Founded in 1965 by the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), the Islamic Book Service (IBS) is the largest Islamic bookstore in North America; it offers more than 2,000 book titles in various languages, most notably English and Arabic, as well as Qur’anic tapes and Islamic wall posters and slides. Today IBS’s United States division is run by the North American Islamic Trust, and the Canadian division is run by the Islamic Society of North America.
IBS was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document — titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” — as one of the Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded “organizations of our friends” that shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These “friends” were identified by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
Also named in the Muslim Brotherhood document were:
The Muslim Brotherhood, which Islam expert Robert Spencer has called “the parent organization of Hamas and al Qaeda,” viewed IBS as a potentially valuable ally in the pursuit of the Brotherhood’s aforementioned mission, given IBS’s ability to disseminate widely, through its publications, the ideas and worldviews necessary to help galvanize a pro-Islam, anti-West movement. According to Campus Watch:
“Featured on IBS are the most violent and hateful texts, including a version of the Quran, The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, that has been banned by the Los Angeles school system for having numerous anti-Semitic commentaries. Also featured are texts written by such Muslim Brotherhood luminaries as Hassan Al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Syed Abul Ala Maududi, and Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.”
A March 2008 survey of IBS products found the following titles:
Islam and Universal Peace: IBS describes this as a book that “explains the Islamic concept of peace and its universal nature, and how Islam brings peace and harmony to the lives of individuals and to society.” The author is Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), whose writings are so popular among jihadists today that some have even labeled Osama bin Laden a “Qutbist.”
Humanism in Islam: IBS’s description of this book states: “The West’s generalized fear and lack of intellectual honesty toward Islam prevent it from recognizing the wealth of benefits Islam bestows on mankind. [This book] demonstrates that Islam and Islamic law can make a vital contribution to the protection of human rights worldwide.” The author of Humanism in Islam, Marcel Boisard, has derided “the religious prejudice, even fanaticism of a West that could not admit to itself that it owed anything to the ‘infidel.’”
To Be A Muslim: This book, says IBS, “[i]nvites Muslims to reexamine their lives as Muslims and to rededicate themselves to Islamic ideals in their personal and collective lives.” Required reading for all adjunct members of the Muslim American Society, the book states: “Until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful.” The book’s author, Fathi Yakun, accused the Bush Administration of naked aggression against Muslims in the post-9/11 era; of having systematically destroyed Islamic infrastructure in Afghanistan and Iraq; and of seeking to ultimately crush Muslims worldwide. Yakun also has urged Muslims everywhere to unite in an effort to defeat America.
The Life of Muhammad: IBS describes this book, authored by Muhammad Husayn Haykal, as “a biography which reveals the career of Prophet Muhammad … in the full light of historic reality,” and which “bring[s] out the essence of Islam, as exemplified in the life of the greatest Muslim.”
Jihad: A Commitment to Universal Peace: According to IBS, author Marcel Boisard “explains, in very precise terms, what jihad really is.” “He discusses,” IBS continues, “the fallacies and the falsities that surround the Western understanding and depiction of jihad…. They [Westerners] ignore the fact that Islam is not hostility, but [a] … social and personal struggle for righteousness.”