CAIR and ISNA: Zero Degrees of Separation
January 25, 2010
CAIR and ISNA zero degrees of separation
In January the Islamic Circle of North America issued a press release that their new Secretary General was Safaa Zazour, the former board president and chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Chicago(CAIR).http://www.isna.net/articles/News/ISNA-Announces-New-Secretary-General-with-Long-Record-of-Service-and-Achievement.aspx
The press release entitled 'ISNA Announces New Secretary General with Long Record of Service and Achievement' included a bio of Zazour. However the document failed to mention that he had been the chairman and a board member of Chicago CAIR.
The Council on American Islamic Relations was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the successful prosecution of Hamas funder the Holy Land Foundation.
"Last autumn, FBI field offices began notifying state CAIR chapters that bureau officials could no longer meet with them until CAIR's national leadership in Washington had addressed issues raised by the HLF trial, according to people with knowledge of the notifications."
"While it was almost completely ignored by the media the October 13 sentencing of Ghassan Elashi on 21 charges of terrorism, should represent a huge crack in CAIR's public persona, if only for the simple reason that Elashi was the founder of the Texas chapter of CAIR though his terror ties go beyond that." http://www.pipelinenews.org/2007/Ghassan-Elashi's-Sentencing-Proves-CAIR's-Terror-Ties.html
Having been so designated in such a high level terrorism prosecution many feel led to the FBI severing all relationships with the organization. According to counter terrorism expert Steven Emerson "ISNA is closely linked to the Egyptian terror group the Muslim Brotherhood." [source, http://www.pipelinenews.org/2009/ISNA-Co-Conspirator-In-Hamas-Terror-Trial-Participates.html]
About Zazour assuming the Secretary General position, ISNA's president Ingrid Mattson said, "I am delighted to welcome Safaa Zazour to ISNA's leadership team...I am particularly optimistic that his commitment to the formation of responsible and engaged American Muslim youth will help ISNA develop more services responding to their needs and ample potential."
In a letter to ISNA directors, Zazour writes, "ISNA is on the forefront of identifying issues facing the Muslim community and taking leadership in successfully dealing with these issues. Becoming the Secretary General of ISNA is a tremendous honor and responsibility."
According to Zazour's CAIR bio:
"He is the Chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Chicago, the Chairman of the Council of Islamic Schools in North America, Program Chairman of the ISNA Education Forum, Vice Chairman of Muslim Educational Resources, Information, and Training, a member of the Catholic-Muslim Education Project, member of the Board of Advisors of Play for Peace, member of the Board of Advisors of the Bernadine Center at the Catholic Theological Union, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the School of Education at St. Xavier University." http://www.cairchicago.org/our-board/safaa-zarzour/
The bio of Zazour on the ISNA website omits all mention of CAIR.
Zazour's new role as the Secretary General of the Islamic Circle of North America, a group which is touted as moderate and accepted as such by the Obama administration is more proof that the government is reaching out to Islamists. It also shows that there appears to be zero degrees of separation between the Saudi funded Hamas front group CAIR and ISNA. At best they have little concern as to the now obvious linkage that Zazour brings.
Zazour's appointment is one more reason for all groups and individuals which have dealings with ISNA to see their claims to moderation as a sham and shun all dealings with the organization and it's members.
MIM: The Indiana Governor's office invited Safaa Zazour to attend the State of the State Address.
ISNA Secretary General Invited to Indiana Governor's State of the State Address
On Tuesday, January 19, ISNA Secretary General Safaa Zarzour attended, along with many other dignitaries and public officials, the State of the State Address given by Governor Mitch Daniels to a joint session of the Indiana House and Senate.
Zarzour was invited by the Governor's Office along with Rafia Zakaria, Associate Executive Director of Muslim Alliance of Indiana, to attend this annual event in which the governor reports on the state of affairs of the State of Indiana to the legislators.
The Governor's speech outlined Indiana's successful efforts to mitigate the negative effects of the world wide economic crisis by investing in its people and exercising sound fiscal policies. He also proposed several electoral and administrative reforms aimed at fairer and more efficient governance. "I am impressed by what I heard from the Governor and look forward to meeting him one-on-one in the future to discuss how ISNA and Hoosiers of the Muslim faith can do their part in the success of their home state," stated Zarzour.
