Imam Musri, a Hamas Fundraiser Event, and The Muslim Brotherhood

by ALAN KORNMAN March 5, 2011
 
On January 20, 2011 The Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies of Florida (RRRAF) invited Imam Muhammad Musri, Director of the Islamic Society of Central Florida for a self described “Town Hall Meeting” called Peace Through Understanding, Conservative and Muslim Viewpoints.
 
The meeting began with a stern warning that if any “doctored” audio or video was to appear on the internet the RRRAF would file a criminal complaint against the perpetrator. We brought two cameras with us but were told in the strongest of terms we were not allowed to film. We complied even though there is no expectation of privacy in an event open to the general public.
 
 
You will learn Imam Musri says he did not know who George Galloway was, before he entered his Mosque in 2009 raising money for Hamas (video above). Musri, a few minutes later, admits Galloway goes around the world raising money for Hamas. We learned the title holder to Imam Musri’s main Mosque is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood who is comprised of violent elements. Prior to that comment, Musri said he will have nothing do with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. Imam Musri thought everyone in the audience was unaware and wouldn’t know about the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and The Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Tony Van? (inaudible) asked Imam Musri for his opinion about the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ground Zero Mosque, Shariah Law and CAIR because, “these people really scare me”. Imam Musri began with his explanation of the Muslim Brotherhood(MB). Musri said that,
 
“the (MB) has branched into significance number of groups some of them just charitable and others that are extreme, violent, like type, um , attack...(inaudible) and all of these are an offshoot of them. Working with the State Department we know that, uhh, they do not have here what is called an official presence...there is only suspicion that there are some Muslim Brotherhood (inaudible) that exist in the United States but the government position on them (is) that as long as they are just philosophically political Muslims, they are watching but they don’t have anything to do. Now, we as an organization, we believe, or we consider the Muslim Brotherhood as (is) an organization that we do not work with, deal with, or recognize in any way as part of our community.”
 
Approximately thirty minutes after the exchange above, I asked Imam Musri a follow-up question on the Muslim Brotherhood. I informed Imam Musri there was a document submitted into evidence at the 2007 Holy Land Foundation Terrorist Funding Trial, that in law enforcement circles is known as “The Project.” The document I was referring to inspired “An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group” of which one of the groups listed is the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). I purposely took this liberty so the audience could more easily follow my line of questioning. I informed Imam Musri that he had said earlier he does not work or deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, yet if you look at the Orange County Florida Property Appraisers site, one will see that his Mosque is owned by the North American Islamic Trust - an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Can you please explain this inconsistency? Remember, Musri said earlier there are many groups some charitable and some extreme and violent that are “offshoots” of the Muslim Brotherhood. Imam Musri replied,
 
“I do not believe that, or regard the North American Islamic Trust is a Muslim Brotherhood Organization, number one. It is an association of many Mosques across the country who felt for the protection of the real estate, that they needed, that, uhh, they should come together and form an organization, where some attorneys, and some real estate people understand the most combinative laws involved (inaudible) with, you know accountants. So that association was formed in many Mosques around the country registered with. When we saw that, umm, list and saw the name of that organization, the North American Islamic Trust, being listed as a co-conspirator, they, we informed them that we wanted to be separated from them. 
 
We do not know that there is a federal indictment of them of any kind, for evidence of support that they are involved in any activity, uhh, other than this ancillary reference to them, but never the less, we made, uhh, a legal request to have this organization that we after twenty five years we want to separate from them, because we do not want to be associated with any group in any way that is even remotely listed on (inaudible) for terrorism.
 
So, we are still in legal proceedings because after twenty five years of them holding title to our property, it is really very difficult to take it back. And if you happen to know a very good attorney (laughing in the audience) to help us with this because we have spent several thousand dollars already and we have not been successful, because we even offer to buy it back, even though when we listed it they wouldn’t pay a penny. But, uhh, we operate 100 percent dependent of them, they do not have any say over what we do, they in my eighteen years of working this organization never have actually contacted them. 
 
They happen to hold the title and one day we will get them back and that, by the way, is only on one of the facilities, we have dozens of facilities across Florida that are all in our name. Because at that time in the 80’s, when the community was small that was the decision of people before me, that, umm, we believe was wrong decision, seeing that, we are still trying to follow through to get title back...(inaudible)... but good that you pointed it out.”
 
In this exchange, Imam Musri admitted that an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood holds title to the Al-Raham Mosque on Goldenrod Road in Orlando, FL. It is a stretch to believe a group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood exerts NO influence on the Mosques to which it holds title. It is reasonable to speculate that the Muslim Brotherhood organization may hand pick each of the Imams at the Mosques it holds title to. Imam Musri said that in the 18 years he has been there he has never “actually contacted them”. Admittedly, he has been working with NAIT since the memorandum was made public regarding the North American Islamic Trust,   and their ties to the Muslim Brotherhood were made public.   One can not start a legal proceeding to gain a property title without contacting the title holder.   
 
Imam Musri’s statements in this instance contain gross contradictions that need to be illuminated and explained.  Imam Musri has said that he does not regard the North American Islamic Trust as a Muslim Brotherhood entity. Musri’s statement contradicts Federal Court documents admitted as evidence in the largest terrorist funding case in U.S. history: The Holy Land Foundation Trial. Musri admits the Muslim Brotherhood exists, has violent offshoots, yet his denial that NAIT is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood is a clever debating trick to deceive his conservative audience.   This admission that the Muslim Brotherhood has violent extremist offshoots operating in America, as confirmed by Imam Musri, hopefully will prompt our State Department to add the Muslim Brotherhood to its Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
 
Imam Musri made the comment that he does not support any of the groups listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department. Musri’s comment is reassuring to the average American but a little research presents a different picture. Number 12 on the Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations is Hamas. 
 
