Several hundred people filled the lawn outside the Yorba Linda Community Center Sunday afternoon and lined Imperial Highway in response to a fundraising event by a New York-based Muslim group, (ICNA) Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA, that, like CAIR, has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
OC REGISTER –People started gathering about 3 p.m., two-and-a-half hours before the fundraiser began. Many in the crowd waved U.S. flags and carried signs saying, “God Bless America” and “No Sharia Law,” in reference to Islam’s sacred law.
As the fundraiser started, a splinter group of about 100 stood about 50 yards from the community center entrance and booed, yelled “go home” and chanted “no Sharia law” as attendees entered the building. Among their signs were ones that said “ICNA supports Hamas and Hezbollah.”
He said the group started in Southern California about eight months ago and is trying to raise $350,000 to start social programs such as women’s shelters, fighting hunger and homelessness in the area.
About 300 were expected to attend the event. Admission was $25.
A woman attendee who declined to give her name said, “It is surprising, but everyone has a right to express their opinion.”
Many in the crowd outside the event said they were concerned about past anti-American statements by the event’s two keynote speakers, Imam Siraj Wahhaj (photo below) and Amir Abdel Malik Ali. Wahhaj is an imam at a mosque in Brooklyn. A U.S. attorney named him and 169 others as co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj was never charged and has denied involvement.
Malik Ali is a Bay Area Islamic activist who spoke at “Israeli Apartheid Week” at UC Irvine in 2010. There he said he supports Hezbollah, which the CIA labels a terrorist group.
Chandler Endresen of Yorba Linda stood on Imperial Highway with about 30 others waving American flags. “I had seen what had gone on at UCI in 2010 when (Malik Ali) spoke. He caused trouble there. I don’t want that here.”
“This is not about hate. We are not hate mongers,” said Karen Lugo, one of the speakers outside the community center. Several people said they had sent out thousands of e-mails about the ICNA Relief USA fundraiser and encouraged people to show up for a pro-America rally.
One organizer, Steven Amundson of Huntington Beach said, “A week and a half ago I would have been happy to have six people show up. It’s not right for terrorism to come to Yorba Linda. I always stress the need to be peaceful and positive.”
The group’s two charities — which have tax-exempt status in the U.S. — are listed as the top donors to a Pakistani group which aids Hamas.
In August 2006, two American Muslim charities were donors to an overseas organization while that organization personally brought close to $100,000 to the home of the head of Hamas. The two are still affiliated with this organization, an entity which curses and calls for resistance against the United States. This being the case, why do they continue to enjoy the privilege of having a federal U.S. tax exempt status?
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is preaching a global Caliphate and Islamic Shari’a law over America to its members, according to the 2010 ICNA Member’s Hand Book. This is a very different message than the group’s public outreach efforts, and contradicts claims that the organization is a tolerant, mainstream Islamic group.
As the hand book spells out, the organization’s ultimate goal is “the Establishment of Islam” as the sole basis of global society and governance. It also encourages members to deceive people in its proselytizing campaign to help fulfill this goal. This aim is one that ICNA has been actively pursuing as the group has set its sights on America’s constitutional separation of religion and state.
It’s not the first example of radicalism by one of America’s largest Muslim organizations. ICNA’s magazine has featured interviews with terrorist leaders in Pakistan, called on youth to fight abroad in Kashmir, and honored like-minded extremist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and South Asia’s Jamaat-e-Islami. Concerns have also been expressed about 5 young members of the group’s Virginia mosque, who were arrested and convicted on terrorism charges after attempting to link up with and fight for Pakistani terror groups in December 2009.