The office of the Islamic Assembly of North America was finally raided by the FBI last Wednesday Feb. 26th. Terrible adab though it may be to rejoice at another’s misfortune, I can barely contain the glee I’m feeling after hearing the news. Regular readers may remember that I’ve blogged about the IANA before. Based right in my home town as they are, I’ve had far too many opportunities over the years to get to know their membership. I’ve been close enough to some of them to smell their rotten, betel-nut flavoured breath. IANA members have shook their fist in my face, questioned the dignity of my wife, and relentlessly slandered my master. Readers not familiar with them may be satisfied simply to know that they published a fatwa explicitly describing and justifying the crashing of airplanes into buildings as a legitimate jihad tactic THREE MONTHS BEFORE September 11th. I really can’t imagine a group of people I would rather have ill befall. I can only wonder what took the FBI so long.

Having vented my spleen, I should step back and state that the only indictments so far have been for visa fraud and bad checks, and the closest the’ve come to IANA is a funder, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, and an ex-director, Bassem Khafagi (who is also reported as being active with CAIR). We’ll see what follows from the raid. The three articles from the Ann Arbor News have some really priceless quotes in them, such as Rick from the business next door saying,

“They’ve never bothered anybody, as far as I know, and they were always courteous,” he said. “If they’re doing anything illegal they’re definitely doing it on the sly.”

That’s too cliched for words: Quiet, Kept to himself, Never really bothered anybody. Who would have thought he’d have bodies in the freezer? And then there’s:

Nazih Hassan, president of the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor, described IANA as an “apolitical” organization that focuses on publishing the works of Islamic scholars and translating books from Arabic to English.

Hassan said he was shocked to hear about Wednesday’s raids. He said he was concerned for IANA employees, many of whom are involved with the local Muslim community.

“The people who work there, we know them, and they are very decent people,” he said.

Well, yes he knows them. If I’m not wrong, IANA members have sat on the executive board, da’wah committee and board of trustees of the mosque, at least. Apolitical? Readers can go their website and make up their own minds about that. Thanks very much to F.L for the links.

The Ann Arbor News coverage:

[Update: For the record, Khafagi appears to be the community affairs director of the national office of CAIR. That’s no small affiliation.]

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply