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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > New Jihadi on the block: Ibrahim Dremali leaves Boca Raton to become Imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines

New Jihadi on the block: Ibrahim Dremali leaves Boca Raton to become Imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines

Radical Islamist Dremali declares he is "a father... friend ...and spiritual leader to to everyone" in Iowa newspaper
March 19, 2005

MIM: Ibrahim Dremali, the former Imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton. is the new Imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines. In this article in the Des Moines Register, Dremali the radical Islamist, has moved into America's heartland and morphed into ' Dremali the pacifist' .

Dremali's presentation of himself as an anti Iraq war 'peace campaigner' in order to insinuate himself into the leftist community is a strategy which will help him recruit converts and serve as a facade for his new mosque's activities, which will doubtless be a continuation of the Jihadist agenda he pursued as Imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton.

"...As the war continues, though, and the costs - both in dollars and lives - escalate, a new generation dedicated to pacifism is emerging....It includes spiritual leaders like Ibrahim Dremali, the new imam at the Islamic Center of Des Moines, who just moved from Florida with his family..."

MIM: In the article Dremali describes himself as ;

"a father to everyone, friend to everyone, spiritual leader to everyone... and the reporter gushes that; 'Dremali didn't have to look far for a reason to be involved in his first peace rally in his new hometown.'

"Anywhere there's a rally like this, it is my duty as a Muslim to be part of it," he said. "We have 99 names of God. One of those names is the peace, the one who brings peace to the Earth. My mission as imam and as a Muslim is to bring peace."

MIM: The new website 'Discover the Network' which follows radical Islamist connections reveals that Dremali's idea of peace is blowing people to pieces . He is listed as:

  • Radical Muslim cleric

Ibrahim Dremali is the imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton in Florida, and an advisor to the American Muslim Association of North America. Questions have been raised as to Dremali's possible association to a militant Islamic group. On July 1, 1996, Dremali was detained by the Israeli Defense Force and told that, for an indefinite time period, he was not to leave Gaza. Four days later, at 10 pm, he would set off for Cairo and arrive there within two hours..."

http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1113

MIM:Ibrahim Dremali was a featured speaker at the Iowa Conference on Islam organised by the radical Islamist Muslim Student Association. The event was held from March 18th to 20th at Iowa State University, and was intended to be "part of the revival of Islamic identity in Iowa". Besides Dremali the speakers included Mokhtar Mograoui, Sadallah Khan,Yusuf Aigner, and the former Imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines, Ako Abdul Samad ,

http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:FBClLlZmwGkJ:www.iowamuslims.org/conference/2005/5ICIProgram.pdf+dremali&hl=en

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MIM: In October of 2000, Dremali spoke at a rally where Israeli flags were burned and slogans, such as "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand," were shouted. Dremali told the crowd "not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in"… obvious allusions to suicide bombers. Dremali now claims that he did not make the statement, and the 50 word paragraph that contains this information (and the picture accompanying the paragraph) has now mysteriously disappeared from the article on the website that it was written for .The children at the rally were made to lie down in mock graves and one child was hoisted aloft by the crowd to represent a corpse.

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MIM: In this article in the Des Moines Register Dremali's claim that he want to be "a spiritual leader to everyone" is a clear reference to the fact that his 'pacifist' activities are a calculated exercise in Da'wa.

His statement that; "my mission as an Imam and a Muslim is to bring peace", must be seen in the context of the Muslim belief that living in a non Islamic country like America means being in a Dar al Harb (state of war), and peace can only come when all 'infidels' are converted to Islam.


http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050319/LIFE04/503190305/1039/LIFE

March 19, 2005

A new wave of activists helps hold the anti-war banner at weekend rallies.

By MARY CHALLENDER

You'd never know by the scale of it, but today's "Peace is the Way" rally on Court Avenue in Des Moines was pulled together by a bunch of amateurs.

To Kathleen McQuillen of the American Friends Service Committee and other longtime Des Moines peace advocates, this is a sign of great progress - and great hope.

For years, most of the heavy lifting in Iowa's peace movement has been performed by the same small, deeply committed group, many of whom trace their activism back to the Vietnam War.

Veteran activists like the Raging Grannies will still appear at this afternoon's rally and parade, which features theater, music, speakers, poetry, clowns, balloons and face painting as part of a national "peace weekend" protesting the second anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war on March 19, 2003.

As the war continues, though, and the costs - both in dollars and lives - escalate, a new generation dedicated to pacifism is emerging.

This new generation includes students like Des Moines Roosevelt High School junior Leah Pope and her friend and classmate, Damien Helfer.

It includes working moms like Jamie Woodson, Damien's mom, and her friend and neighbor Kimberly Kelley.

It includes spiritual leaders like Ibrahim Dremali, the new imam at the Islamic Center of Des Moines, who just moved from Florida with his family.

"Personally, I just see myself as a mom who has an opinion about peace and a need to share it," says Woodson, chairwoman of the rally planning committee.

A caseworker at Orchard Place, Woodson didn't plan to share her views on pacifism in a way that was this time-intensive. But before she knew it, the 38-year-old single mom with five children was hosting weekly rally organizational meetings in her Sherman Hill apartment and supplying her children with markers and poster paper to make protest signs.

"I feel like nothing good can come from war, nothing good can come from killing civilians and from our own soldiers dying," she said. "I'm a follower of Gandhi, but I'm just a beginner in his teachings morally. I believe in passive resistance and in finding peaceful resolutions. Hopefully I can make a difference for my kids and future generations of kids."

Seventeen-year-old Damien and his friend, Leah, have spread the word to other high school students, both at Roosevelt and elsewhere.

For the most part, people think the rally is a good idea, Leah said, but she's also had several students tell her that there are a lot of positive things going on in Iraq, too.

She doesn't know what to say to that, Leah admits. "I think if peaceful people had gone over there and tried to solve things, I think somehow it would have worked. I just don't think war's the answer."

It worries Leah that her friends are starting to be "sucked into" the war, that recruiters are coming to her school and asking for names, phone numbers and e-mails. She knows they're after a friend of hers, a boy with less-than-stellar grades and not much money who is considering the Army because he can't see any other options.

Dremali didn't have to look far for a reason to be involved in his first peace rally in his new hometown.

"Anywhere there's a rally like this, it is my duty as a Muslim to be part of it," he said. "We have 99 names of God. One of those names is the peace, the one who brings peace to the Earth. My mission as imam and as a Muslim is to bring peace."

Dremali, a 43-year-old husband and father of four, was already consumed by his responsibilities as an imam, which he described as "father to everyone, friend to everyone, spiritual leader to everyone. I have to be there whenever someone is in need."

But he found time last week to crisscross Des Moines with a stack of fliers, stopping in businesses and stores and asking if he could post one.

Kimberly Kelley knows many people have a "foot in the door" in this war; she's talked to neighbors and co-workers who have sons, nephews and friends in Iraq.

A new business coordinator with ING Financial Services Co., Kelley, 32, is aware some Iowans view promoting peace as a form of disloyalty, not just to the United States but to their friends and family members in the military.

"I have a really good friend whose son just left for there," she said. "She's very much in this place where she doesn't know if she should come to the peace rally even though she's for peace. Her son is over there. It's hard."

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MIM: In an April 3rd in the Des Moines newspaper entitled : "Non Catholics hail pontiff as man of peace -empathy " Dremali recounts that he "visited the Vatican with a group of Muslims 10 years ago" giving the impression that his group had been invited as VIP's . Given that Dremali rarely , if ever, forays into truth, one can only wonder if the visit did indeed take place, and if it was anything more then a tourist trip to the Vatican, where the Dremali's description of a "warm welcome" meant that the tour guide was not hostile to them.

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050403/LIFE05/504030334/1045

Ibrahim Dremali, the new imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines, remembers the warm welcome he received when he visited the Vatican with a group of Muslims about 10 years ago. Although they didn't see the pope himself, Dremali attributed the open reception to John Paul II's influence.

"The people follow their leader," he said. "The pope really spoke on behalf of Muslims, especially after September 11. Honestly, I respect him very much, and I see the people and know they feel for his pain very much."

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MIM: The Islamic Center of Boca Raton's true view of interfaith can be seen in this interview with the mosque spokesman Dan McBride who recounts that the openly anti semitic article of the ICBR website which contained the passage "Muslim-Muslim there is a Jew behind me - come an kill him" was taken down in the interest of 'political correctness' . The ICBR spokesman not only asserted that he agreed with the text 'word for word' and even added some anti semitic canards of his own.

Excerpts from "Islam's flawed spokesman"

"...But the views of the more radical American Muslims will continue to face increased scrutiny, and in some cases, condemnation from the American public. Until early last week, for instance, the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Fla., posted on its Web site an openly anti-Semitic essay that referred to Jews as being "known for their treachery and corruption" and quoted from a Muslim text that read, "O Muslim! There is Jew behind me, kill him!"

Dan McBride, spokesman for the Boca Raton mosque, said the essay, titled, "Why can't the Jews and Muslims live together in peace?" generated three e-mail complaints, so they took it down.

"As fellow Americans, we're all a little sensitive right now and we don't want to increase any tensions," McBride said. "So we're trying to be a little politically correct right now."

Which is not to say McBride disagrees with anything in the essay. In fact, he defends it word for word, including passages that Art Teitelbaum, the southern area director of the Anti Defamation League, calls "filled with poisonous anti-Semitic bigotry." McBride defends the assertion, for instance, that Jews are "usurpers and aggressors, who have oppressed and persecuted others, and who are known for their treachery and corruption throughout the world, historically and in the present age." And that Jews have "carried out chemical and radiational [sic] experiments on their prisoners, and taken organs from them for transplant into Jewish patients." McBride says "that's all documented," though he could not provide any documentation.

http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2001/09/26/muslims/print.html

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MIM: Another example of Dremali and his family's peaceful activities can be seen in the article describing how his then 13 year old son, Abdulrahman Dremali pleaded guilty to stabbing a fellow Boca Middle School student. At the time Ibrahim Dremali told the media that " we have no place else to go we are Americans".

Three months previously, Dremali was quoted in a Sun Sentinel article entitled "Building a dream house in Gaza City": "I guess you could say, like Martin Luther King, I have a dream too...My family is in Gaza,it's where my heart is, it's where I want to return someday". "It's why I don't live so well here - I'm putting my money there..." (see complete articles below).

What the article failed to mention is that the money was also going to help fund the Islamic Association of Palestine/Hamas, via the innocuosly named "Health Resource Center Palestine'. The HRCP president was Dremali's 'first wife' Lamyaa Hashim and the 'Gaza coordinator' was none other then Dremali's brother Ishaq Dremali aka 'Drimly'. The HRCP was forced to close in 2003.

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Student pleads guilty in stabbing

By Susan Spencer-Wendel, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 27, 2003

WEST PALM BEACH -- A 14-year-old former Boca Raton
Middle School honor student involved in a scissors stabbing at
the school pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated battery and
a weapon charge related to the incident.

But an attorney for Abdelrahman Dremali says while he agreed to the plea,
the teenage boy was really a victim of a hate crime. Dremali, son of a
prominent Muslim leader, was targeted by classmates who made fun of his
religion and ethnicity, said attorney James Eisenberg.

Dremali is the eldest child of Ibrahim Dremali, spiritual leader of a mosque
at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, who has reported violence against
himself because he is Muslim.

In November, police were called to a school locker room after a teacher
broke up a fight between Dremali and student Joshua Reynoso. Reynoso told
police that Dremali spit on him and, after the two briefly argued, Dremali
stabbed him in the back, neck and arm with scissors, leaving puncture
wounds, according to a police report.

Dremali told police that several boys had jumped him and beat on him. He
said scissors spilled out of his book bag and while swinging them in
self-defense, Reynoso "walked into the scissors." Dremali had bruises on his
left side and left neck, according to the report.

Eisenberg did not agree to the facts of the crime, as read in court
Wednesday, saying rather that Dremali was a victim of racial hatred.

Dremali pleaded guilty in his best interest -- a legally distinct plea which
is not automatically regarded as an admission of guilt.

Yet the terms of the plea -- 50 hours of community service, a withhold of
the felony from his record and a psychological evaluation -- were good
enough for Dremali to accept, Eisenberg said. Dremali must also pay the
Reynoso family $1,500.

Ibrahim Dremali, 41, of Boca Raton, said Wednesday that his whole family has
felt persecuted since 9/11. His son now attends an Islamic school in Broward
County.

Raised in both Egypt and Palestine, Dremali said he came to the United
States 16 years ago and started his family.

"People say 'Go back to where you came from,' " he said. "But we have no
place to go back to. We are Americans."

http://www.gopbi.com/partners/­pbpost/epaper/editions/thursda­y/local_n...
599e2e551224a0079.html

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http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050319/LIFE04/503190305/1039/LIFE

Building a dream home in Gaza City

BY TIM COLLIE
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

GAZA CITY, GAZA. - KRT NEWSFEATURES

(KRT) - In his spare time, poring over his maps and drawings, Ibrahim Dremali envisions a Gaza of wide boulevards, tall shade trees and stately homes made of cool stone.

On hot, dusty days, he'd look out over bustling streets leading to the Mediterranean, which runs alongside this strip of disputed territory between Israel and Egypt. His children, and their children, might be playing stickball in the breezy lanes or studying the Koran in quiet mosques.

That's the vision - the one this Boca Raton Islamic leader and university professor has sketched out in elaborate maps and city plans for a future Palestine. He's even building a home here in which he might one day settle.

"I guess you could say, like Martin Luther King, I have a dream, too," said Dremali, 41, sitting in his small apartment in Boca Raton, Fla. "My brother lives there. My family is in Gaza. It's where my heart is, where I spent my childhood, where I want to return some day, God willing. It's why I don't live so well here - I'm putting all my money there."

It's not exactly a safe investment. In October, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile into a crowded street in the city of Khan Younis that killed 16 people. Two weeks before, Israeli tanks engaged Palestinian gunmen in a fierce battle that left nine dead just miles from the house. In July, Israel dropped a one-ton bomb on an apartment building here to kill Hamas' military chief. They also killed 14 others, including 9 children.

"Somebody who's never been there might think it's crazy, but it is a very nice place with nice, wonderful people," said Safaa Eissa, Dremali's wife. "And for what we're building this house for, well, you can't even get an apartment for that here in Boca."

