NY's Annual Muslim Day Parade Targets El-Sisi
NY's Annual Muslim Day Parade Targets El-Sisi
On September 14, 2014,  at the 29th annual Muslim Day Parade in New York City, whose theme is “Islam and America Share Common Values,” the first individual marchers after the floats held up signs for Gaza and against the blockade.

They were not Muslims. They were “Jews for Justice in Palestine” and their signs read: “Jews Say No To The Blockade” and “Jews Say No To The Siege of Gaza.” The man holding one of the signs is wearing a Palestinian-style keffiyah.

How exactly is this an Islamic-American value? Jews and Christians would not be able to march in Gaza or Mecca with signs protesting the mistreatment of Jews and Christians in Muslim lands. They can do so only in America—but in these times, even here, they would need serious protection on the streets, at conferences, and on campuses were they to express such views.

In no Islamic country can Hindus, Jews, Christians, Ba’hai and Zoroastrians march to express their religious pride. Only in America can countless ethnicities and religions express themselves freely, publicly, and proudly.

For example, for years, Americans whose home countries include Ireland, Italy, Puerto Rico, the West Indies, and Poland, have marched in New York City, demonstrating pride in their heritage—which is not strictly speaking only a religious heritage. In addition, none of these countries (Ireland, Puerto Rico) or any of their inhabitants are actively terrorizing and attempting to colonize a large number of other countries; none are blowing up civilians, using civilians as human shields.

No one from any of these countries flew planes into the World Trade Center or attacked a large number of American planes, ships, consulates, and Embassies.

Not a single speaker acknowledged the terrible harm being done to humanity by Muslim terrorists. Every speaker merely kept repeating—“Islam is for Peace,” as if saying something is so makes it so.

Almost every single speaker talked about the “oppression of Muslims,” the need for “justice for oppressed Muslims,” and they all mentioned “Palestine.” This is code for “Kill the Jews,” “Zionists out of Israel.”

Americans do not kill people because of their religions. America has welcomed people of all religions, including Muslims. Religious Muslims believe that “Allah has sent you Mohammed as a blessing” for all humanity. One of today’s floats says as much.

I think that Islam has a problem. Yes, there are many peaceful Muslims who are not terrorists.  But most terrorists today are Muslims who claim their murderous actions are being done in the name of Islam.

Only a minority of Muslims dare to stand up to them. When they do, if they live in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, or in the disputed Palestinian territories, they are tortured and executed for their dissident views.

Here’s what’s interesting:

First, despite the fact that it was a sunny, refreshingly cool, but beautiful day in New York City, no more than 150 people were part of this rally. A few hundred more, mainly parents with children, were at the street fair which featured rides, food, games. The rally did not draw a huge Muslim presence. Very few passersby were there.

Second, no one was brazenly or obviously flying the flags of ISIS or of Jihad as has been done in the past. Yes, there were black and white flag-like materials intertwined with red material on an anti-El Sisi float, but they were not flown as flags or carried as banners.

Third, while most women wore hijab, some were black and “unfriendly,” but many were rather colorful and “friendly.” Only some women were entirely face-masked or wearing burqas.

Fourth, no group was listed as a sponsor for this annual event. Instead, four men’s names and phone numbers were given. They are listed in the parade materials as on the Board of Trustees of the Muslim Foundation of American, Inc.. Here is what I could find out about three of the four.

President, Brother Ainul Haque is apparently an accountant who practices in Astoria, Queens. In 2009, Ain Al-Haqe (it’s the same man) was arrested and convicted for filing fraudulent tax returns for his Crescent Accounting Service clients. Without shame, he has advertised his Crescent Accounting Services in the Parade brochure.

This slight—or  not-so-slight shadiness reminds me of Hisham Elzanaty, one of the main backers of the planned Cordoba (Ground Zero) mosque who was accused by a number of insurance companies of “orchestrating a highly developed and sophisticated kickback scheme” that allegedly reaped more than $5 million dollars for Elzanaty and others. State Farm and Geico have also lodged similar allegations.”

Senior Vice President, Dr. Shafi Bezar, is listed next. He is a retired surgeon who, at the 2012 Muslim American Day parade, chanted repeatedly, and emotionally, from the dais: "We will die for our belief: 'There is no G-d but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger."  He also called for “Takbir” (expansion) three times and led the assembled in a Nazi-like salute.

