Before 9⁄11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed outed Adnan el-Shukrijumah as the “next Mohamed Atta;” before Shukrijumah found recruits to carry out bomb plots in London and New York; before he was placed on the FBI’s “most wanted” list with a $5 million reward for his capture; and before he was killed during a December 2014 pre-dawn raid in Pakistan; he was prayer leader at the Darul Uloom mosque, in Pembroke Pines, Florida. This month, the former spiritual home for one of al-Qaeda’s top terrorists held its 2016 annual awards ceremony.
Adnan el-Shukrijumah was not the only al-Qaeda terrorist to pass through Darul Uloom. “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student at Darul Uloom. And Darul Uloom Arabic teacher Imran Mandhai, along with mosque goers Hakki Aksoy and Shueyb Mossa Jokhan, hatched an operation at Darul Uloom to blow up different structures, including area power stations, Jewish businesses, and a National Guard armory. Indeed, according to the mosque’s imam, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, at least one of the 9⁄11 hijackers may have spent time at his mosque.
Shafayat Mohamed has his own radical history. He has been thrown off a number of Broward County boards due to anti-homosexual activity. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the Darul Uloom website, entitled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God.’ In it, he claims that gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. Shafayat Mohamed’s article doesn’t just target homosexuals. It also attacks Jews and Christians (“People of the Book”). In the piece, Shafayat Mohamed writes that most Jews and Christians are “perverted transgressors.”
None of this meant anything to the Islamists and idiots who more than happily accepted awards from Shafayat Mohamed and Darul Uloom and helped them raise money at their 2016 Al-Hikmat Annual Awards Ceremony and Fundraising Dinner, Al-Hikmat being the media arm of Darul Uloom.
One of the award recipients was Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, the attorney for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). His award plaque read, “In Recognition of Your Civil Rights and Community Services.” Also in attendance, seated in the audience, was CAIR-Florida CEO and Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze.
CAIR was established in June 1994 as part of a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the US Justice Department a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. Since its founding, a number of CAIR representatives have served jail time and/or have been deported from the United States for terrorist-related crimes. In November 2014, CAIR, itself, was designated a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.
CAIR-Florida reflects the extremism of its parent organization. In August 2010, CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly, who has denied that Hezbollah is a terrorist group, wrote, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God…” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” Following the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
Ruiz is also the legal advisor for Sofian Zakkout’s group, the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA). AMANA regularly promotes white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. In fact, the latest posting on AMANA’s Facebook page is an anti-Jewish David Duke video. In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned AMANA for posting onto its website homepage another anti-Semitic Duke video. The ADL described the video as being “venomous.” The video was posted right above an expose about Ruiz.
Another award recipient was Tamara Tillman Ayon, the Florida Director of Government Affairs for Emerge USA. Her award was for what Darul Uloom calls “her accomplishments in the political arena.” As well, participating in the awards ceremony were the National Executive Director of Emerge, Tamim Chowdhury, who was an MC for the event, and the Florida Director of Emerge and former CAIR representative, Ghazala Salam, who was an award presenter.
Emerge USA, despite its patriotic sounding name, has an extremely radical agenda based on terrorism and bigotry shrouded in the guise of political advocacy.
The main individual behind Emerge USA is Khurrum Wahid, a South Florida attorney who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists. They include members of al-Qaeda and financiers of the Taliban. According to the Miami New Times, Wahid, himself, was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.
Emerge sponsors events at terror-linked mosques. They include Darul Uloom and the Tampa-based al-Qassam (a.k.a. Islamic Community of Tampa), which was founded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader and former Khurrum Wahid client Sami al-Arian. Emerge also sponsors speeches made by Muslim extremists, such as Islamic lecturer Sayed Ammar Nakshawani, who has previously called for the destruction of Israel. Nakshawani gave featured talks in at least two Emerge benefit dinners, one in 2014 and one in 2015.
Not all the Darul Uloom award recipients were Islamists. Useful idiots who received awards at the 2016 ceremony included: Pembroke Pines Commissioner Jay Schwartz; President of the Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony, Rabbi Mark Winer; and Dean of Pastoral Formation at the St. Vincent De Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Rev. Gregg Caggianelli.
Receiving an award from a place like Darul Uloom that has been associated with so many terror-related individuals and so much bigotry directed at homosexuals and others is no honor. It is, instead, a shameful embarrassment. And to help raise money for such a facility is equally shameful.
The awards should be handed back to those who gave them, along with the message that terror and hate will not be tolerated.