‘Open House’ events conjure up a welcome and friendly atmosphere. When the term is co-opted by mosques with a history (and present) of terror support and hate, it is something entirely different. Last month, the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), an umbrella group for South Florida’s many radical Muslim institutions, advertised on its social media a list of mosques – all of which are members of the Federation – that were conducting these Open House activities. This article is aimed at revealing the malevolent agenda of the mosques, whose ‘openness’ is, in fact, a cynical attempt to portray themselves as houses of peace, when they are anything but.
One of the mosques was Margate-based Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen (MJAM). MJAM’s website features texts sanctioning female genital mutilation, death punishments for gays, domestic violence against women, and condemnations of Jews, Christians, Hindus and fellow Muslims who do not buy into the same extremism. One MJAM text, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, states, “[B]eware of the Jews, your enemies… [D]o not be deceived by them, for they are liars, treacherous and disbelievers… Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them.”
MJAM’s imam is Izhar Khan. In May 2011, Khan and members of his family were arrested and charged by the FBI with funding the Taliban. Khan spent 20 months in a federal detention center, before being released by a sympathetic judge. As stated in the indictment against him, “Izhar is a Pakistani Taliban sympathizer who worked with [his father Hafiz] and others to collect and deliver money for the Pakistani Taliban… Izhar… provided and attempted to provide material support and resources… knowing and intending that they be used in preparation for and in carrying out… a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.”
Another mosque on SFMF’s list was the Sunrise-based Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF). IFSF’s former youth director and ex-SFMF social media director, Abdurahman 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 “World’s Number One Terrorist Organization”; and gay Muslims as “stone cold kaffirs outside the fold of Islam.” Al-Ghani has also promoted deceased al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, and he has encouraged his followers to violently “wipe out the CIA.” In November 2012, al-Ghani posted the message, “We love u Hamas. U are the real hero.”
In April 2014, IFSF hosted a talk by Mazen Mokhtar, a former administrator for the now-defunct al-Qaeda recruitment site, qoqaz.net, and supporter of suicide bombings. This past July, IFSF sponsored a khutbah (prayer) performed by Shafayat Mohamed, a South Florida imam who has been thrown off a number of county boards for his hostile rhetoric against gays and the former teacher of al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla. This past September, IFSF hosted MJAM’s Izhar Khan. And this past November, IFSF sponsored a talk by Siraj Wahhaj, a Brooklyn imam who, according to the US government, was linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
A third mosque on SFMF’s ‘Open House’ list was the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR). From October 1999 through September 2001, ICBR published a violently anti-Semitic essay on its website, titled ‘Why can’t the Jews and Muslims live together in peace?’ It described Jews as “people of treachery and betrayal” and “enemies.” It quoted the Muslim prophet Muhammad, saying a “Day of Judgement” will come when Muslims will “fight the Jews and kill them.”
ICBR was founded by a group of men that included Hamas website designer Syed Khawer Ahmad and current ICBR Secretary and ex-assistant to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian, Bassem Alhalabi. In June 2003, Alhalabi was charged by the US Commerce Department with illegally shipping a $13,000 thermal imaging device to Syria. The founding imam of ICBR, Ibrahim Dremali, was placed on the federal no-fly list, and his replacement, Muneer Arafat, admitted in court that he, himself, was a member of PIJ. The current ICBR President, Abdulrauf Khan, is a national rep for ICNA, a group with ties to South Asian terror.
This past December, Siraj Wahhaj joined ICBR leaders for a group photo. In January, Monzer Taleb, a self-professed member of Hamas, who, in June 2019, posted on Facebook that Jews in Israel “should be relocated to Germany,” came to speak at ICBR’s children’s school, Garden of the Sahaba Academy. Accompanying Taleb, was Abdullah Jaber, the Executive Director of CAIR-Florida. In February, Nouman Ali Khan, who recently was involved in a sexting scandal, whereby he allegedly used his position of authority to lure women into sexual relationships, spoke at ICBR. And on different dates in March, Izhar Khan was the featured speaker.
These mosques – MJAM, IFSF and ICBR – are but three examples of the Islamic extremism problem permeating throughout South Florida. Non-Muslims who attend their ‘Open House’ events are willing dupes, who are being used to legitimize terror and hatred.
No person, who wishes to abstain from involvement with such illicit behavior, should step foot in any of these centers. Doing so implies naiveté and trust, which is not only misplaced but dangerous. The public should, instead, join this author in exposing their sinister motives and call for them to be shut down.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.