We all knew that Cynthia McKinney would be drawing on Arab and Muslim supporters in her bid to return to Congress, but a listing of contributors (with information up through June 28) reveals to what an extraordinary extent this is the case, as shown by the names of her backers.
Hani Y. Awadallah – president, Arab American Civic Organization, New Jersey.
Jesse Aweida – co-founder, American Task Force on Palestine.
Belal Dalati – a vice president of Arab-American Broadcasting Co. (Orange County Register, February 19, 2002) associated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Hasan Elkhatib –member, board of directors, American Islamic Educational Foundation (MetroWest Jewish News, October 10, 1996)
Yaser Elmenshawy - chairman, Islamic Council of New Jersey.
Rafeeq Jaber – president, Islamic Association for Palestine, a Hamas offshoot.
Oussama Jammal – president, Bridgeview Mosque.
Samer Khalaf – chairman, American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee's Political Outreach Committee in New Jersey.
Faroque Khan – president, Islamic Center of Long Island, also connected to the American Muslim Alliance and Islamic Society of North America.
Mahmoud A Nimer - member, board of directors, Islamic Academy of Florida, Tampa (an Islamic school established by Sami al-Arian; al-Arian's indictment indicates the school was used as a base of support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad).
Talat Othman - former chairman of the Islamic Free Market Institute; secretary/treasurer of the American Task Force on Palestine.
Khalid Qazi – former president, American Muslim Council of western New York State.
Hareth Raddawi - member, board of directors, American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, Chicago.
Allam Reheem - former member, board of directors, Islamic Academy of Florida, Tampa.
Talal Sunbulli – former chairman, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.
James Zogby – president, Arab American Institute.
In addition, the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee gave $1,000.
Such an outpouring of extremist support comes as no shock; as Erick Stakelbeck documents in today's New York Post, "McKinney has long associated with militant Islamic groups whose members have openly supported terrorism," plus "she has taken to the floor of the House to defend them."
Comment: Georgia holds its primary on July 20; should McKinney win it, as seems likely, radical Arab and Muslim causes will have achieved their first significant electoral victory in the United States. (July 9, 2004)
July 21, 2004 update: "This victory means that her constituents missed her. She is a great lady, and I am delighted she won [the primary]." So gloated Abed Hammoud, president of the Dearborn, Mich.-based Arab-American Political Action Committee, as quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Aug. 23, 2004 update: I admit to being a bit behind the news on this, but two years ago, on Aug. 1, 2002 "Indepundit" posted a listing with $13,850 in campaign contributions to McKinney given on 9/11 itself – yes, that date – as listed at OpenSecrets.org (unfortunately, the link to individual contributions there no longer works, only to the summaries; for a complete listing of McKinney's 2001 donors, see the posting a FreeRepublic.com). I have helpfully starred all those who have since August 2002 found themselves in trouble with the law:
Waseem Ahmed, a physician from Las Vegas, donated $250.
* Abdurahman Alamoudi, the Director of the American Muslim Foundation, donated $2,000.
Abdulwahab Alkebsi, Executive Director of the Islamic Institute, donated $700.
* Abdelhaleem Ashqar, a Howard University professor, donated $250.
Nihad Awad, Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, donated $500.
Khaliq Baig of Las Vegas donated $500.
Yaser Bushnaq, a computer consultant from Falls Church, VA, donated $500.
Bashir Chowdhry of Las Vegas donated $500.
Shaheen Chowdhry of Las Vegas donated $250.
Atif Fareed, a Southwest Airlines pilot from Henderson, NV, donated $1,000.
Donna Genena of Las Vegas donated $500.
Osama Haikal, a physician from Henderson, NV, donated $500.
Faisal Hasan, a lobbyist for CarFax, donated $600.
Hassan Ibrahim of Centreville, MD, donated $1,000.
Ray Irani, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Occidental Petroleum, donated $1,000.
Sabah Jabri of San Diego donated $250.
* Yaqub Mirza, President of Mar Jac Investments, donated $500.
Ahmed Monib of Las Vegas donated $250.
