It is important to understand who one is voting for, especially when it comes to local government offices. Let’s take a look at Ruta Maria Jouniari the Democratic Party candidate for Sarasota County Commission in District 2.
Ruta converted to Islam and in 1999 was married to Moroccan Noureddine Jouniari. Both Ruta and Noureddine are active members of the Islamic Society of Sarasota-Bradenton. Ruta’s campaign Facebook page has links to her being endorsed by Florida LGBT Democratic Caucus, an article about Canada’s legalizing recreational marijuana (a campaign promise of Andrew Gillum), believes in global warming, is anti-Charter Schools and has links to various negative articles about Florida Governor Rick Scott and Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis. The words racist and white supremacist appear in articles Ruta links to. Links to the Islamic Society of Sarasota-Bradenton and anything about her being a Muslim convert are missing from her Facebook biography.
In contrast, Ruta is prominently named in an article on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) website dated October 8, 2007 “FL: Muslim Women Aim To Dispel Stereotypes.” The CAIR news article reported:
Sarah Zaouzal of Sarasota is one of the leaders of the new Women’s Committee at the Islamic Society of Sarasota & Bradenton, whose stated goal is, among others, to dispel myths about women in Islam.
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Ruta Jouniari, a member of the new group, said television is partially to blame for the misunderstandings.
“The only view many Westerners have is that of a black-clad, covered woman who seemingly has no rights,” Jouniari said. “Our group is needed to procure the truth about women Muslims. They are educated, not submissive to anyone, except God, and that they are as human as anyone else.”
WHO IS CAIR?
Discover the Networks profiles CAIR. Discover the networks describes CAIR as a “Civil rights group partially funded by the Saudi Wahhabi establishment. Has numerous ties to extremist Islamic organizations.” Discover the Networks goes on to state:
CAIR was co-founded in 1994 by Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber, all of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was established by senior Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook and functioned as Hamas’ public relations and recruitment arm in the United States. Awad and Ahmad previously had served, respectively, as IAP’s Public Relations Director and President. Thus it can be said that CAIR was an outgrowth of IAP.
CAIR opened its first office in Washington, DC, with the help of a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a self-described charity founded by Mousa Abu Marzook. In May 1996, CAIR coordinated a press conference to protest the decision of the U.S. government to extradite Marzook for his connection to terrorist acts performed by Hamas. CAIR characterized the extradition as “anti-Islamic” and “anti-American.” When President Bush closed HLF in December 2001 for collecting money “to support the Hamas terror organization,” CAIR decried his action as “unjust” and “disturbing.”
WHAT IS THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF SARASOTA-BRADENTON (ISSB)?
Another of the mosques receiving the [weapons] training, the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton (ISSB), has also had a terror-related history and its own imam with involvement in a terrorist organization. And like CAIR, it has been Palestinian terrorism and worse.
According to the ISSB newsletter The Faith, in May 2001, the mosque’s children’s school, Dar al-Iman, was visited by then-professor at the University of South Florida (USF), Sami al-Arian, to discuss with the school’s parents “the opportunity for [their] children to attend a fulltime Islamic school in Tampa.” The school is presumably the Islamic Academy of Florida (IAF), an institution founded by al-Arian in 1992 and which is still in existence under a new name.
At the time of his visit, Al-Arian was also the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). In April 2006, al-Arian pled guilty to conspiracy to provide services to PIJ. Between 1986 and 1992, al-Arian helped found a charity, a think tank, and the IAF school, all of which, according to the indictment against him, were actively used “to raise funds and provide support for the PIJ and their operatives in the Middle East, in order to assist its engagement in, and promotion of, violent attacks…”
As well, according to The Faith, from the beginning of 2000 through the end of 2001, Friday prayers at ISSB were led by al-Arian colleagues Mazen al-Najjar and Hussam Jubara on at least eight separate occasions each.
According to the US Justice Department, Al-Najjar, the brother-in-law of al-Arian, “had established ties to terrorist organizations and held leadership positions” within groups that raised funds for PIJ and Hamas. Those groups included al-Arian’s founded charity, Islamic Concern Project (ICP), and al-Arian’s founded think tank, World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE). Following his imprisonment, in August 2002, al-Najjar was deported from the US.
Jubara, then-professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF), co-founded the Islamic Concern Project (originally Islamic Committee for Palestine) with al-Arian. Jubara was arrested in March 2003 and charged and convicted of felony immigration fraud. Later, he too would be deported.
