Why is Ibraheem Samirah’s father relevant to his campaign for Virginia’s 86th House of Delegates District?
Ibraheem Samirah’s father is Sabri Samirah. His father’s background is relevant to Ibraheem Samirah’s candidacy for Virginia’s 86th district because Ibraheem Samirah has publicly and repeatedly pledged his loyalty to his father’s political objectives.
During Ibraheem Samirah’s childhood in Chicago, his father Sabri Samirah was a board member and Chairman of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which also conducted its activities as the American Muslim Society (AMS). Sabri Samirah was listed as a board member for AMS from 1993 to 2002, when he left the US for Jordan. During that time, according to court records and terrorism experts, the IAP provided both propaganda and fundraising services to Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
The Islamic Association for Palestine was included in the List of Unindicted Co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism finance prosecution in US history.
Ibraheem’s 2015 post about his father
On June 21, 2015, Ibraheem Samirah posted this statement about his father Sabri Samirah (quoted in entirety, with screenshot below):
“My father is my role model. I can only dream of living up to the moral standards he exemplifies. I pray that I make him proud, as always I pray that I quickly find full stability and raise my future son, Sabri, to be like him and better. I would not have dedicated myself to the Palestinian human rights’ cause without him. I am forever grateful to all he has given me.
Interested in finding out more about him? Ask me and I’ll send you a few published writings about him.”
Ibraheem’s September 20, 2016 Election-Day post about his father’s campaign for the Jordanian Parliament.
On September 20, 2016, Ibraheem Samirah posted a longer statement about his father, who was running that year for the Jordanian parliament. September 20, 2016 was election day in Jordan.
Background on Sabri Samirah and the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan
Sabri Samirah was a spokesman for the Islamic Action Front (IAF) party (see here here here here and here ), the Jordanian party for the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2016, IAF candidates campaigned in an expanded “National Alliance for Reform” that included Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamist candidates such as Samirah as well as others (non-Islamist tribal candidates, even Christians). Sabri Samirah’s slate ran in the Third constituency in Amman, Jordan. At the time of his Facebook post, Ibraheem Samirah presumably did not know that his father would lose the election.)
Ibraheem Samirah’s statement about his father is quoted below in entirety followed by screenshots of the post:
Dr. Sabri Sumaira
My role model
He is the man that drilled in me the example of the man I should be.
He never gives up. He rises, he falls, but his core stays strong. He breathes life into me every day with his endless love for me and my family.
He is not just any father. He is a man of principle both in his words and deeds. I would never have been able to truly dedicate my life to the liberation of Palestine without his lifelong courage. I would never be able to build my own intersectional liberation politics through my Jordanian, Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and US identities.
Believe it or not, he was able to raise me. He tamed me. He made me know my limits but also know how to push my limits. He taught me how not to make irreversible mistakes in the way I go about my life as an oppressed Palestinian, Jordanian, American, Muslim, Arab.
He taught me how to properly sacrifice my life for Palestine. To maximize on education and to not put myself fully out there until I have gained the right experiences, built myself up financially and developed a strong support system.
How to defeat people with intellect but also with kindness. How to love for one’s own self through love for those closest. How to be a true Muslim. How to be follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. How to prioritize my lofe [sic] commitments as a Muslim. How to not waste time just acting like a Muslim but being one.
September 20th, 2016 is a huge day for him. He is running for parliament on behalf of the district of ‘whales,’ the richest of districts in all of Jordan where all the high-level corruption of the Jordanian government happens, hence ‘whales.’ Poor whales having to be associated with corruption! My father is running to change that, representing the common folk.
With all the education and expertise he has, one would be very surprised to know that he is not well off financially. He never was able to let down his principles as a Political scientist to work for any corrupt government or organization. He paid the price heavily for this.
He always believed that one day, his commitment to his principles would have an enormous impact on the common folk for which he fights for.
may be the day that happens, but even if it does not, I would still 9/20/2016 be so happy for him. He was able to convey his love and care for humanity, Palestine, Jordan, Islam and Arabs in such a way that really shook me.
I miss him so much and wish I was by his side rallying people to come out and vote for him. I feel so disabled in Boston. I wish I could help so badly.
I love you baba.
Sabri Samirah’s Leadership Roles in Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Organizations
1. Islamic Association for Palestine
What was the Islamic Association for Palestine?
