After leaving his job at CAIR, Nezar Hamze has now settled into his new position as Executive Director of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), an umbrella organization for most if not all of the area’s Islamic extremist groups, including CAIR. Last month, SFMF held a meeting at a radical mosque with a number of SFMF affiliate imams, one of which was previously arrested and charged with conspiring to provide funding to the Pakistani Taliban. All of this should be unsettling for Floridians and Americans, but what is most alarming is the fact that Hamze also serves as a Deputy Sheriff in one of the most prominent law enforcement offices in the nation.
On March 23, 2019, SFMF’s Council of Imams held its second meeting at the Islamic Center of Greater Miami (ICGM), a.k.a. Muslim Communities Association of South Florida (MCA), a.k.a. Masjid Miami Gardens. According to SFMF, the meeting was called to discuss various community issues, such as mental health, marriage/divorce, parenting, “political anxiety,” senior issues, anti-Muslim bigotry, and religious outreach. Leading the meeting was SFMF Executive Director Nezar Hamze. The attendees of the meeting comprised of a number of imams representing mosques with strong links to terrorism.
The mosques included: the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) that was founded by a Hamas website designer, Syed Khawer Ahmad, a former assistant of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian, Bassem Alhalabi, and an imam that was placed on the federal no-fly list, Ibrahim Dremali; Darul Uloom, where future al-Qaeda commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader and “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla took classes; and Nur-ul-Islam, where a former member of the mosque’s Islamic Affairs Council and ex-Vice President of its children’s school, Raed Awad, was the Florida representative for the Hamas charity Holy Land Foundation (HLF).
One of the participants at the meeting was Izhar Khan, the imam of Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM). In May 2011, Khan was arrested and spent the next 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.”
The Miami Gardens mosque, where the Muslim Federation meeting took place and which is a member organization of SFMF, is no stranger to Izhar Khan. In December 2017, Khan was honored by ICGM at the mosque’s ‘A Light for Humanity’ celebration. Also in December 2017, ICGM imam Abdul Hamid Samra, who sat next to Khan during the SFMF meeting, invited Khan to join him in speaking at the Iglesia Rescate church in Hialeah. Furthermore, in April 2017, Khan participated in a youth basketball tournament at ICGM.
ICGM has played host to other extremist events. Last December, the mosque hosted a lecture by Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora (Advisory Council) member of Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) India faction, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Yusuf Islahi. JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was living and eventually killed in. The event was sponsored by JI’s American affiliate, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
ICGM has, as well, hosted a number of events for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR has both institutional and financial ties to Hamas. One of the CAIR events, last July, featured CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly. After the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah, Shibly notoriously stated that Hezbollah was “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization.” In August 2014, Shibly tweeted that “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God.” And in April 2017, Shibly promoted a video on Facebook lauding convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a “hero.”
ICGM has its own links to terror. The mosque is an affiliate of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The mosque’s property, at 4305 NW 183rd St. in Miami Gardens, is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). Both ISNA and NAIT, along with CAIR, were named co-conspirators by the US Justice Department for the Hamas financing trial against the leaders of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) charity.
Looming over all of this is the fact that the individual leading the Muslim Federation meeting, Nezar Hamze, is a Deputy Sheriff at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), one of the most prominent law enforcement offices in the US.
When Hamze was hired to be a Deputy Sheriff, in August 2014, it was per a recommendation from then-Sheriff Scott Israel. This past January, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had Sheriff Israel removed from the BSO and replaced him with former Coral Springs Police Sergeant Gregory Tony. Unfortunately, though, while Hamze’s friend Scott Israel left the BSO, Hamze has remained.
And like with Sheriff Israel, Sheriff Tony has allowed Hamze to hold a second job – the job as a leader of an umbrella organization for radical Muslim groups and groups tied to terrorism. No doubt, this is a threat to South Florida and to all American citizens.
It is totally unacceptable for a Broward Deputy Sheriff to be a liaison for terror-related entities and law enforcement. How can the BSO uphold the law, when one of their own is collaborating with those who spit on it? This blatant conflict of interests, alone, is a reason for him to be dismissed.
It is time to shut Hamze’s organization down and Hamze with it.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.