Note: This post has been updated to correct the name of the Al Udeid Air Base.
Qatar's Washington embassy paid for six congressional Democrats to visit Doha last December, Al-Monitor reported Friday. U.S. Reps. Ami Bera, D-Calif., Andre Carson, D-Ind., and Dan Kildee, D-Mich., noted the payment in financial disclosure forms.
The office of U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J., told Al-Monitor it would amend its disclosure form to include the Qatari payment. U.S. Rep. James Himes, D-Conn., failed to disclose the trip. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., received an extension until August to file his disclosure. Ben Smith of Buzzfeed, which co-sponsored the Doha Forum first acknowledged the trip in a Dec. 15 tweet.
Speakers at the Doha Forum included President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, and current Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak; Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; and Mutlaq al-Qahtani, who told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) last year that Hamas was not a terrorist organization. Al-Qahtani serves as Qatar's counterterrorism envoy.
At the forum, the officials met with Qatar's deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. Qatar hosts the Al Udeid Air Base, which is home to the forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command and the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Central Command.
Qatar is one of the biggest funders of the Muslim Brotherhood and is home to radical Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who has been a major force in the movement for decades. Qatari money has funded numerous terrorist groups including Hamas and al-Qaida.
This is but one example of Qatar's effort to buy power and influence in Washington. It spent nearly $5 million in 2017 on three Washington lobby firms seeking to improve its image. Qatari entities, including Barzan Holdings, Qatar Tourism Authority, Education Above All Foundation and Qatari businessman Hassan bin Ali spent $13 million overall for all of 2017 on behalf of the emirate, according to the watchdog site Open Secrets. They spent $9.3 million in 2018.
Qatar also funds programs at the Brookings Institution and at U.S. colleges and universities, including Georgetown and Northwestern. Those schools have campuses in Doha and receive funding from the Qatar Foundation, which is controlled by the emirate's royal family.
Qatar's failure renounce terrorism funding for terrorism makes this lobbying campaign particularly troubling.
Being a "white nationalist" doesn't mean having European ancestry in Linda Sarsour's world. Her group, MPower Change, joined the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Philadelphia chapter in charging that Raymond Ibrahim, an American Copt of Egyptian ancestry, whose people have been severely discriminated against under Islamic rule for centuries, is a "white nationalist."
The smear campaign is part of an effort to have the U.S. Army War College rescind a June 19 speaking invitation to Ibrahim.
"In a time of rising white nationalism, Islamophobia, and horrific violence stemming from these ideologies, the College is endorsing and fostering anti-Muslim hate within the military by inviting Ibrahim," MPower Change wrote in a petition on its website.
To classify Ibrahim in the same category as white supremacists who hate Muslims for being non-white is to show ignorance of the severe persecution and discrimination faced by the Coptic people under nearly 14 centuries of Islamic rule.
Copts face constant discrimination and persecution at the hands of their Muslim neighbors, a fact that colors the view of Islam held by Ibrahim and other Copts whose relatives face Jim Crow-style conditions in their homeland.
MPower Change argues that Ibrahim "advances an Orientalist and inaccurate view of Islam." Among other things, Ibrahim denounced Muhammad as a "false prophet" and a "liar," which is considered blasphemy under Islam. This "Orientalist" epithet stems from late Columbia University scholar Edward Said's book 1978 Orientalism, which asserts that Islam and the West belong to the same civilization and complains about the Christian rejection of Islam as a heresy.
Ibrahim's assertion that "Muslim hostility and terrorization of the West is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic history" promotes prejudice against Islam and Muslims, MPower Change complains.
But Muslim sources such as Islamweb.net acknowledge that Islamic threats of violence against majority Christian lands date back to Muhammad. It notes that Muhammad sent an emissary to the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius calling on him to give up his Christianity for Islam or "pay him taxes in return for him allowing you to remain upon your faith; or, to prepare for war against him." Muslim armies invaded the empire, defeating Heraclius' forces in the Battle of Yarmouk in 636 A.D. after Muhammad's death. It paved the way for the Islamic conquest of the rest of the Middle East.
It's not the first time CAIR and its allies have tried to silence voices it doesn't like. In 2017, it failed to stop IPT Fellow Patrick Dunleavy from teaching an Air Force course on prison radicalization. Similar allegations cast Dunleavy as an "Islamophobe."
