The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) recently sent out an urgent request to its followers seeking donations to assist Muslim prison inmates. Some of the donations will help "facilitate Islamic education" in the U.S. prison system.
Americans are generous in their giving, but before someone opens their wallet to this solicitation, they might want to inquire as to who is receiving the funds.
ICNA, as the IPT has previously reported, has close ties with Jamaat-e-Islami, a Southeast Asian Islamist organization that is akin to the Muslim Brotherhood. It seeks to conquer the world through Islam.
In a promotional pamphlet, ICNA describes its goal as achieving "the pleasure of Allah through the establishment of the Islamic system in this land."
ICNA itself has previously endorsed jihad and made virulent anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements. If that wasn't enough to cause concern about what type of Islamic education it would promote in prisons, consider this. Along with the email soliciting donations is a link to a report ICNA helped produce titled, "Inventing Terrorists."
The study claims that 93 percent of Muslim inmates in prison for terrorism or terror-related crimes were either set-up by government agents or the victims of overzealous prosecutors. "Many convicted Muslims were sentenced to long years in prison for doing essentially nothing," it says.
And who exactly are some of the victims ICNA claims were railroaded by the U.S. Department of Justice?
Here are just a few; The Holy Land Foundation case, Ali al-Timimi and the Virginia Jihad Network, Jihad Jane,
Daniel Boyd, Aafia Siddiqui – better known as "Lady al-Qaida," the Lackawanna Six, and the Newburgh Four.
Siddiqui reportedly was found with sodium cyanide when she was arrested in 2008. She also carried papers showing how to make weapons of mass destruction. Since her conviction, ISIS and the Taliban have proposed prisoner exchanges to win her freedom.
ICNA cited the last case, in its study as a clear case, in its view, of entrapment by the government. The study describes the defendants in that case as, "... jobless and living in poverty when the FBI came into their lives" and "just trying to survive in impoverished Newburgh, N.Y. when they were targeted (by the) FBI."
Nothing could be further from the truth. James Cromitie, the leader of the group, was a career criminal who had been in and out of prison all his life. The Masjid al Iklas mosque that the four attended in upstate New York was founded by Warith Deen Umar, the discredited former head of the Muslim Chaplains Association in the New York prison system. Umar had previously praised the 9/11 hijackers as martyrs, and stated that prisons, "were the perfect recruitment and training grounds for radicalism and the Islamic religion." Umar was also known for his anti-Semitic rants and publications.
In addition, at least nine of the mosque's leadership council were also employed as New York prison chaplains, hired by Umar. The FBI knew all of this and more before it began its investigation.
The law enforcement practice of proactive intervention before a crime takes place, which ICNA refers to as a set-up or entrapment, and only had begun after 9/11, had previously been employed by police and prosecutors successfully against organized crime and drug cartels for decades. It is only reasonable that it be utilized in combating terrorism.
ICNA is wrong in its assessment of police practices and why individuals wind up in prison.
ICNA informs its potential donors that it is partnering with several organizations to provide Islamic education to the inmates. Among them are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Chaplains Association of Virginia (MCAV). CAIR was created as part of a Muslim Brotherhood-run Hamas-support network in the United States which was exposed during the Holy Land Foundation case, which ICNA dismisses as simply Muslims practicing zakat and not financing Hamas.
MCAV more recently was exposed for hiring a prison chaplain who had been radicalized in prison and arrested for a terror related crime by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The imam MCAV hired was believed to have been influential in the radicalization of Casey Charles Spain, a sex offender who converted to Islam in prison, professed allegiance to ISIS, and was arrested by the FBI after his release from prison when he attempted to obtain weapons to kill infidels.
With partners like these, one has to question what type of Islamic education ICNA would bring to Muslim prisoners.
The best advice to those considering giving a helping hand to the ICNArcerated: close your wallet. When it comes to ICNA's prison program, you may find yourself financing a prison radicalization project.
Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for NYS, author of the Fertile Soil of Jihad, and Senior Fellow at the IPT. Follow him on Twitter @PTDunleavy.