In the year since Sept. 11, the money that flows between Islamic regions and the United States has come under greater scrutiny from the Bush administration. Investigators have zeroed in on transactions that move from mosques in South Florida and elsewhere to questionable organizations with alleged links to groups like al-Qaida.

But much of the money that travels around the world supports families, props up legitimate businesses, and even builds homes in the world's free-fire zones. That's the case with the life savings that Dremali and other members of his family have poured into Gaza, which isn't on many lists of retirement hideaways.

Under siege for four decades, the Gaza Strip is a hot, desolate war zone in one of the world's most troublesome conflicts. With some 1.1 million people squeezed into a 28-mile long strip of land about 3 miles wide, it is surrounded on all sides by Israeli troops who decide what food, goods and family move in or out. Jewish settlers control about a third of the land. Lately Israel has been using it a sort of penal colony, shipping Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza as punishment for conspiring in bomb attacks.

Children play combat in beachfront refugee camps as young men march the hot streets and shoot wildly in the air to celebrate the life of the latest martyr. In the distance, Israeli tanks move up and down border roads. Downtown walls are covered with graffiti that extol Palestinian guerrilla groups, praising the feats of suicide bombers with pictures of the burning buses and restaurants where they've killed hundreds of Israelis. Gaza is the stronghold of Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish homeland to build an Islamic state.

This is where Dremali is building his dream house - a five-story home that, in traditional Gazan style, will house his mother, a sister and two brothers with their families on each floor.

The ground floor will contain a karate school called the "International Athletics Academy." It's where this black-belted Muslim leader and his brother will teach young children martial arts. Karate is popular in Gaza, and on a typical day young children in wide robes adorned with Japanese characters can be spotted marching off to their lessons.

"My brother is very big with the karate, you know," said Ishaq Al-Dremali, as he sat in living room in the house on Thalatheen Street in the middle-class Al-Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City. On the floors above and below, workmen hammered away, poured concrete and erected scaffolding. "He'll teach the children here, help them get their black belts. It should be a good business."

Business isn't exactly booming here, but it could again some day. While many might think of Gaza as just a strip of desert, it is actually a Mediterranean beachfront. The remnants of nice hotels - some are still open for meetings and family gatherings - still sit on prime Mediterranean coastlines that stretch up into Israel. If peace in the form of a Palestinian state ever came - a proposition few can see here anytime soon - then the Dremali home could turn out to be a very smart investment.

"You have to have a very good imagination to live in Gaza, to see its possibilities," said Mahmoud Ajrami, an official with the Palestinian National Council in Gaza. "When I grew up here there were nice hotels, beautiful restaurants. It had a booming nightlife with well-dressed, beautiful men and women. That seems like some kind of far-off dream now."

Before the Intifada, Ishaq said he could travel freely into Israel for jobs in Tel Aviv that offered good livings linked to the tourist trade. Now, Gaza can only be entered through the heavily fortified checkpoint at the Erez crossing. With its barbed wire and empty stretch of land, the crossing looks like the old crossing into the East Berlin of the Cold War.

"Look around at Gaza - it's just a very hard life here right now," said Ishaq. "There's no work here. I used to work selling produce in Tel Aviv, lived with a very nice Israeli family. I had friends there. But now, at my age, with all of this stuff going on, they'd never dream of letting someone like me go back into Israel."

"We're stuck here. All we have is what Ibrahim sends to help us and build this house."

Born when Gaza was still ruled by Egypt, Dremali witnessed the occupation of the strip by the Israeli forces that defeated Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War. When he was 18, he was sent off to study geology and science at a university in Cairo. He came to the United States in 1988 to pursue graduate and post-graduate degrees at Florida universities. Because of his religious education, he was selected as the spiritual head of a group of local Muslims who were looking to start a mosque around Florida Atlantic University.

"Ibrahim was a very good student, he was the oldest, and my father only had enough money to send one of us off to school," recalled Ishaq, as he sat serving mildly spiced kebabs to several guests. Behind a curtain, his veiled wife and other women prepared the food. "My younger brother (who also lives in the United States) wanted to go. So we talked and I decided I would be the victim. He'd be the one who gets to go off and study.

"My father was very old - he couldn't work - and since I was 13 I'd always been working in markets in Tel Aviv," said Ishaq. "It seemed like a good idea at the time for me to stay. That's kind of hard to believe now."

In Gaza City, the Dremali clan is well known. With over 1,300 males, their extended families take up entire city blocks here. Even with a modern political structure, it is still large families and their headmen who make the important political decisions. In such a clan system, the males negotiate issues dealing with marriage, inheritance, and the inevitable family squabbles. If all males leave the area, the family ceases to have any power in the larger clan.

The white five-story house on Thalatheen Street should guarantee his family - the house of their father, Abdul - a long and prosperous line in Gaza, according to Ishaq. Its wide windows that can be opened at night to catch the cool Mediterranean breeze, an elevator so that the elderly can reach its top floors, and polished, wood trim in the finished rooms. Each floor contains several spacious rooms, decorated with ornate sofas, carpets and curtains that are used to separate men and women when visitors arrive.

Compared to other homes, built with the brown desert rocks known here as Jerusalem stone, the Dremali home is distinctive, Ishaq said. Because dynamiting is not permitted in Gaza, it is cheaper to import the white Italian stone being used by the builders.

"Ibrahim goes over every detail, the wood, the stone, how big this room is or that," laughed Ishaq. "We talk by phone every day and we're always going back and forth. We didn't want that brown stone look, like something on the West Bank. We wanted this to be Gazan, to fit in here and look good. Something that would last a long, long time."

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MIM: Neil Heller, the editor of the Boca News commented on Tim Collie's glowing account of the Dremali clan in Gaza and pointed out that Dremali "is far from an innocent man of religion trying to build a home". http://www.bocanews.com/index.php?src=news&prid=8729&category=PUBLISHERS%20DESK

Excerpts from Extra Extra misread all about it :

What is it with the Sun Sentinel's obsession with going out of its way to portray the horrible conditions in Gaza and the West Bank as solely the fault of Israel?

Reporter Tim Collie has now followed up his bizarre front-page story of several months ago entitled, "From Boca To Gaza," with another masterpiece last Sunday entitled, "The Gaza Strip-Heart Saviors." In each piece, Collie writes of an individual do-gooder who has to overcome the horrific living conditions of Gaza, which, of course, are all due to Israel.

The last piece was sympathetic to none other than the Islamic Center of Boca Raton's religious leader, Imam Ibrahim Dremali. If you don't recall, Dremali and his family were building a house in Gaza.

This project was the centerpiece of a story which alluded to how Israel had made life unbearable for Palestinians living in Gaza. The reporter briefly mentions that Gaza is the home of Hamas and the area where the majority of terrorist attacks against Israel originate. That was very nice of him – as he failed to mention that Dremali is far from just an innocent man of religion trying to build a home.

As reported in the Boca Raton News last year, the Islamic Center of Boca Raton has had ties to the Hamas Web site, and has also had alleged terrorists speak at fundraisers for the Islamic Center..."

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MIM: The writer of the postings below detailing Dremali's being forbidden by the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza, is Lamyaa Hashim, aka Um Ahmad, who is believed to be Dremali's first wife and present co- wife - (after he married Safaa Eissa with whom he had 4 children). Hashim used to have a website called 'Our Struggle in Palestine' which praised Bin Laden and urged people to contribute to 'charities' which were terrorist funding fronts.

" Lamyaa Hashim, or Um Ahmad as she often goes by, is a well known Islamic poet. Her poetry, including one poem which seems to be about a suicide bomber (‘My Beloved Left for Palestine'), can be seen on such radical sights as palestine4ever.net. The site belongs to the medical director for the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund, Rosemary Davis (Shadya Hantouli), and features a picture gallery of past suicide bombers. Hashim gave permission to put her poetry on the site."

You can also access more of Hashim's poetry on her personal website, ‘Struggle in Palestine,' which contains on its homepage a picture of someone burning an effigy that says on his (the effigy's) chest, "WAR IS HELL, BUSH IS SATAN." In addition, there is a link on her site to an organization associated with the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a link to a site praising Abdullah Azzam, the founder of the organization that became Al Qaida.
Lamyaa Hashim is also important, because she ran a Deerfield Beach, Florida charity called the Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP), which as of late has closed down.

Law enforcement closed down the Florida-based HRCP in April 2002, as I have already noted on this weblog, because of its ties to Hamas.

The moral of this tale? That the distance between endorsing burqas and endorsing suicide bombers is closer than one might wish. (January 18, 2004) http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/187

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July 1, 1996

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/soc.culture.palestine/browse_thread/thread/ae692b6909286a7b/dcca4737eb5b5beb?q=dremali#dcca4737eb5b5beb

On Monday, July 1st, 1996, Ibrahim Dremali, an American Citizen visiting
relatives in Gaza, was summoned from his family's home in Gaza to The Erez
Security by the Israeli Army. He was told that he could never leave Gaza.
The US Embassy is refusing to get involved, saying there is nothing they
can do. Ibrahim has a serious kidney condition needing treatment - he has
been urinating black blood during his forced stay in Gaza - where he
cannot be treated. He has 2 young sons 8 and 2 years old in the US,
dependant on his support. Yet this American has been left out in the cold
by the American Government. Except for Native Americans, everyone in
America is from another country or decendant of one or another. Yet if
your background is Palestinian, the melting pot spits you out and the
Statue of Liberty kicks you in the behind. Following is the background of
his story - if anyone reading this can help - even if just by publicising
this, please do - Americans, please contact your Representatives:

In mid June, Ibrahim had a 10 day vacation, which he used to spend time
with relatives in Egypt, leaving him 3 days which he planned to spend in
Gaza, since it was just accross the Rafah border, where his wife was
already visiting relatives. Yet, when he and his wife left for the
airport from Gaza, they were not permitted to go further than the Erez
checkpoint by the Israeli's. They were told that a permit is needed and
that a US Passport means absolutely nothing if your background is
Palestinian. This required a flight change of course. 3 days later,
there was one empty seat flying out of Tel Aviv. Ibrahim insisted his
wife take it. She was interrogated for hours and hours at the airport,
security even attempted to search her bags without her presence, to which
she demanded to call the US Ambassador. She did however get on the plane
and back to the US. However, Ibrahim was told that he would get a permit
(TasreeH) once he could provide a copy of a new flight reservation. There
are no international calls allowed from Gaza, and no Alitalia
representatives there. So, it had to be faxed from Jerusalem. The fax
arrived late, so they denied permission again. He obtained a new
reservation, and had the copy of it, ready to leave on July 4th. He went
to the Administration to get the permit and suddenly they announce that he
is forbidden from travel. Then, today's events occurred: He was summoned
to Erez for lengthy interrogation. He was told that he was never allowed
to leave Gaza. The US Embassy says that there is nothing that they can
do. Please help - his health is at stake.

LM Hashim

-----------------------------------------------

July 5,1996

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/soc.culture.palestine/browse_thread/thread/8a148079664c67b3/ec89217ad2c040be?q=dremali#ec89217ad2c040be

This is a follow-up on the story I posted earlier on the US Citizen banned
from exiting Gaza by the Israeli's last month.:
Assalamu alaikum
At 10pm, July 5th 1996, Ibrahim Dremali set out from his family home in
Gaza to the Rafah border once again, in order to attempt passage into
Egypt. Thanks to Allah, your prayers, calls, letters, and support, he is
now on his way to Egypt and should be arriving in Cairo 2 hours from the
time of this posting. From there we hope he should not have any problem
returning to the United States from a diplomatic standpoint. However, I
would like to ask one more favor. Al-Italia Airlines has been less than
understanding of Ibrahim's plight and has been refusing to transfer his
ticket return to the US from Tel Aviv to Egypt without buying a new ticket
- even to change the date for Tel Aviv they were asking severe penalties.
In view of the situation, there is obviously no money for either one.
Please call Al-Italia and ask him to transfer his ticket without penalty
so that he may leave from Cairo, Egypt to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale ,Florida
as a gesture of good will. He already has a paid ticket from Tel Aviv.
The number for Al-Italia is 1-800-223-5730. His name on the Ticket is
Ibrahim Dremali (maybe an initial "A").
Once again, thank you and Jazakum Allahu khairan.
W'salam,
your sister in Islam
LM Ha

-----------------------------------

MIM: In 2004 the Islamic Center of Boca Raton merged it's elementary school, The Garden of the Sahaba, with the Tawfil Salah school which was part of the Islamic School in Broward. The ISIB was co founded by Mohammed Javed Qureshi, who was dirty bomber wannabe Jose Padilla's mentor and supervisor at the Taco Bell where he worked. Qureshi is now slated to be the director of a new Islamic Center in Sunrise. While in Pakistan, Padilla underwent bomb training with Adnan Shukrijumah one of America's most wanted terrorists .

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/257

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MIM: While in Pakistan Padilla underwent explosives training together with Adnan Shukrijumah, currently one of America's most wanted terrorists who was described by law enforcement officials as 'Mohamed Atta's sucessor'. At the funeral of the dirty bomber wannabe's father Dremali eulogised him: http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/4

MIM: Ibrahim Dremali,the Imam of the Boca Raton Islamic Center, fondly recalled that "He,(Shukrijumah), had a positive effect on people".

Having a son who is accused of being an Al Qaeda terrorist operative is ample proof of Dremali's Islamist weltaanshaung about what is considered as"having a postive effect on people." http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/143

. Dremali's own son, Abdulrahman, was convicted in 2003 of stabbing a fellow Boca Middle School student with a pair of scissors, before he was transferred to an Islamic school which could better accomodate him. (see article above).

------------------------------------------

MIM: For more on Dremali and the ICBR see : "Boca Raton's incredible shrinking Masjid"

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/113

Short bio:

http://www.themasjid.org/tdconfIV/speakers.asp


Dr. Ibrahim Dremali
Sheikh Ibrahim is the Imam of Boca Raton Masjid in Florida. Sheikh has a degree in Shariah from Al-Azhar University and a Ph.D in Geology. Student of Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen (RH).

-----------------------

In 2002 Dremali testified as a character witness on behalf of Adham Hassoun, the Sunrise computer programma who was accused of helping set up the Al Qaeda funding 'charity' front Benevolence International Foundation and of helping dirty bomber wannabe Jose Padilla go abroad for terrorism training.

