The American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA) is a self-described “civil rights” organization based in Miami, with separate offices in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. AMANA offers help to Muslims needing guidance in applying for food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare. It also provides tax and accounting services; immigration-related legal services; job-hunting assistance; free copies of the Koran, Islamic books, and Islamic audio and videotapes; marriage ceremonies and certificates for Muslims; and counseling for victims of domestic violence and child abuse. Moreover, AMANA plans to establish Islamic day care centers “to help the low income families looking for a job, and help the single parent not to worry about her children while working.”
The slogan on the AMANA website reads, “Islam Honors Human & Civil Rights! We Honor them too!” That same website, however, once featured a link to the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity that had its offices closed down all over the globe due to its fundraising activities for al Qaeda. In March 2004, AMANA condemned the assassination of the founder of the terrorist group Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, calling him a “renowned Islamic scholar.”
The Director of AMANA, Sofian Abdelaziz-Zakkout, is the former Vice President of the Health Resource Center for Palestine, a now-defunct charity which was linked to the Hamas front group Islamic Association for Palestine, and which openly admitted to having raised funds for shuhada (i.e., suicide bombers).
AMANA chose not to endorse or participate in the May 14, 2005 “Free Muslims March Against Terror,” an event whose stated purpose was to “send a message to the terrorists and extremists that their days are numbered . . . [and to send] a message to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world and all people who seek freedom, democracy and peaceful coexistence that we support them.”
AMANA views the United States as a nation rife with bigotry and injustice aimed at Muslims. Thus the organization’s website features a complaint form where people can report instances of perceived discrimination they encounter in the housing market, the business world, or elsewhere.
To disseminate its message and publicize its activities, AMANA publishes The AMANA Voice magazine, as well as numerous booklets and pamphlets.
In March 2007, AMANA posted on its website an article titled “To Muslims – Stop Apologizing.” The piece read, in part:
“Stop apologizing for Al Qaeda. You didn’t create them, the Central Intelligence Agency did. Stop apologizing for every act of violence perpetrated by Muslims — unless you demand that every Christian and Jew apologize for the murderous acts of their co-religionists, too. … Yes, the 9/11 terror attacks were a truly grotesque act of mass murder, leading to the deaths of 3,000 innocent men, women, and children. But their lives and their innocence was not greater than the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives lost as a result of Western and Zionist aggression. How many 9/11s have been unleashed against the Iraqi people in the last four years alone, to say nothing of the countless victims generated as a direct result of US-led economic sanctions during the 8 years prior to the invasion?
“… When someone asks you to condemn Islamic violence, demand they first condemn Christian and Jewish violence and apologize for the disproportionate amount of death and destruction they have visited upon the world. … When you are reminded of how Muslim financial support for terrorist organizations has led to thousands of deaths around the world, don’t forget to remind them how Zionist Jewish bankers in New York, Germany, and England funneled millions of dollars to the Bolsheviks, who killed an estimated 20 million Russian Orthodox Christians between 1917 and 1945. You may also wish to remind them that $5 billion a year from the US has been funding Israel’s 40-year occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, its construction of segregated Jewish supremacist settlements, and its continued violation of dozens of UN resolutions, to say nothing of its history of violence against innocent Arab civilians.”
In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League issued a report condemning AMANA (and its director, Sofian Zakkout) for featuring, on its website, what the ADL called a “venomous” anti-Semitic video that was produced by white supremacist leader David Duke (who was also featured in the video). Zakkout subsequently posted a number of Duke videos on social media and praised Duke as “a man to believe in!”