Joe Kaufman, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative and the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
Much has been made about Muslim activist Linda Sarsour’s participation at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and rightfully so. Sarsour is a known anti-Semite, whose views on Israel are well beyond the pale of legitimate critique. Yet, there were a number of others participating at the same event, whose attendance is equally controversial, if not more so, including officials from the Hamas-linked groups, CAIR and Islamic Relief, and Emgage Co-Chairman Khurrum Wahid, who willingly provides legal services to terrorists and who reportedly has had his own name placed on a federal terrorist watch list.
On August 18th, Linda Sarsour was a featured speaker at the Muslim Delegates & Allies Assembly, an event held for the Democratic National Convention and sanctioned by the Democratic Party. Sarsour’s involvement drew the ire of the GOP, which cited her anti-Semitic history and her support for the bigoted BDS boycott movement against Israel. This was followed by a condemnation of Sarsour from the Joe Biden for President Campaign, which, under pressure from Muslim groups and others, would soon be apologized for. The Biden Campaign’s apology was unwarranted.
In October 2012, Sarsour said, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.” In April 2017, Sarsour was photographed tearing up as she embraced Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who was convicted in 1970 for her role in the murder of two Israeli students. In December 2017, Sarsour justified terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, stating, “In context of what’s happening in Palestine… Nobody gets to tell an occupied people how to respond to their own oppression and the continued stripping of their humanity, agency and land… Oppressed people determine how, when and where to resist.”
About Jews, themselves, Sarsour has defended Nation of Islam leader and rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, and she has repeated the anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish dual loyalty and what she refers to as “Jewish media.” For this, in September 2019, Sarsour was forced to step down from the leadership of the Women’s March, a large-scale protest group she helped to create after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.
Last month, Sarsour tweeted an infamous call for violence in the US attributed to 60s radical black activist Kwame Ture, a.k.a. Stokely Carmichael, along with a profile photo of him. It read: “In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.” The quote was a criticism of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who Ture believed was wrong to reject violence in favor of peaceful protest. Ture, a former Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party, favored violent resistance.
Certainly, there was good reason for the Republican Party – and Joe Biden as well, albeit short-lived – to be angry about Sarsour’s involvement in the DNC. However, there were other participants at this year’s DNC to, as well, be extremely concerned about.
The DNC’s Muslim Assembly featured two representatives from the US division of Islamic Relief (IR), IRUSA President and co-founder Anwar Khan and IRUSA Vice President of Community Affairs and Alliances Azhar Azeez (Aziz). Islamic Relief has been banned by a number of nations, including Israel, which has labeled IR a front for Hamas; United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has designated IR a terrorist group; and Bangladesh. In 1999, Islamic Relief was reported to have shipped over $6 million to Chechen rebels with ties to Al-Qaeda. In 2014, Britain’s HSBC bank cut ties with IR over concerns about “terrorist financing.”
The DNC’s Assembly also featured two officials from CAIR, CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert McCaw and CAIR San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) Government Relations Coordinator Sameena Usman. CAIR was established in June 1994 as part of an umbrella group led by then-global head of Hamas Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the US government in two federal trials as a co-conspirator to the funding of millions of dollars to Hamas. In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly yelled, “We are Hamas,” “Let’s go Hamas,” and “Hamas kicked your ass.”
Another featured speaker at the Assembly was Emgage Co-Chairman Khurrum Wahid. Wahid is a South Florida attorney, who made a name for himself by representing some of the world’s most violent terrorists. One, a now-deceased Miami imam named Hafiz Khan, was convicted of paying the Taliban to murder US troops. Wahid used his law firm to raise money for Khan and Khan’s son, Izhar, who the FBI allege was involved with the father’s terror-related activities and who Wahid referred to as a “sweet guy” and a “rising star.” According to the Broward Palm Beach New Times, Wahid, himself, was placed on a federal terrorist watch list, in 2011.
AJ Durani, the other Co-Chairman of Emgage – an Islamist “political advocacy” group and the main organization involved with the event – was the moderator for the Muslim Assembly. Following the affair, Durani received much criticism for beginning it by performing the Pledge of Allegiance without the words “under God.” Many believe it was purposefully left out.
It is just one more sign of the radical changes that are taking place at the DNC and within the Democratic Party as a whole. Although, little could be as radical as the extreme and terror-associated individuals the DNC is now inviting to speak at its events and represent the Democratic Party.
As long as the Democratic Party continues to embrace such fanaticism, unsteady politicians like Joe Biden will continue to cower and apologize to the fanatics, and America’s enemies will thrive and gain power within our own shores.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.