CAIR tells Muslims to Defy Customs Agents

by BREITBART TV, June 2, 2016

(THE UNITED WEST) The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on Muslims to openly defy U.S. Customs Agents when questioned on travel from Islamic controlled countries by saying, “None of your Damn Business.”

Hassan Shibly (Executive Director CAIR, Florida) also encourages Muslims to agitate Customs Agents by saying Islamic prayers “very loudly” when questioned. Shibly also stated that he was, “Asked to do this by our friends from within the government.” Hassan Shibly was awarded by Nihad Awad (CAIR co-founder and National Executive Director) as “CAIR Chapter of the Year” in 2013.

CAIR’s open defiance of law enforcement has been well documented. In 2011 CAIR, California posted flyers on their website featuring a sinister looking FBI agent with the headlines, “Build a Wall of Resistance,” and “Don’t Talk to the FBI.”

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The FBI has reportedly cut ties to CAIR after the Holy Land Foundation trial during which CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator along with its co-founder Omar Achmad as supporters of the terrorist group HAMAS.

In November 2014 the United Arab Emirates specifically listed CAIR as a “terrorist organization,” saying the group is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, promotes extremism and incites and finances terrorism, adding that it wears “a cloak of democracy and liberalism.”

In July 2014, Breitbart released a story showing video of Shibly’s CAIR, FL group sponsoring an pro HAMAS rally in Miami where members were chanting, “We are HAMAS. We are Jihad.”

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Mosque with Ties to Palestinian Jihad Gets Gun Training

mtFrontpage, by Joe Kaufman, Jan. 22, 2016:

CAIR-Florida Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze’s mosque gun training tour has taken him to numerous Islamic centers throughout Florida. One of the centers is the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton, a radical mosque with a sinister past of embrace for those associated with Palestinian terror, including support for suicide attackers and their families.

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR-Florida has, in the recent past, been involved in supporting Palestinian terrorism. In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” After the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Zakkout, wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”

CAIR-Florida’s national parent organization, CAIR, was created as a part of a terrorist umbrella organization headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, and was named by the US Justice Department as a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.

Nezar Hamze is the CEO and Regional Operations Director for CAIR-Florida. Ironically, he is also a Deputy in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO). Over the past month or so, Hamze has used his position as a Deputy Sheriff to go into radical mosques throughout the state and teach the congregations how to use guns properly and how to obtain government grants for security systems (to protect from law enforcement conducting surveillance).

One of the mosques Hamze has given training to is Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM), located in Margate, Florida. That mosque’s imam – who attended Hamze’s class – Izhar Khan, had previously been arrested, according to the indictment against him, for “collecting and delivering money for the Pakistani Taliban.”

Another of the mosques receiving the training, the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton (ISSB), has also had a terror-related history and its own imam with involvement in a terrorist organization. And like CAIR, it has been Palestinian terrorism and worse.

According to the ISSB newsletter The Faith, in May 2001, the mosque’s children’s school, Dar al-Iman, was visited by then-professor at the University of South Florida (USF), Sami al-Arian, to discuss with the school’s parents “the opportunity for [their] children to attend a fulltime Islamic school in Tampa.” The school is presumably the Islamic Academy of Florida (IAF), an institution founded by al-Arian in 1992 and which is still in existence under a new name.

At the time of his visit, Al-Arian was also the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). In April 2006, al-Arian pled guilty to conspiracy to provide services to PIJ. Between 1986 and 1992, al-Arian helped found a charity, a think tank, and the IAF school, all of which, according to the indictment against him, were actively used “to raise funds and provide support for the PIJ and their operatives in the Middle East, in order to assist its engagement in, and promotion of, violent attacks…”

As well, according to The Faith, from the beginning of 2000 through the end of 2001, Friday prayers at ISSB were led by al-Arian colleagues Mazen al-Najjar and Hussam Jubara on at least eight separate occasions each.

According to the US Justice Department, Al-Najjar, the brother-in-law of al-Arian, “had established ties to terrorist organizations and held leadership positions” within groups that raised funds for PIJ and Hamas. Those groups included al-Arian’s founded charity, Islamic Concern Project (ICP), and al-Arian’s founded think tank, World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE). Following his imprisonment, in August 2002, al-Najjar was deported from the US.

