Bangladeshi American and other Bengali activists have condemned a decision by U.S. border authorities to admit extremist preacher, Mizanur Rahman Azhari, into the United States to speak at an Islamist conference in Philadelphia.
Azhari entered the United States despite being previously excluded from the United Kingdom because of his extremism, and is reportedly in exile from his home country of Bangladesh.
Azhari’s extremism is indisputable. In an undated video disseminated among Bangladeshi activists, and translated by FWI, Azhari declares that Hitler was “divine punishment” for the Jews, blames the Jews for various troubles of the world, including AIDS, and states that, “The Jews are the biggest terrorists of the world” and a “poisonous blemish.”
Human rights activist and FWI writer Asad Noor has published a separate video uncovering many more examples of Azhari’s hatreds, including promises that America would submit to Islam, and declarations that, eventually, non-Muslim men will be killed, and non-Muslim women and children will be enslaved.
In 2021, British MP Bob Blackman told the UK’s House of Commons that Azhari was working to spread a “message of hatred against Jews and Hindus,” and labelled the Bangladeshi imam as a “hate preacher.”
Consequently, authorities in Doha prevented Azhari from boarding a plane to the United Kingdom.
Now, Bangladeshi activists are calling for Azhari’s visa to be revoked.
Activist and lawyer Mufassil Islam asks how Azhari is allowed to enter the United States “when he is well-documented as a hate preacher” who calls for the killing of ex-Muslims, and the subjugation of Jews and Christians.
Mufassil Islam also notes that Azhari is a “close associate” of Zakir Naik, an Indian Islamist fugitive, wanted by Indian authorities for alleged involvement with terror financing.
Azhari will be speaking at a conference on August 17 organized by the Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA). MUNA serves as the American outpost of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, a violent South Asian Islamist movement that carried out acts of mass-murder during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
Asad Noor told FWI that Azhari should not have been admitted: “He expresses joy in his speeches about Hitler’s cruelty to Jews. He hates the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. He commands his followers to kill atheists and non-believers. He has expressed support for the Taliban and gives speeches declaring Americans to be terrorists.”
MUNA has repeatedly embraced Islamist killers from this war and their supporters. In 2010, for instance, MUNA organized an event with Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, whom a few years later, in 2013, a war crimes tribunal sentenced to death for his role in the murder of 120 farmers.
Conferences organized by MUNA have consistently offered uncompromisingly extremist rhetoric. In 2019, the Middle East Forum reported that the annual MUNA conference featured, “Numerous speakers [who] claimed that Islam itself required believers to gain political power, impose an Islamic doctrine on America, and fundamentally reshape American society.”
On August 17 Azhari will share a platform with prominent American imams such as Omar Suleiman, alongside dozens of other speakers, including hardline Salafis, Deobandis, and leading representatives of Jamaat-e-Islami in America.
FWI reached out to MUNA for comment, to ask if they agreed with Azhari’s views about Jews. If we ever receive a response, we will update this article.