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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ms. Jihad U

By Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 30, 2006

On January 15, 2002, the Student Government of the University of South Florida (USF) voted to support USF President Judy Genshaft’s decision to fire Sami Al-Arian from his job as a professor with the school. The nearly decade-long investigation into Al-Arian’s involvement with an overseas terrorist organization had finally taken a toll on the university. Two weeks later, on January 28th, the student newspaper, The Oracle, on its website, published letters to the editor about the vote, written by members of the Student Government senate. One of the letters drew the ire of a teenage girl named Danya Shakfeh. In the future, she would see to it that this “problem” would not be repeated.

The Resolution

I received a couple of e-mails from an anonymous source, which contained links to documents that were said to be of interest to me. Respectively, they were a USF Student Government resolution against my group and the minutes to the March 6, 2006 Student Government meeting where the Senate voted on it. The resolution, which specified the organization I chair by name, quoted a press release put out by us concerning an event taking place at USF, sponsored by the Muslim American Society of Tampa (MAS-Tampa). It read, [sic] “Whereas, the American Against Hate weblog states, ‘if USF hosts MAS-Tampa's 2006 Olympics, it would give the appearance that USF approves of MAS-Tampa's propagation of hatred and violence towards non-Muslims, as witnessed on the group's website.’”

Our organization believed that it was outrageous for a state-run university to allow a group – a group whose website curses Jews and Christians and calls for waging war against non-Muslims – to use school grounds. Statements found on MAS-Tampa’s e-Library, include: “A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death in order to reach his ultimate goal… Regularly make the intention to go on jihad with the ambition to die as a martyr.” And “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘May Allah curse Jews and Christians for they turned the graves of their Prophets into places of worship.’”

The quote from our press release, found in the resolution, was one of the few things contained in the resolution that had any basis in fact. The USF document states, “Whereas, bloggers are not a reliable source of information and can easily be a tool to spread lies and false accusations towards the Muslims in Tampa.” In an effort to minimize the impact our organization has had in the arena of counter-terrorism, the author has erroneously labeled us as “bloggers.” Americans Against Hate, in fact, is a civil rights organization and terrorist watchdog group. We hold rallies, publish articles, put out press releases, work with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and give lectures, all in an effort to alert and educate the public and assist in the safety and security of our nation. Second, every bit of information we put out is backed up by source material. Nothing is made up! To say that we are making “false accusations” or “spreading lies” is a lie in itself.

Another blaring mistruth in the resolution is the following: [sic] “Whereas, the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Muslims Student Association (MSA) are both peaceful organizations.” Now, the truth: Both the MAS and the MSA were created by members of the violent Muslim Brotherhood. As such, both propagate a radical strain of Islam. This is indicative in the speakers that they bring to their venues and the material they disseminate.

The resolution overwhelmingly passed, 21-6, with 2 abstentions. How was this possible? According to the person that e-mailed this to me, the piece was shoved through, last minute, so no one had a chance to research the matter. That being the case, wouldn’t it make sense for them to have voted to review the matter on a later date? Obviously, that did not happen. So what did happen? A clue can be found at the bottom of the resolution, where the author’s name is located. It was none other than the girl that wrote the reply to the student paper’s Al-Arian editorial, Danya Shakfeh.

Who is Danya?

Danya Shakfeh is a 19 year-old student at USF. She has a very strong Islamic identity, having taken it upon herself to practice the religion at a very early age. Shakfeh’s parents, both of which are Hernando County doctors, were born and raised in Syria. She, herself, refers to Syria as “the motherland.” Her father, Samir, is an attending obstetrician at Spring Hill Regional Hospital, the scene of a neurological injury to an infant that had occurred in 2001, to which he was successfully sued for medical malpractice.

