Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, the Director of the Miami, Florida-based American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), is advertising on social media a report claiming that the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s was fabricated. This is just one example of many of how Zakkout has belittled and maligned members of the Jewish community and others with the most grotesque manifestations of bigotry – and that’s just in this past month!
On February 14th, Zakkout took to Facebook to promote a report questioning the validity of the Holocaust, entitled, ‘How the Holocaust was faked.’ The piece, which includes gruesome photos of dead bodies piled upon one another, begins, “The alleged ‘Holocaust’ of ‘6 million Jews’ at the hands of Adolf Hitler and National Socialist Germany during WWII is the biggest lie ever foisted upon humanity.”
The piece was produced by The Realist Report, a white supremacist outfit located on the outskirts of San Diego, California that regularly targets Jews, blacks and homosexuals. On the group’s website, its viewers are commanded to: “Fight White Genocide. Rise up against the destruction of your race!” while an accompanying video’s narrator ominously states, “We are told to accept our inevitable brown future.”
In April 2013, The Realist Report devoted an entire page on its website to offer birthday wishes to Adolf Hitler. The page states, “Happy Birthday, Adolf Hitler. You were and remain the greatest leader in modern Western history, and offer unparalleled inspiration and guidance to us all. God bless you, and may you forever rest in peace. Heil Hitler!”
Zakkout’s embrace of material from white supremacists is nothing new. In the recent past, he has shared information on his Facebook page from Hitler devotees, and he has a long history of support for former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Indeed, on February 26th, Zakkout wrote of Duke, “I respect him for his honesty!” Zakkout wrote this for a vile anti-Semitic Duke diatribe claiming to expose Jews “who orchestrate the destruction of European mankind.” Previously, in October 2015, Zakkout praised Duke, referring to him as “David Duke, a man to believe in!”
Zakkout’s promotion of Nazism and white supremacists is only eclipsed by his support for the terrorist organization Hamas.
On February 15th, Zakkout posted onto his Facebook site a video of Abdul Hakim Hanine, one of the founders of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas. Zakkout described him as “courageous” and a “hero.” On February 17th, he posted onto his Facebook site a video honoring a number of members of al-Qassam Brigades. In the images, the terrorists are depicted wearing their Hamas insignias and brandishing rifles and rocket launchers.
Zakkout has been up front in his feelings towards Hamas and violent Hamas doctrine. In August 2015, he stated in Arabic, “Hamas is in my heart and on my head.” In February 2015, over a graphic of now-deceased Hamas founders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, Zakkout wrote in Arabic, “It is an obligation to kill those who left our religion. It is an obligation to kill those who fight our religion and to intimidate our enemies and the enemies of the religion. Everything is from the Quran, not from me.” And he signed it, “Sofian.”
In July 2014, Zakkout organized a pro-Hamas rally held outside the Israeli Consulate in downtown Miami. On video, Zakkout is shown smiling, as event goers repeatedly scream, “We are Hamas.” Following the rally, Zakkout wrote the following in Arabic on Facebook, above photos from the event: “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” He signed it “Br. Sofian Zakkout.”
As many in Hamas have done before, Zakkout repeatedly refers to Jews as “monkeys and pigs.” In December 2015, Zakkout posted a photo of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who is a decorated veteran of many different wars and battles fought by Israel the last three-plus decades. Above the picture of Eizenkot, Zakkout wrote in Arabic, “You’re a Jew, the grandson of a monkey and a pig.” He signed it “Sofian.”
Sofian Zakkout’s enmity for Jews has given him the opportunity to embrace two vastly different streams of Jew-hatred, one of the streams being Nazism and the other being Islamism.
It has allowed him to use Hamas rhetoric, like labeling Jews “pigs and monkeys” and discussing the “conquering” of Jews, as he did following his pro-Hamas rally. It has allowed him to shower praise on white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. It has allowed him to collaborate with supporters of Hitler. And it has allowed him to propagate material saying that the Holocaust was “faked.”
Sofian Zakkout is a raving anti-Semite and inciting hatemonger, and the fact that he is a recognized and respected official both within and outside the Muslim community – he sits on the boards of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers and Miami-Dade Citizens’ Crime Watch – is extremely disturbing. His violent and bigoted statements make him a potential danger to the community, especially the local Jewish community.
There is no justifiable reason for Zakkout’s continued presence in the United States. He has been an unremitting voice for terror groups, like Hamas, and individuals and organizations which sow hatred and intolerance.
Sofian Zakkout came to the US as an immigrant, and the US government should turn him around so that he can leave the way he came in.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.