Sabri Samirah was on the board and Chairman of the Islamic Association for Palestine. Terrorism and intelligence expert Matthew Levitt describes the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in his authoritative book “Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad” (pages 149-151):
“The IAP is intimately tied to the most senior Hamas leadership; in fact it was originally formed in 1981 by Dr. Aly Mishal, at the personal direction of Khaled Mishal (who was then a Senior Muslim Brotherhood activist and would later become Secretary General of Hamas). The founding of the IAP six years prior to the official formation of Hamas is still further indication of Hamas’ roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.
When the group’s leaders in Gaza made the decision to officially found Hamas in 1987, the IAP became the group’s mouthpiece in North America. For example, the FBI noted that IAP leaders were among the “senior leaders of Hamas” who participated in the 1993 Hamas planning meeting in Philadelphia…
…While the IAP’s primary function was to serve as the public voice of Hamas in the United States, it also assisted the HLFRD [Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development] in its fundraising efforts. For example, the IAP included solicitations for HLFRD in many of its letters and publications, and negotiated fundraising contracts by which the HLFRD paid the IAP $40,000 a year for the IAP’s fundraising services.
In February 1996, an FBI source reported being told by a Hamas activist who had been affiliated with the IAP for about a decade that the IAP ‘donates to the Palestinian arena approximately $3 million per year. These donations were reportedly sent to the Holy Land Foundation in Palestine, and the money goes to Hamas.’
Court documents submitted as evidence (1989-1990 here and 1992 here ) also established the links between Hamas, the Palestine Committee and the IAP. According to the Department of Justice trial brief in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, the IAP
“was designed as a propaganda facility, responsible for Intifada festivals (involving the defendant HLF), pro-Hamas publications, and the general rallying of support within the American Muslim community. The IAP was the first organization to publish an English version of the Hamas charter…
“…The function of the IAP was to be the media arm of Hamas in America. In fulfilling that function, the IAP published the Hamas charter in English and distributed Hamas communiques. The IAP also published, each month, Arabic language magazines called Al Zaytouna and Ila Falestine which focused on Palestinian issues with an emphasis on support for Hamas.”
Background: What is Hamas?
Hamas is an extremist fundamentalist Islamic organization dedicated to destroying the State of Israel and to the establishment of an Islamic state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. “Hamas” is an acronym in Arabic for “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Hamas was founded in 1987, the same year that Sabri Samirah first came to the United States on a student visa.
In the Hamas Charter published by Hamas in August 1988, Hamas defined itself as the “Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.” In 1995, President Clinton banned any transactions with Hamas (such as donations from IAP). Hamas was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department in 1997.
What was Sabri Samirah’s role at the Islamic Association for Palestine?
Sabri Samirah held various leadership roles at IAP in the Chicago office (the IAP also had an office in Dallas). In 1998 – one year after Hamas was designated as a terrorist organization – he was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as a “second-ranking official” in Islamic Association for Palestine of Chicago:
“Sabri Samira, who identified himself as the second-ranking official of the Islamic Association for Palestine of Chicago, said the attack on Salah was part of a “continuous, politically driven campaign” against the Muslim and Palestinian communities.”
By August 2000, the IAP listed two addresses at its website (iap.org): one for the Dallas office and the main one for Palos Hills, IL listing Samirah as Chairman for the “Islamic Association for Palestine in North America.”
Samirah was also listed as Chairman in the 38-page program for the IAP’s November 23-25, 2000 4th Annual Convention in Chicago.
Interviews as IAP Chairman after September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Samirah figured prominently as a spokesperson and Chairman for IAP and for one of his other organizations, the United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA).
New York Times, October 22, 2001:
An article in the October 22, 2001 New York Times featured Sabri Samirah as Chairman of the IAP and described the extremist views of the IAP, widely condemned at the time:
” ‘The Jewish leadership says we support terrorism, but at the same time they are supporting Israeli violence and terrorism against our people,” said Dr. Sabri Samirah, president of the United Muslim Americans Association, one of Chicago’s most prominent Muslim groups. ”Here we come to a puzzle: What is terrorism? Obviously we disagree on that, and yet we have extreme voices in the Jewish community deciding what terrorism is.’ ….”
