Rabbi Clifford Kulwin naively and wrongly claims that Ahmed Shedeed, president of the Islamic Center of New Jersey, whom U.S. Sen. Cory Booker brought as his guest to the State of the Union address, “is precisely the kind of Muslim we Jews should be praising, and reaching out to.” (“The kind of Muslim leader we Jews need,” Feb. 4)
Steve Emerson, the renowned terrorism expert, said that Shedeed “serves as treasurer of a political group [Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights] which strongly supports the terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood, and demands it return to power in Egypt.” Furthermore, “In the U.S., the EADHR launched rallies in several cities, including Washington, DC. While they avoided mentioning the Brotherhood and emphasized a desire to see the ‘Legitimate government’ restored, Brotherhood political leaders spoke at the rallies and many organizers were part of groups serving the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”
Emerson noted that “Shedeed is listed in an August 2013 Facebook post as a contact for a New York rally” supporting a return of radical Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi to power in Egypt, even though millions of Egyptians marched in the streets to force Morsi’s oppressive regime out.
Who is the Muslim Brotherhood? The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 to establish a global Islamic caliphate ruled by Muslim Sharia law. Its founder, Hassan Al-Banna, collaborated with Hitler. Its preeminent ideologue, Sayyis Qutb, is the godfather of present day radical Islamic terrorist movements, having spawned groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaeda. Robert Mueller, former head of the FBI, testified before Congress in 2011 stating, “The Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”
The ADL states, “The Muslim Brotherhood supports terrorism and terrorist causes.” Recently the United Kingdom listed them as a “terrorist organization” and the US Congress is submitting legislation to also list them as a terrorist group.
Furthermore, former Egyptian leader and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi was shown on Egyptian TV in October 2012 fervently in prayer as an Egyptian Cleric Futouh Abd Mansour proclaimed, “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.”
And the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badi called for a “Holy Jihad” against Israel, adding “the Jews have spread corruption on earth, spilled the blood of believers and profaned holy places.” (October, 2012). In Sept., 2010, Badi proclaimed, “The US is now experiencing the beginning of the end.”
Despite all this evidence the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in February 2011 that “Shedeed, who is Muslim, tried to convince his Coptic Christian friend the Islamic opposition group [the Muslim Brotherhood] is misunderstood.” When the Jersey Journal reporter asked Shedeed on Jan. 20 about his views on the Muslim Brotherhood, he declined to answer.
In 2012, Ryan Mauro, the national security analyst for the pro-Israel Clarion Project, called Shedeed “a fervent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, a mosque with a history of Islamist leadership whose website currently contains disturbing statements about supporting Jihad, calling the West racist, [and] supporting wife beating and polygamy.” Ahmed Shedeed’s Facebook page, Mauro writes, has a photo of Shedeed at a rally in NY for Morsi. Shedeed also “likes” the Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party as well as the Brotherhood-linked Islamic Circle of North America.
We at ZOA certainly have no problem with Sen. Booker bringing a Muslim to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, but it should be a moderate, peace-loving, anti-terror Muslim — not one who is both allied with the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and an Israel basher. I hope Rabbi Kulwin looks carefully at Shedeed’s and any other Muslim leader’s record before supporting them. He should be careful not to simply be taken in by charm and misleading statements made to hide the truth which can lead to supporting the wrong Muslim leaders.