"...Seeing two of Hassoun's young sons sitting outside the courtroom with sad
faces and unable to speak, Ibrahim Dremali said they looked like orphans.

"That broke my heart, believe me," said Dremali, the religious leader of
the Islamic Center of Boca Raton.

During more than an hour of questioning, Dremali -- one of four witnesses
called in Hassoun's defense -- said he never had the sense the government
had anything solid against Hassoun.

"I feel they want to show the American people they are doing something," he
said.

Dremali said that prosecutors didn't appear to have a good understanding of
Islam, and that he felt their questions became accusatory.

"Am I a witness here, or am I on trial?" he asked. "Is Islam on trial?"

http://www.theasianoutlook.com/sunrisee.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------

MIM: In a later newspaper interview Dremali denied knowing Hassoun but Hassoun's attorney Akhtar Hussain stated that they"had known each other for years".

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http://www.bocanews.com/index.php?src=news&prid=5239&category=LOCAL%20NEWS

Critics questioning Boca mosque's past ties

Islamic Center of Boca Raton draws ire; officials there say all they want is peace
Published Sunday, April 27, 2003 1:00 am
by Aaron Shea

By Aaron Shea
STAFF WRITER
It was billed as an enlightening evening with Islamic leaders and scholars to raise money for a new, permanent mosque in the heart of Boca Raton – a sprawling 27,000-square-foot complex planned to include a worship center and education facility.
Among the speakers at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton's Nov. 16 fund-raising dinner last year was Dr. Rafil Dhafir, a respected Fayetteville, N.Y., oncologist and nationwide lecturer.
Four months after his speaking engagement at the benefit held at the Hilton in Deerfield Beach, however, Dhafir was arrested by the federal government for allegedly conspiring to funnel more than $2.7 million to Iraq—a country that has been subject to economic sanctions since the first Gulf War in 1991.
Dhafir's appearance at the fundraiser and his subsequent arrest are among several incidents that worry well-known terrorism researcher and "American Jihad" author Steven Emerson. He joins other critics who question the political views and intentions of the organization's spiritual leader, Imam Ibrahim Dremali.
"There are questions of [Dremali's] associations in the past which I think merit further investigation," Emerson told the Boca Raton News.
Dremali and others at the mosque, however, strongly deny that he and the local Islamic center have any goal other than to provide a peaceful place for Muslims to worship and for others to learn about Islam.
In any case, Dhafir certainly knew a lot about fundraising before his arrest, federal officials said. After a three-year probe, federal officials said Dhafir and three other alleged conspirators — using an Iraqi aid charity called "Help the Needy" — solicited contributions from people in the United States, deposited the funds in several New York banks and laundered much of the money to Iraq through accounts maintained in the Jordan Islamic Bank in Amman. The charity failed to obtain the required licenses to provide humanitarian aid to Iraq, prosecutors said.
The February indictment also alleges Dhafir directed checks as large as $100,000 to be cut from the relief group for individuals located in Baghdad.
Dhafir, who has been charged with 12 counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, remains in jail without bail.

‘An unfortunate
coincidence'

Since Dhafir's arrest, leaders at the Boca Raton mosque have denied any prior knowledge of Dhafir's alleged illegal activities. His appearance at the mosque's November fund-raiser, they say, was simply an unfortunate coincidence.
"He just happened to be [in Florida], and we invited him for the fundraiser," said Dr. Bassem Al-Halabi, a Florida Atlantic University computer engineering professor who co-founded the Islamic center, which today is based in a storefront on Northwest 20th Street. Al-Halabi is also a former treasurer for the mosque and current board member.
"We know that he is a good fundraiser," he explained. "Not too many people know him in the mosque, but the people involved in fundraising in this mosque do know about him. He's visited many [Islamic] centers in the past."
In a brief phone interview with the Boca Raton News, Dremali, who has been the imam of the mosque since its inception in 1998, said he did not know Dhafir.
But Dhafir's presence at the fundraiser has added fuel to the fire for critics of the mosque and its spiritual leader. Detractors point to published reports quoting Dremali allegedly supporting Arab martyrdom against Israeli Jews and affiliations the mosque has made in the past.
All the accusations have been denied or discounted by Islamic Center of Boca Raton officials, including Dremali.
"We're a small mosque, but even when we are a small mosque, some don't want us to exist," said Dr. Mohammad Khalid Hamza, a FAU professor who co-founded the Islamic center with Al-Halabi. The mosque today has more than 200 members.
One of the mosque's most determined critics has been Joe Kaufman, chairman of a group that calls itself "Citizens Against Hate."
Kaufman, who is Jewish, is leading a crusade to halt construction of the planned 27,000-square-foot Islamic center and mosque.
Recently, the Tamarac resident's Web site, www.Joe4Rep.com, was criticized by a national Muslim group for having a link to an anti-Arab Web site, which in turn linked to Kach, a Jewish organization recognized as a terrorist group by the U.S. government. Kaufman has since removed the links.
The 3.3-acre mosque project on Northwest Fifth Avenue north of Glades Road, which has gotten the go-ahead from the city, is far behind in its fundraising goals, Dremali said, and the mosque will hold another fundraiser May 10 at the Hilton in Deerfield Beach to raise cash for the complex.
Kaufman is convinced that a new, large mosque could attract anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish elements and should not be built in Boca Raton.
"It's not the Muslims we are fighting," Kaufman has said. "The mosque might be a threat to the community. If it is built, we don't know what is going on behind the walls."
Bill Gralnick, southeast regional director for the American Jewish Committee, supports Kaufman's views.
"It's not necessarily the physical mosque or Islam that gives me anxiety," Gralnick said. "It's who might be going through its doors or the types of other things that might or might not be going on in a political, social respect."

‘A question of character'

Just as he refuted knowing Dhafir, Dremali also denied to the Boca Raton News that he had any close ties to accused terrorist and Sunrise resident Adham Hassoun, who was arrested by a South Florida terrorism task force last June for his alleged ties to Jose Padilla. Padilla is a former Broward County resident accused of having ties to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network al-Qaeda and conspiring to explode a radiological device in the United States. Padilla is being detained by the federal government as an "enemy combatant" of the U.S.
Hassoun remains locked up in the Krome Detention Center in Miami on an immigration charge.
Yet in an August 2002 bail hearing at Krome Detention Center Dremali was called as a witness for Hassoun's defense. Dremali, however, said he only met Hassoun once when the alleged terrorist visited the Boca mosque four or five years ago.
"I don't know the guy," Dremali said, adding that the testimony he gave during the hearing "was not about [Hassoun]. It was about Islam."
Hassoun, a Palestinian, has also been accused of being a member of a militant Islamic group linked to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, engaging in an assassination plot and soliciting people to engage in terrorist activities.
Hassoun has denied the charges.
Hassoun's Miami attorney, Akhtar Hussain, said Dremali was primarily used as an expert witness during the hearing to discuss how a mosque runs and how charitable donations are handled. But, Hussain added, Dremali did speak about Hassoun's character as well.
"He was for the most part an expert witness," said Hussain. "[He discussed] how a mosque runs, its membership, how charities work and where the money goes. It boiled down to [Jose] Padilla, because he was a member of Hassoun's mosque.
"Dremali slightly spoke about how long he knew [Hassoun]. What kind of person [Hassoun] is," Hussain added. "[Dremali] has known [Hassoun] more than a couple of years. I know that."
Hussain would not offer further details.
In addition, Hassoun founded the Florida chapter of the Chicago-based Benevolence International Foundation, which was shut down by the government for suspected terrorist ties on the same day the Global Relief Foundation was raided.
In December 2001, the government shut down and froze the assets of the Global Relief Foundation based in Illinois after alleging the charity had links to terror financing. The Boca Raton Islamic Center donated nearly $17,000 to the charity, but officials from the mosque have said all along they were under the impression they were only giving money to the destitute in the Middle East.
"When people come to your mosque for money, you cannot say, ‘No,'" explained Dremali, referring to the importance the Muslim faith places on the worshipers to help those in need. "It's not our job to investigate [charities]. That's the job of the government."

‘Further investigation'

Among those who say he is taking a hard look at the Boca Raton mosque and its leader is Steven Emerson, the nationally recognized terrorist expert, former CNN correspondent and founder of the Investigative Project, which was created to root out possible terrorist cells in the United States and came to prominence following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"I think the activity of Dremali and the mosque has raised serious questions on whether he is tethered to a militant Islamic group," said Emerson.
Emerson also produced the controversial 1994 PBS documentary video "Jihad in America" and wrote the best selling book "American Jihad," in which he claims members of the al-Qaeda network had set up shop in Boca prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. It was discovered shortly after the planes hit the twin towers that several of the hijackers lived in nearby Delray Beach.
During the 1990s, Emerson insisted there were Muslim professors at the University of South Florida active in the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad, which was documented in his video. It wasn't until this past February, however, that federal agents arrested USF professor Sami Al-Arian and Emerson's accusations were substantiated. Al-Arian has been charged with running the U.S. operations of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Some have accused Al-Halabi—the Boca Islamic Center's co-founder—of associating with Al-Arian. But the FAU professor and former USF student denies any such link.
"He was a teacher at the university when I was a student there, but I had no relations with him of any kind," Al-Halabi said.

‘Disparaging words'

Critics of Dremali and the mosque have also focused on issues unrelated to anyone indicted for alleged terrorist ties.
Following the escalation of Palestinian violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in late 2000, known as the intifada, tempers began to flare among many Jews and Muslims in the United States. One of the hot spots in South Florida was in Miami.
During one pro-Palestinian rally there in October 2000, according to a report from a Web site called IslamOnline, demonstrators issued a call for Muslims to stage a "jihad" to reclaim land they said was rightfully theirs.
During the tense demonstration, Dremali—a native of the Gaza Strip who is constructing a second home in the war-torn territory—reportedly "urged the crowd not to be sad for those who were martyred, and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in," according to the Web site report.
Last year, former Boca Islamic center spokesman Hassan Shareef, who now lives in Saudi Arabia, told the News that Dremali had made the comments in the heat of the moment.
But this month, Dremali, married and the father of four, denied to the Boca Raton News that he ever made the comments, although he acknowledged attending the rally.
"I never said that. I don't know where [the author of the article] got that," said Dremali, who came to the United States 15 years ago from Egypt. "I need peace and nothing else."
The author of the article could not be reached for comment.
A year after the rally and shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Dremali invited Rabbi Merle Singer of Temple Beth El of Boca Raton and Gralnick to his home. According to the Palm Beach and Broward county editions of New Times, Dremali told the two Jewish leaders that the Muslims do not like the Jews in Israel, but don't hold the same kind of animosity towards Jews in America.
"He did say that," Gralnick confirmed. "That's not an uncommon thing with anti-Semites. [Jews] don't make that distinction between the ones in Israel and the ones here."
In addition, a story in the Boca Raton News recently publicized a link on the Islamic center's site that provided access to the Palestine Information Center, which in turn offered anti-American and anti-Israeli articles and photographs. The major link to the site, called Islam Q&A, was removed days later and all other remaining links were severed from the site within the following week.
Mosque leaders including Dremali, Hamza and Islamic center spokesman Dan McBride denied having any knowledge that the Palestine Information Center site had been accessible from the Islam Q&A link.

‘We are not terrorists'

Today, Dremali said he can't understand those who claim he promotes anything other than peace and his Muslim faith at the mosque on Northwest 20th Street.
"We are not terrorists. We want to live in peace with no problems," said Dremali, who is a professor. "We have a very peaceful religion. We are Americans. I love this country and that is why we stay in this country."
An FBI spokeswoman at the Miami bureau would not comment on whether the mosque or Dremali has ever been investigated or is under investigation now.
Hamza said he cannot figure out the determination of some to run the mosque out of town.
"We've had it up to our ears with [opposition] spreading rumors," said Hamza, who accuses FAU professors of anti-Arab bias against him and plotting to rid him from the university. A state board cited discrimination as a factor in Hamza's denial of tenure. University officials have disputed the report.
"They're scaring the hell out of our community," he added. "What do they want us to do, go away and die?"
Among the more frightening moments for the mosque came immediately following Sept. 11 when Dremali told Boca Raton police he and other members of the mosque had experienced anti-Muslim backlash firsthand. The religious leader also claimed to have been threatened with guns by unknown assailants outside his Boca Raton home.
"I want to live in this country in peace," Dremali said. "We are Americans and people have to understand that. We work in this country together. I say all of this from my heart."

Staff Writer Brian Bandell contributed to this report.

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MIM: Dremali who testified on behalf of Adham Hassoun's defense in 2002 , and has 'known him for years' was living in Florida in 1996 when Hassoun was distributor of 'The Call of Islam Magazine'. In this 1996 issue Hassoun is listed as the American contact and the Arabic section carries information "on Martyrdom Missions"

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/soc.culture.bangladesh/browse_thread/thread/ca03c4aef0d4072d/5b1f3d2c94181790?q=adham+hassoun&rnum=8#5b1f3d2c94181790

H E C A L L O F I S L A M M A G A Z I N E
==============================­=====================

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=============================
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The Terrorism Summit in Cairo: An International Conspiracy Against Islam
* A Legal & Historical Perspective
* The Summit's Movitves & Goals

* An Interview With Sheikh Ahmed Deedat

* Brotherhood: The Missing Foundation

* Muslims in Australia... Negative Aspects of Soceity

In addition to many interesting articles, including Qur'an, News, Youth & Companions
of The Prophet (s.a.w.) etc.

==============================­======================

The Arabic section covers a variety of topics, such as: Martyrdom Missions,
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--------------------------------------------------

MIM: The director of MIM contributed to the Boca Raton City of Terror article:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=7982

Boca Raton, City of Terror
By Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 22, 2003

Across our great nation, there are hotspots of Islamist hatred. Beautiful Boca Raton happens to be one of them.

The starting point is at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). It was there that the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) decided to establish two Islamic centers, each appropriately within arms length of the school.

Three FAU professors would take key roles in the creation process. Imad Mahgoub would become president of the Assalam Center, and Khalid Hamza and Bassem Alhalabi would be co-founders of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR).

Today, both Islamic centers are looking to expand and have purchased large tracts of land to this effect. If they get what they want, they will have two multi-faceted mosques, in the heart of Boca Raton, within blocks of each other… and of course, the university. One will be a huge 27 thousand square foot facility; the other will be built to resemble the Al-Aqsa mosque which sits on top of Judaism's holiest site in Jerusalem, a city that the ICBR says on its website Jews have no right to and prays Allah will cleanse it of its Jewish inhabitants immediately.

