To 'Reaffirm the Importance of Religious Freedom,' Obama to Visit US Mosque With Extremist Ties

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jan 31, 2016 6:00 PM
To 'Reaffirm the Importance of Religious Freedom,' Obama to Visit US Mosque With Extremist Ties

The White House announced on Saturday that President Obama will be visiting a Baltimore mosque on Wednesday—the first time he’s done so in the U.S.  The intended purpose, according to the White House, is to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”

“The president will hold a roundtable with community members and deliver remarks, where he will reiterate the importance of staying true to our core values — welcoming our fellow Americans, speaking out against bigotry, rejecting indifference, and protecting our nation’s tradition of religious freedom,” a White House aide said.

But the choice of visiting the Islamic Society of Baltimore is raising eyebrows, given the mosque’s history of extremist ties.

The ISB is part of a network of mosques controlled by the Islamic Society of North America, “a Muslim civil rights group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror case. Several executives with that organization were convicted of sending money to aid the terrorist group Hamas,” The Daily Caller reports.

Furthermore, Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh, who served as the mosque’s imam on two separate occasions for a total of 15 years, was a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan during the 1970s. He also went on to co-found the Muslim American Society in Falls Church, Virginia, which is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. His shady history does not end there, however.

While in Baltimore, el-Sheikh served as a regional director for the Islamic American Relief Agency. That group’s parent organization is the Islamic African Relief Agency, which the Treasury Department says provided funds to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

After leaving Baltimore, el-Sheikh served as imam at the infamous Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. That mosque has a lengthy roster of known terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. Its imam during much of the 1990s was Mohammed al-Hanooti. He was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people.

Of all the mosques in the Washington area, this is the one chosen by the Obama administration to be the first the president visits in the states?

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said the choice is “insulting” to American Muslims.

“It’s disgraceful that this is the mosque he’s picked to be the first to visit,”Jasser said on “Fox and Friends” Sunday. “This mosque is very concerning … Historically, they are basically a radical, extreme mosque and not representative of the modern Muslims in America.”