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News Analysis

U.S. Halal Company Raided, Founder Has Islamist Ties

Sat, December 1, 2012

by: 
Ryan Mauro

U.S. government agents from the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Agriculture raided the offices of the Midamar Corporation, a major producer of halal foods (food prepared according to Islamic law), on October 17 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. RadicalIslam.org National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro exposed the Islamist ties of Midamar founder Bill Aossey and the mosque he attends, the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids, in FrontPage Magazine on December 1, 2011. Shockingly, Aossey sat at the same table as President Obama during an Iftar dinner on August 13, 2010.

The search warrants approved the seizure of books, records, computer files and up to $1.7 million from Midamar’s main bank account.  Only $454,000 was frozen. U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ruled against releasing the money and agreed that the affidavit should remain sealed because releasing it “may compromise an ongoing investigation.” Midamar says it may have to close soon as a result.

The U.S. government isn’t saying much about the raid, but court documents show it was at least partially triggered by concerns that Midamar was falsely labeling products as halal. The Department of Agriculture suspended inspections of Midamar in 2010 after it learned of instances of mislabeling. The inspections resumed in July 2011 after Midamar submitted a correction plan.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a supporter of Midamar, demands that the U.S. government explain the reasoning behind the raid. The federal government declared that CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood entity when it labeled the organization an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial. A federal judge ruled in 2009 that the government provided “ample evidence” tying CAIR to Hamas to justify the label.

Bill Aossey established Midamar in 1972. According to Discover the Networks, Midamar sponsors events by CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society. These are Muslim Brotherhood fronts and their events feature Islamist speakers.

Aossey also served on the board of the American Muslim Council, which was led by Brotherhood operative Abdurrahman Alamoudi until he was arrested and convicted on terrorism-related charges in 2004. Alamoudi openly declared his support for Hamas and Hezbollah in 2000.

In 2002, Aossey spoke at the annual conference of the Iowa branch of the Muslim Students Association, another group founded by the Brotherhood, as did anti-American Islamist cleric Siraj Wahhaj. Aossey’s speech was titled, “Martyrdom in Islam.” He spoke again the following year along with Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of CAIR. Awad stated his support for Hamas in 1994 and described it and Hezbollah as “liberation movements” to Al-Jazeera in 2004.

Mauro documented the extremism of the mosque he attends, the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids, on December 1, 2011. According to its website, the mosque was built in 1962 with help from a close friend of the Saudi Royal Family. In a section that has since been removed, the mosque website referred to the Kuwaiti branch of the Muslim Brotherhood called al-Islah, the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan and the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood as "moderate groups."

These are definitely not moderate groups. According to Wikipedia, Jamaat-e-Islami constantly criticized Pakistan's war on terror and arranged public protests against the decision and denounced President Musharraf for "betraying" the Taliban and siding with the U.S. against them. Jamaat also denounces the presence of American troops and agencies in Pakistan.

The Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood, led by Hasan al-Turabi, created the Popular Defense Force as a tribal militia parallel to the regular army to pursue the civil war with the South by burning villages, massacring the men, and raping the women en masse, according to numerous human rights reports (Source: US News & World Report). 

The Islamic center's website also mentioned in a matter-of-fact way that Muslim students coming to America were working to create an "Islamic world order":

“Here they are able to forge links with students of other nations providing the nucleus for an international network of leaders committed to the creation of an Islamic state, or an Islamic world order,” the mosque website said.

The home page of the mosque website currently carries a condemnation of the anti-Islam Innocence of Muslims video by Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Vice Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. The Union’s President is Sheikh Yousef Qaradawi, a top Brotherhood cleric that supports Hamas and Sharia-based governance.

Aossey responded to the article with a six-post rant in its comments section that he also emailed to Mauro. He called him a “hatemonger” with a “lack of self esteem” and a “psychological inferiority complex.” Aossey mocked him for his online education at American Military University, which serves national security professionals and U.S. soldiers.

Mauro challenged Aossey via email to “unequivocally repudiate Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and all attempts to establish an 'Islamic world order' as the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids website states.”

On January 31, 2012, Aossey responded evasively:

“Just as neither you nor I have any official recognition or support to either of these two groups, there is no reason for either one of us to repudiate or give NON-recognition.  It is irrelevant of what we do or think about these groups, as neither of us have absolutely any bearing on their policies or practices.  I am sure you have heard of the old adage, ‘when are you going to stop beating your wife?’  How do you answer this when you never beat your wife?  So since neither of us have any affiliation to Hamas or Muslim Brotherhood, non-recognition or repudiation is irrelevant.”

[ad] Aossey denied that there is a movement to establish an “Islamic world order.” He referred to his time in the Peace Corps in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and said, “Please do not fear an Islamic world order for this diversified region and a non-existent threat to the Western world.”

If the federal agents have proof that the Midamar Corporation is mislabeling its halal products and is doing so wittingly, then we have a remarkable case of an Islamist-tied company deceiving fellow Muslims. And if Islamists are willing to deceive Muslims, then non-Muslims should expect the same treatment.

The government investigators may be looking into deceptive business practices but by looking into Midamar’s files, they have a chance to peak into the vast Islamist network in America.

Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.