The U.S. Air Force has confirmed to The Clarion Project that it paid nearly $5,000 for advertisements in the magazine of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial that was also labeled a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity by the government. The Air Force said it would continue to consider paying ISNA for ads.
An advertisement for the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps is in the March-April issue of Islamic Horizons, ISNA’s magazine.ClarionProject.org asked the Air Force about the advertisement and included facts about ISNA. Air Force spokesperson Captain Lindsey Hahn responded:
“The Department of Defense does not endorse any one religion or religious organization, and provides free access of religion for all members of the military services. The Department respects (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs. In order to recruit chaplains capable to provide for the diverse needs of Airmen and their families, Air Force chaplain recruiters advertise in a wide variety of religious organization publications
“The Islamic Society of North America is one of The full ad many religious organizations recognized by the Department of Defense that satisfy the ecclesiastical requirements to endorse qualified religious ministry professionals to serve as chaplains within the Military Departments.
“This ad ran twice in the Islamic Horizons magazine to create awareness for Air Force chaplain recruiting efforts in the Muslim community. It cost $4800 total.”
When asked whether the U.S. Air Force will reconsider paying ISNA for advertisement space in the future, the spokesperson repeated the earlier statement.
There are three takeaways here. First, the U.S. Air Force gave nearly $5,000 of taxpayer money to ISNA. Second, the Air Force says ISNA is qualified to endorse Muslim chaplains for the military. And lastly, even when provided with the facts about ISNA, the Air Force says it will consider future payments to ISNA for ads.
Declassified FBI memos reveal that ISNA was identified as a Brotherhood front as early as 1987. One memo cites a source that has traveled worldwide on behalf of ISNA and other Brotherhood entities who is “convinced that this organization has a secret agenda which includes the spread of the Islamic Revolution to all non-Islamic governments in the world which does include the United States.”
The source reports that “the entire organization is structured, controlled and funded by followers and supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the founders” of the Brotherhood in Egypt. The FBI says the source provided a private ISNA document in August 1988 that “clearly states that ISNA has a political goal to exert influence on political decision making and legislation in North America that is contrary to their certification in their not-for-profit tax returns as filed both with the State of Indiana and with IRS.”
The Justice Department labeled ISNA an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that was shut down for funding Hamas. The U.S. government listed ISNA as one of the “individuals/entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.” The label was upheld in 2009 because of “ample” evidence linking ISNA to Hamas. The Holy Land Foundation “operated from within ISNA,” the ruling noted, and it used an ISNA bank account to send “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to Hamas.
The director of ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances, Sayyid Syeed, was on ISNA’s founding board of directors and was the secretary-general from 1994 to 2006. In 2006, he was recorded saying, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.”
The U.S. Air Force feels that this history shouldn’t disqualify ISNA from receiving taxpayer money and endorsing chaplains for the military. If ISNA meets the standard, then the standard has to change.