On Thursday, August 29, the Michigan Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL-Michigan), Carolyn Normandin, will be one of the speakers at the Take On Hate event at the campus of the University of Michigan, Dearborn.
The ADL, an organization that claims to be dedicated to fight against anti-Semitism, is listed on the event flyer as one of the programs hosts.
The intersectional hodgepodge of other hosts includes politicians, activist groups and Islamists mosques that have all engaged in anti-Semitism and extremist rhetoric.
An email sent by the Michigan ADL admits to knowing of some of this problematic rhetoric:
“[W]e know there will be people in attendance with whom we do not always agree. But we can think of no other more relevant organization than ADL to be heard from on the topic of the rise of hate in our country. We put our differences on certain topics aside and raise our voice with community partners who want to ‘Take On Hate.’”
What are those “differences” the ADL is brushing off? Read the following profiles of several of the individuals and organizations and their “differences.”
The ADL does a disservice to the cause of taking on hate by joining with these extremists and anti-Semitics. In putting aside its “differences” with these groups, it only serves to legitimize them and whitewash the hate and bigotry being spewed by them.
Freshman Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has managed to rack up a long list of anti-Semitic and extremist remarks in her short tenure in the House of Representatives.
Her anti-Semitism is so blatant that the Israeli government rejected entrance to Israel for a trip planned to “Palestine” by Tlaib and her anti-Semitic cohort Congresswomen Ilhan Omar.
The trip was sponsored by the Palestinian-based organization Miftah, a group with a long and sordid history of sympathies towards terrorists and support for the BDS movement (a movement which has been deemed anti-Semitic by the definition of anti-Semitism as adopted by the U.S. State Department and 31 other countries). Miftah, in just one example, has accused the Jewish people of using “the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”
Following Tlaib’s swearing-in ceremony in Congress, she hosted a private dinner for close friends and family in Detroit. One of her guests was Abbas Hamideh, an anti-Semite who regularly praises Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah. He also claims Jews have no history in Israel and that the Jews should “go back to Brooklyn.”
Clarion Project has highlighted several of Tlaib’s other friends and closest supporters who came to Capitol Hill to celebrate with Tlaib as she was sworn into Congress. Most of them have long histories of antisemitism.
While running for office, Michigan’s Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist came under fire over past Twitter posts in which he calls the terror group Hamas a “legitimately elected party” and criticizes those who support Israel.
Prior to his public service, Gilchrist was a self-described “nonprofit leader” and “political organizer,” who ran a blog entitled The SuperSpade, which uses the tagline “Black Thought at the Highest Level.”
One post on Gilchrest’s blog calls for the U.S. to provide financial support for Hamas.
Islamic House of Wisdom
The Alavi Foundation –a known front for the Iranian regime that was used to finance its nuclear program and promote its radical ideology — sent $43,700 to the Islamic House of Wisdom between 2004 and 2009.
The spiritual leader of the Islamic House of Wisdom, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, began studying at an Islamic seminary in Iran at age 12. The shah of Iran’s security services arrested him in 1978. After the Islamic Revolution brought the theocratic regime to power, it appointed him as “an Islamic ethics teacher at the Iranian Naval Academy, a position he held for five years.”
Elahi moved to Dearborn in 1992, leading the Islamic Center of America, another mosque in Michigan that has been supportive of Hezbollah figures and Louis Farrakhan in recent years. Elahi then established the Islamic House of Wisdom in 1995.
Elahi appears on Iranian state-controlled propaganda TV to parrot the Supreme Leader’s lines, such as claiming that Iran is being falsely accused of seeking nuclear weapons. He equates Israel and ISIS and instigates terrorism against Israel with inflammatory condemnations and accusations. His statements paint Hamas essentially as freedom-fighters engaged in legitimate jihad.
Elahi’s sides with Syrian President Assad and accuses Assad’s opponents of being “puppet terrorists” of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
In 2014, Detroit Free Press reporter, Niraj Warikoo noted that while speaking in front of Dearborn City Hall, Elahi accused the U.S. of supporting ISIS in Syria.
Islamic Center of America
The Islamic Center of America is the largest mosque in the United States. The mosque has hosted Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, as a guest speaker. Farrakhan has a long history of anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-white and conspiracy-filled preaching.
Its former imam, Hassan al-Qazwini, boasted of his closeness to Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a spiritual leader of Hezbollah. The mosque held a memorial service for Fadlallah when he died in 2010.
Qazwini claimed that ISIS was created by Israel. In a YouTube sermon titled “Connection Between ISIS and Israel? – Imam Hassan Qazwini,” he states, “ISIS is playing the role of the arm of the Zionist in the Muslim world, to kill more Muslims and non-Muslims … The number one beneficiary of all of these atrocities, I tell you, is the Zionists, and it is the Zionist regime.”
The Islamic Center of Detroit
CAIR was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood entity from evidence presented at the Holy Land Foundation trial.
ICD has also invited guest speakers such as radical Islamist activist, Linda Sarsour.
In 2006, Rafeeq Jaber, while speaking at a rally at ICD, shouted into a loudspeaker (to loud applause) that Israelis “are not human!”
“They are terrorist!… They are barbaric! They are not human!” he cried. He concluded his remarks by reminding the audience that “the highest form of jihad is to save the world against an oppressor” (meaning Israel).
Islamic Institute of Knowledge
The Islamic Institute of Knowledge (IIOK) was founded in 1983 under the leadership of Imam Abdul Latif Berry. The Berry family has been described as large and powerful in both Lebanon and Detroit. They supported Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, one of the most influential spiritual guides to Hezbollah.
In 2009, IIOK held a commemoration ceremony for Ayatollah Ruhullah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. Imam Abdul Berry spoke at the event.
In 2010 after Fadlallah died, IIOK held a prayer service and dinner in commemoration of his life. Berry, speaking about Fadlallah’s legacy, said “he managed to bring up the true explanation of Islam.”