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).
Since resigning his position with the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for allegedly mentally/physically abusing his wife, Hassan Shibly has continued to exhibit his brand of extremism. Recently, Shibly took aim at George W. Bush, stating that the former US President would “likely” be tortured in Hell. Given the frightening accusations made against him by his then-wife and mother of his children and given his many links to terror, one would think Shibly would be wary about negatively (and dishonestly) portraying the actions of others, but do his fellow Islamists care? Will they continue to stand by him as scandals accumulate?
In December 2020, Shibly’s then-wife, Imane Sadrati, created a GoFundMe page with a video, on which she claimed that she suffered both emotional and physical abuse (“violent blows”) at the hands of Shibly. She said that the abuse began when she was pregnant with their first child but later would take place in front of their children. On a 911 call to police, which occurred days prior to the publishing of the GoFundMe page, Sadrati accused Shibly of threatening to kill her. According to court documents, during one purported incident, Shibly “twisted Sadrati’s arm, slapped her and shoved her against a wall.”
Other allegations have surfaced regarding Shibly, including that of ‘secret marriages’ (outside of his legal marriage to Sadrati) and sexual harassment of CAIR co-workers. One former CAIR colleague of Shibly’s, Samantha Bowden, who held the position of CAIR-Florida Communications Director, ‘loudly’ posted the following on her Facebook page: “HASSAN SHIBLY IS A PERVERT, ABUSER, AND MANIPULATOR, AND I STAND AS A WITNESS TO ALL OF THIS BEHAVIOR… HE’S A MONSTER & NEEDS TO BE ISOLATED FROM PUBLIC ACCESS TO PEOPLE.”
While Shibly denies the accusations made against him, there is no doubt that his actions and rhetoric, before and after the charges, have been substantially fanatical in nature.
For years, Shibly’s name has been found on the federal ‘terrorism watch list.’ In November 2006, Shibly described Hezbollah as “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization.” In August 2014, he tweeted “God as my witness, Israel & its supporters are enemies of God and humanity!” In April 2017, Shibly promoted a video on his Facebook page lauding jailed Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a “hero.” In February 2019, Shibly, acting as her attorney, attempted to get notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, who had previously threatened President Obama and Americans lives, to be admitted back into the US.
In May 2019, Shibly used CAIR’s Tampa office to meet with convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative Hatem Fariz. In November 2019, he described those involved with the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas fundraising charity as “leaders and pillars of their communities,” and in May 2021, he labeled them “humanitarian aid providers.” Also, in May 2021, he posted a viciously antisemitic video on Instagram, telling Israeli Jews to “go back to Europe.” And in October 2021, he spoke at a rally calling for female al-Qaeda operative Aafia Siddiqui, who was sentenced to 86 years behind bars for attempting to kill US military officers, to be freed from jail.
This past May, Shibly once again put his extremist nature on full display, when he attempted to dehumanize former President Bush, saying that the President was probably going to be sent to and tortured in Hell. Shibly wrote on Instagram, “Let’s not kid ourselves – Christians, Muslims and Jews: according to our scripture George Bush will likely receive exceptional torment in hellfire eternally for his illegal and brutal invasion of Iraq while his victims enjoy the fruits of paradise.”
Shibly then referred to Bush as a “wretched man” and “war criminal” and said that Bush’s “tongue could not help but testify against him,” a reference to the gaffe the President made, two days before, when he mistakenly uttered “Iraq” instead of “Ukraine” after discussing what he believed was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of” Ukraine. Shibly made no mention of the fact that Bush’s so-called victims, who he claims are “enjoying the fruits of paradise,” included tens of thousands of al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.
It has been a matter of debate whether or not the Iraq war was warranted, provided the fact that no substantial amount of WMD was ever found. It has as well been debated whether or not the deciding factor in launching the war was indeed WMD and not a quest for oil, as some conspiracy theorists have suggested. What has not been considered, though, except from that of Islamists like Shibly, was that there was any sign of evil intent – in going to war – on the part of President Bush. As has been widely reported, the Bush Administration (falsely) believed that Iraqis, happy with Saddam’s defeat, would greet US troops with flowers.
If anyone should receive punishment – now or in the hereafter – for his actions, it is Shibly. His support for and/or associations with those linked to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorists makes him blameworthy and culpable. And if what his wife says about him is true, he should be behind bars. President Bush, on the other hand, was the global leader in the ‘war on terrorism.’ No one accuses President Bush of standing with the terrorists or of terrorizing his wife. The same cannot be said of Shibly.
Yet, instead of being shunned for his lies, deceit and hypocrisy, Shibly has achieved celebrity status within the Muslim community. Even after his fall from CAIR, Muslim groups still want to hear him speak and still ask for his services in assisting with fundraising. This proves that his toxic legacy regarding his support for terrorism and alleged misogyny is considered acceptable within the Islamist circles he frequents. The question is how much longer Shibly can maintain his facade of “respectability,” before it crumbles under the weight of his own destructive actions.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.