Monday, February 27, 2006

Joe Kaufman: The Islamist Port of Miami

Joe Kaufman
February 28, 2006

When the Deputy Director of the Port of Miami, Khalid Salahuddin, was asked about the purchase of his port by a state-owned company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he defended the transaction. He stated, “They are not buying the Port of Miami. They are buying part of one of the operators at the port.”

But while Salahuddin is not concerned about the sale, many Floridians are shaking their heads. They question the terrorist ties of the UAE. They question why their representatives in the White House have been so quick to praise the deal. However, possibly the most important question hasn’t been raised, and that is the one about Salahuddin himself.

Khalid Salahuddin is no stranger to controversy. In November of 2001, he was embroiled in a scandal, as an NBC 6 investigation exposed the Port of Miami as being a haven for criminal activity. According to the report, convicted felons - with cases ranging from attempted murder to pedophilia - were hired to work at the port.

Salahuddin, similar to his reaction to the UAE purchase, wasn’t deterred by the station’s findings and, likewise, defended the hirings. He stated, “From our standpoint, what benefit would it do to kick him out on the street? We see none.”

As shameful as this attitude may seem, when painting a full picture of Khalid Salahuddin, one has to wonder how – more than five years later – this man is still minding the port and not being extradited from it.

Khalid Salahuddin has gone through different phases in his life. Before becoming an ‘Orthodox Muslim,’ Salahuddin was a member of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan’s notoriously anti-Semitic organization. Today, he heads his own mosque in North Miami, Masjid Al-Ikhlas.

As a leader in the South Florida Islamic community, Salahuddin has traveled circles that leave little to be encouraged about. Indeed, his ties to radical Islam are many.

In February of 2002, Salahuddin officiated a fundraiser for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), entitled ‘Celebrating Past, present and future Leadership for Humanity.’ AMANA is headed by Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, an individual who was the Vice President of a now-defunct, Hamas-related “charity,” the Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP). The website of AMANA has promoted links and articles denouncing Jews, Christians and Hindus and at least one link discussing the murder of homosexuals. The site also contained a link to the Al-Haramain foundation, an organization that has had its offices closed for acting as a main financier to Al-Qaeda.

In September of 2002, Salahuddin was a participant at an event sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), entitled ‘A United and Secure Florida for all.’ CAIR’s connections to terrorism are well documented; the group has lost a fundraiser, a civil rights coordinator, a director of community relations, and a co-founder of its Texas chapter all to conviction or deportation. Also featured at this event was Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the South Asia Division Coordinator for KindHearts, a “charity” whose funds were frozen this month by the U.S. government for giving millions of dollars to Hamas.

In November of 2002, Salahuddin gave a memorial talk for Hamid Iqbal Siddiqui, at Masjid Al-Ansar, where he (Salahuddin) had previously resided as imam. Before his death, Siddiqui had acted as an East Zone Representative for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group tied to the violent Muslim Brotherhood.

Evidently Salahuddin’s words have importance beyond these speaking engagements, because videos with his name and likeness are in distribution.

One speech made by Salahuddin (‘Belief in the Unseen’) is available through the MeccaCentric Da'wah Group, an organization that sells videotaped speeches made by numerous Islamic radicals; this includes Siraj Wahhaj, a man whose name appears on the U.S. Attorney's list of potential co-conspirators to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Also featured on the video with Salahuddin is Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, the imam of Darul Aloom (Pembroke Pines, Florida) and the former teacher of ‘Dirty Bomber’ Jose Padilla.

There are those that would liken the above information to nothing more than guilt by association. However, when one considers the amount of associations involved – with regards to Khalid Salahuddin’s exposure to radical Islam – one must conclude that there is reason for alarm.

It is certainly a valid concern as to who is purchasing the ports that control commerce to and from our country, especially when that purchase is carried out by a country with as many ties to terrorism as the UAE. Yet isn’t the concern that much greater, when one has to worry about those that are actually charged in defending the ports from the enemy?

In this case, our designated defender may very well be our downfall.

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

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