To say the ISNA has close ties to the Obama administration is an understatement, Valerie Jarrett was the keynote speaker at their 2009 convention and the group’s former president Ingrid Mattson was invited by Obama to deliver a prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2009.
A major American Islamist organization close to the Obama administration will host Tunisian Islamist Rachid Ghannouchi at its national conference in late August. The invitation is one of the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) most visible engagements with Islamist politics taking charge in the Middle East.
Despite ISNA’s insistence that Ghannouchi is “an advocate of religious tolerance and freedom, women’s rights, [and] non-violent leadership,” the chief of Tunisia’s Ennahda party has an extremist record.
Ghannouchi was denied a visa to the United States in the 1990s and much of this decade for a series of violently anti-American comments. [...]
Since then, the Ennahda party won a plurality in Tunisian parliamentary elections, and Ghannouchi has hosted a visit by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and advocated for the repatriation of Tunisian al-Qaida members from prisons overseas.
He has also voiced support for Palestinian terrorism and the political legitimization of Hamas. The Arab Spring “will achieve positive results on the path to the Palestinian cause and threaten the extinction of Israel,” he said in a May 2011 interview with the Al Arab Qatari website. “The liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation represents the biggest challenge facing the Umma [Muslim nation] and the Umma cannot have existence in light of the Israeli occupation.”
n 2009 he stirred up controversy with calls to “strike terror” into the hearts of Israelis with Qassam rockets. In June 2001, he appeared in an al-Jazeerah panel discussion in which he blessed the mothers of Palestinian suicide bombers.