There was so much going on in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses — and even more on the disastrous night of the affair — that a lot of things flew under the radar.
One was definitely Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders saying he was “honored” to receive an endorsement from Ako Abdul-Samad, a prominent Iowa Muslim politician.
The whole thing was sold as an uncontroversial move.
“Abdul-Samad, a Des Moines Democrat, has served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2007 and has been seen at campaign events for several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, though he had so far not endorsed any of them,” the Des Moines Register reported Saturday about the endorsement.
“The candidate that resonated with me and that has come closest to my passion for justice in the world is Sen. Bernie Sanders,” Abdul-Samad said.
“I look forward to working with the senator and the team to continue addressing the issues that are not only dividing us here in America, but in the world. The struggle is real. We can and must win!”
Well, whether or not that happened depends on what measure of victory you take in the bizarre caucus process, but never mind that.
Sanders enthusiastically trumpeted the endorsement on Twitter:
I’m honored to have Rep. Abdul-Samad’s endorsement. Together we’re going to win in Iowa, win the primary, defeat Trump, and build a nation that works for the working people of this country.https://t.co/xtZpGbL1YI
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 2, 2020
“I’m honored to have Rep. Abdul-Samad’s endorsement. Together we’re going to win in Iowa, win the primary, defeat Trump, and build a nation that works for the working people of this country,” he tweeted.
This all sounded good.
Unfortunately, Abdul-Samad has a bit of a checkered history — and Hillary Clinton once returned a donation from the group he now leads during her first Senate race in 2000, according to The New York Times.
“Abdul-Samad is an Iowa state representative and serves as chairman of the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), which has defended terrorist groups and domestic radicals,” the Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday.
“Other Democrats have returned AMA donations, rather than promote its endorsement. Hillary Clinton returned $50,000 in political contributions from the group after AMA founder Agha Saeed said Palestinians were justified in the use of violence against Israelis.”
“The statements that are attributed to the organization and some of its members are offensive and outrageous,” Clinton said then.
Abdul-Samad has, among other things, been an apologist for a propagandist for al-Qaida.
“Abdul-Samad took control of the AMA in 2017 and moved the organization’s headquarters to Iowa,” the Free Beacon reported.
“The imam had previously worked with AMA to demand the freedom of Aafia Siddiqui, the infamous ‘Lady al Qaeda’ operative convicted of attempted murder of U.S. officials in Afghanistan. Throughout her trial, Siddiqui objected to her Jewish lawyers and tried to exclude Jews from the jury pool.”
Here’s an unsurprising statement she made after her conviction: “This is a verdict coming from Israel, not America.” Righty-o.
Several members of the AMA, back when Clinton returned their money during her 2000 carpetbagging run at a New York Senate seat, had made anti-Semitic statements.
Abdul-Samad wasn’t in control of the organization back then — although given his defense of Siddiqui, it doesn’t seem like it would have been that big of a deal to him.
Sanders, by the way, has been using Rep. Ilhan Omar — as well as other members of the so-called “squad” — as one of his surrogates.
This is a politician who’s accused American Jews of dual loyalty and said American support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” bringing up the awful specter of Jewish money purchasing elections.
Is this the Democratic Party that Bernie Sanders wants?
One that turns a blind eye to stuff like this?
Abdul-Samad defends radical Islamists and anti-Semites — which makes him one by extension.
This is who Sanders is “honored” to be endorsed by.
I understand there were plenty of other stories in Iowa.
This was one that deserved more attention.
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