Non-profit

United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO)

Website:

uscmo.org/

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

46-2811888

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $257,291
Expenses: $209,632
Assets: $65,079

Type:

Muslim Umbrella Organization

Founded:

2013

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations is an umbrella organization that was founded by prominent Muslim organizations in America, including the Muslim American Society, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Society of North America, American Muslims for Palestine, Islamic Circle of North America, Muslim Alliance in North America, and the Muslim Legal Fund of America. Some of these founding organizations, and other member organizations, have alleged ties to Islamist extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and have records of radical rhetoric. 1 2 3

USCMO has also been listed as a collaborator with controversial President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ahmet Yayla, director of the Center for Homeland Security at DeSales University, wrote a comprehensive study on lobbying on behalf of Turkey and concluded that Erdogan’s government is compounding its influence through U.S.-based organizations with ideological ties to Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. The United States Council of Muslim Organizations was listed as an Erdogan collaborator in the study. 4

Background

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) is a Muslim umbrella organization that was formed in April 2013, by prominent Muslim organizations in America, including the Muslim American Society, Council on American Islamic-Relations, Islamic Society of North America, American Muslims for Palestine, Islamic Circle of North America, Muslim Alliance in North America, and the Muslim Legal Fund of America. 5

Membership in USCMO is open to American Muslim advocacy organizations, mosques, local and regional Islamic councils, Muslim community centers, and American Muslim institutions. 6

According to its website, as of November 2023, USCMO has 42 member organizations; more than 210 chapters, offices, or branches; and over 660 associated mosques. 7

Advocacy Activities

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations sent an open letter to the Biden administration in January 2021. USCMO called on President Joe Biden to appoint a State Department “special envoy to monitor and combat Islamophobia” in the United States. 8

According to USCMO, the envoy would be able to, internationally and in the United States, support efforts against anti-Muslim hate crimes. 9

The Biden administration did not comment on the request at the time, but announced on November 1, 2023, that it would develop a National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia in the United States. 10

USCMO requested that President Biden include Muslims in every level of government, and that administration officials meet with Muslim leaders and communities to create systemic policy reforms regarding anti-Muslim discrimination. 11

Affiliated Organizations

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations was founded by several major American Muslim organizations in April 2013, including some that have alleged ties to Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Founding organizations include the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, American Muslims for Palestine, and the Muslim Alliance in North America. 12 13 14

Other member organizations of USCMO include the Arizona Muslim Alliance, ICNA Council for Social Justice, Young Muslims Inc., American Muslim Alliance, Mosque Foundation, Mercy Without Limits, and United Hands Relief. 16 17

When Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood between 2004 and 2006, died aged 89 in September 2017, Irshiad wrote in a statement, “May Allah repose Akef and all the martyrs of injustice in Egypt; may Allah curse their killers.” 18

Irshiad also formerly worked as editor of the Islamic Association for Palestine’s Arabic periodical, Al-Zaitounah, a magazine that has been accused of being a mouthpiece for pro-Hamas propaganda. 19 20

Irshiad praised the war tactics of Hamas in a Facebook post written in Arabic on December 14, 2014. He claims in the post that the Palestinian Fatah party, which is at odds with Hamas, had “grown old after deviating from the creed of liberation and resistance upon which it was established.” He also states that there was a difference between “those who constitute an army for liberation, and those who ready battalions of lackeys,” and “those who rise for the blood of martyrs, and those who spill it in the wine glasses of Israel.” 21 22

When Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi designated Hamas a terrorist organization in February 2015, Irshiad condemned the action on Twitter and insinuated that the Egyptian government was a “terrorist murder regime.” 23

Controversies

Response to October 7, 2023 Attacks on Israel

Hamas launched an attack on Israeli towns, kibbutzim, and military bases near its border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Approximately 1,200 people were killed in the attack by Hamas, around 70 percent of whom were civilians. According to Israeli authorities, 846 dead civilians have been positively identified as of mid-November. 24

