American Islamists pay homage to bin Laden sympathizer

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Israelis read the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the newspaper on May 3, 2011. Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash90.

Just a few days before 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, American Islamists hosted a memorial ceremony in honor of a hard-core Kashmiri separatist leader who had would have sympathized with the brain attacks Osama Bin Laden and called him a “martyr”.

Shortly after US Navy SEALS kill the leader of Al-Qaeda during a 2011 raid on his Abbottabad compound in Pakistan, Syed Ali Shah Geelani called on Islamic clerics to pray for the terrorist killed.

“Muslim clergy should hold funeral prayers in their mosques for peace to the soul of Osama bin Laden,” Geelani said noted. ” Osama [bin Laden] was not only a person but also an ideology against the occupation of Muslim lands by foreigners. Western countries need to understand that removing Muslims from their lands will lead to resistance. “

Geelani, who led the Kashmiri separatist movement for more than three decades, deceased September 1.

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It was closely affiliated with the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir (JI J&K), and his mentor was Jamaat-e-Islamic (JI) Islamist founder and ideologue Syed Abu Ala Maududi.

In addition to while carrying various management positions, Geelani, 91, also served like the organization “Amir-e-Jehad (leader of Jihad). “

These links were all well known. But they did not give the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) social justice arm pause on the co-sponsorship of the Geelani memorial.

ICNA describe Geelani’s death as “a great loss for this Umma [global Muslim community]And called it a “symbol of determination and courage against illegal Indian rule in Kashmir”.

The American Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) issued a statement call Geelani “the great defender of the rights and freedoms of the besieged and occupied Kashmiri people by the Indians”. Geelani, he said, was a “symbol of resistance” to the government against the Indian government’s brutal and draconian policies of oppression in Jammu and Kashmir. “

J&K was a source of tension between India and Pakistan since the two countries gained independence from British rule in 1947. India and Pakistan claim the state in its entirety and have waged multiple wars over it.

In his life, Geelani advocated pan-Islamism and the merger of J&K with Pakistan. He famous says an enthusiastic crowd in Srinagar in 2008: “Secularism will not work here, nationalism will not work here, provincialism will not work here. … The only thing that will work is Islam. … Because of the relationship of Islam, we are Pakistanis and Pakistan is ours.

Pakistan has used terrorism to strengthen its claim on J&K. In July 2020, Pakistan conferred his highest civilian honor, Nishan-e-Pakistan, on Geelani for his “selfless and relentless struggle and sacrifices” in advocating for the “right to self-determination” in J&K.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), describe as the “largest Muslim organization” in the United States, published a Press release describing Geelani as “a bold and relentless leader, visionary, intellectual and advocate for justice and human rights in Kashmir and the world”.

ISNA has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and its conferences regularly present rhetoric in favor of terrorist groups and other radicals.

Geelani was on the cover the ISNA bimonthly flagship publication Islamic horizons in March, describing it as “the heart of Kashmir’s resolution”. The issue featured several articles on Geelani, including one written by her granddaughter Ruwa Shah.

Shah’s father and Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah were arrested by India’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in 2017, and accused to receive funds from Pakistan, including to finance terrorism.

In 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announcement it would revoke the charitable status of the ISNA Development Foundation for raising funds which it believes may have reached the terrorists in Kashmir. Corporate documents spectacle that ISNA-Canada was the “Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)” until October 2014 when it changed its name to “Islamic Society of North America Canada”.

In 2018, the ARC suspended ISNA-Canada for one year, in the middle concerns that he may have “provided resources” to the terrorists in Kashmir. A year earlier, ISNA’s Islamic Services Canada charitable status was revoked for the same reason.

If prominent Americans paid homage to Oklahoma City suicide bomber Timothy McVeigh, the sentences would have been swift and unequivocal. Geelani may have done a lot of things that American Islamist organizations agree with. But he was an outright separatist with known terrorist ties, who viewed Osama bin Laden as a heroic figure. Open mourning and praise for him speaks volumes about these organizations.

A version of this article was originally published by The Investigative Project on Terrorism, of which the author is a contributor.


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