Trustee Shabbir Gul’s FaceBook page says that he is a Pakistani, from the Punjab. Most of the photos are of himself or of his children. One woman, presumably his wife, is wearing black hijab and dark glasses. He belongs to a number of associations including the Maimonides Interfaith Society, (which features anti-Zionist Karen Armstrong) and the ICNA—an acronym which is not spelled out but should not be confused with the Islamic Circle of North America. However, if you visit their website (that of ICNA) you will see that their members marched “for Gaza” in many cities across the country. Malomaat, another organization, is in Punjabi, or Urdu, or perhaps Bengali but seems to be religious in nature. Muslims for Humanity Relief is another organization that Gul belongs to. With some exceptions, this one mainly assists Muslims, Muslim communities and Muslim centers in distress.

This is certainly understandable but it is not, strictly speaking, the American way. Americans (like Israelis) pride themselves on helping strangers, people unlike themselves, as well as helping their own kind.

Fifth, flyers that were given out are revealing if not incendiary.  One is a WANTED poster for Crimes Against Humanity allegedly perpetrated by General Sisi. Another flyer advertises: “Huge Protest Against the Visit (SISI) to the United Nations. This will take place on 9/25/14. A swastika is painted on his cheek.

In short, the Muslim American Day Parade was fertile ground for Muslim Brotherhood operatives.

Sixth, the thick and glossy program has so many misspellings that one does not know what to think. Was this hastily assembled, do those involved not know English very well? Thus, instead of “Senior Vice President,” we have “Serior” Vice President; instead of a “message” from the Chairman, we have a “massage” from him! Sadly, there is no List of Speakers either and it was hard to be sure of each speaker’s name. Marchers included the Muslim Police Officers Society, a Police Marching Band, Girl Scouts in hijab, and a float that said: “The Prophet Mohammed Is The Best Model For Mankind to Follow.” Various city officials were there as well, including the Manhattan Borough President.

Now, to those speeches.

Imam Shamsi Ali, the Vice President of the Muslim Foundation of America, led the group in the opening prayer.

Ainul Haque, the President of the Muslim Foundation of America  urged Muslims to "get united"—but not on behalf of broad American values or on behalf of non-Muslim Americans; as is usual, his interest is in using American laws and values to obtain Muslim-specific goals.  (I doubt he notes the difference). “The Muslim community is struggling to get school holidays for children - working hard with Muslim community to get Allah's food in the schools. Please register to vote.  Of 800-900k Muslims, only 21% registered to vote.”

Another unnamed speaker (who was not introduced), noted that “We have been prosecuted but (we) always obey the law. Peace be upon us. Please obey the law. America is our homeland… We are not going anywhere. Muslims are facing injustices around the world. We are here in (a) democratic society…we are thankful for elected officials - we salute you. Please bring next year your family and friends. We want to double and triple (the number of) people here. Show our strength and how peaceful we are. Clean this place. God bless America and God bless Muslims.”

I hesitate to interpret what he might mean by “clean this place” but am fairly certain that some other speaker will clarify this.

Brother Abu Naru Ziman (sic) delivered a message of “peace (because) we believe (we) all came from the same source with the same message. You are not here forever you are going to the judgment to Allah so be accountable for your action. We are people of (the) book and knowledge… the Muslim civilization is a little behind (so) study the religion and be the religion of peace so that others do not represent your religion for you.”

This could potentially be hopeful if the good Brother is talking about re-interpreting the Quran and the hadith and bringing Islam into the 21stcentury. But this has never been done or, as some religious Muslims might say, this has yet to be done. 

Dr Mohammad Battanani (sic)  gave “all thanks and praise to Allah, We are all one nation under God. (Does he mean the ummah, the Muslim people or the diverse peoples of America?)…Because Allah created us to be one regardless if our colors genders religions. Muslims are for justice. Muslims are for peace. Muslims (are) for the country. For their neighbors. We have to work together for peace and justice for all. We have to work for justice for our people in Palestine, in  Kashmir, in Egypt, in Iraq. It is justice for all.

The good doctor has suddenly lost me. Why did he have to bring in Palestine and Kashmir when Muslims mean one thing when they say these two words and Israeli Jews and Hindus mean something entirely different, opposite. Justice for Muslims-only in Kashmir means that the very last Hindus, long under siege, have to leave, get out, so that Muslims can destroy their temples and lay claim to a city that is sacred to Hindus. As to Palestine—I have written too much on this subject. Let us say that mentioning it first signals that he holds a politically correct view of Jews, i.e. he has a lethal, probably genocidal intentionality towards my people.

This man tried to redeem himself when he said: “ISIS does not represent us or represent Islam. We are against violence everywhere...Be with democracy not with dictators. We have to help democratic governments to end occupation everywhere. Then people will leave peace and justice. Please vote. God bless all of our brothers and sisters in humanity”. 

