Here is D. G.-R. on the MAS:
Each Islamic terror attack inevitably prompts calls for Muslim groups to speak out against the killers. And many do, to the relief of non-Muslims of good will eager to be reassured that mainstream Muslims reject violence in the name of their religion. However, a recent case shows that you can’t always take the word of these organizations at face value.
This past summer, the Muslim American Society (MAS) announced that, prompted by the second wave of bombings to rock London in two weeks, it would launch a campaign to combat terrorism. The group issued a news release explaining that it planned to build youth centers to keep young Muslims “away from the voices of extremism” and to work with imams and Islamic centers to promote a moderate interpretation of the faith.
In October, MAS petitioned the Richardson City Council for a special permit to build one of these youth centers, which it likened to a YMCA, in an area zoned for industrial use. After the council said it would need to learn more about the organization first, MAS withdrew the petition.
Islamic YMCAs to steer young Muslims away from extremism sound great, right? This past July, Mahdi Bray, the executive director of MAS’ Freedom Foundation, appeared on Fox News and stated that MAS wanted to “inoculate our young people by making sure they’re actively and constructively engaged in positive activities that reflect the main views of their faith tradition, as opposed to someone who would want to influence them into extremist points.” Given the radical indoctrination that occurs even in the United States, this kind of work is necessary — and one would naturally like to believe that MAS can play a constructive role.
Unfortunately, a look beneath MAS’ current rhetoric into the organization’s connections, teachings and prior public statements reveals that extremists founded MAS and that, despite efforts to clean up its public image, the core of its teachings remains unchanged.
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