Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at CAIR Tampa
Those who attend CAIR's fundraising banquet in Tampa tomorrow should understand that they are bringing money to an organization that employs radicals – a group that raises many "red flags" if not black flags.
Tomorrow, November 10, the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will be sponsoring its Mid-Florida Region's 8th Annual Banquet at a hotel on the campus of the University of South Florida (USF) -- a fundraising event featuring a number of questionable individuals, from its speakers to its attendees to its organizers.
One of the advertised speakers at the banquet is Siraj Wahhaj, named an "unindicted co-conspirator" for a federal trial dealing with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Other named co-conspirators for the trial were, among others, Osama bin Laden and bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam.
Wahhaj has been linked to the bomb maker of the attack, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, and during the trial, was a character witness for the spiritual leader of the bombing, "the Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman, whom Wahhaj has openly praised.
According to the Facebook page for CAIR-Tampa's banquet, also attending the event will be Yahia Megahed. In October 2007, Megahed was accused by U.S. prosecutors of signing and using coded language to communicate with his brother, Youssef, who at the time was in prison and charged with illegally transporting explosive materials.
Yahia's own Facebook page contains a photo of himself brandishing a rifle, while prosecutors argued against his brother's release due to what was called his brother's "growing interest in firearms."
Hassan Shibly, the Executive Director of CAIR-Tampa since June 2011, had, before that, been the subject of a number of controversies.
In December 2004, while heading back from a radical Muslim conference in Toronto, Shibly was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, "singled out," as one publication put it, "as a possible terrorist." According to court documents, the CBP "received intelligence that gave them reason to believe that persons with known terrorist ties would be attending certain Islamic conferences to be held during the year-end holiday season of 2004, including the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada."
Following the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, Shibly defended Hezbollah, a Lebanese group on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). In October 1983, Hezbollah was responsible for a suicide bombing that murdered 241 U.S. Marines. He stated, "Hezbollah is basically a resistance movement supported by people in Lebanon… They're absolutely not a terrorist organization."
This past September, Shibly, as a guest on WMNF-Tampa's Last Call show, downplayed the attack on the U.S. embassy in Egypt as a "sort of protest." When asked about the attacks in Libya and Egypt on September 11, and about the black flag of Islam, often associated with al Qaeda, with which Egyptians had replaced the American flag they tore down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, he evasively said: "[T]hey wanted to show that, no, we will not let the flag of hatred, the flag of bigotry rule over our identity as Muslims. So they put up a flag that had the Muslim creed… and they rose that flag up high to show that we will not let these insults go higher than our culture and our identity."
Shibly likes to portray himself as a "mainstream" Muslim. He throws around the term "extremist," as though it is something foreign to him personally. Yet, the group he represents, in addition to his own past statements, leads one to understand that he too is an extremist.
When CAIR's banquet takes place tomorrow, those who attend should understand that they will be bringing money to an organization that attracts participants and attendees with questionable pasts, and an organization that employs radicals. They will be bringing money to a group that raises many "red flags," if not black flags.
Joe Kaufman is a former candidate for United States Congress. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America.
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|Joe Kaufman for Congress [26 words]||Joe Citizen||Nov 9, 2012 09:49|
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by Pierre Rehov
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In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
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"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.
by Soeren Kern
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For its part, the European Commission, the EU's administrative branch, which never misses an opportunity to boycott institutions in Israel, has issued only a standard statement on the shooting down of MH17 in Ukraine, which reads: "The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
The EU has made only half-hearted attempts to develop alternatives to its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
by Shoshana Bryen
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"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
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