Former Hamas Fundraiser to Speak at CAIR Banquet
Before the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was closed by the U.S. government as a designated global terrorist fundraising entity just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Monzer Taleb (aka Munzir Taleb, Monzer Talib, et al.) was part of the infamous Al-Sakhra band, which toured the U.S. raising money for the HLF and the terrorist group Hamas. Taleb was so active in his fundraising pursuits that he was personally named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF terrorism finance trial, which concluded this past November with guilty verdicts on all 108 counts for the defendants.
Monzer Taleb continues his Hamas fundraising this weekend as a keynote speaker at the annual banquet of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). During the HLF trial, FBI Agent Lara Burns testified that CAIR was a front for Hamas, and CAIR was also named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. As a result of the substantial evidence presented during the trial tying CAIR to the international Islamic terrorist network, the FBI recently cut its ties to CAIR, as has the Columbus Police Department.
As part of Al-Sakhra, Monzer Taleb sang of violence, terror, and hatred. Investigative reporter and Pajamas Media contributor Todd Bensman described the group of terror crooners in an article titled "HAMAS Rock Stars":
It wasn't exactly feel-good music in the conventional sense. Mufid's Al Sakhra ("The Rock") band crooned a gospel of death and hatred toward the Jews at Hamas fundraisers, while the collection plates moved through wildly enthusiastic Arab-American audiences.
In the indictment of HLF executives, federal prosecutors said that skits and songs performed by Al-Sakhra at HLF events "advocated the destruction of the State of Israel and glorified the killing of Jewish people." (p. 13)
One of the defendants in the HLF trial, Mufid Abdulqader, who was convicted on conspiracy charges, was the founder and leader of Al-Sakhra. After he was indicted along with the other Holy Land Foundation executives, a Dallas TV station revealed that Abdulqader is the half-brother of Hamas leader Khaled Mishal. HLF trial exhibits also revealed that Al-Sakhra had performed at 25 HLF fundraisers in one year alone.
As noted above, Monzer Taleb also figured into the Holy Land Foundation trial, as he was personally named on the federal prosecutors' list of unindicted co-conspirators (p. 6, no. 40).
Videos of the Al-Sakhra band were also entered into evidence by federal prosecutors to show the connection between the "charity" and Hamas. In fact, one solo performance by Monzer Taleb was particularly difficult for defense attorneys to explain away, as Taleb sang "I am from HAMAS" (complete video and transcript available from the Investigative Project):
Munzir: I am from Hamas and have never cheered for anyone else besides her.
I am from Hamas and have never cheered for anyone else besides her, she is the way to reciprocate the deceit of the attacker.
And she is the one which marches with the light of Muhammad, and it is the one which marches with the light of Muhammad, with the light of Muhammad towards Jihad, towards Jihad, towards Jihad, towards Jihad by its renewed determination.
Another troubling video of the entire troupe, including Taleb, was presented as evidence of them singing about the murdering and enslavement of the Jews (full video and transcript available from the Investigative Project):
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey.
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
We will crawl and fight.
In a January 2001 New Yorker article, Jeffrey Goldberg explained the significance of the popular Islamic chant:
Khaybar is the name of an oasis near Medina that, in the time of Muhammad, was populated mainly by Jews. In the year 628, Muhammad led the Muslims against it, defeating the Jews in battle and subjugating the survivors, who would later be expelled from Arabia. The intent of the slogan, then, is clear: what the army of Muhammad did to the Jews fourteen hundred years ago in Arabia it would soon do again in Palestine.
Another interesting tidbit gathered from this video is that the drum played by Taleb bears the Arabic inscription, "Al-Sakhra Band, Islamic Association for Palestine." The now-closed Islamic Association for Palestine was the parent organization of CAIR.
In yet another video Monzer Taleb is introduced as part of Al-Sakhra by Shurki Abu Baker, Holy Land Foundation president and CEO, as they sang:
O Hamas the religion
Get rid of these enemies.
O sword of the Muslims.
Hamas the Jihad.
It wasn't just Monzer Taleb's participation in the Al-Sakhra band that got the attention of federal prosecutors. He was also identified in seized Holy Land Foundation documents as the head of the "Artistic Aspect" of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee responsible for coordinating fundraising and propaganda in the U.S. on behalf of Hamas.
Monzer Taleb has continued his "artistic" pursuits by authoring and directing the play "Once Upon a Time in Medina," which is about the early battles of conquest by the Muslims and the "grand conspiracy" of the Jews against Islam. The play was presented in February 2004 by the Muslim American Society Youth Center of Dallas, which Taleb founded and directs.
CAIR-Cleveland has run into its own troubles with promoting hatred and violence, such as their attempt in March 2008 to present a hate-filled movie at the Cleveland Heights Library, which was loudly denounced by Jewish groups in Northeast Ohio. But when CAIR-Cleveland features speakers such as Monzer Taleb at their annual banquet, is it really any surprise?