Who is Yahya Ibrahim?

Last Wednesday, the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a pressure group operating in both the United Sates and Canada, sent out a press release asking explanations for the exclusion of Canadian-born Islamic scholar Yahya Ibrahim. Ibrahim, who is now a resident of Australia, was reportedly barred from entering the United States earlier this week. Ibrahim was scheduled to speak at the annual Texas Dawah Convention. He is currently in Toronto visiting relatives.

There is no word yet from U.S. officials, but information about Ibrahim is readily available from his résumés posted on the websites of the Convention and the Islamic Invitation Centre.

Of Egyptian descent, Ibrahim was born in Waterloo, Ontario. He began memorizing the Koran at the age of 16 and lecturing in Toronto mosques at 17. He currently lives in Perth, Western Australia where he works as a religious advisor and senior staff member of the Australian Islamic College and appears to be popular as a lecturer. In his many lectures, Ibrahim calls Australian society “evil” and describes how the kufr (unbelievers) use drugs, alcohol and prostitution to stray Muslims from the righteous path of Islam.

Ibrahim also worked as a consulting translator/editor for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C, where he is said to have translated and reviewed “numerous articles and collection of Sermons that are/were delivered from the pulpit of Mecca’s Grand Mosque by Shaikh Saud ash-Shuraim”. His résumé also shows he translated Shaikh Sudais (Al-Harram mosque in Mecca), known for his rabid anti-Semitic sermons calling Jews “an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption” and praying on television for the “annihilation” of the Jews and calling on Muslims to fight Christians and Hindus.

In fact, it can be said that Ibrahim has specialized in translating some of Salafism’s most radical scholars, some of which are readily available in the online library of the Salafi Society of North America.

Examples of his work include a translation of Shaikh ‘Alee Hasan Al-Halabee’s Explaining the Hadeeth of Battling the Jews, a hadeeth (saying of the prophet) related by imams Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim often quoted by Hamas and other terrorist groups to legitimate the genocidal intent inherent to suicide bombings. “… the decrepit nation in which the scattered Jews of the world were gathered unrightfully and in oppression – The state of Israel – shall cease and be erased from existence”, states Al-Halabee in his introduction, and reaffirming the authenticity of the hadeeth, claims it is “abundantly clear that the big battle is inevitably coming and that the Word of Tawheed (Islamic monotheism) will be victorious without a doubt (in defeating the) Jews – leaders and subjects”.

Ibrahim also translated “The Ruling on Titling the Jewish State with the name Israel” made by Shaikh Rabee‘ bin Haadee al-Madkhalee, a fatwa on the increasing use of the name “Israel” (in place of “Zionist entity”) in the Arab media. Answering the question “Is it permissible to title the vile, disbelieving Jewish State by the name Israel or the Israeli State?”, al-Madkalee answers: “Surely the Jews have executed an immense deception (of public opinion) by making their issue of seeking the establishment of a state in the very heart of the Muslim lands as being a religious and legal claim of inheritance of the bequeath of the (Prophets) Ibraaheem and Israa’eel (to them). There (sic) deceptive stratagem (went a step further) by titling their Zionist State – The State of Israel! (…) Allaah has cursed the Jews in the Qur’aan on numerous occasions, informing us of His Anger towards them (…) the enemies of the Prophets – especially the Jews – shall not be given inheritance of the earth during their worldly life and they shall face a grievous everlasting punishment in the Eternal Fire in the next life”.

In Australia, Ibrahim is widely considered as a “bridge-builder” between Muslims and non-Muslims. Yet, publicly available information on Ibrahim appears to point to the profile of a hardcore activist of the Wahhabi strain working to spread in the West the hateful, terror-inspiring Salafi ideology, the likes of whom should not be welcome in free societies fighting Islamic extremism.