Jubara, then-professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF), co-founded the Islamic Concern Project (originally Islamic Committee for Palestine) with al-Arian. Jubara was arrested in March 2003 and charged and convicted of felony immigration fraud. Later, he too would be deported.

In January 2001, under the banner of ‘Aqsa Victims,’ The Faith announced that the mosque’s “community members” had raised $4000 to be sent to the family of Palestinian “martyrs.” The newsletter read, “The second payment of donations for Aqsa victims were sent the martyrs families and needy in the West Bank in Palestine.” With regard to Palestinians, the term ‘martyrs’ denotes either terrorists (general) or suicide bombers (specific).

In January 2002, a decision was made by ISSB to hire as its full-time imam Muneer Arafat and have Arafat relocate from New York, where he had a residence at the time. In 2001, Arafat had already been leading mosque prayers and teaching Islamic classes to the mosque congregation.

Prior to New York, Arafat had been living in St. Louis, Missouri. It was there that he first met up with Sami al-Arian, at an ICP conference in 1988. Arafat, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was there to deliver a message from his spiritual guide, PIJ leader Assad Bayyoud Tamimi, who was unable to attend the conference. In June 2005, while giving courtroom testimony about al-Arian, Arafat stated that he is in favor of PIJ’s “goal of destroying Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.”

While residing in Saint Louis, Arafat also came into contact with al-Qaeda and Hamas operative Ziyad Khaleel. The two became roommates.

In May 1998, at the behest of a senior al-Qaeda lieutenant, Khaleel delivered a satellite phone and battery pack he had purchased to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, which was later used to plan the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. As well, Khaleel was a webmaster for the official website of Hamas and lectured at the University of Missouri on behalf of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a now-defunct Hamas propaganda group co-founded by al-Arian and Hamas global leader Mousa Abu Marzook.

Shortly after his May 2003 arrest by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Arafat was hired as the imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), a radical mosque with a number of terrorist associations. Arafat’s predecessor, Ibrahim Dremali, an extremist in his own right, was placed on the federal “no-fly” list and too would later be arrested.

During Arafat’s term as imam, one of the directors of the mosque was ICBR co-founder Bassem Alhalabi. Alhalabi was a research assistant for al-Arian at USF and was charged, in June 2003, with the illegal export of a $13,000 military thermal imaging device to Syria. Also, while Arafat was imam, ICBR member Rafiq Sabir was arrested and charged with conspiring to provide material support to Al-Qaeda. Sabir received a 25-year prison sentence.

Not surprisingly, CAIR-Florida has previously trained ICBR on how to avoid being questioned by the FBI.

For Nezar Hamze and CAIR to be involved in training radical mosques on how to use guns and how to bilk money from the government for purposes of “security,” no doubt, constitutes a clear and present danger to the residents of Florida and beyond.

Easily, one or more of the individuals sitting in on this training could be the next San Bernardino shooter(s) or the next Times Square bomber(s). Placing this knowledge into the wrong hands, as Hamze has done with Muslim extremists, is essentially providing instruction to wannabe jihadists.

If you are concerned about the CAIR-Florida gun training and wish to voice your opinion, you can contact the Miami FBI office by email at Miami@ic.fbi.gov or by phone at 754-703-2000. Please be respectful in any and all communications with this office.

CAIR’s 2015 Orlando Intifada

cairs-2015-orlando-intifada-fpFrontpage, by Joe Kaufman, Oct. 22, 2015:

CAIR’s foundation was built upon anti-Israel activists seeking to tear apart Western society. Today’s CAIR is no different. A current hotspot for CAIR extremism is in Orlando, Florida, where CAIR-Florida just held an annual fundraising banquet and just hired a coordinator to take the place of a recently arrested sexual predator. The days of Orlando only being about theme parks and tourism are over. Now, residents and tourists have something else to look forward to – the threat of radical Islam.

CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was established in June 1994 as being part of the American Palestine Committee, a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. The people who founded CAIR, including present National Executive Director Nihad Awad, were previously leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a now defunct organization that was at the time the American propaganda wing of Hamas and also one of the groups that made up the Palestine Committee.

