Pembroke Pines, Florida Commissioner Jay Schwartz is upset at the executive order signed by President Donald Trump temporarily banning travel by immigrants to the United States from seven Muslim majority nations. He is so upset that he is voicing his ire by embracing Keith Ellison, an anti-Israel US Representative who has recently been reprimanded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and who cavorts with groups associated with Hamas and violent hatred of Jews.
On January 29th, Pembroke Pines Commissioner Jay Schwartz wrote the following on his Facebook page: “As a Jew, I will not allow the President of the United States to discriminate. As an American I will not allow my community be torn apart.” He then announced that he would be initiating a demonstration to be held January 31st at City Hall.
His statement and announcement reflected the feelings that many people held – whether appropriate or not – after President Trump, on January 27th, signed into law a travel ban of those coming from Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Somalia. What was controversial about Commissioner Schwartz’ posting, though, was that he attached to it a photo of himself with eyes and hands locked in an embrace with radical Muslim, US Congressman Keith Ellison.
Ellison spent a decade as a member of rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam (NOI), using the names Keith E. Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad. When Ellison was a student at the University of Minnesota, he wrote columns defending Farrakhan. As well, at an NOI fundraiser at Minnesota, Ellison spoke ahead of Khalid Abdul Muhammad, who himself was kicked out of NOI by Farrakhan due to his own anti-Semitic behavior. According to reports, Muhammad’s speech targeted whites, Jews and gays.
In May 2006, in order to quell criticism he had received as a then-candidate for US Congress, Ellison moved to denounce NOI, Louis Farrakhan and Khalid Muhammad. However, Ellison found new and potentially more dangerous extremists to cavort and collaborate with.
For the past decade, Ellison has aligned himself with many Islamist organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Two of the groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), were named by the US Justice Department as co-conspirators for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.
CAIR was established in June 1994 as part of an umbrella organization led by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. A number of CAIR representatives have either been convicted of or deported from the US for terrorist-related activity. Ellison befriended CAIR’s founding and current Executive Director, Nihad Awad, and CAIR’s founding and current Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, while at the University of Minnesota, as Awad and Hooper were both students there as well.
Ellison has used CAIR and ISNA to raise money for his Congressional campaigns and to provide him speaking opportunities at their functions.
Another group he has spoken in front of is the Muslim American Society (MAS), an organization that has used the internet to propagate violence against non-Muslims and whose National Executive Director, Mazen Mokhtar, supports suicide bombings and has previously served as a web designer for the al-Qaeda-linked website, qoqaz.net. While Ellison gave different speeches in front of the Minnesota chapter of MAS – the same chapter that paid for his December 2008 pilgrimage to Mecca – the following statements were found on the MAS-Minnesota website:
1. “A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death…” 2. “In view of the degenerate moral condition of the Jews and the Christians, the Believers have been warned not to make them their friends and confidants.” 3. “If you gain victory over the men of Jews, kill them.” 4. “May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship.” And 5. “Hamas is an embodiment of the Palestinian People’s belief in its Muslim and Arab origins, and a testimony that this people is still alive and will never die…”
In April 2010, Ellison traveled to the Gaza Strip to meet with leaders of Islamic Relief (IR). In May 2006, Israel arrested the head of IR’s operations in Gaza, Ayaz Ali, labeling the group a front for terrorists. According to the Israeli government, Ali “worked to transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations.” Israel has since banned IR. IR has also sent millions of dollars to and received tens of thousands of dollars from groups related to al-Qaeda. At the end of 2014, Britain’s HSBC bank cut ties with IR citing “terrorist financing.”
In November 2016, Ellison formally announced that he was running for the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Upon hearing a recording of a 2010 speech Ellison had given at a fundraiser for his re-election campaign hosted by former MAS President Esam Omeish, the ADL pulled its endorsement of Ellison, stating that Ellison’s remarks were “deeply disturbing and disqualifying” and “raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government.”
For Commissioner Schwartz, this was not the first time he has embraced radical Muslims. In June 2015, Schwartz spoke at an iftar (break-the-fast) dinner at the Darul Uloom mosque in Pembroke Pines. The event was sponsored by Emerge USA, a group that plans political events at radical mosques and whose founder and co-chair, Khurrum Wahid, is a South Florida attorney who has become known for representing various high profile terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda and financiers of the Taliban.
Darul Uloom has several associations with al-Qaeda. “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student at Darul Uloom. Now-deceased al-Qaeda Global Operations Chief, Adnan el-Shukrijumah, was a prayer leader at Darul Uloom. 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. One of the 9⁄11 hijackers is said to have prayed there, as well.
The imam of the Darul Uloom mosque, Maulana 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.” Indeed, Shafayat Mohamed has been thrown off a number of Broward County Boards, due to his fiery rhetoric against homosexuals.
The same month as the iftar event, Darul Uloom placed a video on YouTube of another speech Commissioner Schwartz gave at the mosque. In the video (produced by Darul Uloom’s Al-Hikmat TV), Schwartz is shown warmly hugging Shafayat Mohamed.
Pembroke Pines Commissioner Jay Schwartz is a career politician who places political correctness and opportunism above the safety and security of his constituents. Instead of shunning and prosecuting radical Muslims who pose a threat to Western society, he embraces them and, in doing so, promotes their Islamist agendas. He proudly displays his perfidious behavior with them on social media. He provides them with a smokescreen of legitimacy by attending their functions and speaking at their mosques. All with a beaming smile on his face.
Commissioner Schwartz is endangering the people whose interests he is supposed to serve by his actions. He should be discredited and held accountable for his aiding and abetting radical Islamists.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.