Killer of Arizona Imam Who Found Satanic Verses in the Koran Brought to Justice

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


It took 22 years, but Glen Francis, an African-American convert to Islam, was finally convicted of the 1990 murder of Arizona Imam Rashad Khalifa.

Khalifa’s body was found in the kitchen of an East Sixth Street mosque on Jan. 31, 1990. The imam had been stabbed 29 times, beaten and doused with a flammable solvent by a killer who turned on a gas stove’s burners in an apparent attempt to destroy the crime scene.

Attorneys for both sides agreed Khalifa, 54, was likely killed because of his religious teachings. After studying the Quran for years, he found a mathematical code and came to believe two verses were satanic. In his English translation of the Quran, he removed those verses. He also taught that people should follow the word of God and not that of human beings.

“His attacker was filled with anger and he was filled with rage and he was filled with the want and desire to kill,” McGinley said.

McGinley told jurors the evidence showed Francis moved to Tucson under an assumed name with the express desire to kill Khalifa. He rented an apartment, got a job and a driver’s license so he could easily join Khalifa’s congregation and get to know the layout of the mosque and Khalifa’s schedule.

Satanic verses is more than just the title of a Rushdie book, it’s an Islamic theological debate over which verses in the Koran were the product of Satanic suggestion to Mohammed. Khalifa had apparently determined that two other verses in the Koran were also the product of Satanic inspiration and was killed for it.

Khalifa had come to the United States from Egypt, and was a biochemist with a Sufi father. His version of Islam rejected the Hadiths and the Sunnah as fabrications. When he made his announcement about those two satanic verses, he received threats from all over the world.

The most serious of these threats was a Fatwa from the Islamic Legal Council of Saudi Arabia targeting both Salman Rushdie and Rashad Khalifa. Rushdie is still alive, after going underground, Rashad Khalifa chose to believe that he was a messenger of Allah sent to reform Islam, and refused to go underground or even lock his doors at night.

Glen Francis, using the names Benjamin Philips and J.Q. Walls, infiltrated the mosque, carried out the murder and then  escaped to Canada which imposed a sizable delay on the case, as Canada is often unwilling to extradite to countries which employ the death penalty. But Glen Francis was finally extradited, tried and convicted, but like all Muslim terrorists, he was only a weapon in the hands of Saudi Arabia, enforcing Islamic blasphemy law in the West.

  • Looking4Sanity

    "…and came to believe two verses were satanic."

    Word to the dead guy…it's ALL evil from front to back. Glad they caught his murderer though. This just goes to show that stepping onto the path of salvation can be a dangerous, even deadly, business.

  • Thomas Wells

    Ah, wouldn't this be a : "Hate Crime"? Or is that only for us infidels?

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      You're starting to sound like a racist by even asking the question.
      At least, that's what the activist muslims will try telling you.

      I would like them to answer the question though….

      • Thomas Wells

        So, only racists ask questions?

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          I have been called a racist for asking questions.

          • Thomas Wells

            Just asking.

          • Mostasteless

            Didn't know Muslim was a race, that's news to me vato..

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            I say the same thing when they throw that race card at me.

    • ebonystone

      I suppose that, to Moslems, the hate crime was that of the imam's, for altering "Allah's word". Francis was only administering justice.

  • Sunil

    Dr. Rashad Khalifa pointed out the greatest miracle of God to the world through computer. It's the first physical evidence which proves God's existence.
    He preached to worship God alone.

  • gallopers

    Many conflicting articles have been written about Dr. Rashad Khalifa. This is a very much expected matter for a man who has shaken the foundations of the corrupted religious establishments by his discoveries and his presentations of the Quranic truth. These corrupted establishments do not like it, and they are frightened by the growing awareness of their corruptions and deviation from the path of God and His words in the Quran. They recruited many puppets to spread false information and accusations in a desperate attempt to drown the truth. They created newsletters, web sites and lectures aiming at assaulting his character in an attempt to kill the message he presented to the seekers of the truth. The intelligent observer will also notice that many anti-Islamic groups have flooded the Internet with many web sites, publications and e-mails that attack the prophet Muhammed and assault his character in their desperate attempt to kill his message. They use lies and distortion of the truth to attack Muhammed and his message. Those attacking Dr. Khalifa are using the same technique, they may be a different group but has that same teacher, Satan.

  • gallopers

    Dr Khalifa was treated as a hero first by the same religious groups that attack him now, when he discovered the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran. He was later defamed, attacked, insulted then assassinated when he exposed and denounced the corruption that entered the great religion of Islam (Submission) and the corruption of the Muslim religious leaders

    As we know, there is a fast growing and persistent interest in Dr. Rashad Khalifa, and his work. Therefore, we decided to provide this information to the reader. We are hoping to correct the lies and misinformation that is propagated by the corrupted religious leaders and their puppets, blind followers and other anti-Islamic groups who love to see the greatness of Islam (Submission) distorted and misrepresented.
    We need however, to remind the reader that , it is not our intention to make of Dr Khalifa a focus of attention, as this is a character of those attacking him who made out of Muhammed or Jesus their focus of attention. Our focus should always be GOD ALONE and HIS message to us. Any attention paid to Dr. Khalifa should be directed to the issues he brought forward, stood and died for.

