Since Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan made his call for 10,000 of his followers to volunteer to murder white people, last month, it is important to expose those in positions of influence who champion him and other messengers of hate. One of these individuals is the Imam of the Boca Raton, Florida-based American Islamic Center of Florida, Mohamad al-Halabi, who recently went out of his way to publicly praise Farrakhan.
Farrakhan began his leadership within the Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1978 and took over the entire organization in 1981. In his 35-plus years with the group, he has become known for his fiery speeches targeting whites and Jews with extremely hateful rhetoric. He has referred to whites as “devils.” He has referred to Jews as the “Synagogue of Satan” (NOI sells a book by the same title.) He has called Judaism a “gutter religion.”
Farrakhan, who has often labeled Jews “killers” and “murderers,” exhibited his own violent nature, last month, during a speech he gave at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, located in Miami, Florida, when he called for volunteers to murder white people. On Thursday, July 30, 2015, Farrakhan stated the following:
“I’m looking for… 10,000 fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny… Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400 year old enemy… The Quran… says retaliation is prescribed, in matters of the slave. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling."
This type of bigoted and violent rhetoric from Farrakhan has been denounced by many leaders, but there are some in positions of influence who still find him praiseworthy. One of these individuals is the Imam of the American Islamic Center of Florida (AICF), Mohamad al-Halabi. Al-Halabi, who moved to the U.S. in 1999, is, as well, affiliated with different nationwide Shiite organizations, including the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America, who just held its 15th annual conference, which al-Halabi attended in Chicago, Illinois.
This past March, al-Halabi posted a video of Farrakhan on his Facebook page. It was a clip from a September 2005 interview he did with Mike Wallace (now-deceased) on the TV program, 60 Minutes. In the clip, Farrakhan lambastes Wallace for calling Nigeria possibly “the most corrupt nation in the world.” When Wallace asked him, “Can you tell me of one more corrupt?” Farrakhan retorted, “Yeah. I’m livin’ in one.”
Of Farrakhan and the video, al-Halabi wrote, “This man is a brave one.”
This was not the only controversial figure al-Halabi posted video on his Facebook from. In September 2014, he posted a video of a speech made by the Secretary General of Hezbollah (Hizballah), Hassan Nasrallah. In Nasrallah’s speech, he refers to America as the “mother of terrorism” and the source of all terrorism in the world.
Of this video, al-Halabi wrote, “Nice words.”
For al-Halabi to praise Nasrallah was no peculiar act, as much of al-Halabi’s life has revolved around Hezbollah.
In June 2010, al-Halabi posted on his Facebook page something he had written, which strongly suggested he had been recruited into Hezbollah in 1982.
In Arabic, he discussed how he and others “stood in line” at a recruitment office to be trained in how “to defend Lebanon,” following the invasion of Beirut by those he referred to as “the Israeli enemy.” He said, when asked why they were there, he and the others had one answer: “We want to fight, and we want to liberate Lebanon and Palestine. We want to die with dignity.”
Al-Halabi mentioned that, at the back of the volunteer line, there was a “helpless” and “crippled” man, who told him that he had been “a survivor of the October war.”
Following the Israeli siege against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Beirut, the government of Iran put up money to pay for recruitment centers for a new militant organization made up of religious Shiites named Hezbollah or Party of God, and its focus was in carrying out guerilla warfare against Israelis, who were conducting military activities in Lebanon.
At the time, a large percentage of the Beirut population was Palestinian. The “October War” that the crippled man was speaking of was the Yom Kippur War, which took place in October 1973.
Subsequent to the recruitments, in October 1983, a little over one year after Israel’s siege, Hezbollah staged an attack against U.S. Marine barracks stationed in Beirut, killing 241 American servicemen.
Al-Halabi is no longer residing in the Middle East, but from his new home in South Florida, al-Halabi is in communication with members of his family, who are currently fighting for Hezbollah in Syria, where al-Halabi was born and raised.
One Hezbollah member, a nephew of al-Halabi’s named Ahmed (a.k.a. Ahmed HD), has on his Facebook page, along with pictures of Nasrallah and pictures of himself brandishing weapons, a large amount of photos of his uncle. Both al-Halabi and his nephew regularly ‘tag’ each other on Facebook with links to each other’s Facebook sites.
In October 2012, al-Halabi posted a graphic on his Facebook page linking to another disquieting video, a heavily anti-Semitic piece, titled ‘Iran Bashing, Terrorism and Who Chose the Chosen People, Anyway?’
The video maintains that Jews will deliberately commit crimes against the U.S. knowing they will be protected by “the Zionist-controlled Main Street Media.” The video also states that the U.S. itself is controlled by Zionists and that Jews are conspiring to hide certain details about the Holocaust, which they do not want “the un-chosen people” to know about.
The video doesn’t only attack Jews. It also explicitly targets America. The video claims that, regarding sanctions placed on Iraq in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, “long before the events of 9/11, the United States led an act of international terrorism which is almost beyond belief.”
It is disturbing that someone in al-Halabi’s position as community leader would place such troubling and inciting material onto his personal site. No doubt, his family, his congregation and his colleagues get influenced by such behavior. However, given al-Halabi’s association with an international terrorist organization, it is quite understandable that someone such as himself would do so and continue to champion the cause of hate.
While the violence and bigotry of persons such as Louis Farrakhan and Hassan Nasrallah is considered abhorrent and is repudiated by most civilized people, for individuals like Mohamad al-Halabi it is the norm.
Just as Farrakhan and Nasrallah are denounced and shunned by much of the world, al-Halabi should be denounced and shunned for making common cause with them.
His position as community leader warrants an immediate investigation by law enforcement, and arrest and deportation should be considered, as his presence in this country constitutes a breach of national security.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.