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Islamist Organization Profile

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)

American Muslims for Palestine, Palos Hills, IL

American Muslims for Palestine, Palos Hills, IL

by: 
Ryan Mauro

Year Formed: 2005

Website: www.ampalestine.org

Revenue: Unavailable

Address: 10101 S. Roberts Rd., Palos Hills, IL 60465

AMP says it “firmly believes that educating the American public is key to bringing about change in the Middle East. Because once Americans know what is truly happening on the ground in Palestine, they will no longer allow their tax dollars to be used to support Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, the world’s last and longest-lasting occupation.”[2]

AMP’s 2012 conference used a logo showing Palestine replacing the state of Israel. The event featured over a dozen Islamist speakers[3], most  of which have ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and have spoken in support of Hamas and the destruction of Israel.[4]

Chairman Hatem Bazian said on April 10, 2004 that Muslim-Americans need to follow in the footsteps of the “uprising in Iraq” (which was against U.S. soldiers) and the “intifada in Palestine” by starting an “intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here.” Apparently aware of the aggressiveness of his statement, he said, “They’re gonna say some Palestinian [is] being too radical—well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet.”[5] He later appeared on The O’Reilly Factor about the speech and refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah.[6]

In June 2012, Bazian characterized the U.S. as a racist country that uses Third World countries to fight its wars: “The United States wants India to balance China, because if there is a conflict with China, we always like that the darker people fight our war and the more these people die is better for the officers because racism can be manifested across many sectors.”

Bazian also accused the U.S. government of trying to dismember the Muslim-American community under the guise of counter-terrorism. He said, “In the post 9/11 era there is [a] strategic and systematic process of targeting the Muslim leadership of organizational structures by eliminating the existing leadership that has developed over the last 40 years.” [7] The 2012 AMP conference program similarly claimed that “solidarity work for Palestine is being criminalized more every day.”[8]

On September 17, 2012, Bazian spoke at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, C.A. alongside Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir, an Islamist with a history of radicalism. He claimed that the “military-industrial complex” is behind the “Islamophobic production industry” in order to get Americans to approve of killing Muslims:

“Those who are working on Islamophobia, they believe that the more hatred we have of Muslims in here [America], the more that we have reflexive hatred of Muslims abroad, thus authorizing or making the need for military action and the death and destruction more palatable to us without having to think we are actually killing humans,” Bazian said.[9]

In September 2014, AMP chairman Hatem Bazian endorsed a letter opposing the Islamic State terrorist group’s tactics, but endorsed Sharia governance’s brutal hudud punishments, the recreation of a caliphate and the Islamist doctrine of gradualism. It even implied that journalists that are viewed as dishonest as acceptable targets for violence.[9a]

AMP board member Osama Abu Irshaid gave a speech in 2010 where he said that Hamas’s firing of rockets into Israel is “legitimate resistance” and referred to Hamas as “the resistance.” Irshaid used to be the editor of a publication by the Islamic Association for Palestine, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity founded by a Hamas operative.[10]

AMU board member Salah Sarsour has been connected to Hamas. His brother, Jamil, was arrested on October 23, 1998 by Israel for fundraising for the terrorist group. Jamil said that Salah was financing Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation, a charity later closed by the U.S. government for doing just that. Jamil said that the two gave money to a Hamas commander from their business account. He said that Salah also fundraises for the Islamic Association for Palestine.[11]

AMP works very closely with other American Islamist groups. CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area gave Bazian an “Empowering American Muslims” award on November 17, 2012.[12] AMP states that it “does work in broad-based coalitions and support campus activism through Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Students Association.”[13] The Muslim Students Association (MSA) was the first Muslim Brotherhood entity set up in the U.S.

In July 2013, AMP National Campus Coordinator Taher Herzallah posted photos of injured Israeli soldiers on his Facebook and wrote underneath, “The most beautiful site in my eyes.” The post was removed after it got attention.

In another Facebook conversation about Hamas’s rocket fire on Israel, he said the terrorist group’s violence is justifiable legally and morally. He characterized it as a meager defense against an enemy dedicated to genocide:

“Hamas’ rockets are an oppressed people’s audible cry for help. An attempt to resist the brutalization, degradation, humiliation and extermination of the Palestinian identity. An act of resistance that shows that no matter what Israel does to the embattled people of Gaza, they will never submit.”[14]

 



[1] Address as of January 1, 2013, as on the “Donate” page of the AMP website.

[2] Bottom of AMP homepage.

[3] “Illinois Islamist Conference ‘Educates’ Next Generation,” RadicalIslam.org, November 15, 2012. http://www.radicalislam.org/analysis/illinois-islamist-conference-indoct...

[4] “Brotherhood/Hamas-Linked Activists in Illinois for Extremist Event,” RadicalIslam.org, October 21, 2012. http://www.radicalislam.org/analysis/brotherhoodhamas-linked-activists-g...

[6] “Berkeley Prof Slithers on Call for ‘Intifada’ in America,” FrontPage Magazine, May 14, 2004. http://archive.frontpagemag.com/Printable.aspx?ArtId=13019

[7] “Dr. Fai Reiterates to Continue Work for Kashmir Cause,” Kashmir Media Service, June 25, 2012. http://www.kmsnews.org/news/2012/06/25/dr-fai-reiterates-to-continue-wor...

[8] “Conference Program,” AMP conference website, http://conference.ampalestine.org/index.php/program

[9] “Between Militarism & Extremism: The Excluded Middle”, Zaytuna YouTube channel, September 28, 2012, http://youtu.be/Jo1z_eSHdHE

[9a] Mauro, Ryan. “Muslim Leaders Sign Letter Against ISIS, But Endorse Sharia.” Clarion Project, October 1, 2014.  http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/muslim-leaders-sign-letter-against-isis-endorse-sharia

[10] “SJP’s ‘Dialogue’ Goes Nowhere,” IPT News, November 30, 2011. http://www.investigativeproject.org/3313/sjp-dialogue-goes-nowhere

[11] “Conferences Make AMP’s Destructive Ambition Clear,” IPT News, December 30, 2010. http://www.investigativeproject.org/2462/conferences-make-amp-destructiv...

[12] “CAIR-SFBA to Present Dr. Hatem Bazian with ‘Empowering Muslim Americans’ Award,’” AMP website, http://www.ampalestine.org/index.php/newsroom/articles/403-cair-sfba-to-...

[14] “AMP Official Defends Hamas, Praises Israeli Casualties,” IPT News, July 21, 2014.http://www.investigativeproject.org/4470/amp-official-defends-hamas-praises-israeli