The Portable Jihad - Radical Imam Ibrahim Dremali Moves To Texas

By Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer

February 25, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - - 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,].

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.

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,]

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,] and serves as director of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Austin Peace Academy [see,].

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.

©1999-2008 Beila Rabinowitz, William Mayer, LLC, all rights reserved.