CAIR-Florida, like those who established its parent organization, is made up of anti-Israel radicals.

CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly has referred to Hezbollah as “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization” and, in August 2014, tweeted, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of G-d…” In December 2010, CAIR-Florida CEO and Statewide Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze, repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas, when given numerous chances to do so, stating “I’m not denouncing anybody. I’m not getting involved in the politics.”

In November 2012, when Israel went to war with Hamas in Gaza, CAIR-Florida Legislative and Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz tweeted, “Don’t worry ya Gaza, we’re working hard for you in Florida.” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida Communications Coordinator Ali Akin Kurnaz attacked U.S. Representative Ted Deutch, when Deutch wrote a tweet against Hamas and in support of Israel’s right to defend herself, stating to Deutch, “[T]hink before you tweet. Your lopsided message conveys your lack of understanding of this conflict.”

In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally, in Downtown Miami. At the event, rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Hamas kicked your ass,” and “Let’s go Hamas.” After the rally, the organizer of the rally, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, wrote the following on Facebook: “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”

Earlier this month, CAIR-Florida held an annual fundraising dinner, in Orlando, Florida. The event was titled ‘Champions for Justice,’ and it featured as a guest speaker Chicago-area imam Kifah Mustapha.

Mustapha’s relationship to CAIR goes far beyond his speakership at CAIR events. Both Mustapha and CAIR were named as co-conspirators by the United States government for the 2007 and 2008 federal trials against the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Like CAIR and the IAP, HLF was part of Mousa Abu Marzook’s Palestine Committee. Indeed, Mustapha is still listed as the Registered Agent of HLF’s Illinois corporation, which was revoked in 2001.

Mustapha was also involved with the IAP; he served as a board member for the group.

As well, Mustapha is a lecturer for American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) states “has its organizational roots in the IAP.” The Registered Agent for AMP is former IAP Secretary General Abdelbaset Hamayel. AMP’s office is merely blocks away from what used to be the IAP’s address, on the same street – Roberts Road in Palos Hills, Illinois. Mustapha and former IAP President Rafeeq Jaber (who was a CAIR founder) will be speaking at AMP’s 8th Annual Conference, next month.

In December 2014, Mustapha left his job as imam and Associate Director of the Mosque Foundation (MF), the Islamic center he had been affiliated with for 13 years. MF also has heavy ties to the IAP. Two former leaders of the IAP, Rafeeq Jaber and ex-IAP Chairman Sabri Samirah, were Presidents of MF.

Today, Mustapha is the imam and Director of the Prayer Center of Orland Park. And while he may have transferred his affiliation – albeit less than nine miles away – Mustapha’s fanatical views are still intact.

The morning of CAIR-Florida’s Orlando banquet, Mustapha posted the following message on his Facebook site. He wrote, “An uprising in the Blessed Land will reflect blessings on all Arab uprisings insha Allah.”

The uprising that he speaks of is the recent wave of stabbing and shooting attacks against Jews in Israel, which many are calling a Third Intifada – intifada meaning uprising. For Mustapha this violence, that includes many deaths on both sides, reflects blessings.

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CAIR, Recognized Terrorist Org., Exposed in TV Debate

Cair-Nihad-Awad-Ibrahim-Hooper-HP_11Clarion Project, BY RYAN MAURO, November 20, 2014:

A senior official of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Nezar Hamze, repeatedly denied the existence of Department of Justice documents tying CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamze made the remarks during a televised debate with Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro on NewsmaxTV’s “MidPoint with Ed Berliner.”

The topic of the debate was the designation of CAIR as a terrorist organization by the Muslim government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Hamze, Regional Operations Director of CAIR-Florida, argued that there’s no evidence that CAIR is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas and is a moderate organization. Yet he failed to answer the charge of CAIR being a terrorist organization.

Mauro argued that documents provided by the Justice Department establish a firm connection between CAIR and the internationally designated terrorist group the Muslim Brotherhood and brought forward those documents as proof.

