More Fallout for Islamist Dumped from Anti-Crime Boards?
Muslim Federation removes Sofian Zakkout’s group AMANA from its list of members.
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).
When it rains, it pours. For South Florida Muslim leader Sofian Zakkout, it is pouring, and he knows it. After this author exposed him for his veneration of deceased al-Qaeda and Hamas founders and operatives, his praise of white supremacist leader David Duke, his repeated slurs against Jews, and his promotion of Holocaust denial, he was removed from the boards of two prominent anti-crime organizations. Now, it appears that Zakkout’s own Muslim community has turned on him, as the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF) has removed his group, AMANA, from its long list of members. Zakkout has only himself to blame.
The South Florida Muslim Federation or SoFlo Muslims is an umbrella organization for the vast majority of radical Muslim institutions located in South Florida. The group is led by Nezar Hamze, a former representative for the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). On the ‘About’ page of the SFMF website, under the heading ‘South Florida Muslim Federation Member Organizations,’ the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA) is no longer listed. It was there, in at least this past March. Why is the group missing from the list?
It may have to do with the fact that AMANA’s President, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, was recently thrown off the boards of directors of two prominent anti-crime organizations, Crime Stoppers and Citizens’ Crime Watch. The removals took place, after this author publicly exposed information regarding Zakkout’s Islamic extremism and bigotry against Jews.
Zakkout has memorialized dead terrorist icons from al-Qaeda and Hamas. In March 2016, Zakkout posted onto his Facebook page a graphic containing the images of several deceased terrorist leaders. They included Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarzawi, Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, and Hamas bomb maker Yahya Ayyash. In August 2014, Zakkout declared, “Hamas is in my heart and on my head.”
Zakkout has organized pro-Hamas rallies. In July 2014, Zakkout led a pro-Hamas rally outside the Israeli Consulate in downtown Miami, where he is shown on video from the rally smiling, as the crowd repeatedly shouts, “We are Hamas.” Above photos from the event, Zakkout wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” In April 2019, Zakkout tweeted that “Israel doesn’t exist.”
Zakkout has been a leader in a Hamas-related charity. In August 2000, Zakkout became the Vice President of the now-defunct Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP). At the time, the Secretary and Treasurer of HRCP was Syed Khawer Ahmad, a then-web developer for Hamas, who had designed and maintained the first website for the Islamic Association, al-Jamia al-Islamiya, the Gaza-based parent organization of Hamas.
Zakkout has threatened his fellow Muslims with death. In February 2015, over a graphic of deceased Hamas founders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, he wrote, “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.”
Zakkout has promoted Holocaust denial. In February 2016, Zakkout circulated a report claiming that “the Holocaust was faked.” It 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.” It was produced by The Realist Report, an anti-Jew, anti-black, anti-gay independent media outlet, which describes Hitler as “the greatest leader in modern Western history.” Zakkout posted the following about the report: “100% pure, unadulterated truth… Hard to argue with this. After all, you can’t deny something if it never happened, can you?”
Zakkout has frequently referred to Jews as “monkeys and pigs.” In November 2017, he posted a video onto social media with a message in Arabic saying, “Spread the video to beat the fucking Jews.”
Zakkout has praised white supremacist leader and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. In February 2016, Zakkout wrote of Duke, “I respect him for his honesty!” In October 2015, Zakkout referred to Duke as “David Duke, a man to believe in.” In July 2010, Zakkout’s organization, AMANA, was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for posting what the ADL called a “venomous” anti-Semitic video, featuring Duke, on AMANA’s official website. AMANA’s site, as well, has labeled Jews and Christians the “enemies of Allah.”
What is interesting is that the Public Relations Director of SFMF, Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, has been heavily involved with AMANA. Ruiz, who is also the Communications Director for CAIR-Florida, founded the Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters of AMANA; was the Executive Director of AMANA’s sister organization, American Muslims for Emergency Relief (AMER); and, according to his bio, is currently AMANA’s legal advisor. In fact, Ruiz was with AMANA, when the ADL condemned the group. Ruiz affectionately refers to AMANA’s Zakkout as “my dear brother Sofian Zakkout” and has said about AMANA, “AMANA is without doubt the best Dawah [Islamic outreach] and Quran source in America.”
The damning posts made by Zakkout on his Facebook page are no longer public and may very well have been deleted, though screenshots of them have been preserved by this author. Atop Zakkout’s Facebook presently reads the following, “IF YOU CONTROL YOUR ANGER EVEN A SECOND, YOU MAY SAVE YOURSELF YEARS OF REGRET!” It is signed, “SOFIAN.” Of course, if Zakkout had heeded his own advice, he and his organization may not be in the predicament they find themselves in today.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.