Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout is a Sunni Muslim leader located in South Florida, who has ties to two dozen mosques stretching from Palm Beach County down to Miami-Dade. Because of his important status, the news media, at times, looks to him for quotes regarding events and issues affecting Muslims. One moment, he will tell them that he is a man of peace and against the radicals in his community. The next, he will disseminate material praising brutal terrorist murders and propagating vitriolic hatred of Jews.
“We are not allowed as Muslims to kill women, to kill civilians, to kill children.” These were the words of South Florida Islamic leader Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, as he spoke to reporter Amy Viteri of Miami´s WPLG Local 10 News, who interviewed him for a piece that aired about the Paris, France attacks.
Zakkout continued, “If we don´t stand against them, it can happen here. It can happen in our streets. It could happen in Miami Beach.”
Just hours prior to him posting this video to his Facebook page, on November 14th, Zakkout posted another video – a horrific one glorifying the knife attacks perpetrated by Palestinian youth against Israeli civilians. The video contains gruesome depictions of stabbings and praises those who employ knives in carrying out such violence.
It is not out of the ordinary for Zakkout to post such things on Facebook. Zakkout regularly posts images and videos from terrorist organizations, especially Hamas, which he has said “is in my heart and on my head.”
Last February, over a graphic of deceased Hamas founders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, Zakkout wrote the following violent threat 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.”
When Zakkout stated to the Channel 10 reporter “It could happen in Miami Beach,” Zakkout knew for a fact that was the case, because he had already brought terror to Miami Beach.
In July 2014, Zakkout organized a pro-Hamas rally held outside the Israeli Consulate in Miami. During the rally, Zakkout is shown on video smiling, as the crowd repeatedly screams, “We are Hamas.” Other chants from the rally, included “Hamas kicked your ass,” “Let’s go Hamas,” and “We are jihad.”
Following the rally, Zakkout wrote the following in Arabic, 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.”
Zakkout’s hatred of Jews has been evident for many years. In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Zakkout and the group he directs, the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), for featuring what it called a “venomous” anti-Semitic and anti-Israel video on the AMANA website. The video was produced by and featured white supremacist leader David Duke. Zakkout has since posted a number of Duke videos on social media and has praised Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, as “a man to believe in!”
On November 18th, days after he posted the WPLG spot, Zakkout posted another venomous anti-Semitic video making the absurd claim that Jews collaborated with Hitler to create the state of Israel and that the term “Nazi,” which is short for Nationalsozialistische, was actually a merger of Hitler’s National Socialist Party (“Na”) with the Zionist Party (“zi”). The video, titled ‘Secret agreement between Nazis and Zionists revealed,’ states, “Our popular mythology is that the terrible Nazis were attacking the Jews…” It also states that some Jews wished to erect a “statue to Adolph Hitler in Israel, because he created the state of Israel, which is actually the truth.”
There is ample evidence to show that Sofian Abdelziz Zakkout is a supporter of violence, such as knife attacks against civilians; of terrorist organizations, such as Hamas; and of bigotry, such as Holocaust denial videos and anti-Semitic works from white supremacist David Duke.
Because this is the case, news organizations should steer clear of having anything to do with Zakkout. They should not interview him, and they should not use him as a source for information.
Really, the only thing that news organizations should do with Zakkout is expose him for the violence, terror and bigotry which he represents.
If you wish to contact reporter Amy Viteri and WPLG Local 10 News, you can do so by calling 954-364-2500 or sending emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please be respectful in any and all communications with this individual and organization.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.