Local residents have questioned why there is a need for two mosques of near identical backgrounds in such close vicinity to one another. That's certainly a good question, but when you look at several of the people involved in the undertaking of these centers, and when you look at some of the individuals that they have associated with, this question becomes one of many.

Khalid Hamza, who was an advisor to the Muslim Student Organization at FAU, not too long ago used a Texas A & M University internet forum to defend Sami Al Arian, a Tampa professor that was recently taken into custody for his involvement as a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). I used the term "was an advisor to the MSO," because FAU has told him that they don't want him to return to his teaching duties, and because the Islamic Center of Boca Raton sent out an e-mail announcing that he was leaving the South Florida community.

Aside from his involvement with the Islamic Center of Boca Raton and the Muslim Student Organization, Khalid Hamza is also an author. He recently wrote a novel entitled ‘The Veil,' which is being promoted on the MSO's website, www.msofau.org. The book is about a Muslim family living in Boca Raton. The first member of the family, as listed in the forward, is fittingly named Jihad.

While Hamza was with the MSO, the student group brought a couple of key radicals to speak at the university. On April 21, 2001, the MSO's second annual Scholars' Night featured Rafil Dhafir, a man that now sits behind bars for raising millions of dollars for terrorist organizations in the guise of an Iraqi children's charity called ‘Help the Needy.' Dhafir has also given lectures on why Muslims must not befriend Jews or Christians and how The United States and England have had a "vicious" war on Iraq. The contact for this event was MSO president, David Johnson, who now holds a position in the FAU student government. [On November 16, 2002, the ICBR also hosted Rafil Dhafir, in a fundraiser for the new mosque.]

The MSO's fourth annual Scholars' Night, on the date of April 21, 2003, featured Siraj Wahhaj, a man who was named as one of the potential unindicted co-conspirators of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and someone that sits on the Advisory Board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization that is a spin-off of a front for the terrorist group Hamas. The contact for this event was Khalid Hamza.

Bassem Alhalabi, the other co-founder (and treasurer) of the ICBR, was a colleague of Sami Al Arian's at the University of South Florida, and according to his resume, wrote various publications with Al Arian around the time that Al Arian was beginning to set the groundwork for the PIJ in America. One of the publications was even featured at a conference in Damascus, the headquarters of the PIJ and the home of Alhalabi Industries, where Alhalabi was employed prior to becoming a research assistant to Al Arian. Alhalabi gave Al Arian as a reference, when he sought employment at FAU.

Another person that Bassem Alhalabi wrote publications with is Hussam Jubara. Along with Al Arian, Jubara co-founded the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP), a think tank that solicited funds for the express purpose of assisting families of suicide bombers. Alhalabi admits to having worked for Jubara and states that he is a "close friend." Jubara was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of lying on immigration forms.

In addition, Alhalabi recently got into hot water for his negotiated shipment of a $13,000 thermal imaging device to Syria. The Commerce Department restricts the export of the device to foreign countries. In a recent news report concerning Alhalabi's transaction, it was stated that this machine is "normally used by fire departments, military units, law enforcement and government agencies, including NASA, to produce heat-sensitive images of buildings, landscapes and ground areas." Alhalabi claims that his brother wanted it, so that he could search for gold.

Imad Mahgoub, who was an advisor to the MSO prior to Hamza, was featured on a panel discussion with Alhalabi and Raed Awad, the former fundraiser for the Holy Land Foundation, a terrorist charity that was closed down by the United States government. Awad is also said to be the imam responsible for dirty bomber Jose Padilla's conversion to Islam. The video of this panel event is found at – where else – FAU!

At a fundraiser for the Assalam Center, to which Mahgoub is associated, on October 25, 2002, there was featured an individual by the name of Abdalla Idris Ali. Ali sits on the board of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have openly supported terrorist groups, such as Hamas. And from the years 1992 through 1997, Ali was president of the Islamic Society of North America, an umbrella group for hundreds of Islamic organizations, which conducts conferences and publishes a magazine featuring a number of Islamist militants spewing hateful and sometimes violent rhetoric.

Ibrahim Dremali is the imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton. Questions have been raised as to a possible association of his to a militant Islamic group. On July 1, 1996, Dremali was detained by the Israeli Defense Force and told that he was not to leave Gaza indefinitely. On July 5, 1996, at 10 pm, he would set off for Cairo and was to arrive there within two hours. How do I know this? Because the information was posted to the internet by someone that signed it "LM Hashim." Keep that in mind, as you read on.

In October of 2000, Dremali spoke at a rally where Israeli flags were burned and slogans, such as "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand," were shouted. Dremali told the crowd "not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in"… obvious allusions to suicide bombers. Dremali now claims that he did not make the statement, and the 50 word paragraph that contains this information (and the picture accompanying the paragraph) has now mysteriously disappeared from the article on the website that it was written for (www.islam-online.net), though it can still be accessed via archives. The author of the article is "Um Ahmad."

Lamyaa Hashim, or Um Ahmad as she often goes by, is a well known Islamic poet. Her poetry, including one poem which seems to be about a suicide bomber (‘My Beloved Left for Palestine'), can be seen on such radical sights as palestine4ever.net. The site belongs to the medical director for the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund, Rosemary Davis (Shadya Hantouli), and features a picture gallery of past suicide bombers. Hashim gave permission to put her poetry on the site.

You can also access more of Hashim's poetry on her personal website, ‘Struggle in Palestine,' which contains on its homepage a picture of someone burning an effigy that says on his (the effigy's) chest, "WAR IS HELL, BUSH IS SATAN." In addition, there is a link on her site to an organization associated with the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a link to a site praising Abdullah Azzam, the founder of the organization that became Al Qaida.

Lamyaa Hashim is also important, because she ran a Deerfield Beach, Florida charity called the Health Resourch Center for Palestine (HRCP), which as of late has closed down. Deerfield Beach is located just south of Boca Raton. Ibrahim Dremali's brother, Ishaq, was the Gaza operations coordinator for it.

While the HRCP may be "closed for business," as the site has stated, the website for the charity is still up, though (www.hrcp.org). The webmaster of the site is Syed Ahmad. On his personal site, he states he is an FAU student. On his personal site, he also has a homepage to the Islamic Association for Palestine, a front group for Hamas. In addition, his site sports the homepage for the Sanabel Charitable Society, what seems to be the Gaza affiliate to the HRCP; it lists Lamyaa Hashim as its United States representative.

The HRCP is interesting, because on its website, it openly claims to raise money for "shuhada" or martyrs. One can also take this term to mean suicide bombers. With this in mind, the HRCP – from June 25 through July 25, 2000 – put on a summer camp for children in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, featuring two lectures by the Grand Imam Sheikh of Al-Azhar University (Ibrahim Dremali's alma matter), Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, someone that has announced his support (issued a fatwa) for intensified suicide bombing efforts against civilians. He has also labeled Jews "the descendants of apes and pigs," he has said (issued a fatwa) that any Palestinian who sells land to Israelis should get the death penalty, and he has called (issued a fatwa) for an Islamic Jihad against American targets in Iraq. At FAU, there is a video of Tantawi called ‘What is a Fatwa?'

Also interesting is that the HRCP's vice president's name was the only name missing from the website's list of those involved in the charity. It just said the words "Vice President" and left a blank. [Actually, now none of the names exist on the site, as much of the site has been deleted, including the page that featured the Woodcrest Bruderhof, located in Upstate New York, as a "partner." Many claim the Bruderhof, which has met with the likes of Louis Farrakhan, is a fringe religious cult.] When you go back into the website's archives, you find that the vice president was none other than Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, the director of the Miami-based American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA) and an appointee to the Florida Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

One would think that a group affiliated with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an organization whose main goal is to fight against discrimination, would be free from hate, but in this case, that's just not the case. On the AMANA website, there are a number of inflammatory articles, including one telling Muslims to reject interfaith events. It states, "The Christians and Jews want the Muslims to be like them. That is why they support this deceptive call for ‘unity.'" There is also another article entitled ‘Homosexuality is Not O.K.' that calls homosexuality an "abnormal human act."

Rounding out the people involved in the Islamic Center of Boca Raton are the two spokesmen for the center, Hassan Shareef and Dan McBride. Actually, it's only McBride now, because Shareef, who has called the United States government illegitimate, has now relocated to Saudi Arabia.

McBride converted to Islam not too long ago. When an antisemitic article entitled "Why can't the Jews and Muslims live together in peace?" was taken off of the ICBR website (www.icbr.org) due to outside pressure, McBride said they took it off their site because they received some complaints, but he also said he agreed with everything written in the article. The article called Jews "usurpers and aggressors" and "people of treachery and betrayal." The article also contained this oft used Islamic quote: "You will fight the Jews and will prevail over them, so that a rock will say, ‘O Muslim! There is Jew behind me, kill him!'"

Ibrahim Dremali claimed that the article was caused by hackers. Yet the article was taken from the same place that the majority of the other ICBR website articles are found, www.islam-qa.com. In fact, they're all written by the same person, Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, including the one about how the Jews have no claim to Jerusalem.

Sheikh Al-Munajjid lives in Saudi Arabia, but up until recently the technical contact for his website for some reason was located in Boca Raton. In addition, the service provider for his site was Infocom, a company that has been raided by the United States for allegedly providing "material support" for Hamas. Al-Munajjid's name and a link to his website (which includes a link to the Hamas web site) are currently found on the ICBR site. In addition, a link to an organization that raised millions of dollars for the terrorist group Al Qaida, Al Haramain, is also found on the Islamic Center of Boca Raton website.

Dremali has also appeared in court as an expert/character witness for Adham Hassoun, an individual that was arrested in part for raising thousands of dollars for the Benevolence Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation, two terrorist charities shut down by the United States on the same day. You can judge a person by the company they keep.

The Islamic Center of Boca Raton has admitted to giving nearly 17 thousand dollars to the Global Relief Foundation. What they haven't admitted, however, is that they received 600 thousand dollars from that same Global Relief Foundation for a Boca Raton masjid (mosque), which as of yet does not exist. In fact, according to the Global Relief Foundation website, which has since been shut down, significantly more money is listed as having been given towards a mosque in Boca than any other American city.

This was confirmed, when I went on a radio show to debate Hassan Sabri, the imam of the Islamic Center of South Florida located in Pompano Beach, concerning the building of this new mosque. Sabri stated that he heard from someone that the ICBR received 600 thousand dollars from a group to go towards the building of the new mosque. Furthermore, one of the featured speakers at an ICBR mosque fundraiser held on May 10, 2003, was Khaled Smaili, a past representative for the Global Relief Foundation.

All of this put together says to me, and I believe to you as well, that there is a problem here. Not a small problem, but a big one… and one that is happening not just in Boca Raton, but in major cities all over our country. Will our government sit back and let things happen, or will it begin to take action, so that the next 9/11 never becomes reality?

According to the Palm Beach Post, Ibrahim Dremali's eldest son pled guilty to stabbing a fellow student repeatedly – in the back, neck and arm – with a scissors. He is now attending an Islamic school in Broward County. With regard to this, Dremali stated, "People say ‘Go back to where you came from,' but we have no place to go back to. We are Americans." Yet, our good imam is building a dream home in Gaza… a five-story house, complete with an elevator and polished wood trim. Of it, he states, "It's where my heart is, where I spent my childhood, where I want to return some day, G-d willing. It's why I don't live so well here. I'm putting all my money there." One quote was from December 9, 2002, and one quote was from February 27, 2003. What a difference less than two months makes!

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Citizens Against Hate and the co-founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of South Florida. You could visit Joe Kaufman's interactive website, at joe4rep.com.

---------------------

http://www.bocanews.com/index.php?src=news&prid=5054&category=LOCAL+NEWS

Boca mosque weaves tangled Web
Islamic center Web site links to anti-Israeli, anti-American material
Published Sunday, April 6, 2003
by Aaron Shea

Members of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas are shown kneeling shoulder-to-shoulder on top of American and Israeli flags, while proudly displaying a sign written in Arabic that honors an Iraqi suicide bomber who killed several U.S. soldiers.
It's a disturbing photograph that can be easily accessed on the Internet. But what might be alarming to many in South County is that the picture – along with a number of opinionated articles – could easily be easily accessed from the Islamic Center of Boca Raton's Web site.
With three simple clicks of the mouse on the mosque's Web site, www.icbr.org, anyone could view Friday's "photo of the day" on the Palestine News link – a feature that typically shows an image with subject matter similar to the one described above. The Palestine News site – also known as "The Palestinian Information Center" – also contains anti-Israeli material and on some days, even a link to Hamas's Web site.
Several members of the Islamic Center, which is located in a shopping plaza in the heart of Boca Raton, last week said they were aware of the link to a site called Islam Q&A attached to the Islamic Center's Web site, but they added that they did not know about the Palestine News link prominent on the Q&A page.
Islam Q&A "is the Number One Islamic site in the world," said one man, who did not give his name, as he exited the Friday afternoon prayer service at the mosque on Northwest 20th Street. The Islamic Center has plans to construct a new 27,000-square-foot facility on three acres on Northwest 35th Street.
"Almost every Islamic site has a link to it," said the man. "We can't be responsible" for all the material on the Islam Q&A site.

‘Outstanding sites'

The home page of the Islamic center's Web site contains information about local facilities for Muslims, prayer times, services and ways to donate to the mosque. A click on the "Embrace Islam" icon leads to a page introducing other links, including the Islam Q&A icon that leads users to the Palestine News page. The section that introduces the links carries the sentence: "Visit these outstanding sites to learn more about Islam!!!"
The mosque's Web site also carries a disclaimer that says the site is maintained by volunteers as "an informational page for all Muslims, particularly living in South Florida. ICBR is not responsible for the content of any linked pages."
The mosque's religious leader, Ibrahim Dremali, did not return several calls made to his residence this week to discuss the link. But the center's spokesman, Dan McBride, said he was unaware of the Palestine News site connected to the Islam Q&A page.
"I have no idea what is on [Islam Q&A]," said the McBride, a former Catholic who converted to Islam and whose brother is a U.S. Army reservist serving in Iraq. "There are so many links on it. It is one of the most popular [Islamic] Web sites. We can't verify everything linked to it. I'm not really in a position to comment on it, not having seen it."
McBride said, however, there the center would not consider removing the Q&A link from its Web site.
"We would consider that censorship," he said. "We don't believe in censorship. As long as the site is not preaching killing innocent women and children."
But Bill Gralnick, southeast regional director of the American Jewish Committee, said there is no reason why the Islam Q&A link should remain on the Islamic Center's site.
"This has nothing to do with censorship," Gralnick said. "They can choose or not choose to have the link on their web site. But a zebra doesn't change its stripes. This is the kind of material they want to give their constituents."

