by Joe Kaufman and Beila Rabinowitz
Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Islamic radicals could no longer look like Islamic radicals. They needed a way to refine their appearance. They needed to come across as a peaceful people. Essentially, they needed to disguise their reality.
One of the ways they did this (and are currently doing so) was to attend and organize interfaith gatherings. Another way was to "condemn" the 9/11 attacks (whilst saying they were against us retaliating). Another was to become politically active, aligning themselves within an umbrella of various left-wing ideologies and agendas.
And yet another more insidious m.o. was to join civil and human rights organizations.
The United States Commission on Civil Rights' mission is "to investigate complaints" and "to study and collect information relating to discrimination or a denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice."
That being said, it would seem extremely odd for this type of organization to solicit persons to join it that do not support this mission -- that may in fact reject it altogether. But with the appointments of two radicals to the Commission's Florida Advisory Committee, this is exactly what has happened.
One of the appointees, Sofian Abdelaziz-Zakkout, is the Director of the Miami-based American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA). His website's slogan is "Islam Honors Human & Civil Rights! We Honor them too!," yet on the same site, you will find articles with the AMANA logo attached to them denouncing Christians, Jews and homosexuals.
In one article entitled, ‘The Call for the Unity of Religions - A False and Dangerous Call,' it is stated: "…some organizations are compromising the basics of the Islamic creed through what is called ‘Bridging the Faiths.' This is a very dangerous call because it mixes the truth with falsehood… The Christians and Jews want the Muslims to be like them. That is why they support this deceptive call for ‘unity'… They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another)… One of the fundamental beliefs in Islaam is the kufr (unbelief) of the Christians and Jews because they reject the Qur'aan and the message of Muhammad to them… Any Muslim who doubts their kufr is a kaafir himself."
In another article entitled, ‘Homosexuality is not O.K.,' it is stated: "They try to convince our children to accept the Idea of this Disease, they try to convince our children to feel comfortable with this ‘Abnormal Human Act'… after they feel that they are accepted by the ‘It is a free country,' slogan, then the second stage [sic] they started to come back with a disease created by God, especially for them… ‘Whenever you find in a society the act of homosexuality you will find disease and death'… We pray that every sinful person go back to his creator and try to ask for forgiveness before it is too late and be guided. And if not, they should keep low profile about their abnormal human activities."
On the AMANA website, you will find links to several hate and terror related sites. One link is to the site www.islamonline.net, which features religious/legal opinions in support of suicide bombings.
One link is to the site www.islam-qa.com, which contains an article (written by the owner of the site) that states: "There cannot be harmony between Jews – who 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 "The Hour [the Day of Judgement] will not begin until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. A Jew will hide behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will say, ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allaah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'"
And yet another hate-filled AMANA link (Radio Islam) publishes the antisemitic fraud, ‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion' and contains the following article titles, encompasing a wide range of Jewish canards: ‘The Jewish Laundry of Drug Money,' ‘USA's Rulers – They Are All Jews!,' ‘Jews Run Hollywood – So What?,' and ‘How the Jews Dominate the World.'
On the AMANA website, you will also find a poll asking the question, "Who would you vote for?" The list of answers reads as a who's who of Islamist extremist organizations in America.
One of AMANA's advisors, Ibrahim Dremali, told a crowd at an anti-Israel rally held in Miami "not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in"… clear references to suicide bombers. In addition, Dremali was an expert witness at the trial for accused terrorist Adham Hassoun, the founder of the Florida chapter of the Chicago-based terrorist charity, Benevolence International Foundation. And of course, Abdelaziz-Zakkout was there to defend Hassoun, as well.
Abdelaziz-Zakkout has stated, after 9/11, that he is "resolutely opposed to military activity by the United States in Afghanistan" and is against the killing of terrorists. He also was the Vice President of the now defunct charity, Health Resource Center for Palestine, which was linked to the Hamas front Islamic Association for Palestine and which openly admitted to raising funds for "shuhada" [i.e. martyrs (i.e. suicide bombers)]. He has had at least one run-in with the law, in which he was stopped by police after visiting a friend in the hospital. And he even played a big role in a web hoax that falsely claimed actor/singer Will Smith had converted to Islam.
