The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Radical imams are spewing antisemitism in the US with impunity

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By Paul Sperry

 

Muslim clerics are threatening the lives of Jews from the
pulpits of American mosques, and they are doing it with virtual impunity, say
former US law-enforcement officials who worry that the rhetoric could lead to violent
attacks.

 

Over the past six months, at least five prominent US imams have
been caught on tape preaching violence against Jews in sermons at mosques
across America.

 

Yet these radical preachers inciting antisemitic violence aren’t
prosecuted or even permanently banished by the leadership of their mosques.

“It’s outrageous they aren’t immediately removed and
investigated for what may be solicitation [to commit a crime of violence],” was
the view of veteran FBI Special Agent John Guandolo, who now runs a
counterterrorism consulting firm, Understanding the Threat LLC.

 

Jewish people already are disproportionately targeted for hate
crimes in America, but recent sermons could fan the flames of antisemitism. In
November, the FBI released new data showing there were more Jewish victims of
anti-religious hate crimes in 2016 (the last reported year) than victims of all
other religious groups combined.

 

Terrorism analysts expect threats and assaults against Jews to
only increase as the US prepares to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
next year. On Dec. 6, President Trump for the first time formally recognized
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, triggering widespread protests in the
Muslim world. In a new video, al Qaeda called on Muslims “everywhere” to rise
up and kill Jews and Americans in response to the historic decision.

 

Many American Muslims are hearing a similarly evil sentiment
each Friday at their places of worship.

 

– Last month, for example, Imam Raed Saleh
Al-Rousan of Houston preached Muslims should “fight the Jews” in the wake of
Trump’s decision. After a videotaped excerpt of his lecture was translated from
Arabic by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute and posted
online, the imam apologized and insisted he’s opposed to “all forms of
terrorism.”

 

– Speaking on the same day, Imam Abdullah
Khadra of Raleigh, NC, invoked the same Jew-killing hadith (a collection of the
sayings of Muhammad), saying the Muslim prophet “gave us the glad tidings that
we will fight those Jews until the rocks and the trees will speak: ‘Oh Muslim,
this is a Jew behind me,” according to MEMRI.

 

– Also last month, Sheikh Ramadan Elsabagh of
Garland, Texas, posted a recorded prayer on his Facebook page calling for
Israel’s destruction: “Oh Allah, destroy the Zionists and their allies,”
according to a translation by Washington-based Investigative Project on
Terrorism. His sermon reportedly drew several comments of “amen, amen.”

 

– On Dec. 8, New Jersey Imam Aymen Elkasaby
invoked “martyrdom” as a means to take revenge on the Jews, whom he called
“apes and pigs.” He then prayed for their annihilation, eliciting cheers from
the Muslim men attending his Jersey City mosque.

 

“Count them one by one, and kill them down to the very last one!
Do not leave a single one on the face of the Earth,” the cleric angrily
beseeched Allah, to which his flock could be heard crying, “Amen!” One man was
so moved by the call to action, he stood up and invited the rest of the
congregation to march on Times Square, according to MEMRI.

 

The Islamic Center of Jersey City said it suspended Elkasaby for
one month without pay following his inflammatory sermon. Still, mosque
president Ahmed Shaheed seemed to defend his actions by arguing, “There are
extremists in the Jewish, Christian and Buddhist religions, and everything can
be taken in the wrong way.”

 

– Last July, an imam at the Davis Islamic
Center in Northern California preached Jews were contaminating Muslim shrines
with their “filth” and called for their genocide. “Oh, Allah, count them one by
one and annihilate them down to the very last one,” Imam Ammar Shahin fumed in
his sermon, the Los Angeles Times reported. Shahin later apologized after a
videotaped excerpt was translated, saying he let his emotions “cloud my better
judgment.”

 

Terror experts say such hateful rhetoric is more common in US
mosques than generally understood, and they blame the Obama administration’s
gutting of mosque surveillance programs for the growing belligerence. The NYPD
also ended its surveillance program in 2014 following complaints by Muslim
groups.

 

Paul Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and
author of the bestselling book, “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington
.”