(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/05/sd.jpg)‘FIU names Saif Ishoof VP for Engagement.’ This was the headline of a press release sent out by Florida International University (FIU) in March. Does the Miami, Florida-based school know that the individual it appointed to this position is a radical Muslim involved in extremist causes and institutions?
According to the website of FIU’s Office of Engagement, “The office provides leadership for the development and coordination of partnerships at the local, state, national and international levels with the goal of aligning FIU’s instructional, research and creative initiatives with local and global needs and priorities.”
On March 6, FIU published a press release stating that it had granted its position of Vice President of its Office of Engagement to Guyana-born Saif Yamani Ishoof, who the school described as a “dynamic leader who is well known in South Florida for his commitment to partnerships and to improving the lives of young people.” The Miami Herald quotes Ishoof as saying that, in his new role, he will be responsible for “linking students, faculty and administrators with the outside world.”
According to FIU, Ishoof will also serve as a senior fellow in FIU’s School of International and Public Affairs.
The above news is disturbing, given the number of radical causes and institutions Ishoof is and has been involved with, beginning with his involvement in Emerge.
The FIU release states that Ishoof is co-founder and trustee of a group called Emerge USA. The title of the group can easily mislead people into believing that it is one that is patriotic, yet the nature of the group is the very opposite.
Emerge USA is the brainchild of Khurrum Wahid, who today acts as the group’s co-chairman and spokesman. Wahid, a South Florida attorney, has spent years representing those whom the U.S. government has charged with terrorist activity. They include: Rafiq Sabir, who received a 25-year prison sentence for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was given a life sentence for being part of al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush; Hafiz Khan, a Miami, Florida imam who shipped $50,000 to the Taliban to kill American troops overseas; and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian.
Wahid has previously served as a legal advisor for the national office of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a director of CAIR’s Florida chapter. CAIR was originally founded, in June 1994, as part of an umbrella organization run by then-global leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. CAIR was named by the U.S. Justice Department a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. And CAIR was recently labeled a terrorist group by United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.
In December 2014, Emerge co-sponsored an event for the Muslim Students Association (MSA) with a number of organizations which have been associated with Hamas and/or al-Qaeda financing, including CAIR, ICNA Relief and Islamic Relief.
In August 2006, ICNA Relief was the top donor and partner to Pakistani charity Al Khidmat Foundation (AKF), at the same time AKF took a delegation to Damascus, Syria to hand deliver nearly $100,000 to Hamas global leader Khaled Mashal. Mashal thanked the group and said Hamas would continue to wage “jihad” (war) on the “Zionist yoke” (Israel). ICNA Relief continues to work directly with AKF overseas.
Both Israel and UAE have designated Islamic Relief a “terrorist organization.” In May 2006, Israel arrested the group’s Gaza program manager, Ayaz Ali, for providing “funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations.” Ali admitted he had cooperated with local Hamas operatives. In 1999, IR collected and sent more than $6 million to Chechen rebels linked to al-Qaeda. That same year, IR received $50,000 from Human Concern International (HCI), a charity that the U.S. Treasury Department labeled a “Bin Laden front.”
Days ago, on April 30th, Emerge featured as a speaker at its Second Annual Founders Benefit Society Dinner held in Arlington, Virginia, Islamic lecturer Sayed Ammar Nakshawani. Nakshawani is a follower of Iranian terror leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and has previously called for the destruction of Israel.
In a speech made by Nakshawani, titled ‘Sayed Khomeini’s Quds Day,’ he states, “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 was not the first time Emerge featured Nakshawani at one of its events. He was also the keynote speaker at Emerge’s Annual Miami Benefit Dinner, held in South Florida in May 2014.
Saif Ishoof was in attendance for both events, at least one of which he was a speaker as well.
Prior to getting involved with Emerge, Ishoof was the rally organizer and contact for the extreme anti-Israel group, March for Justice. The other contact and spokesman of the group was Nidal Sakr, who was arrested in March 2014 after returning to the U.S. from Egypt, where he was a rally organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood.
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.”
Today, Ishoof is a director of Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, a Muslim children’s school located in Cooper City, Florida whose former Vice President was Hamas fundraiser Raed Awad. Awad was the Florida representative for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Hamas charity that was shut down by the U.S. government in December 2001. Awad was also the imam who oversaw the conversion to Islam by convicted terrorist and “Dirty Bomber,” Jose Padilla.
According to corporation documents, Ishoof was officially named a director of the school in January 2008, at a time when the home page of the Nur-Ul-Islam website contained links to violent, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian material, including having a link to islamway.com, a website that encouraged its viewers to donate to Hamas.
The radical associations of Saif Ishoof ought to make FIU think twice about their appointment of him.
People who are involved with groups like Emerge, CAIR, March for Justice or Nur-Ul-Islam should not be embraced by legitimate institutions, especially those dealing with youth, as FIU – an upstanding educational facility – does.
These persons should, instead, be shunned from society.
Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg is the President of FIU. According to his Curriculum Vitae, he is as well a member of the Board of Directors for the Holocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and a member of the Florida Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, an organization which deals in matters of national security and foreign policy.
If you wish to discuss the issue of Saif Ishoof’s appointment with Dr. Rosenberg, you can send an e-mail to [email protected]. Please be respectful, when doing so.
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