The other U.S. Commission on Civil Rights appointee in question is Nidal Sakr. Sakr, like Abdelaziz-Zakkout, heads an organization that lurks under the guise of human rights. He is the Chairman of the March For Justice (a.k.a. The American League For Justice and Peace). And just like Abdelaziz-Zakkout, Sakr's site has catchy, all-inclusive slogans – "where we all count" and "calling for justice and human rights for all." But he too has an ominous Islamofascist dark side.
On August 17, 2002, the March For Justice put out a press release announcing Sakr's appointment to the Commission. On August 17, 2002, the group also put out a press release announcing a rally it was organizing for three weeks later, entitled ‘No Bush No Sharon Just US.'
The attack against America and Israel has become Nidal Sakr's mantra. This subject has preoccupied him in nearly every source he has ever been quoted in.
In a letter he wrote to President Bush, dated January 30, 2002, Sakr insinuated that Israel was to blame for the attacks on 9/11, he defended well-known Islamic terrorist organizations, he lambasted Christians, and he questioned President Bush's integrity. He stated:
[*] "Did you say that it was Muslims who had pictures and maps of our nuclear plants and vital sites? Are you sure you were are [sic] not talking about the 6 Israeli Mossad agents arrested in the Midwest on October 27, 2001, or the 140 arrested for espionage against America? Or the 600 Israeli spies that we detained after September 11? Or the Israeli Mossad agents who were on the seen [sic] of the attacks against our embassies in Nairobi and Dar Salaam long before our personnel got there?"
[*] "Did you refer to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah as terrorists? Do you know that in spite of all our sickening support to the terrorist Israel, refraining form [sic] attacking American targets and civilians remain at the highlight of the struggle and a firm policy of these very organizations?"
[*] "Did I hear you supporting faith-based charities?... I hope you are not talking about Christian-based missionaries to poison Muslim minds and lands."
[*] "Your State of the Union Address reminded all of us of the importance of education - education that is based on factual knowledge, not Education of distortion.
In a letter his group wrote to President Bush, dated the very next day, it told of an event Sakr had attended with another March For Justice member, where the group claimed "terrorism [was] incited and promoted," the Virgin Mary was called a "whore" and a "slut," Christians were "insulted" and "violated," and the speech "was centered on equating Islam with terrorism and Muslims with terrorists" (charges that Larry Wenig, the featured speaker at the event, said were "ridiculous" and "never happened"); the letter spoke about how Sakr was probed by police about possible terrorist ties and his own terrorist activity (which the group called "a plot by the Jewish Federation"); and it cast doubt about an officer's motives, because his name sounded Jewish. The letter stated:
[*] "Nidal Sakr responded to a publicly advertised invitation about ‘Muslim History' that was held at the Jewish Federation Weinberg Center in Delray Beach Florida… Upon arrival, the two guests were shocked by the enormity of hate and bigotry content of the speech against Virgin Mary, Jesus, Abraham, Ismail, the Bible, and Christians."
[*] "As Nidal Sakr was attempting to drive away, he was surrounded by Palm Beach Police who interrogated him, questioned him about Osama Bin-Laden's whereabouts and if Nidal Sakr was there to blow up the building."
[*] "As Nidal Sakr was attempting to leave, another police officer who has a ‘Jewish' name appeared and attempted to prevent Nidal Sakr from leaving..."
This was not the first time Nidal Sakr has been the focus of law enforcement. On December 24, 2001, Sakr was held by INS and other government agencies for over five hours upon his arrival to Miami Airport. This would be a good explanation of why Sakr has voiced loudly his opposition to the United States Patriot Act, of which Attorney General John Ashcroft has stated, "We need this as a tool to fight terror."
The individual that Sakr was accompanied to the Jewish Federation event by was Arthur Buonamia, which the group's letter states is a "respected political leader and church activist." In 2001, Buonamia used his position as District Chairperson of the Democratic Election Committee of the Democratic Party in Miami, Florida to call for the dismissal of the charges against Amer Jubran.
Jubran, whose group, the New England Committee to Defend Palestine, states on its website, "We are for a unified, democratic, secular Palestine that encompasses all the territory of historic Palestine. We oppose the existence of the colonial-settler state of Israel," was arrested by the FBI and immigration officials for lying about the date of his marriage on his green card application. Buonamia wrote, "Having witnessed firsthand a fascist rent-a-mob deny us the right to count the votes in Miami on Nov 22, 2000, I have since become concerned with the denial of basic democratic rights throughout this country. Amer Jubran has the right to peacefully demonstrate and I will defend that right."
