Khalid Turaani was the executive director of the now-defunct American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ), an anti-Israel organization that was active between 1999 and 2005. Prior to joining AMJ, Turaani was a staff member of the American Muslim Council.
In August 1999, Turaani and AMJ led a coalition of American Muslim groups in calling for a worldwide boycott of Burger King, to punish the fast-food chain for having agreed to permit an Israeli franchisee to operate a food court in Ma’ale Adumim, which AMJ deemed an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The boycott was called off after three weeks, however, when Burger King agreed to cancel the franchisee’s right to run the business establishment in question. But in a July 2000 press conference, Turaani stated that the Ma’ale Adumim franchise was still in operation, and that AMJ was “renewing the boycott” because “we feel that Burger King has started to stonewall us.”
In October 1999, Turaani organized an AMJ demonstration protesting the official opening of Walt Disney World’s Millennium Village in Florida. Specifically, Turaani and his comrades objected to an exhibit that depicted Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, because they regarded the eastern section of that city as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Stationing themselves at the entrance of Walt Disney World, the demonstrators distributed leaflets condemning the exhibit. They also displayed large banners reading, “Disney & Israel: Partnership for Propaganda,” and “Israel: Exhibit of Falsehood.”
In February 2001, Turaani traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, to attend the so-called “Jerusalem Conference,” where representatives of the world’s most extreme Islamic terror groups held meetings aimed at: (a) setting aside their differences and uniting for jihad against Israel and the United States, and (b) setting a strategy to eventually secure total Arab control over Jerusalem. A second “Jerusalem Conference” was held in Tehran two months later. All told, the two events drew more than 400 extremists who together drafted a document that stated: “The only decisive option to achieve this strategy is the option of jihad in all its forms and resistance…. America today is a second Israel.” Among the key participants in these events were leaders of al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, as well as militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Qatar, Yemen, the Sudan, and Algeria.
In early 2003, Turaani, who had campaigned on behalf of then-presidential candidate George W. Bush three years earlier, founded an organization called Arab-American Republicans Against Bush (AARAB), to express his disapproval of the president’s handling of domestic and foreign-policy issues of import to Arabs and Muslims. “We were lied to, plain and simple,” said Turaani. “In 2000, Bush came to us with promises of inclusion, integrity and responsibility in policies of particular concern to Arab-Americans. Over the past two years, we’ve been treated to ethnic profiling, detention without trial, INS dragnets, the closing of our community institutions and a foreign policy that seems designed to keep America at perpetual war with the Arab world. Arab-Americans deserve better. All Americans deserve better.”
“In the name of democracy,” Turaani complained, “Bush waged a war of aggression that the majority of Americans did not support. In the name of security, he stripped us of our civil liberties and constitutional rights. He has made Americans less free, less safe and more resented around the world. America cannot afford to risk the damage he and his cronies could do with another four years in office. AARAB.org pledges to mobilize against Bush’s reelection on behalf of all Americans and in support of true American values.”
In August 2004, Turaani and AMJ spoke out in support of a hunger strike that was being conducted by Palestinian prisoners seeking to promote “awareness of the dire humanitarian condition[s]” they were forced to endure in Israeli jails. Turaani and AMJ also called on all Islamic places of worship to devote their weekly sermons to this matter, and urged Muslims everywhere to observe a day of fasting in solidarity with the hunger strikers.
In May/June 2010, Turaani, who was living in Dubai, participated in a Free Gaza Movement flotilla that aimed to break Israel’s “blockade” of the Gaza seaport. This flotilla included several dozen jihadis who famously refused to comply with Israeli shipping regulations, and thus it was raided by commandos who ultimately killed nine FGM activists.
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