Joe Kaufman is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative. He was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
Miami, Florida imam, Fadi Kablawi, says a lot of incredibly offensive things. He has referred to Jews as “the lowest of the lowest” and said that people “crack jokes about Jews being cheap” as “a punishment from Allah.” He has said that Christians practice a “fake” religion and that “Christianity can compete for first place in stupidity.” Kablawi’s insults and bigotry know no bounds. This past August, he looked to outrage once again, blaming women for rape and pondering why Allah has not destroyed the United States and all homosexuals. His rhetoric is dangerous, and it quite possibly has influenced his congregants to plot unspeakable acts.
Fadi Yousef Kablawi (Qablawi) was born in Amman, Jordan, in 1978. At the age of 17, he moved to the US with his family. After finishing high school, Kablawi attended Florida International University (FIU), where he was President of the school’s Muslim Students Association (MSA). He then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed his doctoral degree in dental medicine and founded an MSA for Muslim dental students. He opened a dental practice with his wife, and in August 2017, he was arrested for allegedly using his business to commit Medicaid fraud, targeting elderly patients with heavily inflated invoices.
The fraud was the least of concerns for law enforcement, as the FBI has deemed Kablawi to be a member of ISIS and has questioned his congregants about him. Kablawi says the FBI’s investigation of him is merely about the controversial nature of his sermons. He told one publication, “It’s all about my rhetoric, my speech. They feel that I have influence.” While his influence certainly is a factor – Kablawi has been accused of brainwashing his congregant follower Salman Rashid, who was imprisoned for threatening the lives of two college deans, to commit terrorist acts – there is no doubt that Kablawi’s rhetoric is incendiary and off the charts.
This past August, in a speech at his mosque, the North Miami Islamic Center, Masjid As Sunnah An Nabawiyyah, Kablawi made the incredible claim that the reason Allah has not put an end to America is due to him and his fellow Muslims occupying the US. He stated, “I’m a true believer in the fact that Allah has not destroyed this country yet, because we Muslims live in it.”
He declared the same for homosexuals, stating: “When Allah tortured Lut (Lot), they knew that what they were doing is wrong. They acknowledged that. They didn’t get married. They did not legalize it. They did not have inheritance. They did not adopt. They did not and they did not and they did not. So you want to tell me the gays of today are better? Yet, Allah is not destroying them. The only explanation I know of myself – the only explanation I make myself believe – is because we Muslims are here. So based on that, all gays and all lesbians in America should be standing outside this masjid to give us appreciation. But we don’t want it. Stay away from me.”
During this same speech, while vilifying those who accuse the Taliban of oppressing women, Kablawi blamed women for being sexually assaulted. He stated, “All the American media, all they are worried about [are] women rights in Afghanistan… What you have for your women? Your women are suffering more than anywhere in the world… What is the freedom you want for women in Afghanistan?… Freedom to wear whatever they want – this is freedom?” He then asked, “Can you tell me about rape?” He continued, “‘Oh, he’s one of them. Oh, he blame the women for the way they dress for getting raped.’ I blame them, but I don’t free the perpetrator.”
The following month, Kablawi spoke of his hatred for those who are not Muslim, specifically Christians. He stated, “[T]he people are [from] two groups, kuffar or Muslims, believers or disbelievers… I decided to love the believers and hate the non-believers, very simple… If I love Allah more than anything, then… what that love necessitates [is] that I will love what Allah loves, and I will hate what Allah hates… When I go outside to make dawah (outreach), I’m not going [up] to a Christian to tell him ‘I hate you’… but that does not deny the fact I do… I don’t hate him because his head is big or he’s skinny or fat or his skin color, but I still hate him as a being.”
Fadi Kablawi is a dangerous man, and yes, his speech is dangerous. This is not only because of his repulsive views, but it is the fact that he is voicing these views to an audience that considers him a religious authority whose opinions are divinely sanctioned.
Furthermore, Kablawi’s congregation includes children. On the same video of him talking about Allah potentially destroying America and destroying gays and how women should be blamed for rapes committed against them, you can see a number of young kids praying with the adults and running around the floor. Having little children with impressionable minds imbibing such hateful rhetoric sows the seeds of radicalization, leading one to question how many future Salman Rasheeds are being inspired by Kablawi’s words.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.