In 2005, the Muslim Students Association of Wright State University (MSA WSU) participated — along with more than 250 fellow Muslim organizations (mostly chapters of the MSA) — in the annual “Ramadan Fast-a-Thon,” where students eat nothing from sunrise to sundown on one designated day each year. The purpose of this event — which was initiated shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — is twofold: to “raise money for the hungry and poor,” and to help Americans “increase” their “understanding” of Muslims’ good intentions. Such notables as Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, Sheikh Abdullah Idris Ali, Imam Zaid Shakir, and Sheikh Hamza Yusuf have endorsed the Fast-a-Thon.
In February 2008, MSA WSU vice president (and WSU student-government officer) Mohammad “Moody” Kassem prominently posted an online poll on the Wright State student-government website, asking: “If you are of Islamic faith, would you utilize a permanent [on-campus] prayer room?” Kassem then began contacting Muslims all over the United States — i.e., people with no ties to Wright State University or its local community — and asking them to participate in this poll. His expressed intent was to use the poll results as leverage with which to persuade the WSU provost to establish a permanent, private Islamic prayer room on campus. This email was disseminated well beyond WSU’s service area, and it rapidly yielded hundreds of affirmative responses.
Patrick Poole, executive director of Central Ohioans Against Terrorism, contacted Kassem two days after he had posted his online poll to ask why he (Kassem) had used responses from people with no connection to WSU as evidence of strong support for the construction of an Islamic prayer room on campus. The poll was moved off the student government’s main webpage within an hour of Poole’s email to Kassem, though it did continue to run elsewhere on the site. Poole, however, received no formal reply from Kassem or MSA WSU.
MSA’s national organization, the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada, has prepared and published a guide titled “How to Establish a Prayer Room on Campus,” to help its student leaders press their schools with demands for separate, rather than shared, religious space on campus. A supplement to the guide specifically instructs MSA leaders to set up a “Prayer Room Demand Survey,” precisely as Mohammad Kassem had done.
Much of this profile is adapted from the article, “Islamofascism Fraud at Wright State,” authored by Patrick Poole and published by FrontPageMagazine.com on March 18, 2008.