Fan of Hamas and David Duke on Board of Crime Stoppers
Exposing the schizophrenic behavior of radical Muslim Sofian Zakkout.
Miami, Florida’s high-profile Islamist, Sofian Zakkout, takes every opportunity to broadcast to the public about his board membership in local anti-crime groups, Crime Stoppers and Citizen’s Crime Watch, and about his connections with government and law enforcement. Conversely, he is also very public about his support for the terrorist organization Hamas and white supremacist David Duke. In fact, he may be involved with Hamas, himself. This schizophrenic behavior has been going on for years, yet it would seem to any sane individual that Zakkout’s two separate lives are at dangerous odds with one another and on the verge of collision.
Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, the founder and Director of the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), was born in Gaza, grew up in Kuwait, and moved to the U.S. in 1977. Though he has been here nearly four decades, Zakkout has shown no interest in discarding his Gazan roots. Indeed, it would seem that he has come here to act as an operative within and to promote a Gazan agenda.
In August 2000, the Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP), a now-defunct Hamas-related charity then-located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, announced Zakkout as its Vice President. While Zakkout was with HRCP, on the ‘News’ section of the group’s website, its viewers were told “for news information and updates” to click on a link to the homepage of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). Prior to its closure, the IAP was the American propaganda arm of Hamas, founded by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook.
Zakkout’s colleague at HRCP, HRCP’s Secretary and Treasurer, Syed Khawer Ahmad, was the creator of and, at the time, webmaster for the official website of the Islamic Association, Al-Jamiya Al-Islamia, the Gaza-based parent organization of Hamas. The site contains a letter asking for funds for children schools and camps, signed by then-Director of the Islamic Association, Hamas leader Ahmad Bahar. Bahar has since called for the annihilation of Jews and Americans, stating “kill them all, without leaving a single one.”
In the last couple years, Zakkout has been extremely forthright in his support for Hamas. On his YouTube page, along with images of Hitler and an American eagle bludgeoning the world, he links to a number of official Hamas videos. As well, Zakkout’s Facebook page is littered with Hamas logos and photos of Hamas militants and leaders, including Hamas founders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi and deceased Hamas bomb maker Yehiya Ayyash.
Over a graphic he posted on Facebook this past February, depicting Yassin, Rantisi and one other Hamas “martyr,” Zakkout wrote in Arabic, “It is an obligation and it is mentioned in the Quran to defend the land and the population. It is an obligation to kill those who left our religion. It is an obligation to kill those who fight our religion and to intimidate our enemies and the enemies of the religion. Everything is from the Quran, not from me.” And he signed it, “Sofian.”
In another post from last August, he mentioned his feelings towards the different terrorist factions within Gaza. While he claimed that he is not part of Hamas, in the post he stated in Arabic, “Hamas is in my heart and on my head.” He as well targeted Jews within the post, stating “America has been contaminated by some Jews.” He signed it, “Sofian Zakkout.” In both July and August, he posted graphics of all of the Palestinian terrorist factions interlocking arms in unity around a graphic of Israel draped in a Palestinian flag.
In yet another post from last July, over a close-up of himself wrapped in a kefiyyeh (Islamic scarf), like a Palestinian militant with only his eyes revealed, he discussed his loyalty to Gaza. He stated in Arabic, “Gaza is my nation, my hometown. Gaza is inside my country. My country is Palestine. Palestine is inside my Arabism. My Arabism is inside my nation. My nation is Islam. Gaza is the heart of my nation. A weak heart will weaken the nation.” He signed it, “Your brother Sofian.”
That same month, July 2014, Zakkout organized a rally held in Downtown Miami, in response to Israel’s military operation in Gaza. Co-sponsors of the event included CAIR-Florida, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Syrian American Council (SAC), and Zakkout’s own group AMANA. An event flyer, which contains Zakkout’s name and phone number as a contact, shows that it was billed as a solidarity rally with Gaza. However, it turned out to be less a Gaza solidarity rally and more a violence-driven Hamas rally.
The crowd at the rally chanted loudly a number of anti-Jewish and pro-Hamas slogans. In Arabic, the crowd shouted, “Khyber, Khyber, oh Jews, Muhammad’s Army will return.” This is a reference to the Saudi city of Khyber, where followers of Muhammad attacked and enslaved its Jewish inhabitants in the year 628. They shouted, “Hamas kicked your ass,” “Let’s go Hamas,” and “We are jihad.” Zakkout is shown on video with a huge grin on his face, as his mob repeatedly screams, “We are Hamas.”
