CAIR-Florida has taken down from its website Nezar Hamze’s photo and bio, as he has left the Hamas-linked group and gone elsewhere. His new position, however, poses no less of a threat. Hamze, who is also a Deputy at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), is now the Executive Director of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), an umbrella group for South Florida’s many radical Muslim organizations, which includes CAIR. Given the obvious conflict of interests, it is a wonder how Hamze has been allowed to keep his position within the Sheriff’s Department, while holding these terror-related side-jobs. No doubt, he has been and continues to be a danger to the community, which ironically he has sworn to protect.
Nezar Jason Nazih Hamze, the Michigan-born son of Lebanese immigrants, spent over a decade of involvement with CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He began as a member of the group’s Florida Executive Committee, in 2008, the same year that CAIR was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the US government for the Hamas-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), where all of the defendants in the trial were found guilty of all charges brought against them.
Much of Hamze’s experience with CAIR was consumed by having to answer questions about the HLF trial and CAIR’s general links to terrorism. His answers were always slick lies and sound bites on how the national organization of CAIR and its Florida chapter were entirely different entities, when indeed they were and are one and the same. Regardless, CAIR-Florida did zero to distance itself from its parent organization’s Hamas-related past. That was evident, when CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally, in July 2014, or when CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly stated that “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God…”
During Hamze’s tenure with CAIR, Hamze sought involvement with other terror-related groups, specifically Islamic Relief (IR) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
Israel has banned Islamic Relief, labeling it a Hamas front and arresting its Gaza Program Manager, Ayaz Ali, in 2006, for providing assistance to Hamas. At the end of 2014, Britain’s HSBC bank cut ties with Islamic Relief over concerns about “terrorist financing.” Reports show that Islamic Relief has sent millions of dollars to and received tens of thousands of dollars from groups related to al-Qaeda.
ICNA is the US affiliate of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), South Asia’s largest Islamist group. JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was living and eventually killed in. ICNA, itself, has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the internet to promote terror groups Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Former ICNA Secretary General, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was sentenced to death for his role in the murders of 18 people as a death squad leader during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence.
All of this was ignored, when Hamze was hired to be a Deputy Sheriff at BSO. Then-Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said he saw no issue with Hamze and even called him “friend.” However, Scott Israel is no longer Sheriff. Newly elected Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, made sure to remove him, amidst the scandal of Israel’s mishandling of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which left 17 students and faculty dead. So why is Hamze still involved with law enforcement? Why was he not removed as well? No doubt, he remains deeply involved with promoting radical Islam, as his new job shows.
On November 21, 2018, Hamze announced, on his Facebook page, that he was starting a new job as Executive Director of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF). He also announced that he had left his job with CAIR. His new job, though, allows him to continue his involvement with CAIR – along with Islamic Relief and ICNA – as SFMF is an umbrella group for all these organizations and so many others. This includes a number of radical mosques with documented ties to terrorism.
Working alongside Hamze as SFMF Program Coordinator is Jawaad Ahmad Khan. Khan is a former Sunday school teacher at Nur-ul-Islam Academy (NUIA), the children’s school of the Cooper City-based Nur-ul-Islam Mosque, where his father, Naseeb, is imam. A past member of the mosque’s Islamic Affairs Council and ex-Vice President of NUIA, Raed Awad, was the Florida representative for HLF. 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.”
Samir Kakli is the President of the SFMF Executive Committee and a devotee to the bigoted BDS movement against Israel. In November 2016, Kakli referred to Siraj Wahhaj, the Imam of Brooklyn, New York’s At-Taqwa Mosque, as “an amazing person.” In 1995, Wahhaj was named by the US government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” for the federal trial dealing with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj had been linked to the bomb-maker of the attack, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, and during the trial, he was a character witness for the spiritual leader of the attack, the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, whom Wahhaj has openly praised.
In December 2017, Kakli spent the day wakeboarding in Lake Worth with Izhar Khan, the imam of Margate-based Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM). In May 2011, Khan was arrested and spent 20 months in a federal detention center in Miami, on charges of terrorism. According to the indictment against him, “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.”
Wilfredo Ruiz is the Public Relations Director for SFMF. He is, as well, the Communications Director for CAIR-Florida and the legal advisor for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA). Ruiz founded AMANA’s Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters. AMANA and its President, Sofian Zakkout, are notorious for championing former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader David Duke. In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned AMANA for featuring, on its official website, what the ADL called a “venomous” anti-Semitic Duke video. Ruiz warmly calls Zakkout, who has repeatedly labeled Jews “pigs and monkeys,” his “dear brother.”
While Nezar Hamze has left his position with CAIR, he remains associated with the group and every other radical Muslim organization he has come in contact with in South Florida, via his new position as SFMF Executive Director. At the same time, he has managed to keep his job as Deputy Sheriff, along with his badge and gun, something that should send chills down the spines of all Floridians and Americans and is a blatant dereliction of duty on the part of the BSO, as he exploits his status to gain the public’s trust.
Hamze and the individuals and groups he is affiliated with, whose interests he both represents and promotes, institute a clear and present danger to society and are real threats to homeland security. It is time for the Broward Sheriff’s Office to exercise due diligence and wake up to this existential threat. Hamze’s presence within the ranks of one of the most prominent policing facilities in the nation needs to be reevaluated and investigated. For his colleagues to turn a blind eye to his activities, while permitting him to be embedded in law enforcement, subverts their mission and makes a mockery of their mandate.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.