by Jack Minor —
The head of a Florida-based pro-family organization said a school board in Tampa has officially declined to adapt a policy that would prohibit officials with a Pro-Sharia group from addressing students in the public schools.
Members of the Hillsborough County School Board were bombarded with e-mails from parents concerned that representatives of a group that has had numerous former officials charged and convicted for terrorism-related offenses were invited to Steinbrenner High School in Tampa to indoctrinate children with Islamic propaganda, including the virtues of Sharia law.
David Caton, president of the Florida Family Association, says that a decision by six of seven board members at a recent workshop to not adopt any new policies on the issue shows they have endorsed the activity of groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations.
CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case which was the largest terrorism funding trial in United States history and resulted in multiple convictions.
Caton said parents, students and teachers need to remain vigilant to ensure the pro-sharia group is not invited back.
“And in order to make sure this does not happen again, Florida Family Association is offering a reward to any teacher or student or citizen who provides validated information about a future speaking engagement, particularly at this high school,” he explains.
The issue arose when local residents learned that the district had allowed Hassan Shibley, executive director for CAIR-Tampa, to speak at more than a dozen Advanced Placement World History and World Religions classes last fall.
Shibley said the topics discussed at Steinbrenner High School included basic Muslim beliefs, Islamic history, Islam and human rights, religious tolerance and diversity, and popular misconceptions about Islam. He also talked to the students about “Islamophobia.”
Shibley is a local imam and said although he had joined CAIR last June, he had been speaking about Islam at the school for years including when he was a student in the district. In December, upon learning the district was allowing a member of CAIR to speak to students, area residents became concerned.
CAIR has attempted to portray the issue as a group of parents who are opposed to all things Muslim.
However, Terry Kemple, president of the Community Issues Council, said the issue had nothing to do with Islam itself, they were simply opposed to organizations with ties to terrorism speaking to students.
“We have no problem whatsoever with students learning about Islam or any other faith for that matter. We just question the district’s choice of speakers,” Kemplel said.
CAIR consistently fights back attempts against any type of legislation that would prevent courts from using Sharia law as the basis for their decision. The organization states that the legislation is a violation of Muslim’s religious freedom to enter into contracts according to the dictates of their faith.
Advocates of the legislation said the legislation is needed to prevent other elements of Sharia such as blasphemy laws that forbid attempts by Christians and others from attempting to persuade someone to leave the Islamic faith.
Dearborn, Michigan home to one of the country’s largest Muslim populations, has frequently attempted to enforce these elements of Sharia. The city recently told a pastor coming to conduct a religious service on public property where Muslims would be allowed to hear that he would need to sign a “release” before speaking.
The release which would have required that Pastor Terry Jones, with Dove Outreach, “RELEASE AND FOREVER DISCHARGE the city of Dearborn … and its officers, employees, and agents, from any and all claims, liabilities, or lawsuits, including legal costs and reasonable attorney fees, resulting from their activities on City of Dearborn property.”
The city only backed down after a federal judge told them their requirements were a clear violation of the pastor’s free speech rights.
The city has arrested other Christians for attempting to share their faith with Muslims. In 2010 the city arrested four Christians, including one who was simply videotaping the event at the Dearborn Arab International Festival.
A year before, the city arrested Pastor George Saieg for similar activities.
A Muslim judge in Pennsylvania also showed a deference for Sharia blasphemy laws when he dismissed assault charges against a Muslim who had attacked an atheist dressed up as a zombie Muhammad.
In dressing down the victim, American Atheists Pennsylvania State Director, Ernest Perce, the judge said he should be grateful he did not live in an Islamic country where the penalties for insulting the prophet were much more severe than just a beating.
Supporters of anti-Sharia legislation have said examples such as this show that despite CAIR’s claim, Sharia law is being used by government officials and needs to be stopped.
WND has done exstensive reporting on a significant number of CAIR officials with terrorism ties who have either been convicted or thrown out of the ocuntry. A review of public records reveals that CAIR has been associated with convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes and suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations. The list includes:
- Ghassan Elashi: One of CAIR’s founding directors, he was convicted in 2004 of illegally shipping high-tech goods to terror state Syria and is currently serving 80 months in prison. In the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial he was convicted of providing material support to Hama. He was chairman of the charity, which provided seed capital to CAIR. Elashi is related to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
- Muthanna al-Hanooti: The CAIR director’s home was raided in 2006 by FBI agents in connection with an active terrorism
investigation. The offices of his advocacy group, Focus on Advocacy and Advancement of International Relations, which al-Hanooti operates out of Dearborn, Mich., and Washington, D.C. was also searched. Al-Hanooti, who emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq, formerly helped run a suspected Hamas terror front called LIFE for Relief and Development. Its Michigan offices also were raided in September 2006. In 2004, LIFE’s Baghdad office was raided by U.S. troops, who seized files and computers. Al-Hanooti is related to Sheik Mohammed al-Hanooti, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
He collected over $6 million for support of Hamas,” according to a 2001 FBI report, and was present with CAIR and Holy Land officials at a secret Hamas fundraising summit held in 1993 at a Philadelphia hotel. Prosecutors added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.