    This file was never meant to cover every aspect of the issues but many of them. We encourage the reader to look up every verse mentioned in this file and read it. If any of the material needs more clarification, check it in the English translation of the Quranof Dr. Khalifa or look it up on the

  • gallopers

    DR. RASHAD KHALIFA, THE MAN:

    DR. RASHAD KHALIFA was born in a religious family on November 19, 1935 in a small town in Egypt, Kafr El-Zayat. His father was a religious leader for a large Sufi group, made of thousands of followers. His father named the Sufi group after his son ,Rashad, when Rashad was still a child, Tariqat Ar-Rashad Al-Shathlya. It is interesting to know that it was the same Sufi group with their idolization of the Muslim Saints (Wali ), the prophet and his family, and their upholding of other books with the Quran that might have started Dr. Khalifa on the road to evaluate the TRUE WORSHIP of GOD ALONE.

    Dr. Khalifa finished his university education in Egypt, graduating with honor degree from Ain Shams University, College of Agriculture, before coming to the United states in 1959, where he continued his higher education. He received his Master Degree in Biochemistry from Arizona State University and his Ph.D. from University of California, Riverside. He held several jobs in the United States and in the Middle East. All his jobs were in his field of Biochemistry including his work as a senior advisor in Agriculture and Biochemistry for the United Nations.

    Early on, during his life in the USA he was active in the Muslim communities where he lived. He published few Islamic newsletters and publications. He was still attached to the teachings of Islam (Submission) as he learned it from his father as well as the Sufi teachings he was brought up with. He went back to Egypt to work for few years after finishing his PhD before settling in the USA with his wife and two children. He always maintained his Islamic religious activities and appreciated by many who got to know him closely and even adopted his name, e.g. Ahmad Rashad, the former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver/sportscaster.

    After many years in the USA and after reading different English translations of the Quran, he was not happy with any single one, specially that his mother tongue was Arabic, the original language of the Quran..All these translations had some violation of some of the basic teachings of the Quran. None of those who translated the Quran spoke Arabic as his mother tongue. Dr. Khalifa was also met with a challenge from his children, while studying Quran with them. They asked him about the meaning of the letters at the beginning of Sura 2 in the Quran, i.e., A,L, M. He did not have an immediate answer for them and did not find a good answer with all the Muslim scholars he asked. He started searching the Islamic text books and references, but he never was satisfied with any of the explanations. The closest explanation he could accept was that these letters represent the miracle of the Quran .

  • gallopers

    Since his job at that time required contact with the computer he was inspired into using the computer to study the Quran and its mysterious letters (initials) at the beginning of the chapters of the Quran. He decided to put all the Arabic Quran in the Computer and specifically study these initials.

    He also decided to begin his own translation of the Quran.With his mother tongue being Arabic, he began to translate the Arabic Quran into, the best available to date, English translation of the Quran. None of his predecessors, for whom he read translations, actually spoke the language of the Quran, i.e., Arabic.

    Dr. Khalifa's study of the Quran with the computer, the first of its kind then, resulted in the discovery of one of the greatest miracles of the Quran, as God described it in 74:35. This miracle is based on number 19, mentioned in sura 74. MATHEMATICAL MIRACLE OF THE QURAN.

    He published the results in several books, magazines and newspapers, and gave many lectures in many countries of the Muslim world. The Muslim scholars and governments cheered him and treated him like a hero and supported the new discoveries in the Quran.

    The momentous discovery that "19" is the common denominator of the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran became a reality in January, 1974. This was coinciding with Zul-Hijjah 1393 A.H. The Quran was revealed in 13 B.H. (Before Hijrah). This makes the number of years from the revelation of the Quran to the discovery of its miracle (in 1974), 1393+13=1406 years. It was more than interesting to notice that 1406 = 19 X 74. The only time number 19 was mentioned in the Quran is in sura 74. The correlation between 19X74 lunar years and 1974 solar years could not escape notice, especially with number 19 mentioned only in sura 74.

    Dr. Khalifa continued his service to the Muslim community and continued his Islamic studies. The Mathematical Miracle of the Quran provided a physical proof beyond doubt that the Quran is the word of God. MATHEMATICAL MIRACLE OF THE QURAN.

    Through his work, research and study, Dr. Khalifa re-confirmed what God has been saying about Quran:

    1.is complete, perfect and fully detailed, (see 6:19, 6:38, 6:114, 6:115; 50:45)
    2.is he ONLY acceptable Hadith, (see 7:185, 10:36, 31:6, 39:23, 45:6, 52:34, 68:44,77:50, 39:29…, etc.).
    3.Quran called on the Prophet Muhammed to deliver, preach, live and rule by the Quran ALONE, (see 5:48-50).