‘Glory record'

As recently as late last month, the Islam Q&A site offered a direct link to Hamas' Web site, which contained a document called the terrorist group's "glory record." It listed 85 "successful" terrorist operations aimed at killing Israeli military troops and Israeli settlers. Hamas is a radical Islamic movement that has admitted to carrying out numerous suicide bombings in Israel since the late 80s.
Among the "glory" stories: "A member of Hamas killed the Israeli settler Ya'coub Berey using a big rock as a weapon. The [Hamas member] was shot down as a martyr after he had ambushed an Israeli patrol using the dead settler's weapon."
This is not the first time that the mosque's Web site has been linked to inflammatory information.
Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, South County Jewish leaders and others raised a furor after an anti-Semitic article was found on the Islam Q&A link attached to the Islamic Center's Web site.
The article, entitled, "Why can't the Jews and Muslims live together in peace?" called Jews "people of treachery and betrayal; it is not possible to trust them at all."
Although officials at the center said the article was removed from the Web site following the public outcry, a search of the Islam Q&A link by the Boca Raton News found the story to still available on the site.
Hodan Hassan, spokeswoman for the Counsel on American-Islamic Relation – a national organization established to create a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America – dismissed the mosque's computer links as as a non-issue.
"A lot of sites can be analyzed like this," she said. "It's difficult to [find] all of the problems associated with links to Web sites."
Meanwhile, photos and articles that many in South County would call inflammatory and offensive remain just a few clicks away on the Islamic Center's official site.

--------------

"MIM: In 2003 Dremali spoke at this gathering whose speakers list reads like a "Who's Who" of Islamists and included Ashaf Uzzaman Khan, the former president of ICNA who is accused of being a death squad leader in Bangledesh in 1971 and of having singlehandedly executed 8 teachers at Dhaka University.

"...New York's famous Madison Square Garden, April 13th turned into a showcase of Muslim unity, when Muslim scholars and national and community leaders gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the Internet Islamic School sponsored by Islamic Internet University (IIU)..."

."...Ayesha Mustafa along with Sr. Ayesha Al-Adawiyah, President of Women in Islam, and Sr. Debbie Almontaser, a cultural diversity trainer and consultant for the NY Department of Education, were among those invited to sit onstage. Both agreed that the success of this event was in that broke down the barriers of nationalism and egotism while focusing on education as a tool to further the prominence of the Muslim community. Among the guests were Imam Zaid Shakir, a renowned speaker, Shaikh Mohammad Nur Abdullah, President Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Dr.Mazammil Siddiqui, former President of ISNA, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad of Hampton University and Vice President of Center for American Muslim Research and Information, Shaikh Mukhtar Maghraoui, a well-known speaker and da'ee, Shaikh Ibrahim Najm, a well-known scholar from New York, Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunus, first President of ISNA, Dr. M. Yusufuddin, President of ICNA New York, and Imam Jamil Abdul Latif, Ameer of New York Majlis Shura. Speakers included Maulana Yusuf Islahi, a renowned scholar and author on many books in Urdu, Imam Ibrahim Dremali, Imam, Islamic Center Florida, and Ashraf Zaman Khan, former Vice President of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) who spoke in their native languages showing how knowledge, Islamic knowledge, transcends nationalism..."

Sheikh Dremali made an impassioned speech denouncing the concept that any one nationality is superior, "There is no faith without brotherhood and without brotherhood there is no faith." He stressed that superiority only comes to those who possess the most knowledge and taqwa (piety). http://www.studyislam.com/isp/jsp/IIUEvents/April13_2003.jsp

--------------------------------

MIM: Ibrahim Dremali got 'down to the business of da'wa" and insinuating himself among students, by speaking at this Iowa Muslim Student Association Conference which was an attempt to "promote awareness for both Muslims and non Muslims across the state". Awareness meaning 'the message of there being no God but Allah'. The conference was held from March 18th to March 20th at Iowa State University. Ibrahim Dremali was listed as Ibrahim Al Dremali and spoke "On the Miracles of the Quran".

-----------------------------

PDF] About the Iowa Muslim Student Association
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
... Al-Dremali. ISU Carver Hall Room # 0268. 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Dinner with the Speakers.
ISU Carver Hall Ground Floor. 6:45 – 7:00 pm. Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer ...
www.iowamuslims.org/conference/2005/5ICIProgram.pdf - Similar pages

------------------------------------

About the Iowa Muslim Student Association

The Iowa MSA is a statewide organisation of Muslim Students and allies from Drake University (Des Moines) .Iowa State University(Ames), Kirkwood College(Ceder Rapids), Luther College (Decorah), and Maharishi University of Management of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls).

The IOWA MSA"s mission is to continue the first legacy of Muslims in America, who settled in Iowa and builtThe Mother Mosque of America, and held the first national conference on Islam . Over the years the Mother Mosque of America was abandoned,later turned into a church, and ultimately a nightclub. The national conference organised by the Islamic community there has also ceased to exist.

About the Annual Iowa Conference on Islam

The Iowa Conference on Islam is part of the revival of the Islamic identity in Iowa and it's attempt to promote awareness for both Muslims and non Muslims across the state.The Iowa MAS hold this conference annually and attracts between 300- 500 students and community members, who come to learn about Islam and dispel stereotypes about Muslims, through cooperative workshops, positive interaction, and highly informative discussions and lectures.

The Iowa Conference on Islam runs over the course of three days and is often during spring break . The students, community members, and neighbors come together to learn a lot, eat and enjoy recreational activities. It is also common for the mayor, Lieutenant Governor, and state and local representaties to attend the Conference as well as faculty, staff and Ames officials, to participate.

With speakers staying overnight and government officials involved it seems appropriate that the Conference sessions and activities are held in close proximity to lodging at University Hotels.

5 ICI sponsers

IOWA MSA groups, ISU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs,GSB,Pakistani Student Association,Indonesian Student Organisation,Islamic Center of Ames City, Mayor's Office of Ames City and Ames Community.

------------------------------

Wednsday October 18, 2000 South Florida Protest Calls For Jihad

by Um Ahmad

MIAMI (IslamOnline) - Pro-Palestinian demonstrations in South Florida are gradually taking on a more aggressive tone. Last Saturday protestors in Miami gathered for the fifth time since the beginning of the current intifada sparked by a controversial visit by Ariel Sharon to the al-Haram al-Sharif.

Related Link

Free-Jerusalem: Protest Schedule for Miami

This is the fourth of such protests held in front of the Israeli consulate in Miami, the other was held in front of the Holocaust Memorial as a counter protest to a pro-Israeli rally.

Saturday's demonstration was not a call for peace with the Israelis. Rather, the demonstration specifically called for a jihad (holy struggle).

Muslims representing several countries joined together in chanting pro-jihadi slogans, such as "We don't want negotiation, with jihad we'll claim our nation," and "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand."

Karima Rahim, an American Muslima, said, "I think what the Israeli Jews are doing is a crime against humanity. They [the Israelis] need to get out of that land [Palestine]. If the U.S. is so worried about it, they should just give them [Palestinians] a state."

Five-year-old Jibreel S., clad in military fatigues and holding a sign reading "Jewish values: Kill women and children," took the lead in an all children's demonstration held behind the adults. Another child led the group in chanting, "U.S. taxes paid the bill, Israelis used it all to kill."

This was Jibreel's second protest in one week. At the first protest he attended, during a public reading of the names of the shuhadaa (martyrs), he cried out, "Why? Why? Why are they killing those kids? What did they do wrong?" While adults tried to keep their tears back, Jibreel grabbed the megaphone on his own and shouted "Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!"

Turnout at Saturday's protest indicated that what is occurring in Palestine is not just a concern for Palestinians, but for Muslims from around the world as well. Not only were there Palestinian, but also Bosnian, Chechen, Egyptian, Moroccan, Hezbollah, and various African and other green Islamic flags waved throughout the day in solidarity.

The crowd cheered loudly as a car passed with a Saudi Arabian youth holding a sign that read: "I have a dream... that one day Palestine will be free." When questioned by reporters, he emphatically stated: "Make sure you let people know that I am from Saudi Arabia. I want people to know that Saudi Arabians are standing up for Palestine!" People from all backgrounds seemed to share the same sentiment.

The demonstration took on a more solemn tone when the crowd gathered together around a mock cemetery with cardboard "gravestones" for each of the Palestinians killed since the beginning of the current intifada.

The scene was grim as children laid down in between the graves without moving while Ibrahim Dremali, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, urged the crowd not to be sad for those who were martyred, and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in.

The crowd then joined in following a mock funeral procession amidst shouts of "Haya 'ala al-jihad," occasionally stopping to burn Israeli flags.

Before the crowd dispersed, Muslims from all backgrounds loudly chanted "Muslims united, will never be divided".

Observers have stated that if the Israelis were to be credited with anything these past two weeks, it would be for uniting the Muslim and Arab world against them.

Another demonstration is scheduled for October 21st at the Holocaust War Memorial in Miami. (for more details and directions, contact www.free-jerusalem.com)

---------------------------------

http://www.islam-online.net/iol-english/dowalia/news-2000-Oct-18/topnews4.asp

Wednesday October 18, 2000

South Florida Protest Calls For Jihad

by Um Ahmad

MIAMI (IslamOnline) - Pro-Palestinian demonstrations in South Florida are gradually taking on a more aggressive tone. Last Saturday protestors in Miami gathered for the fifth time since the beginning of the current intifada sparked by a controversial visit by Ariel Sharon to the al-Haram al-Sharif.

Related Link

Free-Jerusalem: Protest Schedule for Miami

This is the fourth of such protests held in front of the Israeli consulate in Miami, the other was held in front of the Holocaust Memorial as a counter protest to a pro-Israeli rally.

Saturday's demonstration was not a call for peace with the Israelis. Rather, the demonstration specifically called for a jihad (holy struggle).

Muslims representing several countries joined together in chanting pro-jihadi slogans, such as "We don't want negotiation, with jihad we'll claim our nation," and "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand."

Karima Rahim, an American Muslima, said, "I think what the Israeli Jews are doing is a crime against humanity. They [the Israelis] need to get out of that land [Palestine]. If the U.S. is so worried about it, they should just give them [Palestinians] a state."

Five-year-old Jibreel S., clad in military fatigues and holding a sign reading "Jewish values: Kill women and children," took the lead in an all children's demonstration held behind the adults. Another child led the group in chanting, "U.S. taxes paid the bill, Israelis used it all to kill."

This was Jibreel's second protest in one week. At the first protest he attended, during a public reading of the names of the shuhadaa (martyrs), he cried out, "Why? Why? Why are they killing those kids? What did they do wrong?" While adults tried to keep their tears back, Jibreel grabbed the megaphone on his own and shouted "Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!"

Turnout at Saturday's protest indicated that what is occurring in Palestine is not just a concern for Palestinians, but for Muslims from around the world as well. Not only were there Palestinian, but also Bosnian, Chechen, Egyptian, Moroccan, Hezbollah, and various African and other green Islamic flags waved throughout the day in solidarity.

The crowd cheered loudly as a car passed with a Saudi Arabian youth holding a sign that read: "I have a dream... that one day Palestine will be free." When questioned by reporters, he emphatically stated: "Make sure you let people know that I am from Saudi Arabia. I want people to know that Saudi Arabians are standing up for Palestine!" People from all backgrounds seemed to share the same sentiment.

The demonstration took on a more solemn tone when the crowd gathered together around a mock cemetery with cardboard "gravestones" for each of the Palestinians killed since the beginning of the current intifada.

The crowd then joined in following a mock funeral procession amidst shouts of "Haya 'ala al-jihad," occasionally stopping to burn Israeli flags.

Before the crowd dispersed, Muslims from all backgrounds loudly chanted "Muslims united, will never be divided".

------------

http://www.bocanews.com/index.php?src=news&prid=3700&category=LOCAL%20NEWS

Activist group cites ‘threat' of new mosque
Muslim leaders blast accusations of connections to terrorists
Published Wednesday, December 25, 2002
by Dale M. King

A group called Citizens Against Hate opposes the construction of a 9,000-foot mosque planned for 3 acres on Northwest 35th Street. The group says activities at the mosque would present a threat to the area, but a spokesman for the Islamic Center says

A group called Citizens Against Hate is rallying the community to halt the construction of a new mosque for the Islamic Center of Boca Raton.
"This mosque, if allowed to be built, would be a major threat to Boca Raton and all of South Florida," said Joe Kaufman, 32, of Tamarac, chairman of the group.
The campaign – as well as the accusation of a threat – drew a serious rebuke from the ICBR.
"We have zero to hide – and we have proven it over and over again," said Hassan Shareef, spokesman for the Islamic Center. "If we had been involved in a diabolical scheme, we would have been shut down a long time ago."
But Kaufman said members of his group "have spent the last month compiling pages of information concerning the people that are planning the creation of this new mosque – and another mosque that is planned to be built just blocks away."
He said he has discussed the data with the FBI, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and Boca Raton police.
The documentation – about 60 pages worth – includes copies of newspaper articles, items downloaded from various Web sites and several documents from the city of Boca Raton. Shareef said much of it is "old stuff" that has already been dealt with.
"It is not the Muslims we are fighting," said Kaufman. "The mosque might be a threat to the community. If it is built, we don't know what is going on behind the walls."
"There is a deficiency of information," he said. "We are trying to inform the community."