Another man, an Islamic scholar said: “We denounce any kind of terrorism. As you heard - Islam is a religion of peace. We oppose every kind of terrorism wherever it is. We encourage the White House and the United Nations to support oppressed Muslims all over the world.” 

Ah, he did not note that Muslims are mainly oppressed by other Muslims nor does he note that Christians, Hindus, and Jews are also being persecuted. He did not ask the White House to intervene on their behalf. He does tell people to “Love your neighbor—an old Jewish commandment—a Christian one too. He also repeated the day’s mantra: “Islam means peace” but he then asks everyone to stand to sing the US national anthem.

An unannounced speaker joined the chorus: “We are against terror and aggression…We need to unite so our government stops it's aggression against other countries. Islam is justice. Peace cannot be established unless justice is there. We cannot say only peace. The aggression against the Palestinian people is not acceptable for us as American Muslims. What is happening in Africa and Iraq is not acceptable. Or Syria. We need justice.” 

Imam Tafsirli  (sic) from the Harlem Islamic cultural center lead the people in the second mass prayer service of the rally. Then, he spoke.

“Allah created all, including man. You cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus. Mohammed came to the entire world. He was a prophet and a teacher. A humble human being. In his quest to purify mankind, (is this the “cleaning” referred to earlier?),  he almost fell into doubt, but God reminded him about Abraham the father of monotheism. Let your life be for God and let your death be for God. I greet you together today be you a new Muslim or Christian or free thinker that everything you do in this world let it be for God… We greet president Obama. We salute you. We love you. And we are still thinking and praying that you are the president of hope and peace.  country.

There is nothing more to bomb in Iraq. Mr. President. We love you we honor you. Syria has been scattered into ashes. Isis is not Syria. Isis is not Iraq. Isis is not Islam. No more bombing of women and children in the Islam world.. Please assemble a coalition to take care of children in Palestine. Give them water…Governor, you govern us too. Include us in this family of New York. We greet the mayor of this great city. There is not a single Muslim in this torn who did not campaign for you. We love you. And your family. Kindly, sign into law the holiday of Eid-al Fitr (the feast that follows Ramadan).”   

You have to appreciate the Muslims. They never take their eye off the prize and the prize they are after is always the triumph of religious Islam. This is primarily what Muslim culture is.

The Imam knows enough about America to be careful to “greet the commissioner” and “thank the commissioner.” He wants to “let the commissioner know that we make his work easier. We do not sell alcohol or drink alcohol we do not drive drunk. We do not kill women and children in cars on the road.” He then appeals to “my Muslim brothers and sisters. Visit the synagogues. Visit the churches. They share Abraham and Moses and Jesus with us. Share Mohammed with them. Make the Christians and Jews your neighbors. Jews and Christians are our brothers and sisters. Read the Quran to become better Jews and Christians.

In other words, he is not suggesting that Muslims read the Torah or the Tanach or the New Testament. He is merely suggesting that Muslims teach infidels about Mohammed—chillingly, so that they maybe become even “better” Jews and Christians.  

On the other hand, this Imam said something very poetic, namely, that in the “sky there are stars. Any country you go to where the clergy is not respected, that country has a sky without stars. They live in darkness. In this country we have some honorable Jews, who pray for peace.  May we live and die truth.” 

Finally, Mohammed Unis  talked about what matters. “Voting power. Financial donations. The issue on Palestine is all about justice. The issue in Iraq is all about justice. Making a positive and tangible change is a must. We either stand up for what we believe or we will be stepped on. Our message is justice nothing but justice. 

Whatever happened to peace? And whatever happened to Islam, America Share Common Values—when the name of the Parade remains, not the Muslim-American Day Parade but the Muslim Day Parade?

In covering a march and rally, it is easy to miss important floats, chants, and the names of the speakers. And so I did.

My first correction:  Imam Mohammed Qatanani (not Mohammed Baranini) spoke. He claims he is a Palestinian. He has admitted to being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but when he faced deportation from the United States, he insisted that he had never been a member of Hamas—a fact which he failed to share on his application for a green card. Instead, he claimed that he had been scooped up accidentally by the IDF and “harshly interrogated.”

I missed the float in which El-Sisi’s Egypt, personified by a woman, was about to be hanged. I also missed the golden chariot in which someone dressed to impersonate El-Sisi was hailed as Egypt's New Pharoah. And, I missed a group of women in yellow chanting “We are Egyptians,” over and over again.

In short, it was a Muslim Brotherhood march through and through. Yes, in New York City, in the United States.

A shorter version of this article appeared on Breitbart.com