Influence: The Muslim Brotherhood in America

EXCLUSIVE: Huma’s ‘Fundamentalist’ Father: Muslims Have Right To ‘Take Up Arms’ For Allah

Once told Saudi interviewer, 'Every self-respecting Muslim is at heart an Islamic fundamentalist'

BY Paul Sperry · @paulsperry_ | November 1, 2016

The father of embattled Hillary Clinton campaign honcho Huma Abedin once told a Saudi Arabian newspaper that Muslims have the right to “take up arms” in jihad and that “every self-respecting Muslim is an Islamic fundamentalist.”

Syed Zain Abedin, a Saudi-sponsored Islamist scholar, revealed in a lengthy interview with a Saudi correspondent that he agreed with jihadists that “Islam permits the use of forceful means,” and that carrying out martyrdom operations may be necessary in the cause of Allah.

“There are occasions when Islam calls for the ultimate sacrifice,” he said, as long as it is done in “the cause” of Allah and not for selfish reasons such as individual suicide.

Abedin also said Muslims have a “relentless obligation” to convert non-Muslims in the West to Islam, though he counseled Muslims living in non-Muslim majority countries to be patient in going about Islamizing their hosts. As the minority, they do not have the numbers for “conquest” and have to be aware of “certain strategic necessities, certain political imperatives.”

He pointed out that even after Western political systems are “subdued,” it may take hundreds of years before citizens formerly living under those secular systems fully accept Islam.

“The immediate goals and targets for Muslims to pursue when they are the majority in any society are distinct from the goals and targets they should pursue when they are living as a minority in any society,” Abedin explained in the 1991 interview with the Saudi Gazette, a leading daily newspaper published in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

He advised winning over the “kuffar, the deniers,” with “little acts of kindness.” Whatever the tactics, he added, “There can be no let-up” in converting them to the “Islamic way.”

“Muslims have to continue to formulate their attitudes and behavior on the assumption that kufr is not a fixed, but a volatile and transcient category. Today’s nay-sayers may well be tomorrow’s yes-sayers,” Abedin said. “This happened daily in Makkah (Mecca), the historical Makkah. Why would it be different in today’s Makkah, in today’s situation where Muslims are a persecuted and despised minority?”

He asserted that the “due” for deniers of the Quran is “rejection by God” and eternal Hellfire. But he said that Islamic states should take care to not mistreat “non-Muslim minorities living in our midst, as citizens of our state, as beneficiaries of our trust, whom we call dhimmah.”

Abedin described himself as a proud Islamic fundamentalist and said “the need and source” of any social movement must be “traced back to Islam” for legitimacy.

“I consider myself a fundamentalist,” he said. “And I am proud of it.”

In fact, he added, “Every self-respecting Muslim, wherever he resides and whatever his politics, is at heart an Islamic fundamentalist.”

Islamic fundamentalism includes belief in violent jihad, he said, which may be necessary under certain circumstances for Muslim minorities to carry it out against non-Muslim majorities.

“This is a rather complex subject,” Abedin cautioned.

“There are occasions when Islam permits the use of forceful means to remove the impediments faced by a Muslim community in its efforts to lead an Islamic life,” he explained. “You can take up arms if you are being denied the freedom and practice of belief.”

But he said there are rules, such as proportionality, and procedures that must be followed in jihad: “It’s not that once you decide that such a people are in the way of your allegiance and worship to God, you manufacture a bomb and wipe them off the surface of the earth.”

The point of the interview, which was conducted by Saudi Gazette chief correspondent Mir Ayub Ali Khan, was examining the “resurgence of fundamentalism” across the Muslim world. The interview was published in August 1991 under the headline, “Islamic Fundamentalism, Islamic Ummah and the World Conference on Muslim Minorities.”

At the time, Abedin was director of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs in Jeddah, which was founded under the auspices of the Saudi Ministry of Education to propagate austere Saudi religious beliefs in America and other Western societies. His daughter, Huma, helped edit the institute’s propaganda organ for 13 years with her mother and two siblings.

Syed Abedin noted that “Saudi Arabia has been quietly sending to even distant Muslim communities Islamic literature, qualified teachers, help in building mosques (and) imams for these mosques.”

Indeed, hundreds of mosques have been funded by the Saudi kingdom inside America alone, including some of the most radical, such as Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center near Washington and the King Fahad Mosque in Los Angeles that aided the 9/11 hijackers and several other terrorists.

“We all are these days into building mosques, anywhere we can,” he added. “This is well and good.”

The elder Abedin said that when he lived in America in the 1970s, people often asked him why he was so “hung up on religion.” He complained that Americans suggested that “Muslims live like people of other faiths live: normal human beings facing the challenge of day-to-day living in the secular, pluralistic twentieth century.”

But he explained that Muslims aren’t like people of other faiths and can never fully assimilate: “I held firmly then and I hold even more firmly now that such a description of normal life does not apply to Muslims.”

Recently describing herself as a “practicing Muslim,” Huma Abedin was by all accounts very close to her father before he died in 1993 after a long illness. Huma named her 4-year-old son, Jordan Zain Weiner, after her late father. She also recently started a business in his honor — Zain Endeavors LLC, a private New York consulting firm.

At the time her father made his controversial remarks, Huma Abedin was attending a girls’ school in Saudi Arabia. Born in Michigan, she returned to the US for college and has worked virtually every year since for Hillary Clinton.

Last weekend, the FBI seized a laptop Huma Abedin shared with her husband, which reportedly contains thousands of State Department emails relevant to an espionage investigation involving former secretary of state Clinton. The discovery has put Huma Abedin front and center as a potential target of the bureau’s renewed national security probe into classified material allegedly mishandled by Clinton and her aides.

Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill did not respond to requests for comment on Abedin and her fundamentalist father. Abedin serves as campaign vice chair.


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