A radical Muslim group with ties to the Obama Administration will be featuring the head of the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as the keynote speaker for its annual fundraising banquet this coming April. By agreeing to partake in the event, Wasserman Schultz is helping to further this organization’s nefarious agenda of placing Islamists into positions of American power and influence. It is this stealth jihad which threatens our country not from abroad, but from within.
EMERGE USA was founded as a non-profit corporation in the state of Florida, in November 2006, under its original name, Center for Voter Advocacy (CVA). In 2009, CVA merged with a Texas entity founded by current EMERGE board member and project manager of Shell Oil in Houston, Afaq J. Durrani, called the Coalition of New American Communities (CONAC). Apart from EMERGE, CVA still exists as a separate Florida corporation.
According to the organization’s mission statement, “EMERGE [Empowering Motivating Educating Resourceful Grassroots Entities] aims to politically empower and train its constituents to be effective community organizers and work in coalitions to advance beneficial policies and legislation that help protect and enforce the rights afforded by the United States Constitution.”
The mission, as does their name, sounds like a patriotic one attached to a noble cause. However, the extremism exhibited by the leaders of the group paints an entirely different picture – one of an organization with a sinister motive to place radicals within key circles of political power.
On Saturday, April 21st, the head of the Democratic Party, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, will be addressing EMERGE. The theme of the event is “Investing in Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” and will include entertainment and a halal dinner. The previous year, former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham spoke in front of the group.
Wasserman Schultz likes to flaunt her Jewish identity and (false) pro-Israel persona, but how can she begin to do so, when the organization she will be addressing maintains staff who display animosity towards the Jewish state?
Laila Abdelaziz, the Field Coordinator of EMERGE, denounced Israel in a question she posed to President Obama, during a January 2010 town hall meeting he held in Tampa, Florida. “[W]hy have we not condemned Israel and Egypt’s human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian people, and yet we continue supporting them financially with billions of dollars from our tax dollars?” she belligerently asked.
Before coming to EMERGE, Abdelaziz was the Project Coordinator for United Voices of America (UVA), a group founded and headed by Ahmed Bedier. Bedier, who had previously been involved with the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was embroiled in controversy when he helped facilitate an October 2010 fundraiser for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. According to Nelson, whom Abdelaziz was once a staffer for, when he learned about past anti-Israel statements Bedier had made, he returned a $500 campaign contribution that Bedier gave to him.
On the announcement showing Wasserman Schultz as EMERGE USA’s keynote speaker, the RSVP contact for the event is listed as one Rasheed Shihada. On Shihada’s Facebook site, apart from containing a long rant he authored against Christians, he displays on his homepage a video put out this month calling for support of Israeli prisoner Khader Adnan, who according to Israel is a “senior member” of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
This is only the tip of the iceberg with regard to extremism at EMERGE.
The Vice Chairman and main face behind EMERGE is Khurrum Wahid, a practicing South Florida attorney. According to the Florida Bar, Wahid “has defended individuals charged with allegedly committing or conspiring to commit acts of terrorism…”
Some of Wahid’s clients include: Rafiq Abdus Sabir, who received a 25 year prison sentence for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was given a life sentence for being a member of al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, who is awaiting trial for conspiring with others to funnel at least fifty thousand dollars to the Pakistani Taliban for the purpose of murdering American troops overseas.
Wahid, as well, created a legal fund for Tashnuba Hayder, a girl who had been identified by the FBI as a potential suicide bomber and who was later deported to Bangladesh, as she was considered an imminent threat to the security of the United States. Currently, Wahid is soliciting funds on his law office’s website for the defense of his client Hafiz Khan (above) and his son Izhar Khan, whom Wahid calls a “rising star.”
Another EMERGE townhall event:
***In collaboration with the University of Central Florida Muslim Student Association***
A chilling reminder of the Muslim Student Association:
“MSA active on campus and hosting annual Hitler Youth week”
“MSA is part of the Muslim Brotherhood network”
What is Jihad?
by Daniel Pipes
New York Post
December 31, 2002
As this suggests, jihad is “holy war.” Or, more precisely: It means the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims.
The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power (faith, of course, often follows the flag). Jihad is thus unabashedly offensive in nature, with the eventual goal of achieving Muslim dominion over the entire globe.
Jihad did have two variant meanings through the centuries, one more radical, one less so. The first holds that Muslims who interpret their faith differently are infidels and therefore legitimate targets of jihad. (This is why Algerians, Egyptians and Afghans have found themselves, like Americans and Israelis, so often the victims of jihadist aggression.) The second meaning, associated with mystics, rejects the legal definition of jihad as armed conflict and tells Muslims to withdraw from the worldly concerns to achieve spiritual depth.
Jihad in the sense of territorial expansion has always been a central aspect of Muslim life. That’s how Muslims came to rule much of the Arabian Peninsula by the time of the Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632. It’s how, a century later, Muslims had conquered a region from Afghanistan to Spain. Subsequently, jihad spurred and justified Muslim conquests of such territories as India, Sudan, Anatolia, and the Balkans.
Today, jihad is the world’s foremost source of terrorism, inspiring a worldwide campaign of violence by self-proclaimed jihadist groups:
- The International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders: Osama bin Laden’s organization;
- Laskar Jihad: responsible for the murder of more than 10,000 Christians in Indonesia;
- Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami: a leading cause of violence in Kashmir;
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad: the most vicious anti-Israel terrorist group of them all;
- Egyptian Islamic Jihad: killed Anwar El-Sadat in 1981, many others since, and
- Yemeni Islamic Jihad: killed three American missionaries on Monday.
But jihad’s most ghastly present reality is in Sudan, where until recently the ruling party bore the slogan “Jihad, Victory and Martyrdom.” For two decades, under government auspices, jihadists there have physically attacked non-Muslims, looted their belongings and killed their males.
Jihadists then enslaved tens of thousands of females and children, forced them to convert to Islam, sent them on forced marches, beat them and set them to hard labor. The women and older girls also suffered ritual gang-rape, genital mutilation and a life of sexual servitude.
Sudan’s state-sponsored jihad has caused about 2 million deaths and the displacement of another 4 million – making it the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our era.
Despite jihad’s record as a leading source of conflict for 14 centuries, causing untold human suffering, academic and Islamic apologists claim it permits only defensive fighting, or even that it is entirely non-violent. Three American professors of Islamic studies colorfully make the latter point, explaining jihad as:
- An “effort against evil in the self and every manifestation of evil in society” (Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, Hartford Seminary);
- “Resisting apartheid or working for women’s rights” (Farid Eseck, Auburn Seminary), and
- “Being a better student, a better colleague, a better business partner. Above all, to control one’s anger” (Bruce Lawrence, Duke University).
It would be wonderful were jihad to evolve into nothing more aggressive than controlling one’s anger, but that will not happen simply by wishing away a gruesome reality. To the contrary, the pretense of a benign jihad obstructs serious efforts at self-criticism and reinterpretation.
The path away from terrorism, conquest and enslavement lies in Muslims forthrightly acknowledging jihad’s historic role, followed by apologies to jihad’s victims, developing an Islamic basis for nonviolent jihad and (the hardest part) actually ceasing to wage violent jihad.
Unfortunately, such a process of redemption is not now under way; violent jihad will probably continue until it is crushed by a superior military force (Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, please take note). Only when jihad is defeated will moderate Muslims finally find their voice and truly begin the hard work of modernizing Islam.