Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; a writer for the Counter-Islamist Grid, a project of the Middle East Forum; and the Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative. He was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
Now that Hassan Shibly has resigned his position as Executive Director of CAIR-Florida, after his wife’s accusations of domestic violence, it has left CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo Ruiz in the top leadership position of the group, at least until the group names a new Executive Director. This should result in extra scrutiny for Ruiz, beginning with his recent social media postings copied from Muslim extremist Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, who refers to Jews as “demonic” and “the children of Satan,” and Ruiz’s own anti-Semitic ramblings. Up until now, Ruiz’s radical activity has been ignored by news networks that continue to interview him. Why?
Wilfredo Amr Ruiz has been with the Florida chapter of CAIR, since December 2011. CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was created, in June 1994, as part of a US Hamas network led by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, who was deported from the US in 1997. While with CAIR, Ruiz has also served as legal counsel for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), a group that was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in July 2010, for promoting “venomous” anti-Semitic material on its website. Besides being its lawyer, Ruiz founded AMANA’s Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters.
Since 2017, Ruiz has been involved with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the US arm of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and is now a representative for ICNA’s WhyIslam. ICNA has advertised Hamas and Hezbollah on its website, and in December 2017, ICNA organized an event featuring Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. For decades, ICNA has harbored and placed in its top leadership Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, a JI militant who was sentenced to death, in absentia, for the December 1971 murders of 18 people in Bangladesh.
Last month, Ruiz shared Facebook posts made by Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, Ruiz’s Facebook ‘Friend’ and the ex-social media manager of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), a group that Ruiz has also been affiliated with. The posts compared President Trump to Hitler and contemptuously branded America “a nation forged in racist violence.” In the past, Al-Ghani has used Facebook to post vile bigotry, including saying: Jews are “the children of Satan,” “demonic” and “the most evil on earth”; the US is the “Worlds Number One Terrorist Organization”; “Islam will dominate the world”; and gay Muslims are “stone cold kaffirs outside the fold of Islam.”
Ruiz, himself, has targeted Jews with bigotry. In April 2010, just three months prior to the ADL’s condemnation of Ruiz’s AMANA, Ruiz wrote an article (in Spanish) vilifying the Jewish religion, titled Las fobias de mi vecino (translated “My neighbor’s phobias”). In it, Ruiz cites Justinas Pranaitis, a Lithuanian Catholic priest who was infamous for advancing the blood libel claim against Jews and who was stripped of his priesthood. As well, in the piece, Ruiz provides a link to the website talmudunmasked.com, which contains Pranaitis’ anti-Semitic conspiracies and is produced by those alleging Jews perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and are Satanic.
On January 9th, Ruiz posted onto his Facebook page a statement US Representative Mary Miller made quoting Hitler about “youth” and the “future,” a statement that the Congresswoman apologized for and rightfully so. Note the hypocrisy: Ruiz, who shares posts from a fanatic that (literally) demonizes Jews and who pens his own anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, calls out a Congresswoman who apologizes for her mistake. With Ruiz, given his radical background, there is no mistake. He is what he appears to be, a hardcore Islamist.
Ruiz has deliberately surrounded himself with and propagates hate and terror. Yet, many media organizations look to interview him about issues affecting Muslims, including major outlets like CNN and The New York Times. Just this past month, Ruiz was filmed by South Florida Fox affiliate WSVN-7 for a piece concerning President Biden’s immigration policy, specifically regarding Biden’s reversal of President Trump’s so-called ‘Muslim ban.’ This interview was done in English, but many times the interviews are done for Spanish-speaking media that may not be aware of Ruiz’s extremist history or the history of the fanatical groups he represents.
While the subject matter of the news stories beg for a quote from an individual representing the Muslim community – and Ruiz, being from CAIR, appears to be a spokesman for that community – all media should consider him to be off limits. Anyone connected to the type of hatred and extremism Ruiz is associated with should have no place in legitimate news stories that are seen by unsuspecting and uninformed audiences with zero knowledge about CAIR, AMANA, Islamic Relief, ICNA or their ilk. Indeed, Ruiz is a Muslim zealot pushing a dangerous agenda aimed at undermining civil society, and he should be shunned for his activities.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.