Middle East studies in the News
California Imams Pray for Annihilation of Jews [incl. Hatem Bazian]
Israeli, Jewish and Conservative media have been widely reporting about a Davis, California, Imam who called for the annihilation of Jews in a sermon after the Israelis installed metal detectors then entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The mainstream media has almost completely ignored the story.
But it turns out there is a second Californian Imam who engaged in similar incitement.
As we have reported, the metal detectors were installed after three Islamic terrorists murdered two Israeli policemen with weapons hidden in the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.
After Palestinian violence, including the murder of three Israelis having Sabbath dinner, and Jordan effectively holding Israeli diplomats hostage, Israel agreed to the hostage release in exchange for removing the metal detectors. That move did nothing to satisfy the Palestinians, who have announced yet another day of rage and called for a widespread uprising on Friday.
Mahmoud Abbas is behind much of this, including calls for the armed Tanzim brigades to participate in the Friday violence.
This all takes place against a backdrop of anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian and Arab media that has been going on for decades. We have documented how Palestinian Imams repeatedly have called for holy war against the Jews, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas participates in the incitement:
What happens in Palestinian mosques doesn't stay in Palestinian mosques.
The Sacramento Bee, one of the few mainstream outlets to cover the story, reports, 'Annihilate them down to the very last one.' Davis imam is accused of being anti-Semitic:
A Davis imam is under fire after giving a sermon last week that combined end-of-days prophecy with the current religious conflict over a Jerusalem holy site, causing critics to condemn him as anti-Semitic.
Imam Ammar Shahin on Friday gave a nearly hour-long sermon to worshippers at the Islamic Center of Davis calling for congregants to oppose restrictions placed by Israel on the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and citing Islamic texts about an end-times battle predicted by the prophet Muhammad.
The sermon included a prayer to Allah to "destroy those who closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque," according to the translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first posted an edited clip of the sermon.
Shahin's prayer continued, "count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one."
Officials at the Islamic Center of Davis responded to the controversy over the sermon with a series of statements defending Shahin, who has been its imam for four years.
On Tuesday, mosque leadership said the mosque "will always stand against anti-Semitism, similarly to how the Jewish community has always stood against Islamophobia in our close-knit community."
The mosque's statement said Shanin's comments were misquoted, edited and mistranslated by MEMRI, which it described as "an extremist agenda-driven organization that supports Israel's occupation of Palestinian land."
Steven Stalinsky, executive director of MEMRI, disputed that his organization was partisan or that the translation was flawed.
"There is nothing wrong with the translation," said Stalinsky. "Unfortunately what we translated is not pretty. It's very anti-Semitic."
The Sacramento Bee quoted University of California, Berkeley, Near East professor Hatem Bazian as saying the proper translation should have been "the defilement of the Jews," not the "filth of the Jews." Bazian, the Bee fails to note, is the founder of the virulently anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine.
The story was picked up by local TV news:
(unedited version of video is here)
On July 21, the Egyptian-born American preacher Ammar Shahin delivered a Friday sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis, northern California, where he serves as Imam. In it he cited an antisemitic hadith, according to which the Muslims would fight the Jews on Judgment Day, and prayed to Allah to "liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews" and to "annihilate them down to the very last one," not sparing any of them. "Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this," he prayed in the sermon, which was posted on the Davis Masjid YouTube channel. Imam Shahin, who had earned a B.A. in Islamic studies in Egypt, traveled in 1999 to the U.S., where he obtained a degree in computer engineering. He is listed as an instructor of the Zidni Islamic Institute, a California-based organization that teaches Sunni Islam in the West.
Sheikh Ammar Shahin: "Allah does not change the situation of people 'until they change their own situation.' The Prophet Muhammad said: 'Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and the trees say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah...' They will not say: Oh Egyptian, oh Palestinian, oh Jordanian, oh Syrian, oh Afghan, oh Pakistani. The Prophet Muhammad says that they time will come, the Last Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews. We don't say if it is in Palestine or another place. Until they fight... When that war breaks out, they will run and hide behind every rock, and house, and wall, and trees. The house, the wall, and the tress will call upon the Muslims. It will say: Oh Muslim... It will not say: Oh Palestinian, oh Egyptian, oh Syrian, oh Afghan, oh Pakistani, oh Indian... No, it will say: Oh Muslim. Muslim. When Muslims come back... 'Come, there is someone behind me – except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews. Except for a certain tree that they are growing today in Palestine, in that area, except this form of tree, which they are growing today... That's the tree that will not speak to the Muslims.
