The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is targeting Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities around the globe, attempting to draw those ignorant of ICNA's extreme history and sinister intentions to radical Islam. The project is being done through ICNA's dawah (outreach) division WhyIslam, dubbed "Por qué Islam?"
Joining ICNA for the project is the Communications Director for the Florida chapter of CAIR and someone who has done much work with ICNA, Wilfredo Amr Ruiz. Ruiz has a radical history of his own. Hispanics must learn the truth about this project – that it is nothing more than extremism hidden under the guise of spiritual enrichment.
ICNA is the American arm of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI's militant apparatuses have caused much murder and mayhem. One former JI death squad leader, Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, who was sentenced to death in absentia for multiple murders in Bangladesh, is currently active in ICNA and has served for years in its top leadership. ICNA has used the internet to promote terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban, and in December 2017, ICNA organized an event featuring Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a U.S.-banned front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
ICNA's WhyIslam was launched in 1999. The following year, it added a website. Up until recently, the site featured a message board that forum moderators used to post messages in favor of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the destruction of Israel. Currently, the webpage contains various texts, one of which, titled Gender Equity in Islam, states that in the case of disobedient wives, if all else fails, their husbands can "beat them (lightly)." In 2008, WhyIslam released a video promoting its work. Appearing on it was Mazen Mokhtar, a former admin for the now-defunct al-Qaeda recruitment site, qoqaz.net, and a champion of Hamas and suicide bombings.
As stated, Wilfredo Ruiz is a representative of CAIR, or the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR was created in June 1994 as a part of a terrorist umbrella group, the U.S. Palestine Committee, headed by then-global leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, who was living in the U.S. at the time (he was deported to Jordan in May 1997). CAIR was named by the U.S. government as a party to the financing of Hamas, during the two federal trials against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which was also a Palestine Committee member. A number of CAIR officials have been arrested, convicted, or deported from the U.S. for terror-related crimes.
Ruiz and CAIR are very close with the Islamic Community of Tampa (ICT), or al-Qassam, a mosque founded by persons linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). With Ruiz by his side at a 2017 CAIR media brunch, CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly said they depend on ICT for "programs, fundraising" and more. "Really, we couldn't do the work without the tremendous support we get from the mosque," Shibly said.
At CAIR-Florida's 2019 Tampa annual banquet, Ruiz was photographed smiling with his arm around convicted PIJ member and ICT Managing Director Hatem Fariz. In May 2019, Shibly met with Fariz at CAIR's Tampa headquarters.
According to his bio, Ruiz is a legal advisor for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA). Ruiz founded AMANA's Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters. In July 2010, AMANA was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for posting on its website a "venomous" anti-Semitic video featuring white supremacist David Duke. The founder and President of AMANA, Sofian Zakkout, was recently thrown off the boards of two prominent anti-crime groups as a result of his vile behavior, including support for Hamas and al-Qaeda, promotion of Holocaust denial, and repeatedly labeling Jews as "monkeys and pigs."
Ruiz, too, has targeted Jews with bigotry. In April 2010, just three months prior to the ADL's condemnation of AMANA, he wrote an article vilifying the Jewish religion, titled Las fobias de mi vecino (translated "My neighbor's phobias"). In it, Ruiz cites Justinas Pranaitis, a Lithuanian Catholic priest who was infamous for advancing a blood libel claim against Jews, and who was stripped of his priesthood. In his article, Ruiz provides a link to the website talmudunmasked.com, which contains Pranaitis's anti-Semitic conspiracies and is produced by those alleging Jews perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and are Satanic.
Now, Puerto Rican-born Ruiz is the 'cover boy' for ICNA within the Puerto Rican (Boriqua) community, and there are others whose faces are representing ICNA for Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina. The scope of what is taking place is immense, and the threat to the world that it poses is no less. If this evil effort is successful, it could alter the religious demographics in these countries in a way that makes them hostile to Western norms and values.
Ruiz, who is a convert, is already used to this dangerous charade, because as CAIR spokesman he has been interviewed by numerous Spanish-language television stations, very few of which appear to be aware of his fanatical background, or the hazards that CAIR presents to society.
But they must be warned. If you are a part of one of these communities and speak the language, you need to speak out to your compatriots. Tell them, "Beware!" – "¡Tener cuidado!" ICNA, CAIR, ICT, AMANA, WhyIslam and Por qué Islam may all say that they represent a mainstream religion, but in reality, what they represent is terror, bigotry, and an end to what we consider to be our freedom.
It was Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf Al Qaradawi who, during a 1995 speech at an Islamic conference in Ohio, proclaimed, "We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America, not through the sword but through dawah."
This is the challenge we are facing. Forewarned is forearmed.
Joe Kaufman is a writer for the Counter-Islamist Grid, a project of the Middle East Forum.