Radio talk show

Nearly a year ago, the Boca Raton Planning & Zoning Board approved plans for a 9,000-square-foot mosque to be built on 3.3 acres of land on Northwest 35th Street. It will replace the ICBR's existing mosque in a shopping plaza on Northwest 20th Street.
In addition, the Assalam Center of Boca Raton is planning to construct a smaller facility on two acres of land at 1499 N.W. 4th Ave., not far from the other site.
Construction has not yet begun on either of the buildings. But the Assalam Center's plan made news early this month when a man was arrested for setting fire to a sign at the edge of the property announcing that a mosque would be built there.
The suspect was charged with committing a hate crime – a complaint that made news wires around the country. The sign had been repeatedly vandalized.
Kaufman took his committee's views to the airwaves on Monday during an appearance on the Steve Kane radio show on WWNN radio, which is based in Boca Raton.
In a news release, Kaufman said he and the imam – or spiritual leader – of the Boca Raton mosque would "debate…the possible construction of a new 9,000 square foot mosque in the heart of Boca Raton."
Shareef – the official at the mosque who deals with the media – said he never received a telephone call about the show. Kaufman said officials from the program told him that an effort was made to call the imam.
In the end, Kaufman appeared on the program with an official of the Islamic Center in Pompano Beach, who admitted knowing little about the Boca Raton situation.
Even Kaufman, after the program, said that the discussion got off the subject of the local situation and into broader issues of global Jewish-Muslim politics.

Accusations leveled

During the program, Kaufman leveled four accusations against the Islamic Center of Boca Raton.
n He said the center admitted donating nearly $17,000 last year to the Global Relief Foundation, an organization that has since had its assets frozen by the federal government "and has been deemed a terrorist charity by the United States and United Nations."
n He accused the ICBR of having "anti-Semitic material" on its Web site.
n Kaufman said the ICBR has "published" anti-Semitic and anti-Christian statements made by its imam, Ibrahim Dremali.
n He said the ICBR has "a connection" to Sami Al-Arian, the University of South Florida professor associated with the terrorist group Islamic Jihad.
Shareef said the center did donate to the Global Relief Foundation, "as have millions of other Muslims. They came to us with their brochure and their pictures of sick children and asked us to give. They had a United States tax identification number."
And while the assets have been frozen, Shareef said, the organization "has not been deemed terrorist."
A quote from Iman Dremali on a conservative Web site called "The Welch Report" said the ICBR gave $16,590.95 to the foundation to support its humanitarian work.
"They help the poor and needy people in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't believe they have anything to do with terrorists," the imam of the Boca Raton mosque was quoted as saying.
As to the Islamic center's own Web site, Shareef said, Kaufman's accusation was "a rehash" of a matter dealt with last year. He said a "volunteer Webmaster" put one questionable article on the ICBR Website – an article long since removed.
The site does have links to other Muslim computer locations with a bank of some 17,000 stories, said Shareef.
Kaufman said the ICBR Web is still linked to anti-Semitic stories.
Shareef said Muslims from the center have spoken "at schools, hospitals, churches and synagogues."
Had any of them said something inflammatory, "we would have been challenged – and no one challenged us."
The ICBR spokesman emphasized it has "zero connection" to Al-Arian, who he said is still on the faculty at USF, even though the school has objected to some of his comments. "We have nothing to do [with Al-Arian.] It's just that we're in the same state."

City hall contacted

During Monday's radio program, Kaufman asked residents to call Boca Raton City Hall and object to the mosques.
Mayor Steven Abrams, who said he knows Kaufman, said he received one telephone call Monday from a resident objecting to the mosque plan.
"There have been questions raised about the ICBR," said Abrams. "I am sensitive to the concerns raised, but they don't relate to the [city's building] permitting process."
Kaufman's attempt to second-guess the city has rankled those at the mosque, Shareef said.
"We take great offense at [Kaufman] thinking he can do a better job than the mayor, the City Council [and other officials] who have worked with us and who have looked at our [building] plans."
"We don't want some wannabe politician to tell our elected officials how to do their job," Shareef said.
Kaufman, who has run unsuccessfully twice for the Florida House of Representatives, said, "I am not running for office now."


Observers have stated that if the Israelis were to be credited with anything these past two weeks, it would be for uniting the Muslim and Arab world against them.

Another demonstration is scheduled for October 21st at the Holocaust War Memorial in Miami. (for more details and directions, contact www.free-jerusalem.com)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

MIAMI, US

Florida Protesters Rally for Palestinians
(Reuters, 21 October 2000)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - More than 125 Islamic religious leaders, community members and students from South Florida rallied on Saturday near the city's Holocaust memorial to show their solidarity with Palestinians. Supporters came in buses from as far away as 100 miles away to chant, pray and voice their anger at the violence in the Middle East. Protesters hammered "tombstones" into a grassy plot to make a point that the war is affecting children. At one point in the rally a group of protesters raised a child, draped in a Palestinian flag, over their heads as if he was dead. "The immediate thing I want to see," said G. Murtaza Kakli, president of the Muslim Community of Palm Beach County, "is Israel withdraw soldiers from the Palestinian area they are occupying at once."

Arab leaders angrily condemned Israel and declared solidarity with Palestinians at a rare Arab League summit in Cairo on Saturday as four more people were killed in fierce clashes in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Three teenagers were among the dead, scores of people were hurt and a 13-year-old youth was seriously wounded by a bullet to the head on a "day of rage" called by militant groups after a U.S.-brokered agreement failed to stop the violence. Saturday's fatalities took the death toll in more than three weeks of Israeli-Palestinian violence to 121, all but eight of them Palestinians or Israeli Arabs.

-----------------------------------------------------------

MIM: Bassem Al Halabi who was treasurer and co founder of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton was found to have illegally brought an thermal imaging device to Syria. He claimed it was for his brother, who would use it 'to look for coins in the sand'. (see complete article below).

For Immediate Release - June 24, 2003
Contact - 202-482-2721

http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:uN7tnRS32ucJ:www.bxa.doc.gov/News/2003/AlhalabiGetsDPL.htm+%22bassem+alhalabi%22+2003&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Bassem Alhalabi Settles Charges
Concerning the Illegal Export of
Thermal Imaging Camera to Syria

The U.S. Department of Commerce today imposed a one-year denial of export privileges on Bassem Alhalabi to resolve charges that Mr. Alhalabi caused the export of a thermal imaging camera to Syria without the license required under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) charged that, on March 12, 1998, Alhalabi caused the export of a thermal imaging camera to Syria in violation of the EAR. Thermal imaging cameras are controlled for export to Syria for national security, regional stability, and anti-terrorism reasons.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Lisa A. Prager commended the Office of Export Enforcement's San Jose Field Office for its efforts in this investigation.

----------------------------------------

Palm Beach Post (Florida) May 18, 2003 Sunday



FAU PROFESSOR DENIES LINKS WITH GRAD-SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR

By MARY McLACHLIN Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


Like all wars, the one against terrorism is causing collateral damage.

The February indictment of Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida computer science professor, was a bombshell whose fragments have been felt in many lives, including those of two former students and friends who went on to become professors at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Central Florida.

Bassem Al-Halabi, who teaches computer science and engineering at FAU, and Hussam Jubara, a visiting professor at UCF, understandably do not want to be associated with their former mentor. After Sept. 11, simply being Arab and Muslim is enough to draw unwanted attention in the United States, without being linked to an alleged terrorist mastermind.

"I don't have any association" with Al-Arian, Al-Halabi said in an interview. "God forbid, if I become a drug dealer, would you go and interview hundreds of my graduate students who have graduated and tell them, 'You're a drug dealer, too'?"

A federal grand jury indicted Al-Arian and seven others on 50 counts of conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, money laundering and other charges, based on hundreds of wiretapped phone calls and intercepted faxes going back more than a decade.

The indictment identified Al-Arian, a native of Kuwait, as the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It said he used his position at the university as a cover to raise millions to finance armed attacks on civilians in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and to support families of "martyrs" who blew themselves up in buses, restaurants and markets.

Al-Arian set up two organizations in Tampa: the Islamic Committee for Palestine, which purported to be a charity under the euphemism "Islamic Concern Project"; and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise Institute, a think tank that brought Islamic speakers to the school for educational programs.

The government says the organizations were fronts to funnel money to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas.

Al-Halabi, 44, said he spent less than a year at USF in 1989-90, pursuing a master's degree in computer engineering and research on a new type of microchip in a multimillion-dollar program paid for by the Defense Department. He said he had never heard of Al-Arian before then and has not spoken to him in several years.

Al-Halabi left USF in 1990 to finish his master's degree and pursue a doctorate at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. When he applied at FAU in 1995, he gave Al-Arian as a reference. He said he wasn't aware that his former professor had been linked publicly to the Palestinian groups by then.

Al-Halabi and Al-Arian co-wrote five research papers published between 1990 and 1992. One was presented at a conference in Damascus, Syria - Al-Halabi's homeland - but he said he didn't accompany Al-Arian to the presentations.

He said Al-Arian never tried to recruit him for the Islamic Committee for Palestine, and he didn't take part in it because he was never interested in politics. However, he did recall going to one conference in Chicago.

"I was a newlywed, and I just wanted to have fun," he said. "I was just hanging around in the lobby. Actually, I never attended any of the lectures, never."

If so, Al-Halabi missed some of the stars of militant Islam. Speakers at Islamic Committee for Palestine conferences included Islamic Jihad founder Abdel Aziz-Odeh and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric who was the spiritual leader of the group that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 and is serving a life sentence for conspiracy to blow up bridges, subway tunnels and the United Nations headquarters.

Stopped calling friend

The World and Islam Studies Enterprise Institute was formed after Al-Halabi left the University of South Florida. He said he never knew Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, the adjunct professor and institute director who left in 1995 and turned up six months later in the Middle East as commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

But he did know Jubara, the University of Central Florida professor, another Al-Arian protege who was a founder and officer of Islamic Committee for Palestine. Jubara, who legally changed his name in 2000 from Hussam Abujbara, co-authored research papers with Al-Halabi and Al-Arian and was a partner with the professor in several business ventures.

Al-Halabi said he had known Jubara since they were undergraduates at Ohio University in the early 1980s. After leaving USF, Jubara worked for Big Bargain World, a novelty-store chain owned by Orlando magnate Jesse Maali, a Palestinian-American facing trial on nine counts of money laundering and 53 counts of hiring illegal aliens.

Al-Halabi's resume says he did consulting work for Big Bargain World, designing electronic novelty items. He says he worked strictly for Jubara, not for the company.

"Jubara is a close friend of mine," Al-Halabi said. "We call each other."

But he said he hasn't called since Jubara was arrested in March, after a federal grand jury indicted him on three counts of lying on immigration forms. Jubara pleaded not guilty and has been released on $50,000 bond to await trial.

"I felt maybe I should give him a call, see what happened," Al-Halabi said, "but we're in a situation now where no one wants to call anyone anymore. I'm not going to even call my brother, the one who bought the camera."

Camera buy questioned

"The camera" is a thermal imaging device that has added more complications to Al-Halabi's life. The $13,000 camera, manufactured by Raytheon, is normally used by fire departments, military units, law enforcement and government agencies, including NASA, to produce heat-sensitive images of buildings, landscapes and ground areas. Sales are regulated by the Commerce Department, which restricts its export to foreign countries.

Al-Halabi says his brother in Syria spotted the camera on the Web site of Accurate Locators, a company in Medford, Ore., and wanted it to search for gold - a use also touted by the company, which sells several other treasure-hunting devices for a fraction of the cost.

Al-Halabi said his brother ordered the camera and paid for it. He said his only role was to write a letter asking the company to ship it to relatives in the Chicago area so his parents, who were visiting from Damascus, could take it back to Syria and thus avoid paying the shipping charge.

"We saved $200-$300," he said.

Wayne Good, president of Accurate Locators, said he dealt directly with Al-Halabi, who called to inquire about mineral detection devices and said he was into treasure hunting.

"He sounded like a very intelligent person," Good said. "I thought it was going to this professor at this university. I never spoke to any brother."

Al-Halabi said Good was "absolutely wrong" and that he can document his claim.

The transaction, which took place in 2000, brought Al-Halabi and Accurate Locators under the scrutiny of the Commerce Department, which let them off with warnings but demanded that the camera be returned to the United States. After agents couldn't connect with Al-Halabi's brother, Al-Halabi flew to Syria, brought back the camera and turned it over to the Commerce Department and now is negotiating with Accurate Locators for a refund.

Mistakenly arrested

The questioning by Commerce Department agents about the camera led to a traumatic event in Al-Halabi's life in which he was mistaken for a Pinellas County man by the same name and locked up for 19 hours as a robbery suspect before the mix-up was resolved. He sued FAU because a campus police officer arrested him, but he said his lawyer advised him to drop the suit in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

Al-Halabi says now that, if Al-Arian is indeed a terrorist, he feels sorry for all of Al-Arian's students. But he doesn't want to be painted with the same brush of suspicion.

"I do not want to even mention this word anymore. I do not want even to talk about it," he said. "If there are some terrorists, let the government find them. If they want my help, they will come and talk to me, and I will tell them everything I know."

Staff writers Paul Reid and Paul Lomartire, and researchers Krista Pegnetter, Dorothy Shea, Melanie Mena and Madeline Miller contributed to this report.

mary_mclachlin@pbpost.com

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Palm Beach Post (Florida) May 18, 2003 .
Palm Beach Post (Florida)


PLANNED BOCA MOSQUE FUELS JEWISH-MUSLIM TENSIONS


By MARY McLACHLIN Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


Ages-old tensions between Jews and Muslims, nurtured through centuries and heightened by the horror of Sept. 11, have found a new focal point in South Florida: the leaders of a Boca Raton Islamic group and their plan to build a new mosque and community center.

A freelance Jewish activist from Tamarac named Joe Kaufman is waging a vocal and Internet crusade against the Islamic Center of Boca Raton's effort to build a 27,000-square-foot mosque, school and activity center near Florida Atlantic University, where many of its members work and study. He worries about plots being hatched.

"It's a possibility," Kaufman said, "and frankly, I would rather not take that chance. If they build that mosque, we really don't know what would be going on behind those walls."

Kaufman and others are wary because the center has hosted fund-raising speakers who later were accused of promoting terrorist organizations, and its Web site has carried anti-Jewish writings and links to sites with access to terrorist groups. The writings and links were removed after protests.

Islamic center officials deny allegations of anti-Semitism and any connections to terrorism. They say they want only to live in peace and practice their religion without fear or interference.

Their critics are not convinced.

A representative of the American Jewish Committee, an international advocacy organization, said the AJC doesn't object to the building of any place of worship, only to messages of intolerance or violence.

"It's not the mosque, not the physical plant," said Bill Gralnick, AJC southeast regional director based in Boca Raton. "It's people like the ones who were invited to speak at the fund-raisers. It's who's speaking and what they're saying that creates apprehension."

