Sofian Zakkout, President of the Miami, Florida-based American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), likes to air out his extremist views in public, regularly posting his bigoted and radical provocations onto social media. This month has been no exception, as he has taken to Facebook to belittle the members of the Jewish community with a post that refers to them as “fucking Jews.” Though many of Zakkout’s Muslim colleagues and acquaintances may sympathize with him, this should be alarming to the people who serve with him on local anti-crime boards.
On November 10th, AMANA President Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout promoted on his personal Facebook page a video with the following description in Arabic: “The opening of the al-Aqsa Mosque after pressure on Israel. Praise be to Allah. Spread the video to beat the fucking Jews.”
Israeli authorities had restricted access to the mosque, following the July 14th murder of two Israeli police officers by three Palestinian gunmen, at the entrance to the mosque. In late July, the mosque was reopened to all Palestinians.
Zakkout had taken the video from a Facebook page, which goes under the name ‘Campaign for the Victory of al-Aqsa Mosque.’ The site actively promotes Hamas and glorifies knife and vehicle-ramming attacks perpetrated by Palestinians against Israeli civilians. It publishes Hamas announcements of terrorist attacks and features a large number of Hamas-related images, including different photos of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, Hamas suicide bomber Reem Riyashi, and toddlers dressed in Hamas garb.
The site also features much anti-Semitic content. One photo on the site depicts three Orthodox Jewish men sitting and reading; a description on the side in Arabic labels the three “the descendants of the Jewish pigs.” Another photo portrays a Hamas member waving a flag with the statement next to him in Arabic, “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, Muhammad’s army will return.” The threatening slogan is in reference to the Saudi Arabian city of Khaybar, where Muhammad’s disciples attacked and enslaved the city’s Jewish inhabitants, in the year 629.
It makes perfect sense that Zakkout would share a video from this particular site, as he too embraces both Hamas and anti-Semitism.
Regarding Hamas, Zakkout declared in Arabic in August 2014, "Hamas is in my heart and on my head." He has posted an innumerable amount of pictures onto social media of Hamas leaders, Hamas founders and Hamas militants. In July 2014, Zakkout organized a pro-Hamas rally held outside the Israeli Consulate in downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” After the rally, Zakkout wrote the following in Arabic, above photos from the event: “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” He signed it “Br. Sofian Zakkout.”
Similar to the al-Aqsa Facebook page, Zakkout, on many occasions, has referred to Jews as “monkeys and pigs.”
In July 2017, Zakkout posted on his Facebook page a four-minute portion of a speech given by Louis Farrakhan, where Farrakhan repeatedly refers to Jews as “Satan.” Farrakhan states (with shouts of agreement from the audience), “Really, they’re not Jews. No, that’s Satan. You should learn to call them by their real name, ‘Satan.’ You’re coming face to face with Satan, the Arch Deceiver, the enemy of God, and the enemy of the righteous.”
In April 2016, Zakkout promoted a report discussing the absurd notion of Jewish involvement in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A photo from the report shows the burning towers with a Jewish Star affixed to one. The report begins, “It ain’t debatable!... [T]he 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. were an ‘Israeli’-Jewish job.” The website which published the report, Mouqawamah Music, openly calls for “Death to Israel” and labels the Jewish religion “wicked and filth-ridden.”
In February 2016, Zakkout circulated on social media 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.”
Being an important figure in the Muslim community, Sofian Zakkout has been photographed with a number of other prominent Muslims. Not one of these individuals has ever publicly condemned Zakkout for his actions or statements. Given who they affiliate with, the probability is that their beliefs are the same as Zakkout’s.
More disturbing, however, are the non-Muslim groups which provide him with a facade of legitimacy, making him look like someone concerned with community welfare, when the exact opposite is the case.
Zakkout holds important positions on the boards of anti-crime organizations. He sits on the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County, and he is a member of the Executive Committee of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County. Police and government officials sit on these boards, as well. These groups should be very concerned about Zakkout, yet the leadership from these groups has been contacted repeatedly and provided with evidence of Zakkout’s hateful incitement and the situation has been ignored time and time again.
Sofian Zakkout is a clear and present danger to the local community and national security. To have him sitting on the boards of two organizations dedicated to protecting the community’s best interests, while he undermines them, is an untenable and absurd situation. It is the job of these organizations to assist in the capture and arrest of threats to the community. It is time for them to wake up and realize that one of these threats is found among the ranks of their own.
Crime Stoppers and Citizens Crime Watch must expel Zakkout from their establishments and press law enforcement to open an investigation into his promotion of terrorism and his urging of people to “beat the fucking Jews.”
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.