One would think that a mosque and madrassa attached to an imam, who regularly attacks Jews from the pulpit, would be ostracized by the community, but that is not what is happening with the Miami-based Masjid As-Sunnah An-Nabawiyyah and its children’s school, Reviver Academy, where their imam, Fadi Kablawi, repeatedly assails others. Not only has the Muslim community ignored the imam’s hate-filled rhetoric, but it has openly embraced him and his institutions. Even the state of Florida provides taxpayer funding towards the imam’s school. In an era when antisemitism is not to be tolerated, it seems many are giving a pass to Kablawi and company.
Both the masjid and the school are owned by the North Miami Islamic Center (NMIC), a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation. All three entities operate out of the same three-floor facility. While Reviver Academy, a.k.a. As-Sunah An-Nabaweya Revivers, takes up the second floor, the school as well shares the first floor space that is used weekly for Imam Kablawi’s lectures and sermons, speeches that, many times, are saturated with hatred and violence.
Kablawi, who was born in Jordan and who has been arrested for Medicaid fraud, has no filter in his talks. This is especially the case, when it comes to discussions about Jews.
In December 2020, Kablawi told his congregants that Jews are “the lowest of the lowest.” He said that people “crack jokes about Jews being cheap” as “a punishment from Allah.” In January 2021, Kablawi stated that Jews “deserve the wrath of Allah… because he knows what the truth is… [H]e knows what’s right, but his intention is evil.” In May 2021, he said, “[T]he Jews cry… every minute about the Holocaust. And they make it the worst thing happen in history for any group of people… You didn’t suffer… When you come and say, ‘We want money for our great-grandfathers, who were burned by Hitler,’ you’re capitalizing, just as usual. You love money.”
Kablawi has also targeted LGBTQ, Christians, Hindus and fellow Muslims. He has blamed female victims of rape for the violence committed against them, and he has joked about sacrificing house pets.
In March 2018, Kablawi confessed that the FBI believes him to have involvement with ISIS. In November 2019, a congregant and follower of his, Salman Rasheed, was arrested for attempting to recruit ISIS, in a plot to kill the deans of both Broward and Miami-Dade College. Along with videos of Kablawi speeches, Rasheed posted on Facebook, “Americans Are Our Greatest Enemy After Israeli Yahuds” and “Americans will pay Inch by Inch For everything they have done to us…” Kablawi, who met with Rasheed on several occasions, called him a “good brother.” Rasheed’s mother accused Kablawi of brainwashing her son to commit terrorist acts.
In July 2020, Kablawi stated, “[J]ihad is when you put your life on the line… Real jihad is not climbing walls. Real jihad is climbing over people’s necks and heads and skulls.”
Quran scholar Ibrahim Akar sits atop all Reviver teachers, on the school’s website. In March 2015, Akar made a vile post on his social media claiming that “90% of women… are cursed by God.” He further said that women “wearing perfume outside the house is forbidden” and is an act of adultery. He cynically concluded by asking, “Did you know why most of the people of the Hellfire are women?” Photos on the Reviver site depict Akar teaching children in class, which includes a number of small girls. Akar chants Quaranic recitations, before Kablawi’s sermons, and during many of the sermons, Akar can be seen seated prominently behind Kablawi.
Last month, the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), an umbrella group for many of South Florida’s Muslim organizations, posted on its Facebook page a graphic advertising administration and teaching jobs for Reviver Academy. The ad stated that the school is “now hiring college students and grads.”
This was not the first time the Federation had posted an ad for the school. It did so as well, in July 2021, also announcing the hiring of new teachers. When clicking on the ad, which had a large Reviver logo on it, one was brought to a page directly on the Federation website containing more details about the Reviver job description, discussing position requirements, qualifications, benefits and compensation. An online form was provided for prospective Reviver teachers to fill out and submit a resume directly via the Federation site.
Far worse than the advertisements, Federation member Islamic Center of South Florida (ICOSF) has made Kablawi a core piece of its worship service. For at least the past year, Kablawi has been regularly performing the khutbah (Friday prayer) at the mosque.
None of the Federation or ICOSF’s dealings with Kablawi and his outfits should come as a surprise. The two entities have significant links to extremism, themselves. Another Federation member, Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM), currently promotes material on its website targeting Jews, Christians, Hindus, gays and women with hatred and violence, and ICOSF’s main imam, Hasan Sabri, has, in the past, labeled America an “enemy.” However, to ignore such a level of hate and incitement, as is exhibited by that of Kablawi, shows just how fanatic these groups are.
What is a surprise, though, is that the state of Florida would finance such bigotry.
Reviver Academy is currently receiving tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funded scholarships for its pupils, via the Florida non-profit organization Step Up for Students. The scholarships or vouchers have averaged around $7000 per student. During last year’s Ramadan, the mosque made it a point to inform its congregants that it would help them get “vouchers” to assist them in paying for their children’s Reviver educations. The individual relaying this information was Nabil el-Shukri, the younger brother of deceased al-Qaeda leader Adnan el-Shukrijumah.
Whether it is the Muslim Federation of South Florida or the Islamic Center of South Florida or the state of Florida itself, there is no excuse whatsoever to embrace Fadi Kablawi, his mosque, his school, or anything else related to him. He should be shunned and his institutions permanently shut down.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.