It has been a wild couple of commission meetings, at the Cooper City Commission. Nur-ul-Islam (NUI), a radical South Florida Islamic center, gave in their application for a new mosque/school expansion, which included three minarets, one of which was to be 100 feet in height. This did not sit well with the city’s residents, especially those living in the vicinity of the mosque. Dozens spoke out at the meetings, protesting the center’s potential effect on traffic, aesthetics, noise and taxes. Yet, nothing was mentioned about the subject of terror, something that the center has several links to. And when the mayor said he received money from NUI, no one cried foul.
Compared to the ‘hustle and bustle’ of much of Broward County, Cooper City is somewhat quiet and low-key, and its architecture, devoid of any high-rise buildings, reflects this narrative. NUI, which was incorporated in 1983, was asking for the city to provide a ‘variance’ – an exception – that would permit it to erect a structure that would be at least double the size of what current city zoning codes allow for. According to NUI, the minarets are a necessity for any mosque and, as well, to distinguish it from that of a Hindu temple. Additionally, NUI asked for a brand new three-story school building and the mosque, itself, what it referred to as a “grand mosque.”
Representing NUI at the commission meetings were NUI President Allauddin Baksh, NUI Board Chairman Saud Khan, and NUI Imam Naseeb Khan. Naseeb is a co-founder of Guyana Islamic Trust (GIT), a group that promotes videos whitewashing Palestinian terror and claiming Israel “stole Palestine,” and is a spokesman for GIT’s magazine, Perspectives. The Imam’s most recent post on Facebook was one he shared from Abdur Rahman Al-Ghani, a South Florida activist, who has used his own Facebook to label Jews “demonic,” America “the world’s number one terrorist organization,” and gay Muslims “stone cold kaffirs outside the fold of Islam.”
In 1996, the center added a children’s school, Nur-ul-Islam Academy (NUIA). Less than six months into NUIA’s existence, the school named Raed Musa Awad as its Vice President. Awad, who also served as a member of NUI’s Islamic Affairs Council, was the Florida representative for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Hamas charity that was shut down by the US government in December 2001. The homepage of NUIA’s website previously contained a link to islamway.com, which, according to the US Justice Department, “included pages devoted to violent jihad” and “included a section urging Muslims to contribute money to Hamas.”
While these issues about the school took place in the past, they are very much applicable to today, as this fanatic activity persists. Only last month, NUIA’s Student Government Association (SGA) organized an event for Islamic Relief (IR), co-sponsored by NUIA and NUI (NUI’s second IR event in months). IR has been banned by several nations due to its many ties to terror. Israel has labeled IR a front for Hamas; UAE designated IR a terrorist group; and Britain’s HSBC bank cut ties with IR over concerns about “terrorist financing.” In fact, the US, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland all have recently cut funding to IR for matters, including antisemitism.
Later this month, NUI is set to host an event featuring Shafayat Mohamed, imam of the Darul Uloom Institute (DUI), another extreme South Florida mosque/school. Convicted terrorist “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student of Mohamed’s at DUI. Al-Qaeda commander Adnan El-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader at DUI. DUI Arabic teacher Imran Mandhai, along with two others, hatched a plot at DUI to blow up South Florida power plants and a National Guard armory. Mohamed, himself, was thrown off a number of Broward County boards for his extreme rhetoric against gays. Mohamed has claimed that gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.
Currently, NUI is a member of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), an umbrella group for many of South Florida’s radical Muslim organizations, including those who propagate material referring to Jews and Christians as “enemies,” sanctioning domestic violence against women, defending female genital mutilation, and mandating death punishments for homosexuals.
During the public speeches portion of the commission meeting, numerous residents prefaced their remarks by saying how their opposition to the NUI expansion had nothing to do with religion and was solely about the negative effects the changes would have on the region, such as increased traffic from boosted school enrollment at NUIA or damage to the city’s aesthetics from the towering minarets. None of this gracious talk, though, could satisfy two belligerents speaking for the other side. They were CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo Amr Ruiz and SFMF Community Outreach Chair Maha Elkolalli.
Both Ruiz and Elkolalli lit into the crowd with anger and malice, insinuating that the mosque opponents’ intent was racist, which drew tremendous jeers from the audience. Elkolalli wrote, “WHO KNEW THAT A MINARET COULD UPSET SO MANY BIGOTS?” But neither Ruiz nor Elkolalli are free from the “bigot” label, themselves. Ruiz has, in the past, vilified the Jewish religion, while citing someone infamous for advancing a blood libel claim against Jews. And only last month, Elkolalli promoted on Facebook a video of vile anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan praising convicted ‘cop killer’ Jamil al-Amin, someone who Elkolalli is obsessed with freeing from prison.
In the end, NUI received the approval for its expansion project from the city commission, albeit with downsized minarets, the largest of the three now being 50 feet. But even minus the terrorism and the minarets, this approval should have been seen as controversial.
At the beginning of the commission meetings, Cooper City Mayor Greg Ross admitted that he received financial contributions from members of NUI and the group’s real estate attorney, Dennis Mele. This was an obvious conflict of interest. While this was a commission meeting, the commissioners were acting as judges, and they said as much. As a judge in this case, Mayor Ross should have recused himself from the proceedings. But he did not, and as a result, it almost assured that the mosque project would be approved.
Furthermore, the residents’ almost entire focus on the size of the minarets and traffic and nothing regarding the threat this mosque poses to the community made this matter a fait accompli.
Given all of the above, this “grand mosque” should never be built; the approval of this project should be reconsidered; and the Islamic center, as it is today, including its extremist school, should be shut down. And finally, Mayor Ross should return the NUI money, as it is tainted with terror and bigotry.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.