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Miami Heat Partner with Radical Muslims for Family Night
Basketball team allows Islamists to exploit logo, desecrate arena floor.
By Joe Kaufman
For years, the Miami Heat NBA team has been linking up with others to run different heritage nights, as a way to pay homage to South Florida’s many diverse cultures. Last month, though, the team partnered with those tied to terror and bigotry for its first annual ‘Muslim Family Night.’ The team even allowed the groups’ leadership onto the arena floor bearing the Heat logo to practice shots. The Heat have embraced and continue to embrace the controversial Black Lives Matter movement as part of their ‘Social Justice Efforts.’ Do they view radical Islam the same? In a push to celebrate culture and diversity, the team has legitimized fanaticism in the process.
The Miami Heat event (that appeared) to honor South Florida’s Muslim community was held on Friday, January 27th. An announcement for it was found nine days earlier on the Facebook page of the South Florida Muslim Federation a.k.a. Soflo Muslims. It included both the Heat and Muslim Federation logos and stated, “The Miami HEAT invites you to South Florida Muslim Federation Family Night at the FTX Arena when the Miami HEAT host the Orlando Magic…” It further stated, “The first 50 tickets purchased through this special offer will include access to shoot (1) foul shot on the official HEAT court following the game!”
If the flyer advertising this event is true, the following question needs to be asked: How could the Miami Heat NBA basketball team name an event after and lend its logo to a Muslim extremist group with ties to hatred and violence? And furthermore, how could the team allow such a blatant threat to the public onto its floor to shoot baskets?
The Muslim Federation is an umbrella group comprised of South Florida’s many radical Muslim institutions. These institutions include entities with ties to overseas terrorism. One member organization is the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an outfit that has foundational and financial ties to Hamas. Another is the US chapter of Islamic Relief (IR), an organization that has been banned by a number of nations. Yet another is the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a group that has links to South Asian extremists and, for decades, has harbored a convicted death squad leader, placing him in top ICNA positions.
The Federation also includes radical mosques. One, Masjid Jamaat al-Mumineen (MJAM), promotes material calling Jews and Christians “enemies,” sanctioning domestic violence against women, and mandating death for gays. Another, Darul Uloom, has been a haven for al-Qaeda operatives. Another, the Islamic Center of South Florida (ICOSF) has an imam who refers to Jews as “the lowest of the lowest,” blames women for rape, jokes about sacrificing cats, and promotes violent jihad. One more, the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), was founded by a website designer for Hamas and a former assistant to a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader.
In May 2022, the Federation was a co-sponsor of an anti-Israel rally, where there were calls for Israel’s destruction. Attending the rally was Federation President Samir Kakli, who, three days before, posted on Facebook that Israel is the “world’s leading terrorist organization.” This past December, Kakli posted about Israel, “Their ‘nation’ is built on lies & fantasy.” Kakli has, as well, called for the release of leaders of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), who were convicted of raising millions of dollars for Hamas; he has shared material posted on Facebook by Hamas media; and he promoted the Palestinian “Day of Rage,” which targeted Jews with violence.
Also sponsoring the Heat game was Qure Sports, an Islamic group that purports to bring people together via athletics. On its website, Qure has its own sponsor page, which includes the logos for CAIR, ICNA, and Islamic Relief. It further has the logo for Basmah, which, like the others, is a member of the Muslim Federation. Basmah has sponsored events featuring Siraj Wahhaj, a Brooklyn, New York imam, who was named a party to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and was linked to the bomb-maker of the attack, and Monzer Taleb, a self-professed member of Hamas, who posted on Facebook that Jews in Israel “should be relocated to Germany.”
Attending the ‘Muslim Family Night’ was Muslim Federation Field Coordinator and Columbian-born convert to Islam, Gibson Munir Lopez (Gibson Nicolas Lopez Avila). Prior to coming to the Muslim Federation, Lopez was active in ICNA and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), an extreme anti-Israel group that is notorious for its harassment and intimidation of Jews and others on American campuses. At the Heat event, Lopez is shown on video practicing his shooting on the Arena floor.
According to Muslim Federation President Samir Kakli, ‘Muslim Family Night’ “will go bigger next time inshallah.” However, if the Miami Heat are planning on hosting this event again, they should disallow the South Florida Muslim Federation and any of their members from taking part in it. These groups’ associations with terror and bigotry should render them unacceptable for such a function. Their history and behavior must not be legitimized.
Additionally, the Miami Heat management should issue an apology for allowing this travesty to transpire in the first place, especially for the fact that it occurred on the same day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which the Heat made sure to mention and pay tribute to in a tweet.
Instead of attaching themselves to extremist groups, who harbor a violent and destructive agenda, the Miami Heat should live by what they tweeted and say “Never Again” to the South Florida Muslim Federation and the like.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.