South Florida Dining with Hamas and the Taliban
Guess who's coming to dinner?
Within Muslim circles, Monzer Taleb is heralded as a popular motivational speaker. But it wasn’t long ago that his name and likeness were brought up, during a terrorism trial dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. On Friday, December 6th, Taleb will be headlining a group of radical Muslim lecturers and clerics, including an imam, Izhar Khan, who was charged by the US Justice Department with helping to finance the Taliban, at the Mehfil restaurant’s banquet hall in Sunrise, Florida. This article is meant to alert the public as to what is taking place right in their backyard.
According to his Facebook page, Monzer Mustafa Taleb is a special instructor at Bayyinah, an Arabic studies institute based in Dallas, Texas. Bayyinah is the brainchild of Nouman Ali Khan, a Muslim preacher who, in September 2017, was accused of manipulating his female followers into sex and sham marriages and offering them hush money to keep quiet about it.
In the course of the US government’s prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), in 2007 and 2008, a video was submitted into evidence showing Taleb participating at an event sponsored by the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) as the lead vocalist of a singing troupe called Al-Sakhra. Both HLF and IAP were functions of an American Hamas network led by then-global head of Hamas Mousa Abu Marzook. On the video, Taleb sings, “O Jew, O coward… I am from Hamas and have never cheered for anyone else besides her… And she is the one which marches with the light of Muhammad… towards Jihad.”
In addition to his singing gig, Taleb ran the multimedia wing of the InfoCom Corporation, a now-defunct web hosting service company established by HLF co-founder Ghassan Elashi and his four brothers. Following trials taking place in 2004 and 2005, InfoCom and the Elashi brothers were convicted of money laundering and fundraising on behalf of Hamas.
Over a decade later, Taleb is still promoting Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. In August 2014, Taleb posted a graphic on his Facebook page depicting four characters, three of which are famous superheroes; the fourth is a masked Hamas militant with the name, GAZAMAN. The caption under the figures reads, “A SUPERHERO ALWAYS WEARS A MASK.” In 2015, Taleb posted a video showcasing five Palestinian flags, three of which are from groups – Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – named on the US State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
In December 2017, Taleb attended the Dallas, Texas ‘Rally for Jerusalem, Capital of Palestine’ event, where he filmed himself and others stepping and stomping on an Israeli flag. This past June, Taleb posted onto social media that the Jewish state “should be relocated to Germany or elsewhere.”
Izhar Khan is the imam of Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM), located in Margate, Florida. In May 2011, Khan was arrested and spent the next 20 months in a Miami federal detention center for his alleged participation in a terror financing scheme to ship $50 thousand to the Pakistani Taliban for the specific goal of murdering American troops overseas.
As stated by the US Justice Department, “Izhar is a Pakistani Taliban sympathizer who worked with [his father Hafiz] and others to collect and deliver money for the Pakistani Taliban… Izhar… provided and attempted to provide material support and resources… knowing and intending that they be used in preparation for and in carrying out… a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.”
Besides Khan, there are a number of other imams featured at the December 6th banquet, representing their respective radical mosques.
Representing the Nur-ul-Islam mosque at the banquet is Nur-ul-Islam imam Roshan Ali. A past member of the mosque’s Islamic Affairs Council and ex-Vice President of the mosque’s children’s school, Nur-ul-Islam Academy (NUIA), Raed Awad, was the Florida representative for the Holy Land Foundation. The homepage of NUIA’s website previously contained a link to islamway.com, which, according to the US Justice Department, “included pages devoted to violent jihad” and “included a section urging Muslims to contribute money to Hamas.”
Representing the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF) at the banquet is IFSF imam Sultan Mohammed. IFSF’s former Youth Group leader, Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, used his Facebook page to label Jews “demonic,” refer to the US as the “World’s Number One Terrorist Organization,” and claim Muslims “will overtake the World.” IFSF co-founder and former director, Mohammed Javed Quereshi, is credited with introducing “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla to Islam, prior to Padilla joining al-Qaeda and plotting to set off a radiological bomb in the US.
Representing the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) at the December 6th banquet is ICBR imam and prayer leader Mohamad Zahed. ICBR’s mosque was built using $600 thousand in seed money from the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), an al-Qaeda-related charity that was shut down by the US government in December 2001. One of ICBR’s founders, Syed Khawer Ahmad, was a website designer for Hamas. From October 1999 through September 2001, ICBR published on its website a violently anti-Semitic essay, titled ‘Why can’t the Jews and Muslims live together in peace?’ It described Jews as “people of treachery and betrayal” and “enemies.”
The sponsor of the December 6th banquet is the Bangladesh American Society of Muslim Aid for Humanity (BASMAH). It is the group’s 2nd Annual Banquet for the Rohingya Refugees. BASMAH’s Director of Donor Development is the founding imam of ICBR, Ibrahim Dremali. In October 2000, Dremali spoke at a rally, where the crowd burned Israeli flags and shouted for “Zionist blood.” Dremali told them “not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in.” Dremali has spent time on the federal ‘no-fly’ list, and in October 2010, Dremali and his then-wife, Safaa Eissa, were arrested for marriage fraud.
This banquet in support of Rohingya Muslims is no innocuous fundraiser. It includes documented terror supporters and imams of radical mosques, whose reality is much more about promoting hatred than humanitarian help. The event should only be viewed as a threat to society and a threat to our nation. Viewing it any other way is unreasonable and makes us vulnerable to future acts of terror (bankrolled by banquets such as this).
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.