Joe Kaufman, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative and the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
Last month, the League of Women Voters of Bay County Florida gave out its Alice Paul Award, named after someone who is heralded as a trailblazer for women’s rights. The award went to Hiba Rahim, the Northwest Florida Regional Coordinator for CAIR. Given the radical Muslim groups Rahim has been involved with, including CAIR, this is a major blunder and should be considered a scandal for the League of Women Voters and anyone else who seeks to honor this highly controversial individual.
In October 2016, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) opened up an office in Florida’s Panhandle, servicing Islamists from Pensacola to Tallahassee. CAIR named Muslim activist Hiba Abdul-Rahim to represent the extremist group’s new digs.
CAIR has financial and foundational ties to Hamas. CAIR was established, in June 1994, as part of the American Palestine Committee, which was headed by then-global leader of Hamas Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the US government in two separate trials as a co-conspirator to the funding of millions of dollars to Hamas via a now-defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). In July 2014, the Florida chapter of CAIR co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Let’s go Hamas,” and “Hamas kicked your ass.”
While with CAIR, Hiba Rahim has been involved in running events for Islamic Relief, a group that has been banned by a number of nations. Rahim organized Islamic Relief’s first Bay County Day of Dignity. In May 2012, Israel labeled Islamic Relief a front for Hamas. In November 2014, the UAE government designated Islamic Relief a terrorist group. Also in 2014, Britain’s HSBC bank cut ties with Islamic Relief over concerns about “terrorist financing.” And in October 2017, Bangladesh’s NGO Affairs Bureau banned Islamic Relief in fear the group would conduct terrorist recruitment of Myanmar refugees.
According to her bio, before coming to CAIR, Rahim spent time in London, England. Also, according to her bio, Rahim was “a researcher for numerous human rights organizations.” From at least 2005 till at least 2007, an individual by the name of Hiba Abdul Rahim was involved with the Islamic Human Rights Committee (IHRC), located in London, England.
IHRC is a group that proudly and publicly supports convicted terrorists. They include: hook-handed cleric and preacher of violence, Abu Hamsa al-Masri, who is serving a life prison sentence; Babar Ahmad, who set up fundraising and recruitment websites for al-Qaeda, and Khalid al-Fawwaz, who is serving a life sentence for plotting the 1998 al-Qaeda bombing of US embassies in east Africa that took 224 lives. The July 2012 IHRC newsletter states about the three, “IHRC supports all these men.” IHRC, further, led a campaign to release from jail the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman.
Despite IHRC’s name, the group has been exposed for its disregard for human rights, when it comes to women and religious minorities. In October 2019, following an investigation by the The Times newspaper, the British daily helped brand the IHRC an Iranian ‘propaganda tool’ and stated that, while “IHRC has condemned more than 50 countries for alleged mistreatment of Muslims… Since its formation 22 years ago, however, the group has offered no support to women’s rights activists and religious minorities in Iran.” It must be noted that, when it comes to discriminatory laws against women, Iran is amongst the world’s greatest offenders.
In 2005, Hiba Abdul Rahim was, as well, a London correspondent for islamonline.net (IOL), writing about such subjects as the “removal of Israel” as a way to “bring peace to the Middle East.” Above Rahim’s IOL articles, one could view a small graphic of now-deceased Hamas founder and spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin. Yassin has been a guest on IOL’s ‘Live Dialogue.’
IOL is a website that previously issued fatwas (religious rulings) on how to violently punish homosexuals, including throwing gays from tall buildings (“death falls”). In January 2008, IOL published a gruesome poem, titled ‘How to Behead,’ which read in part: “Hold him, tie the arms behind his back, and bandage his legs together just by the ankles. Blindfold the punk, so that he won’t hesitate as much, for on seeing the sharp pointy knife, he’ll begin to shake and continuously scream… [A]s soon as the warm sharp knife touches his naked flesh, he’ll come to know what’ll happen… [C]ontinue to slice back and forth… Continue with all your might.”
IOL has also advocated domestic violence against women. In IOL’s ‘Wife Beating in Islamic Perspective,’ the following could be read, “It is important that a wife recognizes the authority of her husband in the house. He is the head of the household, and she is supposed to listen to him… If there arises any disagreement or dispute among them, then it should be resolved in a peaceful manner… However, in some cases a husband may use some light disciplinary action in order to correct the moral infraction of his wife, but this is only applicable in extreme cases and it should be resorted to if one is sure it would improve the situation.”
In September 2005, Hiba Abdul Rahim was featured as a speaker along with Chechen surgeon Khassan Baiev, at a London ‘Save Chechnya Exhibition.’ During the event, Baiev discussed about how he once operated on the leg of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who, just one year earlier, took responsibility for the September 2004 Beslan school siege that resulted in 334 murders, of which 184 were children. Baiev described Basayev and his violent cohorts as “freedom fighters.” Following the operation, Baiev allowed Basayev to flee his hospital and avoid capture by the Russian soldiers, who Baiev said were hunting the terrorist leader.
Could it be that CAIR did not want Rahim to use her middle name, Abdul, in an effort to not draw attention to her past?
Regardless of the variations to her name, though, it is an embarrassment and an outrage for the League of Women Voters to honor CAIR’s Hiba Rahim with their coveted award. The award says “in recognition of her outstanding engagement and contributions to Bay County Florida.” Does the League consider Rahim’s involvement in terror-related extremist groups as engagement and contributions to Bay County? Maybe not, as the League co-sponsors events with CAIR.
The League of Women Voters is not the only organization to dignify Rahim with an award. In August 2017, Rahim received a ‘Women Of Distinction’ award from the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle.
How could the League and Girl Scouts ignore the level of terrorist associations coming from the groups Rahim is heavily involved with? How could they equate this type of dangerous activity with the promotion of women’s rights and community service? Rahim’s activism within groups like CAIR is antithetical to American values and is helping to undermine national security.
Shame on the League of Women Voters and the Girl Scouts. For these groups to have any continued credibility, these awards must be rescinded immediately.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.