December 14, 2007

Who is Raeed Tayeh?

From Discover the Networks:

  • Former Executive Board member of the Islamic Association for Palestine
  • Former research fellow for the United Association for Studies and Research
  • Spoke at a 2001 rally along with Sami Al-Arian and George Habash
  • Worked for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
  • Official of the Muslim American Society
  • “Islamists refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel or the peace agreement made with it, and vow to return the Holy Land to the Muslim nation.”
An American-born Palestinian activist, Raeed N. Tayeh was formerly an Executive Board member of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a research fellow for the United Association for Studies and Research. He also has had connections to American Muslims for Jerusalem.

On June 21, 1999, Tayeh expressed his contempt for Israel on the Friends For Palestine (FFP) website, an extremist site run via the University of Memphis Web server, which posted diatribes against Jews and featured a map of Israel with the Palestinian flag superimposed on it. “Very nice Website,” wrote Tayeh. “I am very proud of the FFP, keep up the good work. It is our duty to return Palestine, ALL OF PALESTINE. I suggest that if any of you really want to get involved, to join the Islamic Association for Palestine -- IAP, they have chapters all over North America, and if you don’t have a chapter, I will help you start one. You should also read the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. This is one of your best sources for fair news about the Middle East.” [Tayeh was the Chicago correspondent for this vehemently anti-Israel publication.]

On November 29, 1999, Tayeh wrote a story for Islam Online -- a website that has published religious/legal opinions in support of suicide bombings -- about the Third Annual IAP Convention. In that piece, Tayeh stated, “Islamists refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel or the peace agreement made with it, and vow to return the Holy Land to the Muslim nation.” He also praised Issa Nakhleh as “a distinguished Palestinian Christian historian.” Nakhleh had called Yasser Arafat “an honorable Palestinian leader”; had called Ariel Sharon “an irresponsible terrorist, murderer and war criminal”; and had excused suicide bombings as understandable responses to “Israeli crimes.”

In his poem titled “Who Am I?” -- which originally appeared on the IAP website -- Tayeh says, "Oh how I dream of that wonderful day, when our flags are raised, and when the marching bands will play. When the young will cheer, and when the old will cry. When the refugees return, and when Zionism will die."

In November 2000 Tayeh was the spokesman for a group protesting against the Chicago Sun Times for having published an editorial blaming Yasser Arafat for Middle East violence.

In February 2001 Tayeh was the contact -- along with the pro-terrorist Palestinian activist and writer Hatem Abudayyeh -- for a solidarity march organized by the Coalition for Justice in Palestine.

On April 7, 2001, while he was still with the IAP, Tayeh was a featured speaker at a rally in New York City that included Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leaders Sami Al-Arian and Mazen Al-Najjar. The rally also featured a statement by George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Also in 2001, Tayeh was hired as Communications Director for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. But on November 28 of that year, he was forced to resign from McKinney’s staff when it was learned that he had written a “letter to the editor” questioning the loyalty of Jewish members of Congress. He stated in that letter: “What is more disturbing to me is that many of these pro-Israeli lawmakers sit on the House International Relations Committee despite the obvious conflict of interest that their emotional attachments to Israel cause. . . . The Israeli occupation of all territories must end, including Congress.”

At IAP’s 5th Annual Convention in December 2001, Tayeh was again a featured speaker along with Sami Al-Arian.From February 2002 to September 2002, Tayeh was the Washington Director of American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice (AMGPJ). During this period, he issued a press release “condemning” the U.S. government for conducting raids on northern Virginia Islamic organizations that were being investigated for their role in terrorist financing.

Tayeh was also the promoter of a boycott against Starbucks Coffee -- a campaign initiated in response to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s “support for various Jewish charitable organizations and his warnings about rising anti-Semitism around the world.”

Tayeh authored a book titled A Muslim’s Guide to American Politics and Government. It was published by the Muslim American Society (MAS), and its foreword was written by MAS President Souheil Ghannouchi.

Since September 2002, Tayeh has worked as the Public Affairs Director for the MAS Freedom Foundation. On April 26, 2003, Tayeh gave an MAS-sponsored “activist training seminar” with the organization’s Communications Director, Randal Todd “Ismail” Royer, who would later be sentenced to prison on firearms and conspiracy charges in relation to a group associated with al Qaeda.

The MAS 2003 annual convention was co-sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America. Tayeh was a featured speaker at this event, along with: Mustafa Abu Sway, who the Israeli government has labeled “a known activist” in the Hamas terrorist movement; Siraj Wahhaj, who was named as a possible co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; Zulfiqar Ali Shah, CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation; and the neo-Nazi William Baker.

In February 2004, MAS sent Tayeh to the Cleveland Mosque to assist Fawaz Damra, who had recently been arrested for concealing his links to anti-Israel terrorist groups. Damra in 1991 had said that “[Muslims should be] directing all rifles at the first and last enemy of the Islamic nation, and that is the sons of monkeys and pigs, the Jews.” Four years later, Damra was named as a possible co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

During an August 2004 appearance on CNN, Tayeh made the following remarks:

  • “The United Nations needs to stop passing resolutions and start enforcing the ones that are on the books, namely returning to the 1967 borders and allowing Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes.”
  • “The Palestinians ... fighting the people who have occupied their land, who have stolen their land …”
    “Well, the United Nations, in 1947, came up with a plan to divide Palestinian [sic], giving the Jews the majority of the country and the Palestinians the minority. The Palestinians rejected it because they said, hey, we live here. This is 100 percent of our land.”
  • “Jews can have their land, but the Palestinians didn't commit the Holocaust. That was Germany under the Nazis. Why not create a state in Germany?”
  • “Jews live in Arab countries and in some countries they live very well, and they're protected.”