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations responded to the attack by Hamas with a press release stating that the organization “reaffirms its unwavering support for the Palestinian people and their right to freedom from the Israeli occupation.” The organization continued by condemning Israel, claiming that it had perpetrated “recent unprovoked and continuous attacks,” and engaged in “targeted and indiscriminate killing of civilians.” In its statement, USCMO called on the U.S. government to “exert pressure on the occupation regime to immediately cease these atrocities.” The Council made no mention of the attack by Hamas in the statement. 25

Alleged Muslim Brotherhood Ties

“The Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America” is an internal correspondence written in 1991 by Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Akram. The document was introduced into evidence by federal prosecutors in U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation et al., the largest terrorism financing trial in United States history. 26

The document states that the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood in America is to destroy “Western civilization from within … by [the infidels’] hands and the hands of the believers so that Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” (Bracketed text in the original source.) 27

The document also lists 29 organizations under the heading “Our organizations and organizations of our friends: Imagine if they all march according to one plan!” Some of the groups listed in the document are members of the United States Council of Muslim Organizations. 28

Connections to Turkish President Erdogan

USCMO has also been listed as a collaborator with controversial President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to leaked messages from the email account of Erdogan’s son-in-law, Erdogan’s administration is allegedly attempting to skirt U.S. laws by using nonprofits as fronts and hiring freelance journalists to gain political intelligence. 29

Ahmet Yayla, director of the Center for Homeland Security at DeSales University, wrote a comprehensive study on the Turkish lobby and, according to Ryan Mauro of Capital Research Center, “concluded that the Erdogan regime is compounding its influence through U.S.-based organizations with ideological ties to Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami.” 30 The United States Council of Muslim Organizations was listed as an Erdogan collaborator in the study. 31

Financials

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations reported total revenue of $257,291 in 2021, all of which came from contributions, gifts, and grants. Its total expenses amounted to $209,632, of which $156,575 was spent on salaries and other compensation. USCMO’s net assets for 2021 amounted to $ 50,845. 32

References

  1. “Founding.” USCMO. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://uscmo.org/uscmo-founding/.
  2. “A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America.” December 13, 2017. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.chicagotribune.com/investigations/chi-0409190261sep19-story.html.
  3. Koenig, Melissa. “Virginia AG to probe pro-Palestinian group with alleged ties to Hamas.” November 1, 2023. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://nypost.com/2023/11/01/news/virginia-ag-to-probe-pro-palestine-group-with-alleged-ties-to-hamas/.
  4. Yayla, Ahmet S. “Erdogan’s Long Arm in the US: Turkish Influence Operations Among American Muslims.” Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.yaacovapelbaum.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/report_v1.4.pdf.
  5. “Founding.” USCMO. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://uscmo.org/uscmo-founding/.
  6. “Founding.” USCMO. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://uscmo.org/uscmo-founding/
  7. [1] “Home.” USCMO. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://uscmo.org/.
  8. “Letter to President Biden.” U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, January 29, 2021. https://uscmo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Official-USCMO-Letter-to-President-Biden-P.pdf.
  9. “Letter to President Biden.” U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, January 29, 2021. https://uscmo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Official-USCMO-Letter-to-President-Biden-P.pdf.
  10. The White House. “Statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on President Biden’s Establishment of First-Ever National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia.” The White House. November 1, 2023. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/11/01/statement-from-white-house-press-secretary-karine-jean-pierre-on-president-bidens-establishment-of-first-ever-national-strategy-to-counter-islamophobia/.
  11. “Letter to President Biden.” U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, January 29, 2021. https://uscmo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Official-USCMO-Letter-to-President-Biden-P.pdf.
  12. “Founding.” USCMO. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://uscmo.org/uscmo-founding/.
  13. “A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America.” December 13, 2017. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.chicagotribune.com/investigations/chi-0409190261sep19-story.html.
  14. Koenig, Melissa. “Virginia AG to probe pro-Palestinian group with alleged ties to Hamas.” November 1, 2023. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://nypost.com/2023/11/01/news/virginia-ag-to-probe-pro-palestine-group-with-alleged-ties-to-hamas/.
  15. “Members.” USCMO. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://uscmo.org/council_members/.[/not]

    People

    Osama Abu-Irshaid is the executive director and a board member of American Muslims for Palestine, an anti-Israel organization with strong ties to pro-Hamas individuals and organizations that was described by the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League as the “leading organization” providing “anti-Zionist” training to students and Muslims across the United States. He is also a board member of USCMO. 15 “Our Team.” Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.ampalestine.org/about-amp/our-team.

