This month, the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) will be sponsoring a panel discussion about Islamophobia. Islamophobia is a modern-day term used mainly by Islamists to describe an unwarranted fear or hatred of Islam and/or Muslims and a term also used by the like to, more appropriately, shut down any conversation about the radical element found within the Muslim community. Not surprisingly, the majority of the event’s panel is made up of those linked to terrorism and bigotry, themselves.
The title of the forum, which is scheduled to take place at FAU in Boca Raton, on May 23rd, is ‘ISLAMOPHOBIA, Voices from the Muslim Community.’ The flyer for the event displays the photos of five panelists, at least three of which have known ties to terrorism. They are Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, the imam of the Darul Uloom mosque, located in Pembroke Pines, Florida; Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, the legal counsel for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); and Bassem Abdo Alhalabi (al-Halabi), an Associate Professor at FAU.
Shafayat Mohamed is the imam at Darul Uloom. He founded it in October 1994. Since then, it has become a haven for al-Qaeda associates. “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student at Darul Uloom. Now-deceased al-Qaeda Global Operations Chief Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader there. And Darul Uloom Arabic teacher Imran Mandhai, Hakki Aksoy and Shueyb Mossa Jokhan hatched an operation at the mosque to blow up different structures, including area power stations, Jewish businesses, and a National Guard armory.
Shafayat Mohamed, himself, has been thrown off a number of boards in Broward County due to his outspokenness against homosexuals. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the Darul Uloom website, entitled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God.’ In it, he claims that gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. Shafayat Mohamed’s article doesn’t just target homosexuals. It also attacks Jews and Christians. In the piece, he claims that most Jews and Christians, whom he refers to as “People of the Book,” are “perverted transgressors.”
Another of the Islamophobia forum participants is Wilfredo Ruiz. Ruiz is the attorney for CAIR-Florida.
CAIR was established in June 1994 as part of a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the US Justice Department a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. Since its founding, a number of CAIR representatives have served jail time and/or have been deported from the United States for terrorist-related crimes. In November 2014, CAIR, itself, was designated a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.
CAIR-Florida reflects the extremism of its parent organization. In August 2010, CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly, who has denied that Hezbollah is a terrorist group, wrote, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God...” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” Following the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Zakkout, wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
Ruiz is also the legal advisor for Zakkout’s group, the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA). AMANA regularly promotes white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. In fact, the latest posting on AMANA’s Facebook page is an anti-Jewish David Duke video. In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned AMANA for posting onto its website homepage another anti-Semitic Duke video. The ADL described the video as being “venomous.” The video was posted right above an expose about Ruiz.
A third participant at the Islamophobia forum is Bassem Abdo Alhalabi.
Bassem Alhalabi has been an Associate Professor at FAU’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, since August 2002. Prior to arriving at FAU, Alhalabi was located in Tampa at the University of South Florida (USF), working as an assistant to USF Professor Sami al-Arian, while al-Arian was a leader in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Alhalabi co-authored publications with al-Arian and, when applying to FAU, he used al-Arian as a reference. In May 2006, al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison, after pleading guilty to providing services to PIJ.
Alhalabi has been in trouble with the law, himself. In March 2010, Alhalabi was arrested for physically assaulting two individuals during a Muslim Capitol Day function in Tallahassee, Florida. The assaults took place an hour apart from one another. And in June 2003, the US Department of Commerce charged Alhalabi with illegally shipping a $13,000 military-grade thermal imaging device to Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism.
Alhalabi is a Director and co-founder of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR). During his leadership, for three years, the ICBR website had an essay prominently posted on it, stating, “Jews are people of treachery and betrayal… As the Muslims and Jews are enemies residing in opposing religious and doctrinal camps, it is not possible for them to be brought together unless one is made to submit to the other by force… [Muhammad] said, ‘You will fight the Jews and will prevail over them, so that a rock will say, O Muslim! There is Jew behind me, kill him!’”
The contact for the FAU event is Abdur Rahman al-Ghani (aka Samuel Pittman), Events Coordinator for the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF). Al-Ghani’s Facebook is littered with anti-American, anti-Jewish and Islamic supremacist language and images. In December 2012, he wrote, “Zionist/Israelis are not holy people. They are demonic and the most evil on earth.” In March 2012, he posted a graphic stating, “ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD.” And in February 2012, he posted a bloodied CIA logo with the caption, “Wiping out the CIA.”
While the FAU event wishes to portray Muslims as having suffered from the prejudice of others (‘Islamophobia’), it seems that those involved in the event are immersed in bigotry, themselves, where homosexuality is professed to cause natural disasters, where white supremacist David Duke is placed on a pedestal, where Christians are cursed, and where Jews are labeled “demonic” and okay to murder.
‘Islamophobia,’ in the eyes of those behind the FAU forum, in reality, is not a way for people to learn about the suffering within the Muslim community – not at all. Instead, Muslim victimhood is being used as a vehicle to silence those who look to expose their and their terror supporting compatriots’ sinister words and deeds.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.