Emerge USA, despite its patriotic-sounding name, is a radical Muslim organization seeking to make inroads in America’s political system by enticing unknowing politicians with a ‘Muslim vote.’ Because of its extremist nature, the group involves itself with those who curse the US, Israel, Jews, Christians, and other Muslims. Emerge also involves itself with those who harbor animosity towards homosexuals. How ironic then to find out that one of Emerge USA’s staffers is openly gay and, stranger still, was a contact for a mosque event hosted by an anti-gay imam.
The main individual behind Emerge USA is its Co-Chairman Khurrum Wahid. Wahid is a South Florida attorney who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists. This includes members of al-Qaeda and financiers of the Taliban. Wahid previously served as a legal advisor for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas-related group that was recently named a terrorist organization by the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.
Emerge tends to attract a number of anti-Israel activists.
In November 2012, when Israel went to war with Hamas in Gaza, then-Emerge Regional Director Laila Abdelaziz tweeted, “Don’t worry ya Gaza, we’re working hard for you in Florida.” In July 2014, then-Emerge Regional Director Ali Akin Kurnaz, attacked US Representative Ted Deutch, when Deutch tweeted his support for Israel’s right to defend herself against Hamas rocket attacks. He stated to Deutch, “[T]hink before you tweet. Your lopsided message conveys your lack of understanding of this conflict.” And prior to coming to Emerge, former Emerge Regional Director Rasha Mubarak was an organizer of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rallies.
All three of these individuals are now leaders in CAIR-Florida.
Saad Khan is the South Florida Regional Coordinator for Emerge and a board member of the Emerge USA PAC. Prior to coming to Emerge, Khan worked as a Field Organizer for the Charlie Crist for Governor Campaign. While his feelings towards Middle Eastern affairs are not as overt as his current and former Emerge family – though, he did post on Facebook about the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt – he has had no problem with telling the world about his love of drugs and his homosexuality.
About drugs, in August 2010, Khan wrote on Facebook, “Smoke weed all day, everyday of my life… I don’t give a F**K!”
About his homosexuality, he had much more to say. On September 14, 2010, he wrote “is homosexual,” as in “Saad Khan is homosexual.” The next day, he followed it up by writing, “I love men. Hit me up dudes,” and he included two red hearts. A little over a week later, he posted something incredibly explicit; he wrote, “You like c**k in your mouth but you cant hear me…” And a few days later, he spelled it out for everyone, writing, “LOVEES MEN… YES IM FINALLY COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET…”
In July 2012, Khan posted a photo of his head in a ‘face-in-hole’ of the girl from Wendy’s restaurant wearing her braided red hair, with the balloon caption, “I deserve a hot, juicy burger!” This was Khan’s profile picture for Facebook.
None of this can sit well with the bigoted Islamists who Emerge and its staff frequently come in contact with, such as Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, imam of Darul Aloom. Located in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Darul Aloom has been associated with a number of al-Qaeda terrorists, including al-Qaeda Commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah, who led prayer at the mosque, and “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla, who took classes there taught by Shafayat Mohamed.
Shafayat Mohamed has been thrown off a number of boards in Broward County due to his outspokenness against homosexuals. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the Darul Uloom website, entitled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God,’ claiming that homosexual sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. The Imam has also been influenced by now-deceased anti-Christian author and lecturer, Ahmed Deedat, who, while he was alive, repeatedly referred to homosexuals as “sodomites.”
Saad Khan was the contact for the June 2015 Emerge iftar (break-the-fast) dinner hosted by Shafayat Mohamed and Darul Aloom. In photographs from the event, Khan is pictured near the stage with his back to the guest speakers.
Khan, as well, was the contact for the June 2015 Emerge ‘Sharing Ramadan’ event at the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF). One photo from the event, found on Emerge USA’s Facebook site, contains the mosque’s Events Coordinator Abdur Rahman al-Ghani. Next to the photo is a thank-you message from Emerge, stating, “Thanks again to IFSF and Abdur Rahman al-Ghani.”
Al-Ghani’s Facebook page is littered with anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and Islamic supremacist language and images. In December 2012, he wrote, “Zionist/Israelis are not holy people. They are demonic and the most evil on earth.” In March 2012, he posted a graphic stating, “ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD” and wrote next to it, “Yes, Allah (SWT) has Decreed we will overtake the world in numbers…” And in February 2012, al-Ghani posted a graphic of the CIA logo spattered in blood with a caption that called for “wiping out the CIA.”
This past August, Emerge partnered with the Florida chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in a Back to School Giveaway held at Gwen Cherry Park, in Miami, Florida. The same month, at the Heron Bay Marriott in Coral Springs, Florida, Emerge had a table at the Youth Coalition of South Florida (YCSF) Youth Gala 2015, which was co-sponsored by ICNA’s main charity, ICNA Relief. At both events, Khan represented Emerge.
ICNA is the US affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. Jamaat-e-Islami’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound that Osama bin Laden lived in and was killed in. ICNA has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the web to promote a number of terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group that, like CAIR, was recently named to the UAE government list of international terrorist organizations.
To be involved with Emerge USA, as Saad Khan is, is to be involved with those who hold beliefs which are bigoted and fanatical in nature. From the anti-gay preaching of Maulana Shafayat Mohamed and Darul Aloom to the Islamic supremacism of Abdur Rahman al-Ghani and IFSF to the terrorist ties of ICNA and ICNA Relief, if one wishes to be involved in this environment, there is no escaping this reality of hatred and violence.
For someone who is homosexual, as Saad Khan openly is, and at the same time be associated with Emerge – an organization that affiliates with those who would just as soon wish him harm as say hello to him – is to accept a level of unacceptance that is essentially a denial of one’s own identity and a refusal of one’s own self-preservation. It is a paradox on the level of a Jew sporting a Nazi uniform or a member of the black community adorning a white hood and robe.
Hiding one’s self in hate is to hate one’s self, and self-loathing leads to self-destruction.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.