- Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
- Advisory board member for numerous Muslim organizations
- Has worked in concert with International ANSWER
- Declared that he and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist fundraiser Sami al-Arian are “kindred spirits” on the issue of Muslim political activism
Born in 1951, Mahdi Bray is Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, an offshoot of the Muslim American Society. A founding Board member of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, he currently sits on the Advisory Boards of the American Muslim Council, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Interfaith Alliance Foundation, and serves as President of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations. He also heads the National Islamic Prison Foundation, and is the National Mobilization Chairman for the Imam Jamil Defense Fund, which provides legal aid for Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (the former H. Rap Brown), who is currently serving a life sentence in prison for the March 2000 murder of a police officer. A convert to Islam, Bray hosts a Muslim-oriented radio talk show, “The Crescent Report,” in suburban Washington, DC. The program is sponsored largely by, and reflects the views of, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.
Born in 1951, Bray describes himself as “just a country Muslim from Norfolk, Virginia” whose worldview was shaped during his days as “an active participant in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, working in coalitions with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and other activist groups.” Bray depicts the United States as a nation with a long and enduring racist tradition. “As a Black man, I didn’t wake up on September 11 and discover terrorism,” he is quoted as saying in the February/March 2002 issue of the Multiracial Activist. “I discovered terrorism in 1955 when my grandmother threw herself over my body trying to protect me from the bullets and the glass flying and the fire the Klan set because my grandfather was registering people to vote in the South. I knew terrorism in 1957 when they took my great uncle in North Carolina and laid him out on the railroad tracks and bled him to death simply because he was trying to organize for the NAACP.”
Bray has worked in concert with International ANSWER, a front group for Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center and the communist Workers World Party. Denouncing what he calls America’s “barbaric and illegal invasion of Iraq,” Bray has declared the War on Terror to be a “war against Islam” and has called President George W. Bush “the little Pharaoh.” At a 2002 University of Michigan event, he called Israel an “oppressive, apartheid and racist system.”
According to columnist Debbie Schlussel, “In October 1998, Mahdi Bray coordinated and led a Washington rally of 2,000 people during which he played the tambourine as the crowd repeated, ‘Let’s all go into jihad, and throw stones at the face of the Jews.’ On December 22, 2000, Bray organized and spoke at a rally outside the White House at which the emcee and crowd chanted responsively in Arabic: ‘O Jews, the Army of Muhammad is coming for you!’ The Nazi swastika was openly displayed.”
At the December 22 event, wrote Steven Emerson in his book American Jihad, “posters calling for ‘Death to Israel’ and equating the Star of David with the Nazi swastika were openly displayed, and anti-Semitic literature calling for the destruction of the Jews and Israel was distributed. Members of the crowd burned the Israeli flag while marching to the White House.” Bray’s invited fellow speaker that day was Imam Mohammed al-Asi, who, wrote Emerson, “exhorted the crowd to violence in the name of Islam,” urging those in attendance to take up arms “to liberate Al Quds [Jerusalem] and Al Aqsa [the mosque on Temple Mount atop the Western Wall in Jerusalem].”
In October 2000, Bray appeared at a rally lauding the start of the second Palestinian Intifada. He stood by and cheered as American Muslim Council founder Abdurrahman Alamoudi publicly announced his support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. (Click here for a video of this event.)
In March 2003 Bray testified at the bond hearing of Sami Al-Arian, who at the time had been indicted as a leader of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Claiming responsibility for “mentoring [Al-Arian] about the civil rights movement” in America, Bray declared that he and Al-Arian were “kindred spirits” on the issue of Muslim political activism. Bray denounced Al-Arian’s February 2003 arrest as part of a “pattern of political intimidation by an Attorney General [John Ashcroft] who seems to be targeting the American Muslim community’s leaders and institutions….”
In July 2004 Bray called the detention (in a Saudi jail) of American-born citizen Ahmed Abu-Ali, who was suspected of conspiring to assassinate President Bush, a "national disgrace and tragedy." At the time, Abu-Ali had been incarcerated for 13 months. In Februuary 2005 Abu-Ali was transferred to U.S. custody, and in September and October of that year he went on trial. Documents which were unsealed on September 20, 2005 revealed that Abu-Ali had acknowledged his desire to join al Qaeda during his Saudi interrogation, though he maintained that the conspiracy to kill President Bush was merely a fantasy, not an actual objective. On November 22, 2005 the jury rendered a guilty verdict, and four months later Abu-Ali was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Bray also came to the defense of the aforementioned Abdurahman Alamoudi, the longtime Hamas and Hezbollah supporter who in 2004 was sentenced to 23 years in prison for tax and immigration violations, for his participation in a plot to murder Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah on behalf of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, and for illegally accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from high-ranking Libyan officials.
When the Virginia-based Islamic scholar Ali Al-Timimi was sentenced (in 2005) to life in prison for encouraging American Muslims to join the Taliban and fight against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Bray protested. “What he [Al-Timimi] said was perhaps repugnant and inflammatory,” Bray conceded, “but was it really his intent to have people go and take his words and translate that into going and killing other human beings, specifically Americans?”
Bray is currently working on two major projects. One is “Campaign V.I.P.: Voting Is Power,” a voter registration drive launched in conjunction with the NAACP, the Rainbow-Push Coalition, the Interfaith Alliance, and other leftist groups. The other project is "Activist Training Seminars," whose objective is to train at least 1,000 people in the “skills necessary for effective activism.”