A terror-linked Muslim group in the U.S. is defending a Missouri couple’s “JIHAD 1” license plate, arguing the term means “someone struggling to be better” and not a terrorist’s holy obligation to kill “infidels.”
A KMOV-4 viewer wrote into the station to report the plate sighting in St. Louis, Missouri, telling reporters he found it “insulting and actually a bit scary [especially] with the latest shootings in San Bernardino,” referencing the December 2015 terror attacks in California that killed 14 and wounded 21 at the Inland Regional Center, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities.
The station learned the plate belonged to a Muslim couple who declined to speak on camera. The mother and father explained that “Jihad” is the name of their 14-year-old son.
They told KMOV-4 the term “jihad” has nothing to do with terrorism and has another spiritual meaning in Islam.
That’s when the St. Louis Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – a group named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-financing case – got involved.
“Jihad is very common, and it doesn’t mean Holy War,” said CAIR St. Louis Chapter Executive Director Faizan Syed. “It means someone who is struggling. So when you name your kid Jihad, it means someone who is going to struggle to be better.”
Syed told the station people who are offended by the term are merely confused.
“It has the ability to confuse people,” he said. “And because the average American thinks of jihad as a certain thing, it’s probably better for this individual not to use it.”
According to the KMOV-4, Missouri rejected another plate with the word “J1HAD” in 2009.
Watch the report:
WND has reported on the history of the effort to sugarcoat the term “jihad.”
The word is defined by Muslim apologists as the personal struggle of the individual believer against evil and persecution, yet it is also the term for a religious war against infidels undertaken by Muslims, a holy obligation often cited by terrorists as the reason for their violence.
“Freedom fighters have successfully educated the American people about the most brutal and extreme system of governance, the Shariah: Americans know how inhuman it is, and Muslim Brotherhood operatives are still reeling from that stunning defeat,” wrote Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative in her 2012 WND column. “So now they hope to whitewash jihad? That’s oceans of blood they would have to conceal. Oceans of blood.”
If you support WND’s fight to expose CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood, please consider a donation to the WND Legal Defense Fund for court fights like this one – which must be one if America is to remain free – and safe.
Geller continued, “This usage of jihad is much more influential and widespread among Muslims worldwide than the benign and whitewashed understanding of it being pushed by Hamas-tied CAIR, and the fact that some Muslims don’t think of jihad as involving violence does not cancel out the fact that many do. It is reprehensible to put a happy face on mass murder, ethnic cleansing, honor violence and religious persecution.”
In fact, San Bernardino terrorists Syed Rizwan Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik had discussed their commitment to jihad and martyrdom in private messages they sent in the years before their bloody massacre, according to the FBI.
“We can see from our investigation that in late 2013, before there is a physical meeting of these two people resulting in their engagement and then journey to the United States, they are communicating online, showing signs in that communication of their joint commitment to jihad and to martyrdom,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in December.
Perhaps it’s no surprise CAIR is defensive when it comes to the meaning of “jihad.” The organization began as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. in the early 1990s.
Former FBI agent Mike Rolf reported in the book, “Muslim Mafia,” “CAIR has had a number of people in positions of power within the organization that have been directly connected to terrorism and have either been prosecuted or thrown out of the country.”
A review of the public record, including federal criminal court documents, past IRS 990 tax records and Federal Election Commission records detailing donor occupations, reveals that CAIR has been associated with numerous convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.
