While the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was still underway, the President of the Muslim Student Association at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth stepped forward to claim that he had tried to get Dzhokhar to join the MSA several times only to be turned down.
“We played soccer together weekly and I knew him fairly well,” he said. “If there’s one thing I can assure you it’s that this kid was NOT a Muslim. He did drugs, he drank alcohol, he didn’t want to help us when we were carrying out humanitarian relief efforts… he knew nothing of Islam.”
And yet, despite Dzhokhar supposedly not being a Muslim, the MSA president kept trying to get him to join. Even though Dzhokhar Tsarnaev described his worldview as Islam and claimed that he was acting to protect Islam, the MSA president could claim with a straight face that he was not a Muslim.
No one had contacted the Dartmouth MSA for comment, yet the MSA rushed out to get in front of the story by making two claims. The first claim was they had casually known Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from soccer games and the second claim was that he was not an MSA member and had nothing to do with the MSA.
By the time the media got around to interviewing the MSA Secretary, it was more of the same story. He had played soccer with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had tried to get him to join the MSA and didn’t think of him as religious.
The Dartmouth MSA’s comments looked very much like damage control. Soccer was mentioned without context because the soccer games were MSA events. Dzhokhar’s participation in them meant that he had participated in MSA activities. The question was whether his MSA participation ended on the soccer field.
The humanitarian relief efforts were the MSA’s aid programs in the Syrian civil war between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian government. As a Muslim Brotherhood front group, the MSA’s officers unsurprisingly stood on the side of the Brotherhood militias.
While supporting one terrorist campaign in Syria, the Dartmouth MSA was fiercely denying any role in another terrorist campaign in Boston.
“I would’ve loved for him to come to the MSA a few times so he can maybe understand his religion better,” Bassel Nasri, the Dartmouth MSA secretary, said on 60 Minutes. “Maybe that would, that would’ve helped in what happened, I would say.”
Considering the MSA’s track record, it would more likely have caused it. Many MSA members have gone on to careers in terrorism. The list of MSA presidents who went on to become Al Qaeda members alone is shocking.
Not only were co-founders of the MSA like Jamal Barzini, Hisham al-Talib and Ahmed Totanji involved in supporting terrorism, but the highest profile American Al Qaeda leader and the godfather of the modern “Lone Wolf” terrorist, Anwar Al-Awlaki, had been an MSA president.
Al-Awlaki wasn’t even the highest ranking Al Qaeda leader to have been an MSA president. That honor went to Wa’el Hamza Julaidan, a co-founder of Al Qaeda and MSA president at the University of Arizona. The highest profile MSA president to have gone down was MSA national President Abdurahman Alamoudi, currently serving out a 23-year prison sentence.
Both the national and the local Muslim Students Association groups had long histories of being involved in terrorism, of raising money for terrorists and of promoting terrorism. Nor was the Dartmouth MSA a moderate oasis in a sea of radicalism. Not only were the Dartmouth MSA officers taking sides in the religious war consuming Syria, but Charles C. Johnson found that the Dartmouth MSA “routinely advertises speeches and seminars taught by radical imams.”
One of those Imams, Suhaib Webb, was an associate of Anwar Al-Awlaki. Webb is the Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston. The founder of the ISB was the aforementioned Abdurahman Alamoudi. One of the ISB trustees was Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi; the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Webb is a member of the Muslim American Society, which Alamoudi admitted under oath was a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Webb had said that Jihad can be justified if the rights of Muslims are violated. Webb’s website posted a book review by Rashid al-Ghannushi of Sheikh Qaradawi’s “Fight of Jihad.”
Sheikh Qaradawi had come out in support of suicide bombings and said, disapprovingly, “It is unfortunate to hear that the grand imam has said it was not permissible to kill civilians in any country or state, even in Israel.” Qaradawi’s own position was that Israel is an invader and aggressor society and accordingly there are no such things as Israeli civilians.
Rashid al-Ghannushi had likewise said, “There are no civilians in Israel. The population- males, females, and children- are the army reserve soldiers, and thus can be killed.” Theologically what applied to Israel, could also easily apply to the United States. Qaradawi had issued his own fatwa declaring, “Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs… those defending against attempts to control Islamic countries have the intention of jihad.”
The al-Ghannushi review on Webb’s website sneered at Muslims that want “to abolish jihad from the life of the ummah, spreading the spirit of submission and surrender, under the guise of various calls such as tolerance and peace.”
“Al-Qaradawi stresses, alongside classical and contemporary scholars, the consensus that jihad becomes obligatory upon every Muslim if a Muslim land is attacked, or Muslims suffer fitna (are prevented from freedom of faith).”
In the hospital, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claimed that he was defending Islam from attack. Where could he have gotten that idea?
If we are to believe Muslim Brotherhood front groups like the MSA and MAS, then Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was “radicalized” by watching YouTube videos. But it is far more likely that he was indoctrinated with a Jihadist mission closer to home.
The MSA’s track record in turning out terrorist is indisputable. As are its links to Imams and Sheiks who preach Jihad. Maybe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev never did more than take part in MSA soccer games alongside MSA officers and did not absorb any of their views. Perhaps he never attended an MSA-sponsored lecture by an Imam or Sheik who discussed the finer points of which infidels you can kill. But considering the MSA’s murderous track record, it is far more likely that he did.
The Dartmouth MSA was eager to associate with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when he was only a terrorist in training, but is now just as eager to write him off as a soccer buddy. But Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the MSA shared more than an interest in soccer. They also shared an interest in Jihad.