Ingrid Mattson, a Catholic who was raised in Ontario, CA, converted to Islam, and went on to become a major figure in the North American Islamic establishment. Until 2010, she served as president of the Muslim Brotherhood front group, ISNA.
FrontPage Until 2010, Mattson she was head of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a leading national organization which, at the 2007 trial in Dallas of a now-defunct Islamic charity, the Holy Land Foundation, was named an unindicted co-conspirator on charges of aiding Hamas. The trial proved to be an explosive event, uncovering a great deal of vital information about the unsavory connections of supposedly innocuous Muslim organizations in the United States.
Yet it was almost entirely ignored – and, when not ignored, whitewashed – by the mainstream American media. Mattson “has been disturbingly equivocal about Wahhabism, the repressive and backward strain of Sunni Islam that is the state creed in Saudi Arabia,” describing it as “a reform movement” and comparing it – incredibly – to “the European protestant reformation.”
Most of the following links have been scrubbed from the internet, but fortunately, CAMPUS WATCH has saved them.
If Muslim Americans are to participate in such a critique of American policy, however, they will only be effective if they do it, according to the Prophet’s words, in a “brotherly” fashion. This implies a high degree of loyalty and affection. This does not mean, however, that citizenship and religious community are identical commitments, nor that they demand the same kind of loyalty. People of faith have a certain kind of solidarity with others of their faith community that transcends the basic rights and duties of citizenship.
2) Mattson on the possibility that Americans may “rise to the challenge of defining themselves as an ethical nation”:
The first duty of Muslims in America, therefore, is to help shape American policies so they are in harmony with the essential values of this country. In the realm of foreign policy, this “idealistic” view has been out of fashion for some time. Indeed, the American Constitution, like foundational religious texts, can be read in many different ways. The true values of America are those which we decide to embrace as our own. There is no guarantee, therefore, that Americans will rise to the challenge of defining themselves as an ethical nation; nevertheless, given the success of domestic struggles for human dignity and rights in the twentieth century, we can be hopeful.
There’s a prejudgment, a collective judgment of Muslims, and a suspicion that well “you may appear nice, but we know there are sleeper cells of Americans,” which of course is not true. There aren’t any sleeper cells.
CHAT PARTICIPANT: What can you tell us about the Wahhabi sect of Islam? Is it true that this is an extremely right wing sect founded and funded by the Saudi royal family, and led by Osama bin Ladin? What is the purpose of the Wahhabi?MATTSON: No it’s not true to characterize ‘Wahhabism’ that way. This is not a sect. It is the name of a reform movement that began 200 years ago to rid Islamic societies of cultural practices and rigid interpretation that had acquired over the centuries. It really was analogous to the European protestant reformation. Because the Wahhabi scholars became integrated into the Saudi state, there has been some difficulty keeping that particular interpretation of religion from being enforced too broadly on the population as a whole. However, the Saudi scholars who are Wahhabi have denounced terrorism and denounced in particular the acts of September 11.
CHAT PARTICIPANT: Osama bin Laden made a reference that Muslims have been living in humiliation for 80 years. Did he refer to the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 that dismantled caliphates and sultanates?MATTSON: Yes, he is referring to that, to the overthrowing of the caliphate, which was a plan of European powers for many years. This deprived the Muslim world of a stable and centralized authority, and much of the chaos that we’re living in today is the result of that.
6) Mattson teaches the jihadists Sayyid Qutb and Syed Abu’l-`Ala Mawdudi in her course at Hartford Seminary – see the syllabus here.
Maududi on jihad (Jihad in Islam, page 9): “Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which Nation assumes the role of the standard bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. It must be evident to you from this discussion that the objective of Islamic ‘Jihad’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of State rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution.” “Islamic ‘Jihad’ does not recognize their right to administer State affairs according to a system which, in the view of Islam, is evil.
8 Although she recommends and teaches Abdul ala Maududi, who advocates violent jihad against non-Muslims (see above), Mattson is highly critical of Christians who make the factual statement that texts by Muslims support violent jihad against non-Muslims — and she equates Christian critics of violent jihad with Osama bin Laden, who wages violent jihad.
