Pamela Geller has exclusive coverage on the confrontation between patriotic parents and clueless, compromised officials in Florida’s Hillsborough School District:
Once again, the parents of students in the Hillsborough School District have fiercely expressed their disapproval that faculty invited the political organization, Hamas-CAIR, to address their students without providing a pro-freedom counter voice to their jihadist message. Back in December I broke the story that Hamas-linked CAIR was talking to high school students. Co-conspirators in the largest terror funding trial in our nation’s history were subjecting students to indoctrination and propaganda. That is child abuse. There were no counter voices or voices of freedom?
Hamas-CAIR was one of the many Islamic groups that was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas jihad funding trial. They are in the top five AFDI Threats to Freedom Index.
The problem with that is that Shibly is a political speaker. A Hindu priest or Christian pastor won’t counter the poisonous propaganda that Shibly spews to our impressionable young minds. An informed counter-jihad speaker such as Robert Spencer, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan or I myself must be given a chance to speak, so as to counter the lies of Hamas-tied CAIR.
And WND has more background: “Parents won’t quit fight over CAIR indoctrination: Florida school board still battling against recognizing concerns,” by Jack Minor for WND, February 16:
Parents in a Florida school district say their fight is not ending over district officials” decision to openly promote a representative from the local Council on American-Islamic Relations group, whose national organization has ties to terrorism, to speak to their students and then refuse to listen to parental concerns.
It was this week during a meeting of the Tampa school board that several members appeared dismissive of citizens” concerns. Member Doretha Edgecomb said she didn’t even want to look at the concerns.
“It’s Islam today and the NAACP tomorrow,” she said.
A motion at the meeting to schedule a workshop on the issue failed, getting only two of the four votes it needed.
But Terry Kemple, president of the Community Issues Council, told WND the board is mistaken if members think a vote will make the concerns vanish.
“Each meeting has had more [concerns raised] than the one before. We are going to continue to make people aware of this and pack out every public meeting until the board listens to the concerns of parents in this district,” Kemple said.
He went on to say that if the board does not listen to residents, they will ultimately be replaced with board members who will.
He and other residents and parents had gone to a meeting of the Hillsborough County school board in Tampa after learning that the district had allowed Hassan Shibley [sic], executive director for CAIR-Tampa, to speak at more than a dozen Advanced Placement World History and World Religions classes last fall. The meeting was the second one in a row where residents have attempted to have their concerns addressed.
Shibley said the topics discussed at Steinbrenner High School included basic Muslim beliefs, Islamic history, Islam and human rights, religious tolerance and diversity, and popular misconceptions about Islam. He also talked to the student about “Islamophobia.”
Shibley is a local imam and said although he had joined CAIR last June, he had been speaking about Islam at the school for years including when he was a student in the district. In December, upon learning the district was allowing a member of CAIR to speak to students, area residents became concerned.
Kemple told the board that members of the community had no objection to teaching about Islam, however their issue had to do with allowing a member of a terrorist-affiliated organization talk about any subject in area schools. The group even recommended other Muslim speakers that would be qualified to speak on the Muslim history and other topics.
“We made it plain from the beginning the issue had nothing to do with Islam or even the subject matter that was taught,” Kemple said. “We just don’t believe the district should allow a group with ties to terrorism to speak to our children.”
Kemple is referring to the Holy Land Foundation case, the largest terrorism funding trial in American history. CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America and other Muslim organizations were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the case.
The Holy Land Foundation was once the largest Muslim charity organization in the United States. HLF was under investigation for years before finally being closed down by the Bush administration after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
In December, a judge upheld the convictions in the case including Ghassan Elashi, founder of CAIR”s Texas chapter. Elashi received a 65-year prison sentence for funneling over $12 million from the Islamic charity known as the Holy Land Foundation to the jihad terrorist group Hamas.
Kemple said members of the community were not asking the board to make a decision that night to exclude CAIR officials from teaching about Islam, but were simply asking the board to hold a public workshop where the board could hear from both sides of the issue and craft a policy that would prevent groups with terrorist ties from speaking in the classrooms.
He said they wanted the board to hear from “experts” from both CAIR and the CIC on issues relating to FBI investigations of CAIR officials and other concerns about the group’s terrorist affiliations.
Shibley told WND that while he would not have a problem with another speaker coming in, he does not believe that would resolve the issue, insisting the issue is about Islam itself.
“The reason CAIR is a target is because we are the leader in fighting for civil rights and fighting pre-conceptions about Islam. Even if they had brought in another speaker there would still be issues,” Shibley said. “Anytime a Muslim organization gets strong it is attacked and we would be cutting off the head of our most effective organization” if CAIR agreed to stop speaking to the students.
Shibley attempted to defend the terrorist allegations saying the judge’s ruling applied to the national organization and not CAIR-Tampa. He went on say the indictment actually meant very little because it is easy for prosecutors to obtain them. “My law professor said you can indict a cat. We didn’t do anything wrong.”
Robert Spencer, founder of JihadWatch said Shibley was being disingenuous with his attempts to explain away the terrorist connection.
“His group has the name CAIR in its title, if he doesn’t want to be associated with the name CAIR he should remove it from his local organization. Regardless of the legal standing, the fact is CAIR-Tampa shares the same outlooks and beliefs as CAIR national,” Spencer said. “Whether they are a separate corporate entity is completely irrelevant. They have the same name and they share the same goals.”
Spencer said, “I”ve never been indicted and there is a lengthy list of CAIR officials who have been indicted and convicted for terrorism related offenses.”
That was in response to Minor’s question about whether there was any significance to the designation of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator. Minor told me that Shibly told him that everyone gets indicted these days, and thus that it had no significance at all. So I responded to the effect of “Well, I’ve never been indicted, and millions of people haven’t been, but plenty of CAIR officials have been…”
There is much more in the story regarding CAIR.