Joe Kaufman, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative and the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).
Fadi Kablawi, FBI ‘ISIS’ suspect and head imam of the North Miami Islamic Center (NMIC), a.k.a. Masjid As Sunnah An Nabawiyyah, thinks that his being called an “anti-Semite” or a “radical” is absurd, because his verbal attacks against Jews and incitement against those he considers kafirs (disbelievers) is merely a reflection of his religious beliefs. Regardless of the reason, Kablawi is a revered spiritual leader with a considerable following that could easily be spurred to act upon his dangerous rhetoric. The intent of this article is to alert the community and law enforcement and expose Kablawi’s bigotry and extremism as a preventive measure.
On October 23rd, during one of his Friday khutbas (sermons), Kablawi told his congregation that Jews are not really Jews but “Europeans” with “pointy tails.” He stated, “If you even want to be a Jew, you cannot be a Jew. You can’t… I’m talking about Orthodox Jews. You cannot be an Orthodox Jew. They don’t accept you. They don’t acknowledge the rest of the Jews in the world, if they’re not these Orthodox with pointy tails and all these things on their side. They don’t. And over 90% of the Jews today are not real Jews, because Judaism has to do with a specific race of people… They’re Europeans. They’re Yehuda Khazar, Russians!”
Two days later, on October 25th, Kablawi referred to Jews as “enemies” and complained about Muslims trying to copy them. He stated, “The Yehud, this is their nature… enemies to anything that has to do with al-haqq (the truth). It doesn’t matter. For them, they work based on the Machiavellian mentality, the ends justify the means, anything goes, so they can achieve their goals… The only way we can achieve what they have achieved is by us corrupting our deen (belief)… Allah is warning you from following the path of those who incurred the wrath of Allah. And then they come and say, ‘We need to be like the Jews…’”
Kablawi is not only upset at his fellow Muslims for wanting to emulate Jews. He is also angry at them for embracing newly elected Oklahoma State House Rep Mauree Turner, a lesbian Muslim. On November 5th, he stated, “You have Muslims congratulating the first queer Muslim woman. That what we have sunk to! Queery and LGBT! And she likes the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘they’ – you know, those new genders… ‘I’m not a she. I’m not a he.’ So what are you, it? You’re ‘it’… What kills you, those exchanging congratulations… on pages that seem to be representing Islam. And this is what goes on?! Take your trash and garbage somewhere else!”
Kablawi is livid at French President Emmanuel Macron’s critique of Islam, following the grisly murder of French middle-school teacher Samuel Paty. Paty was beheaded after showing his students caricatures of Muhammad, as part of a lesson on Freedom of Expression. On October 23rd, about the beheading, Kablawi stated, “I don’t buy the story. It’s bogus!” Then, Kablawi took aim at 9/11: “Who in the world today still believe that dozen of people who came out of the caves of Tora Bora, and suddenly they’re flying two airplanes and exactly into two towers that 110 floors, and they hit right on the top and then suddenly like… Who still believe that?!”
On October 25th, Kablawi told his congregation to warn President Macron to “watch out.” He asked, “So what’s your position? Are you gonna still say, ‘But we are nice people. Islam means peace’? You still gonna do that? Or are you gonna be firm on your position? You have to… Who doesn’t speak the truth is a silent dog. There are situations it’s better to be quiet, but there situations you have to show solidarity and support and pride in your faith to send a message that ‘Watch out. Don’t think that al-Islam has no defenders.’” On October 29th, Kablawi stated, “Anybody, today, who says ‘I’m Muslim’ and defends Macron is kafir murtad (apostate traitor).”
Kablawi has said that democracy is “forbidden for Muslims” and that jihad is “climbing over people’s necks and heads and skulls.” No doubt, his brand of speech, in the guise of a religious imperative, is dangerous and threatening. It is no wonder that, in March 2018, Kablawi told his congregants that the FBI considers him to be a member of ISIS. Yet, Kablawi’s congregation is increasing and his message appears to be resonating. This past July, hundreds of mosque goers packed Kablawi’s NMIC to listen to him, during the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha.
Kablawi also has thousands of followers on Facebook. One of his fans is Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, the Communications Director for the Florida office of CAIR and someone who has given presentations at Kablawi’s mosque. Ruiz ‘liked’ the video, where Kablawi repeatedly called Jews “enemies,” and under the video where Kablawi said the France beheading and the 9/11 attacks were “bogus,” Ruiz commented in Arabic, “Allah is the Greatest.” In March 2018, just days following Kablawi’s ISIS announcement, Kablawi brought Ruiz in to NMIC to inform and advise the congregation on “what to do if the FBI comes for you.”
Another of Kablawi’s Facebook fans is Salman Rashid, a man in his 20s who, this past December, was charged with soliciting ISIS to murder the deans of two South Florida colleges. In the end, no one was injured, but it could easily have turned out otherwise. Question: Will we learn a lesson from the beheading in France and the recent terror attack in Vienna, Austria – both of which authorities determined were the results of mosque-generated incitement – and be mindful that there could be others like Rashid who are listening to and being inspired by imams like Kablawi?
We must take Kablawi’s words at face value and treat them like the threats which they pose. If the FBI believes that Kablawi is a member of ISIS, why is he still giving speeches at NMIC? Indeed, why is he permitted to use this platform to spew his venomous hatred and alarming provocations? Let’s hope that it does not take an act of violence to propel US authorities to do the right thing and shut down Kablawi and his mosque.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.