In January 2001, under the banner of ‘Aqsa Victims,’ The Faith announced that the mosque’s “community members” had raised $4000 to be sent to the family of Palestinian “martyrs.” The newsletter read, “The second payment of donations for Aqsa victims were sent the martyrs families and needy in the West Bank in Palestine.” With regard to Palestinians, the term ‘martyrs’ denotes either terrorists (general) or suicide bombers (specific).
ISSB’S TIES TO TERRORISM
In January 2002, a decision was made by ISSB to hire as its full-time imam Muneer Arafat and have Arafat relocate from New York, where he had a residence at the time. In 2001, Arafat had already been leading mosque prayers and teaching Islamic classes to the mosque congregation.
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While residing in Saint Louis, Arafat also came into contact with al-Qaeda and Hamas operative Ziyad Khaleel. The two became roommates.
In May 1998, at the behest of a senior al-Qaeda lieutenant, Khaleel delivered a satellite phone and battery pack he had purchased to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, which was later used to plan the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. As well, Khaleel was a webmaster for the official website of Hamas and lectured at the University of Missouri on behalf of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a now-defunct Hamas propaganda group co-founded by al-Arian and Hamas global leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
Florida investigator Bill Warner reported in August of 2011:
[T]he Sarasota Fl area was the base of operations for 9/11 Al-Qaeda Hijack Pilots Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah, they had a support network entrenched in the area when Al-Qaeda linked Imam Muneer Arafat shows up at the Sarasota-Bradenton Islamic Center (Mosque) in March 2000 just 3 months before the Hijackers show up in the Sarasota area in June of 2000.
See Jan 20, 2003 article about Sarasota Imam Muneer Arafat in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, below, just after he was arrested on Immigration charges by ICE agents in November 2002. Sarasota Imam Muneer Arafat had been the roommate of Al-Qaeda procurement terrorist Ziyad Sadaqa aka Ziyad Khaleel.
Fast forward to today and we find sheikh Monzer Taleb, someone with links to the terrorist group HAMAS, sitting with Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton mosque leaders for a fundraiser in support of the organization Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD). The Islamic Society of Sarasota published the attendees list for the event. The list included: Speaker Ali Syed, Speaker Monzer Talilb, Speaker Suleiman Salem, Speaker Tariq AbuKhdeir and Poetry by Remi Kanazi.
Watch the video, below, and you will see Taleb sitting to the left of the imam giving the Eid prayer at the HHRD orphan aide event in Sarasota:
According to the Counter Jihad Report:
Monzer Taleb was an unindicted Co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, identified by Federal prosecutors as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a covert U.S. MB organization with a responsibility for supporting and financing Hamas. Taleb was identified in a captured Palestine Committee document as a member of organization.As a member of the Al Sakhra Band, Taleb helped to raise funds for Hamas at fundraisers thrown by the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and the Islamic Association for Palestine. (IAP), two organizations created by the Palestine Committee to support Hamas, according to evidence provided by the federal government.
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Monzer Taleb appears to remain active in the fundraising business, raising funds for Helping Hands for Relief and Development (HHRD), a charity accused of having close ties to a Pakistani organization known to have financed Hamas. Taleb is additionally listed as a member of HHRD-Jordan. Taleb also fundraises for the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT), which runs Dallas Central Mosque, which was closely associated with the Holy Land Foundation, and has long been identified as having ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. [Emphasis added]
Ruta would have voters believe that she is an all American girl and that Islam does not impede her in any way. The New Muslim Guide has a section titled “The Conditions Islam Stipulates Regarding the Wife” which states:
- The wife must be Muslim, Jewish or Christian, believing in her religion. However, Islam encourages Muslim men to choose devout Muslim women for this purpose because a practising Muslim will be a good mother who will give her children the best possible upbringing and help her husband adhere to the teachings of Islam. As the Prophet ﷺ said, “Marry a devout Muslim woman and you will prosper.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 4802; Saheeh Muslim: 1466)
- She must be a chaste woman, as it is forbidden to marry a woman known for her lewdness and immorality. As the Qur’an states, “It is lawful for you to marry the chaste believing women and the chaste women of the people who were given the Book before you.” (Soorat Al-Maa’idah, 5:5)
- She must not be one of those women whom he is never permitted to marry at any time in his life whatsoever (mahram) (See page 206), nor must he marry two sisters at the same time or a woman and her aunt at the same time.
Ruta was a Catholic before converting to Islam.
EDITORS NOTE: The photo of Ruta Maria Jouniari is from Twitter.