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World Assembly of Muslim Youth Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Assembly_of_Muslim_Youth

World Assembly of Muslim Youth

الندوة العالمية للشباب الإسلامي
AbbreviationWAMY
Formation1972
HeadquartersRiyadh
Location
CoordinatesCoordinates: 24°44′18″N 46°39′28″E / 24.73833°N 46.65778°E / 24.73833; 46.65778
Chairman
Saleh Al ash-Sheikh
Vice Chairman
Abdullah Omar Nasseef
Secretary General
Saleh Solaiman Al-Wohaibi
Websitewww.wamy.co.uk (English) www.wamy.org (Arabic)

The World Assembly of Muslim Youth is an international Islamic educational organization whose stated purpose is “preserve the identity of Muslim youth and help overcome the problems they face in modern society”.[1] Reportedly the world's largest Muslim organization,[citation needed] WAMY organizes conferences, symposia, educational workshops and research circles to address youth and students issues, in addition to football tournaments and European Muslim Scouts camps for Muslim youth in Europe. Along with the Muslim World League, it is part of a "worldwide network of largely Saudi-funded groups...promoting Islamic teachings and encouraging Muslims to be more religiously observant, as well as providing interested non-Muslims and recent converts with information about Islam".[2] It maintains satellite chapters in 31 other countries and is affiliated with some 196 other Muslim youth groups on five continents.[3]

History[edit]

WAMY was founded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1972 and has offices in countries with significant Muslim populations throughout the world.[2] WAMY was co-founded by Muslim Brotherhood member Kamal Helwabi and Abdullah bin Laden, nephew of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. Abdullah bin Laden served as president through 2002, and was later treasurer. [4] Abdullah also incorporated WAMY's U.S branch at Falls Church, Virginia in 1992.[5] Kamal Helwabi went on to serve as WAMY's executive director until 1982.[citation needed]

According to the Pew Research Center, between the 1970s and 1990s, the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth in Europe became "so intertwined that it was often difficult to tell them apart".[2] It further notes that the influence of WAMY and MWL has waned somewhat as social media and blogs have "made it easier for other groups to reach wide audiences".[2]

Aims[edit]

WAMY's South African branch aims "to preserve the Muslim identity, to help overcome the problems Muslim youth face in modern society", and to "educate and train Muslim youth in order for them to become active and positive citizens in their countries". WAMY aims to introduce Islam to non-Muslims in its "purest form as a comprehensive system and way of life" and "to establish a relationship of dialogue, understanding and appreciation between other faith organizations".[6]

It organizes conferences, symposia, workshops and research circles to address youth and students issues. WAMY publishes material that introduces Islam to non-Muslims. WAMY organizes exchange visits, Hajj and Umrah trips and provide training and support to Muslim youth organizations.[6]

The website of WAMY's UK branch states their aim to "build bridges of peace and unity in our multicultural society. ...Through educating the Muslim youth to the common good and promoting understanding among people of different communities."[7]

Both the Muslim World League and WAMY are widely seen to be promoting the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam prevalent in Saudi Arabia, due to Saudi funding and influence on it.[2]

Criticism of material used[edit]

Books favoured by the organization include works by Islamist authors Sayyid Qutb, Abul A'la Maududi, and Muhammad Qutb.[8][9]

An affidavit signed by one Customs Senior Special Agent David C. Kane stated that a WAMY publication lists people who have attacked Israelis, including a man who killed 14 people by driving a bus off a cliff, as "Heroes from Palestine". Kane writes that a section of that publication, titled "Animosity Toward the Jews", lists reasons for Muslims to hate Jews, including, "The Jews are humanity's enemies: they foment immorality in this world."[5]

Raids due to suspicions of terror[edit]

In May 2004, 50 FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided WAMY's office in the United States at Alexandria, Virginia. WAMY issued a statement saying that all of its computers and hard drives were seized in the raid, and a volunteer board member, Ibrahim Abdullah, was arrested on immigration charges.[5] In a statement, WAMY strongly denied any terrorist ties and said the government had told them the probe is focused only on "immigration issues".[5] The branch was closed by the US government.[3]

The Albanian WAMY branch, founded 1993, was raided in 1999 and suspected terrorist elements were deported. Saudi support for the new leadership continued after the event. Founded with the aim of constructing mosques and providing humanitarian aid, the branch was active in bringing Salafi and Wahabi ideology to Albania, recruiting and sending Albanians to study Salafi and Wahabi theology in Saudi Arabia. [10]

The Indian government has accused the assistant General Secretary of WAMY, Nazir Qureshi of supporting terrorist groups in Kashmir.[11] The Peshawar branch of WAMY was raided in a joint operation by the FBI and Pakistani Intelligence. [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World Assembly of Muslim Youth". wamy.co.za. WAMY. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth". Religion and Public Life Project. Pew Research. 15 September 2010. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b "World Assembly for Muslim Youth". Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  4. ^ Freeman, Michael (2016). Financing Terrorism: Case Studies. Routledge. p. 189.
  5. ^ a b c d Markon, Jerry (June 2, 2004). "U.S. Raids N.Va. Office Of Saudi-Based Charity". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b "WAMY. About Us". wamy.co.za. WAMY. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  7. ^ "WAMY, Building Bridges Between Communities. About Us". WAMY.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  8. ^ Al-Yassini, Ayman (1985). Religion and State in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Westview Press. p. 28.
  9. ^ Alam, Anwar (1998). Religion and state: Egypt, Iran & Saudi Arabia : a comparative study. Gyan Sagar Publications. p. 73.
  10. ^ Freeman, Michael (2016). Financing Terrorism: Case Studies. Routledge. p. 190.
  11. ^ Emerson, Steven (25 September 2009). Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US. Prometheus Books. p. 401. ISBN 978-1-61592-055-6. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Osama Tape Delivery Guy Nabbed?".

External links[edit]