Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative. He was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
Armed with an extremist agenda, hundreds of Islamists from around the nation representing the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) descended upon the US Capitol building, from June 13-14, to lobby members of Congress. USCMO has major terrorist ties, and some of the individuals acting as the organization’s delegates are just as radical. One, Syed Ammar Ahmed, an official from the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), once even joked about threatening to blow up a school. Unless he/she thinks their fanatical talking points are valid, why would any sitting Congressman wish to give this group of zealots any of his/her time?
USCMO was founded, in March 2014, to provide mainstream American Islamist groups a bigger voice and influence in politics. These groups include: the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the South Asian terror-related ICNA, the Muslim Brotherhood-associated Muslim American Society (MAS), and more. The groups sponsoring this year’s event, ‘The 7th Annual Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill,’ included ICNA and Islamic Relief (IR), an organization that has been banned by a number of nations due to its many ties to terrorist financing.
Sitting on the board of USCMO are Mazen Mokhtar, the former admin for the now-defunct al-Qaeda recruitment/financing site qoqaz.net, who has referred to suicide bombings as “an effective method of attacking the enemy”; Siraj Wahhaj, a Brooklyn imam who was named a party to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and who has been linked to the bomb maker of the attack, Clement Rodney Hampton-El; and AMP Executive Director Osama Abuirshaid, who threatened, in January 2020, “Palestinians, if they don’t take what they want willingly, they will take it forcefully… [W]e’re going to liberate our land… whether they like it or they don’t like it.”
Some of those representing USCMO as delegates at Muslim Advocacy Day seem to be just as radical as the USCMO leadership, itself. One delegate, who was photographed posing with others outside the office of US Representative Carlos Gimenez, was the Government Affairs Coordinator at ICNA’s social services division, ICNA Relief USA, and Hugo Chavez fanboy, Syed Ammar Ahmed. In February 2010, following a debate he participated in at a school, Ahmed commented, “I hate white people,” called himself a “terrorist,” and at the suggestion of an acquaintance, joked that he “should have threatened to blow up the school.”
Another was CAIR-California CEO and apologist for al-Qaeda operatives held in Guantanamo Bay, Hussam Ayloush. This past May, Ayloush called for Israel’s destruction, writing, “It is our moral responsibility and focus to make sure that the racist apartheid structure is dismantled…” He clicked ‘like’ for a photo posted on his Facebook page containing the message, “We pray for the near dissolution of the Zionist state.” He wrote that Palestinians have a “legal right to resist” (i.e. commit terrorist acts) against Israelis. He posted that “American Jews” who support Israel are “animals” and said that relocating Jews to Israel was part of a conspiratorial “Zionist plan.”
Yet another delegate was CAIR-San Francisco Executive Director Zahraa Billoo. In September 2019, Women’s March, a left wing activist group, removed Billoo from its board for anti-Semitic remarks about Israel. In December 2008, she posted on her blog that she considered starting a website to recruit volunteers to attack Israel. In March 2008, she labeled US troops “scum.” In September 2007, she wrote, “Apartheid Israel is not a country” and questioned if anyone had the right to be upset at those calling for its destruction. In January 2007, she wrote that she had thoughts of committing suicide, after she noticed a pro-Israel poster on a San Francisco train.
The terrorist-friendly agenda items (“legislative measures”) USCMO delegates were told to lobby members of Congress about easily reflect the terrorist relations of the individuals and groups that make up USCMO. One issue dealt with the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) grant program, which provides funding to governmental and non-governmental entities, with the goal of preventing and countering violence. Because the program is seen by USCMO and its affiliates as primarily targeting Islamic militants, the delegates were instructed to lobby in favor of resolutions that would severely weaken it.
A second issue dealt with lobbying for citizenship for evacuees from Afghanistan. It has been reported that a number of Afghans evacuated, during and after the Biden Administration’s 2021 pullout, had “potentially significant security concerns.” Other reports reveal that several Afghans applying for asylum in the US have associations with the Taliban. However, USCMO, whose member organizations officially assist in the resettlement of aforesaid refugees – a conflict of interest – instructed its delegates to lobby members of Congress to “allow the tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees to apply to become lawful permanent residents one year after arrival.”
A third issue concerned the subject of ‘Islamophobia,’ a term often used to silence critics of Islamist terror. USCMO delegates were instructed to urge members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to adopt the International Combating Islamophobia Act, legislation that was introduced by USCMO ally Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and, according to USCMO, “would establish a special envoy office… to monitor and combat international Islamophobia.” Given its very nature, the act would be used to stifle speech and protect groups, like USCMO, who would wish harm upon our nation and effectively label any criticism of radical Islam as “hate speech.”
USCMO is a conglomerate of various Muslim extremist outfits, and its Islamist agenda is a dangerous one. All freedom loving Americans should be deeply concerned that USCMO, each year, is sending hundreds of its followers and affiliates to roam the halls of Congress and to agitate for their insidious, anti-democratic, pro-sharia initiatives, initiatives that threaten to undermine America and by extension Western civilization.
USCMO’s 7th Annual Muslim Advocacy Day should be its last.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.