Islamism’s Poster Boy

By Alyssa A. Lappen | April 15, 2004

On Thursday November 6, 2003, Jordanian Amer Jubran shocked the U.S. Immigration Court at his final deportation hearing and agreed to leave the U.S. voluntarily, no later than March 5, 2004. That date has come and gone, but Jubran may remain in the U.S. If so, his presence is apparently without sanction.

On March 22, Jubran wrote for the (misnamed) Axis of Logic—purportedly from Jordan—“on Israel’s assassination of Ahmad Yassin. Perhaps the Amman dateline was a ruse: He was listed as a “confirmed speaker” at a March 27 and 28 “Land Day” conference designed by Al Awda radical Mazin Qumsiyeh to “confront Zionism.” Jubran may have “appeared” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology event on tape, phone or video-conference. He may have gone to Jordan after settling with U.S. immigration and returned to Boston later to address “Resistance and the Strategy for Liberation.” Or maybe he never left the U.S. In cases of voluntary departure, the Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports, it cannot release information publicly.

Although Jordanian, Amer Jubran describes himself as Palestinian Arab. He reportedly arrived in the U.S. on a student visa in 1988. In 1997 he married an American born in Puerto Rico and began an obsessive effort to obtain a green card, which he received in 1999. By then, however, his allegedly bogus marriage had ended; he was officially divorced in February 2000.

Perhaps the swirl of controversy that enveloped Jubran was circumstantial. Yet he could not have conceived of a more successful public relations campaign for Islamic causes if he had tried. In hindsight, Jubran looks less a victim than a man on a jihad mission.

Jubran’s immigration difficulties apparently began with his June 10, 2001 arrest at Coolidge Corner in Brookline Massachusetts, where tens of thousands of Jews and Christians celebrated Israel’s 53rd Independence Day. While leading 60 or so anti-Zionists in protest, Jubran allegedly kicked a Jewish spectator from nearby Waltham.

Already, Jubran belonged to the Islamic Society of Boston. But three months before September 11, no one cared about its embedded terror network. Literally hundreds of articles on Jubran followed his reputed 2001 fracas. The alternative Boston Phoenix alone reported his link to the city’s Islamic Society—a point it failed to investigate further.

By October 2003, Boston Muslims had obtained local approval for a gigantic $22 million mosque, despite their support from Egyptian cleric and staunch suicide bombing advocate Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi—and their ties to Abdurahman Alamoudi, a lobbyist indicted for alleged terror funding activities.

Their longtime Saudi mosque director, Walid Ahmad Fitaihi, before his return to Arabia, asked in
how anyone could naively consider peace possible with the Jewish “people who hide that which Allah has shown them, and who distorted the words and wrote the Book with their own hands; a people who have betrayed the trust of Heaven and who have killed prophets” He predicted Islam’s utter defeat of Jews, Judaism and Israel for a “second transgression” he alleged to be in progress. In this, Fitaihi was simply describing the Islamic apocalypse that Muslim radicals expect to culminate soon. Perhaps Jubran did not share his views, but he in any case relished controversy and press.

The average internet search for “Amer Jubran” today instantly lands nearly 900 hits. Most plead on behalf of a purported victim, but skirt his radical views. Was Jubran really the prescribed target of government abuse?

A well-aimed kick with a hard-soled shoe could of course prove deadly. But in 2001, Jubran allegedly committed the kicking. He said he had done no such thing. Brookline police had “grossly violated” his rights. He was “slapped with a racist frame-up.” If deported, he ludicrously claimed, Israel might assassinate him. Israel intentionally assassinates only proven progenitors of terror, not “activists.” But Jubran fashioned his arrest and felony assault charges into publicity for “Palestinian free speech rights.”

His adept use of faulty logic and aggressive bluster defeated the allegations and turned the entire affair to Muslim advantage. He was simply demonstrating as part of an “ongoing campaign” to highlight “the illegal occupation of Palestinian land since 1948.” In other words, he considers Israeli statehood illegal, and all that implies.

Jubran won round one in a personal jihad against seemingly reasonable charges and official demands. He effectively twisted events to evoke sympathy, in turn to advance illicit claims—and lower the social barriers to aggression against innocent parties. Americans may not recognize such actions as weapons, but scholars of Islam frequently attribute their like to a potent form of perpetual jihad.

Upon his November 4, 2002 arrest in Rhode Island for alleged U.S. immigration violations, Jubran redeployed tactics he had successfully used earlier. The federal proceedings helped him generate reams more sympathetic ink in radical outlets worldwide; the Irish anti-War Movement, Muslim Civil Rights Center, Independent Race and Refugees Network and American Civil Liberties Union all bemoaned his “illegal” detention and U.S. government “abuse. They screamed over infringements of his free speech. Even Amnesty International took notice.
ACLU advocacy on Jubran’s behalf is not that surprising, since Nancy Murray heads the Massachusetts chapter’s Bill of Rights Education Project—and efforts for the state to join Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and Maine by passing a resolution that would give unquestioned sanctuary to illegal aliens. Coincidentally (or is it?), Murray is mother of International Solidarity Movement leader Rebecca Murray, who two years ago made a fawning visit to Arafat in the Mukata and has since spent her time glorifying the memory of senior Fatah terror official Ziad Dias, [1] and on road shows to accuse Israel of war crimes.

