Not everything needs commentary; sometimes words just speak for themselves. For example, hear what Imam Ammar Shahin told an audience at Islamic Center of Davis, located across the street from the University of California-Davis, in his sermon on Friday:
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.
Citing an anti-Semitic verse from the Hadith, Shahin added that “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.’”
Shain then made sure to note that “We don’t say if it is in Palestine or another place,” making clear that Jews will be fought and killed everywhere.
It is hard to believe that Shahin, who is teaching the Muslim faith to impressionable students at a public university in America, is spewing this kind of hate about “the filth of the Jews,” whom Allah should “annihilate.” But there you have it. The relevant sections of the video, which was originally posted on the Davis Masjid YouTube channel, is reproduced below, courtesy of the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute.
“Fear and outrage” is how Michael Gofman, a student senator at UC-Davis, describes the reaction in the local Jewish community. In the last few years, Davis’ Jewish community has faced a spate of anti-Semitic incidents, including swastikas drawn on the Jewish fraternity house, and tires of Jewish students’ cars slashed.
Gofman says that when Islamic Center of Davis was vandalized some months ago, the Jewish community rallied in its support. “I understand this is not what most Muslims believe,” he notes, “but now they invite a speaker to call for the annihilation of Jews?”
Imam Shahin, who is Egyptian-born, is an instructor for the Zidni Islamic Institute, a California-based organization that provides “classical Islamic training” in the style of “orthodox Sunni Islam,” according to its website. I wonder if the Institute knows how Shahin feels about Jews. I wonder if they know that he is adding his voice to the massive campaign to incite violence against Jews with lies about the al-Aqsa mosque, lies that have been repeated for almost 100 years now.
In the full video, Shahin even calls on his audience to defend the al-Aqsa mosque, mocking the Muslims who merely watch from afar. His models for action, which he praised, are the Palestinians who fight Israeli soldiers with rocks.
I hope the Zidni Institute and the staff of the Islamic Center of Davis had no clue, but I fear that they knew exactly what he believed—only they didn’t find it objectionable. I fear that this sort of preaching, bringing Middle Eastern anti-Semitism over to American Muslims, happens more than we know; only American Muslims, who hear these sermons, would know for sure. After all, if this imam was not stupid enough to put their own hate on YouTube for everyone to see, we would never have found out about the extremism being spread in Northern California. Apparently Shahin has been an Imam in mosques all over the United States. Did anyone ever object when he said things like this?
Gofman, the student senator, tells me that the response to this incident at UC-Davis has been “muted,” with many people claiming that the Imam was only expressing his “anti-Zionism,” not anti-Semitism. This, I am afraid, is the usual cowardice and the usual apologia one hears when a favored group has wronged a non-favored group.
It goes without saying that Shahin should be fired, and kept away from students at UC-Davis, if possible. Political indoctrination at American colleges is bad enough—do we really need Islamic anti-Semitism added to the mix?