A Project of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

ISLAMOPHOBIC ORGANIZATIONS: American Islamic Leadership Coalition

American Islamic Leadership Coalition

Appearing as a key witness supporting Rep. Peter King’s anti-Muslim hearings in March 2011, Jasser criticized Muslim organizations for informing communities of the fundamental constitutional right to have counsel present during interactions with law enforcement.

As of October 2017, AILC remains on the AIFD website, though Jasser seems to have moved on to his new credibility vehicle, the Muslim Reform Movement.

Formed in 2010, the American Islamic Leadership Coalition appears to exist only as a credibility vehicle for Zuhdi Jasser and his American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). The coalition’s website was last updated in October 2012. The group has no appreciable social media presence, with the most recent Twitter mentions being in October of 2012.

The only 2013 mention of the AILC in the LexisNexis media database, a source that compiles most domestic print media as well as major international media, was a blurb in the Winter 2013 edition of the Louisiana Law Review about AILC’s support of Michigan’s American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) bill. The ALAC legislation that AILC endorsed was penned by Islamophobe David Yerushalmi and was introduced in Michigan by another Islamophobe, former state representative Dave Agema. Agema is infamous for questioning whether anyone had “ever seen a Muslim [contribute] positively to the American way of life”, and also for referencing Arab fighter pilots as “camel jockeys”.

An additional search of Google News for AILC activity produced no results.

According to a paper issued by the AILC in July 2011, the coalition is “a group of more than 25 organizations and leaders that are representative of the overwhelming ‘silent majority of Muslims in America.’”

As of November 3, 2014, AILC’s web site lists 12 individuals who represent 7 organizations:

  • Golam Akhter, Bangladesh-USA Human Rights Coalition Inc, Washington, DC
  • Khurshed Chowdhury, Ph.D., Silver Springs, MD
  • Manda Zand Ervin, Alliance of Iranian Women, Washington, DC
  • Tarek Fatah, Muslim Canadian Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Farid N. Ghadry, Reform Party of Syria, Washington, DC
  • Tawfik Hamid, Islamic Reformer, Washington DC
  • Jamal Hasan, Council for Democracy and Tolerance, Baltimore, MD
  • Farzana Hassan, Ed.D., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • M. Zuhdi Jasser, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Phoenix, AZ
  • Hasan Mahmud, President Toronto Chapter Free Muslims Coalition
  • Kamal Nawash, Free Muslims Coalition, Washington, DC
  • C. Holland Taylor, LibForAll Foundation, Winston-Salem, NC

Additionally, coalition groups appear to be inactive. As of November 3, 2014, the Alliance of Iranian Women’s web site’s key feature was an event that occurred in 2009. Similarly, the Bangladesh-USA Human Rights Coalition’s website most recent posting center on events that happened in 2008-2009. The Council on Democracy and Tolerance’s website is now defunct.

Coalition members often display a close partnership with, or are themselves, key players in the anti-Muslim movement in the United States:

Zuhdi Jasser narrated The Third Jihad, a biased film created by the Clarion Fund that depicts Muslims as inherently violent and seeking world domination.

Coalition member Tawfiq Hamid was listed as part of a “five star” line-up at ACT! for America’s 2012 National Conference & Legislative Briefing. ACT! for America is widely recognized as an anti-Muslim organization. Its founder, Brigitte Gabriel, has alleged that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.”

To date, the coalition’s two major public actions have included:

  • Endorsing the anti-Islam American Laws for American Courts legislation, written by David Yerushalmi who wrote in 2006 that: “Our greatest enemy today is Islam.”
  • Endorsing the New York Police Department’s surveillance of law abiding Muslims, a program that has been broadly denounced by mainstream Muslim and civil liberties groups.

The coalition received early backing from Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.). Myrick retired from Congress in 2012, but in 2009, she famously held a press conference falsely accusing young American Muslim interns on Capitol Hill of being spies and infiltrators. In 2003, she advised looking at a potential national security threat coming from convenience stores saying, “You know, look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country. Every little town you go into, you know?”

Daniel Pipes, one of the nation’s most prominent Islamophobes, has also expressed his support for AILC.

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