"Oh Allah, support the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the Muslim lands. Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews. Oh Allah, destroy those who closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh Allah, show us the black day that You inflict upon them, and the wonders of Your ability. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.
"Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 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. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and in deeds. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and in deeds."
The reporting on the Davis Imam, while it has received attention, ignores a second California Imam engaging in similar rhetoric at a Riverside, California mosque.
Once again, MEMRI reports, California Imam Mahmoud Harmoush Prays for Allah to Destroy the Jews: They Are After Mecca and Medina:
(unedited version of video here)
In a July 21 Friday sermon delivered at the Islamic Center of Riverside, California, Sheikh Mahmoud Harmoush prayed to Allah to "destroy the unjust tyrants and the occupiers" and to "turn them into booty in the hands of the Muslims." The Syrian-born Sheikh Harmoush, who has been living in the U.S. since the 1980s and received academic degrees in California and West Virginia, said that the Jews had concocted a plot to take over Palestine and would be demanding Mecca and Medina and "most of the Middle East" next. "Allah wants us to have jihad in our lives, no matter what and where we are," said Sheikh Harmoush. "Wake up, it is time to be a Muslim. Prayer is not the only thing," he said. Sheikh Harmoush holds educational and leadership positions at several institutions in Southern California, teaches Arabic at UCLA San Bernardino, and is a member of the leadership council of the Syrian American Council. The mosque at the Islamic Center of Riverside was attended by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the shooters in the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack, in which 14 people were killed.
Sheikh Mahmoud Harmoush: "Between World War I and World War II, so much of the immigration that came from Europe toward the Islamic world, whether North Africa or the Mediterranean area – Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and all of this... Muslims were opening their homes and saying: Those are our brethren, persecuted by the Christians in Europe. The Jews were coming from Germany, Poland, Italy, and everywhere else, and [the Muslims] would give them rooms, shelter them, and help them out, not knowing that there was a plan. Within the thirty years between the two incidents, until 1948 and the British occupation, everything was plotted to take over that beautiful land, in the way that we all know – with killing, crime, and massacres.
"One brother sent me a video, showing a naked woman walking into the holy mosque under the occupation forces, just to insult more and more the psyche, honor, and dignity of the Muslims.
"Allah wants us to have jihad in our lives, no matter what and where we are and what is happening. That's until in our hearts, we accept what is true and we reject what is false.
"When you happen to be in Jerusalem, for example, around the holy mosque, and people are shooting you, putting you in the hospital, or killing you, you have to resist and fight back as much as you can. Otherwise our life will be meaningless.
"Dear brothers and sisters, the conflict is not only in Palestine. They are going there, and they will be demanding that next.
"I promise you, it is not only Palestine. If you are going to be like that, most of the Middle East, and even, as I said, Mecca and Medina... They will say: 'Muhammad has died. He left only daughters.' Muhammad died, and he left female children, who cannot fight. Then they will call, in their fighting: 'Oh, we will take revenge for Khaybar.' Where is Khaybar? They will go back to it. They will make every Muslim pay, one way or the other. Wake up, it is time to be a Muslim. Prayer is not the only thing.
"Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque and all the Muslim lands from the unjust tyrants and the occupiers. Oh Allah, destroy them, they are no match for You. Oh Allah, disperse them, and rend them asunder. Turn them into booty in the hands of the Muslims.
Are these the only two Imams in the U.S. to engage in such incitement, or just the only two caught on video this time?
This rhetoric should sound familiar, it's the same sort of incitement against Jews heard at the al-Aqsa mosque itself, as we reported in More Temple Mount incitement: "Allah, annihilate all the Jews... enable us to kill them!":Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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