Pentagon spokesmen declined to comment on the fatwa, or religious edict, issued several years ago by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) that prohibits Muslims from providing food to U.S. and allied troops working in Muslim countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The fatwa by Main Khalid al-Qudah is dated June 20, 2007, and was issued in response to the question of whether a Muslim who owns a shipping company is allowed under Islamic law to transport food from a storage facility to a harbor, “knowing that these supplies will be sent to soldiers working in Islamic countries under the auspices of the allied forces.”
“That would not be permissible, for that would be helping others in sin and transgression,” the fatwa stated.
According to terrorism analysts, the fatwa highlights the shortcomings of the Pentagon’s aggressive “outreach” program to American Muslim groups over the past several years. According to critics, the program sought to win over the groups, but often included Muslims organizations with ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian group that has provided the ideological underpinnings for al Qaeda.
Patrick Poole, a counterterrorism specialist, said the fatwa indicates the Pentagon’s efforts to mitigate the threat from American Muslims through public outreach is not working.
“For years, the Pentagon has invested heavily in various Muslim-outreach programs, only to find time and again that they were one-way, dead-end streets,” he said.
Mr. Poole said the outreach efforts are misguided because the Pentagon has been “reaching out to the wrong Muslim leaders.”
“The best example is the Pentagon’s reliance on Abdurahman Alamoudi to establish their Muslim chaplaincy program in the 1990s, and who at the time was al Qaeda’s top American fundraiser and the most prominent Islamic figure in the country,” he said.
Alamoudi, founder of the American Muslim Council, is currently serving a 23-year prison term on terrorism-related charges.
“In that case, the Pentagon ignored many calls of concern about Alamoudi’s outspoken extremism,” Mr. Poole said. “And now that we see with these anti-military fatwas issued by top American Islamic leaders that nearly two decades of outreach efforts to the Muslim community are utter failures, the Pentagon doesn’t want to address the fact that they are not working.”
Paul Sperry, a journalist who specializes in Islamist extremism, said the AMJA is known to be close to Muslim Brotherhood leaders who often pose as moderate American Muslim scholars.
“Many of them teach Islam at the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled American Open University,” he said. “That’s why their rulings are so strict in their compliance to medieval Shariah code, including advocating adherence to barbaric ‘hudood’ punishments for crimes against Islam.” Hudood is the Islamic practice of beheading apostates, cutting off the limbs of thieves or stoning women for infidelity.
A spokesman for the AMJA could not be reached for comment.
A second American Muslim, the Yemen-based al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki also has issued a fatwa declaring the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be crimes against Muslims. He warned other American Muslims not to serve in the U.S. military or support U.S. military efforts. He also has issued a fatwa that said U.S. troops and bases should be attacked. ~ END