Joe Kaufman, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative and the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
Nabil el-Shukri, the younger brother of deceased al-Qaeda senior commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah (Shukri Jumah), has announced his departure from the Muslim school he had been employed with since 2008. Prior to leaving, though, he took the opportunity to teach a class to his students about the steps they needed to take in order to be able to reach Paradise. To provide such a lecture, he used as examples discussions about jihad, blacks, Jews and homosexuals, subject matter that would probably be considered inappropriate for any elementary school class. Is this brand of Islamic fundamentalism from el-Shukri evidence of something much worse to come?
El-Shukri arrived in Miramar, Florida with his parents and siblings, at the beginning of 1996, following the sentencing of the terrorists who participated in the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. El-Shukri’s late father, Gulshair, had been involved with the main mosque associated in the bombing, Brooklyn, New York’s Masjid Al-Farooq, and had ties to the explosives supplier for the attackers, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, and the spiritual leader of the attack, ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who Gulshair was a translator for.
In May 2001, el-Shukri’s brother, Adnan, disappeared from the United States. After the September 11 attacks, a number of al-Qaeda terrorists in US custody, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, identified Adnan as a key al-Qaeda operative. Years later, as head of al-Qaeda’s external operations, Adnan would be in charge of the September 2009 plot to conduct multiple suicide bombings in the New York City subway system. In December 2014, Adnan was killed during a pre-dawn raid conducted by the Pakistani military in South Waziristan.
In the midst of the worldwide lookout for his brother, el-Shukri began to exhibit his own radical behavior. On his MySpace page, which is now restricted from view, one could previously witness a graphic containing the black flag commonly used by al-Qaeda and a poster of a Hamas militant wielding a rifle on a horse watching Jerusalem burn in the distance, with the threatening caption (in Arabic), “Oh Jerusalem, we are coming.” The page was named for el-Shukri’s then-graphic design and printing company, Onsite Designs and Signs.
El-Shukri’s sign company was dissolved in September 2008, the same month he was hired by the Alazhar School, located in Tamarac, Florida, as its Finance Manager. While employed at Alazhar, he has acted as the school’s administrator and a teacher.
In June 2011, Al-Hikmat TV, the production network of Pembroke Pines, Florida’s Darul Uloom Institute, posted onto YouTube an interview the network did with el-Shukri, introducing him as “the administrator of the Alazhar Islamic School.” It is of interest, as el-Shukri’s father, Gulshair, was a religious instructor at Darul Uloom and el-Shukri’s brother, Adnan, was a prayer leader there. Indeed, many al-Qaeda operatives, including ‘Dirty Bomber’ Jose Padilla walked through Darul Uloom’s doors.
This past December, el-Shukri taught a class at Alazhar on how to get into Jannah or Paradise, the Islamic view of the reward one can attain after one’s life on Earth has ended. He stated that it was a Muslim’s mission “to go to Jannah and take everybody with you.”
The class was a highly controversial one. El-Shukri acknowledged that, himself, when he began the class, stating, “This is the most important class, okay? Now, I want everybody to pay attention, ’cause I’m gonna say a lot of shocking things maybe your parents are not gonna like. I’m gonna speak the reality, the truth.” He told the students, “Your life is a lie.”
During the class, el-Shukri used a number of examples to enhance his teaching. One of the subjects he brought up was jihad or fighting for the sake of Allah. He stated to the class, “Let’s talk about jihad. Let’s leave it in the open. What is jihad? Jihad is this: I want to feed everybody, but you’re coming to kill me, telling me not to… I’m trying to feed the people on the street, and you’re coming to kill me. What are you supposed to do? Defend yourself? Is there something wrong with that? That’s what jihad is. What’s the problem?!”
One subject dealt with girls introducing their parents to their future black husbands, something that el-Shukri seemed to think would be considered totally unacceptable. He asked the following, “Who is in here – You’re from Desi [South Asian] family – There’s Arabs here and stuff, right? This is the honest truth. That’s why I told you there’s no filter. If a black guy coming to marry you, they gonna say yes or no?” After a student said, “Yes,” el-Shukri retorted emphatically with a mischievous grin, “Don’t lie.”
El-Shukri later made an example of the Jews. He stated, “[Y]ou’re not going to go to Jannah, because you’re a Muslim. You’re not special. The only advantage you have, you know, is the Quran, and, you know, you heard it’s the truth, blah, blah… Who cares, if you’re a Muslim or not?… You’re in a race, and you’re just standing there in the race, and you’re like, ‘Oh dude, I know that owner, so I won’… That’s the claim the Jews make, ‘We’re the Chosen People.’ But dude, you’re killing people, and then going to Jannah? How’s that work for you? Actually, none are involved, because they’re not Chosen.”
El-Shukri, as well, brought up homosexuals. He stated that if you have a gay friend, “pick them up, go to the movies with them, talk to them,” and when you go to pray, tell them, “Oh, you’re gay. That’s not right. God doesn’t want you to do this. This will lead you to hell fire.”
After the class was over, some kids stayed to chat with el-Shukri. He said to one of the students, “You think I’m crazy? It’s okay, the Quran says I’m not.” One girl said to him, presumably referring to what was discussed during the class, “By the way, today was so intolerant.”
The Alazhar School only goes up to Eighth Grade, so most probably el-Shukri was not lecturing those past their early teen years, which is what the kids appeared to be on video from the class. And whether he had good intentions in bringing up the issues he did or not, this was inappropriate subject matter for an elementary school and an obvious crime of moral turpitude.
Last month, el-Shukri posted a video onto his Facebook page, titled in part, ‘Why I had to leave Alazhar School.’ He claimed that he is moving on, in order to focus his attention on a new project, a web application he developed called THE UMMAH PLATFORM, which will provide him the forum to disseminate his fundamentalist views to a larger audience. One hopes the real reason for his departure is not a prelude to something more sinister.
Given Nabil el-Shukri’s extremist history and given his level of fervency in his religious beliefs, his activities need to be carefully monitored. One day, el-Shukri could very well attempt to follow in his family’s footsteps, in order “to go to Jannah and take everybody with” him or galvanize others to do the same.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.