De Blasio Appoints "Transition Imam" Who Helped Raise Money for Hamas

"Now the money is going through groups like Islamic Relief and Viva Palestina."


Bill de Blasio has appointed his transition committee and it includes Imam Khalid Latif. Latif is one of the cleaner faces of CAIR. He was a chaplain at Princeton and now NYU. Bloomberg appointed him to be a police chaplain and he's won interfaith awards.

He's young enough and savvy enough to play the moderate role really well. You won't catch him shouting "Death to America" or "We are all Osama" when the cameras are off. And his presence as a CAIR board member will be overlooked by most.

In 2006, when deadly protests broke out in the Muslim world over cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad, Latif led a campaign to stop the cartoons from being displayed at an NYU student discussion. He urged students to write to NYU administrators, and wrote to the university's president, ominously warning that the school could make itself a target for violence if the program included the drawings.

"(T)he potential of what might happen after they (the cartoons) are shown is something else that should be considered and not taken lightly," Latif wrote.

No doubt. No word on who might do it.

Here's a tweet from Latif in December 2012 after Operation Pillar of Defense that began with Hamas strikes on Israel and culminated with rocket attacks on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The link is defunct, but it goes to Islamic Relief USA. Islamic Relief USA is a branch of Islamic Relief Worldwide which has some troubling Hamas ties.

Islamic Relief USA says it belongs to the “family” of Islamic Relief Worldwide, a group tied to Hamas, but it has received little scrutiny.

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) was birthed in the United Kingdom in 1984. Its creator is Hani Al-Banna, who previously served as a trustee in Muslim Aid. Joe Kaufman documents that one of Muslim Aid’s “partner organizations” was the Al-Salah Islamic Association, a group the U.S. government labeled a Hamas front. Al-Banna’s previous group was also involved with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates like Jamaat-e-Islami.

In 1999, IRW received a $50,000 donation from Human Concern International; a group the U.S. government says is linked to Al-Qaeda. IRW’s material continues to refer to HCI as a partner

According to the NEFA Foundation, IRW is one of the founders of a network of charities called the Union of Good that was created in 2000. It was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2008 for its links to Hamas. The U.S. government said it was “created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization.” It is led by Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood cleric who unequivocally supports Hamas and violent jihad.

In 2006, Israel arrested the project coordinator of IRW’s office in Gaza, Iyaz Ali for funneling money to Hamas. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it clear that Ali was not acting as a rogue employee. “The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population,” it said.

Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) was incorporated in California in 1993. Kaufman reports that its Registered Agent is the former attorney for Wagdy Ghoneim, an extremist involved with Hamas fundraising. IRUSA’s website says it and IRW are “legally separate and independent affiliates (also referred to as ‘partner offices’), but its Facebook page says that it is “a member of the Islamic Relief Worldwide family.”


A 2009 report by Americans for Peace and Tolerance states, “Islamic Relief USA has partnered in funding foreign projects with the Holy Land Foundation and Kind Hearts, both designated terrorist entities.”

While the details of the specific fundraising bid for Gaza by Islamic Relief that Imam Khalid Latif linked to is defunct, there are good odds that the money was going to Hamas.

I asked my DOJ source why they decided to come forward now. The source said:

This is a national security issue. We know that these Muslim leaders and groups are continuing to raise money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Ten years ago we shut down the Holy Land Foundation. It was the right thing to do. Then the money started going to KindHearts. We shut them down too. Now the money is going through groups like Islamic Relief and Viva Palestina

Could Khalif Latif be held responsible for just tweeting a link to an organization that he may have thought was genuinely charitable?

Latif had been involved with IRW before. His official bio along with a video is on the IRW site and Latif and his Islamic Center at NYU have frequently helped them fundraise.

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Islamic Relief co-sponsored an Islamic conference at his NYU center featuring hatemongers like Sirraj Wahhaj, who called on Muslims to take over the United States and establish a Caliphate. “I would cut off the hands of my own daughter [if she stole] because Allah stands for Justice," he once declared.

Wahhaj was named as a possible co-conspirator in the World Trade Center bombing.

Also listed was Zaid Shakir, a former Yale chaplain,  who said that Islamic law is superior to the Constitution because "If Islam is the basis, the kafir [non-believer] won’t be equal with the Muslim. The Christian or the Jew will be a dhimmi [second-class citizen]. They won’t be equal with the Muslim.”

Shakir wrote, "As Christians and Jews of this country have rejected the divine law and created their own secular system of a rule, the legal and political system of America is sinful and constitutes open rebellion against Allah. For a Muslim to join with the Jews and Christians in this system is to join them in their rebellion against Allah. Allah explicitly orders against this.”

During his 2001 speech at the Zaytuna Institute, Shakir said Muslims in America should be “laying the administrative and logistical infrastructure, putting that into place so that if we did have to fight—physically— we could translate that fighting into tangible political


Latif also featured and promoted another event involving Shakir at his Islamic Center with all proceeds going to IRW. The other featured speaker was Yasir Qadhi.

Yasir Qadhi was the teacher of the Underwear Bomber, who has said, "Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews. There are a number of books out on this written by Christians, you should read them. The Hoax of the Holocaust, I advise you to read this book and write this down, the Hoax of the Holocaust, a very good book."

Qadhi has said that democracy is an illegitimate system. "No supreme court, no system of government, no democracy where they vote. Can you believe it, a group of people coming together and voting, and the majority vote will then be the law of the land. What gives you the right to prohibit something or allow something? To believe that it is permissible to follow a way of life, to follow a system of laws other than the Sharia, negates one's testimony of Islam."

And he has said, "You cannot just be neutral when it comes to Islam; you are either a Muslim or you are a Kaffir that hates Islam."

Latif's history of involvement with groups such as CAIR, ISNA and IRW, and hosting figures such as Sirraj Wahhaj, Zaid Shakir and Yasir Qadhi raise serious questions about his associations with the NYPD and his links to Bill de Blasio.