Broward Democrat Leader Breaks Bread With Controversial Islamic Professor

Ken Evans in top middle next to Dave Aronberg
Ken Evans in top middle next to Dave Aronberg

Last week, Broward Democrat State Committeeman Ken Evans attended a Ramadan celebration honoring a controversial Islamic professor in Palm Beach. Evans attended an EMERGE USA dinner honoring the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) founder Bassem Al-Halabi for “his leadership and contributions to the community.” According to published reports, Al-Halabi has ties to Sami Al-Arian, a radical Islamic professor at the University of South Florida (USF).

In 2006, Sami Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to providing support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). In February 2015, Al-Arian was deported to Turkey. Published reports state Bassem Al-Ahalabi worked with Al-Arian and used him as a reference. “Upon applying for his position as FAU associate professor, [Bassem Al-halabi] used Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian as a reference,” Kaufman told those gathered. “Al-halabi wrote a number of publications with al-Arian. These publications were showcased in Damascus, Syria, where Al-halabi is from and where the headquarters of Islamic Jihad is located.”

In an interview with Palm Beach television station WPTV, Al-Halabi claimed his association with Al-Arian was no big deal. “[Al-Halabi] says Al-Arian was his advisor when he was a university student and they worked together on technical journals 20 years ago, nothing more.”

Al-Halabi’s ICBR has been controversial as well.

In 2007, Palm Beach physician and ICBR member Dr. Rafiq Sabir, was convicted  participating in a conspiracy to provide aid to al-Qaeda. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

“Sabir and a martial arts instructor, Tarik Shah were filmed by an undercover FBI agent in 2005 swearing allegiance, the bayyat to al-Qaeda and ‘Sheikh Osama,’ was indicated that it was their intent to deliver medical aid and martial arts training to the world’s most infamous terrorist group.”

So why was Ken Evans honoring this guy?

As REDBROWARD previously reported, EMERGE USA and the Florida Democratic Party have forged an allegiance to boost turnout of Muslim voters.

In 2014, EMERGE USA worked closely with Charlie Crist’s failed gubernatorial campaign. REDBROWARD published EMERGE USA emails showing how it pressured Crist into making a hasty Ramadan greeting on social media.

REDBROWARD exposed how Broward candidates hid their EMERGE USA endorsements from their traditional base of Jewish Democratic voters in 2014.

Last month, REDBROWARD published photographs of female Broward judicial candidates covering their heads at a Ramadan event in Sunrise.

Did Evans use this dinner as a “teaching moment” to lecture about the mistreatment of Muslim women? Did Evans ask Professor Al-Halabi what he’s doing to stop the radicalization of young Muslim-American students?evansemerge211350655_10153368332219588_5060582399742957628_n

 

Published by Tom Lauder

Covering South Florida Politics Since 2010...As Seen On: POLITICO, The Huffington Post, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, WPLG LOCAL 10 (ABC MIAMI), The New Times

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