You can watch the debate below:

 

CAIR Denies Existence of Publicly-Available Evidence

The most remarkable feature of the discussion was that Hamze repeatedly denied the existence of quotes by federal prosecutors about the CAIR-Brotherhood connection, even after those quotes were read aloud and the documents were shown to the audience. All of these documents are publicly available online.

Mauro opened the discussion by reading an exact quote from federal prosecutors in a court filing that states:

From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists…the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists.

Hamze’s response was that the quote does not exist. He said, “No U.S. government or U.S. prosecutor has ever said that CAIR has any ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

When Mauro referenced U.S. government documents, Hamze again said this evidence does not exist.

He accused CAIR’s critics of making things up out of thin air. He claimed, “Their evidence is very well-documented by themselves. They create it; they regurgitate it; they put it out on the Internet and it’s fantastical… In reality, it’s just a bunch of propaganda.”

Mauro pointed out that the Justice Department’s list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial explicitly lists CAIR as an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. He even showed the document to the audience. CAIR is listed in the third section of the document on page 5 (line 11).

Hamze — yet again — said no such documentation exists. He rebutted, “It doesn’t say anything like that.”

CAIR Dismisses Muslim Brotherhood Documents

Mauro also showed a 1994 Muslim Brotherhood document discussing how to “develop [the] work of” CAIR, mentioning it by name.

Hamze’s rebuttal was, “We have nothing to do with the production of that document and Ryan knows that.”

He was responding to an accusation that was never made. The argument was that the Muslim Brotherhood wrote the document and it proves a link to CAIR; not that CAIR produced it.

CAIR Denies Prosecution of Its Officials

Hamze said, “No CAIR leader, no CAIR organization, no CAIR chapter, has ever been charged with a crime.”

This is patently false. There are at least four convicted CAIR officials:

  • Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of CAIR-Texas (sentenced to 65 years in prison for terror-related charges in Holy Land Foundation trial)
  • Randall (Ismail) Royer, a CAIR communications specialist (sentenced to 20 years for aiding and abetting other terrorists in gaining access to a training camp in Pakistan)
  • Bassem Khafagi, CAIR director of community relations (sentenced to 10 months in prison for bank and visa fraud).
  • Muthanna Al-Hanooti, CAIR-Michigan executive director (sentenced to 1 year in prison for attempting to buy oil from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq while it was under sanctions)

In 2011, it was reported that CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad was nearly indicted. Serious questions are also being asked about foreign donations to CAIR and possible money laundering. This list does not include fundraisers who have been indicted or deported, such as Mohammad El-Mezain who raised over $100,000 for CAIR-NY.

Keep in mind, the core issue isn’t illegal activity. It is CAIR’s legal activity in support of the Islamist ideological cause.

The evidence introduced in the Holy Land Foundation suggests CAIR was established to support the Islamist agenda through influencing the media, governmental officials and public policy. It may not be a revenue stream for Hamas, as one of the purposes of the Holy Land Foundation was, but CAIR is still part of the Muslim Brotherhood network.

CAIR Claims Unindicted Co-Conspirator Listing Means Nothing

Hamze dismissed the list of unindicted co-conspirators as being just a “list of names” and “just a blatant list of things.” Being listed by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing trial doesn’t happen to just anyone. The designations happen for a reason.

An unindicted co-conspirator is defined as a “person who is identified by a law enforcement officer to have engaged in a conspiracy, but who is not charged in the indictment charging that person’s fellow conspirators.”

CAIR was included because of its involvement in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to support Hamas, which one main component – the Holy Land Foundation – was successfully prosecuted for.

What CAIR Didn’t Tell You About the Judge’s Ruling in 2009

Hamze correctly states that a federal judge ruled in 2009 that the Justice Department should not have made the list of unindicted co-conspirators public. What he chose not to mention is that the judge upheld the designation, ruling that the government provided “ample evidence” to justify it.

He also claimed that CAIR was not given an opportunity to challenge the designation. This was true of the Holy Land Foundation, hence the 2009 ruling. However, CAIR was given the opportunity to defend itself to Judge Solis and it failed.

CAIR Says It Shouldn’t Be Held Responsible for CAIR’s Actions

Hamze distanced himself from CAIR’s national leadership and other chapter leaders by describing it as a “federation of chapters” and saying he does not report to the Executive-Director.

