Following the demand that all Jews be put to death by a California Imam, Jews have filed a formal request that the U.S. Attorney’s office investigate a “sermon” delivered by Imam Ammar Shahin. Shahin allegedly, called on Allah to “annihilate” Jews “down to the very last one,” and then asked his followers to take part in the slaughter.
The alleged hate speech occurred in a sermon that was delivered at the Islamic Center of Davis, California on July 21st. Shahin disparaged the Jewish people by asking Allah to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel from “the filth of the Jews,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, he also cited an Islamic text that calls for a Judgment Day fight between Muslims and Jews.
Shahin spoke in both Arabic and English during his sermon and said; “Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them. Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and in deeds.”
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is on a holy site for both Jews and Muslims in East Jerusalem, and was the scene of a terror attack where three Muslim Terrorists killed two Israeli officers. The Israeli government then closed the shrine for several days. That resulted in the canceling of Friday prayers for the first time in decades. During the closure, new security measures, including metal detectors, were put in place.
The ICD supported Shahin’s sermon, saying on its website, the statements were out of context. “The ICD will always stand against antisemitism similarly to how the Jewish community has always stood against Islamophobia in our close knit community. We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or any other form of bigotry.”
The Islamic Center attacked the translation saying; “MEMRI, is an extremist agenda driven organization that supports Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, and other Islamophobic news organizations, accused Imam Shahin of antisemitism, quoting edited, mistranslated, passages of the sermon out of context.”
Meanwhile, Steve Cohan, co-president of Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis, said in a statement that Shahin’s sermon was “deeply concerning” but that he looked forward to “going beyond the online media reports” and sharing his thoughts with the Islamic Center leadership. But the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has called upon the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to launch an investigation of the Imam for “inciting to murder Jews.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Alderstein told Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in a letter, “By explicitly urging Muslims to annihilate all Jews by their own hands, Shahin has crossed the line beyond protected speech.”
But Jews are not the only ones upset by the sermon, Hamza El-Nakhal, a longtime member of the Muslim community in Davis and a former president of the Islamic Center’s executive board, said that he found the video “disturbing.” While I am disgusted by the action of the Israeli government in preventing Muslim people from doing their prayers in the Masjid Al-Aqsa, I am equally disgusted by any religious leader who does not take the chance (during) high unsettling times to calm their congregations.”