Mohamed Omeish, Vice President of the American Muslim Foundation, donated $500.
Sayed Qazi, a Las Vegas physician, donated $1,000.
Yousef Saleh of Springfield, VA, donated $300.
* Ahmad Totonji of Herndon, VA, donated $1,000.
Looking over this same 2002 financial data, Thomas B. Edsall of the Washington Post concluded that "At least three-quarters of the $234,299 that McKinney has raised from individuals this year is from donors with Muslim or Arab American surnames, the great majority of whom live outside her district." And Niraj Warikoo reports in the Detroit Free Press that McKinney "is strongly backed by Arab and Muslim groups for her outspoken support of Palestinian rights. During a private dinner of shish kebab in West Bloomfield[, Michigan] this month, Muslim donors gave more than $20,000 to her campaign."
This outpouring of support may have had to do with the enthusiastic backing McKinney won from Islamist organizations. For example, the political action committee belonging to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent out an e-mail message in July 2002 titled "CAIR-PAC Urges Support for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney." It includes the following unrestrained text:
Take a real step now towards POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT of the American Muslim community.
Write your check to "McKinney for Congress". In the memo line, please write "Friends of CAIR-PAC" …
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-4th, Georgia), who is arguably the strongest supporter of issues of concern to the American Muslim community, urgently needs our help to win re-election. She has consistently and unflinchingly supported a balanced US foreign policy in the Middle East and has opposed lopsided bills that harm the interests of America, Israel and the Muslim world. She is a strong defender of civil liberties of all Americans and is known throughout the world as the voice of the voiceless - the champion of human rights. She has condemned racial profiling of any and all Americans and has consistently spoken out against the Secret Evidence Act and other legislative measures which seek to discriminate against certain racial minorities in this country. She is also the first and only African-American woman ever elected to Congress from the state of Georgia. …
Take REAL ACTION now to help Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney win re-election.
WE MUST STAND BY THOSE WHO STAND BY US!
Now is the time to step forward and MAKE A DIFFERENCE by donating to Congresswoman McKinney's campaign. She needs this help TODAY to defeat an opponent who will staunchly oppose a balanced and fair US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Act now and save a friend and supporter of our community and its issues. A win for McKinney is not only a win for the Muslim community but it is also a vital victory for those in Israel and the greater world community who also want peace and justice in the Middle East. Her victory will also give strength to those other members of Congress who also want to vote their conscience on issues relating to the Middle East.
Aug. 4, 2006 update: McKinney faces a tough primary challenge from Hank Johnson and in a televised debate with, he mentioned the "Arab surnames" of some McKinney and then stated, "I could accuse her of being under the control of terrorists, but I won't."
Aug. 8, 2006 update: McKinney is not just seeking Islamist donors but also Islamist interns. Here, from the home page of the Muslim Public Service Network, is her announcement:
Congresswoman Cynthia Mckinney seeking interns
The Office of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is presently seeking energetic, intellient, hard-working, politically savvy college students to work as non-paid Interns for the Spring, Summer or Fall semesters of 2006. For Spring 2006, the intern(s) need to begin work on January 9, 2006. If you are interested, please contact Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture at 202-225-1605 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 25, 2007 update: McKinney is long out of office, but her Islamist legacy continues to interest me. Indeed, I have just learned from Federal Election Commission records about a political contribution to her made on June 7, 2004:
Dept of Education
Comment: (1) Another document dating from September 2006, "Volunteers Needed for Humanitarian Day - New York, NY @ 10.14.06,"confirms that this "D.S. Almontaser" is the same person who served as principal-designate of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, for it gives her address as:
Cultural Diversity Consultant
719 Westminster Rd.
Brooklyn, New York
(2) $2,000 is a sizeable gift for a teacher to give. Note that only one of those listed in the Aug. 23, 2004 update above – the notorious Abdurahman Alamoudi, now serving a 23-year in prison sentence – gave as much as she did. Even Ray Irani, chairman and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum, donated only $1,000.
(3) This provides yet another indication of Almontaser's Islamist leanings, for her donation fits her in with a great number of others of this same description.