There are an estimated 200,000 Muslims in Indiana and ISNA is one of the most visible symbols of their presence in the state. http://www.isna.net/articles/News/ISNA-Secretary-General-Invited-to-Indiana-Governors-State-of-the-State-Address.aspx
MIM: Note that Safaa Zarzour's bio on the ISNA website does not mention his precidency and board membership of Chicago CAIR.
ISNA Announces New Secretary General with Long Record of Service and Achievement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Plainfield, IN – January 7, 2010) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) announces the appointment of Safaa Zarzour as its new secretary general. Mr. Zarzour will move to his new office in Plainfield, IN, from Bridgeview, IL, early next week.
Mr. Zarzour is a lawyer and educator, and has outstanding contributions to integrate Islamic communities and institutions to mainstream American society. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University School of Law and a Masters in Education from the University of Illinois in Chicago.
He practiced law in Illinois and is also a passionate educator. He has served as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School teaching courses in Education and Islamic Law. For over a decade, he served as a teacher and then principal at Universal School, one of the largest PreK-12 independent Islamic schools in the United States.
Mr. Zarzour is active in interfaith circles. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Bernadine Center at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where he serves along with distinguished faith leaders from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities. He has participated for several years in the Mid-Atlantic Muslim-Catholic Dialogue.
"ISNA is on the forefront of identifying issues facing the Muslim community and taking leadership in successfully dealing with these issues," Safa Zarzour pointed out in a letter to ISNA directors. "Becoming the Secretary General of ISNA is a tremendous honor and responsibility," he stressed.
Mr. Zarzour is a well known civic leader in Chicago's Southwest Suburb. He has served in various capacities in his town, including as an administrative coordinator, Zoning Commissioner, and an elected trustee of the Bridgeview Public Library. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Zarzour helped establish and has served on the boards of a variety of local community and advocacy organizations.
His civic and educational work has been featured in many media including 60 Minutes, PBS Front Line, Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine and many others. Mr. Zarzour has received several honors and awards for his public service. Most recently, Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley handed him the Chicago Commission on Human Relations' 2009 Outstanding Service Award.
"I am delighted to welcome Safaa Zarzour to ISNA's leadership team," stated ISNA president Dr. Ingrid Mattson. "Safaa brings a wealth of experience in administration, civic engagement and education. I am particularly optimistic that his commitment to the formation of responsible and engaged American Muslim youth will help ISNA develop more services responding to their needs and ample potential," she added.
MIM: Safaa Zarzour's CAIR bio.
Safaa Zarzour is the Administrative Coordinator for the Village of Bridgeview, Illinois. He is also the principal of Zarzour Law Offices, LLC. Mr. Zarzour focuses his law practice in the areas of Local Government, and Non-Profit Law.
Mr. Zarzour holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Arkansas State University (December 1990), a Masters in Education from the University of Illinois in Chicago (May 1996), and a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University School of Law (December 2003). He also holds teaching certificates from the States of Louisiana (1993) and Illinois (1994) a General School Administration Certificate in Illinois (1996). Mr. Zarzour was named to the Dean's list for the fall, 2000 semester at DePaul Law School. He also was a semi-finalist in DePaul's Negotiation Competition in October, 2000, and a finalist in DePaul's Client Counseling Competition in February, 2001. Mr. Zarzour is a member of the Bars of the State of Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Upon his admission to the Illinois Bar in May 2004, Mr. Zarzour joined the law firm of Odelson & Sterk, Ltd., as an associate attorney. For the next three years at the law firm, Mr. Zarzour served as the prosecutor of several local municipalities and represented municipal clients in numerous civil law suits, labor hearings, negotiations, and arbitrations.
Prior to his law career, Mr. Zarzour was an educator for over 12 years. He taught Mathematics for three years in Louisiana and Illinois and served as a Principal of the Universal School, one of the largest PreK-12 independent Islamic Schools in the United States. During his tenure the school tripled its enrollment and became a leader among Islamic schools in North America. Mr. Zarzour continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Universal School today.
Mr. Zarzour has served in various capacities in his village including as a Zoning Commissioner, and an elected public library trustee. He was elected Commissioner of the Bridgeview Park District in 2006. In addition Mr. Zarzour actively serves on variety of non-profit boards. He is the Chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Chicago, the Chairman of the Council of Islamic Schools in North America, Program Chairman of the ISNA Education Forum, Vice Chairman of Muslim Educational Resources, Information, and Training, a member of the Catholic-Muslim Education Project, member of the Board of Advisors of Play for Peace, member of the Board of Advisors of the Bernadine Center at the Catholic Theological Union, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the School of Education at St. Xavier University.
