In May, I had two reports published here at FrontPage concerning international hate sheikh Khalid Yasin’s recent tour through the state of Ohio, “Islamic Hatred in the Heartland” and “The Hate Sheikh’s Tour” with an appearance in Dayton and a weeklong schedule of events at mosques all around the Columbus area and the Ohio State University.
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:
SARAH FERGUSON: Yasin moved to the UK. He made headquarters here in the northern city of Sheffield and began looking for new investors. Armed with this glossy brochure on the UK operation, Yasin came back to Australia last year.
VOICE-OVER: Islamic Broadcasting Corporation — a unique investment opportunity. It will host up to 50 multimedia TV channels and five radio stations. potentially serving 1.2 billion viewers across the globe.
SARAH FERGUSON: The brochure's biggest selling point is a TV broadcast centre in Coventry, complete with photos and architects' drawings.
VOICE-OVER: We are currently relocating to our brand new purpose-built 8,000 square feet broadcast centre. It will be opened for business in September 2005.
SARAH FERGUSON: By the time we'd discovered Yasin's brochure, Yasin had left the country on an overseas trip. We put its claims to the new managing director of IBC Australia, Walid Ali. IBC in the UK claims it's building a massive $2 million broadcast centre. And that broadcast centre is under construction now. In fact it's supposed to be ready now. Have you seen it?
WALID ALI, MANAGING DIRECTOR ISLAMIC BROADCASTING GROUP: I will be very honest with you. I don't know a great deal about their operations but I do know that that facility has not been built as yet. Obviously with any organisation, any business venture that you take on, there will be unexpected delays. I'm sure they're having some unexpected delays. The idea of a Muslim-owned TV station was very attractive to Muslims here, and the brochure was crucial. Yasin used it to convince them that the UK operation was worth investing in. We've spoken to people who attended fundraisers in Sydney run by Yasin. At one event last year, $90,000 was pledged in a single evening. We've also seen bank documents transferring almost $50,000 of that money to a bank account in the UK in the name of one of Yasin's companies.
The question is — what happened to that money? This is the real technology park in Coventry and there is no broadcast centre because the brochure is a work of fiction, indeed fraud. Yasin's only connection with the Coventry Technology Park was a small office space rented out by his UK associate Channel Islam. According to the company which leases space here, Channel Islam broke its lease last year and is being pursued by debt collectors. None of these groups is collaborating with Yasin. The sums don't add up and the drawings were lifted from someone else's brochure.
MUHAMMAD ALI, ISLAM CHANNEL, UK: I don't think now after this long time of promises that channel is going to start broadcasting tomorrow, after tomorrow, next week, next month, next year I don't think there is much credibility left for such promises.
SARAH FERGUSON: Where Yasin's accreditation lies is another mystery. He prepared this CV to support an application to the Immigration Department. Neither institution has any record of a Khalid Yasin graduating. While he was still in Australia, we asked Yasin about his qualifications as a preacher.
SHEIK KHALID YASIN: I say to you that whatever qualifications I have they are subjective. And I don't even care. And if there was a choice for Khalid Yasin I would take any qualification, academic qualification I have and I throw it out the window. And I tell you whatever other qualifications I have, whatever convictions I have will stand on their own.
SARAH FERGUSON: The issue is that he has claimed to have those qualifications. I've checked. He doesn't. Does that concern you?
WALID ALI: Well, I guess it would concern me. I would really need to understand why he would make those claims if they weren't true.
SARAH FERGUSON: Sunday sent Yasin a series of questions about these discrepancies but we haven't received a reply. No doubt his rhetoric of Muslim victimhood will apply equally to him.
With the fraud behind his Islamic Broadcasting Corporation exposed by the international media, Yasin has transformed the scam into a new enterprise, Purpose TV, which appears to be nothing more than a website with a continuously looped streaming video. One program part of Purpose TV’s loop is the 2007 “documentary”, AIDS Inc, which claims that the medical mainstream research on AIDS has falsely promoted the view of a connection between HIV and AIDS in order to build a multi-billion medical industry – a theme that fits nicely into Yasin’s conspiratorial worldview.
What effect will come from open criticism of Khalid Yasin’s scams from within the Muslim community is hard to estimate, but that critics are beginning to raise their concerns is heartening. Meanwhile, however, Khalid Yasin continues to fleece the flock of untold sums unimpeded as he travels the mosque circuit in the US and Canada.
Is anyone from the Department of Justice listening?