The last few days have seen numerous reports about Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) officials being invited to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Far less attention has been paid to Ahmed Shedeed, president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City and Sen. Cory Booker’s (D., N.J.) guest of honor at the event. Investigative research carried out by the GMBDW indicates that Shedeed is an officer of an Egyptian-American organization controlled by the US Muslim Brotherhood. Senator Booker has penned a glowing tribute to Mr. Shedeed that states:
Throughout his life Mr. Shedeed has spoken out for religious tolerance and mutual understanding. His life and his work are examples of how the diversity of America makes us all better.
The piece goes on to identify Mr. Shedeed’s work with the FBI, the New Jersey Homeland Security Department, and the United States Military Academy at West Point:
Mr. Shedeed also serves as a member of the FBI Newark Citizens Academy Alumni Association’s Outreach Committee, where he works to foster relations between the FBI and the community. He is a member of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Muslim Outreach Committee, and serves on the Interfaith Advisory Council to the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security. In addition, Mr. Shedeed is responsible for developing innovative partnerships between the Jersey City Muslim community and the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he has helped to create an educational and cultural exchange program for West Point cadets.
While it has also been reported elsewhere that Ahmed Shedeed is also the Treasurer of the Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR), what has not been reported until now is that the EADHR is controlled by individuals who are part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. An online petition dated 15 May 2015, decries the imprisonment and death sentence against the deposed former President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi:
On 17 May 2015, the Egyptian government executed six people, in what is a further example in a litany of human rights abuses perpetrated by the regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
It is of note that several of those executed had been imprisoned prior to the incident in question and therefore could not have been present at the scene of the offence for which they had been charged.
Further, Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected President of Egypt, has been sentenced to death by the Egyptian courts following a trial that cannot be described as anything other than a farce.
We, as individuals and organizations committed to human rights and democracy, communicate this message to the international community:
By its silence or, through its tacit approval of the Egyptian government through diplomatic recognition and foreign assistance, the international community is facilitating the numerous human rights abuses perpetrated by the regime.
Read the rest here.
The merits of the statement aside, the petition is signed by Mr. Shedeed as EADHR Treasurer but also by three Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, one of who was featured at a 2013 EADHR news conference, a UK lawyer known to be actively defending the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Deputy Chairman of Foreign Relations for Justice and development party in Turkey (AKP), the party of Muslim Brotherhood ally and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The petition also identifies two other EADHR officers including Dr Hany Saqr as the EADHR Chairman. The GMBDW reported on Dr. Saqr in 2009 when the was identified based on US federal court documents as a top leader in the US Muslim Brotherhood:
Saqr’s name came up during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial (which resulted in convictions against the defendants on all counts) as one of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in North America. Specifically, he was identified in a 1992 Muslim Brotherhood phone directory entered into evidence by the Department of Justice as a member of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and the Eastern region “masul” for the group. The image below (taken from the illustrated memo on the Florida Security Council’s website) shows the cover of the directory and Hany Saqr’s name listed on the board of directors page. As Fox News reported after the memo had been submitted to the court, Saqr denied all the charges. Presumably, this includes his denial that he was identified in the court documents. But not only was the home phone number listed in the directory registered to his home address at the time (as it appeared on his Ohio drivers license), but the office number also went to his office in the pathology department at Ohio State University according to university records. Additionally, the home phone listed in the court documents was registered for several years following that time, including to the address Saqr used when he and his colleagues incorporated the American Islamic Waqf – the parent corporation of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center.
In addition, Dr. Akram Alzind was identified on the petition as the EADHR Executive Director. (His Twitter feed also says he was an EADHR co-founder). According to his resume, Dr Alzind (aka Akram Elzend) is also a former VP & Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Washington where he also served as a Trustee. The MAS was identified in a Hudson Institute report authored by the GMBDW editor as a part of the US. Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to the Egyptian organization. Dr. Alzind’s resume also says he is a board member of the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, closely associated with the MAS and where Anwar al-Awlaki, the American Muslim cleric of Yemeni descent who was linked to many terrorist plots and attacks and who was killed by a US drone strike in September 2011, had once been the Imam prior to 911. Other individuals convicted/indicted in terrorism-related cases have been known to have attended Dar Al-Hijrahh.
GMBDW investigative research also suggests that Dr. Alzind has a professional and business relationship with the husband or partner of Dahlia Mogahed, the former Faith Advisor to the Obama Administration and with her own Egyptian family background suggesting a relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood. Dr. Alzind’s resume identifies him as the CEO and President of Maryland Healthcare Services Inc doing business as the Revival Homecare Agency. Also registered as a Health care provider in Maryland is Dr Mohamed I. Foraida and the registration contact information matches that of Maryland Healthcare Services, Inc. doing Business as the Revival Homecare Agency. Maryland state corporate records also identify Dr. Foraida as the director of a company Maryland Healthcare Service Inc registered In 2007 at an address in Temple Hills, MD, a suburb of Washington, D.C.,
Public records show Ohio addresses for Dr. Foraida in common with Dalia Mogahed and the two are presumed to be either married or otherwise living together. In 2010, the website of another organization called the Alliance Of Egyptian Americans reported that it had held several meetings to discuss the state of reform and change in Egypt. According to this report, Dr. & Mrs. M. Foraida, presumably Dalia Mogahed, invited the group to a dinner in N. Virginia and later the group was invited to another dinner in N. Virginia. This dinner was said to also include Dr. Al-Zend, identified as the president of the MAS (report no longer online). Dr. Foraida maintains a Twitter feed, now protected, on which Dalia Mogahed has been an active participant. On March 18, 2011, Dr. Foraida tweeted the following
Meeting with senior officials to discuss #egypt. What do you think top US priorities should be? What are Egypt’s priorities?
( No report of any such meeting could be found.)
Ahmed Shedeed’s role in an organization whose officers are all part of the US Muslim Brotherhood more than likely explains reports such as the following from the Washington Free Beacon illustrating rhetoric typical of the Brotherhood and its cadre:
Sen. Cory Booker’s (D., N.J.) guest of honor at tonight’s State of the Union address is an Islamic-American community leader who has publicly lashed out at Israel and once defended the Muslim Brotherhood organization as ‘misunderstood,’ according to various reports.
Booker has invited as his guest to the annual speech Ahmed Shedeed, president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, a community center tied to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.
While Booker and others have long touted Shedeed as a moderate Muslim voice, the leader has gone on record in the past criticizing Israel and defending the Muslim Brotherhood, according to reports.”
During a 2004 interview with the Associated Press about the similarities of the U.S. “occupation” in Iraq and Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian lands, Shedeed noted the parallels between the two situations.
“An occupation is an occupation,” he reportedly said.
In 2000, as violence raged in Israel, Shedeed reportedly criticized Israel for its “gruesome killings” of Palestinians.
“Shedeed told a Star-Ledger reporter during a protest in New Jersey against Israel. ‘When I watch these daily gruesome Israeli killings on satellite TV, I feel sick to my stomach.’”
Shedeed also reportedly went on the record to defend the Muslim Brotherhood as a misunderstood organization.
Read the rest here.
While Senator Booker has the right to invite whomever he chooses, the GMBDW wonders about the propriety of such an individual attending a Presidential State of the Union address. Ahmed Shedeed’s advisory roles at the FBI, New Jersey DHS, and West Point can only raise further questions.