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Conference in Baltimore features Islamist speakers with antisemitic histories

Hatem Bazian, who was on a panel at the three-day event, said at a 2004 San Francisco rally: “It’s about time that we have an intifada in this country.”

Baltimore Convention Center. Source: Twitter.
Baltimore Convention Center. Source: Twitter.

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) concluded their three-day annual conference late last month at the Baltimore Convention Center.

A number of activists and clerics with histories of antisemitism and anti-Israel statements were listed on the docket at the gathering, which featured more than 500 vendors and drew some 30,000, according to the Turkish embassy in Washington.

One panel, titled “Countering and Dismantling Islamophobia, Locally and Globally,” featured Hatem Bazian, chair and founder of the University of California-Berkeley Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project. Bazain presented on “Palestine: Century of Settler Colonialism.”

An advocate of boycotting Israel and a defender of Hamas, Bazian said at a 2004 San Francisco rally: “It’s about time that we have an intifada in this country.”

Bazian is also the founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and American Muslims for Palestine. In 2014, he described Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory.” He regularly compares Israel to Nazi Germany.

Both ICNA and MAS have radical roots—the former is affiliated with the South Asian Sunni revivalist movement Jamaat-e-Islami and the latter is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Among dozens of speakers on the docket were Siraj Wahhaj (who has defended executing gay people and had associations with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind); Omar Suleiman (who, among other things, rejects Jewish claims to Jerusalem); and Abdul Nasir Jangda (who has advocated executing Muslim apostates).

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