Washington, DC — At a press conference today, President Barack Obama announced he would be using his own funds to construct a statue on the White House lawn of Azhar Azeez, a leader for the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We must not become divided in this country, that will only cause problems. What I’m doing today is a step in the right direction to unite us all with the great people of the Muslim faith,” Obama told reporters. “Azhar Azeez is not only a great man, but a personal friend of mine. The least we can do is honor this man with a statue.”
Of course, there is nothing wrong with the President using his own money for whatever he chooses, and to have friends from any faith, including the Muslim community in particular. Yet some of the individuals who have met with the President have alarming links to organizations that have funded terrorism, and that includes the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mr. Azeez has represented the Islamic Society of North America or ISNA. Declassified FBI documents show that ISNA was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group as early as 1987 and its past leaders include Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was convicted on terrorism related charges in 2004, which resulted in a 23-year prison sentence.
Azeez is the senior National Director of Islamic Relief USA, the American branch of Islamic Relief worldwide. The United Arab Emirates lists Islamic Relief Worldwide as a terrorist organization. Israel also banned Islamic Relief from operating in the disputed territories it administers, accusing it of funding Hamas. In addition to this, Azeez is a founder and past president of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator. CAIR is also listed as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Azeez also signed the aforementioned letter which supports the need for an Islamic Caliphate and the hudud punishments of sharia law, which include amputation, flogging and the execution of apostates. Among the other signatories to that letter was terrorist supporting Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, who in the past endorsed a fatwa that authorized the killing of US soldiers. He also said that giving donations to jihadists who fight Israel count as zakat and said as recently as 2013 that Muslim leaders should give Hamas financial and military assistance to fight Israel. Bin Bayyah was cited by Obama in an address to the UN in September 2014 as a Muslim leader who supports peace.
White House spokesman Paul Horner ended the press conference by giving details to reporters about the controversial statue.
“The statue of Azhar Azeez will be displayed on the East side of the White House lawn,” Horner said. “The marble statue will stand approximately 21 feet tall, weigh a little more than a 100 tons and is currently being built by world famous artist Tom Downey from England. The statue is expected to be completed in the next 6 months with a grand unveiling celebration for all to see. This is a great day for Muslims all over the world.”