Muslim preacher Ammar Shahin recently gave a sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis (ICD) in California, where he called on Muslims to “annihilate them [Jewish people] down to the very last one.”
“Do not spare any of them,” Shahin said. “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.”
He also “asked for Allah to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel from ‘the filth of the Jews,’ according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute, and cited an Islamic text that calls for a Judgement Day fight between Muslims and Jews,” Fox News reported.
The video was posted to YouTube on July 22, and Shahin gave his lecture on July 21. He spoke in Arabic and English.
The video was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Jewish groups have since called for the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate Shahin.
However, the ICD refuted the translation. It said MEMRI “accused Imam Shahin of anti-Semitism, quoting edited, mistranslated, passages of the sermon out of context.”
“MEMRI’s video included an edited segment about a Prophetic tradition dealing with the apocalyptic battle between Jesus and the Antichrist. Prophetic traditions addressing the end of times are not meant to address modern conflicts, the Imam was using the tradition to address unity and coming back to the faith,” the ICD said.
In his lecture, Shahin also said the Hadith, or the collection of traditions of sayings passed down from the prophet Muhammad, doesn’t say where the final battle will take place, possibly hinting that the “battle” could be in Palestine or even “another place” such as the United States or Europe.
On its YouTube page, the ICD updated the video’s description to contain a statement it released on its website:
“In light of recent accusations made against Imam Ammar Shahin, the Islamic Center of Davis (ICD) has issued the following statement: The ICD will always stand against anti-semitism similarly to how the Jewish community has always stood against Islamophobia in our close knit community. We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism or any other form of bigotry.”
“On July 21st, 2017, Imam Ammar Shahin gave a sermon at the ICD. The sermon was about the theological virtues of one of Islam’s holiest sites, Al-Aqsa Mosque. He also addressed the recent horrific events including the illegal closure, occupation and attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque, in addition to the killing and injuring of Muslim worshipers, including the wounding of the Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the prevention of worship and the call to prayer at the Mosque. Specifically, the Imam was referring to individuals that are contributing to this oppression.”
The ICD said that “Shahin and the ICD reject any attempt to blame all Jews for Israel’s policies just like we reject the attempts to blame all Muslims for the acts of fringe groups. In reality, Jews around the world are on the front lines speaking out and protesting Israel’s repressive policies against Palestinians.”
The ICD said that MEMRI, which translated the video, is “an extremist agenda driven organization that supports Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, and other Islamophobic news organizations.”
“If the sermon was misconstrued, we sincerely apologize to anyone offended,” the ICD said. “We will continue our commitment to interfaith and community harmony.”