Monday, July 7, 2008

Did Hate Sheikh Khalid Yasin Defraud Ohio Muslims (and did ISGC officials looking the other way)?

In May I reported here that international hate sheikh Khalid Yasin was making an appearance in Dayton sponsored by Masjid At-Taqwa and a weeklong schedule of events in Islamic Society of Greater Columbus mosques, in addition to an event at Ohio State (flier for the OSU event below).

But as I write in FrontPage today, “Khalid Yasin: Hate Sheikh, Con Man?”, some Muslims are speaking out and expressing grave concerns about Yasin’s long history of fraudulent fundraising and the complicity of so-called Muslim “leaders” who look the other way at his fraud:

But the issue raising concerns amongst some Muslim leaders in the US is not just Yasin’s cross-country tours promoting his toxic blend of rancid theology and conspiracy-mongering, but also about his fraudulent fundraising and questionable business practices. These Muslim leaders are also concerned that some Islamic institutions have willing looked the other way and ignored these scams as long as Yasin continues to regularly rake in substantial sums on their behalf.

Others have also expressed outrage that while Yasin has taken home as much as a hundred thousands dollars in an evening, thanks to his usual 50/50 split of all funds raised at an event, his wife and child live on public welfare in their home in Sheffield, England.

One source speaking out about Khalid Yasin’s fraudulent fundraising is the Salafi Burnout blog, which has alleged that the hate sheikh is enriching himself in a series of scams preying on the American Muslim community:

Having been exposed as a fraud in Australia and the UK, Khalid Yasin is currently back in the United States still peddling his television scam and raising money and taking up to half the money as his personal cut. He has also raised money in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries for a supposed Qur’an Memorization School in Alabama that did not exist. Last report, he was taking this money and investing it in real estate in Long Island in his own name. Should Muslims continue to allow this individual to trade on his name and swindle his community out of hundreds of thousands of dollars?
These sentiments have been echoed by Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, who praised Salafi Burnout for publicly challenging Yasin and questioning how the American Muslim community has allowed a con man to operate so wantonly in their midst without the slightest criticism from Muslim leaders until now:

By now almost everyone is caught up in the buzz swirling around recent revelations of “Sheikh” Khalid Yasin’s long history of fraud and deceit. I applaud the courageous blog Salafi Burnout for attempting to protect the Muslims from what can only be described as a criminal enterprise, and to make us all aware of the tremendous damage it has caused to the community. As Yasin’s criminal house of cards appears to finally be falling, we are left with many unanswered questions as to why this kind of thing has been allowed to go on for so long.

Let there be no mistake, other shoes will drop, not only on Khalid Yasin but a whole host of other “du’ aat” and Imams who have with impunity betrayed the trust of the Muslims, and have left us wondering how individuals with such shady and dubious backgrounds were allowed to attain such stature, influence, and respectability in the first place. It is no exaggeration to say, as we shall soon learn, that our community is top heavy with these types of scoundrels, and yet the larger question remains; why did so many responsible and affluent Muslims fork over huge sums of money to a man who spouts the kind of absurd, preposterous, indeed psychotic things that he does?
As I reported previously, this is far from the first time that allegations of fraud and deception have dogged Khalid Yasin. When investigators for the Australian Sunday program looked into his academic background and his media company, the Islamic Broadcasting Corporation, back in 2005 they found a pattern of rampant fraud, deliberate misrepresentations, a mountain unpaid debts by Yasin, and unanswered questions about his phony academic credentials:

Exit question: Were ISGC leaders (such as Mohammad Tarazi) aware of Khalid Yasin’s history of fraudulent fundraising before they invited him to into their mosques to prey on the Muslim community in Columbus?

Final comment: Bravo to those Muslims courageously speaking out against the corrupt leaders who tolerate lies and fraud, and who sell their congregations away to rancid preachers like Khalid Yasin for money.