Abdul Rauf Khan is the Assistant Executive Director of the Islamic Circle of North America’s (ICNA) main humanitarian effort ICNA Relief and Secretary of both ICNA Florida and ICNA Relief Florida. Most of his social media postings are to tout ICNA projects. Still, other posts he has made showcase bigotry, bigots and Islamist movements beyond ICNA. This month, he chose to target homosexuals with a video produced by a group that promotes the internationally banned Hizb-ut-Tahrir. It is all a reflection of the extremism Khan and his outfit represent.
ICNA was founded in September 1968 as the American affiliate of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), South Asia’s largest Islamist group. JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was living and eventually killed in. ICNA, itself, has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the internet to promote terror organizations, including Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
In November 2013, former ICNA Secretary General, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was sentenced to death for his role in the murders of 18 people as a death squad leader during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence. In July 2014, ICNA co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally outside the Israeli Consulate, in downtown Miami, Florida, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Let’s go Hamas,” and “Hamas kicked your ass.” Following the rally, the organizer of the event, Sofian Zakkout, wrote, in Arabic, above photos from the event, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
On March 8th, ICNA’s Abdul Rauf Khan posted a video on his Facebook page produced by the OnePath Network, a Muslim outreach (dawah) media outlet based in Sydney, Australia. The video was titled, “Why is it haram [forbidden] to actively be gay?” It discusses the Islamic belief regarding homosexuality, which, if what is represented on the video is taken at face value, is not unlike that stated by other religions.
However, the entity that created the video, OnePath, promotes Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT), a group that has been banned in many nations around the globe for instigating Islamic uprisings. HT Australia’s spiritual head, Ismail al-Wahwah, has called for a “jihad” against Jews and has referred to Jews as “the most evil creatures of Allah.” OnePath has showcased HT Australia events and has interviewed HT Australia leadership. HT has publicly stated that homosexuality should be criminally prosecuted.
In HT’s “A RESPONSE TO THE HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE, ‘WHY GAY MARRIAGE MAY NOT BE CONTRARY TO ISLAM,’” the group states, “Islam views any form of illegal sexual relationship as a grave sin – and a punishable crime, if proven under an Islamic political authority/judicial system.” Deducing this, ex-HT official Maajid Nawaz stated, “[O]f course we know in fundamentalist interpretations of sharia [Islamic religious law] what the punishment for criminalized homosexuality is.” Death.
Five minutes prior to posting the OnePath video on Facebook, Khan posted a video from another highly controversial source. It was a video clip of former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters ranting against Israel. The source was the media arm of Hamas, the Palestinian Information Center, which publishes Hamas communiques, gruesome anti-Semitic cartoons, and praise for murders of Israelis.
This was not the only time Khan has posted incendiary material onto social media. Khan has used Facebook to promote videos dedicated to Nation of Islam leader and anti-Jewish bigot Louis Farrakhan as well as Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood. Khan has been photographed wearing Muslim Brotherhood garb, himself. In November 2015, Khan posted a video on his Facebook page glorifying a member of Hezbollah as a “hero.” And in July 2014, he posted a link on Facebook to an anti-Semitic video labeling comedian talk show host Bill Maher, “Zionist Jew Bill Maher.”
Both ICNA and its representative Khan exhibit huge issues of extremism. The organization sponsors events in support of terrorist groups; has helped finance terrorist groups; uses the internet to advertise terrorist groups, and is directly related to a terrorist group. Khan uses social media to promote bigots, anti-Semitism and Muslim radicals.
Because of their activities and associations – especially the bin Laden connection – ICNA and Khan must be viewed as dangers to American society. It is tough to grasp how ICNA and Khan have been allowed to operate on American soil for as long as they have.
It is time to demand change. The time to shut down their insidious operation is long overdue.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.