These advocacy circles meanwhile furthered general acceptance of radical goals. One could almost imagine Jubran blessing his troubles. His “human rights” lingo fooled many. But even without Jubran his “Defense Committee” continues its apparent soft-core jihad. It links to Boston’s A.N.S.W.E.R. and a Muslim-Arab-South Asian unity movement dubbed Blue Triangle. It features Richard Hugus’ October al Jazeerah commentary (since reproduced at radical addresses everywhere). It ties to something called “Defend Palestine”—though “defend” is a stretch, given its claim to all of Israel.

Denying the place for any Jewish homeland in Israel is not humanism. Neither is sympathy for terrorists. Jubran does both. “We are living in an evil empire far worse than Hitler’s,” he told an October anti-war rally in San Francisco; [2] he also praised anti-American “resistance” and empathized with suicide bombers. Was this frustration, or an unguarded expression of jihad ethics, which for radicals are embedded in Islam? Was he building support for global Islamism?

Jubran probably overstayed his U.S. student visa. He allegedly married on false pretenses to obtain a green card. He certainly used more than a decade in the U.S. to foment hatred. At Harvard and MIT, students report, Jubran physically harassed and threatened political opponents. One student reports three encounters; each time, Jubran grew intimidating and physically forceful. In March 2003, he screamed at an Iraqi man at a pro-war rally, “Who pays you? The CIA?” To prevent him from attacking the Iraqi, Jubran’s “Defend Palestine” friends were forced to physically restrain him. In November, at another pro-Palestinian propaganda event, Jubran referred obliquely to activities in Jordan that he said he couldn’t discuss, reports the student, who believes Jubran may still be in the U.S. and fears him.

The Jubran imbroglio raises questions about the U.S. right to deport illegal aliens; and whether the latter may nevertheless flaunt federal laws or promote bold-faced hatred, disguised thinly for university circles as something else.

A more pressing issue concerns the legality of supporting terror groups like Hamas. Jubran recalls arch-terrorist Ahmad Yassin with praise. He describes not the mass-producer of legions of guided-human-missiles, not the chief architect of hundreds of intentional civilian murders or thousands of horrid permanent injuries—but a “crippled” 67-year-old, better left to murder and maim more innocents. He negates the roots of Hamas in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928, decades before Israel’s 1948 birth—and glosses Hamas espousal of violent jihad. Hamas grew from “its [own] resources, constituencies, sacrifices, religious identity, political clarity, and membership base,” Jubran claims.

Reading this, one wonders: Do any of the “activist” groups established by Jubran in Boston play some role for Brotherhood offspring—Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda? Jubran ignores the genocidal nature of both Hamas and its Charter. To him, its jihadis are providers of “social programs and services to the poor and victimized in Gaza and the West Bank,” suppliers of “schools, housing, health care, social welfare, and mentor support to many individuals and families.”

Suicide mentoring

The “activist” Jubran exposes the true nature of his humanism. Britain now plans to jail anyone so much as sympathizing with extremists.

This leaves the question of Jubran’s whereabouts. If he is still in the U.S., his friends are coy about it. On March 24, “Axis” editor Les Blough noted that Jubran had “lived for many years in the United States, until January 4” but was now “in Jordan, as a result of the efforts of Homeland Security to silence his speech.” An end note reiterated, “Submitted directly to Axis of Logic by Amer Jubran, writing from Amman, Jordan.

Still, in Boston Jubran’s site on April 8 announced an “emergency protest in support of the Iraqi uprising” at 5 p.m. in Copley Square. Almost pointedly, its main page prominently featured an announcement of the previous MIT event held on March 27 and 28. For two full days speakers challenged “the Zionist agenda” with jihad topics like

the Right to Resist; the Right to Return; the illegitimacy of the State of Israel and the need for a single, unified, democratic Palestine; the U.S. role in the Conflict; Palestine and the anti-war movement; and repression in the U.S. against activists.

The notice said,

Confirmed speakers include;

Dr. Samia Halaby — “Women in the Palestinian Struggle”
Dr. Jess Ghannam, ADC-SF — “Peace Negotiations and Land Dispossession”
Saja Raouf, Iraqi Law Student — “Iraq and Palestine: What is the link?”
Amer Jubran — “Resistance and the Strategy for Liberation”

But Jubran is supposedly in Amman, Jordan. Or is he? If the U.S. government knows, it isn’t saying.

[1] Margot Dudkevitch, “Female would-be suicide bomber indicted,” Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2002.

[2] Josh Gerstein, “Jordanian Praises ‘Resistance’ in Iraq,” New York Sun, Oct. 27, 2003.

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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is the former Managing Editor at the Leeb Group (2012-2017); a former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); and a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991). She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977). During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others. She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects. Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel's Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales' award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine. Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

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