CAIR chapters register independently, but Hamze’s organization wouldn’t be called CAIR-FL if it wasn’t a part of CAIR. If his chapter doesn’t reflect CAIR, then it wouldn’t have been honored with the2013 CAIR Chapter of the Year Award.

The deceptive registering of independent front groups was discussed by CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad during a 1993 Brotherhood/Hamas meeting that was wiretapped by the FBI. He was recorded saying, “Registering an organization is easy. I can register 100 organizations in 100 cities in one day.”

And even if CAIR-FL were independent, it has its own radical history. For example, in June, CAIR-Tampa leader Hassan Shibly said, “Nationalism was pumped into Muslim communities to divide us to weaken Islam which united us.” You can read more about his history here.

It is ludicrous to suggest that the actions of senior CAIR officials do not reflect the entire organization. If a senior CAIR official like Hamze genuinely objects to CAIR’s conduct, he can leave.

Throughout the debate Hamze was unable to answer the charges levied against his organization, namely that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a designated terrorist organization listed alongside Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He could not refute that it forms part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of affiliated organizations dedicated to furthering to cause of the international Muslim Brotherhood’s totalitarian Islamist goals.

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Ryan Mauro Debates CAIR: Is CAIR Linked to Muslim Brotherhood?

Published on Nov 19, 2014 by Ryan Mauro

Clarion Project national security analyst Ryan Mauro debates Nezar Hamze of CAIR-Florida about whether the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas following the United Arab Emirates’ designation of CAIR and Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist groups.

Hassan Shibly Displays Classic Paranoia Symptoms Towards The FBI

20141025_HassanShiblyCAIRandwifeLBy Alan Kornman:

Hassan Shibly, Executive Director of The Council On American Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) exhibited classic paranoid behavior towards the FBI in a Urgent CAIR-FL News Alert that went out today.

Mr. Shibly wrote in an email received today in bold lettering:

WARNING: INCREASE IN FBI TARGETING MUSLIM COMMUNITY

Contact CAIR-Florida for free legal assistance

What did the FBI do that got CAIR’s Hassan Shibly so paranoid and unhinged?

Mr. Shibly wrote in his email alert, “CAIR-Florida has discovered a disturbing trend this week of FBI agents without cause attempting to interview the leadership of at least three major local Florida Mosques…Do not be intimidated into speaking to them without a lawyer. By law, FBI agents may lie to you and sometimes they respond with “You do not need a lawyer…are you trying to hide something…having a lawyer will make things worse.” These are all scare tactics.

Understanding Hassan Shibly’s paranoia towards the FBI will help you to understand the strange wording in his warning to the Muslim community.

Dr. Bruce Rodgers, PhD wrote, “basic distrust is the core characteristic of paranoid behavior.  Because paranoid persons consider significant people in their lives to have been undependable or rejecting, they are apt to view any authority figure or representative of “the system,” including officers, as undependable and hostile.”

Paranoid people like Hassan Shibly are, “likely to be particularly sensitive to an attitude of disbelief.  When they have delusions, they require someone who will listen with courtesy to their beliefs and make no judgment about whether they are true or false.”

Conversely, if you disagree with CAIR they will attack and try their best to instill fear into the hearts of their detractors through frivolous lawsuits, name calling, and your basic character assassination.  For a so called civil rights group CAIR is quite skilled at not being caring about the ‘civil rights’ of their detractors.

Perhaps Hassan Shibly just misinterpreted the FBI’s intentions and flew off the handle with his hysterical email alert against the FBI.  That may be one excuse for Mr. Shibly’s paranoid behavior today.  However, I was lucky enough to attend one of Hassan Shibly’s Civil Liberties Lectures back on June 9, 2012.  Based on my eyewitness account,  Mr. Shibly was preaching the same vile paranoid rhetoric against the FBI back in 2012 as he is today in this CAIR email alert.  Read my full report here: Have You Ever Been Inside a CAIR Civil Liberties Lecture?

CAIR Dallas Ft. Worth Executive Director Mustafa Carroll in 2013 said, ” If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land.”  Perhaps Mr. Carroll’s comment reflects a general attitude at CAIR and why the FBI severed all ties with the group in 2008.