|FBI agents arresting CAIR founding director Ghassan Elashi in 2002.|
The list, compiled by WND, includes:
- Ghassan Elashi: One of CAIR’s founding directors, he was convicted in 2004 of illegally shipping high-tech goods to terror state Syria and is serving 80 months in prison. He was also convicted of providing material support to Hamas in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial. He was chairman of the charity, which provided seed capital to CAIR. Elashi is related to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
- Muthanna al-Hanooti: The CAIR director’s home was raided in 2006 by FBI agents in connection with an active terrorism investigation. Agents also searched the offices of his advocacy group, Focus on Advocacy and Advancement of International Relations, which al-Hanooti operates out of Dearborn, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. Al-Hanooti, who emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq, formerly helped run a suspected Hamas terror front called LIFE for Relief and Development. Its Michigan offices also were raided in September 2006. In 2004, LIFE’s Baghdad office was raided by U.S. troops, who seized files and computers. Al-Hanooti is related to Sheik Mohammed al-Hanooti, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Muthanna al-Hanooti, wearing traditional headgarb
“Al-Hanooti collected over $6 million for support of Hamas,” according to a 2001 FBI report, and was present with CAIR and Holy Land officials at a secret Hamas fundraising summit held in 1993 at a Philadelphia hotel. Prosecutors added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.
Although Al-Hanooti denies supporting Hamas, he has praised Palestinian suicide bombers as “martyrs” who are “alive in the eyes of Allah.”
- Abdurahman Alamoudi: Another CAIR director, he is serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism. Alamoudi, who was caught on tape complaining that bin Laden hadn’t killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, was one of al-Qaida’s top fundraisers in America, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
- Siraj Wahhaj: A member of CAIR’s board of advisers, Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The radical Brooklyn imam was close to convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and defended him during his trial.
Imam Siraj Wahhaj
“Muslim Mafia,” citing co-author’s Sperry’s previous book “Infiltration” as well as terror expert Steven Emerson’s research, reports that Wahhaj, a black convert to Islam, is converting gang members to Islam and holding “jihad camps” for them. With a combination of Islam and Uzis, he has said, the street thugs will be a powerful force for Islam the day America “will crumble.”
Wahhaj was a key speaker at CAIR’s 15th annual fund-raising banquet in Arlington, Virginia, in 2009.
- Randall “Ismail” Royer: The former CAIR communications specialist and civil-rights coordinator is serving 20 years in prison in connection with the Virginia Jihad Network, which he led while employed by CAIR at its Washington headquarters. The group trained to kill U.S. soldiers overseas, cased the FBI headquarters and cheered the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. Al-Qaida operative Ahmed Abu Ali, convicted of plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush, was among those who trained with Royer’s Northern Virginia cell.
- Bassam Khafagi: Another CAIR official, Khafagi was arrested in 2003 while serving as CAIR’s director of community affairs. He pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud stemming from a federal counter-terror probe of his leadership role in the Islamic Assembly of North America, which has supported al-Qaida and advocated suicide attacks on America. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to his native Egypt.
- Laura Jaghlit: A civil-rights coordinator for CAIR, her Washington-area home was raided by federal agents after Sept. 11 as part of an investigation into terrorist financing, money laundering and tax fraud. Her husband, Mohammed Jaghlit, a key leader in the Saudi-backed SAAR network, is a target of the still-active probe. Jaghlit sent two letters accompanying donations – one for $10,000, the other for $5,000 – from the SAAR Foundation to Sami al-Arian, now a convicted terrorist. In each letter, according to a federal affidavit, “Jaghlit instructed al-Arian not to disclose the contribution publicly or to the media.”Investigators suspect the funds were intended for Palestinian terrorists via a U.S. front called WISE, which at the time employed an official who personally delivered a satellite phone battery to Osama bin Laden. The same official also worked for Jaghlit’s group. In addition, Jaghlit donated a total of $37,200 to the Holy Land Foundation, which prosecutors say is a Hamas front. Jaghlit subsequently was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
- Nihad Awad: Wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case puts CAIR’s executive director at the Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in 1993 that was secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charitable giving.During the meeting, according to FBI transcripts, Awad was recorded discussing the propaganda effort. He mentions Ghassan Dahduli, whom he worked with at the time at the Islamic Association for Palestine, another Hamas front. Both were IAP officers. Dahduli’s name also was listed in the address book of bin Laden’s personal secretary, Wadi al-Hage, who is serving a life sentence in prison for his role in the U.S. embassy bombings. Dahduli, an ethnic-Palestinian like Awad, was deported to Jordan after 9/11 for refusing to cooperate in the terror investigation. (An April 28, 2009, letter from FBI assistant director Richard C. Powers to Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. – which singles out CAIR chief Awad for suspicion – explains how the group’s many Hamas connections caused the FBI to sever ties with CAIR.) Awad’s and Dahduli’s phone numbers are listed in a Muslim Brotherhood document seized by federal investigators revealing “important phone numbers” for the “Palestine Section” of the Brotherhood in America. The court exhibit showed Hamas fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.
