The Muslim Students Association at the University of Wyoming (MSA-UW) functions as a branch of the larger Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada. This affiliation is confirmed by MSA-UW’s constitution, which also highlights the campus group’s ties to the Islamic Center of Laramie (Wyoming), and the Islamic Society of North America.
Consistent with the practice of MSA chapters throughout the United States, MSA-UW has played host to a number of events featuring radical Islamist guest speakers. In 2008, for instance, Siraj Wahhaj, who had been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, addressed an MSA-UW audience. In 2009, James “Yousef” Yee, the former U.S. Army officer who had served as chaplain to inmates at Guantanamo Bay and was accused of spying for Syria and mishandling classified information (charges later dropped), spoke at MSA-UW’s Annual Islamic Cultural Awareness Week.
In 2010, MSA-UW invited the Sudanese-born Mohamed Salih, a professor at Laramie County Community College and secretary of the Cheyenne Interfaith Council, to speak at its annual Ramadan Dinner. Salih had already cultivated a reputation as a controversial figure. Following the 2006 publication of cartoon images lampooning the Islamic prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, for instance, Salih opined that such items (which sparked violent Muslim riots around the world) were too offensive to merit the protection of free-speech rights in the media. On another occasion, he claimed that the 9/11 attacks “had nothing to do with religion.” And after former U.S. Army officer Nidal Malik Hasan went on a murderous 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood (shouting “Allahu Akbar!” while gunning down 13 people), Salih downplayed the event as a misunderstanding (by Hasan) of the teachings of Islam, claiming that “[violence] has no place in this religion.”
In 2011, MSA-UW invited Karim Abu Zaid to be a guest speaker. Zaid, who contends that Allah views Muslims as being superior to all other peoples, is the imam of the Colorado Muslim Society. The leader of that organization, Ahmad Nabhan, has referred to Israel as “the first enemy.”
According to the MSA-UW constitution, the group’s surplus funds and any of its acquired real estate are to be given to the North American Islamic Trust. Separately, MSA-UW has made donations to Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. IRUSA’s parent organization, Islamic Relief Worldwide, has provided direct support to Hamas.