Nihad Awad

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Nihad Awad


Nihad Awad is the Executive Director of CAIR.

General Union of Palestinian Students

Nihad Awad served as President of the General Union of Palestinian Students.

CAIR

CAIR was co-founded in 1994 by Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber, all of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was established by senior Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook and functioned as Hamas’ public relations and recruitment arm in the United States. Awad and Ahmad previously had served, respectively, as IAP's Public Relations Director and President. Thus it can be said that CAIR was an outgrowth of IAP.

CAIR opened its first office in Washington, DC, with the help of a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a self-described charity founded by Mousa Abu Marzook. In May 1996, CAIR coordinated a press conference to protest the decision of the U.S. government to extradite Marzook for his connection to terrorist acts performed by Hamas. CAIR characterized the extradition as "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American." When President Bush closed HLF in December 2001 for collecting money "to support the Hamas terror organization," CAIR decried his action as "unjust" and "disturbing."[1]

Hamas supporter

CAIR Co-founder Nihad Awad asserted at a 1994 meeting at Barry University, "I am a supporter of the Hamas movement." Awad wrote in the Muslim World Monitor that the 1994 trial which had resulted in the conviction of four Islamic fundamentalist terrorists who had perpetrated the previous year's World Trade Center bombing was "a travesty of justice."[2]

Defending radicals

On September 6, 2001, the day that federal agents first raided Infocom’s headquarters, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad denounced the U.S. government for “tak[ing] us back to the McCarthy era.”

FBI wiretap evidence which was introduced during the 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation (a trial that explored HLF's financial ties to Hamas), proved that Nihad Awad had attended a 1993 Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and operatives who collaborated on a plan to disguise funding for Hamas as charitable donations.

CAIR co-founder and Chairman Emeritus Omar Ahmad was named, in the same 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial, as an unindicted co-conspirator with HLF. During the trial, evidence was supplied proving that Ahmad had attended, along with Nihad Awad, the aforementioned 1993 Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and operatives. Moreover, prosecutors described Ahmad as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's "Palestine Committee" in America.

On September 17, 2003, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer stated that CAIR co-founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad have "intimate links with Hamas." He later remarked that "we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism."

In April 2011, CAIR's co-founder and executive director, Nihad Awad, spoke at an Islamophobia conference held at UC-Berkeley. In his speech, he said that "this epidemic [Islamophobia] ... needs to be fought by all Americans and needs to be rejected by all Americans, not only American Muslims."[3]

ANSWER "Rally Against War and Racism"

April 20, 2002 International A.N.S.W.E.R. Rally Activists representing various groups met on the Ellipse in Washington, DC to voice their support for a Palestinian state, criticize the Bush administration for its support of Prime Minister Sharon’s government in Israel, advocate a stop to racial profiling, and protest the treatment of Muslims at home and abroad.

The event was coordinated by the organization Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.

Speakers included Larry Adams - Labor Against the War, Pam Africa Activist International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sami al-Arian Professor University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)->Computer Science, Tariq Ali Author, Luis Alvarez Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, Nihad Awad Co-Founder and Exec. Dir. Council on American-Islamic Relations, Brian Becker, Co-Director International Action Center, Vernon Bellecourt Director (Former) American Indian Movement, Mahdi Bray Director Muslim Public Affairs Council->Communications, Helen Caldicott M.D. Founder Physicians for Social Responsibility, Illel Cohen Activist, , Tarek Elgawhay Spokesperson Muslim Student Association Shaker Elsayed, Secretary-General Muslim American Society, Sara Flounders Spokesperson Iraq Sanctions Challenge, Jane Franklin Author, Teresa Gutierrez Co-Director International Action Center, Graylan Hagler Minister Plymouth Congregational Church of Christ (Washington, DC), Cheri Honkala, Founder and Executive Director Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Rafik Jaber President National Islamic Association for Palestine, Teresita Jacinto Member Committee for Indigenous Solidarity, Randa Jamal Member Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Amer Jubran Activist, Sala Kahn, Activist Magdy Mahmoud, President , Metropolitan Muslim Federation->New York, New Jersey, Carl Messner Co-Founder, Partnership for Civil Justice, Riya Ortiz, Representative Asha Samad-Matias Spokesperson Muslims Against Racism, Grace Trevett Activist.[4]

Gadaffi connection

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, in September 2009 CAIR executive director Nihad Awad (along with CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper and chairman Larry Shaw) praised Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi for his "leadership" and his "continuing efforts for world peace," and asked him to underwrite a CAIR program to distribute a million copies of the Quran to American government officials and the general public. "We want to assure you that Muslims in America are your brothers and supporters," Shaw said. "They share with you your interests and aspirations." The CAIR officials also asked Gaddafi for financial assistance to help them run an entity known as the Muslim Peace Foundation, founded in 2008 ostensibly to help repair American-Muslim relations. One of the foundation's founders was a man named Winslow Seale, a Muslim convert who later changed his name to Johari Abdul Malik. Malik's Dar al-Hijrah mosque is believed to be "associated with Islamic extremists" and "has been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing."[5]

CAIR Arlington banquet

More than 1,000 people turned out November 2006 at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in Arlington, Va., to hear addresses by several elected officials, including Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress.

The event raised more than $620,000 to support CAIR's civil rights and advocacy work on behalf of the American Muslim community.

Elected officials who spoke at the sold-out event included Representative-elect Ellison (D-MN), as well as Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Albert Wynn (D-MD). Ellison and Jackson Lee offered their addresses by video. Saqib Ali, who was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates (District 39) on November 7, was also in attendance.

Other speakers included Special Agent in Charge Joseph Persichini, Jr. of the FBI's Washington Field Office, Fairfax County Police Chief Col. David M. Rohrer and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Most members of CAIR's national board also took part in the banquet, which was emceed by Julia Shearson of CAIR-Ohio's Cleveland office.

Several Muslim community members received CAIR Islamic Community Service Awards during the dinner. The annual CAIR Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship went to Raashida Muhammad of Stillman College.[6]

Also speaking were Reps. Elijah Cummings , CAIR National Board chairman Parvez Ahmed, and executive director Nihad Awad. All praised CAIR for its dozen years of working to endorse, lobby and educate the American public and the country's leaders on the positive aspects of Islam and Muslims in America.[7]

CAIR Michigan 2010 Banquet

Nihad Awad, Wendell Anthony, Dawud Walid, John Conyers, Lena Masri, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Ron Scott, Raheem Hanifa, and Jukaku Tayeb

The 2010 Michigan CAIR gala, was held on March 31, with about "1,000 attendees including many powerful audience members from the business, media, and political community". Present at this year’s fundraiser was Nihad Awad, who founded CAIR and set it up as a not-for-profit franchise operation of sorts, with now branch offices across the country to advocate for Muslims.

But the real jewels in the crown of the 2010 CAIR Michigan fundraiser were the civil rights workers who for sixty years have been deeply involved at their own personal peril with the struggle for civil rights in the USA.

Jesse Jackson , the keynote speaker, was one of those. But there was also Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14), whom Jackson described as “perhaps the only man who was ever endorsed by Martin Luther King.” There was Rep. John Dingell (D-MI-15). There were many others, including the strong gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero (currently Lansing’s mayor).

Other attendees included Wendell Anthony, Imam and CAIR Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid, CAIR Michigan Attorney Lena Masri, Ron Scott, Raheem Hanifa, and Jukaku Tayeb of CAIR Michigan.[8]

National Muslim Democratic Council

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi headlined a Democratic Party fundraiser with leaders of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood front groups in May of 2012.

The invitation-only fundraiser was sponsored by Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.; Andre Carson, D-Ind.; and Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and took place on the evening of May 16, 2012, at the W Hotel in Washington D.C.

In attendance were about 20 members of a Syrian dissident group and 10 officials representing Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas front groups. Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad was perhaps the most prominent attendee and played a key role in organizing the event.

CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007-2008 Holy Land Foundation Hamas money-laundering trials, was described in FBI testimony as having been created by Hamas. In a 2007 federal court filing, prosecutors described CAIR as conspiring with other branches of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.

The FBI officially severed relations with CAIR in 2008 because of its ties to Hamas.

Awad has openly championed Hamas and defended suicide bombings as "legitimate resistance."

Also in attendance was Jamal Barzinji, a founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood in America and co-founder of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), an incubator for Islamic radicalism in North America. MSA was the forerunner of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

Barzinji was named in a federal affidavit as being closely associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. His name appears in a global phone book of Muslim Brotherhood members recovered by Italian and Swiss authorities in Nov. 2001 from the home of Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano founder Youssef Nada, one of the leaders of the international Muslim Brotherhood.

During the fundraiser, Pelosi sat at the same table with Awad and Barzinji.

Speaking to the attendees in her 10-minute address, she said the Democratic Party should become the natural home of Muslim-Americans, because Republicans fan the flames of "Islamophobia." She focused exclusively on Islamophobia, a term devised by radical Islamists and their apologists to silence critics, while avoiding any mention of terrorism carried out by Islamists in the United States.

Also speaking were Israel, Ellison, Carson, and Reps Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. Israel and Murphy were said to have been the most vehement among the members of Congress in attendance in terms of their incendiary accusations of Republican-incited Islamophobia. One observer said that it was striking that "there was not a scintilla of comments in defense of U.S. national security." However, they welcomed each of the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood front groups represented at the event into the "Democratic community" without any mention of their well-documented terror links.

Following the speeches, a prominent attorney, Mazen Asbahi publicly rose to announce the creation of a new organization called the National Muslim Democratic Council (NMDC). Asbahi was Barack Obama's 2008 Muslim outreach director but was forced to step down when his prior association with a radical Muslim cleric, Jamal Said, became public. Said was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial.

The NMDC seeks to "maximize American Muslim support for Democratic candidates and policies."[9]

Rally Against Israeli Violence in Gaza

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August 2, 2014 Rally Against Israeli Violence in Gaza, organised by ANSWER Lafayette Park. Speakers included; Osamah Abuirshaid National Coordinator American Muslims for Palestine, Salim Adofo Vice Chair National Black United Front, Lydia Catina Amaya Community Organizer Damayan Migrant Workers Associatio, Mohsin Ansari Chair ICNA Relief USA, Nihad Awad Co-Founder and Exec. Dir. Council on American Islamic Relations, Brian Becker National Director Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), Mahdi Bray National Director AMERICAN MUSLIM ALLIANCE POLITICAL ACTION, Karina Garcia Organizer Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), Carol Gay President New Jersey Industrial Union Council, Abbas Falasteen Hamideh Member Cleveland, Tarak Kauff Board Member Veterans for Peace, Alli McCracken National Coordinator CodePink: Women for Peace, Ray McGovern Analyst (Former) Central Intelligence Agency, Carl Messineo, Co-Founder Partnership for Civil Justice, Akbar Muhammad Representative, Nation of Islam, Lucy Murphy Singer, Mike Prysner Veteran Iraq War, Eugene Puryear Member Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), Tareq Radi Founder George Mason University->Students Against Israeli Apartheid, Khalilah Sabra Executive Director MAS Immigrant Justice Center, Cornel West Professor Emeritus Princeton University->Center for African American Studies, Ann Wright Activist, Fadi Zanayed Attorney Palestinian American Council.[10]

References