    • ebonystone

      Strange how the Koran code works only with the Christian calendar. But not with the equivalent year in the Hebrew calendar (5735), the Chinese calendar (4671), or the Roman calendar (2727). Is Allah trying to tell us something?

      By the by, which two additional verses of the Koran did Khalifa find Satanic?

      • Navid

        It is the christian calender because he was in the US and not Israel,China, or Rome. Yes, God is showing it in terms that are relevant to the majority of the world. Regardless of which calendar you use, EVERYBODY is aware of the Solar year or what you call "christian calendar".
        And they are the last 2 supposed verses of chapter 9.

  • gallopers

    With his clear understanding of the Quran and the fact that the hadith books are vastly corrupted, Dr. Khalifa delivered his brave and Quran-supported understanding to the Muslim community. He proclaimed that Quran is the ONLY acceptable law in this great religion. He also emphasized the fact that all the known hadiths books are corrupted beyond recognition and can only be used for its historical value and not for religious guidance or laws.

    Dr. Khalifa called on the Muslims to follow the Quran alone and to disregard all the fabrications and lies that filled the Hadith and Sunna books. Dr. Khalifa did not consider the angry reaction of the traditional Muslim scholars and their followers. Dr. Khalifa felt that the truth is more important than the fear of the people's reaction or its result. The Muslim scholars, shocked by his stand after they supported him and his Mathematical discoveries in the Quran, considered him a great risk for their traditional teachings. The risk was specially greater after he received a world wide recognition and support for his discoveries of the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran.

    When Dr. Khalifa's view about Quran alone was published, QURAN, HADITH AND ISLAM, a campaign of intimidation, insults, fabrications, and accusations of misconduct against him started. Many of the Muslim Scholars who cheered him for the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran tried to play down its significance even at the expense of the truth. Despite the fierce attacks by the traditionalists on his views that was totally and only Quranic, Dr. Khalifa refused to change his position. He was even offered a large sum of money by one of the Royal Governments in the Middle East to change his position but he refused. He believed that the truth cannot be bought by any sum of money and that the truth belongs only to God ALONE.

    During his life in serving the Muslim community, he published one of the best English translations of the Quran available to us today. He never forgot to acknowledge the help and contribution to his translation of some of his close friends and associates. Some of them are still active in preaching the same message of worshipping God alone and following the Quran alone. Even those who criticize his translation for some of its errors still admit to its clarity, simplicity and pure guidance.
    Dr. Khalifa called his translation of the Quran "Authorized English version." In doing so, he was clearly declaring his defiance to any man-made authority in giving the permission to translate the Quran, such as those called Islamic councils, committees, government agents or centers. Many of these places consider themselves as having a monopoly on giving the authorization to translate the Quran. Dr. Khalifa flatly rejected such man-made authorization and strongly believed that such authorization belongs only to the author of the Quran Himself, God.

    With this belief in his mind, he went ahead with his translation, seeking only the approval and acceptance of God ALONE and called it, "Authorized English Version"

  • JacksonPearson

    There isn't any doubt, or question that the Satanic Verses were quoted by Mohammad, and were inscribed in the Qur'an by Ishaq, Tabari, Bukhari and Muslim. Through the years, those verses have been diligently scrubbed out by Islamic scholars and sunnah writers claiming it never happened. Why?…Because they know, the Satanic Verses would completely destroy Islam as Allah's words, that supposedly came from heaven. If Satan had Mohammad's ear, then what other parts of the Qur'an are unholy?

    • WilliamJamesWard

      What parts? Well cover to cover should cover all of that inquiry………………..William

      • JacksonPearson

        Exactly.

  • Edward

    There is an error in the article. The 2 false verses were added after Muhammad's death. Muhammad did not put the 2 false verses in the Quran. Rashad did not claim that satan duped Muhammad into putting 2 false verses into the Quran. They were placed in the Quran by other people whom claimed to be muslims and whom idolized the prophet Muhammad.

  • Edward

    Not complaining. Just want to clarify.

  • YerushalaimShelanu!

    Today the Germans apologize for the Nazi crimes.

    Today the Spanish apologize for the Inquisition crimes.

    But today the ARABS not only don't apologize but ARE PROUD of the CRIMES OF ISLAM.

    ARABS must APOLOGIZE for the CRIMES OF ISLAM and return to the Jews STOLEN JEWISH HOLY SITES like Temple Mount and the Cave of The Patriarcs in Hebron.

    How DARE Muslims today not APOLOGIZE for the CRIMES of their ancestors?

    How dare they build mosques where the Jewish Patriarcs Abraham, Ytzaak and Yaakov are buried and today REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE their CRIME?

    MUSLIMS must APOLOGIZE for their ancestors actions and RETURN JEWISH HOLY SITES to the Jews!

  • Abdul

    Complete detail of the false verses: http://www.masjidtucson.org/quran/appendices/appe

  • Abdul

    FYI: The murderer is not African American; he was in this country illegally. He was born in Trinidad in the Caribbean.

  • Navid

    Relevant website: http://www.masjidtucson.org