For over six years, Tamara “Tammy” Ayon was leading the Democratic Party in Broward County, Florida. But that changed this year, when she left her position as Executive Director of the party to take a job with an Islamist group with ties to terrorism and bigotry. And while both groups work to involve themselves with politicians, the goals and associations of the two are as distant from each other as the difference between a petty thief and a mass murderer.
On April 22nd of this year, Tamara Tillman Ayon, then-Executive Director of the Broward Democratic Party, sent out a tweet from her Twitter account calling on people to sign a petition to “ban fracking on public lands.” Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas which is contained inside.
In the United States, the push to ban fracking is a liberal initiative that many in the Democratic Party have taken up. It is not an issue that concerns many outside left-wing political circles.
On April 27th, just one week later, Ayon’s life would take a dramatic shift, where matters such as hydraulic fracturing would take a backseat to those (matters) which concern radical Muslims. This day, Emerge USA announced that it had hired Ayon as its new Government Affairs Director for the state of Florida.
Emerge USA is an Islamist group that attempts to dupe politicians into attending its functions by seducing them with a “Muslim vote.” Regardless of the group’s patriotic-sounding name, Emerge is nothing more than a front for anti-American and anti-Israeli extremists.
A founder and co-chair of Emerge, Khurrum Wahid, is a South Florida attorney who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists. This includes members of al-Qaeda and financiers of the Taliban. Wahid previously served as a legal advisor for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR has been cited by the U.S. government for its involvement with Hamas fundraising and has been labeled a terrorist group by the UAE government. According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.
Co-founder and trustee of Emerge, Saif Ishoof, is a former organizer and contact for the extreme anti-Israel group, March for Justice. While with March for Justice, Ishoof organized an event at the University of Miami, in October 2002, which labeled then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “the world’s longest standing terrorist” and Israel an “illegitimate state.” Ishoof said he was “outraged” that his former university would host then-senior advisor to Sharon, Raanan Gissin, referring to Gissin as “a mouthpiece of state sponsored terrorism.”
For the past two years, Emerge has featured as a speaker at its annual events Islamic lecturer and follower of Iranian terror leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Sayed Ammar Nakshawani. In a speech made by Nakshawani, titled ‘Sayed Khomeini’s Quds Day,’ Nakshawani calls for the destruction of Israel, stating, “The shame in this world is that, if we put ourselves down to a two-state solution, we would allow a country which has broken 60 UN resolutions to have their own freedom of peace. It is barbaric that this Zionist state is allowed to continue.”
This past June, less than two months into Ayon’s new employment, Emerge sponsored an iftar (break-the-fast) dinner at the Darul Uloom mosque, in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Several al-Qaeda terrorists have spent time at Darul Uloom. “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student at the mosque, and now-deceased al-Qaeda Global Operations Chief Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader there. The imam of Darul Uloom, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, has been thrown off a number of boards in Broward County for his outspokenness against homosexuals.
In August, Ayon represented Emerge at ICNA Relief’s fifth annual Back to School Giveaway program, held in Miramar, Florida.
ICNA Relief is the main charity of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the US affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. Jamaat-e-Islami’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was killed at. ICNA has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the web to promote a number of terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group that was also named a terror organization by UAE.
Earlier this month, Ayon represented Emerge at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), held in Chicago, Illinois. Like CAIR, ISNA was named by the US government as a party to the financing of Hamas.
Speakers at the ISNA convention included: Jamal Badawi, who was also named by the US as a party to Hamas funding and who, in his book ‘Gender Equity in Islam,’ justifies the beating of women by their husbands; Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by the US government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; and Zulfiqar Ali Shah, who was the South Asia Director of KindHearts, a Hamas charity that was shut down by the US government in February 2006.
While emerge USA works hard to attain legitimacy by enticing politicians to attend its functions, the group operates to promote an extremely disturbing and radical agenda. This is evidenced by its leadership, which is publicly linked to terror and bigotry, and by the groups and individuals Emerge chooses to align itself with.
It was Ayon’s decision to go from being an Executive Director in the Democratic Party to a leader of a national Islamist group. As such, she has adopted all of Emerge’s associations and history and has exposed herself as a ‘fellow traveler’ and enemy of democracy – the same democracy she used to fool people into believing she was a part of.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.