Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
Antisemitic Imam/Dentist Fadi Kablawi.

Officials from Florida’s education department have demanded that Reviver Academy, a private Muslim school in Northeast Miami-Dade provide a complete list of its owners, operators, and employees. If the school fails to comply, it risks losing access to the state’s voucher program that provides public funding. This demand comes after an imam at the mosque where the school is located directed antisemitic remarks at Jewish individuals. State authorities are scrutinizing the school’s operations and personnel in light of the imam’s inflammatory statements.

In Florida, families can legally use state-issued voucher funds to pay tuition at private schools of their choice, including religious institutions like Reviver Academy.

The Reviver Academy in Northeast Miami-Dade, Florida. / Google Maps

This stern action by the education department came a day after a bipartisan group of Jewish state lawmakers called for measures against the imam, including potential revocation of his dental license, over his inflammatory anti-Semitic statements. Republican State Representative Randy Fine, who shared the state’s letter publicly on Thursday evening, had specifically requested an investigation into Reviver Academy, noting the school currently benefits from approximately $500,000 in taxpayer-funded vouchers supporting 74 students.

Last Thursday, the Florida Department of Education issued a directive to Reviver Academy, giving the school one week to clarify its relationship with Fadi Kablawi, an imam at the nearby Golden Glades Mosque. During a religious ceremony last month, Kablawi made antisemitic statements that were captured on video and posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). According to their translation, Kablawi referred to Israeli soldiers as “worse than the Nazis,” and used derogatory language describing Jews as “apes and pigs,” while also praying for their “annihilation.” Some of his inflammatory remarks were spoken in Arabic. The education department is demanding the school explain any ties to the imam following his widely condemned antisemitic comments.

According to MEMRI, in his April 26, 2024, Friday sermon at Imam at the North Miami mosque, Dr. Fadi Kablawi, who moonlights as a dentist, accused the Israeli military of organ trafficking. He said that they are worse than the Nazis, and alleged that Israel is “stealing the skin and organs of Palestinians.”

Kablawi suggested: “Go and find who is behind organ trading in this country or this world.” He repeated a conspiracy theory according to which Israeli medical and rescue teams that came to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake engaged in organ theft. Kablawi concluded his sermon by praying that Allah annihilates the “tyrannical Jews,” the “brothers of apes and pigs.” The sermon was streamed live on the Facebook page of the mosque.

Cathy Russell, the deputy executive director overseeing Florida’s school choice program, issued a stern statement in her letter to the school. “We condemn any calls for genocide in our state,” Russell wrote. “This is an even graver issue when such inflammatory rhetoric occurs in the presence of students.” Russell explicitly demanded the school provide details on whether any students witnessed the imam’s controversial comments firsthand, as well as clarify the nature and extent of the imam’s interactions with children at the school.

The state is not only demanding the school explain its relationship to the controversial imam, but has also ordered the school to provide a comprehensive list of all employees, including teachers, staff, and those in leadership roles at the mosque that owns and operates Reviver Academy. Failure to comply with this directive could result in the school losing its eligibility to receive voucher funds from the state, according to the letter from Cathy Russell.

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