Australia/Israel Review

More Arabic antisemitism and conspiracy theories in Australia

Nov 23, 2021 | Ran Porat

Sufyaan Khalifa: Algerian-born Sunni preacher and internet conspiracy theory promoter
Sufyaan Khalifa: Algerian-born Sunni preacher and internet conspiracy theory promoter

As part of the AIR’s ongoing coverage of antisemitism, extremist anti-Israel content and conspiracy theories being circulated to Arabic speakers and followers by Australian-based organisations and individual preachers, here are some examples from the last few months.


The Islamic Shia Council of Victoria

In a recently discovered 2017 video of a public event in Melbourne, Aqeel Al-Sharif, the President of the Islamic Shia Council of Victoria, called for all forces in Iraq to fight the Islamic State terrorist organisation because it is controlled by Israel.

Al-Sharif referred to “Daesh [ISIS] which is a part of the Israeli army.” He also claimed that “the real power behind those terrorist armies [in Iraq] are the security service units and the Israeli intelligence. ISIS is short for Israeli Intelligence Security.”

Citing a popular conspiracy theory that ISIS leaders were really Mossad agents, Al-Sharif told his audience that “if you search on Google about the truth about [then ISIS leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [you will find that] he is Jewish! And his name is Simon Elliot.”


Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia

The hateful and antisemitic rhetoric of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia has been documented many times in the AIR. The Australian branch of this international pan-Islamic fundamentalist movement, which calls for the re-establishment of a global Islamic caliphate, is led by Palestinian-Australian activist Ismai’l Al-Wahwah (Abu Anas).

On social media in recent months, Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia:

  • Called “for [Arab] Armies to Move in response to the Occupation’s [Israel’s] Decision to Allow Jews to Perform their Prayers in the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The leaders of Hizb ut-Tahrir said the post, “stressed that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is exposed to a serious attempt and a severe and malicious attack by the Jewish entity to impose their biblical rituals in Al-Aqsa Mosque in preparation for the establishment of their alleged temple on the entire area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” (Oct. 12)
  • A few days later, Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia repeated this claim by reposting a message from the Palestinian branch of the movement. This post falsely claimed that “the Jewish entity approves a law that opens the door wide to convert Al-Aqsa Mosque into a Jewish synagogue in which they perform their rituals and prayers,” a move that it labelled as “the humiliation of Allah’s creation.” This alleged development, argued the post, is “a declaration of war against you, and it is a dangerous move to take control of Al-Aqsa Mosque.” (Oct. 25)
  • Responding to a meeting between the Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the investment bank Rothschild & Co, Baron Eric de Rothschild, and the Uzbekistan Government in early October, Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia shared an antisemitic post from the Uzbekistan branch of the movement. It was headlined “Greedy Corporations Created by #Capitalism like the Rothschilds, only Bring Poverty to Our Country.” (Oct. 21)

According to the post, “The Rothschilds are considered one of the richest families in the world. This family is of Jewish origin and one of the most prominent representatives of the cruel capitalist system. We must sound the alarm when such a Jewish family business arrives in our country, which holds nothing sacred but its own interests.”

The text then calls on Muslims to react against this supposed Jewish plot: “We Muslims must take such visits seriously… these agreements and partnerships only serve the interests of the capitalist firms; because even if they provide some kind of humanitarian assistance, there is a certain interest behind it, especially the Jews who are ahead of everyone else in this regard. Just as they hate #Muslims in #Palestine, they also hate us in the same way. There is no difference in that.”


Sufyaan Khalifa

Perth resident Sufyaan Khalifa is an Algerian-born Sunni preacher and internet conspiracy theory promoter. AIJAC has documented Khalifa’s long history of promoting antisemitism in his videos in English and Arabic. An anti-vaxxer and COVID-19 conspiracy theory fan, Khalifa has continued preaching hate and spreading misinformation in recent months.

  • In August, he attacked “cursed” US President Joe Biden, who is “Zionist to the root,” for his part in the “international game” of the “lies upon lies” about COVID-19, after Biden called on the media to criticise anti-vaxxers.
  • Marking 20 years since the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the US, Khalifa published a video “Who is behind Sep 11? An evil world government setting up a new world order”. In it, he claimed that the group that masterminded 9/11 “control the world” and is headed by the “cursed Dajjal (devil) and his companions the evil devils.” They are, in his view, those who “have the money and the [ability to] decide for the world, leading the world towards one option: a new world order because they want to control all the people on the face of earth – to rule over all nations and anyone who might oppose them or stand against them.” These people all produced the coronavirus in “one kitchen”, he said.
  • In another video, Khalifa attacked normalisation between Arab and Muslim states and Israel, describing Israel as “the rapist Zionist entity” and a “foreign item in the body” of the Arab nations. Normalisation, he said, is forbidden and “an unforgiven crime” because “the existence of this cancer, the Zionist entity, within the Arab nations [causes] division among the Arabs, making it impossible for the [Arabs] to connect and become one, unify.” The leaders who sign normalisation agreements with Israel, says Khalifa, will be thrown into the “garbage bin of history” for eternity because Israel is sure to “disappear today or tomorrow.” (Oct. 3)
  • In his video “SQUID GAME: Kill to live, kill to earn” (also translated by MEMRI), Khalifa starts out by ‘analysing’ the popularity of the children’s song “Baby Shark”. He says the rhythm of the music “represents the new culture in the minds of our sons,” and leaves “a psychological residue on our sons and daughters.” (Oct. 12)

Similarly, he condemned the Korean pop group BTS because “it promotes homosexuality, sodomy, and a culture that erases the human nature of Man, through the kind of songs that they sing. These freaks became stars in the eyes of many of our youth, I am sad to say.”

Finally, Khalifa attacked the Korean hit Netflix series “Squid Game” as actually part of an evil globalist plot. “This evil game – this evil series – is meant to promote a culture of ‘kill so that you can live,’ and a culture of ‘kill in order to profit,’ and the idea that the best way to achieve this is by gambling, even if this leads to killing everybody on Earth.” The series contains, according to Khalifa, a hidden satanic message: “The winner [of the game] takes the entire sum of 45.6 [billion won, the Korean currency], 4-5-6. This number – 4-5-6 – is a code, or a certain signal, because this movie in itself is a huge signal for global Freemasonry.”

The image used by Khalifa to graphically represent malevolent Freemasonry was made up of a coalition of various dark forces (666 for example is the antichrist in modern popular culture) including Judaism, represented by a Star of David symbol.

Khalifa warned that “Squid Game” is actually “covert propaganda for the New World Order, propaganda that is supposed to pave the way for the new world that they want to establish by 2030 – promoting the culture of killing […] This is the dangerous idea that is promoted by global Freemasonry. A sadistic gang is behind this idea. They do not mind killing everybody just so they can live. They even enjoy this.” He concluded with a stern pronouncement: “Be warned! Global Freemasonry is behind the promotion of such films, and the accursed Antichrist is the main instigator of such ideas.”


Dr. Ran Porat is an AIJAC Research Associate. He is also a Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University, a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya and a Research Associate at the Future Directions International Research Institute, Western Australia.


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