Her mother, Samar, along with physician Ayman Osman, run two area medical centers. Their business came under scrutiny, when it was discovered that the manager of the facilities, Hatem Fariz, was working with Sami Al-Arian to finance overseas suicide operations for Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Osman, who had previously given over $30,000 to the Global Relief Foundation – a large Islamic charity shut down by the U.S. for funding Al-Qaeda and Hamas – has been questioned for his ties to Al-Arian, as well. Osman was on the Board of Directors of the children’s school founded by Al-Arian, the Islamic Academy of Florida (IAF). IAF had its government funded student vouchers revoked, in 2003, for being part of the “PIJ enterprise.” Shakfeh’s parents, whose names appear on courtroom documents with regard to the Al-Arian trial, were also active in IAF. Samar was President of the academy’s PTA, and both had donated thousands of dollars to the school.

Shakfeh, a former student at IAF, has, too, been involved with Islamic radicals. Throughout 2004, she held the position of News Editor for the Tampa chapter of the United Muslims Association (UMA). UMA, as its unacronymed name infers, brought all Tampa-area Islamic institutions (mosques, schools, organizations, and taskforces) together under one umbrella. In doing so, UMA regularly came to the defense of Sami Al-Arian and his fellow terrorists. In addition, while Shakfeh was with UMA, the group told its website viewers to “become a member of” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), two groups with significant ties to Muslim fanatics.

Today, Shakfeh is a Course Correspondent (Teaching Assistant) for SunniPath, an online Islamic academy, which like MAS-Tampa, has a website filled with hate and violence. In the SunniPath e-Library, under the section ‘Fighting the Jews,’ it is stated, “The Final Hour will not come until you fight the Jews and until the stone behind which the Jew is hiding calls out, ‘O Muslim! This Jew is behind me, so kill him!’”

Shakfeh is also affiliated with one of the aforementioned groups, CAIR, with whom she attends “executive meetings” for its Tampa chapter. This bit of information is located on a weblog that she created (Salika Sufisticate) and that she posts to, on a near daily basis.

Danya the ‘Blogger’

Shakfeh is very into blogging on the internet. [A weblog – blog for short – is a website that acts as a personal journal.] This is interesting, as stated previously, she wrote in her USF resolution against my group that “bloggers are not a reliable source of information” and are “a tool to spread lies.”

Last week, Shakfeh posted to her weblog a page devoted to ‘The Doha Debates: Recognizing Hamas,’ whereby the audience, who is responsible for the outcome of the event, overwhelmingly voted in favor of the international community’s acceptance of Hamas “as a political partner.” This in itself would not be a crime, except for the fact that Shakfeh devotes entire pages to fellow Palestinian terrorist Sami Al-Arian. She includes a full-color picture of the Islamic Jihad leader, in her page entitled, ‘FREE SAMI AL-ARIAN.’ On another page, she posts numerous photos from a recent rally for Al-Arian. Ahmed Bedier, the Director of CAIR-Tampa and unofficial spokesperson for Al-Arian, is shown prominently in the pictures. She devotes pages to Bedier, as well. Bedier has stated that, prior to 1995, there was “nothing immoral” about Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

On her blog, Shakfeh praises anti-Jewish and anti-Christian Islamic “scholar” Abdallah Ibn Alawi Al-Haddad. On her page entitled, ‘Why I love Imam Al-Haddad,’ she writes, [sic] “I recently (well no so recently) read Imam Al-Haddad’s Lives of Man and I think he is an absolute genius masha’Allah!” In the book, Al-Haddad states, “People in the second category will remain in the fire [Hell] forever: they include the Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and others who are all to remain in the Fire permanently.” He (Al-Haddad) then quotes from the Quran, by stating, “Those who disbelieve and die as disbelievers, upon them is the curse of G-d, and of the angels and men combined. Eternally therein: the torment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved.” [Surah 2: 161-162]

Shakfeh displays her own contempt for Jews, when, in discussing the koshering of food, she refers to the Jewish religion as “their alleged faith.” She writes, “I was no longer convinced by the ‘People of Book’ argument. Not because I don’t believe they are really People of the Book but the fact is, they don’t slaughter these animals according to any book, regardless of their alleged faith.”

According to her blog, Shakfeh has been active in her university’s Muslim Students Association (MSA). She states, on her blog, that she controls an MSA listserv, from which she sends e-mails. She also discusses the misogynistic tendencies of the male members of the MSA. She says that because “the graduates of the Islamic schools do not [know] how to assimilate into university life,” the guys from the MSA, who all attended Muslim high schools, “had a hard time when a female was in leadership.”

