On December 4, the Islamic Center of New England in Sharon, MA, hosted an event with Sheikh Yahya Rhodus, an Islamic preacher with some troubling links.
In 2004, Rhodus and a fellow Islamic student were asked by an interviewer for ABC News what they thought of Bin Laden. Rhodes responded: “…the question itself is a little bit offensive for us to talk bad about someone behind their back without sufficient knowledge of that person.”
The interviewer asked Rhodus directly: “Do you condemn Al Qaeda? How do you regard Al Qaeda?” To which Rhodus replied: “I mean again I don’t really know too much about them enough to say any, yes I’m for them or no I’m against them.”
Rhodus has most recently worked as an instructor at the Zaytuna Institute in California, where his colleagues included Hamza Yusuf, who has described Judaism as “a most racist religion”; Zaid Shakir, who has claimed the Muslim world needs a new Caliphate to wage jihad and “use…weaponry against the enemies of Islam”; and Hatem Bazian, who has called for an “intifada in this country that change fundamentally the political dynamics in here,” similar to the “uprising in Iraq” and the “intifada in Palestine.”
The Islamic Center of New England (ICNE), which is hosting the event, has a history of promoting extremist preachers. In 2002, the ICNE offered a platform to the notorious British Salafist, Abdur Raheem Green, a former jihadist who warns Muslims of a Jewish “stench,” encourages the death penalty as a “suitable and effective” punishment for homosexuality and adultery, and has ruled that wife-beating “is allowed.”
The event is currently being promoted on social media by the Islamic Society of Boston, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood mosque founded by who was jailed in 2004 for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, and who has been named by the federal government as an Al Qaeda fundraiser