Ghazala Salam has left her job with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). But rather than having made this decision in order to repudiate radical Islam and her work on behalf of an organization associated with the terrorist group Hamas, she instead, joined the staff of another Islamist group, Emerge USA, whose unwritten mission is to promote Muslim infiltration of the American political system to undermine government institutions.
CAIR was established in June 1994 as part of a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the US Justice Department a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. Since its founding, a number of CAIR representatives have served jail time and/or have been deported from the United States for terrorist-related crimes. In November 2014, CAIR itself was designated a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.
CAIR-Florida has fully reflected the extremism of its parent organization. Its Executive Director Hassan Shibly, who has previously denied that Hezbollah is a terrorist group, wrote in August 2014, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of G-d…” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” Following the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Zakkout, wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
Last month, CAIR-Florida featured Ghazala Salam on the ‘About’ page of its website, along with her title as Community & Government Relations Director and accompanied by her bio. Today, that information is gone, deleted from the site.
Salam has now moved on to Emerge USA as the group’s new Florida Executive Director.
Emerge USA, despite its patriotic sounding name, has an extremely radical agenda based on terrorism and bigotry shrouded in the guise of political advocacy.
The main individual behind Emerge USA is Khurrum Wahid. Wahid is a South Florida attorney who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists. They include members of al-Qaeda and financiers of the Taliban. Wahid previously served as a legal advisor for CAIR and a corporate director of CAIR-Florida. According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.
Emerge sponsors speeches made by Muslim extremists, such as Islamic lecturer Sayed Ammar Nakshawani. Nakshawani, a follower of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has previously called for the destruction of Israel. He has given featured talks in at least two Emerge benefit dinners, one in 2014 and one in 2015.
Emerge sponsors events at terror-linked mosques. One such mosque is the Tampa Bay, Florida-based al-Qassam Mosque (a.k.a. Islamic Community of Tampa), which was founded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader and former Khurrum Wahid client Sami al-Arian. The mosque bears the same name, al-Qassam, as the main Islamic Jihad center located in the Gaza Strip. One of the past directors of the Tampa mosque, Ramadan Shallah (a.k.a. Ramadan Abdullah), would later emerge in Damascus, Syria as the Secretary General of PIJ.
Another mosque that Emerge has held events at is Pembroke Pines-based Darul Uloom, where “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student and now-deceased al-Qaeda commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader. Ghazala Salam has been honored by Darul Uloom a number of times and has gotten close to its imam, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, who has been thrown off a number of boards in Broward County for his actions against homosexuals. In February 2005, Mohamed wrote an article claiming gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.
While working for Emerge, Salam has held joint events with CAIR, Nur-ul-Islam Academy (NUIA), and ICNA Relief.
Nur-ul-Islam Academy is the children’s school of the Cooper City-based Nur-ul-Islam Mosque. A former member of the mosque’s Islamic Affairs Council and ex-Vice President of NUIA, Raed Musa Awad, was the Florida representative for the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation (HLF). The website of NUIA previously 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 money to Hamas. Emerge USA co-founder and trustee Saif Ishoof is a director of NUIA.
ICNA Relief is a function of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was killed. ICNA has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the web to promote different terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), which like CAIR, is a UAE designated terrorist organization.
Also, while with Emerge, Salam was a contact for the 2016 Florida Muslim Capitol Day, an event held in Tallahassee, Florida where Florida’s radical Muslim community gathers to put pressure on Florida’s lawmakers. The event was originally conceived and led by former CAIR-Florida Communications Director, former CAIR-Tampa Executive Director, and former unofficial spokesman for Sami al-Arian, Ahmed Bedier.
When Ghazala Salam left CAIR, she could have denounced the group for its involvement with terror and hatred and ceased being a shill for the Islamist cause. Instead, she chose to continue promoting radical Islam by joining Emerge USA. In doing so she is aiding and abetting efforts to exploit the American democratic process.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.