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).
Samir Abbas Kakli has the dubious distinction of being the President of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SoFlo Muslims, SFMF), an umbrella group for South Florida’s many radical Muslim institutions. He has been with the Federation, since it began operations in 2017. As the head of the group, Kakli has associations with a number of individuals who are alleged to have actively spread terror and/or bigotry, and at least a couple of these extremists, he is personally connected to. Kakli’s dangerous relationships should be scrutinized and his and his entire organization’s motives called into question.
Kakli took over the leadership of the Federation from Nezar Hamze, a long-time operative of the Hamas-linked CAIR. Hamze left his duties at the Federation, in 2021, to focus on the new family he made with the sister of current CAIR representative Aida Mackic, Emina, whom he has two children with. Emina, though, recently removed the “Hamze” she was using for her last name on social media and now goes by her maiden name “Emina Ramic” (Perhaps due to Nezar still being legally wed to his first wife, Jaime?) With all his marital issues, it is ironic (or maybe not) that Hamze is listed as a member of SFMF’s Matrimonial Committee.
SFMF features several divisions, including a Council of Imams. One imam, the spiritual leader of Margate-based Masjid Jamaat Al-Mu’mineen (MJAM), Izhar Khan, in May 2011, was arrested and charged by the FBI with helping to fund the Taliban. According to the indictment, “Izhar… provided… material support and resources… intending that they be used in preparation for and in carrying out… a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.” Khan’s MJAM promotes texts labeling Jews and Christians “enemies” and endorsing female genital mutilation, death punishments for gays, and domestic violence against women.
Samir Kakli is not just linked to Izhar Khan via the Muslim Federation. Kakli is a personal friend to Khan. Kakli has posted on social media photos from wakeboarding trips he took with Khan. During one such excursion, in July 2018, Kakli wrote, “Alhamdulillah, great weekend, great programs, great times with Mufti Abdullah Al-Mahmudi, Mufti Sultan Mohiuddin, Mufti Izhar Khan! May Allah bless you for all you do.” In December 2017, during another outing with Khan and Mohiuddin, Kakli wrote, “Wakeboarding with the Mufti’s in COLD water!! But warm brotherhood prevailed.”
Fellow wakeboarder, Abdullah al-Mahmudi, is an imam at the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor, Michigan (MCA). This past May, al-Mahmudi spoke at a ‘Rally for Palestine’ held in downtown Ann Arbor, where he called for and event goers chanted and held signs calling for Israel’s destruction. MCA is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), a group that protects the assets of hundreds of radical mosques and has been named by the US government a party to the financing of Hamas. Sultan Mohiuddin is the imam of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF), which like Izhar Khan’s MJAM is a member organization of SFMF.
Abdurahman al-Ghani is a former IFSF youth director and ex-Muslim Federation social media director. Al-Ghani has used Facebook to refer to Jews as “the children of Satan,” “demonic” and “the most evil on earth”; the US as the “Worlds Number One Terrorist Organization”; and gay Muslims as “stone cold kaffirs outside the fold of Islam.” In February 2012, he encouraged his followers to violently “wipe out the CIA.” In September 2012, he promoted a graphic from deceased al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki with the message, “Allah is preparing us for victory.” And in November 2012, he posted the message, “We love u Hamas. U are the real hero.”
Much like in the case of Izhar Khan, al-Ghani is not merely a former colleague of Samir Kakli. Indeed, Kakli frequently uses social media to re-post al-Ghani’s material and tag al-Ghani in his own posts. This past April, Kakli tagged al-Ghani (ironically, as he is an overt and unabashed antisemite) to a post challenging the definition of antisemitism. In October, Kakli tagged him to a post publicizing a then-upcoming anti-Israel rally. And last month, Kakli tagged al-Ghani to a flyer for the Federation’s March conference, keeping al-Ghani in the loop of Federation happenings.
Regarding the SFMF conference, its main sponsor is Islamic Relief (IR), an organization that has been banned by a number of nations due to its many links to terrorist financing. In fact, the US, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland all have recently cut funding to IR. Yet, Kakli has used his personal Facebook to advertise IR employment opportunities and IR fundraisers, to which he himself has donated. Kakli, furthermore, has used social media to call for “defunding the police” and to contribute towards anti-Israel violence by promoting a July 2020 Palestinian ‘Day of Rage.’
The South Florida Muslim Federation and its leader, Samir Kakli, both should be called out for their involvement with extremists who propagate the worst iterations of terror and bigotry. America and Americans must not turn a blind eye to the radicals who live amongst them and who pose credible threats to the community. These dangerous entities need to be investigated and, whenever possible, be removed from our nation’s shores.
In order to draw attention to the threat SFMF poses to our local and national security, the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative is holding a rally to protest the group, on Saturday, March 19th, from 2-4 PM, outside their conference being held at the Heron Bay Marriott in Coral Springs, Florida, at the corner of Coral Ridge Dr. and Heron Bay Blvd. Our featured speaker will be 850 WFTL radio talk show hostess Joyce Kaufman. We urge all freedom loving patriots to attend and help us make clear, “No Jihad in Our Backyard!”
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.