Established in 1990 as a charity designed to protect the political and civil rights of Muslims in the
United States, the American Muslim Council (AMC) developed into one of the most prominent Islamic organizations of recent times. Its importance has declined, however, since its founder and former Chairman Abdurahman Alamoudi was imprisoned in October 2003 on terrorism-related charges. Alamoudi was a supporter of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) founder Musa Abu Marzook, and Islamic Group leader Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Alamoudi also conducted business with Libya’s “World Islamic Call Society,” a sponsor of terrorism.
AMC’s ties to Islamic terror are not limited to Alamoudi. In December 2000, the organization’s
Dallas chapter presented an award to IAP official Ghassan Dahduli, who would be deported eleven months later because of his connections to al Qaeda and Hamas.
In January 2002, AMC’s then-Executive Director Eric Vickers publicly defended University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, whose involvement with the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad had recently been uncovered. In June 2002, Vickers was asked on Fox News and MSNBC to denounce Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and al Qaeda by name. He refused, asserting instead that al Qaeda was “involved in a resistance movement” against outside aggressors. Vickers has since been replaced as AMC Executive Director by M. Ali Khan. The organization’s current President is Raied N. Abdullah, and its Vice President is Nedzib Sacrebey.
In March 2002, federal authorities raided the
Virginia house and business of AMC Board member Jamal Barzinji in an anti-terrorism investigation. Moreover, according to a U.S. prosecutor, AMC Advisory Board member Soliman Biheiri served as “the Muslim Brotherhood‘s financial toehold” in the
In November 2002, AMC publicly urged American Muslims to give money to Islamic relief organizations to aid refugees who had fled their homes in response to
America’s post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan. Included in AMC’s list of recommended charities was the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), whose assets had recently been seized by the FBI and the Treasury Department because of its activities as a fundraising front for Hamas. AMC, which lauded HLF for its “strong global vision,” called Bush’s action against the charity “particularly disturbing … unjust and counterproductive.” AMC also exhorted Muslims to send money to the Global Relief Foundation, another charity that was shut down by the U.S. government for having “provided assistance to Usama Bin Ladin, the al Qaeda Network, and other known terrorist groups.”
In February 2003, AMC formed a coalition with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American Muslim Alliance, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council to repeal and amend the Patriot Act — alleging that it violated the civil liberties of Americans. AMC also endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting vital freedoms, national-security policies that had been adopted after the 9/11 attacks. In the aftermath of 9/11, AMC’s website linked to a document titled “Know Your Rights,” which advised: “Don’t Talk to the FBI.”
AMC is a member organization of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), established in 1997 by Sami Al-Arian to litigate against
U.S. counter-terrorism laws, to provide legal counsel to terrorist suspects, and to help overturn terrorist convictions. Fellow NCPPF members include the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the National Lawyers Guild.