Mr. Zarzour has participated as a presenter at numerous educational conferences in several states in the U.S. as well as in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. He has conducted workshops on legal as well as educational issues including school governance, legal compliance, curriculum, staff and program evaluation for educators.
Mr. Zarzour's work has been featured in many media including 60 Minutes, PBS Front Line, Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine and many others. http://www.cairchicago.org/our-board/safaa-zarzour/
Myrick, Shadegg, Broun, Franks call for CAIR Investigations
US Representatives Sue Myrick (NC-09), John Shadegg (AZ-03), Paul Broun (GA-10) and Trent Franks (AZ-02) today called on federal officials to investigate the actions and non-profit status of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In a memo obtained through Paul Sperry's newest book Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America, CAIR lays out plans to place interns in the Committees on the Judiciary, Intelligence, and Homeland Security for the purpose of influencing policy.
In 2008, CAIR was named as a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism case in Dallas, Texas, which led to guilty verdicts on 108 charges based on funneling more than $12 million to HAMAS. Later that year, the FBI cut all ties with CAIR. In response to these recent claims in Muslim Mafia, Myrick, Shadegg, Broun and Franks call on:
1) The US Department of Justice to share with each member of Congress and their Chiefs of Staff an executive summary of the findings that led them to name CAIR as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case;
2) The House Sergeant at Arms to work with the Staff Directors and Committee Chairmen of the House Judiciary, Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees to see if CAIR was successful in placing interns in any of said committees since the drafting of this memo in January of 2007;
3) The Internal Revenue Service to launch a full investigation into the legality of the lobbying activities of CAIR to judge if they are in violation of their federal non-profit status.
"It's frightening to think that an organization with clear-cut ties to terrorism could have a hand in influencing policy – especially national security policy – within our government," said Rep. Myrick. "The investigations that we're asking for are simple, and I'm hopeful that they will bring to light any and all information regarding the goals of CAIR."
"I urge Americans to read, listen and inform themselves about the threat of radical Islam," said Rep. Shadegg. "Muslim Mafia is just one of many books that highlight the infiltration of radical Islamists into our society and the dangers that this poses. The authors make and document a number of very troubling allegations about CAIR that Members of Congress should be aware of and should be investigated by the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service."
"Freedom is precious and we must be vigilant in our protection of it," said Rep. Broun. "As a Marine, member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and member of the Anti-Terrorism Caucus, I believe allegations that CAIR has targeted members of Congress on security related committees must not go uninvestigated. I want to thank my colleagues for continuing to educate the public about CAIR's connections to the terrorist organization HAMAS and most recently for bringing attention to more allegations that surround this non-profit. The U.S. Justice Department must share the findings that led them to name CAIR as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case with Congressional offices. I call on the IRS to launch a full investigation into CAIR's eligibility for a non-profit status. Finally, I encourage the House Sgt. at Arms to work with congressional staff to see if CAIR was successful in placing interns in any security related committees."
"The United States is at critical crossroads in U.S. foreign policy and national security," said Rep. Franks. "We live in a post-9/11 world where the coincidence of nuclear proliferation and Islamic terrorism pose a very dangerous combination and real threat to America's national security. The Holy Land Foundation Trial clearly showed that CAIR was established to support the goals of the Palestine Committee, the Muslim Brotherhood's base for support in the U.S. It is time for CAIR's leadership to acknowledge and renounce their ties to this Committee and its Islamic terrorist affiliates. Moreover, they should finally publicly state that they do not support the political agenda of groups such as HAMAS or the Muslim Brotherhood, which include the destruction of Israel and establishment of an Islamic state in the U.S. I take the charges levied against CAIR and laid out in this book very seriously because they affect our national security. This Congress must be deliberate in taking a strong stance against those groups and organizations that align themselves with terrorists, and standing with organizations that are standing against Islamic extremism and terrorism, and are committed to protecting and preserving the cause of freedom we treasure so deeply in America. Asking the Justice Department to take a long, hard look at the underlying positions of CAIR, its actions, and its affiliations is one critically important step in this process."
Attached are two documents: the 2007 CAIR memo and background information on the ties between CAIR and HAMAS