Islamist Jurisprudence Group to Train 200 U.S. Imams
Tue, January 28, 2014
Sheikh Waleed Basyouni is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA)-Fatwa and Research Committee and the Director of Texas Dawah Convention. He is pictured here giving a speech titled "Reclaiming Islam from the Extremists."
The California-based Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) is holding a conference in Texas next month where it hopes to educate 200 imams. AMJA is an anti-American Salafist group that supports abuse of women, violent jihad and the stealthy imposition of sharia in the U.S.
AMJA’s 11th Annual Imams Conference will be held on February 21-23 in Dallas, Texas with the theme, “Islamic Home Finance in the West.” The subject is part of Sharia Finance, or economics that comply with sharia.
The organization says it has already had 150 imams sign up and it has a maximum capacity of 200. Imams lead mosques and Islamic centers and are seen as the local authority on the faith, so AMJA’s teachings can impact thousands of Muslims in North America.
AMJA’s self-description says that the organization has a “moderate approach and a rejection of extremism,” but if you read what AMJA actually says, a picture emerges.
AMJA has an online bank of fatwas, or authoritative religious determinations. They explicitly command Muslims to pursue the imposition of sharia-based governance entirely. AMJA specifically criticizes those who say parts of sharia are not applicable to today, essentially saying that America should model itself after Saudi Arabia.
It instructs Muslims to infiltrate positions of power for the subversive purpose of incrementally implementing sharia. In one translated document, AMJA says Muslim judges in non-Muslim countries must “judge by the rulings of the Sharia as much as possible, even if by a ruse.”
AMJA also supports violent jihad. In 2009, AMJA responded to Israeli military operations in Gaza against the Hamas terrorist group by telling Muslims that they are required to defend their co-religionists whenever their land is attacked by an enemy. Its fatwa said to help them “with every possible means of support: military, financial, political and journalistic.”
On the topic of jihad in America, AMJA states in an Arabic fatwa that “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time” [emphasis mine]:
“With our current capabilities, we are aspiring towards defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation,” AMJA explained.
Several of AMJA’s fatwas are harmful to women, justifying marital rape and “female circumcision” or, as it the practice is more accurately called, female genital mutilation. AMJA advises Muslims against joining law enforcement in case they are ordered to arrest a Muslim for raping his wife.
These are not messages that should be welcomed anywhere and especially not in the U.S., but about 200 imams in this country respect AMJA enough to go to its Texas conference for instruction. That is shocking enough by itself, but we must also consider all of AMJA’s allies that won’t be attending the event.
Its leadership is intertwined with other Muslim-American institutions. It has had common leadership with the American Open University, Mishkah Islamic University of North America, League of Imams in North America, the North American Imams Federation, Michigan’s Islamic Center of Grand Blank City, the Dar al-Farooq Center and more.
AMJA’s event impacts the entire country. Any imam who looks to AMJA for guidance is disqualified as a “moderate.”
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.