How Progressives Are Responding to Fuqra Candidate

Tahirah Amatul Wadud
Tahirah Amatul Wadud (Photo: Video screenshot)

When Clarion Project broke the story about a congressional run in Massachusetts by an official from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Jamaat ul-Fuqra (which now uses the name of Muslims of the Americas or MOA), we pointed out that she casts herself as “unapologetically progressive.”

It is fascinating to see how progressives respond to the “progressive” candidacy of Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, who is running in the Democratic primary in Massachusetts’ 1st Congressional District against Rep. Richard Neal.

An articulate, likable, African-American female attorney who styles herself as a civil rights activist would normally be a formidable challenger in today’s anti-establishment atmosphere.

However, she and the organizations she serves have repeatedly espoused views that progressives condemn as anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi.

 

Fuqra & CAIR

Amatul-Wadud promoted an article written by the Pakistan-based leader of Fuqra that sanitizes Hitler by presenting moral equivalence between him and his Jewish victims and attributing Pearl Harbor and 9/11 to Jewish conspiracies.

Fuqra (MOA) is currently under federal investigation. It is openly supportive of Hizbul Mujahideen, a designated terrorist group in Pakistan and Kashmir.

For more information on Fuqra, Clarion Project has set up a website that collates our unprecedented amount of research on the group called FuqraFiles.com.

The documentation of Fuqra HQ Islamberg’s extremism leaves no room for doubt. For example, its website used to promote “The Synagogue of Satan,” an anti-Semitic, Holocaust denial website. A screenshot shows that Islamberg listed the website—and only this website—as a “MUST SEE.”

Amautl-Wadud is also a board member of CAIR’s Massachusetts branch. CAIR does not mention her connection to MOA beyond saying she is the general counsel to a “New York Muslim congregation,” referring to MOA’s “Islamberg” headquarters.

A dozen Muslim organizations in the U.S. and Canada asked the State Department to designate Fuqra as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. CAIR is not one of them.

The Justice Department identified CAIR as an entity of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, specifically its secret Palestine Committee, which was established to covertly assist Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group. This identification occurred during the trial of another Muslim Brotherhood front, the Holy Land Foundation, which was convicted for financing Hamas. CAIR was labeled an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the U.S. government in that trial.

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists…the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing from another terrorism case.

So, how have self-proclaimed progressives in Massachusetts responded to Amatul-Wadud and her candidacy far?

 

1.The Principled, Open-Minded Progressive 

Boston-based David Pakman, host of the massively popular David Pakman Show, is unabashedly progressive but does listen to the other side. Here is how he reacted to the “unapologetically progressive” candidate:

 

 

2.The Triggered, Closed-Minded Progressive

Democratic political strategist Matt L. Barron, also based in Massachusetts, enthusiastically promoted Amatul-Wadud’s candidacy on Twitter. According to his company website, he worked on political campaigns for 35 years and is “one of the Democratic Party’s most experienced opposition researchers.”

Apparently, his research skills disappeared when he decided to back her campaign, or maybe he just doesn’t care that much.

I politely sent him our article responding to Amatul-Wadud’s declared candidacy, and he initially responded with an argument based on prioritization; that concern over her ties to Islamist extremists and her promotion of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is irrelevant because he likes her and there’s nothing more important than backing anti-establishment candidates. Nothing.

He then attempted to discredit me. Ironically, the source cited by Barron to discredit me, the Southern Poverty Law Center, reported as early as 2002 that the group Amatul-Wadud represents, Fuqra, is a dangerous extremist group involved in terrorism.

You can decide whether his support of Amatul-Wadud is the product of terrible research skills or willful blindness.

 

 

3.The Silent Faux Progressive

Since Amatul-Wadud is an official for CAIR’s Massachusetts chapter, it’s no surprise this chapter and CAIR-National is promoting her candidacy. But why did CAIR bring her on in the first place and purposely disguise her affiliation with Fuqra?

It’s a reasonable question, so I offered CAIR-MA a chance to explain themselves. Their response was telling: silence.

 

Democratic voters in Massachusetts will be forced to confront the inherent contradiction between Islamist extremism and progressive values. To what degree are they willing to sacrifice progressive values for the sake of having an anti-establishment candidate who checks every box of identity politics?

Will the self-righteousness defending of a minority overpower their desire to confront extremism and intolerance?

Keep an eye on the primaries — September 18, 2018 — to find out.

 

RELATED STORIES

Fuqra Member Announces Run for Congress

Jamaat ul-Fuqra in US Still Active Threat: Federal Source

FUQRA FILES EXCLUSIVE: FBI Links Jihadi Cult to Al-Qaeda

 

Ryan Mauro
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's Shillman Fellow and national security analyst and an adjunct professor of counter-terrorism. He is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.

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