Hassan Shibly clearly articulates the position of the CAIR organization towards the FBI.  CAIR already lost their 501c4 status, perhaps it is time for the government authorities to pull their tax exempt 501c3 status once and for all.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Florida Senate Passes Textbook Review Legislation

Aya Sewell, Sarasota Citizen Activist Protests Houghton Mifflin World History: Patterns of Interaction

Aya Sewell, Sarasota Citizen Activist Protests Houghton Mifflin World History: Patterns of Interaction

By Jerry Gordon:

Last Friday in Tallahassee, April 11, 2014, the Republican controlled  Florida Senate passed SB864 sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) by a narrow vote of 21 to 19. The measure would eliminate State Department of Education control over selection of textbooks returning that role to Florida’s 67 school districts, requiring open public hearing on texts used in courses.  The bill reflected in part concerns of conservative Groups over the Common Core Curriculum State Standards, sponsored by the National Association of Governors and Council of Chief State School Officers  seeking to impose national standards. Despite that criticism the Common Core has been adopted in Forty-four states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

 However, SB864 was largely prompted by a different issue; objections of parental groups in several Florida counties in about the treatment of Islam and Muslim culture in world history textbooks on the Florida State Department of Education list of approved texts.  A companion bill (HB 921) is working its way  through the Florida House sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton.  That version would provide a local option to districts to review texts; however, the selections must still meet state standards.  Gaetz  was quoted in a News Herald  editorial saying: “I think there’s an increasing frustration by parents in our state, that they don’t have a lot of say regarding the content and materials their children use in the classroom.”

Local advocates here in Florida drew attention to misrepresentations of Islam in protests in Volusia,  Brevard and Sarasota Counties. Our  Iconoclast post on the subject, “Sarasota, Florida’s biased Islam textbook problem”,  highlighted the relentless efforts of citizen activist Aya Sewell. Ms. Sewell is of Iraqi Jewish  heritage, members of her family were  subject to a 1941 pogrom against the Jewish population in Baghdad, the Farhud.  Sewell led a campaign against such texts locally in Sarasota, as well as before the Florida Department of Education.  Elsewhere in the US, Tennessee parents have also raised objections to similar course material extolling Palestinian suicide bombers.     Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) in Boston accused the Newton, Massachusetts school board and superintendent for permitting use of texts and course materials that engage in promoting false information regarding both Islam and demonization of Israel.  APT undertook content and bias analysis and promoted their findings that included placing ads in local area media and a petition campaign.

An article in the current edition of Education Week noted the debate over the pending Florida textbook legislation:

[Sen. ]Hays said the legislation was needed so that school board members will be accountable to parents and voters. He said school board members have blamed the state for the textbooks they picked.

“This bill imposes on the local school board members the responsibility and accountability to their citizens,” Hays said.

Opponents complained it would cost districts money to review textbooks. Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, said she was worried that some districts would wind up censoring some books, while other senators raised questions about whether districts would pick textbooks aligned to the state’s current standards.

Even Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart questioned Hays’ bill.

“From a practical standpoint it lifts a burden from us,” Stewart said. “But we heard loud and clear from districts that they rely on (the state review). They need that. They don’t have the resources to be able to do that.”

Following the Florida Senate vote on SB864, CAIR-Florida unleashed an ad hominem campaign against Sen. Hays.  CAIR  undertook  an Action Campaign   sending  Florida  Legislators  an inflammatory Daily Beast  opinion column by Dean Obeidallah, that headlined, “Islamophobic Florida Republican Would Legalize Textbook Censorship”. Obeidallah  (which  means “little servant of God in Arabic”) is a former  lawyer,  self-styled Arab American standup comic,  son of a Palestinian father and mother of Sicilian ancestry who grew up in Paramus, New Jersey.  Self proclaimed Muslim Obeidallah has been involved in several controversial issues including an apology to the Romney family.  CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood front group, was listed as one of several unindicted co-conspirators in the 2008 Federal Dallas Holy Land Foundation Trial involving funneling tens of millions to Hamas, an MB affiliate.

Read more at NER