U.S. Sufi Leader Once Again at the Center of Controversy

Category: World Affairs Topics: Lebanon, Russia Views: 940

(iviews.com) An organization headed up by controversial figure Hisham Kabbani recently sent out invitations to a breakfast meeting with pro-Moscow Chechen administrator Akhmed Kadyrov amid protests from the Chechen government.

In a letter obtained by iviews.com, a representative of Kabbani's self-styled organization, the Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA), invited leaders of U.S. Muslim organizations to join them in hearing a "firsthand account of the current crisis" in Chechnya.

The letter portrayed Kadyrov, a Moscow-appointed administrator, as a "close personal friend" of current Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov. But after hearing about the invitation, the Chechen government immediately issued a statement saying that the claims were false and criticizing ISCA for hosting Qadirov.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria finds it totally unacceptable that the ISCA decided to support Mr. Kadyrov, who is directly responsible for the genocide of the Chechen people," said Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov in a press release issued late last week.

The Chechens believe Kadyrov has been responsible for misleading the international community on issues related to Chechnya and publicly supporting Russian troops that have been committing war crimes against the Chechen people.

Kadyrov, formerly Chechnya's mufti, was recently appointed by the Russian government as a head administrator. And the Chechen secret service has said they have evidence that he is a Russian agent.

The Chechens became even more suspicious with Kadyrov when his gunmen forced residents at gunpoint to declare that they were not "Wahhabis" (a term used by Russians for Muslims who seek to implement Islamic law).

They also maintain that during a United Nations Commission on Human Rights session this past April, Kadyrov openly lied, saying that there were "no violations of Human Rights by the Russian troops in Chechnya."

But the breakfast meeting, scheduled for August 19 at the Washington office of ISCA, was cancelled just days ago with no reason given. Repeated calls to the staff at ISCA in both Washington and California were not returned.

The fact that Kabbani was to play host to such a controversial figure should come as no surprise to many in the Muslim American community. Kabbani was immediately shunned by leaders of eight major Islamic organizations in the U.S. after he publicly made unsubstantiated criminal accusations against Muslims in America.

In a 1999 presentation to a U.S. State Department forum, Kabbani said that the "ideology of extremism has been spread to eighty percent of the [American] Muslim population." He also purported that many Muslim organizations are not moderate, but "extremists" who obtain their support from "outside regimes."

Also during his speech, Kabbani said that the main national Muslim student organization, [the MSA] and its members pose a threat to America, because these students could obtain and use small nuclear atomic warheads.

Kabbani, a self-declared spiritual leader, is part of an offshoot of the Naqshbandi sect of Sufism. And although he often challenges U.S. Muslim organizations to reveal their financial sources, Kabbani has declined to make public his own. During an interview with Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times last year, Kabbani refused to clarify the financial source of his operations, and whether his $767,000 home in California was paid for by charitable donations or by his own family's private money.

It remains unclear whether Kabbani still plans to host Kadyrov and whether the Chechen administrator will still be soliciting international support for Moscow.

  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Lebanon, Russia
Views: 940

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