by Joe Kaufman
Dale Holness is a Broward County Commissioner representing Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding areas. ICNA Relief is a radical Muslim charity that has ties to the financing of terrorist organizations overseas. According to Holness and the charity, both he and the group are now working together.
A number of Islamic extremist organizations inside the United States have used the term “relief” within their name to give off the appearance that their goal is to provide assistance for those in need. And while some of their activities can certainly be described as “relief” – in the very least, for photo ops – as with all radical Muslims, there is an underlying evil that is always present.
ICNA Relief is one of these organizations.
The Islamic Circle of North America or ICNA was established in 1968 as an American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood of South Asia, officially known as Jamaat-e-Islami. To this day, the groups maintain ties, both inside and outside the United States.
Muhammad Yusuf Islahi sits on the Central Advisory Committee, the Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora, of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. He has served five terms in this position. Islahi, as well, has held the title of Chief Patron of WhyIslam, ICNA’s Islamic outreach (dawah) project, since the project began in 2000.
Farrukh.net, a website previously dedicated to promoting speeches made by Islahi, was the Registered Agent of ICNA National’s website, icna.org, and later became a ‘mirror site’ of icna.org in February 2001.
Yusuf Islahi will be speaking at this year’s ICNA National convention, taking place next month in Baltimore, Maryland. Also speaking will be Siraj Wahhaj, unindicted co-conspirator of the trial for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; Jamal Badawi, unindicted co-conspirator of the Hamas financing trial against the Holy Land Foundation; and Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of CAIR, a group that was, as well, an unindicted co-conspirator for the Holy Land Trial.
In November 2000, ICNA Relief, an American charity run by ICNA, and the Al-Khidmat Foundation (AKF), a charity run by Jamaat-e-Islami, entered into a partnership agreement, whereby AKF’s subsidiary, the Al-Khidmat Welfare Society (AKWS), would represent ICNA Relief (a.k.a. Helping Hand) in Pakistan “in all its humanitarian activities.”
ICNA Relief and AKF continue to coordinate a number of activities together overseas. One of these activities took place this past September, when ICNA and AKF collaborated to inaugurate a water filtration plant in Mandi Bahauddin, a district in the Punjab province of Pakistan. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, a metal wall plaque bearing both groups’ colored logos was revealed.
In August 2006, Jamaat-e-Islami announced on its website that its charity AKF had taken a delegation to the then-Damascus, Syria home of the global head of Hamas, Khaled Mashal. Today, Mashal is located in Qatar. The delegation sent well wishes from the president of Jamaat and presented Mashal with six million rupees — the equivalent of 99 thousand U.S. dollars. Mashal thanked the group for the money and assured the group that Hamas would continue to wage “jihad” (war) against “the Zionist yoke” (Israel).
At the time of the Jamaat/Hamas transaction, ICNA Relief USA and ICNA Relief Canada were listed on AKF’s website as the top two donors to AKF. Amongst the other donors were two organizations shut down by their respective governments, IHH Germany for “funneling money to Hamas” and KindHearts, a US charity, for doing the same. In this case, it seems AKF, ICNA Relief’s cousin, was being used as a ‘middle man’ to get funds to Hamas.
Last month, ICNA posted a story on a number of its websites, including Facebook, titled ‘ICNA Relief Teams Up with Broward County, FL to Repair Homes for Senior Citizens.’
Within the story, ICNA makes the claim that Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness “offered to work with us as a team with a project called ‘Beautifying our Community.’” Included in the piece is a photo of Holness posing with representatives from ICNA Relief.
While this may sound nice, much like their international “relief” activities, ICNA has a history in South Florida, not unlike its dealings with Jamaat and Hamas.
The ICNA Southeast division, today, is based in Atlanta, Georgia (ICNA-Atlanta). However, the division used to be headquartered in Florida.
The ICNA-Southeast website was launched in March 2000 with a link on its homepage to qoqaz.net (Jihad in Chechnya), a violent site dedicated to raising funds and recruiting fighters for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Along with the link was a message from then-ICNA National President Muhammad Yunus, which stated in part, “We must show our spiritual and material support for our brothers and sisters being oppressed by Russian forces.” The message with the link stayed up on the homepage for at least two weeks and two days following the 9/11 attacks.
In July 2001, on the ICNA-Southeast website homepage, along with the call for people to provide “material support” to groups associated with Al-Qaeda, links were placed to the official websites of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban. Also placed on the homepage was a list of local Florida representatives for ICNA, including then-Boca Raton imam Ibrahim Dremali, who would later be arrested and placed on the federal no-fly list.
According to ICNA Relief, its “beautifying” project with Commissioner Holness will begin this month. Given the extremist behavior of ICNA Relief and ICNA itself, Commissioner Holness should immediately remove himself from having any role in this project.
As long as ICNA has involvement, the project should never see the light of day. Helping the community is great. Doing so with a group associated with terrorism can only be viewed as obscene and dangerous.
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