Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; a writer for the Counter-Islamist Grid, a project of the Middle East Forum; 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 has done much in his life. Through hard work, he was able to overcome a severe football injury; become the Student Body President of his university; land a job with the Miami Heat professional basketball team, eventually to take the position of team Community Affairs Coordinator; manage business operations and plan projects for Heat star Dwyane Wade’s foundation; and establish his own real estate company. However, Pratt has as well done much to ruin these accomplishments, by getting himself heavily involved with dangerous company, specifically radical Muslim groups associated with bigotry and overseas terrorism.
Since September, Pratt has been the Florida Director of Operations for Emgage, an Islamist organization attempting to disguise its sinister agenda as political advocacy. Emgage’s founder and Chairman is Khurrum Wahid, a South Florida attorney who built his name by providing legal representation to high-profile terrorists, including al-Qaeda operatives and Taliban financiers. According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011. Prior to Pratt, one of the leaders of Emgage in Florida was Syed Ammar Ahmed. In February 2010, following a debate he participated in at a school, Ahmed wrote that he “hates white people” and joked that he “should have threatened to blow up the school.”
According to his Emgage bio, Pratt has been “working with” the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). ICNA is the US arm of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI’s former militant wing, al-Badr, was responsible for many of the massacres that took place during the 1971 genocide against the citizens of what is now known as Bangladesh, where Pratt’s wife Tamanna is from. One of the death squad leaders of the genocide, Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, is currently affiliated with ICNA and has been for decades, serving in ICNA’s leadership. Though still alive, Khan was sentenced to death, himself, in absentia, in November 2013. ICNA has used the web to promote various terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban.
In February 2014, Pratt spoke at an event for WhyIslam, the dawah (Islamic outreach) division of ICNA. Up until recently, WhyIslam featured a message board on its official website, where the forum moderators used it to post messages in favor of Hamas and the destruction of Israel. On the WhyIslam show, Islamic Perspective, Imam Isam Rajab justified the death sentence for an Iraqi Muslim who had converted to Christianity, saying “[O]nce you are a Muslim, you have to agree on the terms. You cannot come again and say, ‘Well, I’m changing now and I’m playing around.’” In the WhyIslam website text, titled Gender Equity in Islam, by Jamal Badawi, it states that, in the case of disobedient wives, if all else fails, their husbands can “beat them (lightly).”
Pratt has boasted that he has donated funds to both ICNA and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was created in June 1994 as a part of a terrorist umbrella group, the US Palestine Committee, headed by then-global leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. CAIR was named by the US government as a party to the financing of Hamas, during the two federal trials against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF); HLF, like CAIR, was a Palestine Committee member. A number of CAIR officials have been convicted of terror-related crimes. The CAIR fundraiser that Pratt promoted was initiated by CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, who infamously stated, in March 1994, “I am in support of the Hamas movement more than the PLO.”
Pratt shares Facebook posts made by Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, the ex-Youth Director and Events Coordinator for the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF) and Pratt’s Facebook ‘Friend.’ Al-Ghani uses Facebook to post the worst of bigotry, including that Jews are “the children of Satan,” “demonic” and “the most evil on earth”; the US is the “Worlds Number One Terrorist Organization”; “Islam will dominate the world”; and gay Muslims are “stone cold kaffirs outside the fold of Islam.” In April 2014, IFSF hosted a talk by Mazen Mokhtar, a former admin for the now-defunct al-Qaeda recruitment site, qoqaz.net. This past September, representing Emgage, Pratt, who is a congregant at IFSF, partnered with IFSF to host a candidate forum.
Ancel Pratt had much to be proud of in his life, but he has destroyed it all by surrounding himself with Muslim extremist groups and individuals. Instead of being known as the guy who worked his way up in the Miami Heat organization and the NBA – with two Championship rings to show for it – he will sadly be known as a guy who embraced those associated with terrorism and bigotry. Pratt is using his prestige and name recognition to promote an ideology which is antithetical to the society that enabled his fame and is quickly tearing down the very foundations on which his success was based upon.
Having involvement with Emgage, ICNA, CAIR and IFSF, like Pratt does, is nothing to be boastful about or honored for. To the contrary, it is something to be condemned and investigated for.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.