ISB understandably tried to distance itself from Qaradawi once his radicalism became known, telling the Herald that the cleric “never played any role in the ISB.” The mosque chalked up the appearance of Qaradawi’s name on its tax filings from 1998-2000 as a member of the board of directors as “an administrative oversight.” Yet Qaradawi wasn’t just listed as a board member on tax forms; he was also listed as such on ISB’s web site through at least March 2001.
Far more troubling, though, is that ISB’s leader for more than a decade was earlier deeply involved in Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA). Osama Kandil was one of nine co-founders of MAYA—along with Osama bin Laden’s nephew, Abdullah—and then served as its vice-president for several years.
At a mid-1990’s MAYA conference, the keynote speaker, the head of “the Hamas military wing,” told the crowd, “Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all! Exterminate them!” according to an FBI memo written shortly after 9/11. The crowd responded enthusiastically, as more than $200,000 was raised at the event for the terrorist organization, according to the memo.
When asked by the Herald about MAYA, Kandil defended it as moderate.
With so much incontrovertible evidence demonstrating that ISB is anything but moderate, its lawsuit seems like a surefire loser—but only in the sense of winning a final verdict. Litigation is costly, even defending against a case as flimsy as ISB’s.
Most of the 16 defendants have filed briefs urging the court to dismiss ISB’s nuisance suit. Unfortunately for them, the process could drag on for many more months—or longer.
But if the judge allows the ISB to secure victory by running up the legal tabs of the defendants—thus potentially silencing other would-be critics—the real fear for all of us must be: how many other radicals will learn the lesson and head to court?
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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