With all of this talk about Jeb Bush running for president in 2016, his record of appeasement when it comes to Islamists in his state when he was Governor of Florida warrants closer inspection. That Presidential election year will mark the tenth anniversary of the forced resignation of O’Neal Dozier, a conservative Pastor whom Bush had put on the Judicial Nominating Committee in 2001.
In 2006, Dozier was fighting the construction of a mosque in the same neighborhood where his church stood. During a radio interview on the Steve Kane show, he made comments that were critical of Islam. Word got back to Bush, whose office then demanded Dozier’s resignation. The larger issue not addressed by the Florida Governor was the validity of Dozier’s concerns relative to who was behind construction of the mosque.
The following is an excerpt from Unsung Davids, which features a chapter on Dozier’s battle with the Republican Party in general and Jeb Bush in particular:
The reason for Dozier’s appearance on the (radio) show was to talk about the attempts of the Islamic Center of South Florida (ICOSF) to build a mosque near his church. As recently as 2009, ICOSF was listed as being owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which was identified in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document as being a member group… NAIT, along with the CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.
There was no investigation against NAIT. As Governor, Jeb Bush had the authority to recommend one. Instead, Dozier was forced to resign and the red flags raised by the mosque at the root of his concerns were ignored. Bush’s action against Dozier, coupled with his inaction against groups with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in America put him on the very wrong side of a very real struggle in the United States.
Just one year prior to Dozier being forced to resign, Bush was invited to CAIR’s annual banquet in Orlando, at which attendees were to be encouraged to contribute to the creation of a CAIR office in Orlando. Though Bush didn’t attend, his office sent a letter to CAIR, which he signed, that said in part:
“It is a great pleasure to extend greetings and best wishes to all attending the Florida Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) annual banquet… I commend your contributions to the protection of civil rights and freedom of religion… Once again, congratulations on your accomplishments and my warmest greetings and best wishes on your continuing success.”
CAIR has had great success since receipt of that letter and much of that success has come as a direct result of people like Jeb Bush pandering to them.
Dozier’s battle against a mosque in 2006 foreshadowed a similar battle over the Ground Zero mosque in New York City in 2010. The resulting backlash further validated Dozier’s concerns and should give people pause when considering Jeb Bush’s future as a presidential nominee.
Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the book, Unsung Davids, which features both a chapter on O’Neal Dozier and Walid Shoebat