Former MSA official appointed as newest NYPD Muslim chaplain

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

4 April 2007: Imam Khalid LATIF, 24, is a Sunni Muslim who hopes he can use his new position as NYPD Chaplain to “educate not only the members of the New York City Police about truly what Islam stands for, but also the New York City community as a whole.” Since his appointment to NYPD chaplain on Monday, he might just be able to do just that. According to New York City Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly, LATIF “has an impressive list of accomplishments.” Indeed, Mr. LATIF has an interesting history.

Investigation conducted by the Northeast Intelligence Network confirms that LATIF, a resident of Edison, New Jersey, served as a chaplain and adviser at Princeton University and New York University. Equally important, however, is his role in the Muslim Student Association – the MSA. Not only was LATIF a member of the MSA, he served as the former Muslim Accommodations Task Force Chair of MSA National.

Following 9/11, the Senate Finance Committee identified the MSA as one of a number of groups recommended for investigation by the IRS.

According to correspondence to the IRS by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Max Baucus, “Many of these groups not only enjoy tax-exempt status, but their reputations as charities and foundations often allow them to escape scrutiny, making it easier to hide and move their funds to other groups and individuals who threaten our national security.” They added: “Often these groups are nothing more than shell companies for the same small group of people, moving funds from one charity to the next charity to hide the trail,” the senators write. “These groups also receive donations from foreign sources, including countries the government has identified as having a significant problem with terrorism.”

The MSA evolved and became particularly active on US college campuses in the 1990′s, significantly increasing their presence across the U.S. campuses in the last few years. Notable leaders of MSA campus chapters include Sami Omar al-Hussayen, a computer science major from the University of Idaho at Moscow, as reported by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In February 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice issued an indictment against Hussayen, charginig him with visa fraud and large cash transfers from Iraq to the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA).

Events sponsored by MSA - the same organization that the new NYPD Muslim chaplain LATIF held the position of Muslim Accommodations Task Force Chair - often include speakers from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and organization founded by the brother of Osama bin Laden. Steve Emerson, an expert on Islamic terrorism, testified before a congressional committee that “WAMY’s U.S. office was incorporated in Falls Church, Virginia in 1992 by Osama bin Laden’s brother, Abdullah bin Laden.”

In addition to being the focus of investigation by the IRS, the MSA is credited with the creation of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an advocate of the radical Sunni Wahabbi doctrine and the center of controversy for their reportedly tangential connections to Islamic terrorism. LATIF is currently pursuing his education under the advisement of Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Professor of Islamic Law and the current President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The ISNA has been described as “a radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation,” noting that it “convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred.”

The extent that Khalid LATIF intends to “educate not only the members of the New York City Police about truly what Islam stands for, but also the New York City community as a whole” remains to be seen.