Muslim prof who advocated cutting off hands of thieves still teaching

Marlo Safi
Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent

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  • A Muslim professor in Florida is still teaching despite endorsing the Sharia law practice of cutting off the hands of thieves during a recent panel discussion.
  • Bassem Al-Halabi argued that killing and maiming thieves is justifiable because it ensures that "there's no more stealing in the whole nation."
  • Al-Halabi founded the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, which has repeatedly been tied to pro-jihad individuals and government-designated terrorist groups.
  • A Muslim professor in Florida is still teaching despite endorsing the Sharia law practice of cutting off the hands of thieves during a recent panel discussion.

    Bassem Al-Halabi, an associate professor of engineering and computer science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), contemplated the use of Sharia law to mitigate crime at a panel last month sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, a group started by the Muslim Brotherhood that the House Judiciary Committee deemed a terrorist organization in the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015.

    “Where there is no Shariah, Islamic Shariah, they die in dozens and hundreds every day because of organized crime.”   

    According to Christian Today, Al-Halabi continues to teach at FAU despite a long history of making similarly incendiary comments, including voicing support for a State Department-designated terrorist group.

    “Where there is no Shariah, Islamic Shariah, they die in dozens and hundreds every day because of organized crime,” Al-Halabi asserted. “People kill people, other people or steal pizza for $10—so what Islamic Shariah is saying about capital punishment—so even though it sounds like it is severe but if that is the solution to prevent any crimes, then it still has a lot of rules and regulations.”

    He went on to add that while cutting off someone’s hands may sound “barbaric” and “severe,” it takes only one or two people getting their hands cut off to ensure “there's no more stealing and there's no more stealing in the whole nation—that's a much better resolution than having hundreds of people die every day.”

    According to The Palm Beach Post, approximately 50 protesters had previously called on FAU to terminate Al-Halabi for having terrorist ties in 2011.

    Al-Halabi is the founder of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), which many sources have accused of having links to extremist organizations. According to the Clarion Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to exposing the dangers of Islamist extremism, ICBR promoted a website called “Jihad in Chechnya” in 2000 that raised support for terrorists, and ICBR received grants from the Global Relief Foundation before it was shut down by the U.S. government in 2002 for having links to Al-Qaeda.

    In October of 2000, ICBR imam and co-founder Ibrahim Dremali participated in a pro-jihad rally against Israel that depicted young children in military fatigues with Hezbollah flags.

    “With jihad we’ll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand” the demonstrators chanted, while Dremali encouraged Muslims to honor martyrs and to be unafraid of sacrificing their lives for their beliefs.

    Al-Halabi also worked under Sami Amin Al-Arian, a professor at the University of South Florida who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to contribute services to or for the benefit of the Palestine Islamic Jihad, a specifically-designated terrorist group.

    Al-Halabi has been accused of voicing support for Hamas, a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization that the U.S. State Department has designated as a terrorist organization since 1997, as well as for jihadist suicide bombers.

    He was also accused of illegally shipping a $13,000 thermal imaging device to Syria in 1998. Technological transfers are prohibited for export to Syria “for national security, regional stability, and anti-terrorism reasons,” the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said in 2003 when he was found guilty.

    Campus Reform reached out to FAU for comment on Al-Halabi’s controversial statements, but had not received a response by press time.

    Follow this author on Twitter: @marl_boro26



    Marlo Safi

    Marlo Safi

    Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent

    Marlo Safi is a Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. She attends the University of Pittsburgh, where she studies Pre-Law, Psychology and Political Science and serves as a columnist for her student newspaper, The Pitt News.

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