  16. “Who are the Primary Groups Behind the U.S. Anti-Israel Rallies?.” March 16, 2023. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.adl.org/resources/blog/who-are-primary-groups-behind-us-anti-israel-rallies.
  17. Rossomando, John. “CAIR Chief Among American Islamists Eulogizing Brotherhood Leader.” The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.investigativeproject.org/6710/cair-chief-among-american-islamists-eulogizing.
  18. “Islam Online: Guest CV for Osama Abu-Irshaid.” Internet Archive. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://archive.is/RPgj2.
  19. “Investigation Exposes AMP Leaders’ Ties to Former U.S-Based Hamas-Support Network.” Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.investigativeproject.org/4891/investigation-exposes-amp-leaders-ties-to-former.
  20. “Investigation Exposes AMP Leaders’ Ties to Former U.S-Based Hamas-Support Network.” Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.investigativeproject.org/4891/investigation-exposes-amp-leaders-ties-to-former.
  21. Irshaid, Osama Abu. “Facebook Post.” Internet Archive. December 14, 2014. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://archive.is/C8HK2.
  22. Irshaid, Osama Abu. “”CC’s “Cairo Aviv” designates Hamas as a terrorist organization. Realy! Look who’s talking!? A terrorist murder regime.”.” Internet Archive. February 28, 2015. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://archive.is/Uggdy
  23. “What We Know About the Death Toll in Israel From the Hamas-Led Attacks.” The New York Times. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/12/world/middleeast/israel-death-toll-hamas-attack.html.
  24. “USCMO STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE END TO ATROCITIES IN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES.” USCMO. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://uscmo.org/2023/10/07/uscmo-stands-in-solidarity-with-the-palestinian-people-calls-for-immediate-end-to-atrocities-in-occupied-territories/.
  25. Gaffney Jr, Frank J. “Muslim Brotherhood Day on Capitol Hill.” The Hill. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/276636-muslim-brotherhood-day-on-capitol-hill/.
  26. [1]Gaffney Jr, Frank J. “Muslim Brotherhood Day on Capitol Hill.” The Hill. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/276636-muslim-brotherhood-day-on-capitol-hill/.
  27. Gaffney Jr, Frank J. “Muslim Brotherhood Day on Capitol Hill.” The Hill. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/276636-muslim-brotherhood-day-on-capitol-hill/.
  28. Ross, Chuck. “REVEALED: Turkey’s Plan To ‘Camouflage’ Its Lobbying Activities In The US.” The Daily Caller. March 16, 2017. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://dailycaller.com/2017/03/15/revealed-turkeys-plan-to-camouflage-its-lobbying-activities-in-the-us/
  29.  Mauro, Ryan. “Turkey’s NGO Network in America.” September 6, 2023. Accessed November 16, 2023. https://capitalresearch.org/article/turkeys-ngo-network-in-america/.
  30. Yayla, Ahmet S. “Erdogan’s Long Arm in the US: Turkish Influence Operations Among American Muslims.” Accessed November 16, 2023. https://www.yaacovapelbaum.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/report_v1.4.pdf.
  31. “Us Council Of Muslim Organizations.” Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). 2021. Part I https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/462811888/202211369349315176/full.
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2015

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $257,291 $209,632 $65,079 $14,234 N $257,291 $0 $0 $0
    2020 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $38,892 $33,130 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2019 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $30,200 $13,124 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $45,252 $398 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $13,226 $9,792 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2016 Dec Form 990 $320,525 $308,220 $49,349 $22,988 N $320,525 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $61,000 $67,488 $14,056 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $68,320 $66,969 $23,347 $2,803 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990EZ $25,500 $6,508 $21,996 $2,803 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO)

    700 12TH STREET NW STE 700
    Washington, DC 20005-0000