Suhail Khan is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) through his late father Dr. Mahboob Khan. The younger Khan was raised in a family immersed in the Muslim Brotherhood. It is possible to honor one’s parents but distance oneself from their political views. Suhail Khan has never repudiated his parents’ MB associations; in fact he has lauded those associations.
Multiple sources document Mahboob Khan’s role as a founder of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA):
- Addressing the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in 1999, Suhail said:
It is a special honor for me to be here before you today because I am always reminded of the legacy of my father, Dr. Mahboob Khan, an early founder of the Muslim Students Association in the mid-60s and an active member of the organization through its growth and development in the Islamic Society of North America.
- ISNA, the largest Muslim Brotherhood front group in the U.S., gives out a “Dr. Mahboob Khan Community Service Award” at their annual conventions in honor of Suhail’s father.
- An obituary for Mahboob Khan from the May 1999 issue of “Islamic Voice” magazine states: “Dr. Khan was one of the founders of Muslim Students Association of America in 70’s which later became the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).”
- A second obituary posted at the time of the elder Khan’s death in April 1999 noted that he “served on the Majlis a’Shura of the Islamic Society of North America.” The obituary itself is still available here but the site that hosted it (Musulman.com) appears to be defunct.
- In June 2001 a tribute to Mahboob Khan was posted on Ikhwan.net, the official Arabic-language message board of the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears to draw on several English-language obituaries including the two referenced above. An excerpt:
As a student, Dr. Khan helped establish the Muslim Students Association (MSA) which subsequently became the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He was the Vice President of MSA, the West Zone Representative, and served on the Majilis a’Shura for ISNA.
- The elder Khan helped found the An-Noor Mosque in Santa Clara, CA as chairman of the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara County. In October 2001 the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Al-Qaeda Number 2 Ayman al Zawahiri had visited the mosque in the mid-1990’s under an assumed name to obtain funding and recruit followers for the international jihad.
- Convicted al-Qaeda terrorist Abdulrahman Alamoudi highlighted Suhail Khan’s lineage as he presented him an award on behalf of the American Muslim Council (AMC) in 2001:
Suhail Khan is the son of a dear, dear brother who was a pioneer of Islam work himself. Many of you know his late father Mahboob Khan who was part of all kinds of work and Alhamd’allah [thanks to Allah] Suhail inherited from his father not only being a Muslim and a Muslim activist, but also being a Muslim political activist.
Multiple sources including prosecutor’s exhibits from the Holy Land Foundation trial document the origins of the MSA and ISNA in the Muslim Brotherhood’s network:
- The Muslim Brotherhood’s own Explanatory Memorandum (PDF, p.32) identifies the Muslims Students Association (MSA) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) by name under the heading “a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.”
- U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors named the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as an “unindicted co-conspirator” (PDF) in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism finance case in U.S. history.
- In a January 2011 letter defending himself to his American Conservative Union (ACU) colleagues, Suhail Khan described his father as simply a “Silicon Valley executive” and cast his own 1999 comments about his father as nothing more than “praise for a devout life.”
- On January 20, 2011 Suhail Khan and Frank Gaffney appeared on the CNN program Anderson Cooper 360 to debate Khan’s Muslim Brotherhood ties:
Mr. Khan, I want to ask you about some of the specific claims that Mr. Gaffney has been making about you. And there are a lot of them. I mean, was your father part of the Muslim Brotherhood?
No, he was not. He was a high tech engineer in the Bay Area. Frank’s allegations go back to ten years. They’re completely false. He’s never had any evidence backing any of these allegations up. Nobody’s ever believed him.
- Suhail Khan “laughs off” the Muslim Brotherhood claims about his father in this January 5, 2011 article at the left-wing blog TPM Muckraker:
One of the claims, which Khan called “laughable,” was that his late father was a founding member of the Muslim Brotherhood. His father was from South India, while the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt. “It’s very annoying, and especially sad that he would besmirch the memory of my late father.”
- In the 2008 Harbour League debate on Shariah law and the Consitution, Suhail again plays the “racism” card:
For some years now, these racists have tried to invade, to publish outright lies and falsehoods about me, my family, and other Muslim-Americans serving in our country. Not [UNCLEAR] attacked my father’s memory, for example, had the decency to even try and call me and get the facts straight. They wanted their hate. Not the truth. While honest journalists have dismissed this smear campaign, some have been fooled into publishing these lies. And in most instances have published retractions or simply removed the falsehoods outright from their webpages.
The Bottom Line:
Suhail Khan himself and Muslim community publications have confirmed Dr. Mahboob Khan’s significant roles in the MSA and ISNA. Seized Muslim Brotherhood documents list the MSA and ISNA as the number 1 and 2 affiliates of the MB in North America. The U.S. Department of Justice named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial which involved fundraising for Hamas (another MB offshoot). Dr. Mahboob Khan’s involvement in the Muslim Brotherhood is an incontrovertible fact.