The Portable Jihad- Radical Imam Ibrahim Dremali Moves to Texas
February 25, 2008
The Portable Jihad - Radical Imam Ibrahim Dremali Moves To Texas
By Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer
February 25, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a 2005 piece by these authors Deconstructing Iman Ibrahim Dremali we chronicled the radical career of imam Ibrahim Dremali:
"Born in Gaza when it was still controlled by Egypt…Dremali later moved to Egypt where he was educated in Islamic religious theology and geology at Al Azhar University…While there Dremali started his religious training. Dr. Ibrahim Dremali - Sheikh Ibrahim - has a degree in Shariah from Al-Azhar University...the alma mater of Bin Laden's mentor Abdullah Azzam as well as being a center of Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad activities…Dremali fled to the US [and] In 1998 Dremali co-founded the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, together with FAU professors Bassem Al Halabi and Khalid Hamza, and become its imam. It didn't take Dremali long to become a political activist in the United States. He participated in a series of pro-Palestinian demonstrations that were held across from the Israeli Embassy in Miami in 2000. At these events vitriolic speeches were made while Israeli flags were burned. In October at one of these events - as demonstrators shouted "Haya al Jihad" [Long live Jihad] and "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand" - Dremali shouted to the crowd, "...[don't] be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in."
We were not the only authors to take note of imam Dremali. In his 2006 piece "The Visiting Jihadist" Joe Kaufman wrote, "Muslim extremist Ibrahim Dremali has had an eventful life He grew up in terrorist-saturated Gaza, where many of his family still live...Ibrahim Dremali was educated at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where the school's Grand imam, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, has issued Fatwas in favor of violent Jihad against America and in support of suicide bombings. It is at Al-Azhar that Dremali was said to have been indoctrinated into a militant organization…" [source, http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=CE9F928F-A85C-4BC1-8479-1E89D72A1DA5].
Dremali fled the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, possibly in anticipation of the arrest of one of his congregants, Rafiq Sabir, a now-convicted Al Qaeda operative, and set up shop in Des Moines Iowa where he became the imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines and founded an Islamic school called New Horizons. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=dremali2.24.08%2Ehtm
In a local paper Dremali claimed he had left Florida seeking "refuge" in Iowa, telling a reporter from the Des Moines Register that, "he is eager to make a different life for his family...And so far...has found the serenity he was seeking...For the first time, I sleep in peace" [source, http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050418/LIFE05/504180354&SearchID=73205424757375&template=printart]
Apparently the imam's sleep and serenity was fleeting, because less than three years after having traveled to Des Moines he has now once again moved, this time halfway across the county to Texas where he now heads the the Islamic Center of Greater Austin [see, http://www.austinmosque.org] and serves as director of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Austin Peace Academy [see, http://www.apacademy.org/listings.php].
According to the Academy's website the intent of the school is to, "Prepare our students for success in this life and the Hereafter by providing them with exemplary education based on Islamic morals, values, and the highest academic standards." With the "visiting jihadist" Ibrahim Dremali as the director of this institution, preparing for the hereafter sounds like it might be a course description of Martyrdom 101.
Given Dremali's past history of radical statements and associations, his "peace" credentials seem a little thin, giving good cause to question his stewardship of the Austin Peace Academy. With that in mind, his sojourn in Texas will no doubt be accompanied by the same da'wa laden act he practiced while in Des Moines and Boca Raton; he will play the part of the Islamic peacenik to lure non-Muslims to convert to Islam, all the while hiding his extremism and it is that reality, below the media friendly veneer, which constitutes a festering danger to the local community.
Background: Austin, the capital of the State of Texas, is the second high-tech city in the United States. Recently, it was rated the best city in the United States to live in, because of its fast growing economy and clean environment. It is also the home of University of Texas. In this fast growing city, alhamdulillah the Muslim population has doubled in the past years with a current estimate of over ten thousand.
Establishment: The Islamic Center of Greater Austin (ICGA) was established in March 1977 as a non-profit religious organization registered with the State of Texas and is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which is a subsidiary of ISNA, as its trustee. ICGA property is WAQF under NAIT. ICGA is governed by a constitution and its by-laws. The structure of ICGA consists of an administrative body called Board of Trustees (BT). All members of these boards are elected per the constitution.
Organization History: ICGA has been in operation since March 1977. The mosque started in a 2000 sqft building without any parking space. It was expanded in 1982 with the purchase of an adjacent building that was remodeled into a prayer hall. From 1982 till 1999, the Muslim community was barely able to manage its activities in those two buildings. Alhamdulillah, by the mercy of Allah SWT and the generous support of the local and outside communities, in November 1999, ICGA completed a two story building which houses a mosque to accommodate around 1000 brothers and sisters and a full time Islamic school on the second floor.
