A new Islamic advocacy group in Boca Raton is under scrutiny for its ties to William W. Baker, a former chairman of the neo-Nazi political party of presidential candidate David Duke who was run out of town last year when he attempted to speak at Florida Atlantic University.
Local Jewish and civic leaders said Friday they were alarmed that the Assadiq Islamic Education Foundation, whose headquarters are listed at 831 E. Palmetto Park Road in Boca, had invited Baker back to Boca as featured speaker at an April 30 banquet at the Boca Marriott. Invited by Muslim students to speak at Florida Atlantic University in April 2004, Baker’s first visit to the city was cancelled amid popular protest.
“I’d like to give [the Assadiq Foundation] the benefit of the doubt and say they got snookered, but this is the second attempt at getting Baker into Boca Raton, so they have to be aware of his reputation,” said Bill Gralnick, southeast regional director of the American Jewish Committee.
Leaders of the Anti-Defamation League also protested last year’s visit by Baker, on whom they have a long anti-Semitic file. Now head of Christians and Muslims for Peace (CAMP), Baker chaired the neo-Nazi Populist Party and organized its national convention in 1984.
“For me, it’s alarm bells,” Gralnick said. “Baker is in league with Islamicist elements that are probing the defenses of American Jewish communities. He makes money off them by being their white Anglo-Saxon
mouthpiece who says bad things about Jews.”
Sayed Mohammad Jawad Al-Qazwini, listed on the Assadiq Web site as the group’s Imam and founder, did not answer media inquiries Friday.
On the Assadiq Web site, a page titled “Audio library” features a graphic of dripping blood and a series of recorded talks by Al-Qazwini.
The titles of his talks, which could not be accessed, range from “The Perpetual Endeavor to Protect Islam” and “The Ingredients to an Eternal Revolution” to “Traits of an Ideal Leader for an Eternal Uprising.”
Until recently, a notice for the April 30 banquet headlined by Baker also listed the mayors of Boca Raton and Coral Springs as “guests of honor” on the Web site.
But that reference was removed Friday after Coral Springs Mayor Rhon Ernest-Jones and Boca Mayor Steven L. Abrams, a Jew, received several
e-mails from constituents berating them for their participation in the
Abrams called the group Thursday to say he was never contacted about the event. In response, he received a telephone message in broken English claiming that none of the event’s 2,000 printed invitations included his name when they were mailed out.
“From what I can tell, this group appeared in January or February,” Abrams said Friday. “I know that the banquet’s featured speaker, William Baker, sought to speak at FAU last year. He’s certainly entitled to his views, but I don’t want anything to do with him.”…
Baker’s Populist Party is perhaps best known for its 1988 presidential nominee, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Willis Carto, head of the now-defunct Liberty Lobby, founded the Populist Party in 1955. The father of American neo-Nazism, Carto also founded the Costa Mesa-based Institute for Historical Review, a group whose avowed purpose is Holocaust denial.
While Baker has claimed he never supported the views of Carto, he did advocate returning to segregation laws at the party’s 1984 convention.
Critics have said Baker also articulated anti-Semitic views in a 1982 book on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, “Theft of a Nation.”…