Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center 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).
Ancel Pratt III, during a video interview with South Florida anti-gay imam Shafayat Mohamed, the founder and principal of the radical Darul Uloom Institute, revealed that he donated one of the Championship rings that was given to him, when he worked for the NBA’s Miami Heat. Normally, this would be considered an extremely generous gesture, especially given the uniqueness and rarity of the item. However, the group the ring was donated to was ICNA, the US arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, South Asia’s largest Islamist organization with numerous ties to terrorism. Pratt should not be praised for this donation. Instead, he should be investigated for it.
Ancel Pratt, a.k.a. Abdus Salaam, is the Florida Director of Operations for Emgage, an Islamic extremist group that attempts to disguise its sinister motives as political advocacy. Prior to this, he spent years with the Miami Heat basketball team, where he held the job as Community Affairs Coordinator. While with the Heat, he was gifted two Championship rings, for the 2006 and 2012 winning seasons. He would have had another Championship ring for 2013, but just before the playoffs began, according to him, he was “recruited away” from the team by Heat star Dwyane Wade, to work at Wade’s private foundation.
This past January, Al-Hikmat TV, the media apparatus of Darul Uloom, posted a video of Pratt being interviewed by Shafayat Mohamed. Darul Uloom has been a haven for high-profile terrorists. “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student of Mohamed’s at Darul Uloom, and now-deceased al-Qaeda commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader there. Mohamed, himself, was thrown off a number of community boards for his public vitriol against homosexuals. In February 2005, Al-Hikmat published an article written by Mohamed, titled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God,’ claiming that gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.
One of the things Pratt discussed, during the interview, was regarding the first Championship ring he was given by the Heat. According to Pratt, in 2011, at an event for the Islamic Circle of North America’s relief division, ICNA Relief, he entered it as a donation for an auction to raise money for an ICNA women’s shelter. He stated, “I was flaunting the ring, when I got there. Then, something just overcame me at that time and said, ‘It may be the right thing to do to donate the ring’… I took the ring off my hand, offered it up… I believe they raised $10,000 with the auction…” He said it was for a “worthy cause” and “to do something great in the community.”
ICNA’s terrorist relations are well documented. For decades till today, ICNA has affiliated with and placed in its top leadership Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, a former Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) death squad commander allegedly responsible for at least 18 murders. As well, for years, ICNA has partnered with the JI charity, Al-Khidmat Foundation (AKF). In August 2006, when AKF took a delegation to the Syria home of then-head of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, to hand deliver $100,000 to him, ICNA was a top donor to AKF. In December 2017, ICNA organized an event with a US-banned front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Pratt has participated in ICNA events, himself. In February 2014, Pratt spoke at an affair for WhyIslam, ICNA’s Islamic outreach division. Up until recently, WhyIslam’s website featured a message board, where the forum moderators used it to post messages in favor of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the destruction of Israel. The WhyIslam site has also been used to promote extreme Islamic views, such as justifying death sentences for Muslim converts to Christianity and, in the case of disobedient wives, allowing husbands, if all else fails, to “beat them (lightly).”
This past September, Pratt posted onto his Facebook page an endorsement video made by Emgage for then-candidate for US President, Joe Biden. The video features Emgage founder and Co-Chairman Khurrum Wahid personally telling Biden of the endorsement. According to the Miami New Times, Wahid was placed on the federal terrorist watch list, in 2011. On the video, while Biden speaks of “racial justice,” Emgage chose to place an image taken from a Black Lives Matter rally, where one participant is prominently holding up a sign proclaiming, “LET Justice FLOW LIKE THE RIVER,” with the word “Justice” dripping heavily with blood.
During Pratt’s interview with Shafayat Mohamad, Pratt further talked about how his organization, Emgage, goes about its endorsement process for political candidates. Pratt said that, at times, he and Emgage consult with radical mosques to determine endorsements. He spoke of one case, where he and Emgage reached out to the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) to provide advice on two candidates running for a seat on the Palm Beach County, Florida School District.
ICBR’s links to terror are significant. One of its founders, Bassem Alhalabi, was a former research assistant to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian. In June 2003, the US Department of Commerce charged Alhalabi with illegally shipping a $13,000 thermal imaging device to Syria. Another founder, Syed Ahmad, was a website designer for Hamas. ICBR’s founding imam, Ibrahim Dremali, spent time on the federal ‘no fly’ list. In August 2002, Dremali was a character witness at a hearing for soon-to-be-convicted al-Qaeda operative Adham Hassoun, whose group, the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), gave the mosque $600,000.
Ancel Pratt calls the donation of his NBA Championship ring to ICNA a “worthy cause” and said it was to do “something great” for the community. Yet, how could that be, when ICNA has so much involvement with terror-related individuals and organizations? Pratt essentially used his being honored for his achievements with something beautiful and rare – something that so many people would love to possess – to aid and abet a terrorist enterprise, thereby making a (dangerous) mockery of the award.
Pratt should be exposed, investigated and held accountable for his donation, which according to him probably amounted to $10,000 and which begs the question: “How much terror can be bought with $10,000?”
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
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