When it comes to anything Jewish, South Florida Muslim Federation President Samir Kakli believes it is based on ‘fairy tales.’ That’s what he felt, when he recently posted on his Facebook page that Israel ‘is built on lies and fantasy.’ And that’s what he felt, when, in reaction to Hamas’s new crimes against humanity, he posted a video referring to the Jewish Bible, the Tanakh, as an “ancient text of made-up stories.” Given the anti-Semitic groups and individuals that constitute his Federation, it makes sense that he would hold these bigoted views. It also makes sense that the general public should be warned of his and his group’s actions.
In the morning of October 7th, close to 1000 Hamas terrorists entered Israel by land, sea and air, under the cover of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza, and massacred well over 1000 Israelis, mostly civilians. They raped women and ridiculed their bloodied bodies. They butchered elderly. Scores of babies were burned alive and beheaded by them. They killed house pets. They abducted around 150 Israelis and others, taking them into Gaza, threatening to execute them. The level of depravity, cruelty and violence has shocked many around the world, as videos and images of the carnage have been posted online and broadcast on the news.
Samir Kakli is the President of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SoFlo Muslims), an umbrella group for South Florida’s many radical Muslim institutions. Following the Hamas attacks, Kakli and the Federation immediately posted links on the group’s social media calling on its followers to donate money to Gaza through Islamic Relief (IR), an organization that Israel has banned and labeled a front for Hamas. One of the donate links to IR was attached to the Federation’s official statement about the present conflict, which, instead of condemning Hamas, condemned Israel for what it called “occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people.”
The Muslim Federation then posted on its Facebook page a condolence message for Zarefah Baroud, the Digital Media Associate of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a group that also has known ties to Hamas. Four of Baroud’s family homes in Gaza were singled out by Israel with airstrikes, apparently as the family, itself, had involvement with Hamas. A number of family members were killed in the strikes.
Kakli and his Federation are rabidly anti-Israel. In May 2022, the Federation was a co-sponsor of an anti-Israel rally, where there were calls for Israel’s destruction. Three days prior to the rally, Kakli posted on Facebook that Israel is the “world’s leading terrorist organization.” Last December, Kakli posted about Israel, “[T]heir ‘nation’ is built on lies & fantasy.” Kakli has, as well, called for the release of leaders of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), who were convicted of raising millions of dollars for Hamas; he has shared material posted on Facebook by Hamas media; and he promoted the Palestinian “Day of Rage,” which targeted Jews with violence.
Kakli’s extreme hatred for Israel has led him to target Jews in general. Two days after the Hamas murders, rapes and kidnappings of Jews took place, Kakli posted a video on his social media calling the Jewish (and in essence the Christian) Bible a book of fables. In the video, the first character, “Israel,” tells the other, “Palestine,” that “Palestine’s” home is actually his, i.e. (the lie) that Jews stole Palestinian land. When “Israel” was asked who told him that, he replied, holding up a text, “This ancient book of made-up stories,” an offensive line ridiculing the overarching theme from the Bible of G-d promising the land of Israel to the Jewish people.
This content jibes with the bigoted teachings of Federation members, who claim that Jews have corrupted and changed the Bible. One Federation member that promotes this, Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM), has a library of texts on its website that sanction domestic violence against women, glorify female genital mutilation, obligate jihad (holy war), mandate death punishments for homosexuals, vilify Hindus, and label Jews and Christians “enemies.”
Kakli obtained the video from the Facebook page of imam and popular speaker, Suhaib Webb. Last year, Webb honored dead Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader and fan of Palestinian suicide bombings, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, praising him for “standing for positions, when many have folded to pressure.” In May 2019, Webb posted on Facebook a photo of himself arm-in-arm with Monzer Talib, a self-avowed member of Hamas, who posted that Jews in Israel “should be relocated to Germany.” He called Talib “a special man” and his “mentor.” In May 2015, Webb crudely described oppressed Taliban women wearing burkas as “getting [their] swag on.”
No doubt, Kakli and his South Florida Muslim Federation’s actions endanger the local Jewish community, as their fierce rhetoric against both Jews and Israel could easily spark others to commit acts of violence. Furthermore, they are a global threat, because they are conducting fundraising for Gaza via a reportedly Hamas-linked group. Both local and federal authorities should be scrutinizing their activities and their ongoing fundraising efforts and move to shut them down.
It is time for the public and law enforcement to pay attention and take the necessary steps to ensure Americans’ safety and security, before we see scenes like those of the mass carnage in Israel taking place in our own cities and towns.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.