- Islamic Thinkers Society
The Islamic Thinkers Society is a Muslim group based in
New York Citythat seeks the goal of restoring the Islamic Caliphateto create what they call "an ideal Islamic society." They are located mainly in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City, United States.
The group states they wish to see a reversal of what they consider to be
colonialismand imperialism, including an 'on the ground' reversal of the Balfour Declaration, Sykes-Picot Agreementand San Remo conference. They allege these agreements are part of 'Colonialist Designs' on the Islamic world, and they urge Muslims to consider them illegal, null and void. The group calls for an end what it says are "Colonialist-Imposed Borders," "Colonialist-Imposed States," and "Colonialist-Imposed Rulers."They also show dislike for Jews, Christians, homosexuals and Shi'ites.
ITS calls on Muslims to oppose the United States,
Christianityand Western society and culture, especially homosexuality, which they see as Western. ITS, is also notable for its hostility to Shi'ites whom they view as not true Muslims.
ITS is suspected of being an American offshoot of the London-based
Al-Muhajiroun, a group that celebrated the 9/11 attacks, referring to the hijackers as "the Magnificent 19," and posted a burning picture of the United States Capitolon its website. The Islamic Thinkers Society also used to fly the Al-Muhajiroun flag and distributed Al-Muhajiroun tracts. The Anti-Defamation Leaguecalled ITS "a pseudonym or an offshoot of the British-based Al Muhajiroun, a now-disbanded radical Islamic group that supported terrorism and the imposition of Islamic hegemony worldwide." [cite web | publication= Anti-Defamation League| title=Anti-Israel Protests -- 2005 | date=2005-05-13 | accessdate=2007-09-12 | url=http://www.adl.org/main_israel/anti-israel-protests_2005.asp]
Observers such as the Intelligence Summit have called the Islamic Thinkers Society a
Fundamentalist Islamic group.
When they still called themselves Al-Muhajiroun, they held an event at
Queensborough Community College, during which a Muhajiroun speaker said, "We reject the U.N., reject America, reject all law and order. Don't lobby Congress or protest because we don't recognize Congress! The only relationship you should have with America is to topple it!"
The group is based in the largely immigrant community of the Jackson Heights neighborhood in
Queens, New York Citybut operates in the wider New York area. It is composed mainly of second-generation young Arab, Bangladeshiand Pakistani immigrants with some converts [Elliott, Andrea. "Queens Muslim Group Says It Opposes Violence, and America." The New York Times, June 22, 2005 pB1] . It encourages Orthodox Islamic traditions while denouncing those who oppose their message.
*On March 19, 2005, the organization protested the intergender Muslim service held at Synod House of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. ITS members stood outside the service, irate that a woman was allowed to lead the ceremony. [Elliott, Andrea. "With Women at the Forefront, a Muslim Service Challenges Tradition." The New York Times, March 19, 2005 pB3 col 02.]
*They changed their name to the Islamic Thinkers Society and held a rally against
Israel, co-sponsored by the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, in New York City outside the Israeli mission to the United Nationson May 6, 2005. Placards were displayed which equated Nazi and Israeli symbols; other signs were emblazoned with the symbol of the Hamasmilitant group, and proclaimed that "Palestine is Islamic Land," "Allah Will Destroy the Terrorist State of Israel," and "Complete Liberation of Palestine From the Zionist Scum." One of the slogans shouted by the crowd in Arabic was the anti-Jewish slogan: "Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya'ud!" evoking the historical battle between the Islamic prophet Muhammadand the Jewsof the Khaybaroasis.
*On March 23, 2004 a rally to "mourn" the death of the militant leader
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of the group Hamaswas also held in front of the Israeli consulate. The leader of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, Imam Red Shata, who was quoted by the NY Daily News, publicly stated, "The lion of Palestine has been martyred." [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/06/nyregion/06imam.html?pagewanted=4&ei=5070&en=b3814cd1ec651da1&ex=1166158800] [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21554]
June 8, 2005 the ITS publicly desecrated and ripped up an American flag on the street in New York City during a rally at 74th Street and 37th Avenue in the borough of Queens. This event, which they called "Operation: Desecrate American Flag" was videotaped by the Islamic Thinkers Society and can be seen on the Internet. Their five-minute video begins with a man speaking in English, "Just to show where our loyalty belongs to – you see this flag here? It's going to go on the floor [sic] . And to us, our loyalty does not belong to this flag, our loyalty belongs to Allah ... ." Another speaker refers to the mandate for "Islam to dominate over all other religions, to dominate the world, even though the non- Muslims may hate it."
*The negative press reaction led the organization to issue a statement on their website stating, "This flag also represents oppression, not only in the Muslim world, but also other parts of the world which includes but not limited to South America, Vietnam, Japan & Africa. We would like to clarify that we DID NOT BURN THE FLAG as the rumors say. Rather, we stepped on it and ripped it. The video is evident of that. What we did was completely legal and protected by the American Constitutional Amendment." Flag desecration is allowed under the
Constitution, but not under any particular amendment.
*On Feb 18, 2006, the Islamic Thinkers Society participated in a demonstration against Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammed as a terrorist. [Fahim, Kareem. "More Than 1,000 Protest Cartoon Depiction of Prophet." The New York Times, Feb 18, 2006 pB3.] The rally, which was organized by the Muslim Leadership Council, brought over one thousand Muslims to protest the cartoons across from the Danish Consulate in Manhattan.
*On April 20, 2006, the ITS demonstrated in front of the Israeli consulate in Manhattan and publicly called for the nuclear destruction of Israel ["Interview With Steve Emerson." Hannity & Colmes. Televised on FOX News. 04/24/2006] "The mushroom cloud is on its way! The real
Holocaustis on its way!" and "Israel won't last long. Indeed, Allah will repeat the Holocaust right on the soil of Israel!" The demonstration included signs that read "Islam will Dominate" and featured a picture with an Islamic flag flying over the White House. A video of this event was also made available to the public on the Internet.
*On July 18, 2006, the ITS was again in front of the Israeli embassy with their signs, standing with a crowd that was chanting "Long live Hezbollah".
"Press Release to the Muslim Communities of North America" [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3982856370526939649&sourceid=docidfeed&hl=en]
* [http://www.islamicthinkers.com/index/index.php Islamic Thinkers Society website]
* [http://mfile.akamai.com/6713/wma/glennbeck.download.akamai.com/6713/preview/06/11/m_interview.asx A Glenn Beck interview of a member of the Islamic Thinkers Society]
* [http://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2370041 Chris Zambelis, "Arrest of American Islamist Highlights Homegrown Terrorist Threat,"] "Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Focus," Volume 3, Issue 25, June 27, 2006.
* [http://al-huda.al-khoei.org/news/63/ARTICLE/1115/2006-02-07.html An account of an ITS attack on a Shi'a rally] at al-huda.al-khoei.org
* [http://www.intelligencesummit.org/news/GW1.php Video footage of May 6, 2005 rally] at intelligencesummit.org
* [http://www.adl.org/main_Israel/anti-israel-protests_2005.asp An account of the May 6, 2005 rally with photos] at adl.org
* [http://www.intelligencesummit.org/news/GW1.php Video of 'Operation: Desecrate American Flag' rally] at intelligencesummit.org
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6424922834551057136&q=Islamic+Thinkers Video of an anti-Shi'ite rally in New York] from
* [http://www.nefafoundation.org/video/islamic.wmv Video footage of April 20, 2006 rally] at nefafoundation.org
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