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).
This past December, the President of the South Florida Muslim Federation, Samir Kakli, had an op-ed published by the Miami Herald, where he spoke out against hatred targeting the Muslim community, what has become known as ‘Islamophobia,’ a term often used to silence critics of Islamist terror. The Federation is promoting the piece on its website. Though hate aimed at Muslims certainly exists, it is beyond hypocritical for a group to call out one form of bigotry, while embracing those who traffic even worse bigotry, in this case violence against Jews. That is exactly what the Federation is doing, as it continues to ignore incitement from its member orgs.
The South Florida Muslim Federation or SoFlo Muslims is an umbrella group for South Florida’s many Muslim extremist organizations, including radical mosques. Two of these mosques are the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) and Masjid Jamaat Al-Mu’mineen (MJAM). Both of these mosques have promoted horrific anti-Semitism.
ICBR’s terror links are well-documented. One of its founders, Bassem Alhalabi, was a former research assistant to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian. In June 2003, the US Department of Commerce charged Alhalabi with illegally shipping a $13,000 thermal imaging device to Syria. Another founder, Syed Khawer Ahmad, was a website designer for Hamas. ICBR’s founding imam, Ibrahim Dremali, spent time on the federal ‘no fly’ list. In August 2002, Dremali was a character witness at a hearing for soon-to-be-convicted al-Qaeda operative Adham Hassoun, whose group, the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), gave the mosque $600K.
From October 1999 through September 2001, ICBR published a violently anti-Semitic essay on its website, titled ‘Why can’t the Jews and Muslims live together in peace?’ It described Jews as “people of treachery and betrayal” and “enemies.” It spoke of a “Day of Judgement” that would come when Muslims will “fight the Jews and kill them.” Imam Dremali claimed that the article was the result of hackers. It was a lie, as the ICBR website contained much material from the same source as the offending article, the website Islam Q&A. Then-mosque spokesman, Dan McBride, said they reluctantly took down the article, after receiving a number of complaints.
MJAM made national news, in May 2011, when its imam, Izhar Khan, was arrested at the mosque and charged with helping to provide $50,000 to the Taliban for the purpose of murdering US troops overseas. As stated in the indictment against him and his family: “Izhar is a Pakistani Taliban sympathizer who worked with [his father Hafiz] and others to collect and deliver money for the Pakistani Taliban… Izhar… provided and attempted to provide material support and resources… knowing and intending that they be used in preparation for and in carrying out… a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.”
While ICBR eventually took its article vilifying Jews off its website, MJAM’s site currently sports an online library that can only be described as wall-to-wall intolerance and brutality. The books deal with such controversial subjects as: female circumcision (a.k.a. Female Genital Mutilation), partaking in jihad (holy war), punishing homosexuals with death, killing Muslims who leave Islam, chopping off hands, setting people on fire, stoning women accused by their husbands of adultery, and vilifying Hindus. The vast majority of the texts, though, curse Jews and Christians, Jews being the main target and, on numerous occasions, targeted with violence.
In MJAM’s Tafsir Ibn Kathir, it states: “Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them.” In MJAM’s Sahih Bukhari, it states: “It is the Jews who are being tormented in their graves… The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” In MJAM’s Commandments by God, it states: “Do you see those that have befriended a people – the Jews – who have incurred Allah’s wrath?… Evil indeed is that which they have done.”
In Muslim Federation President Samir Kakli’s op-ed, Kakli complains that Muslims “face vitriol and discrimination” and decries those who have “sought political gain by demonizing Islam and Muslims,” yet Kakli and his outfit have embraced entities that not only demonize others, but in the name of religion, call for cruel and violent acts upon them. The Federation is presently advertising an ICBR April fundraiser, and MJAM’s Izhar Khan sits on the Federation’s Council of Imams. These groups represent bigotry in its most vile form, and this dangerous hypocrisy could easily lead to the worst of tragedies, carried out by those vulnerable to extreme influence.
As long as the Muslim Federation fails to repudiate or rein in the terror being propagated by its membership, the group will continue to be complicit in enabling their violence and hate. As such, ICBR, MJAM and the Muslim Federation all present a clear and present danger to civil society. They should be investigated by law enforcement for the threats which they pose and be disallowed from operating within the United States any longer.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.