- Omar Ahmad: U.S. prosecutors also named CAIR’s founder and chairman emeritus as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. Ahmad, too, was placed at the Philadelphia meeting, FBI special agent Lara Burns testified at the trial. Prosecutors also designated him as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee” in America. Ahmad, like his CAIR partner Awad, is ethnic-Palestinian. (Though both Ahmad and Awad were senior leaders of IAP, the Hamas front, neither of their biographical sketches posted on CAIR’s website mentions their IAP past.)
- Nabil Sadoun: A CAIR board member, Sadoun has served on the board of the United Association for Studies and Research, which investigators believe to be a key Hamas front in America. In fact, Sadoun co-founded UASR with Hamas leader Marzook. The Justice Department added UASR to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case. UPDATE: In 2010, Sadoun was ordered deported to his native Jordan. An immigration judge referenced Sadoun’s relationship with Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation during a deportation hearing.
- Mohamed Nimer: CAIR’s research director also served as a board director for UASR, the strategic arm for Hamas in the U.S. CAIR neglects to mention Nimer’s and Sadoun’s roles in UASR in their bios.
- Rafeeq Jaber: A founding director of CAIR, Jaber was the long-time president of the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2002, a federal judge found that “the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.” In his capacity as IAP chief, Jaber praised Hezbollah attacks on Israel. He also served on the board of a radical mosque in the Chicago area.
- Rabith Hadid: The CAIR fundraiser was a founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which after 9/11 was blacklisted by the Treasury Department for financing al-Qaida and other terror groups. Its assets were frozen in December 2001. Hadid was arrested on terror-related charges and deported to Lebanon in 2003.
- Hamza Yusuf: The FBI investigated the CAIR board member after 9/11, because just two days before the attacks, he made an ominous prediction to a Muslim audience. “This country is facing a terrible fate, and the reason for that is because this country stands condemned,” Yusuf warned. “It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest people forget, Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands.”
CAIR filed a lawsuit in 2009 against former federal investigator Dave Gaubatz and his son, Chris Gaubatz, after their findings were published in the WND Books expose, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.”
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Dec. 17, 2015, that CAIR has no legal basis to claim its reputation was damaged by an undercover investigation documenting its ties to global jihad.
In its lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to trial, CAIR originally alleged it suffered damages after the younger Gaubatz, posing as an intern, obtained access to some 12,000 pages of CAIR internal documents under false pretenses and made recordings of officials and employees without consent.
CAIR complained of the loss of donor revenue and the loss of contact with legislators and policymakers. When asked by defendants in the discovery process to identify its donors and name the lawmakers it has contacted, CAIR replied by stating it was no longer claiming damage to its reputation.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said CAIR’s filing of a motion to reopen discovery so it can depose an expert witness on the economic impact of damages to CAIR’s reputation was “too late in the game.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: The CAIR legal attack on the author of the WND book “Muslim Mafia” is far from over. WND needs your help in supporting the defense of “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz, as well as his investigator son Chris, against a lawsuit from CAIR. The book’s revelations have led to formal congressional demands for three different federal investigations of CAIR. In the meantime, however, someone has to defend these two courageous investigators who have, at great personal risk, revealed so much about this dangerous group. Although WND has procured the best First Amendment attorneys in the country for their defense, we can’t do it without your help. Please donate to WND’s Legal Defense Fund now.