Buonamia's own thoughts about Israel were exposed on a radio show in 2002, when he denounced what he considered the "blind US support to Israel," as it "constitutes the major threat to US interest and credibility."
Nidal Sakr made a similar statement, when, in an article, he was quoted as saying, "The U.S.-Israeli relationship is the largest threat to our national security and the safety of our citizens." According to the article, Sakr also said that Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler "and other liberal Jewish hawks" are "clearly serving foreign interests rather than the national interest they are supposed to be serving."
Some statements Nidal Sakr has made concerning President Bush and the White House:
[*] "Timothy Mcveigh slapped all of you warmongers in the face including Bush Sr., Powell, Cheney, and others with the same cruel words of "Collateral Damage" you used to categorized [sic] your victims."
[*] "Our ‘un-elected' leadership feels no shame as we were attacked by our own wrongdoing to claim that ‘Democracy' was attacked."
[*] "George Bush and his ranks of mercenaries can go kill all they want, destroy all they want, mimic all they want. But for every crime they commit a homegrown terrorist will pop up at their own backyard to have them drink from the same cup."
[*] Again the chances are that it will not matter to the ‘un-elected' leadership, as the lives lost will not be those of Bushes, Cheneys, or Rumsfields" [Note the Jewish spelling Sakr used for Donald Rumsfeld]
[*] "To you, George Walker Bush, this should only serve as the evidence to prove your full knowledge, full intent, and knowingly willful premeditation of committing what you are about to."
[*] "Dear George, As you well know, I am one of many of those who are not buying into your story of 9/11. As I was blessed with parents who always put me to sleep with bedtime stories of their telling, your story quite frankly is just a ‘no story.'"
[*] "The Bush Sr. administration is the primary and only responsible for our tragedy of September 11. According to ‘our' official story, it is Bin Laden and Al Qaeda who are responsible for the terrorist attack."
[*] "People have every right to resist occupation and will resist occupation by all means."
[*] "You can go bomb, mimic, destroy, and occupy all you want, but you must stand to assume full responsibility to all of your actions."
[*] "Iraqi oil is NOT your oil, foreign territory is NOT our territory, non-American human life is NOT worthless, and Palestine is just NOT the Israelis' to keep. I DO NOT SUPPORT your war agenda of terror…"
On September 7, 2002, the March For Justice issued a press release with the following statements made by the Pan-Afrikan Nationalists of South Florida, a co-sponsor of the March For Justice's September 9th ‘Human Rights Rally':
[*] "It is clear that if the forces of imperialism, oppression, racism , greed, and ‘new world orderism' led by the u.s. empire, continue unchecked, the events that occurred on September 11, 2001 will appear as a Sunday school picnic. The Afghanistan theater with thousands of Afghanis and others -- mostly civilians -- dying at the hands of u.s. and/or their puppets "war machine" is a likely precursor to the outcome of G.W. Bush's cowboyish adventurism if he attacks Iraq."
[*] "We believe that the regime of G.W. Bush and the united states government is the major perpetrator of world wide terrorism, oppression, imperialism, neo-colonialism and misery to a large segment of human beings throughout the world! Thus we overwhelmingly support, endorse and co-sponsor this Rally."
Some terms the March For Justice has used concerning Israel:
"Ariel Sharon: This man is the real terrorist."
[*] Senior Political Advisor to Ariel Sharon, Ra'anan Gissin: "Israeli Terrorist"
[*] "Israel Continues Its Holocaust Against Palestinians"
[*] "Israeli Death Squads"
[*] "Criminal Zionist state"
[*] "END US Aid to Israel NOW"
[*] "The criminal nature of so-called ‘Israel'"
[*] "Israel: State of Hate"
[*] "Terrorist Israeli colonizers"
Sakr's view of Israel is that it should not exist. He is quoted as saying, "Israel is an illegitimate state that is solely based on genocide, ethnic cleansing, and displacement of indigenous population." He furthermore has stated, "Israel simply must go. Where? you may ask [sic]. The answer is simple: To wherever they came from."
