The Islamic Society of Boston is promoting an online series of seminars hosted by the Al Madina Institute. What sort of clerics will Boston Muslims who subscribe to this course encounter?
A look at the preachers involved with the seminars reveals some worrying ideas:
Yasir Fahmy is the Islamic Society of Boston’s very own Imam. Fahmy also has a long history of involvement with radical Islamist causes. His social media pages are littered with posts from Muslim Brotherhood pages and videos by prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Fahmy has posted videos by the extremist cleric Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani, the Libyan grand mufti accused by the Libyan parliament of supporting terrorism. In 2014, Al-Ghariani was forced to leave Britain after The Guardian reported:
…the radical cleric celebrated the violent capture of Tripoli by Islamist militia force Libya Dawn and called for a widening of the rebellion on Libyan TV.
The day after Tripoli fell to the Islamist group Libya Dawn, Ghariani sent congratulations to the Islamist militants via Libya based Tanasuh TV: “I congratulate the revolutionaries in their victory, I give blessing to the martyrs,” he said.
In 2011, Fahmy posted an article condemning the killing of Bin Laden. He has also posted videos mocking the moderate Muslim speaker Usama Hasan for his support for evolutionary theory and his love for peaceful Sufi Islam.
Fahmy translated texts for Suhaib Webb (the previous ISB imam) by the anti-Semitic, pro-terror, Hitler-supporter, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Al Qaradawi.
Ghilan is an unabashed supporter of the Gazan terrorist organization, Hamas, which he claims “represents the spirit of resistance against the occupying Zionist terrorists.” Ghilan defends the hadith cited in Hamas’s charter – promising the eradication of Jews everywhere – on the grounds that such a slaughter is not currently required in the present time, but at some point in the future, in which “a time will come when Muslims and Jews will be engaged in battle.”
Mokhtar Maghraoui is a “foundation scholar” of the Al-Madina Institute. In one speech, Maghraoui defends the stoning of adulterers and the killing of criminals, but recommends that an Islamic society shows mercy.
Maghraoui is a former member of the Fiqh Council of North America, an organization with a long history as a platform for prominent Muslim Brotherhood clerics.
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.”
Arsalan Haque is a prominent cleric, and a graduate of the Abu Nour Foundation in Syria, which the Assad regime monitored closely for terrorism links during the early 2000s.
Haque defends slavery within Islam – arguing that the concept of Islamic slavery is far more salubrious than the Western notion of slavery. Hague further defends the killing of polytheists within Islam, but only “Arab polytheists.”
He also supports physical attacks on women – stating that like dealing with a slave, “it is my duty as well to discipline my wife if she rebels.” There is “talk about marital discord, and solving marital problems in the Quran” … One of the things that Allah … tells us to do, in certain situations, although we don’t have time to go into details, is to use physical discipline.”
The Prophet, he continues, “allows men to physically discipline their wives.” But, he warns: “Do not beat your wife to the extent that she dies.”