The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, founded in 1994 by operatives from Hamas, this month continued its tradition of embracing individuals with ties to terrorist organizations, such as Mousa Abu Marzouk and Yusuf al Qaradawi, by featuring, as the speaker for the annual banquet of its Florida chapter, Kifah Mustapha, an imam from Chicago, whom the U.S. government has named a party to Hamas financing.
In November 2008, a federal jury found the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and five of its leaders guilty of "providing material support and resources to a terrorist organization." That organization was Hamas, and the money raised for it by HLF was in the millions. HLF was shut down by the FBI in December 2001.
Besides the five persons found guilty in the HLF trial, the U.S. Justice Department listed a number of other individuals who had been considered involved in the conspiracy but whom the government chose not to indict ("unindicted co-conspirators"), among whom was Kifah Mustapha.
At the time of the trial, Mustapha was an imam at the Mosque Foundation, a Chicago-area Mosque, itself a hub for Palestinian terror-related activity. A Hamas operative and one of the founders of CAIR, Rafiq Jaber, has acted as president and spokesman of the Mosque Foundation. The mosque has held fundraisers for different terrorist conduits, including the HLF and Palestinian Islamic Jihad's [PIJ] co-founder, Sami al-Arian, indicted in 2003 for "contributing services" for the benefit of a "specially designated terrorist" organization, PIJ. Mustapha is still an imam at the Mosque, as well as being the Mosque's associate director.
Also at the time of the trial, Mustapha was listed as the Registered Agent of the Illinois corporation of HLF -- as he still is today.
None of this has seemed to faze CAIR, which was also named a co-conspirator in that trial. CAIR had told people on the homepage of its official website to donate money to HLF. The group appeared more than happy to have Mustapha participate at its 12th annual South Florida banquet held on October 6, 2012.
In addition, the Chicago chapter of CAIR has had Mustapha participate at a number of its functions, as well, including joint events with the Mosque Foundation. However, as CAIR and the Mosque Foundation have close relations, it makes perfect sense for CAIR to invite Kifah Mustapha to give a speech at its banquet.
Further, according to CAIR-Florida's Facebook page, one of the attendees to the banquet was Bassem Alhalabi, a director of a radical mosque in Boca Raton, Florida. In June 2003, Alhalabi was found guilty by the U.S. Commerce Department of illegally shipping military equipment to Syria.
One would think that CAIR would be concerned about its group featuring someone named in a Hamas fundraising trial to help raise money at its annual banquet. What kind of message is CAIR sending to the community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike?
As CAIR's joint co-founder, Omar Ahmad, put it, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant." [Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, Vol. 1, p. 167].
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.