A man belonging to the group Muslims of the Americas has filed to run for Congress in Alaska.
Gregory “Shoaib” Jones, previously a delegate in the DNC for Bernie Sanders, ran for the Alaska House of Representatives in District 8 in 2016 as a Democrat, losing to the Republican candidate Mark A. Neuman.
The shadowy actions of Muslims of the Americas, or MOA, an alleged front for the Islamist group Jamaat ul-Fuqra, have raised more than a few red flags.
In 1992 the group’s leader, Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, a Pakistani, filmed a jihadi training video. Since then, Jamaat ul-Fuqra is credited with establishing at least 22 Muslim-only villages in the United States.
The Clarion Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks radical Islam, compiled an overwhelming list of investigations, training material, and other evidence against MOA and closely connected groups. The dossier includes documented bomb plots and dozens of investigations into the group from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, among others.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Clarion Project an anti-Muslim group, and the Hamas-linked Council on American–Islamic Relations said the group promotes “Islamophobia.”
In a report from 2009, the FBI stated, “Jamaat ul-Fuqra, aka Muslims of the Americas (MOA), have a history of violence and/or violent acts. Use extreme caution when dealing with confirmed members or individuals who are believed to be associated with this group.”
Jones confirmed he was a member of MOA and hesitantly admitted in a interview with Anchorage Assemblywoman and radio host Amy Demboski to traveling to Pakistan in order to personally visit Sheikh Gilani.
Demboski, for merely mentioning Jones’s admitted membership in a radicalized group, faced an onslaught of attacks in the media. After the interview, Jones demanded she apologize or step down. The Alaskan Democrats published a press release in December 2016, titled, “Democrats Stand With Greg Jones” as State Party Chair Casey Steinau said she was “saddened and outraged” by Demboski’s “anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
One of MOA’s American headquarters is Islamberg, N.Y. — a community that has drawn controversy in the past, on top of reportedly recruiting ex-convicts. Another FBI document from 2010 states, “The MOA is composed primarily of black American Muslim converts, many who converted to Islam while in prison.”
In 2017, the small village of Islamberg drew attention when 64-year old Ramadan Abdullah was arrested in Johnson City, N.Y. with a large stockpile of arms and munitions.
According to the Clarion Project, “A source inside MOA says the weapons were intended for the group’s ‘Islamberg’ headquarters in Hancock, N.Y.”
Additionally, sources reported, “[Abdullah] is an ‘elder’ and often visits Islamberg to spend time with older members but does not live inside the commune. He’s also provided firearms instruction for MOA.”
Jones is not the first member of MOA to run for public office. Tahirah Amatul-Wadu is actively campaigning for Congress in Massachusetts. Amatul-Wadu is also running as a Democrat.
MOA has delighted in Jones importing Islam to the great, Northern frontier. A 2009 article from MOA’s own publication, The Islamic Post, states, “Shuaib [Gregory Jones] and Malika [Malika Jones] Ahmed recently departed to a new frontier in the Alaskan tundra to establish an independent, self-sufficient, purely Islamic village.” Allegedly, the mission is to, “unite Muslims and Christians on their similar values.”
That piece ends by announcing, “El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi, initiated the new project for the purposes of cultivating understanding of Islam and furthering interfaith dialog in what is known as the ‘Last Frontier State.’”
Alaska has an at-large Congressional district, meaning it only sends one representative to the House.
feature image: Gregory Jones via Anchorage Daily News
Follow Jackson Voynick on Twitter @JacksonVoynick
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