The AJC has close ties to intelligence and law enforcement agencies worldwide and keeps detailed files on groups and individuals it perceives as threats to Israel and to Jews everywhere.

Backing the Islamic center is the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a major Islamic civil rights group that also maintains files and Web sites devoted to protecting Muslims and promoting Islam.

In the aftershock of Sept. 11, it quickly became clear that the discord fracturing the Middle East had spread poisonous roots deep into this country - perhaps nowhere more acutely than in South Florida, home to 600,000 Jews and a fast-growing Muslim community estimated at more than 75,000.

Police and FBI agents questioned hundreds of Middle Eastern men after the revelation that most of the Sept. 11 hijackers were radical Islamists of Arab descent who had lived and trained for their mission in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Levels of suspicion and fear soared, aggravated by pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies and strident Web sites pouring out invective from both sides.

The AJC turned its investigative resources on the Islamic center and its leaders after being alerted to anti-Semitic material on its Web site within days of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A net of suspicion fell on the imam - the spiritual leader - of the Islamic center, Ibrahim Dremali, and other leaders, including FAU professors Bassem Al-Halabi and Mohammad Khalid Hamza. Both are natives of Syria, and both were instructors and research colleagues at the university until Hamza was forced out this year in a bitter dispute over tenure and allegations of religious and ethnic discrimination.

Hamza, an adviser to the Muslim Student Organization, claimed he was denied tenure because of other professors' anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias against him, and the Florida Human Relations Commission agreed with his claim.

The university denied that his religion or ethnic origin had anything to do with it and said he had misstated his qualifications on his resume and behaved unprofessionally in the classroom. Hamza has hired an attorney in Tallahassee, and the case appears headed for court.

News reports have listed Hamza as a co-founder of the center in 1998, but Al-Halabi said that he and five other men founded it before Hamza got involved. It was an outgrowth of a group of Muslim students and faculty who met for prayers on campus but wanted a place that would always be available, especially when the school was closed. They created a mosque in a shopping plaza on Northwest 20th Street, which Al-Halabi said draws about 200 for Friday prayers.

Al-Halabi is in an especially difficult position because he was once a student and research assistant at the University of South Florida in Tampa under Sami Al-Arian, a professor of computer science and engineering.

Al-Arian now is locked in a federal prison, accused of being the North American chief of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The Syria-based extremist group has killed more than 100 people and maimed hundreds with planted bombs and suicide bombers.

Al-Halabi gave the USF professor as one of four references when he applied for a job at FAU in 1995. By then, Al-Arian had been publicly connected to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror groups in a November 1994 TV documentary, Jihad in America.

Al-Halabi said he wasn't aware of the accusations against Al-Arian when he applied at FAU. He said he spent less than a year at USF, knew nothing about Al-Arian's alleged terrorist-support activities and has had no contact with Al-Arian for several years.

"I happened to be a student when he was there, and he was my adviser, and it ended right there," he said.

The Boca Raton center and two Broward County mosques attended by men jailed or sought for plotting terrorist attacks appear to be the main targets of complaints by Jewish organizations. There has been no overt criticism of other Muslim congregations, including the Assalam Center, which also plans to build a new mosque in Boca Raton.

Kaufman 'the vocal minority'

Islamic center spokesman Daniel McBride said the overall community in Boca Raton has been "very supportive and open-minded" about plans for the new mosque.

"We just worry about the vocal minority," McBride said. "If there's one extremist, he may be a rallying point for others. We've never even met Mr. Kaufman. We don't understand his motivation, and when you don't understand something, it makes you nervous."

Kaufman maintains the tensions aren't between Muslims and Jews, but between "Americans and those that want to harm our country."

"Unfortunately, there are mosques and organizations that claim to speak for all Muslims, and many of those particular places have an extremist element in them."

The enmity between Jews and Muslims has gained a huge booster engine in the Internet. Watchdog groups scour each other's Web sites for evidence of insult, bias and links to suspicious organizations or people.

Neither side comes up short of ammunition.

The first local confrontation after Sept. 11 was over an article on the Islamic Center's Web site, www.icbr.org, that disparaged Jews in clearly hostile and offensive terms. Center officials said they were shocked and didn't know how it got on the Web site. The article was removed after American Jewish Committee leaders protested, but emotions were so charged that Dremali bowed out of an interfaith program rather than risk being a lightning rod for further anger.

Computer archives show that before September 2001, the Web site carried links to "Jihad in Chechnya," a site promoting the Taliban and Osama bin Laden and condemning Israel and the U.S.

The center also linked to "Islam Q&A," a virtual clearinghouse of Islamic sites, including those maintained by extremist groups. Last month, center officials said they were scrubbing the Web site of all links.

"The Islamic Community of Boca Raton became a lightning rod for attention with the discovery of what was on its Web site," Gralnick said. "It has, for a variety of reasons, remained a lightning rod."

Kaufman, 34, who has run twice for the Florida House, has his own Web site, www.joe4rep.com, that also links to more than 100 other sites, many that are militantly pro-Israel and anti-Islam.

After Kaufman objected to including Muslims in school diversity training, the Council on American-Islamic Relations fired back with an accusation that his Web site linked to the anti-Muslim Kahane Chai, or Kach, a designated terrorist organization. He removed the link.

Rallies in Miami criticized

In October 2000, as Palestinian-Israeli violence flared, a pro-Palestinian rally occurred in front of the Israeli Consulate in Miami. The Islam-Online report said demonstrators called for a jihad - holy struggle - against Israeli Jews and chanted slogans such as, "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand." After describing a mock cemetery with cardboard gravestones representing Palestinians killed in the uprising, the report said:

"The scene was grim as children laid down in between the graves without moving while Ibrahim Dremali, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, urged the crowd not to be sad for those who were martyred, and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in."

After the American Jewish Committee and Kaufman criticized Dremali for the statement - which he later denied making - the paragraph was removed from the Internet page, though it remains in the archived version.

Gralnick said Islamic center leaders' participation in another demonstration in front of the Holocaust Memorial in Miami was particularly upsetting. He said Hassan Shareef, a center spokesman who since has left the U.S., agreed with him.

"He tried to head it off," Gralnick said, "but his entreaties to the leadership fell on deaf ears."

Dremali did not respond to a request for comment. McBride said the imam vowed not to talk to reporters again after The Boca Raton News published a story last month focusing on the appearance of Dr. Rafil Dhafir at a November fund-raising event sponsored by the center.

Dhafir, an Iraqi-born oncologist in Fayetteville, N.Y., and three Jordanian men were indicted in February on charges of illegally funneling money to Iraq through a charity front called Help the Needy.

The government has labeled Help the Needy and several other Islamic charities as terror-supporting organizations and barred them from soliciting money in the U.S. They include the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Islamic Assembly of North America, the Global Relief Foundation and the Benevolence International Foundation.

All raised money from South Florida mosques before they were banned, claiming it was to support schools, hospitals and humanitarian efforts in the Middle East.

"These organizations were very prominent, and they were doing a lot of humanitarian help," said Murtaza Kakli, imam of the Muslim Community of Palm Beach County mosque in suburban West Palm Beach. "These people came, and out of the goodness of our hearts, we gave. We didn't know that some of the money was being filtered to some very radical people."

Gralnick said an organization should vet the people who speak to it. "They certainly knew, or could have known if they cared to, what (Dhafir's) political philosophy is. We cared to know, and we found out."

Does anyone on either side see a way to end, or at least ease, the tension and sniping?

"People of good will and good intentions can get together," Gralnick said. "Many people, Muslims included, are driving around with green Hate Hotline bumper stickers provided by the American Jewish Committee."

Altaf Ali, spokesman for the Islamic Council, says the only hope for peace lies with individuals.

"Each individual must reach out to another individual and start building a relationship," he said.

"If you wait for organizations to initiate this, it's probably never going to happen."

Staff writers Paul Reid and Paul Lomartire and researchers Krista Pegnetter, Dorothy Shea, Melanie Mena and Madeline Miller contributed to this story.

mary_mclachlin@pbpost.com



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May 17, 2003 Saturday

Tensions mount between South Florida Jews and Muslims

MARY McLACHLIN

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.
Ages-old tensions between Jews and Muslims, nurtured through centuries and heightened by the horror of 9/11, have found a new focal point in South Florida: the leaders of a Boca Raton Islamic group and their plan to build a new mosque and community center.

A freelance Jewish activist from Tamarac named Joe Kaufman is waging a vocal and Internet crusade against the Islamic Center of Boca Raton's effort to build a 27,000-square-foot mosque, school and activity center near Florida Atlantic University, where many of its members work and study. He worries about plots being hatched.

"It's a possibility," Kaufman said, "and frankly, I would rather not take that chance. If they build that mosque, we really don't know what would be going on behind those walls."

Kaufman and others are wary because the center has hosted fund-raising speakers who were later accused of promoting terrorist organizations, and its Web site has carried anti-Jewish writings and links to sites with access to terrorist groups. The writings and links were removed after protests.

Islamic center officials deny allegations of anti-Semitism and any connections to terrorism; they say they want only to live in peace and practice their religion without fear or interference.

Their critics are not persuaded.

A representative of the American Jewish Committee, an international advocacy organization, said the AJC doesn't object to the building of any place of worship, only to messages of intolerance or violence.

"It's not the mosque, not the physical plant," said Bill Gralnick, AJC southeast regional director based in Boca Raton. "It's people like the ones who were invited to speak at the fund-raisers. It's who's speaking and what they're saying that creates apprehension."

The AJC has close ties to intelligence and law enforcement agencies worldwide and keeps detailed files on groups and individuals it perceives as threats to Israel and to Jews everywhere.

Backing the Islamic center is the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR), a major Islamic civil rights group which also maintains files and Web sites devoted to protecting Muslims and promoting Islam.

In the aftershock of 9/11, it quickly became clear that the discord fracturing the Middle East had spread poisonous roots deep into this country _ perhaps nowhere more acutely than in South Florida, home to 600,000 Jews and a fast-growing Muslim community estimated at more than 75,000.

Police and FBI agents questioned hundreds of Middle Eastern men after the revelation that most of the 9/11 hijackers were radical Islamists of Arab descent who had lived and trained for their mission in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Levels of suspicion and fear soared, aggravated by pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies and strident Web sites pouring out invective from both sides.

The AJC turned its investigative resources on the Islamic center and its leaders after being alerted to anti-Semitic material on its Web site within days of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A net of suspicion fell on the imam _ the spiritual leader _ of the Islamic center, Ibrahim Dremali, and other leaders, including FAU professors Bassem Al-Halabi and Mohammad Khalid Hamza. Both are natives of Syria, and both were instructors and research colleagues at the university until Hamza was forced out this year in a bitter dispute over tenure and allegations of religious and ethnic discrimination.

Hamza, an adviser to the Muslim Student Organization, claimed he was denied tenure because of other professors' anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias against him, and the Florida Human Relations Commission agreed with his claim.

The university denied that his religion or ethnic origin had anything to do with it and said he had misstated his qualifications on his resume and behaved unprofessionally in the classroom. Hamza has hired an attorney in Tallahassee, and the case appears headed for court.

News reports have listed Hamza as a co-founder of the center in 1998, but Al-Halabi said in an interview that he and five other men founded it before Hamza got involved. It was an outgrowth of a group of Muslim students and faculty who met for prayers on campus but wanted a place that would always be available, especially when the school was closed. They created a mosque in a shopping plaza on NW 20th Street, which Al-Halabi said draws about 200 for Friday prayers.

Al-Halabi is in an especially difficult position because he was once a student and research assistant at the University of South Florida in Tampa under Sami Al-Arian, a professor of computer science and engineering.

Al-Arian now is locked in a federal prison, accused of being the North American chief of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The Syrian-based extremist group has killed more than 100 people and maimed hundreds with planted bombs and suicide bombers.

Al-Halabi gave the USF professor as one of four references when he applied for a job at FAU in 1995. By then, Al-Arian had been publicly connected to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror groups in a November 1994 TV documentary, "Jihad in America."

Al-Halabi said he wasn't aware of the accusations against Al-Arian when he applied at FAU. He said he spent less than a year at USF, knew nothing about Al-Arian's alleged terrorist-support activities and has had no contact with Al-Arian for several years.

"I happened to be a student when he was there, and he was my adviser, and it ended right there," he said.

The Boca Raton center and two Broward County mosques attended by men jailed or sought for plotting terrorist attacks appear to be the main targets of complaints by Jewish organizations. There has been no overt criticism of other Muslim congregations, including the Assalam Center, which also plans to build a new mosque in Boca Raton.

Islamic center spokesman Daniel McBride said the overall community in Boca Raton has been "very supportive and open-minded" about plans for the new mosque.

"We just worry about the vocal minority," McBride said. "If there's one extremist, he may be a rallying point for others. We've never even met Mr. Kaufman. We don't understand his motivation, and when you don't understand something, it makes you nervous."

Kaufman maintains the tensions aren't between Muslims and Jews, but between "Americans and those that want to harm our country."

"Unfortunately, there are mosques and organizations that claim to speak for all Muslims, and many of those particular places have an extremist element in them."

The enmity between Jews and Muslims has gained a huge booster engine in the Internet. Watchdog groups scour each other's Web sites for evidence of insult, bias and links to suspicious organizations or people.

Neither side comes up short of ammunition.

The first local confrontation after 9/11 was over an article on the Islamic Center's Web site, www.icbr.org, that disparaged Jews in clearly hostile and offensive terms. Center officials said they were shocked and didn't know how it got on the Web site. The article was removed after American Jewish Committee leaders protested, but emotions were so charged that Dremali bowed out of an interfaith program rather than risk being a lightning rod for further anger.

Computer archives show that before September 2001, the Web site carried links to "Jihad in Chechnya," a site promoting the Taliban and Osama bin Laden and condemning Israel and the U.S.

The center also linked to "Islam Q&A," a virtual clearinghouse of Islamic sites, including those maintained by extremist groups. Last month, center officials said they were scrubbing the Web site of all links.

"The Islamic Community of Boca Raton became a lightning rod for attention with the discovery of what was on its Web site," Gralnick said. "It has, for a variety of reasons, remained a lightning rod."

Kaufman, 34, who has run twice for the Florida House, has a Web site, www.joe4rep.com, that also links to more than 100 other sites, many that are militantly pro-Israel and anti-Islam.

