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Sabiqun and Anti-Semitism on Campus RULE Sabiqun

Posted: September 11, 2009

Imam Abdul Alim Musa
Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali

Sabiqun is an anti-Semitic Muslim group that advocates for the creation of a global Islamic state that would abolish all "man-made" forms of governance. Arabic for "vanguard," Sabiqun was founded by Imam Abdul Alim Musa, the head of the Masjid Al Islam mosque in Washington DC 

While Sabiqun claims to have a national presence with centers in several cities, including in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, it appears to have a relatively small following organized primarily around two mosques; Alim Musa's DC mosque and the Masjid Al Islam mosque in Oakland, California, which is led by the movement's other main figure, Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali.

The mosques are located in poor neighborhoods and claim to provide social services to the communities. Sabiqun plans to open a school "at each location where a branch of the movement is established," according to the group's Web site. Near its Oakland mosque, Sabiqun operates the Masjid Al Islam School (pre-K to 8th grade). The school's blog has pictures of students protesting Israel's military operation in Gaza. A January 2009 post to the blog states: "we are very proud of our young students in taking a stand and making their voices heard."

The Sabiqun Oakland and DC centers also operate as the "Islamic Institute for Counter Zionist American Psychological Warfare." The institute was established to "monitor Zionist and Israeli networks, circles, and clubs which deceitfully infiltrate Muslim and Black groups," according to a June 2010 Sabiqun newsletter. In a January 2011 statement announcing the opening of the Oakland branch, Sabiqun also declared that one of the institute's goals is to "Analyze the Zionist grip on humanity established via the media and economics."


The planned institute, which will operate out of its DC mosque, will house a College of Islamic Movement Studies, offering courses in Arabic, Islamic theology, law and history; a Department of Strategic and Islamic Studies; and a physical fitness program.

Sabiqun claims that it was created in the early 1990s at Masjid Al Islam mosque in Philadelphia. On July 4, 1995, it published a document called "Resolution of Philadelphia," which declared the group's "independence from man-made concepts." The document, created as a challenge to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, resolved to work toward establishing a self sufficient Muslim community that will work with other Muslims "for the purpose of reestablishing the system of governance known as Khilafah, or the Caliphate."

Sabiqun predicts that Islamic rule will be established in the U.S., which it calls "the Islamic State of North America," by "no later than 2050." Speaking in 2000 at a gathering organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen in Baltimore, Alim Musa said: "Islam went everywhere in the [ancient] world…so why can't Islam take over America…We are on the right road."  

An article published in the Sabiqun newsletter in March 2002 claimed that there is "open warfare" between Muslims and the U.S., which it described as "the united forces of kufr [non-believers]…the criminal constitutional dictatorship of the USA."

Sabiqun advocates for a "revolution," which it describes as "absolute change rooted in Allah's guidance." The first issues of the Sabiqun newsletter included a section called "Things to do now," in which it listed the following: "Always cherish the intention of jihad and the desire for martyrdom in the way of Allah and actually prepare yourself for that."

Sabiqun traces its ideological roots to 20th century Islamic revivalism, including the radical Muslim Brotherhood and Ayatollah Khomeini. The group also considers Malcolm X as a major influence.  

Sabiqun openly supports Iran and Hezbollah and has links to the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), an international pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah think tank that distributes anti-Semitic propaganda in its magazine, Crescent International. Alim Musa is a "senior" member of the ICIT, and "issues of Crescent International serve as regular monthly reading for most Sabiqun members," according to the Sabiqun Web site.

Sabiqun's leaders are not secluded from the mainstream Muslim and Arab communities in the U.S. In fact, Alim Musa and Malik Ali have participated at events organized by Muslim-American organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Muslim American Society, Islamic Circle of North America and the Islamic Society of North America. They have also spoken at large community mosques around the country. But Alim Musa and Malik Ali are particularly popular with Muslim student groups, in particular the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine.   

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