On April 27, 2002, Sakr and his March For Justice held a protest against the University of Miami, attacking the university's Jewish faculty. The group stated, "For more than three years, University of Miami professors have been defaming Islam, Muslims, Arabs, and the Middle Eastern and Muslim culture in classrooms and in classes taught by Jewish professors."
On May 13, 2002, Sakr and his March For Justice held a protest in West Palm Beach calling for "The eventual, peaceful dismantlement of the State of Israel."
On June 20, 2002, Sakr and his March For Justice held a protest outside of a Coral Springs, Florida synagogue for bringing Benjamin Netanyahu, the ex-Prime Minister of Israel, to speak. This was around the same time that windows were smashed and swastikas were painted on the same synagogue. Their press release, dated June 3, 2002, entitled ‘Netanyaho, Get OUT of HERE,' stated, "At the midst of our war on terrorism and as our country faces immense challenges here at home and abroad, one of the world's notorious terrorists, an alleged war criminal and criminal against humanity will be lecturing at the Chabad Center [in Coral Springs]."
On March 11, 2003, Sakr and his March For Justice issued a press release on behalf of, amongst others, a "Personal Representative of Honorable Louis Farrakhan."
Nidal Sakr has a penchant for trying to ‘outradical' other radicals. In a letter to CAIR, an organization that was formed by the Islamic Association for Palestine (as stated earlier, a front group for Hamas), he lambasted CAIR for "limiting [their] focus only on high profile relatively costless cases."
And not only does Sakr criticize radicals, but he has actual terrorists criticizing him -- for being too radical! During his correspondence with Randal Todd "Ismael" Royer, an individual who was arrested in June of 2003 on firearms and conspiracy charges in relation to a group associated with al Qaeda, Royer told Sakr that it was wrong to threaten a newspaper editor, just because he didn't like what the was written in the newspaper. Royer stated, "So to vent your anger at Mr. Ingram's truth-telling in the Herald's direction is unfair… If the person is wrong, give him a good reason why -- don't just try to shut him up."
In a letter addressed to the Miami Herald Editor-in-Chief, Sakr had stated, "On behalf of the March For Justice, and the American League For Justice and Peace, I hereby demand that the Miami Herald issues an equivocal apology and clarification to both the respected U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and to the Arab and Muslim community on its first page where the story was published… I can assure you that failure by your organization to take proper measures would both seriously and negatively reflect on reputation, credibility, and circulation of your newspaper." And on April 13, 2002, Nidal Sakr and his March For Justice held a protest outside of the Miami Herald to "tell the Miami Herald that Voices of Zionism Do Not Belong in America."
Nidal Sakr's attacks are not just limited to Jews, Christians and newspaper editors. He has also berated homosexuals. In a letter to Sulayman X, the founder of the gay Islamic organization, Queer Jihad, Sakr writes, "Islam's unequivocal rejection to homosexuality is unambiguous… I would like just to remind you that it is only a matter of short days before we have our actions sealed for good and are prepared to stand in front of Allah to answer for every little deed we committed. Just think, brother, whether you can afford to gamble should what you are doing (which is clearly as I said) is against Allah and what his almighty commanded."
The links on the March For Justice website lend credence to many of Sakr's hateful views. They include www.islamonline.net (see above) and www.islamicawakening.com, a violent site that is almost entirely dedicated to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and bin Laden's predecessor, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam. In an article on Islamic Awakening, entitled ‘What Role Can Sisters Play in Jihad?' it states, "Raising Mujahid Children – This is perhaps the most important role women can play in jihad… The key is to start instilling these values in them while they are babies… it is a good idea to start your children young in terms of introducing them (through safe toys) to target-shooting… Make it very clear who their target should be and who their target should NOT be… No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihad training in one form or another…"
This is good to know, when one muses over the fact that Sakr has been elected as Broward representative on the Florida ACLU Board of Directors.
It is quite disturbing that Sofian Abdelaziz-Zakkout and Nidal Sakr are being legitimized in the eyes of the public, while there is so much information available that would make them nothing less than notorious. For the United States Commission on Civil Rights to appoint these two individuals to such prestigious and community-oriented positions speaks volumes about the laxity of our government. Are we that blind that we cannot recognize that which is good from pure unadulterated evil? Or do we just not care?