The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) denounced the Muslim Congress for its plan to feature anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying, anti-gay, and pro-terrorist speakers at its 14th annual conference – entitled “Islam: Religion of Hope”—on July 6-8 in Orlando, Florida.
The Muslim Congress represents itself as a charitable 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose objectives are “to promote Islamic knowledge, morality, divine values and cooperation among members living in various Muslim communities of North America.” Yet the speakers that the Muslim Congress chose to feature at its conference do not endorse these benevolent objectives. Instead, they promote hateful and divisive views, making false accusations against Jews, denying the Holocaust, inciting violence against gays, and promoting Islamic terrorist groups that have wreaked havoc on innocent civilians, including by kidnapping and raping young girls and women, and engaging in suicide bombings, beheadings, and other violence.
Kevin Barrett, one of the featured speakers, has falsely blamed Jews for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, claiming that “neoconservative Zionists” are the main suspects in what was allegedly an inside job. Barrett said, “We have this huge powerful ethnically Jewish Zionist lobby here in the United States that has taken over American Middle East policy and made it subservient to the politics of Israel . . . these people have engineered 9/11 itself.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIm-s6tFljI.
Barrett has also denied the Holocaust, stating that “this is an issue that I’m still on the fence on. I don’t know who’s right about this. There are very serious questions about the so-called Holy Trinity of the Holocaust story . . . Anne Frank is a sub-myth of the larger myth of the Holocaust.”
The Muslim Congress conference is also scheduled to feature Sheikh Hamza Sodagar, who endorses killing gays, and in excruciatingly horrific ways: “The punishment for homosexual men . . . the easiest one maybe is to chop their head off. Second, burn them to death. Third, throw them off a cliff. Fourth, tear down a wall on them. Fifth, a combination of the above.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yX7n89m1qI. Sodagar’s incitement of violence is even more appalling considering that the 2016 terrorist attack at Pulse, a gay nightclub, was perpetrated by an Islamic extremist not far from where the Muslim Congress conference is taking place.
Asad Jafri, another scheduled speaker at the conference, has promoted safeguarding Islamic terrorists and called for Israel’s destruction. At a rally in Toronto, he implored, “Leave ISIS alone, leave Al Qaida alone, leave Al Nusra alone, leave Boko Haram alone . . . down with Zionism!” He also threatened, “You will see the destruction of Israel very soon.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFLsEu7UTGY.
Sharona Whisler, executive director of ZOA’s Florida chapter, criticized the Muslim Congress for its decision to feature such hateful, bigoted and violence-promoting speakers at its upcoming conference: “The Muslim Congress claims to embrace morality and divine values and to seek to educate people about Islam as a religion of hope. Yet the Muslim Congress is featuring speakers at its conference who stand for exactly the opposite. Making false accusations against Jews to incite hatred of them, denying the Holocaust, supporting Islamic terrorist groups like Al Qaida, and calling for the murder of gays, is nothing short of immoral and abominable, and against the values of every humanity-loving person.
“All of us – especially our public officials – should be condemning the Muslim Congress for its abysmal choice of speakers. We encourage the IRS to re-evaluate whether the Muslim Congress is truly operating consistent with the exempt purposes under our tax laws and is entitled to maintain its tax-exempt status.”