Pelosi holds secret fundraiser with Islamists, Hamas-linked groups
Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi headlined a high-dollar fundraiser in May that was attended by U.S.-based Islamist groups and individuals linked by the U.S. government to the Hamas jihad group and to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood movement.
The donors at the undisclosed May 16 event included Nihad Awad, the co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations, according to data provided by the nonpartisan Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The CAIR group was named an unindicted conspirator in a 2007 trial of a Hamas money-smuggling group.
A covertly-taken photograph provided by the IPT shows Pelosi standing near Awad at the fundraiser. Roughly 30 people attended the fundraiser, according to the IPT.
The cheapest tickets cost $5,000, and the most expensive were $30,800 per couple, according to the event invite from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which used the cash to fund Democratic candidates. (View the invite here)
The hosts of the event were DCCC chairman Rep. Steve Israel and two Muslim representatives, Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Andre Carson.
Ellison is the DCCC’s “national community outreach chair” and the co-chair of the House progressive caucus.
On Oct. 29, The Daily Caller asked Ellison’s press aide if the congressman would decline donations from Islamist groups. The aide replied that Ellison was not available to comment.
Since the May event, the DCCC has distributed a large amount of money — likely including the Islamists’ funds — to many House candidates who are part of the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” effort, which is trying unseat 55 Republican members of the House.
The list of Red to Blue candidates who got DCCC cash includes Connecticut’s Elizabeth Esty, Iowa’s Christie Vilsack, Maryland’s John Delaney and Florida’s Patrick Murphy.
Murphy is running against Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, an outspoken opponent of the Islamist groups. The groups have targeted him for defeat in 2012.
The Democrats are not expected to recapture the House in this year’s elections, prompting widespread rumors that Pelosi will retire.
The Islamist fundraiser illustrates the increasing ties between American progressives and the various Islamist groups.
That burgeoning alliance was boosted by President Barack Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo to Muslims, including Egyptians. Prior to the speech, he insisted that Egypt’s secular government allow Muslim Brotherhood members to attend the speech. In 2011 and 2012, he pressured the Egyptian military to let the movement take power after it won elections.
The ties were also highlighted at the Democrats’ Charlotte convention, when party leaders presented and passed a 2012 party platform that excluded several Israel-related sections, including a declaration that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”
Awad, in an Arabic-language interview on the Brotherhood-friendly station Al Jazeera, commended the 2012 draft as “an indication that the Democratic Party’s political platform with regard to the Middle East is developing.”
But the decision to remove the sections was so controversial that top Democratic officials decided to reinsert the Jerusalem section.
The motion to reinsert that section was met with raucous opposition from some delegates, including at least one of the 100 Muslim delegates. Eventually, the text was declared reinserted by the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, after three voice votes failed to clearly show delegates’ approval.
The Islamist leaders at the DCCC fundraiser share many ties and ideological goals with the Muslim Brotherhood and with associated jihad groups, including Hamas.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928. Its current leaders seek a revival of orthodox Islam, including the supremacy of sharia, which uses Islamic texts to govern many aspects of personal and communal life. For example, sharia denies any role for democracy, ethics or rights, and also subordinates legislators to imams, women to men and non-Muslims to Muslims.
The movement’s slogan is “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is so popular in Egypt that it won half the seats in the newly elected parliament. The country’s new president was a top official of the movement prior to his election.
The ideological and personal links between the U.S. Islamist groups and the Brotherhood have been exposed by a series of pre-2009 FBI investigations.
In 2004, for example, the leading Islamist advocate in Washington D.C., Abdul Rahman Al-Amoudi, was jailed for 23 years after pleading guilty to crimes that were part of a Libyan-sponsored assassination attempt against a leading Saudi prince. Prior to that verdict, Alamoudi had met with President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.
In 2007, the extensive network was exposed by the Department of Justice during a trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation. Four Muslims were found guilty of smuggling money to the Brotherhood’s affiliate in the Gaza Strip, Hamas.
During the trial, the Department of Justice named Awad’s CAIR group as an unindicted conspirator in the conspiracy. Since then, FBI officials have refused to meet with Awad.
Another attendee at the fundraiser was Mazen Asbahi, who quit President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign when the Wall Street Journal described his ties to a hardline imam, Jamal Said, who runs a major mosque in Chicago. Said is also on the Holy Land trial’s list of unindicted conspirators.
Perhaps the most senior Islamist at the fundraiser was Jamal Barzinji.
Starting in 1963, Barzinji helped create the overlapping and extensive network of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups in the U.S.
In 2003, David Kane, a senior Special Agent with the United States Customs Service, explained a government request for a search warrant of Barzinji’s office by telling a judge that “I believe that Barzinji is not only closely associated with [Palestinian Islamic Jihad]… but also with Hamas.” (View the request here)
“Analysis … evidences a conspiracy between … Barzinji … and others, known and unknown, to route money through hidden paths to terrorists, and to defraud the United States by impeding, impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful government functions of the IRS,” said Kane’s affidavit to the judge.
One of the founding groups Barzinji helped create is the Herndon, Va.-based International Institute of Islamic Thought.
That group is credited with inventing the idea of “Islamophobia” to persuade American progressives and journalists to view the Muslim Brotherhood’s aggressive ideology as a victimized religion.
Barzinji also helped found the Muslim Students Association, which has chapters in many universities, and the North American Islamic Trust, which holds legal title to at least half of mosques in the United States, according to a U.S. government statement. NAIT was also identified as a Muslim Brotherhood group in the Justice Department’s submission in the Texas trial.
During the May fundraiser, according to IPT, Pelosi sat at the head table with Awad and Barzinji.
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