Al-Hanooti denies supporting Hamas, however he has praised Palestinian suicide bombers as “martyrs” who are “alive in the eyes of Allah.”
- Abdurahman Alamoudi: Another CAIR director, he is serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism. Alamoudi, who was caught on tape complaining that bin Laden hadn’t killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, was one of al-Qaida’s top fundraisers in America, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
- Randall “Ismail” Royer: The former CAIR communications specialist and civil-rights coordinator is serving 20 years in prison in connection with the Virginia Jihad Network, which he led while employed by CAIR at its Washington headquarters. The group trained to kill U.S. soldiers overseas, cased the FBI headquarters and cheered the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. Al-Qaida operative Ahmed Abu Ali, convicted of plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush, was among those who trained with Royer’s Northern Virginia cell.
- Bassam Khafagi: Another CAIR official, Khafagi was arrested in 2003 while serving as CAIR’s director of community affairs. He pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud stemming from a federal counter-terror probe of his leadership role in the Islamic Assembly of North America, which has supported al-Qaida and advocated suicide attacks on America. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to his native Egypt.
- Laura Jaghlit: A civil-rights coordinator for CAIR, her Washington-area home was raided by federal agents after 9/11 as part of an investigation into terrorist financing, money laundering and tax fraud. Her husband Mohammed Jaghlit, a key leader in the Saudi-backed SAAR network, is a target of the still-active probe.Jaghlit sent two letters accompanying donations – one for $10,000, the other for $5,000 – from the SAAR Foundation to Sami al-Arian, now a convicted terrorist. In each letter, according to a federal affidavit, “Jaghlit instructed al-Arian not to disclose the contribution publicly or to the media.”Investigators suspect the funds were intended for Palestinian terrorists via a U.S. front called WISE, which at the time employed an official who personally delivered a satellite phone battery to Osama bin Laden. The same official also worked for Jaghlit’s group.In addition, Jaghlit donated a total of $37,200 to the Holy Land Foundation, which prosecutors say is a Hamas front. Jaghlit subsequently was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
- Nihad Awad: Wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case puts CAIR’s executive director at the Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in 1993 that was secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charitable giving. During the meeting, according to FBI transcripts, Awad was recorded discussing the propaganda effort. He mentions Ghassan Dahduli, whom he worked with at the time at the Islamic Association for Palestine, another Hamas front. Both were IAP officers. Dahduli’s name also was listed in the address book of bin Laden’s personal secretary, Wadi al-Hage, who is serving a life sentence in prison for his role in the U.S. embassy bombings. Dahduli, an ethnic-Palestinian like Awad, was deported to Jordan after 9/11 for refusing to cooperate in the terror investigation. (An April 28, 2009, letter from FBI assistant director Richard C. Powers to Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. – which singles out CAIR chief Awad for suspicion – explains how the group’s many Hamas connections caused the FBI to sever ties with CAIR.)Awad’s and Dahduli’s phone numbers are listed in a Muslim Brotherhood document seized by federal investigators revealing “important phone numbers” for the “Palestine Section” of the Brotherhood in America. The court exhibit showed Hamas fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.
- Omar Ahmad: U.S. prosecutors also named CAIR’s founder and chairman emeritus as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. Ahmad, too, was placed at the Philadelphia meeting, FBI special agent Lara Burns testified at the trial. Prosecutors also designated him as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee” in America. Ahmad, like his CAIR partner Awad, is ethnic-Palestinian.(Though both Ahmad and Awad were senior leaders of IAP, the Hamas front, neither of their biographical sketches posted on CAIR’s website mentions their IAP past.)
- Rabith Hadid: The CAIR fundraiser was a founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which after 9/11 was blacklisted by the Treasury Department for financing al-Qaida and other terror groups. Its assets were frozen in December 2001. Hadid was arrested on terror-related charges and deported to Lebanon in 2003.
- Hamza Yusuf: The FBI investigated the CAIR board member after 9/11, because just two days before the attacks, he made an ominous prediction to a Muslim audience.”This country is facing a terrible fate, and the reason for that is because this country stands condemned,” Yusuf warned. “It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest people forget, Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands.”
- Nabil Sadoun: A CAIR board member, Sadoun has served on the board of the United Association for Studies and Research, which investigators believe to be a key Hamas front in America. In fact, Sadoun co-founded UASR with Hamas leader Marzook. The Justice Department added UASR to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case. UPDATE: In 2010, Sadoun was ordered deported to his native Jordan. An immigration judge referenced Sadoun’s relationship with Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation during a deportation hearing.
- Mohamed Nimer: CAIR’s research director also served as a board director for UASR, the strategic arm for Hamas in the U.S. CAIR neglects to mention Nimer’s and Sadoun’s roles in UASR in their bios.
- Rafeeq Jaber: A founding director of CAIR, Jaber was the long-time president of the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2002, a federal judge found that “the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.” In his capacity as IAP chief, Jaber praised Hezbollah attacks on Israel. He also served on the board of a radical mosque in the Chicago area.