George Galloway getting friendly with the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. Galloway donated funds to the Hamas terrorist group.
 
Last year the video in this article was made public. It shows George Galloway, Imam Mahdi Bray, and the Muslim American Society raising money for Hamas in the Gymnasium of Imam Musri’s Al-Raham Mosque in Orlando, FL. George Galloway’s visa to enter the United States was recently revoked, some speculate, because of his Hamas funding activities. I asked Imam Musri how he can say he doesn’t support Hamas, yet allow fundraisers to be held at his Mosque property, specifically for Hamas? 
 
Imam Musri replied,
 
“It wasn’t to my knowledge that Mr. Galloway, whom I did not know before, uhh, was invited by the group who used our, they didn’t, do anything at our Mosque. They rented this room, they rented the auditorium of the school, just as tonight we rented this place. And they conducted that event, brought that speaker, without my knowledge or approval, which I subsequently reprimanded them for it, and took measures to bar that group and individuals locally who promoted them to coming.
 
But I personally investigated what happened, and what was the money that was raised for that event was going to. We know that there was a war between Hamas and Israel two years ago, and a lot of the Palestinians, the public not the Hamas, not the Fatah, not any government, but the public who got in the crossfire. A lot of people needed help and that is how the fundraiser was conducted and was for, to strictly help the public. And the conditions were that that help would go as a medical supplies, like canes, like wheelchairs, like to civilians who got hurt who don’t have these medical supplies they desperately need. And I would think that Mr. Galloway had other fundraisers around the world, to raise money for Hamas. Because of that we told that group that in no circumstance he or people like him should come, but frankly, we’ve not, umm, we don’t have the resources of the U.S. Government to investigate people before they arrive and speak and know what they going to do in the future. 
 
And that happened many times with visitors to the United States, uhh, and I believe our government should have not given him a visa to come to the country and raise money anywhere and then do something like that, ok. But the way it was presented that he was an Englishman, Parliamentarian, and if you saw in the UK government, it’s assumed he is a safe person, but it turned out he is not so, and that he since he has done things like that, I was shocked and surprised physically later on. But we are very much taking measures against things happening like that, even though we investigated and I asked the FBI, and discussed this with them, and said I want to know, for the comfort of my mind, that every dollar that was raised in this community, even though it did not come to our Masjid, that it did not go anywhere to Hamas or any political group out there. 
 
And they showed me that there is nothing big enough to say that was the case. But they said wheelchairs were purchased, canes, other medical equipment, uhh, they gave us pictures of them, they put them in a container and shipped it to Egypt and then it was delivered to the city of (inaudible).”
 
It is inconceivable Imam Musri would not be aware who would be coming to his Mosque, an event that would draw close to 500 people. It is even harder to believe Imam Musri had no idea who George Galloway was, or cared to find out, prior to the event. YES, Imam Musri, the Galloway event that took place on your Mosque property may not be necessarily right in your Masjid (prayer room), however, to make that minor distinction is disrespectful to your audience.
 
I find it difficult to believe the Muslim American Society (MAS) just rented your auditorium and that was all of your involvement. Musri then blames the U.S. Government for issuing Galloway a visa because he said he was raising money for Hamas around the world. It is also inconceivable the FBI would be able to track the money that was raised on the Mosque property, but under the control of the MAS, and tell you with any certainty that none of the $55,000 raised that night managed to find its way into Hamas’ hands. Imam Musri you blame your Muslim brothers, the U.S. Government, and everyone but yourself for a Hamas fundraiser on your Muslim Brotherhood owned property.
 
These alarming stories are just from only one Mosque complex in the relatively small city of Orlando Florida. If Imam Musri is unable to do the most basic of Google searches to check if George Galloway’s Hamas fundraising activities are associated for Hamas around the world, or to inform the FBI of the Muslim American Societies’ sponsorship of Galloway, how can we count on the Islamic Center of Central Florida to be the first tier watchdogs for Islamist extremists in Central Florida?  
 
We have learned, Imam Musri says he did not know who George Galloway was, before Galloway entered his Mosque last year raising money for Hamas. A few minutes later, Musri admits Galloway goes around the world raising money for Hamas. We learned the title holder to Imam Musri’s main Mosque is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood which is comprised of violent elements. Prior to that, Musri said he will have nothing do with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. Musri thought everyone in the audience were unawares, and wouldn’t know about NAIT and the Muslim Brotherhood.  
 
Imam Musri stated in a 2/22/2011 Orlando Sentinel article, that Anjem Choudary does not represent Islam, Choudary advocates that Shariah (Islamic Law) should be the law of the land in America. The Title Holder to Imam Musri’s Mosque, NAIT, requires Musri’s Mosque complex “...is in strict compliance with Islamic rules of conduct and code” (Shariah) at all times according to the 19th Judicial Circuit Court Orange County, FL, Case No: 08-CA-1637. Imam Musri appears to be playing a double game with the American people and has more in common with Anjem Choudary and George Galloway than he would like to admit.
 
Family Security Matters Contributor Alan Kornman leads the Orlando, Florida Chapter of ACT! For America. He can be contacted at: actorlando1@gmail.
 

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