Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative. He was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
The South Florida Muslim Federation (SoFlo Muslims), an umbrella group for South Florida’s many radical Muslim institutions, includes a division made up of local imams called the Council of Imams. Within the Council is an individual, Izhar Khan, who was alleged by the FBI to have financed the Taliban and whose mosque promotes violent and bigoted materials attacking Jews and others, via its website. Last month, the Federation sponsored for the Council a “day of fun, food and good company.” Prominently participating was Imam Khan. Question: How do you celebrate fun, when one of your main participants is affiliated with terror and bigotry?
The “Imams’ Team Event,” as titled by the Muslim Federation, took place on March 27th. Hosting the affair was Nur-ul-Islam (NUI), a mosque with a history related to Hamas. A past member of NUI’s Islamic Affairs Council and ex-Vice President of the mosque’s children’s school, Nur-ul-Islam Academy (NUIA), Raed Awad, was the Florida representative for the Holy Land Foundation, a now-defunct Hamas financier. The homepage of NUIA’s website previously featured a link to islamway.com, which, according to the US Justice Department, “included pages devoted to violent jihad” and “a section urging Muslims to contribute money to Hamas.”
According to the Federation, the event “was organized to provide an opportunity to the council members to come together for a relaxed and informal day, get to know each other better and… show their sport skills.” One council member, Izhar Khan, is pictured in different event photos playing a spirited game of ping pong. Maybe of interest to his fellow members is that Khan is a sports enthusiast, including recently taking up wake boarding. In fact, he has organized his own basketball tournaments and push-up competitions, the latter of which he developed a knack for, while spending time in a federal detention center for allegedly helping to finance the Taliban.
On the morning of May 14, 2011, a team of federal agents and police descended upon Masjid Jamaat Al-Mu’mineen (MJAM), located in Margate, Florida, arresting its imam, Izhar Khan, and charging him with material support for terrorists. As stated in the indictment against him and his family: “Izhar is a Pakistani Taliban sympathizer who worked with [his father Hafiz] and others to collect and deliver money for the Pakistani Taliban… Izhar… provided and attempted to provide material support and resources… knowing and intending that they be used in preparation for and in carrying out… a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.”
Khan’s mosque was not part of the indictment, but there is no doubt that MJAM promotes the same type of extremist ideology as the Taliban. MJAM’s website contains a library of books dealing with such controversial subjects as: female circumcision (a.k.a. Female Genital Mutilation), partaking in jihad (holy war), punishing gays with death, killing Muslims who leave Islam, chopping off hands, setting people on fire, stoning women accused by their husbands of adultery, vilifying Christians and Hindus, and targeting Jews with violence. Muslims are warned by MJAM not to befriend Jews or Christians, referring to the two as “the enemies of Islam.”
Given all of this, why would any entity wish to be affiliated with this mosque or its imam? It is a perfectly legitimate question, yet MJAM is proudly displayed on the website of the Muslim Federation as being one of its member organizations, and as mentioned, Khan is a prominent figure in the Federation and an invited participant at Federation functions. It makes sense, though, when considering who is running the Federation.
The Executive Director of the Muslim Federation is Nezar Hamze. Prior to his involvement with the Federation, Hamze was a long-time leader and employee of the Florida chapter of CAIR, the Hamas-associated group. CAIR has both foundational and financial ties to Hamas, and CAIR-Florida has done little to distinguish itself from its parent organization. While Hamze was affiliated with CAIR, CAIR National was named a co-conspirator, during both federal trials prosecuting the Holy Land Foundation, and CAIR-Florida was a co-sponsor of a July 2014 pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where participants repeatedly chanted, “We are Hamas.”
The South Florida Muslim Federation is largely seen as a mainstream group, a notion driven mostly by a local media that has sought interviews and participation from the Federation and has had nothing negative to say about the organization. This, of course, is far from reality. In truth, the Muslim Federation is a sinister operation that poses a danger to both national security and society in general. From its membership to its leadership, the Federation cannot be seen as anything more than a radical Muslim establishment with extensive links to those who peddle violence and bigotry.