A predominantly black organization representing Muslim converts indigenous to the United States, the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) says that “the idea” behind its creation “emerged virtually independently in different conversations among various Muslim leaders including Siraj Wahhaj, Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, Talib Abdur-Rashid, Asim Abdur Rashid, Ihsan Bagby, R. Mukhtar Curtis, Abdul Hakim Jackson, Amir al-Islam and many others.” MANA was formally established in May of 2000, in response to the arrest of the Muslim convert/cop-killer Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly known as H. Rap Brown), who continues to enjoy the organization’s support to this day.
According to CounterJihad.com, MANA is a member of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), “a coalition consisting of organizations identified as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups.” Not surprisingly, MANA espouses the teachings of Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi, and endorses the Brotherhood’s wish to establish Sharia Law as the governing principle of American society.
MANA describes itself as a national network of masjids (mosques), Muslim organizations, and individuals “committed to work together” to: (a) address “the great social and economic problems that are challenging Muslim communities especially in the inner city”; (b) promote “the involvement of masjids and Muslims in community service projects” such as “low-income housing, halfway houses, job training and medical clinics”; (c) create “systematic and effective dawah [proselytization] programs to help bring more non-Muslims into Islam”; (d) help establish a “strong presence of viable, healthy and dynamic Muslim communities … and institutions that meet the religious, social, economic and political needs of the Muslims in this land”; (e) “advocate and work for just and righteous remedies to ills impacting North American society in general and Muslims in particular”; and (f) “promote Islamic unity and tolerance between Muslims based on the recognition of the great breadth and diversity within the wide-path of Sharīʿah.”
MANA chose not to endorse or participate in the May 14, 2005 “Free Muslims March Against Terror,” an event whose 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.”
On October 28, 2009, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, a member of MANA’s governing board, was killed during an FBI raid as he engaged federal agents in a gun battle. Several of his accomplices were subsequently arrested on numerous charges that included conspiracy, receipt of stolen goods, and firearms offenses. Prosecutors had previously portrayed Abdullah as “a highly placed leader of a nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group.” According to one FBI agent’s affadavit, Abdullah “regularly preache[d] anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric,” and also “trained regularly in the use of firearms and … in martial arts and sword fighting.”
The website Islamist Watch reports that music legend Kenny Gamble, who has been accused of working to build a “black Muslim enclave” on real estate in Philadelphia that was given to him by the city, served for some time on the same MANA board with Abdullah.
In 2009, MANA was part of the American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights and Elections (AMTF), a national coalition of some of the largest Muslim organizations in the U.S., whose common objectives were to “[m]ainstream the American Muslim community” and work for “the empowerment of [that] community and for the protection of its rights.” MANA’s fellow AMTF members included the American Muslim Alliance, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Muslim Students’ Association of the U.S. and Canada, the Muslim Ummah of North America, Project Islamic Hope, and United Muslims of America.
In December 2011 in New York City, members of MANA and several other Muslim groups – the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society, the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, the Islamic Circle of North America, and the Muslim Peace Coalition USA – joined Occupy Wall Street protesters in staging a demonstration against NYPD and CIA tactics that allegedly discriminated against American Muslims. As the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports:
“[The demonstrators] defended convicted terrorists as victims of entrapment and abusive treatment, including one convicted of trying to kill American troops and FBI agents in Afghanistan. One speaker, an attorney, said she was ‘counting on the media to also help us investigate and expose the vicious Stasi-like tactics of the NYPD.’ … Another dismissed mosque leaders who work with law enforcement as ‘Uncle Toms.’ The statements were in response to a series of media reports portraying the NYPD engaging in vast surveillance programs with the city’s Muslim community, sending informants into mosques, using demographic profiling and other perceived abuses.”
Among the projects that MANA has identified as its major initiatives are the following:
Among the current members of MANA’s Executive Committee are the organization’s two principal founders, the terror-tied Siraj Wahhaj (who has long served as MANA’s president, or Amir) and Talib Abdur-Rashid, who has: (a) spoken in defense of the convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Sami Al-Arian and the convicted cop-killer Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, and (b) stated that former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel’s destruction reflected a “sentiment born of the legitimate anger, frustration, and bitternesss that is felt in many parts of the Muslim World.” Additional members of MANA’s Executive Committee include such notables as:
For additional information on MANA, click here.