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Rasoul Remains Silent About Shadowy Out-Of-State Money

Del. Salam Rasoul (D), who goes by the anglicized nickname “Sam,” represents most of Roanoke City in District 38 in the House of Delegates. From his charming smile to his campaign slogans “TRUTH/LOVE/GRIT,” his political persona is one of friendliness, honesty, and compassion.

His website touts a belief in “People-first Politics.” Some of his social media profiles claim he’s “shining a light in dark places,” giving the impression he’s a force for transparency fighting murky political malignancies. However, an examination of Rasoul’s own political donation receipts reveals a somewhat darker underside.

For example, the non-partisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) reports here that California resident Sara (aka Sarah) Deen contributed $2,000 in 2023 to “Rasoul for Delegate.” Deen is a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School Board.

It’s unclear why a school board member 2,500 miles and three time zones away from Roanoke would be contributing to a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, or if Deen and Rasoul even know each other. The Roanoke Star has reached out to Del. Rasoul twice asking if he has any statement about the contribution, but none has been received.

Deen is profiled on this Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) site, the fourth individual listed from the top.

Deen reportedly attended the September 2023 CAIR Gala in Anaheim, second from right in photo below. According to a source in California, the CAIR Los Angeles Director, Hussam Ayloush, is the tallest man in the middle.

Sara Deen (second from right, in dark dress) with Hussam Ayloush (tallest, in middle) at CAIR Gala, Sept. 2023, Anaheim, CA

CAIR itself has long stirred controversy. Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director for the Coalition for Jewish Values, wrote a January 2022 opinion piece in Newsweek, claiming, “CAIR not only inspires terrorists. It’s historically linked to them.”

Menken concludes his commentary with, “Now that CAIR has targeted Jews in such an open and egregious manner, […] CAIR has unmasked itself as the virulent hate group that it has always been. Americans must oppose CAIR and the antisemitism that it foments and disseminates.”

As reported by the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), Hussam Ayloush (in photo with Deen above) in November 2018 called for the nation of Israel to be “terminated” and branded Israelis as “zionazis.”

JNS explains such language is “also anti-Semitic, according to the U.S. State Department’s definition established in 2010. Demonizing Israel by ‘[d]rawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis’ and ‘denying Israel the right to exist’ are among the behaviors which constitute anti-Semitism.”

In addition to her gift to Rasoul, Deen has a history of donating to far-left causes like ActBlue and the California Democrat Party, as evidenced on this Federal Election Commission (FEC) website. As a native of the Golden State, Deen understandably donates to some California leftists, but also to members of the so-called “Squad,” some House of Representatives members from Michigan and Minnesota on the extreme fringes of the Democrat Party.

Notably, under “Employer,” Deen often cites “Not Employed,” but it’s unclear how an unemployed person can make repeated political donations in the thousands of dollars, especially in a high-cost state like California.

To Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), Deen gave $1,000 on June 12, 2021; $2,800 on June 26, 2020; and $2,800 on June 5, 2019. That totals $6,600.

To Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) Deen gave $2,800 on July 25, 2020; $2,400 on March 29, 2019; and $500 on August 6, 2018. That totals $5,700.

Tlaib made notoriety when, in January 2019, hours after being sworn in as one of the first two Muslim female members of Congress (alongside Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar) and the first Palestinian-American in Congress, Tlaib vulgarly announced her plans to take down Pres. Trump: “Impeach the mother[expletive].”

Omar triggered national outrage when, speaking at a CAIR event in California on March 23, 2019, she described the 9/11 terror attacks as “some people did something.” Many interpreted that as Omar seeking to soft-pedal the horrific attacks that killed almost 3,000 people after suicidal terrorists hijacked four civilian airliners and flew them into buildings or ditched one into the ground.

Although The Roanoke Star columnist Serwan Zangana is Muslim, he calls out Rep. Omar for being out of line and dishonest. In this column he calls out Rep. Tlaib for not representing America and here for dishonoring American police officers. In this column Zangana blasts Rasoul’s extreme votes in the General Assembly claiming they betray “Faith Values and Roanoke Parents.”

Rasoul’s receipt of $2,000 from Deen in California is not his only shadowy out-of-state political contribution. In fact, it appears almost as chump change compared to the nearly $75,000 a pharmacist in Florida donated in early 2021 to Rasoul’s failed bid for Lt. Governor (source). For context, $75,000 is so huge, it’s about 50% higher than the median household income of $51,523 in Roanoke City, per the US Census Bureau.

Then as now, Rasoul has not responded to Roanoke Star requests for comments about such out-of-state gifts.

On his campaign website, Rasoul claims support for “local journalism,” and he recently posted on Twitter/X his support for some Roanoke Times workers protesting bad job conditions. However, it’s unclear why Rasoul consistently does not respond to requests for information from The Roanoke Star. Unlike The Roanoke Times, which is owned by a corporation in Iowa, The Roanoke Star is actually local journalism, owned and operated in western Virginia.

Moreover, Rasoul is still refusing to remove his October 17, 2023 tweet on Twitter/X, now almost six months old, blaming Israel for a missile strike on a hospital in Gaza, a claim that has been thoroughly debunked and discussed here.

The 2024 Virginia General Assembly is now out of session and Rasoul will face re-election for a new two-year term in autumn 2025.

–Scott Dreyer

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