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Muslim Students Association (MSA)
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) is the premier national Muslim student organization in North America. The organization’s mission, according to its website, is “facilitate networking, educating, and empowering the students of today to be citizens of tomorrow’s community.”
Links to Radical Islam and terrorism
A 1991 U.S. memo authored by the Muslim Brotherhood, lists the MSA as “one of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Another group that the Brotherhood lists as an affiliate is the terrorist organization Hamas, which in late 2011, the Brotherhood officially accepted as part of their global movement.
A 2007 NYPD report lists MSA as an incubator for radicalization since it provides a platform through which American-born imams can “present a radical message in a way that resonates with the students.” These radical messages are disseminated and promoted by the MSA on college and university campuses throughout North America through conferences and events, publications, websites and other activities.
The New York Times describes the original MSA chapters as “basically little slices of Saudi Arabia.” The group was largely financed from Saudi Arabia and the country was not criticized at events. Chapters discriminated against women, held meetings in Arabic and “advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations.”
MSA members who became terrorists
The organization has been described as a “virtual terror factory” and includes numerous members as well as a number of previous chapter presidents with explicit links to terrorist groups.
Khadar Khalib was a member of Algonquin College’s MSA in Ottowa until 2014, when his Facebook page underwent a dramatic change. He began announcing himself as AbdulBaqi Hanif, a name that means “servant of the everlasting” and “true believer” in Arabic. In his new Facebook photo, Khalib’s head was wrapped in a black kaffiyeh. The page featured several pictures of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), heavily armed jihadists, and the group’s black and white flag. The page has since been taken down. Khalib has since then traveled to Syria where he is believed to be fighting for ISIS. He is wanted on terrorism-related charges by the Canadian government.
From 1982 to 1983, MSA’s national president wasAbdurahman Al-Amoudi. He was convicted on terrorism-related charges in 2004 by a US federal court and received the maximum sentence of 23 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. He also admitted to being a secret Muslim Brotherhood operative. He wrote from his prison cell, “I am, I hope, still a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the USA.”
Anwar al-Awlaki was president of the MSA at Colorado State University during the mid-1990s. An al-Qaeda cleric linked to numerous terror plots including 9/11 and the Fort Hood shootings, he was the first United States citizen to be targeted and killed in a United States drone strike. Al Awlaki’s radical influence continues to be felt even after his death, and he has been linked to the terrorists responsible for the Charlie Hebdomassacre, to whom he had repeatedly preached, calling for the killing of newspapers editor, Stéphane Charbonnier.
Omar Shafik Hammami was president of MSA’s chapter at the University of South Alabama during the early 2000’s. In 2006 he abandoned his young wife and child and left for Somalia where he became a militant leader in the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab, a group that recently called on Muslims to attack London shopping malls.
Ramy Zamzam was a past president of the MSA’s Washington, D.C. council, before his conviction in 2010 for attempting to lead a group dubbed the “D.C. 5” to join the Taliban in Pakistan.
In 2002, the MSA at the University of Michigan co-hosted the Second National Student Conference for Palestine Solidarity Movement. At that conference, one of the guest speakers was ex-University of Florida professor Sami al-Arian, who in 2006 pled guilty on charges of conspiracy to contribute services to or for the benefit of the terrorist organization Palestine Islamic Jihad.
At a 2003 event, a guest speaker was Imam Abdul-Alim Musawho is banned from entering the United Kingdom for “engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fomenting and glorifying terrorist violence.” At the event he said, “When you fight [the U.S.] you are fighting someone that is superior in criminality and Nazism … the American criminalizer is the most skillful oppressor the world has ever known …They beat the British at everything, isn’t that right? They are a better colonizer, a better murderer, a better killer, a better liar, a better thief, a better infiltrator than old British.”
At the 2011 national MSA conference, Imam Malik Ali led the students in what he introduced simply as “the pledge of allegiance.” The full text of which is as follows: “Allah is my Lord; Islam is my life; the Qur’an is my guide; the Sunna is my practice; Jihad is my spirit; Righteousness is my character; paradise is my goal; I enjoin what is right; I forbid what is wrong; I will fight against oppression; and I will die to establish Islam”, which is a mirror of the Muslim Brotherhood’s pledge.
The first MSA National chapter was formed in 1963 at the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)by international students. As reported in the Chicago Tribune (Sept. 19, 2004) the initial leadership came from Arabic-speaking and Urdu-speaking members, with guidance from students of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood.
In 1972, Jamal Barzinji was the president of MSA. FBI documents from 1988 reported that he had been identified as a Muslim Brotherhood operative. In 2003, his home was raided because, in the words of U.S. Customs Service Special Agent David Kane, Barzinji “is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad]…but also with Hamas.” In 2011, it was reported that the Justice Department stopped a planned indictment of Barzinji. Barzinji played a leading role in establishing multiple U.S. Brotherhood entities.
A 1987 FBI memo states: “The leadership of NAIT, [North American Islamic Trust] MSA and other Muslim groups are inter-related, with many leaders and members of NAIT having been identified as supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the Government of Iran (GOI). Their support of JIHAD (holy war) in the U.S. has been evidenced by the financial and organizational support provided through NAIT from Middle East countries to Muslims residing in the U.S. and Canada.”
In May 2010 at UC San Diego, MSA member Jumanah Imad Albahri attended a lecture by conservative pundit and activist, David Horowitz. While asking a question, exchange ensued in which Albahri declared she is in agreement with Hezballah that all the Jews should gather in Israel in order to exterminate them. (See Video)