The Democratic Party used to embrace homosexuals. Now, its Florida leaders are inviting enemies of the gay community to speak at their functions, and only one week following one of the worst episodes of violence against gays in American history. That was the case earlier this month, when anti-gay imam Maulana Shafayat Mohamed was allowed to speak at the Leadership Blue Gala, the annual banquet of the Florida Democratic Party.
On June 19th, the Florida Democratic Party held its annual Leadership Blue Gala event. US Senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker, was the keynote speaker. Also listed as speakers were House Democratic Leader-Designate Janet Cruz, Senate Democratic Leader-Designate Oscar Braynon, DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, US Senator Bill Nelson, and Florida Democratic Chair Allison Tant. However, one of the other speakers, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, who partook in opening prayers, should have been the main concern.
Shafayat Mohamed is the imam of the Darul Uloom mosque, located in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The mosque has been a haven for terror-related individuals, many of whom have been imprisoned – or, in one case, killed in an overseas anti-insurgent raid – due to their jihadist activities.
“Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student of Shafayat Mohamed’s at Darul Uloom. Now-deceased al-Qaeda Global Operations Chief, Adnan el-Shukrijumah, was a prayer leader at Darul Uloom. And Darul Uloom Arabic teacher Imran Mandhai, along with mosque goers Hakki Aksoy and Shueyb Mossa Jokhan, hatched a plot at the mosque to blow up different South Florida structures, including area power stations, Jewish businesses, and a National Guard armory.
Shafayat Mohamed has his own sordid history. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the Darul Uloom website, entitled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God.’ In it, he claims that gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and that most Jews and Christians, whom he refers to as “People of the Book,” are “perverted transgressors.”
It is statements such as these that have gotten Shafayat Mohamed thrown off of a number of Broward County boards. Yet, the imam is unrepentant.
In a speech he gave at Darul Uloom in August 2015, titled ‘Quraan Torah Bible Forbid Man Marrying Man,’ he claimed that he “got sacked from many [county] boards, because there were a lot of gay people who said, ‘We don’t want him on that board.’” He said he had a choice, to “sit in Paradise or… sit on the board and go to Hell.”
In the speech, he also lamented the existence of Muslim homosexuals. He decried, “Listen. Don’t deny it. They already got Muslim gay communities.” He as well spoke of his support for polygamy, an act that is illegal in the United States. He exclaimed, “Here the President [Obama] says a man can marry a man, but you can’t say a man can have four wives…!”
Given his documented anti-gay stance, why would the Florida Democratic Party have anything to do with this individual, let alone just one week following an Orlando, Florida shooting attack targeting homosexuals, which left scores of people dead?
On June 12th, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old Muslim male who had pledged his allegiance to ISIS, entered the Pulse, an Orlando LGBT nightclub, and shot and murdered 49 people, while injuring 53 more. Omar’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, who himself is a devout supporter of the Taliban, said that the incident had been triggered when Omar, during a trip to Downtown Miami, became angered after witnessing two men kissing in front of his [Omar’s] wife and son.
During his speech at the Democrat gala, Shafayat Mohamed, along with asking for blessings that Hillary Clinton would be the next President of the United States, fleetingly offered prayers for the victims of the Orlando attack. Yet, it is rhetoric such as his that caused the attack in the first place. And his rhetoric continues to this day, as his inflammatory article about gays causing the tsunami is still up on his mosque’s website, over eleven years after it was originally posted.
Shafayat Mohamed should have been shunned by the Florida Democratic Party; but instead he was embraced, as he was a couple years ago, when he was a warm-up act for keynote speaker former US President Bill Clinton at the 2014 Florida Democratic Party Leadership Blue Gala. From this year’s event, there are photos of the imam cozying up to Florida State Senator Eleanor Sobel.
It is pathetic that the Democratic Party would welcome such an individual as Shafayat Mohamed to participate at its event, especially given the timing.
In its zeal to win over Muslim voters, the Democratic Party has shamefully pandered to a heavily extremist segment of the Muslim community. The invitation of anti-gay imam Maulana Shafayat Mohamed to speak at its gala event, merely one week following the horrific Orlando attack, is clear evidence of this.
By embracing Shafayat Mohamed, the Democratic Party is not only shunning the gay community – a traditionally loyal constituency for Democrats – but it is as well aiding and abetting a radical Islamist who is spreading the type of bigoted rhetoric that spurs violence against others.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.