This attack on Ibrahim should meet the same fate.
A May 8 incident at San Diego State University (SDSU) highlights a trend of glamorizing Palestinian terrorists on college campuses, SDSU English Professor Peter C. Herman wrote Saturday in the Times of San Diego news site.
He pointed to an email from SDSU's Women's Resource Center which included the slogan "From the River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free" and a photo of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled clutching an AK-47. Khaled hijacked two airliners in 1970. Khaled and the PFLP been active in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to economically and politically strangle Israel. She remains a member of the PFLP's political bureau.
PFLP terrorists also gained notoriety for the 1976 hijacking of a Paris-bound Air France flight that was diverted to Entebbe, Uganda. It also claimed joint responsibility with Hamas for a deadly East Jerusalem attack in 2017 that left an Israeli female police officer dead and several others were wounded.
Coming so soon after last month's Poway synagogue shooting near San Diego, the email's imagery "seems especially shocking," Herman wrote. "But how are we to respond to a glorification of violence in a university-sanctioned newsletter?"
He invoked a 1984 statement by Abu Iyad, leader of the Black September terrorist group responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, who told Radio Amman: "The Zionists took Palestine inch by inch. And we must retrieve it inch by inch. We believe that Palestine, from the river to the sea, is our country."
The PFLP's goal is Israel's complete destruction.
SDSU's Students for Justice In Palestine (SJP) chapter hosted now-deported PFLP terrorist Rasmieh Odeh via videoconference in 2015. Odeh played a key role in a 1969 Jerusalem supermarket bombing that killed two students.
What happened at SDSU isn't isolated.
The Temple University SJP chapter posted the same image of Khaled on its official Twitter page in March 2016 in celebration of International Women's Day. Last summer, the same SJP chapter wrote a lengthy opinion piece supporting the PFLP. Chapter leader Brandon Do attacked Palestinians whom he claimed had sold out to Zionism following the 1993 Oslo Accords. He also praised PFLP founder George Habash, the "Godfather of Middle East terrorism" for "raising the Arab world's consciousness against Israel."
Supporting the PFLP has grown mainstream elsewhere on the Progressive Left. The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) and its Executive Director Youssef Munayyer have tweeted their support for the terrorist group. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Munayyer on an unrelated issue in February.
The PFLP-linked Samidoun has also thrown its support behind Ocasio-Cortez and fellow freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar. U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib posed for a photo with a Samidoun's U.S. coordinator Joe Catron last month, The Daily Caller found.
Terrorists should be abhorred not celebrated.
Update: The SDSU Women's Center apologized for using Leila Khaled's image, the Algemeiner reports. It was "harrmful and hateful toward members of our Jewish community and counter to our values of encouraging and promoting a safe, supportive and inclusive environment," a statement said. The university also pledged to enact new policies "with center staff to help ensure that this does not occur in the future."
The Kharon Brief describes itself as an open-source intelligence group headed by former senior officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Office of Foreign Assets Control, and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), which the United Nations notes funded Osama bin Laden, gave an undetermined amount of money to the North York, Ontario-based Abu Huraira Center. In addition to supporting al-Qaida, RIHS also has given money to the South Asian jihadist group Laskhar-e-Taiba.
"The U.S. Government has learned that RIHS senior leadership, who have actively managed all aspects of the organization's day-to-day operations, have been aware of both legitimate and illegitimate uses of RIHS funds," the U.S. Treasury Department said in a June 2008 press release.
A post on the group's website captured by the Kharon Brief shows that it fundraised for a January Quran competition co-sponsored by the Abu Huraira Center. RIHS's website shows it sought to raise 53,000 Kuwaiti dinars, or roughly $174,179, for the Toronto Quran Competition hosted by the mosque. RIHS acts under the auspices of Kuwait's Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, according to its official website, and Kuwait's ambassador to Canada attended the Quran recitation. Its fundraising campaign helped the Al-Huraira Center buy a church building in Toronto.
American Sheikh Waleed Idris al-Maneese, imam of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., and a leader of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), was among the competition's judges this year. Al-Maneese has a radical and anti-Semitic track record. He delivered a November 2015 sermon promising that Jews would be punished by God in Palestine.
