US politician Bernie Sanders recently took a pro-Pakistani stand on the Kashmir issue. While the decision to side with Jihadists isn’t really a surprise considering the fact that the Vermont Senator has a history of supporting violent dictators, it appears there’s a much darker aspect to the story.
The event where Sanders spoke was organized by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was listed as a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Case by the US Government. The HLF and five of its prominent members were convicted by a Texas jury in 2008 for securing funds for the terrorist group Hamas.
Although it was later overturned by a Court, the Court observed, “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas. While the Court recognizes that the evidence produced by the Government largely predates the HLF designation date, the evidence is nonetheless sufficient to show the association of these entities with HLF, IAP, and Hamas.”
ISNA’s links to Radical Islam runs far deeper. Sami Al-Arian, one of its founders, was deported to Turkey due to his support for terror groups. Abdurahman Alamoudi, who led ISNA’s Political Awareness Committee was later convicted on terror charges. Not merely that, the US Department of Justice lists ISNA as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2013, ISNA’s bi-monthly publication, Islamic Horizons, promoted Siraj Wahhaj, the imam of Brooklyn’s al-Taqwa mosque. Wahhaj was listed by the US Government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” for a trial related to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, an act of terrorism that resulted in the deaths of six innocent Americans. In addition to that, ISNA was founded by people associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami, a Pakistani organization with a close link to Islamic terrorists, according to scholars.
Furthermore, the publication in an earlier issue had also carried an advertisement for Islamic Relief requesting readers to donate $10 for Palestine. Islamic Relief was branded a front for Hamas by Israel after arresting the group’s Gaza program manager, Ayaz Ali, for providing “funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations.” Ali admitted that he had cooperated with local Hamas operatives. It has been associated with various other terror-supporting radicals.
The ISNA also has a history of homophobia. In July, 2017, ISNA had kicked out Muslims for Progressive Values, a pro-LGBT group, from its convention. Muzammil Siddiqi, ISNA’s president from 1997 to 2001, said he supported laws in countries where homosexuality is punishable by death.
Not only did Bernie Sanders speak at an event organized by an organization with close ties to Hamas, his campaign manager Faiz Shakir, too, was involved in an event related to the Holy Land Foundation. During his time at Harvard, he co-chaired the ‘Islamic Awareness Week’ as part of the Harvard Islamic Society (HIS). During the course of the week, an event was organized, the proceeds of which went to the Holy Land Foundation.
Faiz Shakir himself is an American born to Pakistani immigrants. Therefore, it’s unclear the extent to which his presumably pro-Pakistan bias contributed to Sanders’ comments on Kashmir. The Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, who has embraced Pakistan’s policy of state-sponsored terrorism against India also addressed the event through a video conference. Pakistan has been receiving flak from the international community for continuing to harbour and nurture terrorists in its territory.
Shakir, too, has an extremely controversial past, to put it mildly. A journalist for FrontPageMag, Daniel Greenfield stated in one of his reports, “During his time at ThinkProgress, Faiz Shakir had repeatedly attacked the Jewish State, endorsing the Hamas aid flotilla to Gaza and attacking Israel’s attempts to defend itself against terrorists.” During his time at the ACLU, Shakir also opposed the anti-BDS resolution
The fact that Sanders took the pro-Jihad stand on Kashmir against India at an event organized by an organization with deep links to terror groups should be a matter of concern for all Americans.