January 15, 2016
News Press Release

ZOA Appalled: Radical Muslim Leaders Invited to Attend State of the Union Address

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is appalled that Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Democratic Congressional Representatives invited Islamist guests with terrorist organization affiliations to the State of the Union (“SOTU”) address. It was likewise appalling that during his SOTU address, President Obama made one-sided, unfounded “Islamophobia” comments, downplayed terrorism dangers, and touted the Iran deal – while failing to mention the American victims of Islamist terrorism in San Bernadino, Chattanooga, Paris, Israel and elsewhere; Iran’s deal violations; and Iran’s seizure and detention yesterday of two U.S. Navy boats and ten American sailors.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Muslim Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MI) urged their colleagues to invite Muslims to the SOTU to counteract “un-American anti-Muslim rhetoric.” Approximately twenty Democratic Congresspersons heeded this call.   

The whole concept of singling out Muslims to invite is disturbing.  But, to invite Radical Muslim leaders from the Saudis-funded CAIR and other such groups gives legitimacy and credibility to these extremists.  It would have been far more appropriate to urge Congresspersons to invite American victims of Islamist terror attacks and their families, and law enforcement officials who thwarted or stopped terrorism attacks. 

The FBI’s 2009 letter also confirmed that the FBI suspended “all formal outreach activities with CAIR” and that “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

On the other hand, other choices were truly alarming – including invitations to Muslim officials affiliated with groups that support radical Islamist and terrorist groups.

Senator Booker’s SOTU Guest Was A Top Official Of A Political Group That Supports The Radical Muslim Brotherhood:

Senator Cory Booker’s invited guest at the SOTU was Ahmed Shedeed, who serves as treasurer of Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR). 

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, after the Egyptian people and military ousted the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013, EADHR launched rallies in U.S. cities to bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt again, and a Facebook post listed Shedeed as the contact for the New York rally.

The Clarion Project’s Special Report on the Muslim Brotherhood explains that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to establish a global Islamic caliphate and supports Sharia law and jihad (holy war) against non-believers but uses non-violent strategies when necessary.  “The Quran is our law; Jihad is our way, Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope” is part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto.  The Muslim Brotherhood also regards America as “the Great Satan,” launched or inspired major Muslim terrorist groups (including Hamas, al Qaeda, and ISIS), and has a variety of affiliates in the United States, including CAIR (the Council on American Islamist Relations), ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) and MSA (The Muslim Students Association). 

Other Democratic Congresspersons Invited CAIR Representatives: 

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)’s SOTU guest was Sameena Usman, a government relations coordinator in CAIR’s San Francisco office.   Another Democratic Congressman Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fl) invited Nezar Hamze, the chief operating officer of CAIR’s Florida branch.

As noted above, CAIR is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.  In addition, CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Terror-Financing trial (United States v. Holy Land Foundation, et al., Cr. No. 3:04-240-P (N.D. Tex.) – the largest terror-funding trial in U.S. history, which resulted in seven convictions for funneling funds to Hamas and related charges, and which revealed that CAIR is a front organization for Hamas – which calls for the murder of every Jew.   Assistant FBI Director Richard Powers explained in a letter to Senator John Kyl in 2009 that:

“During that [the Holy Land Foundation] trial, evidence was introduced that demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders (including its current President Emeritus and its Executive Director) and the Palestine Committee.  Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and HAMAS, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995.  In light of that evidence, the FBI suspended all formal contacts between CAIR and the FBI.” 

The FBI’s 2009 letter also confirmed that the FBI suspended all formal outreach activities with CAIR and that “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

The ZOA urged Congress to investigate CAIR, and pointed to CAIR’s HAMAS and terrorism funding ties, and the founder of CAIR’s praise for suicide bombers and statements that the Koran should replace the U.S. Constitution.  In 2014, the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR as a terrorist organization .   CAIR also condemned a non-binding California State Assembly designed to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses, and  over a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.

The President’s SOTU one-sided “Islamophobia” comments: 

It is appalling that the President singled out and spoke about “insulting” Muslims – but never mentioned the American victims of Islamic terror this past year.  These never-mentioned American victims included:

  • 14 Americans murdered and 22 wounded at their office Christmas party in San Bernadino, California on December 2;
  • 5 American servicemen murdered and 2 others wounded by Islamist Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez in Chattanooga, Tennessee in July;
  • 1 American student murdered and several Americans wounded, among the 130 murdered and 350 wounded victims of ISIS’s November 13 Paris attacks;
  • the attempted murder of a Philadelphia police officer this past Saturday (January 9, 2016) by a man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State, who said he was acting “in the name of Islam”;
  • 3 murdered Americans, including American teenager Ezra Schwartz, and Rabbi Eitan Henkin and his wife Naama Henkin in front of the couple’s four children;
  • the murder of 2 Americans at a Jordanian police training center in Amman on November 9; and
  • the murder of American public health worker Anita Datar, by Islamist terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” while “shooting at anything that moved” and murdering 20 guests at a hotel in Bamako, Mali on November 19.

The President’s one-sided singling out of a theoretical vandalized mosque is also completely lopsided in light of the fact that year after year, FBI hate crimes statistics demonstrate that Jews are the victims of hate crimes four to eight times as often as Muslims.   

The President touted the Iran deal, and omitted Iran’s glaring deal violations and seizure and detention of 10 Americans: 

The President omitted any mention of Iran’s serious multiple violations of the Iran deal.  Iran’s violations began before the ink was even dry on the deal.  On October 10, Iran test fired a long range Emad ballistic missile.   Following this violation, Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) wrote to President Obama, asking the U.S. to hold Iran accountable, noting that: “This test furthers Iran’s ICBM program. An ICBM is not tangential or unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program.  The sole purpose of an Iranian ICBM is to enable delivery of a nuclear weapon to the United States.”   The UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts likewise concluded that Iran’s launch met the requirements to be considered a missile that could deliver a nuclear weapon, and that the launch violated the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 (which requires Iran to refrain from “any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons”).  Iran test launched a second ICBM on November 21st.  In addition, a Congressional Research Service report in December reported that Iran has continued work on its uranium enrichment and heavy-water reactor programs.

The President’s failure to mention Iran’s seizure of two U.S. navy boats and 10 American servicemen was especially glaring.  After the SOTU address, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy aptly commented: “I was very concerned that [the president]’s missing where the challenge of the world is with security – he sits and talks positively about Iran when they just took 10 of our Navy sailors.”

The President also downplayed the danger of terrorism:

President Obama also stated during his SOTU:  “As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands.  Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped.  But they do not threaten our national existence.”

Need we remind the president that the Middle East is in flames?  And that Islamic terrorists have murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people?  And that the Nazis also started out as “twisted souls plotting in apartments and garages”?