Mattson on critical statements by Christians about Muslims:
“I don’t see any difference between that and al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden [using] Islamic theology to justify violence against Americans. What’s interesting is if you compare [their] statements about what Islam is and what Muslims believe, you’ll find they are almost identical, and I reject both interpretations — both the non-Muslims who are saying that Islam justifies violence against Christians and Jews, and the Muslims who are saying it. “
“As a practicing Muslim, I believe that there is a core of fundamental beliefs and practices that distinguish authentic Islam from deviations. I also believe that apart from this essential core, the task of interpreting the application of Islamic norms to human society is an enormously complicated task, which inevitably leads to a broad range of opinion and practice. I agree with ” Sunni” Muslims, the majority of the Muslim community worldwide, that after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, no one has the right to claim infallibility in the interpretation of sacred law.”
10) Mattson is a leader in Muslim efforts to censor the right to free speech in America and especially in the United States government:
Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, said Friday at the opening of the group’s 43rd annual convention that labeling terrorism as “Islamic” was not helpful to people of her faith.” If our major concern is security, security of this country, this is a term that has very bad resonance in the Muslim majority world and makes us feel uncomfortable here,” Mattson said. Mattson said her group would argue for a change in rhetoric away from “Islamic fascism.”
…..As an alternative to “Islamic fascism,” Mattson suggested the words “terrorism, crime, violence,” adding that she and other Muslims don’t understand why the label “Islamic” is included when Bush and other leaders talk about terrorism.
11) Mattson denies the actual state of women’s rights under Shariah law:
“One of the popular misconceptions about Islam is that women are seen as lesser figures, that they don’t have rights.http://archives.cnn.com/2001/COMMUNITY/10/18/mattson.cnna/
“MATTSON: Muslim women have the same legal rights as Muslim men. The Prophet Mohammed’s wife was a businesswoman. The legal rights of women were enshrined in Islamic law. However, cultural practices in many societies have prevented those rights from being enforced.”
CHAT PARTICIPANT: Does the Taliban place blame upon women for the weakness of men in their society? Is that why they place such restriction upon them?MATTSON: The Taliban place restrictions on everyone in their society, men and women. In their minds, they are protecting women from other men by placing these restrictions on them.
13) Like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Mattson condemns terrorism in general but avoids criticizing Hamas or Hizballah:
“That can be frustrating. I want to also make sure people understand that although American Muslims do have a responsibility to clarify their views on terrorism and violence done in the name of Islam, we don’t have control over these situations. We don’t have some sort of magic power over all Muslims in the world.”
14) Mattson apparently thinks that Evangelical Christians are more of a threat to Jews than Islamic jihadists:
“‘Right-wing Christians are very risky allies for American Jews,’ Mattson said, ‘because they [the Christians] are really anti-Semitic. They do not like Jews’ and enter into the alliance on the basis of fundamentalist beliefs that it would be desirable for all Jews to return to Israel. She suggested that fundamentalist Christians might turn against Jews or that there could be backlash from ordinary Americans against Jewish and fundamentalist Christian supporters of Israel.”
“The American government has not criticized sufficiently the brutality of the Israeli government, believing that it needs to be “supportive” of the Jewish state. The result is that oppression, left unchecked, can increase to immense proportions, until the oppressed are smothered with hopelessness and rage.”
“Thus, it is not permitted for a Muslim to maintain a close friendship with a highly intelligent person who engages him or her in stimulating conversation, if that person continuously derides the sacred (Qur’an 5:57-58). Indeed, since preserving faith is the highest priority, it is important that Muslims avoid demoralizing dependence on other faith communities for their protection and material needs.
17) Mattson and ISNA have been criticized by those who identify themselves as American Muslim reformers and moderates:
ISNA, which URJ has accepted, apparently uncritically, as a “partner,” has a long history of association with extremist trends in Islam. ISNA has served as a front group for Wahhabism, the official sect in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the jihadist ideologies originating in Pakistan with the writings of a certain Mawdudi and the Deoband schools in that country — the latter of which produced the Afghan Taliban, and the Ikhwan al-Muslimun, or Muslim Brotherhood.