"Even trees and stones will say: O Muslim, this is a Jew behind me, kill him, except for Gharqad trees, the trees of the Jews," al-Maneese said.
At least five members of Al-Maneese's mosque joined ISIS or East Africa's Al-Shabaab.
The 2017 Toronto Quran Competition, also sponsored by the Abu Huraira Center, was co-sponsored by Eid Charity, one of several charities run by Qatar's ruling Al-Thani family. Eid Charity gave money to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and worked closely with the Turkish charity IHH that also has al-Qaida ties.
At least six Al-Huraira Center attendees joined Al-Shabaab the Kharon Brief found. Raed Jaser, who was arrested in 2013 in connection with a plot to derail a Canadian train, often prayed at Al-Huraira Center.
A competition at a Canadian mosque, which saw six attendees join Al-Shabaab, is judged by a Minnesota cleric whose congregation saw five people join Al-Shabaab and ISIS. And it was underwritten by a charity that has given money to an al-Qaida branch.
Sometimes radicalization is right out in the open.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman wants to stop anti-Semitic activist Linda Sarsour from participating in an event hosted in the Canadian city on Friday, CBC reports.
Sarsour is set to speak at an event entitled, "Sorry Not Sorry: Unapologetically Working for Social Justice," hosted by the Canadian Muslim Women's Institute and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.
"Mayor Bowman does not feel it is appropriate to provide this individual a public platform to further propagate anti-Semitic views and hate," Bowman's office said in a statement.
During a city hall event on Tuesday, Bowman accused Sarsour of stoking "racialized identity politics" and said that "she has continually attacked the foundation of the state of Israel's right to exist."
"It's less about the speaker than the social planning council providing that platform and the message it sends to the Jewish community and the community as a whole," Bowman added.
The mayor's comments were supported by several Winnipeg organizations including the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and B'nai Brith Canada – a national advocacy organization on behalf of Canadian Jewry.
B'nai Brith Canada originally called on the event organizers to retract Sarsour's invitation.
"She's used her platform to promulgate views that are highly problematic, including charges of dual loyalty to Jews who are considered sufficiently too supportive of the state of Israel," Ran Ukashi, a national director at B'nai Brith Canada, said last month.
Accusations of dual allegiances among Jews have resurfaced in the national spotlight after U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar's recent string of anti-Semitic comments.
Last month, Sarsour led a group of Islamist activists to lobby on Capitol Hill against a resolution condemning anti-Semitic statements from Omar – despite the resolution failing to mention Omar by name.
Sarsour has a long track record of making extremist comments and refuses to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's Jew-hating sermons. She not only is a vocal critic of Israel's policies – she despises the very principle that led to the Jewish state's emergence in 1948.
"I am an unapologetic pro-BDS, one-state solution supporting resistance supporter here in the U.S.," she told the Islamic Association of North America (ISNA) convention last September, the IPT exclusively reported.
"One-state solution" supporters are clearly advocating for the destruction of the Jewish state by calling for one bi-national state with a majority Arab population.
During the ISNA event, Sarsour also blamed Jews for police shootings of unarmed black people because of an Anti-Defamation League program that takes police executives to Israel to learn about fighting terrorism and riots. The ADL is the most prominent Jewish organization in the United States.
Now, prominent Canadian Jewish organizations are working hard to prevent Sarsour from having a platform to spew divisive rhetoric. Local politicians across North America should follow Mayor Bowman's lead.
Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, received €35,000 – roughly $39,290 – per month from the Qatar Foundation as a "consultant," documents obtained by French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot show, the Swiss newspaper Tribune de Genve reported. Ramadan received a further €19,000 from organizations such as the League of Muslims in Switzerland when he was arrested last year on rape charges.
Chesnot and Malbrunot detail this information in their book Qatar Papers - How the emirate finances Islam in France and Europe. Their work discloses Qatar's central role in funding Muslim Brotherhood operations across Europe. They say they received the supporting documents on a USB stick sent by a whistleblower. It contained Qatar Charity bank records, internal emails and more. The charity, like Qatar Foundation, is run by Qatar's ruling Al-Thani family.
