Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, the founder and President of the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), does many things for the Muslim community. He organizes rallies, he acts as a mosque liaison, he arranges relief missions, and he gives out books and educational materials through his group. Zakkout, as well, does things to affect the Jewish community, however in a horrifically negative way. He uses social media to spread the most insidious forms of anti-Semitism. Recently, he continued in this path, by posting a video onto Facebook of a march taking place in Morocco that celebrated violence and bigotry against Jews.
In October 2015, a heavily anti-Semitic Palestinian solidarity march took place in Casablanca, Morocco. A video of the march found its way onto the Facebook page of Muslim leader Sofian Zakkout, this past April. In this video, marchers held signs displaying Nazi swastikas and fists breaking through Jewish stars; a Jewish star was spray-painted on the ground with a red “X” painted atop it. The video also portrayed individuals dressed as Orthodox Jews held on the ground at gunpoint by masked men wearing keffiyehs. As one Jew lie helpless, his beard was ripped from his face by one of the gunman. A separate video from the march showed the Jews being stabbed to death.
Of course, this is not the first social media posting perpetrated by Zakkout that attacked Jews. Indeed, there have been many, too numerous to list. The following are but some of the more incendiary ones.
In April 2016, Zakkout published a post promoting fictional conspiracy theories about Jewish involvement in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A photo from the report shows the burning towers with a Jewish Star affixed to one. The report begins, “It ain’t debatable! Soup to nuts, top to bottom, the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. were an ‘Israeli’-Jewish job.”
In February 2016, Zakkout circulated on social media a report claiming that “the Holocaust was faked.” It begins: “The alleged ‘Holocaust’ of ‘6 million Jews’ at the hands of Adolf Hitler and National Socialist Germany during WWII is the biggest lie ever foisted upon humanity.” It was produced by The Realist Report, an anti-Jew, anti-black, anti-gay independent media outlet, which describes Hitler as “the greatest leader in modern Western history.”
In December 2015, Zakkout posted a photo of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who is a decorated veteran of many different wars and battles fought by Israel over the last three-plus decades. Above the picture of Eizenkot, Zakkout wrote in Arabic, “You’re a Jew, the grandson of a monkey and a pig.” He signed it “Sofian.” This is one of many times Zakkout has referred to Jews as “monkeys and pigs.”
In July 2014, following a pro-Hamas rally Zakkout had organized outside the Israeli Consulate in downtown Miami, where event goers repeatedly shouted “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas,” Zakkout wrote the following in Arabic, above photos from the event: “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” He signed it “Br. Sofian Zakkout.”
In June 2016, Zakkout clicked ‘like’ under someone else’s Facebook posting on Zakkout’s page of a grotesque cartoon containing a worried-looking religious Jew hiding behind an animated tree with a bearded man brandishing a rifle coming towards them. The tree is speaking to the man in Arabic, saying “Oh Muslim! Oh Muslim! There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.”
In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Zakkout and his group AMANA for featuring what the ADL called a “venomous” anti-Semitic video on the AMANA website. The video was produced by and featured white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. Zakkout has since posted a number of Duke videos on social media and has praised Duke as “David Duke, a man to believe in!”
In one article previously published on AMANA’s website, titled ‘The Call for the Unity of Religions – a False and Dangerous Call,’ it is stated, “Every believer should firmly believe that the Jews and Christians are kuffaar [infidels] and enemies of Allaah, His deen, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Believers… The efforts to gain the friendship of the Jews and Christians are useless, as they will never be pleased with the Muslims until the Muslims follow their religion.”
Sofian Zakkout may serve the needs of the South Florida Muslim community, but when it comes to non-Muslims, especially Jews, his behavior is profane and irredeemable. His level of anti-Semitism is on par with neo-Nazis, and he even embraces one of their icons, David Duke. And while Zakkout might help some Muslims, all Muslims should denounce him for his actions against others. Up until now, no Muslim group has gone on record to condemn him.
Looking the other way to Zakkout’s brand of bigotry should never be an option.