“….But in Chicago, the Jewish Community Relations Council has denounced the Islamic Association for Palestine, based in suburban Palos Hills, for disseminating a series of virulently anti-Israel messages on its Web site. The association is a sister organization of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the nation’s largest Muslim charity, which Israel has accused of raising money for Palestinian suicide bombers. The Web site includes dozens of dispatches from the occupied territories that refer to Israel as a ”Nazi regime” and the United States as its evil accomplice.
This dispatch, which lists its source as ‘I.A.P. News,’ was posted two weeks before the trade center attacks and is still on the site [below is the quote from ‘IAP News’]:
‘Palestinian sources in Nablus said Islamist and nationalist leaders called on ordinary Arabs to attack American interests throughout the Arab world and beyond as a retaliation for what was described as ‘this brazen American backing of Jewish Nazism.’ One masked man, speaking through a loudspeaker, urged Arabs to ‘attack their offices, their companies, their embassies, their consulates, attack anything and everything American. The political prostitutes in Washington are enabling the neo-Nazis in Israel to suck our blood and kill our children.’ ”
“…Dr. Samirah of the United Muslim Americans Association, who is also chairman of the Islamic Association for Palestine, said the association simply acts as the information source for a wide variety of reporting from the Middle East, and does not necessarily endorse the voices on its Web site. He said the group has condemned the Sept. 11 attacks.
“But Jay Tcath, director of the community relations council, said that if the Muslim group continued its uncritical distribution of incitements to violence, it should be stripped of its mainstream acceptability….”
Washington Post, November 30, 2001:
On November 30, 2001, Samirah again identified himself as the Chairman of IAP in an interview with the Washington Post:
“A number of IAP’s members have been questioned by the FBI over the years. But the IAP’s chairman, Sabri Samirah, said the FBI has never targeted the IAP in any probe. ‘We deny any connection to Hamas,” he said. “It’s misinformation taken from pro-Israel Zionist groups.” He acknowledged that the group’s publications, Web sites and conferences have praised Hamas but said IAP is conveying the views of many Palestinians, adding, “it doesn’t mean we support Hamas.’ “
The online World Biographical Encyclopedia lists other positions for Sabri Samirah.
American Muslim Society
The Illinois-based American Muslim Society (AMS) was closely identified with the Islamic Association for Palestine. The two organizations shared a combined name (AMS/IAP), logo, address, letterhead, office phone, website and email address: 10661 S. Roberts Rd, #202, Palos Hills, IL 60465; Tel (708) 974-3380; FAX (708) 974-3389; email email@example.com; Website iap.org . (This was also the address for another of Sabri Samirah’s organizations, the United Muslim Americans Association (UMMA) .)
The AMS was founded in 1993 in Palos Hills, IL. In 1994, AMS applied for the name “Islamic Association for Palestine in Chicago,” and functioned as the Chicago branch of the IAP. The main office of the IAP was then headquartered in Dallas with a Post Office box address listed at the website. As noted above, by 2000 the Chicago office had become the main office for all of IAP in North America, and Samirah had become Chairman of IAP.
The letterhead for the combined entity AMS/IAP includes a mission statement at the bottom of the page:
“The AMS/IAP is the largest national grassroots organization serving the American Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities and dedicated to advancing a just and comprehensive solution to the cause of Palestine.”
See Exhibit A Excerpts from the April 9, 2003 deposition testimony of Rafeeq Jaber taken in the second David Boim lawsuit for details on the interconnectedness between AMS, IAP Chicago and the IAP Dallas office.
What was Sabri Samirah’s role at the American Muslim Society?
Evidence submitted in court shows Sabri Samirah as a board member for the American Muslim Society (AMS) from 1993 through 2002. The evidence consists of faxed pages “From AMS/IAP” dated 10-29-2002. The pages list the “Bord members” [sic] for AMS from 1993 to 2002, and Sabri Samirah is listed for every year. The fax number matches that of the letterhead for the combined entities (AMS/IAP) shown above.
Therefore, from 1993 to 2002, Sabri Samirah was on the board of the AMS, and from 1994 to 2002, he was on the board of the Islamic Association for Palestine, either for its Chicago branch or by 2000, for its main North America headquarters. Furthermore, he had been promoted to the top position at the Islamic Association for Palestine as Chairman by 2000.
The Islamic Association for Palestine was included in the List of Unindicted Co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism finance prosecution in U.S. history.