Mufti and imam Izhar ul-Haq Khan has just been arrested, accused of providing material support to the Taliban in Pakistan, planning the murder of Pakistani civilians, and plotting to overthrow the Pakistani government and replace it with a theocracy. But there's a lot more to the man! He also "has a great passion for promoting Islamic culture among the youth and young adult[s]" and he's "always available" for individual counseling, according to the website of his Margate mosque, Masjid Jamaat al-Mumineen.
Izhar Khan was arrested along with his father, Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan (an imam with a congregation in Miami), and his brother, Irfan Khan (who isn't an imam at all). Three accomplices who are "at large" in Pakistan have been charged too, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Izhar Khan's mosque seems to be a thriving center of Islamic life in South Florida. If you're looking to get on the side of a "beneficent" or "merciful" god, as the mosque's webmasters put it, and if you can look past the unfortunate business with the civilians-killing and government-overthrowing, you might wanna take a look at its website.
Once there, you can sign up your kids for Sunday madrassah (girls, don't forget your hijabs!) or a youth group, join a ladies' group that does bake sales, or listen to a worried-sounding man giving lectures that begin in Arabic, transition to English for some sniveling deity-licking, transition back to Arabic, and then devolve into paranoid little anecdotes that go like this:
(Note: The following is a partial transcript from the lecture titled "Satan: Know Your Enemy Part 1")
Do not die unless you are in a state of al ISLAM!
Before I begin my topic, I wish to introduce it with an example of how the Shaitan can lead a Muslim away from [unintelligible]. Our topic with you is knowing that the Shaitan [unintelligible] IS THE ENEMY! I introduce it by giving you an example of a Muslim sister -- extremely bright, intelligent, received a scholarship to the most PRESTIGIOUS ENGINEERING SCHOOL IN NORTH AMERICA! Very bright girl.
But the city that this school was in was of a different state AND SHE WOULD HAVE TO LIVE IN THE RESIDENCES OF THE UNIVERSITY away from home and her parents. And being parents who were honored to have a smart girl, who earned a scholarship, they wholeheartedly shipped their daughter off. And she lived IN THE COMPANSIONSHIP OF A BUDDHIST! Two Christians, and two Hindus. She ate with them. She used the same bathroom they used. She went out with them and attended classes with them. Twenty-four hours of her day was in the company of these people. But this Mus sister used to wear a hijab ... And I SAY SHE USED TO! TO LET YOU KNOW WHAT WILL COME I AM FORECASTING WHAT WILL HAPPEN! SHE USED TO WEAR A HIJAB! And she was very enthusiastic of being in university. And people who are sophomores and seniors in university would label freshman -- people who were entering school for the first time -- as "fresh meat." The "fresh meat" were young girls.
And she began to run articles defending Islam in the weekly chronicle of the university.
Tragically, she became infatuated secretly. She loved a person who was an atheist. She never mentioned it. But this atheist man began to sit with her and discuss Islam. "Tell me about your religion? Why do you wear hijab? Why are you named this type of ethnic Islamic name?" And she began to enjoy her conversations. And it built. Day after day. To the point that he convinced her that hijab was dishonor. And oppression. And subjugation of women. And that it eliminates your rights and causes you to be inferior to men. An atheist!
So she removed her hijab without informing her parents. ALL THROUGH THIS YEAR THAT SHE WAS LIVING AWAY FROM HOME HER, PARENTS NOT ONCE VISITED HER! PAID HER A SURPRISE VISIT! Not once. Finally, after attending university for two years, she wrote her parents a letter, and her parents and her sister -- her younger sister -- emailed me, asking what we should do. Because the letter states: "I can no longer live a life built on lies. I must inform you that I no longer believe in YOUR GOD. In fact, I believe in no god."
...Do not follow the steps of Shaitan. Shaitan didn't come to the sister the first day and say "Be non-Muslim. Take off your hijab. Disbelieve in [unintelligible]." Steps, footsteps, small or large, he is constantly moving forward. So this Muslim sister -- this previous Muslim sister's family writes: "Is she permitted to enter our home? Can we spend on her? Can we give her food from our HALAAAAAAAAAL food? Are we permitted to discuss the issue with her? Her younger sister says: 'Can I debate my sister?'"
So we sent the question to our [unintelligible] and they replied that her family are to not EVER feed her, allow her in their home, allow their younger daughter to even see her or interact with her. It becomes FARRRRD for the Muslim community other than her family to call her back to Islaaaaaam so she will not influence her own immediate family.
So you can see what they mean by "beneficent" and "merciful."
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Please note that visitors to the mosque's website are invited to take a poll in which they are asked: "What is the biggest misconception about Islam?" The available answers: A) Muslims are violent, terrorist, and/or extremist; B) Islam oppresses women; C) All Muslims are Arabs; and D) Muslims worship a different God. Having listened to the above lecture and read about the extracurricular activities of imam Izhar Khan, I'm convinced it's a trick question.