Joe Kaufman, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative (www.kaufmansecurity.org) and the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
On January 17th, Yousuf Deedat, son of anti-Christian Muslim missionary Ahmed Deedat, died as a result of a gunshot wound he received to his head two days prior and perpetrated by an (as of now) unidentified assailant. Yousuf, a community activist, was known to be controversial, as he openly bragged about his and his father’s friendship with Osama bin Laden and became infamous for his printing and distribution of flyers taunting Jews using vile headlines along with images of Adolf Hitler. It seems all of this was ignored, when CAIR leader Hassan Shibly posted, on his social media, words venerating the newly deceased radical and bigot, Yousuf.
Hassan Shibly is the Executive Director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization with financial and foundational ties to Hamas. In August 2014, Shibly tweeted that “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God.” In April 2017, Shibly promoted a video lauding convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a “hero.” In November 2006, Shibly described Hezbollah as “basically a resistance movement.” This past May, he met at his Tampa CAIR headquarters with convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Hatem Naji Fariz. Shibly, himself, has spent years on the US government’s terrorist watch list.
On the day of Yousuf Deedat’s death, Shibly (re)posted the following message onto his Facebook page: “Yusuf Deedat, son of Ahmed Deedat, just succumbed to his wounds and passed away… May Allah grant Yusuf Deedat the status of a shahid, and forgive his sins and exalt his ranks, and give sabr to his family!”
The sins of which that were mentioned in Shibly’s post are significant.
Following his father’s death, Yousuf became head of the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI), the group established by his father in March 1957. The building housing IPCI was initially named the Bin Laden Centre, as the money for its construction was provided mainly by the family of Osama bin Laden. Yousuf made trips to Saudi Arabia to meet with bin Laden and spoke openly and proudly about his and his father’s association with the al-Qaeda leader, whom Yousuf has claimed was “innocent.” In 1988, Yousuf received a check from bin Laden for $1.1 million. After the 9/11 attacks, the name of the center brought unwanted attention and was quickly changed.
In September 2001, Yousuf printed 20,000 copies of an anti-Semitic flyer containing an image of Adolf Hitler and distributed them at the World Conference against Racism 2001, held in Durban, South Africa. Yousuf’s Hitler flyers asked the question, “What if I had won?” The answer below read, “There would be no Israel and no Palestinian bloodshed.” The message played well with the attending crowd, as the conference, which was boycotted by the United States and Israel, turned out to be an all-out hate fest against the Jewish community. The Jewish delegates to the conference were reported to have been infuriated by the flyers.
In 2012, following a drawn-out court case, the trustees of IPCI forced Yousef to leave the organization. Yousef was no stranger to courtroom appearances. Last month, when he was fatally shot, it was while walking to court with his wife. As well, in 2015, IPCI Director Mehood Amra took Yousuf to court for what he described as “threats and harassing acts” coming from the Deedat son. According to a report, “[P]amphlets and posters bearing Amra’s name and an image of Bin Laden on the other side were distributed in various parts of Durban.” A photo showing Yousuf holding up the bin Laden pamphlets is found in the report. Yousuf called it “free speech.”
In April 2016, parents of pupils attending a Durban North high school became outraged, when they found out that Yousef, along with two “Saudi businessmen,” handed out extremist materials while speaking to members of the school’s Muslim Students Association. Deedat, who was accused of ISIS recruitment, gave kids copies of Louis Farrakhan DVDs, the covers of which contained statements of a violent and bigoted nature and targeting the US and Israel. They included: “If being accepted by white people means more to you, then die”; “blood must flow to be free”; “loss of life has to take place”; and “America is living on borrowed time.” School official Grant Smith referred to it as “inflammatory and racist propaganda material of a religious nature.”
Hassan Shibly’s post about Yousuf Deedat’s death was originally made by popular Muslim lecturer Yasir Qadhi. Qadhi, who has defended the Taliban and befriended al-Qaeda fundraiser Babar Ahmad, previously had his own bout with anti-Semitism. In 2001, during one of his Islamic tafsirs (explanations), Qadhi delivered a viciously anti-Semitic rant. He stated, “As for 80 to 90 percent of the Jews in our times, they are Ashkenazis, i.e. Khazars, i.e. Russians… Look at them – white, crooked nose, blonde hairs… These are not a Semitic people… They don’t look like Semites, and they are not Semites.” Qadhi then told his audience to read more about it in a book called Hoax of the Holocaust. He called it “a very good book.”
Shibly and Qadhi’s laudatory and fawning tribute of Hitler fan and bin Laden associate Yousuf Deedat is proof of where their true loyalties lie and must be condemned in the strongest of terms. Asking for a dangerous bigot like Deedat to be “exalted” and provided a lofty status, instead of issuing a statement of denouncement against him, is irresponsible and reprehensible. However, given the extreme backgrounds of Shibly and Qadhi, themselves – without excusing their immoral deed – it is expected that they would act in such a manner.
Their articulated sorrow at Yousuf Deedat’s passing, much like bin Laden’s own support for Deedat, should be looked upon as being no more than two individuals with sinister Islamist intentions standing by one of their own.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.