Jumah at the DNC Fizzles

Jumah at the DNC Fizzles

Organizers at the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs anticipated crowds at yesterday’s “Jumah at the DNC” event in Charlotte, North Carolina would reach 20,000. Instead, only 300 Muslims showed up for the open air prayer ceremony. 

The event had been listed on the schedule of events that were part of the officially sanctioned DNC/Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee’s website. But less than 24 hours before “Jumah at the DNC” was held, nervous officials at the Host Committee quietly removed it from the list of officially sanctioned DNC pre-convention events.

As Jim Hoft reported at TownHall.com last night:

[T]he Jumah event was removed from the DNC web site calendar, and there is no reference at all to the event. A supporter noted in an e-mail, “It was still there 5.30 PM on 8/30/2012 and at 6.30 PM it was gone! I looked everywhere but it’s not listed anymore.”

Readers can see the cleaned up version of the scrubbed August 31 schedule of events here.

Officials at the Host Commitee confirmed that the event was removed. As NBC reported late yesterday:

“This event, like many others on the page, was user generated,” a senior Host Committee official told NBC News on Friday. “Upon further review, and because speakers for the event and statements and positions from event organizers were not appropriate and relevant to the Host Committee, Charlotte in 2012 has decided to remove the event from our events calendar.”

One of the event organizers, radical Islamist Imam Jibril Hough, bristled at the Host Committee’s actions:

“This is about caving in to fear and ignorance,” said Hough.

The radical Islamist nature of the BIMA organization was highlighted by the topics addressed at yesterday’s “Jumah at the DNC” –Islamophobia and opposition to Anti-Sharia laws. The featured speakers were also controversial:

— Jibril Hough, who claims Muslims lived in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. Hough is listed as a “spokesman” for BIMA, and his views are reflected in the “indigenous Muslims” claim included in the group’s title.
–Retired Army Muslim Chaplain, Captain James Yee, who was charged with sedition but not prosecuted since to do so would have revealed national security secrets.
— Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 

It was a disappointing turn of events for the event’s sponsor, the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs, an obscure radical Islamist organization.  In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Tuesday, Ibrahim Jaaber, son of BIMA Executive Director Muhammad Jaaber, said that the DNC “reached out” to the Muslim organization and invited it to hold the two hour prayer service as one of the officially sanctioned pre-convention events that began yesterday. In addition to the “Jumah at the DNC” event yesterday afternoon, BIMA was scheduled to host the DNC/Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee officially sanctioned “Islamic Regal Dinner” last night. 

But with the convention scheduled to kick off on Monday, the negative publicity surrounding the radical Islamist speaking and organizing “Jumah at the DNC” became too much for the Host Committee to tolerate, and both the “Jumah at the DNC” and “Islamic Regal Dinner” events officially disappeared from the organization’s website late Thursday.

The Host Committee is described on its website as “a non-profit, non-partisan organization established by the city of Charlotte to fulfill obligations of the master contract with the Democratic National Convention Committee.” It is run by three Democratic Party stalwarts and a politically ambitious CEO based in Charlotte. North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue and North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan serve as honorary co-chairs, and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers serve as co-chairs. Rogers has contributed to Senate candidates of both parties, but most recently donated $30,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2010, according to Federal Election Commission records. 

Native Americans, who can properly claim to be “indigenous” to the United States, were upset that prior to the scrubbing of the event from the DNC/Charlotte in 2012 website, the Democratic Party had apparently recognized the Orwellian interpretation of “indigenous” set forward by BIMA.

As Miki Booth wrote last week:

Native Americans are very angry to learn that Muslims in the United States of America are being touted as “indigenous”, a complete falsehood. The fact is, American Indians are the indigenous people of North America, as Hawai’ians are to Hawai’i and the Aborigine to Australia. Organizations like BIMA marginalize native Americans in favor of Muslims, and Indians are not pleased. Speaking with many tribal friends and associates here in northeast Oklahoma, it is clear that the support Obama received from native American Democrats in 2008 is waning. 

The controversy surrounding the initial Democrats’ embrace of BIMA’s incorrect use of the term “indigenous” to describe American born Muslims is expected to further diminish the party’s standing among Native Americans. The Democratic Party is already on the defensive with Native Americans because its Massachusetts Senate nominee, Elizabeth Warren, has come under heavy criticism for falsely claiming to have Native American ancestry.

The BIMA website says the organization is “a non profit organization seeking status with the United Nations as a non governmental organization (NGO). BIMA was founded in 1992 by the late Hajj Heshaam Jaaber. The objective of BIMA is to provide social and economic development to indigenous Muslims in the United States of America.” Heshaam Jaaber was Executive Director Muhammad Jaaber’s father and Ibrahim Jaaber’s grandfather. 

Ibrahim Jaaber is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an All-Ivy League basketball player. He told Breitbart News that his role in his father’s BIMA organization is to provide media management services. Two months ago he purchased the “muslimbureau.com” domain name which BIMA uses for its website. Prior to that time, BIMA had no web presence.

It remains unclear if BIMA is an actual organization or a recently established “shell corporation” opportunistically set up by a small group of radical Islamists to take advantage of the Democratic Party’s ideological desire to appeal to politically correct diversity. Indeed, other than spokesman Hough, the entirety of the BIMA organization seems to be limited to Executive Director Muhammad Jaaber and his two sons. 

One son, Yusuf,  is listed as the organization’s press contact. Ibrahim, the second son who owns the organization’s domain name and describes his role in the organization as a person responsible for media management, is involved with BIMA on a part time basis. Since his graduation from Penn, he has played basketball professionally in Bulgaria and Italy. He has had several NBA tryouts, including one with the Houston Rockets in 2011, and told Breitbart News he is hoping for a tryout this coming season with either the Indiana Pacers or the San Antonio Spurs. Some time after 2007, he became a citizen of Bulgaria, which allows him to play basketball on the Bulgarian national team. He was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and maintains his American citizenship as well.


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