Extremist Imam Holds Fundraiser at Florida Hilton
A fundraiser will be held for Zaytuna College, America’s first Muslim college, at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday, November 3. The featured speaker is one of Zaytuna’s founders, Imam Zaid Shakir, an Islamist cleric whose extremism has been repeatedly documented by RadicalIslam.org. The lecture is free of charge, but tickets for the dinner reception afterwards are $50.
The New York Times reported in 2006 that Shakir “said he still hoped that one day the United States would be a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law,” and that he supports accomplishing this non-violently. He says that Islam justifies the hijacking of “an airplane filled with the 82nd Airborne” and that the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon by Hezbollah was not an act of terrorism.
In May 2009, Shakir wrote that the U.S. has a “pattern of demonization, destabilization and the invasion of hapless Third World nations.” Among those “demonized” by the U.S. are Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez and Muammar Qaddafi, he says. He also teaches that the U.S. is run by a “small oligarchy.”
In an article published in October, 2007, Shakir objects to President Bush’s use of the term “Islamic fascists” by arguing that the Bush Administration and “neoconservatives” are the true fascists. He says it is a “big lie” that “so-called Islamic Fascism threatens Western Civilization.” He gives support to 9/11 conspiracy theories, writing that the attacks “occurred under dubious circumstances that have yet to be thoroughly examined.” He criticizes the “process of vilification” against Iranian President Ahmadinejad and characterizes Al-Qaeda, Hamas and jihadists in Iraq, Kashmir and Chechnya as fighters against unjust policies. He has condemned some of their violent tactics but supports their cause.
In 2003, he preached that the U.S. was waging a war on Islam and that the government was systematically persecuting innocent Muslims, saying “they just want a pretext to get another Muslim off the street” and Muslim-Americans should wage non-violent jihad through institution-building in the U.S.
The Hilton conference center is located on the campus of the University of Florida, exposing students to Shakir’s beliefs. The center’s phone number is 1-352-371-3600 and its website is here.
Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.