Project Mobilize, a group identified in yesterday’s post as an organization tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood that is attempting to elect Chicago-area Muslims to local government, has even more extensive connections to the Global Muslim Brotherhood than first reported. Project Mobilize President M. Yaser Tabbara, a former executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), was also part of the Syrian National Council (SNC), a group that until recently had been the largest Syrian anti-government coalition. As a post from August reported, Mr. Tabbara was identified as a third individual tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood that was also a part of the SNC, a group described on its website as ” …a council that includes competent national figures to serve as a political umbrella for the Syrian Revolution in the international arena and support the just cause of the Syrian people, who yearn to be liberated from tyranny and create a civil democratic state.” According to a Middle East Forum report, Mr. Tabara promoted many causes close to the heart of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood while heading CAIR-Chicago:
CAIR has its own man in the SNC: Yaser Tabbara, a founding member of the Syrian resistance group. After helping launch CAIR’s Chicago office, Tabbara served as its executive director until 2006; he currently sits on its board. Tabbara’s time at the helm of CAIR-Chicago was marked by multiple controversies. He played a major role in the successful drive to get Thomas Klocek dismissed from his post as an adjunct professor at DePaul University, following an out-of-classroom argument in which Klocek defended Israel against the smears of pro-Palestinian students. Tabbara also led CAIR-Chicago’s efforts to circle the Islamist wagons when the family of an American teenager murdered by Hamas sued U.S. charities believed to fund such terrorists. He called the trial a ‘lynching and a mockery of justice,’ but a jury awarded the plaintiffs $156 million. Around the same period, the FBI accused CAIR-Chicago of having ‘compromised or impeded’ an investigation into an alleged hate crime by ignoring the bureau’s request not to issue a premature press release about it.”
The SNC website confirmed that Tabbara was a council member. Previous posts had noted that the SNC included at least two other known members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood- Louay Safi, a leader in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Najib Ghadbian, a board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). The relationship between the SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi should also be noted. A post from November reported that despite the SNC’s efforts to thwart the move, the group was swallowed up by a new, broader-based Syrian opposition group that included SNC members.
In addition to Mr. Tabara’s former position at the SNC, it should also be be noted that he is a principal at the law firm of Zarzour, Khalil, & Tabbara LLC, indicating an even closer relationship to Saffa Zarzour, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Society of North America and who, as indicated in the original post, has extensive ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood).
Finally, the OnIslam report that was the original source of yesterday’s post identified one of the Project Mobilize candidates for local office as Zuhair Nubani, a local attorney who represented Abdelhallem Ashqar. A post from October 2009 reported that Ashqar, part of the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas support network in the U.S and a co-defendant with Hamas operative Muhammad Salah, lost his appeal of his 11-year prison sentence for refusing to testify before a U.S. grand jury in 2003 that was investigating Hamas. In September 2003, the Chicago Tribune reported that Nubani had said that Ashqar considered the grand jury’s activities “a witch hunt” and a “selected prosecution of Muslims and Palestinians for their religious and political beliefs.” A post from November 2007 discussed the background to the conviction of Dr. Ashqar.
According to the OnIslam report, Project Mobilize has already had an impact on area elections:
Mobilizing American Muslims during congress elections, Project M officials proved success after they managed to defeat the re-election bid of US Rep. Joe Walsh in the 8th Congressional District after he made anti-Muslim comments. “(Asian-American and Muslim) communities in the Northwest and Western suburbs are becoming more politically involved increasingly in a strategic and intentional way,” Ahmad said. “We sent over 9,000 mailers to Muslim American voters in the 8th Congressional District, basically highlighting some of the hateful and reprehensible stances that he holds.” The group plans to support Muslim candidates running in suburban races in the April elections.