CAIR’s foundation was built upon anti-Israel activists seeking to tear apart Western society. Today’s CAIR is no different. A current hotspot for CAIR extremism is in Orlando, Florida, where CAIR-Florida just held an annual fundraising banquet and just hired a coordinator to take the place of a recently arrested sexual predator. The days of Orlando only being about theme parks and tourism are over. Now, residents and tourists have something else to look forward to – the threat of radical Islam.
CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was established in June 1994 as being part of the American Palestine Committee, a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. The people who founded CAIR, including present National Executive Director Nihad Awad, were previously leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a now defunct organization that was at the time the American propaganda wing of Hamas and also one of the groups that made up the Palestine Committee.
CAIR-Florida, like those who established its parent organization, is made up of anti-Israel radicals.
CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly has referred to Hezbollah as “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization” and, in August 2014, tweeted, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of G-d...” In December 2010, CAIR-Florida CEO and Statewide Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze, repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas, when given numerous chances to do so, stating “I’m not denouncing anybody. I’m not getting involved in the politics.”
In November 2012, when Israel went to war with Hamas in Gaza, CAIR-Florida Legislative and Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz tweeted, “Don’t worry ya Gaza, we’re working hard for you in Florida.” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida Communications Coordinator Ali Akin Kurnaz attacked U.S. Representative Ted Deutch, when Deutch wrote a tweet against Hamas and in support of Israel’s right to defend herself, stating to Deutch, “[T]hink before you tweet. Your lopsided message conveys your lack of understanding of this conflict.”
In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally, in Downtown Miami. At the event, rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Hamas kicked your ass,” and “Let’s go Hamas.” After the rally, the organizer of the rally, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, wrote the following on Facebook: “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
Earlier this month, CAIR-Florida held an annual fundraising dinner, in Orlando, Florida. The event was titled ‘Champions for Justice,’ and it featured as a guest speaker Chicago-area imam Kifah Mustapha.
Mustapha’s relationship to CAIR goes far beyond his speakership at CAIR events. Both Mustapha and CAIR were named as co-conspirators by the United States government for the 2007 and 2008 federal trials against the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Like CAIR and the IAP, HLF was part of Mousa Abu Marzook’s Palestine Committee. Indeed, Mustapha is still listed as the Registered Agent of HLF’s Illinois corporation, which was revoked in 2001.
Mustapha was also involved with the IAP; he served as a board member for the group.
As well, Mustapha is a lecturer for American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) states “has its organizational roots in the IAP.” The Registered Agent for AMP is former IAP Secretary General Abdelbaset Hamayel. AMP’s office is merely blocks away from what used to be the IAP’s address, on the same street – Roberts Road in Palos Hills, Illinois. Mustapha and former IAP President Rafeeq Jaber (who was a CAIR founder) will be speaking at AMP’s 8th Annual Conference, next month.
In December 2014, Mustapha left his job as imam and Associate Director of the Mosque Foundation (MF), the Islamic center he had been affiliated with for 13 years. MF also has heavy ties to the IAP. Two former leaders of the IAP, Rafeeq Jaber and ex-IAP Chairman Sabri Samirah, were Presidents of MF.
Today, Mustapha is the imam and Director of the Prayer Center of Orland Park. And while he may have transferred his affiliation – albeit less than nine miles away – Mustapha’s fanatical views are still intact.
The morning of CAIR-Florida’s Orlando banquet, Mustapha posted the following message on his Facebook site. He wrote, “An uprising in the Blessed Land will reflect blessings on all Arab uprisings insha Allah.”
The uprising that he speaks of is the recent wave of stabbing and shooting attacks against Jews in Israel, which many are calling a Third Intifada – intifada meaning uprising. For Mustapha this violence, that includes many deaths on both sides, reflects blessings.
Shown in photos from CAIR-Florida’s banquet is CAIR-Florida’s new Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak. Mubarak replaced CAIR-Florida’s previous Orlando Coordinator, Ahmad Saleem, who is currently awaiting trial after having been arrested for traveling to have illegal sexual intercourse with someone who he believed to be a twelve-year-old girl.
Apart from her job with CAIR, Mubarak is an organizer for anti-Israel demonstrations. These events have included virulently anti-Semitic signs and flags of terrorist organizations.
In November 2014, Mubarak was a featured speaker at the Al-Awda 12th Annual International Convention, held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is an activist group based in the US, which opposes Israel’s right to exist. Participating at the Al-Awda event, along with Mubarak, were then-Chair and Vice Chair of Al-Awda, Coral Springs, Florida-based Anas Amireh and Cleveland, Ohio-based Abbas Hamideh, who are now respectively Al-Awda Treasurer and Vice Chair.
Amireh is a big fan of deceased Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat and uses social media to memorialize former PLO leaders. He advocates Palestinians using their cars as weapons (‘Run-Over Intifada’) and refers to Israel as the “Zionist enemy.” Next to one photo Amireh posted on his Facebook site in August 2014, taken in Fort Lauderdale and showing him looking back at a group of Israel supporters, he writes, “Do you realize how hard it is not to turn around and beat the living hell out of one of those Zionists??”
Hamideh wants all of Israel, which he has been barred from entering, destroyed. This month, he told Jews, “Rest assured Zionism will be eradicated and if you’re lucky you’ll be sent back to Europe where you belong...” He says peace with Israel only means “surrender.” Hamideh loves Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah, who he calls “the most honorable Arab-Muslim leader of our time.” Hamideh, who claims to have fought in the First Intifada, is excited at the idea of a third one. He tweeted a photo of two masked Palestinian terrorists holding Molotov cocktails, stating, “Let’s do this! Intifada.” He also tweeted a photo of himself firing an AK47 rifle.
CAIR calls itself a civil rights group, but the truth is that any initiatives undertaken by CAIR in the name of civil rights is a cover for an extreme anti-Israel agenda that has been an integral part of CAIR since its founding. CAIR’s subsidiary CAIR-Florida, its leaders and those they associate with are representative of this bigotry.
CAIR is a radical Islamic enterprise that exists to cause harm to the Jewish state and fracture Western civilization.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.