Islamic lecturer Yasir Qadhi likes to have it both ways. In his circles, it is called practicing taqiyya (deception). First, he says the most horrific things about Jews. Then, he claims to apologize for doing so. And finally, he is heralded as a featured attraction at different radical Muslim fundraisers, a tactical continuance of his extremist past. This weekend, he is set to be a speaker at the annual banquet of the South Florida chapter of ICNA Relief, a group that possesses its own radical and terrorist-laden history.
In 2001, during one of his Islamic tafsirs (explanations), Yasir Qadhi delivered a viciously anti-Semitic rant. He stated, “As for 80 to 90 percent of the Jews in our times, they are Ashkenazis, i.e. Khazars, i.e. Russians… Look at them – white, crooked nose, blonde hairs… These are not a Semitic people. Look at them! They don’t look like Semites, and they are not Semites.” Qadhi then told his audience to read more about it in a book called Hoax of the Holocaust. He called it “a very good book.”
Regarding this, in November 2013, Qadhi gave an interview, where he made the claim that he had apologized for these comments. He stated, “More than 15 years ago, I was taught to unfortunately believe that Jews had exaggerated the Holocaust and that, in fact, many of our modern Jews are not actually descendants of the original Jewish tribes. Now, of course, I have apologized and retracted from such statements…”
Previously, Qadhi had made different excuses for his anti-Jewish rant. He said it was a remark made in passing. He said it was a youthful indiscretion. He said he received the information off an illicit website.
While an apology would seem like an honorable thing for anyone to do after such an offensive and gruesome declaration as Qadhi had made, for Qadhi it means little, as he continues in his participation at radical Muslim events, where such pronouncements would not seem out of place. It is evidence that Qadhi’s transformation was, in reality, nonexistent.
On the night of Saturday, February 6th, Qadhi will be a featured speaker at an annual banquet sponsored by ICNA Relief at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Coral Springs Hotel, Golf Club & Convention Center. The event is titled, ‘Making America Great Again,’ a cynical hijacking of Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan.
This is Qadhi’s second such appearance in Florida, in the last three months. In November, he was a featured speaker at a Tampa banquet sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that has numerous associations with Hamas, including financial dealings, and a group that was named a terrorist organization by the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
ICNA Relief is a function of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was killed. ICNA has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the web to promote different terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), which like CAIR, is a UAE designated terrorist organization.
In August 2006, ICNA Relief was the top donor and partner to Pakistani charity Al Khidmat Foundation (AKF), at the same time AKF took a delegation to Damascus, Syria to hand deliver nearly $100,000 to Hamas global leader Khaled Mashal at his residence. Mashal thanked the group and said Hamas would continue to wage “jihad” (war) on the “Zionist yoke” (Israel). ICNA Relief continues to work directly with AKF overseas.
The Registered Agent and Secretary of ICNA Relief Florida is Abdul Rauf Khan. Khan has used his Facebook page to post videos dedicated to Nation of Islam leader and anti-Jewish bigot Louis Farrakhan and Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood. He has been photographed wearing Muslim Brotherhood garb, himself. Khan also posted a link on his Facebook site to an anti-Semitic video labeling comedian talk show host Bill Maher, “Zionist Jew Bill Maher.”
Yasir Qadhi’s speech against Jews didn’t happen in a vacuum. He has previously defended high profile terrorists, such as Ali al-Tamimi, who received a life sentence for his role as the spiritual leader of a Virginia jihad group planning attacks against US troops, and Aafia Siddiqui, an al-Qaeda operative who was convicted of attempting to murder a US Army Captain in Afghanistan. In addition, Qadhi has threatened the wrath of God upon world leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Qadhi can make all the apologies he wants for his extremist statements, but until he divorces himself entirely from his fanatical past – and present – he cannot be seen as anything more than a radical Muslim hypocrite.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report