Cooper City Mayor Greg Ross Panders To Muslim Donors By Approving Nur-Ul- Islam Mosque Expansion
NUI Pro Jihad Activities Ignored By City Commissioners - Planned Minarets Signal Their Intention To Flaunt Their Presence
Cooper City Mosque Receiving Expansion, Minarets Hands Check to Terror-Linked Group
Mayor Ross and Commission shoulder blame for Nur-Ul-Islam's continued fanaticism.
April 20, 2023 by Joe Kaufman
This past January, following contentious commission meetings on the subject, Nur-Ul-Islam (NUI), a mosque located in Cooper City, Florida, received the go-ahead from the city to expand its property to include minarets and a three level school building. This was a problem, as NUI has been involved with extremist individuals and groups. In fact, just last month, NUI provided money to Islamic Relief (IR), an organization that has been banned in a number of nations for terror-related financing. By ignoring NUI's extremism and embracing its expansion project, as they have done, the Mayor and Commission are complicit in the radical undertakings of NUI.
Nur-Ul-Islam was incorporated in January 1983 and added its children's school, Nur-Ul-Islam Academy (NUIA) in June 1996. The following year, the school named Raed Musa Awad as its Vice President. Awad, who also served as a member of NUI's Islamic Affairs Council, was the Florida representative for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Hamas charity that was shut down by the US government in December 2001. In November 2008, HLF and five of its leaders were found guilty, in federal court, of all charges leveled against them regarding millions of dollars in Hamas fundraising. Awad was named a party to the crime, though he was unindicted.
From October 2004 till April 2011, the homepage of NUIA's website contained a link to the site Islam Way (islamway.com), which, according to the US Justice Department, "included pages devoted to violent jihad" and "included a section urging Muslims to contribute money to Hamas." Islam Way contained such articles on its site as 'The Jews and their Treachery' and 'Zionist Propaganda and the Myth of the Holocaust.'
NUI's current activities demonstrate that the Islamic center has not veered from its fanatical history. This past February, NUI posted on its social media a video montage of highlights from 2022. About it, NUI stated, "Alhamdulillah we hosted many events at Nur Ul Islam over the past year. Here is a quick look back at some of these wonderful programs. Insha Allah, the success will continue in 2023!"
NUI's "wonderful programs" included a talk by Imam Izhar Khan, who, in May 2011, was arrested along with members of his family and charged with providing tens of thousands of dollars to the Taliban. Khan's mosque, Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM), currently promotes material on its website targeting Jews, Christians, gays and women with violence and bigotry. Also included in the NUI video was a talk by Imam Shafayat Mohamed, who was thrown off a number of Broward County boards for his fiery speeches against homosexuals. Mohamed's center, the Darul Uloom Institute (DUI), has been a haven for high-profile al-Qaeda operatives.
Further included on the video was Islamic Relief (IR). Indeed, NUI and its school do many events with and for IR. Last month, once again, NUI showcased Islamic Relief at the mosque. What made this one stand out was the fact that NUI, on video for all to see, openly and proudly handed money to the group, a group that, while masquerading as 'good causes,' has been banned by nations for terrorist financing and other terror-related pursuits.
As stated on NUI's Facebook page, "On behalf of Nur Ul Islam and the community, former NUI President, Dr. [Husman] Khan presented a check today to Br. Muhammad [Al-Kanawati] of Islamic Relief USA [IRUSA] for earthquake relief in Syria and Turkey. Jazak Allah Khairun to all those that donated to this cause to help our fellow brothers and sisters in need." [Note: Khan served on the NUIA Board of Directors with Raed Awad and was President of NUI's Executive Council, when Awad served on NUI's Islamic Affairs Council.]
Islamic Relief has several ties to overseas terrorism. As a result, many countries have banned IR. In May 2006, Israel labeled IR a front for Hamas and deported its Gaza leader for funneling money to terrorists. In November 2014, the UAE government designated IR a terrorist group. Also in 2014, Britain's HSBC bank cut ties with Islamic Relief over concerns about "terrorist financing." In October 2017, Bangladesh's NGO Affairs Bureau banned IR in fear the group would conduct terrorist recruitment of Myanmar refugees. In November 1999, it was reported that IR had collected and sent over $6 million to Chechen rebels with ties to Al-Qaeda.
Like its overseas branches, IRUSA suffers from its own extremism. IRUSA's ex-Chair Khaled Lamada, while with the group, used social media to promote the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. According to the Middle East Forum, he "circulated text" hailing the "Mujahidin of Egypt" and Hamas for "inflicting defeats" against Jews. In June 2015, he tweeted that it is "absurd" to classify Hamas "as a terrorist organization." Current IRUSA Director of Marketing Daoud Hawa has made light of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli neighborhoods, calling them "rockets fired by people who like Hummus." He likened Hamas tunnels to something from Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Mayor Greg Ross, who admitted to taking contributions from NUI leadership, and the Cooper City Commission made a grave error, when they allowed for the expansion of NUI and its equally radical school. Not only does the mosque have a terror-linked past, but it continues to push an extremist agenda by featuring militant imams linked to terror and bigotry at its events and by providing money to a group that has been banned in large part for terrorist financing.
In truth, the Mayor and Commissioners were informed by this author about the documented jihadist nature and behavior of NUI and chose to ignore all of it. By doing so, they bear responsibility for allowing a toxic ideology to flourish right in the heart of Cooper City. Instead of protecting their constituents, these 'public servants' are pandering to a radical Muslim community for personal, political and financial gain.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.