ICGA Activities: During this course of time (1997-2004), ICGA established daily prayers, a weekend Islamic school, a full time licensed Islamic school (in 1997), a dawah center for Muslims and non Muslims and prison inmates, audio and video library with countless Arabic and English literature, social activities including Eid prayers, picnics, halaqas by the Sheik, weekly quranic school, seminars, workshops and symposiums, Islamic Counseling Center for battered families, marriage contracts, and ghusul facility and burial services. Also, ICGA maintains a 25-acre Muslim cemetery.
Full-time Islamic School: Austin Peace Academy has classes from Pre-K through seventh grade, for ages 3 years and up, with a current enrollment of over 160 students. The school employs 18 full time teachers, including Islamic studies and Arabic, a principal, and two secretaries. The school is licensed by the Texas Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS) and offers curriculum that meets guidelines of Texas Education Agency
MIM: The Austin Peace Academy is directly connected to ISNA and NAIT. The ICGA hosted a speaker who was the former president of ISNA,is now an ISNA principal and is on the Board of Trustees of NAIT>
Austin Peace Academy
Presents a program for the entire family with
Dr. Abdallah Idris Ali
"The Future of Muslim Communities Opportunities, Responsibilities, and Challenges"
Saturday June 26th, 2004
At Masjid Khadija Bint Khuwailid 5110 Manor Rd., Austin, TX
Moonwalk * Petting Zoo * Balloons Toys * Pizza * Babysitting Fundraising dinner for school expansion
Program Schedule 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Asr prayer, followed by a short talk 6:30 pm – 7:40 pm Dinner 7:40 pm – 8:30 pm Lecture and presentation – Part I 8:30 pm – 8:50 pm Maghrib prayer 8:50 pm – 10:00 pm Lecture and presentation – Part II 10:00 pm – 10:15 pm Open floor 10:15 pm Isha'a prayer
Kids Program 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Pizza and drinks served at 6:30 pm
About Dr. Abdallah Idris Ali Dr. Abdallah Idris Ali is prominent Muslim public speaker in North America. He served as ISNA president from 1992-1997. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Islamic Teaching Center (ITC) and North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), and as an ISNA school principal. He is also on the Board of Advisors of the American Muslim Council, and past board member of the Council of Islamic Schools in North America. He resides in Kansas City, MO.
For more information, contact (512)926-9221, or e-mail email@example.com
The Muslim community in Austin founded Austin Peace Academy (formerly Peace Elementary School) in the fall of 1997 to meet the crucial challenge of stimulating the minds of the students who enroll in the school while at the same time enabling them to preserve their Islamic identity, heritage and practices. The school aims at preparing its students for a life of academic success, personal fulfillment, and service and leadership to the community. The school sets high standards for academic achievement and honorable behavior in line with noble Islamic principles and values.
Austin Peace Academy is a non-profit organization. Our Tax ID number is 74-2858317
APA's mission is to …
Prepare our students for success in this life and the Hereafter by providing them with exemplary education based on Islamic morals, values, and the highest academic standards
Sheikh Ibrahim Abdelrahman Dremali was born to the late Sheikh Abdelrahman Dremali. He is the eldest of 4 brothers and 6 sisters, all of whom studied Qur'an and Fiqh under the wing of their father.
Sheikh Ibrahim graduated from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, with a Bachelor's degree in Geology, and a Masters degree and PhD in Sharia (Islamic Law) with a specialization in Fiqh (Jurisprudence). After coming to the United States in 1989 he continued his studies in Geology, earning a Masters degree in Geology from Florida Atlantic University and a PhD in Geology from Florida International Univerisity.
He served as the Principal of Dar ul-Uloom Institute in Pembroke Pines, Florida, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Belle Glade, Florida, the Imam for the Islamic Center of Des Moines, Iowa, and the Principal for New Horizons Academy in Iowa. In 1998 he co-founded the Islamic Center of Boca Raton in Florida, where he was the Imam for 7 years, and Garden of the Sahaba Academy in 2003 where he taught Qur'an and Karate. He has over 20 years experience as a Geologist and as a professor teaching college level Geology and Oceanography. He is currently the Director of the Islamic Center of Greater Austin, the Director of the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department at Austin Peace Academy, and a professor at the American Open University. Sheikh Ibrahim is a member of the permanent Fatwa Committee for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) and an advisor for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA).