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.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad
On June 2nd, the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) placed a video from one of its events on its Facebook page with the caption: ‘Congressman Theodore Elliot Deutch visits ICBR.’ The video portrayed Deutch speaking to a small group, while standing next to a video monitor and in back of a table, both with the green and white ICBR logo found on them. Seated to his left and looking intently on the Congressman was the President and co-founder of the mosque, Bassem Alhalabi.
Prior to arriving in Boca, Alhalabi (Al-Halabi) was a research assistant to and co-author of publications with Sami al-Arian at the University of South Florida (USF), while al-Arian was actively creating a terrorist infrastructure in the US for Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Alhalabi used al-Arian as a reference, when he would later apply for a job at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca, where he is currently an Associate Professor. Another of Alhalabi’s PIJ colleagues, Hussam Jubara, whom Alhalabi calls a “close friend,” was arrested in March 2003, charged and convicted of felony immigration fraud, and later deported from the US.
In June 2003, the US Department of Commerce charged Alhalabi with illegally shipping a $13,000 military-grade thermal imaging device to Syria. In March 2010, Alhalabi was arrested and charged with battery of one person and assault of another, both perpetrated at a Muslim advocacy conference he had been attending in Tallahassee, Florida.
The imam who took Ibrahim Dremali’s place at ICBR, Muneer Arafat, was a former roommate of al-Qaeda and HAMAS operative Ziyad Khaleel, the individual who, in May 1998, delivered to Osama bin Laden a satellite phone and battery pack that would later be used to plan the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In June 2005, while giving courtroom testimony about Sami al-Arian, Arafat admitted to being a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and stated that he is in favor of PIJ’s “goal of destroying Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.” Both Dremali and Arafat have been arrested, since being in the US.
From October 1999 through September 2001, ICBR published a violently anti-Semitic essay on its website, titled ‘Why can’t the Jews and Muslims live together in peace?’ It stated, “Jews are people of treachery and betrayal; it is not possible to trust them at all… As the Muslims and Jews are enemies residing in opposing religious and doctrinal camps, it is not possible for them to be brought together unless one is made to submit to the other by force… [T]he Prophet said, ‘The Hour (the Day of Judgement) will not begin until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.’”
From October 1999 through February 2003, ICBR promoted on its website the al-Haramain Foundation, a now-defunct group then-based in Saudi Arabia that was designated a terrorist organization by the US government for its personal association with Osama bin Laden and its financing of al-Qaeda. From October 1999 through July 2001, ICBR’s website homepage featured a link to qoqaz.net (‘Jihad in Chechnya’), a then-fundraising and recruiting site for al-Qaeda produced by Azzam Publications, named for bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam.