By Abe Lieberman , Lawyer and Writer for Front Page Magazine
Two disturbing videos have surfaced involving California-based Muslim preachers in which both are heard spewing anti-Semitic vitriol as well as issuing implicit calls for violence against Jews. The videos, which are not dissimilar in content and shrill to those which have emerged from Gaza, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab Mideast, reveal the extent to which anti-Semitism is deeply embedded in large segments of the American Muslim community.
The first video features Egyptian-born preacher Ammar Shahin, who is the imam of the Islamic Center of Davis, northern California. The sermon was delivered on July 21. Shahin, who delivered the sermon in both English and Arabic, is heard invoking an anti-Semitic hadith in which Muslims will do battle with the Jews and the Jews will be forced to take shelter behind rocks and trees. Shahin then says that the trees and rocks will call out to the Muslims and say, “Oh Muslim…come, there is someone behind me – except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews.”
Shahin refers to Jews as “filth” and calls on Allah to, “annihilate them down to the very last one; do not spare any of them.” Not content with merely the annihilation of Jewry, Shahin chillingly beseeches Allah to, “make this happen by our hands.” Apparently, a depraved Shahin wants to feel the knife plunging into his victim and derives perverse satisfaction from that feeling.
When confronted with the video, Shahin, who likened Jews to “filth” and called for their “annihilation,” among other sordid gems, alleged that his words were “taken out of context.” It’s funny how Jew-haters always claim to be “taken out of context” once they’re caught. Louis Farrakhan, Linda Sarsour and Keith Ellison, have all resorted to this same tired excuse, once exposed.
The second video, which was also delivered on July 21, features Sheikh Mahmoud Harmoush. The Friday sermon was delivered to congregants at the Islamic Center of Riverside, California.
Harmoush is heard telling his congregants that the immigrant Jews took advantage of Muslim hospitality and conspired to steal the “beautiful land…with killing, crime and massacres.” More ominously, Harmoush invokes “Jihad” and urges his flock to “wake up; it is time to be a Muslim. Prayer is not the only thing.” He further urges them to “resist and fight back” claiming that in addition to “Palestine” the Jews are seeking to seize “most of the Middle East…even Mecca and Medina.” Harmoush completes his screed with the obligatory, “destroy the [Jews] and render them sunder.”
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), 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.”
In 2010, Harmoush was embroiled in legal battle involving the expansion of his mosque in Temecula, California. Residents opposed to the expansion cited traffic concerns but others pointed to fears of radicalism and terror. At the time, Harmoush was quoted by the New York Times stating that accusations of radicalism “really are not worth responding to.”
Clearly, those who opposed the 2010 mosque expansion project had their fears validated by MEMRI’s recent exposé. When interviewed by the New York Times, Harmoush placed his best, moderate foot forward but a radically different and more disquieting picture of Harmoush emerges when he issued an Islamic sermon to a Muslim audience behind closed doors. There, in the safety of secrecy, away from prying eyes and ears, his true feelings poured forth to an approving audience.
Aside from the videos, there’s another more troubling aspect to this story, one centering on the gross disparate treatment the mainstream media provides to certain bias crimes. It appears that some hate crimes take precedence over others, depending on which ethnic group is attacked.
In January and June of 2017 the Islamic Center of Davis was the target of bias crimes. In the first instance, a vandal broke some of the mosque’s windows and placed bacon strips on the mosque’s door handle. In the second instance, an individual dumped cut up pages of the Quran outside the center. Both of these outrages garnered national mainstream media attention and rightfully so. By contrast, the instant shocking revelations involving the anti-Semitic Islamic sermons have garnered scant mainstream media coverage. Thus far, only Jewish and conservative media outlets have given this important matter the coverage it rightly deserves.
The reasons for this are two-fold. First and foremost, both imams originate from Muslim countries – Egypt and Syria – and this type of negative exposure runs counter to the narrative the mainstream media wishes to present. But the sad fact remains that the Muslim community is rife with rabid anti-Semitism. This is hardly surprising given that there is a near 100 percent prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes in the Arab world.
Second, and perhaps more ominously, anti-Semitic views have seeped into the left. Rancid individuals like Linda Sarsour are portrayed by media outlets like the New York Times as moderate civil rights activists when in fact, they are anything but. Sarsour, Shahin, Harmoush and many others within the Muslim community harbor deep-seated, xenophobic attitudes with particular vitriol reserved toward Jews. The fact that the mainstream media chooses to ignore this unwavering fact should be of concern to all Americans.