The Islamic Leadership Council of New York, also known as Majlis Ash-Shura, has published a statement denouncing State Island Assemblyman Charles Fall, after he decided to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories at the invitation of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
Local media picked up on the Islamic Leadership Council's fury. Staten Island Live quoted the Council's executive director, Raja Abdulhaq: "We are saddened because he went on a pro-Israel propaganda trip that was not balanced."
What is "propaganda" and "balance" to Abdulhaq? Is he truly upset that Mr. Fall didn't "meet with enough civil society leaders within the West Bank or within Israel"?
The quickest of glances at Abdulhaq's own writings and statements makes his views perfectly clear. His Facebook account features dozens of posts in support of the designated terrorist organization Hamas, including praise of Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin and Hamas's military wing, the Qassem Brigades. He offers open justification for anti-Semitism, claiming that some rhetoric against Jews is acceptable because mentions of "Yahood," the Arabic word for Jews, "actually refer to Zionists/Israelis oppressors who self-identify as Jews, and don't necessarily refer to ALL Jews."
On his blog, Abdulhaq writes long essays in support of Hamas and its roots, claims that Hamas's (documented) use of human shields is "Israeli propaganda to justify its mass-murder of Palestinians," and warns that "Any Israeli, regardless of their religious status, that lives on any piece of the stolen Palestinian land is guilty of the occupation."
He praises Hamas for its ostensible restraint, writing that, "On multiple occasions, Hamas' officials declared their ability to target Israeli civilians, but as a sign of strength and morality they targeted only soldiers." Apparently not noticing a contradiction, he then continued to praise "Palestinian resistance" for being able to "enforce a siege on the Ben Gurion Airport" because of its indiscriminate rocket fire.
Speaking at a rally in New York in 2015, Abdulhaq hoarsely screamed that Israel is "nothing but a dog of the United States."
At least Abdulhaq is otherwise consistent. Writing in 2014, he stated: "We shouldn't let Zionists use the anti-semitism card to force us into Normalization efforts. Muslims shouldn't engage in any relationship with Zionists under the cover of 'interfaith between Muslims and Jews.'"
If this the sort of "balance" Abdulhaq demands, we wonder what his "propaganda" might look like.
The Islamic Leadership Council claims to speak on behalf of 90 Islamic organizations in New York. We are hopeful that these organizations do not condone the extremism of their spokesperson.
Nonetheless, Abdulhaq is keen so suggest that he commands a united front, threatening that Fall would lose the support of New York Muslims. But Fall seems unfazed by the fury of the pro-Hamas Abdulhaq, telling local media: "I will not and should not have to justify or apologize for my trip and learning experience in Israel. The people elected me to be a uniter, not a divider — and I call on all community leaders to join me in this effort."