The spending serves Qatar's political goal of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, analysts told the journalists in their accompanying documentary, a portion of which has been posted online. The Brotherhood aims to control people's public and private lives, they said, and to obtain political power with the end goal of establishing their caliphate.
Qatar Charity may be best known in the West for its funding of terrorist operations.
French intelligence reported in 2013 that Qatar Charity funded an al-Qaida linked terrorist group in Mali called Ansar Dine. It also helped finance the 1998 al-Qaida bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Qatar Charity has legitimized itself through partnerships with mainstream Western charities including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation, the documentary said.
Qatar Charity spent €71 million– roughly $79.7 million – on 113 projects at mosques and Islamic centers and spent €3.6 million – roughly $4 million – on five mosque projects in Switzerland alone, a 2014 internal document showed. The Muslim Cultural Complex of Lausanne in Prilly, Switzerland received 1.6 million Francs – roughly $1.6 million – from Qatar Charity according to the documents. An internal note thanked Qatar and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs for money to purchase a mosque in Biel, Switzerland.
Donors Mohamed and Nadia Karmous, who Tribune de Geneve reported are closely linked to Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, played a central role in this scheme. Qaradawi notoriously stated in 2007 that Islam would conquer Europe by means of immigration and proselytism. Mohamed Karamous is referred to as the "treasurer" of the university of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, European Institute of Human Sciences (IESH), founded by Qatar in central France.
These mosques and Islamic centers serve the purpose of spreading Islamic culture across Europe, the journalists said.
Malbrunot told Tribune de Geneve that Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood aim to create a "micro counter society" through the "re-Islamization" of Muslim communities across Europe. They have a political vision of their brand of Islam dominating the world.
Anyone who uses terms including "jihadist," "violent jihad," "Islamist terrorism" or "Islamic extremist" is a hater who deserves to be shunned, an influential Muslim political leader argues.
Esam Omeish issued this call Friday on Facebook, in the emotional wake of the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand.
Omeish is a board member at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., which has exhibited Muslim Brotherhood sympathies. He previously served as president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), which prosecutors say was established as the "overt arm" of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.
"Anyone who uses the following terms is Islamophobic and must stop their hate," Omeish said.
Memo to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups which have "jihad" in their name: Esam Omeish thinks you hate Muslims.
His list of telltale words and phrases also a bit surprising, given that Omeish's 2000 praise for Palestinians who chose "the jihad way" to liberation, captured on video by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, led him to resign from a state immigration committee in 2007.
Other statements Omeish now sees as inherently hateful include "Islam hates us," "Islam is not a religion," and ban "Shariah law."
"Islamophobia kills!", he wrote. "Enough of this hate and Islamophobia!
Granted, his comments came as the world learned of the horrific terrorist attack that killed 50 Muslims during prayer at two New Zealand mosques.
But Omeish, even in an emotional state, may not be the best messenger to call people out for hate.
In addition to praising "the jihad way," he also mourned Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004 after Israel assassinated him saying, "It is our tax dollars that have killed our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin."
He wrote an open letter to President Obama in February 2016 urging support for the Mujahideen Shura Council of Derna against the secular militia leader Khalifa Haftar. But the council has ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), as a Libyan al-Qaida supporter wrote in a 2015 treatise called "Sorry O' you Claimed 'Islamic State' in Libya."
Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations decided to cancel Friday's weekly violent protests on the Israel-Gaza border to avoid an escalation with Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Palestinian terrorist factions leading the National Committee for the March of Return made the decision to delay Friday's demonstrations out "concern for our people" and to plan for larger protests commemorating Land Day at the end of the month.
The decision came shortly after Palestinian terrorists fired two missiles at Tel Aviv Thursday evening. In response, Israel's armed forces struck 100 Hamas targets in Gaza, including an underground missile factory, a military training site, and a naval commando base. Terrorists fired at least nine rockets Friday on Israeli towns bordering Gaza in response.
Hamas denied responsibility for the initial rocket launches. While the Israel Defense Forces assesses that low-level militants may have accidentally launched the rockets, Israel holds Hamas responsible for all terrorist activity emanating from Gaza. A Hamas official told The Times of Israel that the terrorist organization "has no interest in an escalation" with Israel.
