Not even a full 24 hours after the inauguration of the new Trump administration, “jihadis in suits” have already made an appearance at an inaugural event.
On the morning of Saturday 21 January, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their families attended the traditional prayer service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Billed as an interfaith service which began with a Navajo blessing, the event featured Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim and Sikh clerics, each of whom was supposed to intone prayers asking protection and wisdom for the new Trump administration.
Unfortunately, the two Muslims – Imam Mohamed Magid and Mr. Sajid Tarar – are what might best be described as “jihadis in suits.” Magid is the outgoing president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim Brotherhood front group in the U.S. Magid also remains the head of the ADAMS (All Dulles Area Muslim Society) Center in Northern Virginia. The ADAMS Center is an openly shariah-adherent facility, whose website states that it collects zakat (annual obligatory tax for Muslims and firms doing shariah-compliant business), one-eighth of which must be donated to jihad, as per Islamic Law (shariah), as stipulated in Reliance of the Traveler (see pg. 272, Section h8.17) and the Qur’an itself. (See Q 9:60)
Worse yet, Magid was named to President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Working Group in 2010 and from that position helped persuade DHS to erase from its “Countering Violent Extremism” curriculum any suggestion that Muslim terrorism draws its inspiration from the laws and doctrines of Islam. The ADAMS Center was among the many Northern-Virginia-based Muslim organizations raided in March 2002 by federal agents in “Operation Green Quest” on suspicion they were providing material support to terrorists.
For his prayers, Magid recited two specific Qur’anic verses: Sura 30:22 and Sura 49:13. The first of these is an encouragement to diversity, obviously a reference to the variety of the day’s denominations present at the service, and reads:
“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.”
The second (Q 49:13) likewise emphasizes the diversity theme:
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”
The other Muslim at the service to offer a prayer in Arabic was Mr. Sajid Tarar, a Pakistani native and naturalized U.S. citizen, who has made himself popular among Republican ranks and gave the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. He was an adviser to the National Diversity Coalition for Trump and founded a group called American Muslims for Trump. He attends the Raza-e Mustafa Islamic Center in Pikesville, MD, known as a Sunni mosque whose congregation can be seen from its Facebook page to be shariah-adherent, gender-segregated and including many from the Asian subcontinent. The Islamic Center’s website is almost studiously empty of content.
The Qur’anic verse Tarar chose for the National Cathedral service is known as Al-Fatihah and is both the first and the shortest verse in the Qur’an. Al-Fatihah includes an invocation to Allah that is directly critical of both Christians and Jews in a way that subtly evokes Islamic supremacism. Al-Fatihah is repeated 17 times per day by every Muslim who attends regular services at a mosque or Islamic Center.
“Guide us to the straight path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.”
As all observant Muslims, Tarar included, know very well, the reference to “those who have evoked your anger” means those whom Muslims believe heard and know the truth of Islam but refuse to accept or follow it. This line is a very specific reference to the Jews. “Those who are astray” means Christians, whom Muslims believe also have wantonly taken a pathway away from Allah. Muslims know exactly what these verses mean and they recite them repeatedly every time they participate in Islamic prayer services at a mosque. In this instance, at the National Cathedral prayer service for the Trump inauguration, Tarar was literally throwing an insult – as well as a warning – in the face of every Christian and Jew in the Cathedral, confident in the knowledge that not one of them knew what he was saying.
It is unclear how a man like Magid would be allowed to participate in an important public event organized for the new President of the United States – or how a mainstream, ubiquitous and insulting Qur’anic Sura like Al-Fatihah could be recited in its entirety before an audience with so many Christians and Jews in attendance.
It is to be hoped that some fact-filled briefings might soon rectify this situation.
Clare M. Lopez is Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and editor and co-author of the Center’s 2010 publication “Shariah: The Threat to America.”