This was an angry and violent crowd, as one Jewish reporter discovered, when he was assaulted by rally goers and threatened with death, after being labeled a “Zionist.”
Following the rally, Zakkout stated the following on Facebook in Arabic, above event photos that he used as examples, “Praise God, compare our anti-Israel American Muslim demonstration in front of the terrorist Israeli Consulate to the American Jewish pro-Israel one! Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” He signed it, “Br. Sofian Zakkout.”
Apart from his obsession with Hamas, Sofian Zakkout is also a big fan of white supremacist David Duke. In December 2014, Zakkout sent a message via Facebook asking recipients to view a heavily anti-Semitic Duke video, titled ‘Zionist Terror in Gaza: Free Palestine and Free the World.’ In it, Duke complains about a “Zionist controlled media” that he alleges is based in America, London and Paris. He says that the media doesn’t want viewers to worry about “those who are not the ‘chosen.’” About the Duke video, Zakkout wrote, “America needs to see the truth in pictures and in videos.”
This past March, Zakkout posted on his Facebook page a link to another conspiratorial rant made by Duke on Iran’s state-controlled Press TV (PressTV). Duke’s rant included the following:
“The conflict is between these crazies, like Netanyahu, Likud and the Jewish lobby around the world… and the more cunning – what I would say the more clever – Jewish Zionist supremacists, who see everything going on the way they want to do it… They are consolidating their power over the global media… over globalist finance and banks… [T]hey’re still moving toward the same objective… a destruction of the rights of all the nations of the world and its subservients to a Zio-Globalist economy, a Zio-Globalist government, and the absolute destruction of any true independence or freedom for any nation on earth.”
These postings came nearly five years after Zakkout and his group were chastised by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for doing something similar. In July 2010, the ADL condemned Zakkout’s group AMANA for featuring what it called a “vicious” David Duke video on its website. In the video, which is titled ‘No War for Israel in Iran – Keep Americans Safe,’ Duke rails against Jews and is shown shaking hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The video tells its viewers to “Get the Latest Duke Video – Subscribe!”
Zakkout has posted other anti-Semitic imagery on his Facebook site. This includes a cartoon depicting a sinister-looking individual dressed in Orthodox Jewish garb [much like the anti-Semitic caricatures found in publications throughout the Arab world] plotting to seize and replace a Palestinian religious structure (October 2014) and a video produced by an organization calling itself Humanity United Against AshkeNAZI [Ashkenazi Jews meaning Jews having European ancestry], which has a group logo rendering a Jewish star next to a Nazi swastika (February 2015).
While all of this radical Islamic activity has been taking place, Zakkout has attempted – and successfully so – to ingratiate himself into society, within U.S. institutions designed to protect American citizens. For many years now, Zakkout has sat on the board of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers. He, as well, sits on the board of Citizen’s Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County.
In September 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gave out $2 million to religious institutions believed to be under threat of terrorist attack. Zakkout’s organization, American Muslims for Emergency and Relief (AMER), received $70,000 from this.
Zakkout has served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and he has received appointments to the Broward County Diversity Advisory Council and the Community Relations Board of Miami-Dade County. Additionally, he has received an award by the Miami-Dade Citizen Corps Council for “outstanding service.”
It is obvious that Zakkout has been able to infiltrate and cynically exploit a number of legitimate institutions, even those who are charged with protecting us from crime and terrorism. This has provided him a cover for his subversive and terror-related activities.
This needs to end immediately.
Sofian Zakkout’s involvement with Hamas, whether as a strong supporter or as a willing participant, his anti-Semitic actions, and his promotion of white supremacists should be reason enough to render him ineligible of serving, in any capacity whatsoever, within organizations involved with law enforcement and/or local or national government.
Furthermore, due to his activity regarding terrorist groups and due to statements he has made affirming his loyalty to his Gazan birthplace, Zakkout’s legal status within the United States should be carefully scrutinized. Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout is an immigrant to the United States, and as such, he is disallowed from being involved with groups engaged in terrorism, as Hamas is, and from having primary loyalties towards places other than the United States.
To voice your opinion on this matter, you can contact Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 and Citizen’s Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County at 305-470-1670. Please be respectful, when speaking with these organizations.
No entities can effectively combat crime and protect American democratic values, while aligning themselves with individuals who support terrorism and practice bigotry.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.