Tampa’s website:
- “A Jew came to the Prophet asking for his debt and said: ‘You are from the tribe of Abd Manaf whose tribe likes to delay paying debts.’ When Umar heard this, he swore that he would cut off the Jew’s head.”
- “‘Whoever is submissive to the likes and dislikes of a woman will be thrown by Allah into Hell,’ and ‘A man’s sin is as great as his wife’s ignorance.’”
- “A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death...”
- “The greatest sacrifice for G-d is made in Jihad, for in it a man sacrifices not only his own life and property in His cause but destroys those of others also.”
- “Khalid ibn al Walid wrote to Abu Bakr, telling him that in some areas of the Arabian Peninsula he had found men engaging in homosexual practices. Abu Bakr decided to consult the Sahabah of the Prophet (PBUH) as to what he should do about it... Abu Bakr wrote back to Khalid to tell him that they should be burnt to death; and this was done.”
MAS Olympics has taken place at USF for a number of years, now. And while the MAS-Tampa website has been purged of its hate and violence, USF didn’t have a problem hosting the radical group when the material was up on the site in 2005 and 2006. But then again, radical Islam has become a normal occurrence at USF.
Sami Al-Arian arrived at USF in 1986. While there, he would create an entire infrastructure for Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an organization that targets Israeli civilians with terrorist attacks. This PIJ network consisted of a charity, the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP) a.k.a. Islamic Concern Project; a think tank, World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE); and a children’s school, the Islamic Academy of Florida (IAF). In the case of WISE, USF was a partner.
Ramadan Shallah, at the behest of Al-Arian, came to teach a political science course at USF, in 1991. He abruptly left town in 1995 and soon emerged in Damascus, Syria as the international head of PIJ, replacing the assassinated Fathi Shikaki.
One of Al-Arian’s disciples, a former USF student government leader named Danya Shakfeh, like MAS-Tampa, has used the internet to spread hatred against non-Muslims. In January of 2002 she wrote in her blog, “There is much Zionist propaganda in the media. If you’ve ever read the German point of view of the ‘Holocaust,’ you would know that the Germans of the time believed that the Jews were over represented in the government, much like today in the US.” In January of 2006, she referred to Judaism as “their alleged faith.”
In August of 2007, two other USF students, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, were arrested in South Carolina and indicted for transporting explosive materials, which included pipe bombs. Mohamed was also charged with teaching and demonstrating how to turn a remote-control child’s toy into a bomb detonator. In addition, a third USF student, Karim Moussaoui, was arrested, in connection to Mohamed and Megahed, for unlawful possession of firearms.
All of these things are symptoms of a greater problem that has taken hold of much of the Tampa area, specifically USF and Temple Terrace. But just because radical Islam has become normalcy for the school and the city doesn’t mean that that can be used as an excuse for exacerbating the problem, by allowing MAS -- a group that has and continues to propagate violent hatred against those that don’t worship the same as its members do -- access to their facilities. And just because the events involve sporting activities doesn’t make it okay.
Those concerned, please contact USF and the city of Temple Terrace. They need to know that someone besides the enemy cares about what’s going on in Southwest Florida.