NJ’s ICE spokesman wrote for anti-Muslim hate groups, report says
NEWARK — The spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New Jersey was an editor an anti-Musllm publication, according to a Star Ledger editorial.
The newspaper wrote it found that Emilio Dabul was an editor for the group ACT For America, a group considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
According to the SPLC, ACT is a Delaware-based group that has "has stayed true to its mission by working to advance anti-Muslim legislation at the local and federal level while flooding the American public with hate speech demonizing Muslims."
Dabul also wrote an article for FrontPage defending Steven Emerson, who in the past called Birmingham, England a "totally Muslim" city — a statement for which Fox News later apologized. Emerson also accused former Gov. Chris Christie of "having a strange relationship with radical Islam" after he nominated Sohail Mohammed for a superior court position in 2011. Christie said criticism of his nominee's religious background was "unnecessary."
Dabul is also seen praising Emerson in the video above, published by the Endowment for Middle East Truth think-tank.
The Star-Ledger editorial notes that in the video, Dabul describes some of his grandparents as Syrian Muslims, and calls himself an Arab-American. "But it's hard to believe his romance with the haters was all an innocent mistake," the paper wrote.
Dabul deferred his response to a statement issued by ICE about the editorial.
"As ICE employees and their families face ongoing threats to their safety, it’s unacceptable that the Star-Ledger editorial board has now resorted to politically-motivated personal attacks against an agency public servant. Mr. Dabul, who as a private citizen previously wrote pieces focused on anti-extremism and counterterrorism, now works to provide the media and the public with important facts about ICE operations. The Star-Ledger would better serve the public discourse by focusing on the key facts in the immigration debate rather than reckless hit pieces," spokeswoman Liz Johnson wrote.
Citing a Politico report, Johnson said the SPLC is facing "growing criticism for its labeling practices."
James Sues, executive director of CAIR-NJ, called for Dabul's immediate dismissal.
“It is unacceptable for someone with ties to known Islamophobes and anti-Muslim hate groups to speak on behalf of a government agency such as ICE,” said “We call for Emilio Karim Dabul’s immediate dismissal and will consider his continued employment as ICE’s acceptance of Islamophobia," Sues said in a statement.