South Florida Imam Council Embraces Member Linked to Terror and Anti-Semitism
Sports and smiles ignore Izhar Khan and MJAM’s bigotry targeting US and Jews.
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 Council of Imams held a meeting, last month, to discuss collaboration and coordination of events. According to the South Florida Muslim Federation (SoFlo Muslims), the group that directs the council, another aim for the ‘Team Event’ was “for the council members… to know each other better.” A couple of things that are already known about one of the imams, Izhar Khan, is that he was previously charged by the US Justice Department for helping to fund the Taliban, and the mosque that he leads pushes violent and bigoted ideologies. By ignoring these evils, the council and its members show that they too endorse and embrace them.
In May 2011, Khan was arrested and spent 20 months in a Miami federal detention center for his alleged participation in a scheme to ship $50 thousand to the Taliban for the purpose of murdering American troops overseas. 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 is imam of Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM), a Margate, Florida mosque that features on its website a library filled with texts promoting female genital mutilation, death punishments for homosexuals, stoning of women, and hatred of Jews, Christians and Hindus. One MJAM text, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, states, “[B]eware of the Jews, your enemies, lest they distort the truth for you in what they convey to you… [D]o not be deceived by them, for they are liars, treacherous and disbelievers… Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them.”
The June imams meeting was hosted by the Islamic Center of Greater Miami (ICGM), a radical mosque whose board member, Siddiq Khan, in August 2020, branded India Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “damn monkey,” and in December 2019, threatened, “India will be wiped out..." In December 2017, during ICGM’s ‘A Light for Humanity’ celebration, MJAM’s Izhar Khan was honored as he sat facing the congregation next to ICGM’s imams, Roshan Ali and Abdul Hamid Samra. Samra, like Izhar Khan, is a member of the Imams Council, and ICGM, like MJAM, is a member of the Muslim Federation (under the name Muslim Communities Association or MCA).
For Samra and his mosque to have embraced Izhar Khan is indeed a disgrace and a threat to the local community. However, the same can be said for every one of the imams and religious institutions involved in the Imams Council and, to a greater extent, the entire Muslim Federation, which encompasses the vast majority of Muslim organizations throughout South Florida. All of these groups and their representatives are knowingly harboring Izhar Khan and his mosque.
On the Federation’s website and social media, photos from the imams meeting, which was attended by Federation President Samir Kakli, depict Abdul Hamid Samra and the rest of the members with big smiles on their faces. There are images of them, along with Izhar Khan, playing ping pong and basketball. The messages of merriment and athletic contests are offensive, as they seem to veil and make light of the alleged terror-related actions of Khan and intense bigotry found on his mosque’s website.
Another group that seems to have no problem with Khan and MJAM is the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American arm of South Asian Islamist group, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and also a member of the Muslim Federation. The group promotes domestic violence against women via its Why Islam subsidiary, and it has harbored a former death squad leader, Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, for the past three decades. Lately, MJAM and ICNA have been partnering for events. Participating in the events have been ICNA national representative Abdul Rauf Khan and Yunus Ismail, both of whom sit on the Muslim Federation’s Executive Committee.
The Muslim Federation, the Council of Imams, ICNA and all the groups’ leadership and representatives need to be exposed for their harboring of a terror-related imam and bigotry-infested mosque. They wish for the imams and mosques to coordinate their efforts, and it seems that at least part of these efforts is the protection of Khan and the continuance of his Islamic center’s proliferation of hate. The probability, though, is that they are not only looking to protect Khan, but they are protecting themselves as well, as they buy into and spread the same fanatical ideology.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.