Danya’s ‘Blogroll’

Shakfeh’s weblog contains a blogroll or links section, complete with a full array of extremist sites. They include:

• A Mother From Gaza. In her blog, “journalist” Laila El-Haddad gushes over new Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah, whom she recently met. She states, “My first impression of Haniya (besides his towering height) was his warmth and casual demeanor. I also couldn’t help [from] noticing his eyes… They are these soft emerald-grey-green colour that somehow leave you at ease when you talk to him.” She proudly says she also met former Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, and number 2, in her “top ten” most memorable moments in the last two years, was her meeting with Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, the founder and former spiritual leader of Hamas. [Both Rantisi and Yasin were executed by the Israelis.]
• Brilliance of Islam. This blogger features pictures of Fatah and Hamas fighters and laments over the imprisonment of Holocaust denier, David Irving. He/she also repeats the often heard martyr’s mantra, “A believer wants his death more than life • so that he could meet Allah.”
Izzy Mo’s Blog. This “Southern-born Muslima” gives long talks about her attendance at ISNA and MAS conferences. In her blog, she lauds potential co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Siraj Wahhaj, as a “Notable Muslim of African Descent.”
• idealmotion (a.k.a. Jenn’s Blog). Jennifer Valko runs this blog. She has been active with the MAS, CAIR, UMA and MSA. This past New Year’s, Valko was the contact for a jihad retreat sponsored by MAS-Tampa. The retreat featured Mazen Mokhtar, the developer of a website that, prior to 9/11, raised finances and recruited fighters for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. On Valko’s blog, she lauds co-defendant in the Al-Arian trial, Sameeh Hammoudeh, as “such a sweet brother, big heart.” She said he had her and her Arabic class over his house for dinner.
• Realm of Truth (a.k.a. Jinnzaman’s Blog). This blog is run by Abdul Haqq, whose entire interests include “Jihad of the Sword and Heart.” Haqq is not happy with those that “try to define Jihad solely as being defensive,” and he does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state. He writes of a chilling future, when he states, “The victory of HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood in elections, the continued persistency of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the formation of an entrenched Iraqi resistance, Muslim protests against Western hegemony… are we finally witnessing the long-awaited Islamic response to imperialism?... Islam is coming up from the underground and it will seize the day.” He also says that he wants the MSA to take “active steps” to “instigate” an “Islamic revolution.”
• Mujahideen Ryder. This blogger rates the conferences of various North American radical Islamist groups. He also devotes a page to Siraj Wahhaj, whom he states “has done a lot for Islam in North America. May Allah continue to bless him!”
• Sunni Sister. On this blog, one can find pictures of “peaceful” Palestinian children. One is parading around with a Hamas flag. Under it appear the words: “al Nakba,” translated “the catastrophe,” a reference to the creation of the state of Israel. And one is about to slingshot a rock at an Israeli. Under this pic is the statement: “Listen to the stones as they dent the pride of Goliath.”

Al-Arian Ending

On October 12, 2004, Danya Shakfeh triumphantly posted to an MSA discussion board the following revelation: “Salamaat everyone, we now have TWO new Muslim senators, Rehana and Ramzy, YA!!” By “Rehana and Ramzy,” she meant Rehana Hakeem, her cousin and fellow UMA activist, and Ramzy Kilic, an MSA officer and the author of an Oracle letter to the editor, entitled, ‘Reasons for Al-Arian arrest unjustified.’ The USF Student Government, which manages the activity and service fees for the university (campus recreation, lecture series, student organizations, etc.), was going through a sea change. If USF was not to defend Al-Arian, then USF was to become Al-Arian!

Judy Genshaft, in her official statement about the firing, is quoted as saying, “We have determined that USF must sever all ties to Sami Al-Arian once and for all.” But did the school, in fact, sever all ties to this man – the man that is said to have been the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad – the man that personally saved the terror organization from financial collapse? It seems that, in the case of the University of South Florida, even while behind bars, Al-Arian’s presence is still felt, and the inmates are in control of the asylum.

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the host of The Politics of Terrorism radio show.
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