After Kaufman objected to including Muslims in school diversity training, the Council on American-Islamic Relations fired back with an accusation that his Web site linked to the anti-Muslim Kahane Chai, or Kach, a designated terrorist organization. He removed the link.

In October 2000, as Palestinian-Israeli violence flared, a pro-Palestinian rally occurred in front of the Israeli Consulate in Miami. The Islam-Online report said demonstrators called for a jihad _ holy struggle _ against Israeli Jews and chanted slogans such as "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand." After describing a mock cemetery with cardboard gravestones representing Palestinians killed in the uprising, the report said:

"The scene was grim as children laid down in between the graves without moving while Ibrahim Dremali, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, urged the crowd not to be sad for those who were martyred, and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in."

After the American Jewish Committee and Kaufman criticized Dremali for the statement _ which he later denied making _ the paragraph was removed from the Internet page, though it remains in the archived version.

Gralnick said Islamic center leaders' participation in another demonstration in front of the Holocaust Memorial in Miami was particularly upsetting. He said Hassan Shareef, a center spokesman who since has left the U.S., agreed with him.

"He tried to head it off," Gralnick said, "but his entreaties to the leadership fell on deaf ears."

Dremali did not respond to a request for comment. McBride said the imam vowed not to talk to reporters again after The Boca Raton News published a story last month focusing on the appearance of Dr. Rafil Dhafir at a November fund-raising event sponsored by the center.

Dhafir, an Iraqi-born oncologist in Fayetteville, N.Y., and three Jordanian men were indicted in February on charges of illegally funneling money to Iraq through a charity front called Help the Needy.

The government has labeled Help the Needy and several other Islamic charities as terror-supporting organizations and barred them from soliciting money in the U.S. They include the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Islamic Assembly of North America, the Global Relief Foundation and the Benevolence International Foundation.

All raised money from South Florida mosques before they were banned, claiming it was to support schools, hospitals and humanitarian efforts in the Middle East.

"These organizations were very prominent, and they were doing a lot of humanitarian help," said Murtaza Kakli, imam of the Muslim Community of Palm Beach County mosque in suburban West Palm Beach. "These people came, and out of the goodness of our hearts, we gave. We didn't know that some of the money was being filtered to some very radical people."

Gralnick said an organization should vet the people who speak to it. "They certainly knew, or could have known if they cared to, what (Dhafir's) political philosophy is. We cared to know, and we found out."

Does anyone on either side see a way to end, or at least ease, the tension and sniping?

"People of good will and good intentions can get together," Gralnick said. "Many people, Muslims included, are driving around with green Hate Hotline bumper stickers provided by the American Jewish Committee."

Altaf Ali, spokesman for the Islamic Council, says the only hope for peace lies with individuals.

"Each individual must reach out to another individual and start building a relationship," he said.

"If you wait for organizations to initiate this, it's probably never going to happen . . . "

Mary McLachlin writes for the Palm Beach Post. E-mail: mary_mclachlin(at)pbpost.com

-------------------------------------

MIM: In 2004 Dremali was a speaker at this conference whose participants represented a who's who of radical Islamists in the North America. (Among the guests was Ashrafuzzam Khan, aka Ashraf Uzman Khan, the former vice president of the Islamic Circle of North America.. Khan was the leader of a death squad in Bangladesh and is said to have personally shot 8 teachers to death at Dhaka University in 1971.) IT is also worth noting that Debbie Almontaser, who was invited to sit on the stage is a 'diversity trainer' and consultant to the New York City Board of Education.

Dremali made a speech which stated that their is no faith with brotherhood and without brotherhood there is no faith..." "His claim that no one nationality is superior is aimed at different groups of Muslims,and is not intended as a statement embracing 'diversity'.

At first glance this appears innocuous, but is in fact a veiled reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which was forbidden in Egypt and has a solid base of support at Al Azhar University, Dremali's alma mater.

Dremali, who claims that he fled to the US for 'religous freedom', actually means that he to the US to escape arrest in Egypt for being part of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

Imam Ibrahim Dremali, Imam, Islamic Center Florida, and Ashraf Zaman Khan, former Vice President of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) who spoke in their native languages showing how knowledge, Islamic knowledge, transcends nationalism.

"....Sheikh Dremali made an impassioned speech denouncing the concept that any one nationality is superior, "There is no faith without brotherhood and without brotherhood there is no faith." He stressed that superiority only comes to those who possess the most knowledge and taqwa (piety)..."

http://www.studyislam.com/isp/jsp/IIUEvents/April13_2003.jsp

Pictures

New York's famous Madison Square Garden, April 13th turned into a showcase of Muslim unity, when Muslim scholars and national and community leaders gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the Internet Islamic School sponsored by Islamic Internet University (IIU).

The event delivered on its promise, a "Grand Display of Muslim Unity". The idea was a simple one, to bring all those leaders, scholars and speakers who hold an influence over the various Muslim populations together, on one stage, in a show of unity. Perhaps, in the history of North America a total of about 75 Muslim leaders of national, regional and local leaders plus scholars of Islam, irrespective of their color, ethnicity and school of thoughts, were seating together on the stage.

The year old IIU (www.studyislam.com), started on the right foot by acknowledging the contributions of Imam Warith Deen Mohammad to Islamic learning with an honorary doctoral degree-the first such diploma awarded by this fledgling institution-offered words of advice that Muslims should "administer the medicine of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet."

Hosted by the management of the Islamic Internet University (IIU), the task of making this one-day a reality took a year of careful deliberation, unwavering persistence and a profound sense of obligation. The work of Zaheer Uddin, the founder of IIU, Dr. Sulayman Nyang of Howard University, Imam Siraj Wahhaj and Dr. Abdalla Idris Ali, the part of management of IIU, along with some sixty volunteers was not in vain. For a few hours on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, in midtown Manhattan, the diversity of some 5,500 attendees of all ages and backgrounds was matched by the diversity of the leadership seen onstage.

The other honoree of the evening was author Yahya Emerick, whose latest creation is the Idiots Guide to Understanding Islam, accepting the Award of Excellence stated that, "the Award of Excellence should be given to all the sisters who where their Islam like a badge, no brother will ever know what that is like."

The purpose of the event as introduced by the master of ceremonies, Saffat A. Catovic was to demonstrate the need for an accessible and structured Islamic education for all Muslims. Emphasizing the importance of education, Catovic stated that there are four types of people adored by Allah (swt): the scholar, the student, the listener of knowledge and the lover of knowledge.

IIU is an example of the great strides Muslims have made in bringing Islam to the public. There was a time when students used to travel great distances to sit at the feet of scholars, sometimes to listen to just one hadith. Today, thanks to the IIU, with the click of a mouse in the comfort of our home, we can now imbibe the knowledge of scholars from around the world.

"We need something like this annually, to celebrate every year that the University grows older." exclaimed Ayesha K. Mustafa, the editor of The Muslim Journal "It's about creating unity, forming alliances and building networks."

Sr. Ayesha Mustafa along with Sr. Ayesha Al-Adawiyah, President of Women in Islam, and Sr. Debbie Almontaser, a cultural diversity trainer and consultant for the NY Department of Education, were among those invited to sit onstage. Both agreed that the success of this event was in that broke down the barriers of nationalism and egotism while focusing on education as a tool to further the prominence of the Muslim community. Among the guests were Imam Zaid Shakir, a renowned speaker, Shaikh Mohammad Nur Abdullah, President Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Dr.Mazammil Siddiqui, former President of ISNA, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad of Hampton University and Vice President of Center for American Muslim Research and Information, Shaikh Mukhtar Maghraoui, a well-known speaker and da'ee, Shaikh Ibrahim Najm, a well-known scholar from New York, Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunus, first President of ISNA, Dr. M. Yusufuddin, President of ICNA New York, and Imam Jamil Abdul Latif, Ameer of New York Majlis Shura. Speakers included Maulana Yusuf Islahi, a renowned scholar and author on many books in Urdu, Imam Ibrahim Dremali, Imam, Islamic Center Florida, and Ashraf Zaman Khan, former Vice President of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) who spoke in their native languages showing how knowledge, Islamic knowledge, transcends nationalism.

Sheikh Dremali made an impassioned speech denouncing the concept that any one nationality is superior, "There is no faith without brotherhood and without brotherhood there is no faith." He stressed that superiority only comes to those who possess the most knowledge and taqwa (piety).

The urgency of the day's message lay in the necessity to empower and encourage the Muslim youth through education and activism. Who better to espouse these ideals then Imam Zaid Shakir who has for years advocated the role of the young in the course Islam must run.

"Move confidently into the future, do not be intimidated because no one can do anything to hurt you when Allah (swt) is with you" implored the Imam. "Preserve your religion. By being the moral conscience and the moral voice for this country, you will be the moral conscience and moral voice for this world. REMAKE THE WORLD!"

While it was the youth that were given this challenge, those who spoke made sure to promote the need to incorporate the work of the sisters. Imam Shakir stated, "Put our sisters talent, skills and knowledge to use. No more tokenism or marginalization, but use the valuable resources that the sisters represent."

The thought provoking moment of the evening came when IIU president Zaheer Uddin told the true story of a young girl who could not discern between whether her grandmother was doing push-ups or praying. Although it elicited a bit of laughter, it brought to everyone's attention how dire the state of Muslims are when the youth are loosing out on an Islamic education.

The benefits of the IIU are not only that it can teach Islam at all levels and for all ages, but that it also is to a tool to disseminate reliable information. Zaheer Uddin showed a multimedia presentation that outlined several stark points about the passivity of the Muslim community in acquiring knowledge. Not only are their many well-designed web sites on the Internet created by non-Muslims to aggravate the misconception of Islam, but that these sites underscore many a Muslims own lack of knowledge. Even more disturbing is that the combined circulation of the five major Muslim publications adds up to only one hundred thousand when the Muslim population in North America is over seven million. The presentation ended with a brief demonstration on how the IIU works, by providing an easy, affordable way to learn and to stay active in learning about Islam.

Dr. Abdalla Idris Ali, and Imam Siraj Wahhaj both Vice Presidents of IIU, conducted a fundraising for IIU. Before the conclusion of the program three resolutions were presented and approved by the audience. One of them was a vital resolution that challenges all Muslims to improve and increase their da'wah making efforts.

The event started with a young boy stepping up to the podium just after the Qari had finished reciting verses from the Quran. He stood there, small in stature but confident nonetheless, in front of the massive Madison Square Garden theatre. In his soft voice, he read the translation. Behind him about 75 seated scholars, speakers and renowned guests. It proved a remarkable moment, as the audience looked toward today's generation of Muslim leadership, while catching a glimpse of what tomorrow can bring if only we dare to pursue our Islamic obligation of knowledge.

Saba Ali is a rising graduate student at Newhouse School of Mass Communication at Syracuse University.

Click here to see the pictures of this event


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MIM: At this Toronto Islamist conference Dremali was listed as -Sheik Imam Ibrahim Dremali "The great scholar from Egypt".

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:egSQO0ktaVQJ:www.studyislam.com/isp/jsp/IIUEvents/MSG2Event3.jsp+dremali+&hl=en

An Epoch Making Event

Theme: Make This World A Better Place

Today, the Muslims of North America are facing some great challenges including the task of providing Islamic education to future generations and bringing about unity among the Muslims. Despite the impressive growth in numbers and the continued growth in infrastructures like Masajid and Islamic schools, about 88% of Muslim children in North America have no access to any formal Islamic education, even for an hour per week. Even if the current pace of establishment of full time Islamic schools is continued, it will take decades to fulfill the needs of basic and higher learning of Islam. Therefore, there is a great danger of losing our most valuable assets, the children, in the American melting pot. Alhamdulillah, after attaining success with Internet Islamic University (IIU), the IIU management is launching Internet Islamic School (IIS) for children 8 to 18 years old. This is an historic event and being held at Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Canada, on Sunday, October 3, 2004, under the theme, Make this World a Better Place to promote the Islamic education.

The event has another significance too. After the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy and ensuing Islamophobia that congests the airwaves and media, the North American Muslim community has become demoralized and indeed inactive. It is most important to re-motivate and re-mobilized them for serving Allah's Deen. The Toronto event is indeed among the steps in this direction. This event will bring the national, regional and local Muslim leadership and scholars at one platform, and provide an avenue for building the confidence in the Muslim community and motivating and inspiring them as well.

The program includes brief speeches by the renowned speakers and multimedia presentation on Internet Islamic University and School. There will be an Islamic entertainment in the form of Anasheed, Hamd and standup comedy by famous performers. The evening will wind down with acknowledgments and an awards ceremony.

Theme: Make This World A Better Place
Venue: Metro Toronto Convention Center
South Building, Ballrooms
222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, Canada
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2004
Time: 11:00 sharp to 6:00 p.m. (Proceeding will start on time, Insha Allah)

Important Notes:

** Please try to pray Zuhr prayer at nearby/local Masjid or at home.
** Children one year and up will be required seats.
** Please come on time. Program will start on time at 11:00 AM sharp, Insha Allah.
** Please buy your tickets as early as you can. We are expecting a full house this time, Insha Allah.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Shaikh Imam Ibrahim Dremali (Great Scholar from Egypt)
  • Mawlana Yusuf Islahi (India)
  • Dr. Sulayman Nyang (President, Center for American Muslim Research & Info.)
  • Imam Abdul Malik (Activist and Motivational speaker)
  • Dr. Munir El-Kassem (Activist and a Renowned Scholar)
  • Shaikh Dr. Ibrahim Negm (A Renowned Scholar)
  • Br. Haroon Siddiqui (An Award winning Journalist)
  • Sr. Aminah Assilmi (Director, Int. Union of Muslim Women)
  • Mr. Paul Findley (Former US Congressman and Well-Known Author)

Expected Speakers:

  • Br. Yusuf Islam (Former Cat Stevens and well known speaker)
  • Dr. Tariq Ramadan (Renowned speaker and author)
  • Shaikh Muhammad Shareef ( Renowned scholar and teacher)
  • Mawlana Habibur Rahman (Bangladesh)

Halaal Entertainment:

  • Abu Ratib: The best Islamic singer (No instruments)
  • Al-Anwar: The Anasheed Band
  • 786 Group: The young talented group
  • Stand up Comedy by Preacher Moss (Allah made me funny)



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