Answering ‘Deputy Hamas’

Muslim Federation Director Nezar Hamze confronts me with lies and revisionist history.

Recently, this author’s non-profit charitable organization, the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative (JKSI), issued a video about the Executive Director of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF) Nezar Hamze and how he – a radical Muslim and former CAIR operative – should not be serving as a Deputy Sheriff in one of the most prominent law enforcement agencies in the US. Upset about the video, Hamze chose to take shots at my work by calling me a liar. Yet, what Hamze is calling lies are actually 100% true. In fact, in his attempt to defame me, Hamze issued his own set of lies, which will be exposed here for all to see.

Hamze’s first accusation was that I lied about his parents being from Lebanon or, as he put it, being “born” in Lebanon. I had answered one of the viewers of our video stating, “[W]hile his parents are from Lebanon, he was born in the US.” Hamze commented, “[A]nother lie my ‘Parents’ we’re [sic] not born in Lebanon Joe… You get most of your information from anti-Muslim websites and the other ‘facts’ you get are twisted lies.” Note: Never, did I say Hamze’s parents were born in Lebanon – only that they were from Lebanon.

According to the Broward/Palm Beach New Times, “Hamze, a 39-year-old father of four, is the son of Lebanese immigrants.” According to Salon.com, “His father came to the United States from Lebanon during the civil war there.” Neither of these quotes are from publications that would be considered anti-Muslim. Indeed, they are from two puff pieces written about Hamze that quote Hamze amply. Furthermore, Hamze’s mother, Cherylann Morris, posted on her Facebook page that, while she lives in West Linn, Oregon, she is from Brummana, Lebanon.

In December 2010, when our organization, then-Americans Against Hate (AAH), held its Pro-Israel Conference 2010, which was televised in full on C-SPAN, Hamze approached me after it was over, informed me that he was from CAIR, and told me he knew Arabic as a result of his family being from Lebanon. As well, Hamze’s close cousin, Abdelaziz Bilal Hamze, in June 2007, attempted to flee to Lebanon, after he ran over and killed a woman in Fort Lauderdale with his minivan, dragging her body for miles, losing body parts along the way. Nezar tried to cover for him, saying his cousin “may have been a little threatened” by the woman.

Hamze’s second accusation was that I lied about who hired him as Deputy Sheriff for the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO). When one of our video viewers asked who had hired Hamze at the BSO, I replied that it was Sheriff Scott Israel, the man notorious for his actions as BSO Sheriff during the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Hamze commented, “[T]hat is another lie. I was hired and trained by Al Lamberti.” When I asked Hamze what position Sheriff Lamberti, who was the previous Sheriff, hired him for, he replied, “The position I hold now… BSO doesn’t put people through the Police Academy for people they don’t hire.”

While it is true that the BSO under Sheriff Lamberti put Hamze through training, Hamze had not been hired for his job with the BSO prior to Sheriff Israel arriving in January 2013. One only has to view Hamze’s BSO application from June 2014 to know that that is the case. Hamze was asked to list all of his employment within “the last 7 years.” He only listed his job with CAIR and a managerial job with CarMax. He said that he had applied previously to the BSO, in February 2009, but “Withdrew App” and, in March 2012, but was “Not Selected.” Additionally, Hamze answered “No” to the question, “Are you currently an employee of the Broward Sheriff’s Office?”

Police officers have confided in me that they were surprised Hamze was hired by the BSO at any time. Following the ‘Secondary Interview - Hire Recommendation’ for Hamze’s 2012 application, all three of the BSO officials involved in the interview refused to recommend him. Major Michael DiMaggio, Major David Holmes, and Major Donn Peterson all placed their signatures next to the area stating, “At this time, I do not recommend Officer Hamze for employment with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.” Also, Hamze was caught lying on his polygraph test, with regard to the use of and purchase of illegal drugs. Sheriff Israel ignored all of this.

Now, whether or not Hamze’s parents are from Lebanon or exactly which Sheriff hired him as a Deputy at the BSO are very minor matters. The real crux of the situation, with regard to Hamze, is the fact that he is and has been involved with radical Muslim institutions. Of course, Hamze takes issue with me saying that, as well.

I commented to Hamze, “[T]he truth is that you are involved in radical Islamic groups and have been for many years. The groups that you are involved with have tremendous terror-related histories… [T]he groups that you affiliate yourself with are threats to the US and local community.” He responded by saying that the entities that I am calling “Radical Islamic Groups” are actually “Law Abiding and social service organizations.” He further stated, “No organization I associate with has ever broke any law nor [sic] involved with any nefarious groups.”

The groups that he has been involved with – CAIR, Islamic Relief and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) – all have major ties to international terrorism. CAIR has foundational and financial ties to Hamas. A number of CAIR officials have been convicted of and/or deported from the US for terror-related crimes. Islamic Relief has been involved in the financing of al-Qaeda and has been banned by a number of nations. ICNA has promoted various terrorist groups online and has links to those who harbored Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and those who led the murder spree during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence.

Hamze’s most recent effort, the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), includes all three of those groups and more. Hamze is the Executive Director of this terror umbrella organization. Through SFMF, Hamze has affiliated himself with an imam that has referred to America as the “enemy,” another imam who has been charged by the FBI with helping to fundraise for the Taliban, a social media manager who has called Jews “demonic” and gays “evil,” and a local leader who has joked about threatening to blow up a school.

When Hamze refers to these groups as “Law Abiding and social service organizations,” that is, no doubt, a lie and a big one. It is precisely the reason why someone like him should not be serving in any position within law enforcement, no matter who is responsible for putting him there.

This author looks forward to the day when all of these organizations are shut down and Nezar Hamze is no longer in a position that provides him a badge and a gun.

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