This decision marks the first time Hamas canceled the weekly event since violent riots and protests started on March 30, 2018. It confirms that Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups are the main drivers behind the violent riots, even though some international media outlets continue to frame the events as popular and peaceful protests.
The decision to cancel today's protests shows that Hamas is not prepared for an all-out confrontation with Israel but is fully in control of the violent border situation.
Last month, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations threatened to ramp up violent protests on the Israel-Gaza border to force more Israeli concessions. Hamas officials also threatened to attack Israelis in direct operations on the border, including infiltrations into Israel.
Palestinian terrorist groups have relied on these methods to attack Israelis and cause significant economic damage. Sporadic incendiary kites and balloons continue to land on Israeli territory. During the past year, these devices sparked destructive fires that burned thousands of acres of crops and natural forest area.
The border violence and most recent threats are meant to coerce Israel into adhering to Hamas' demands, including open border crossings and financial transfers.
The vast majority of Palestinians killed in response to weekly violent protests on the Israel-Gaza border are affiliated with Hamas and other terrorist groups.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism condemns the massacre of Muslims in two New Zealand mosques during Friday prayer by a self-described "ordinary white man" who "decided to take a stand."
At this moment, 49 people are dead and dozens more are hospitalized in Christchurch.
Three men and a woman reportedly are in police custody, although the killing appears to be the work of one man, described as being in his late 20s. He live-streamed his slaughter and posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online, including on a platform known for extreme right wing ideas.
In it, he said he was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik and decried a "large group of invaders" who "seek to occupy my peoples (sic) lands and ethnically replace my own people."
The point of monitoring and investigating extremist ideology is to not only limit, but prevent people driven to claim innocent lives based upon their identities, ideologies and faiths. That is true in Jerusalem, in Pittsburgh, in Charleston, S.C., in San Bernardino, and now in Christchurch.
We mourn for those lives lost Friday while gathering for prayer.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caved to radical activists by watering down a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in reaction to Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitic outbursts. Pelosi showed more determination after Omar's statements last month after she explained congressional support for Israel was "All about the Benjamins, baby," invoking a stereotype of Jewish money controlling U.S. policy.
"We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments," Pelosi said. Now Pelosi claims that Omar's comments alleging a dual loyalty among Israel's supporters were not "intended in an anti-Semitic way," Pelosi said Thursday.
Radical left-wing activists, including Linda Sarsour, representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), demanded that Pelosi and the Democratic leadership back away from condemning Omar Wednesday during a rally at the Supreme Court.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad complained that Israel has an undue influence on Congress and U.S. foreign policy. Awad notably attended a 1993 meeting of Hamas activists in Philadelphia that plotted to subvert the Oslo Peace Accords.
Ramah Kudaimi, director of programs and operations with U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), argued Democrats should focus on anti-Semitism coming from the Republican Party, which she claimed has deepened "their relationship with white supremacists, white nationalists, and right-wing Israel forces – forces that thrive on Islamophobia and racism."
Kudaimi charged that Pelosi was "implying that attacks on Muslim refugee women of color for their political stances are acceptable" by considering an earlier version of the resolution that only targeted anti-Semitism.
The USCPR coordinates boycott and sanctions campaigns against Israel. A Tablet investigation found that it "helps facilitate tax-exempt donations to a Palestinian coalition that includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine."
A letter to Pelosi signed by Sarsour and more than 600 left-wing activists claimed that attacks against Omar were "rooted in both racism and Islamophobia." It called on Pelosi to condemn "anti-Black racism and xenophobia."
They got just what they wanted. Instead of singularly condemning anti-Semitism, the new resolution dilutes decries "the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry, as well as the historical struggles against them." A passing reference to Omar's claim that Jews have a divided loyalty appears buried on the fourth page of the document in paragraph 18. Plenty of mention of white supremacist hatred of Jews can be found in the document, but the Muslim anti-Semitism that created this controversy to begin with is absent.
The USCPR issued a fundraising letter Thursday thanking supporters for pressuring Pelosi. "You did it, Friend," it said. "Here's the proof that your voice matters and people power works! In response to your calls and our collective organizing with partners across the progressive spectrum, the Democratic leadership is backing down from a resolution that would single out Rep. Ilhan Omar with false charges of antisemitism." [Emphasis original]