Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab, who is of Egyptian origin, delivered several antisemitic sermons at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society in Philadelphia, PA between November 2018 and February 2019. On February 15, 2019, he said that the Jews are the vilest people in terms of their nature and moral values and that the "nefarious" Jewish media causes people to see the Muslim as an "oppressive and predatory lion." He said that the "enemies of Allah" are ordering heads of state to come to the Knesset, where they sit and "plot against their people, according to what the others want." Abouhatab then told his audience that in one of Israel's wars, then-Israeli PM Menachem Begin had once made bets on whether a pregnant woman was carrying a boy or a girl before slitting her belly open to find out. He added: "If faith had taken root in our hearts... we would have imposed the word of Islam upon the world."
On January 11, 2018, Imam Abouhatab said that the propaganda and media are controlled by the Jews, who make people think that "power lies with 15 million people who own and control the riches of the world." On November 16, 2018, Imam Abouhatab said that an Israeli prime minister had once been asked about the hadith about the rocks and the trees calling to Muslims to kill the Jews hiding behind them, and that he had answered: "The hadith is true, but we are doing our best to prevent this."
While Abouhatab was not introduced by name in the sermons, a mosque official said at the conclusion of one of them: "We thank Abdelmohsen Abouhatab for his wonderful sermon." The videos were live streamed on the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society's YouTube channel.
Profile picture from Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab's Facebook page (Facebook.com/abdelmohsen.abouhatab)
Imam Abouhatab in original video on Al-Aqsa Islamic Society YouTube channel.
The Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, which operates a full-time private Islamic school, the Al-Aqsa Islamic Academy, and also maintains the city's Arab American Development Corporation, is known for its interfaith activity in the area. According to its website, it has hosted Philadelphia's Interfaith Peacewalk since 2003, and "is partnered with many community groups and organizations in the area, including programs for the arts, interfaith, community improvement, social services, peace walks, and more."
The mosque has worked with the mayor of Philadelphia, the FBI, the ADL, and law enforcement, including participation in a November 2018 "Securing Sacred Spaces and Places" summit in Philadelphia hosted by the ADL, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (USAO), and the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC), at which Al-Aqsa Islamic Society and Academy cofounder and Academy director Chukri Korchid spoke.
On October 30, 2018, following the October 27 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Al-Aqsa posted on its Facebook page a condemnation of the attack in which it stated that it "stands united with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh."
In January 2019, high school students from the Al-Aqsa Islamic Academy participated along with Jewish and Catholic students in a day-long school program at a Philadelphia Catholic school.
Following a December 2015 incident in which a severed pig's head was found outside the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society building, sparking a police and FBI investigation, then-Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, City Council members, and interfaith leaders met at City Hall to speak against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign statements about Muslims; Mayor Nutter called Trump "an a**hole." Al-Aqsa Imam Mohamed Shehata, spoke at the meeting about the peaceful nature of Islam and of Muslims coming together with individuals of all religions in a peaceful community. Subsequently, Al-Aqsa launched a community "Windows of Peace" mural project for decorating its outer walls, organized in partnership with the city and attended by incoming Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney. According to a VOA Indonesia report on the project, participants included "a Jew and... the entire community, Spanish people as well as African American people." The mural was meant to serve as a show of support following the pig's head incident.
In 2012, Al-Aqsa cofounder Chukri Khorchid, who is also a cofounder and a fellow of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia and of the Arab American Development Corporation, received CAIR-Philadelphia's Lifetime Service Award.
To view the clip of Abdelmohsen Abouhatab's sermons at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
The following is the transcript of the MEMRI TV clip of Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab's sermons at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society.
February 15, 2019: "The Jews Are The Vilest People" Whose "Nefarious Jewish Media" Portrays Muslims As "Oppressive And Predatory"
Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab: "Allah sent down the best divine books to the Arab race. He sent them the best messengers, and He gave them customs and moral values that you cannot find in any other race: the [Arabs] are courageous, dignified, and noble.
"The Jews are the vilest people in terms of their moral values, their nature, and their violation of agreements, but when they lived near Arabs, they adopted some of their moral values and customs.
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"If a Muslim lives somewhere [in the West], he is viewed according to the way the nefarious Jewish media portrays him – as an oppressive and predatory lion."
"[Then-Israeli Prime Minister] Menachem Begin, That Polish Crook, Would Stand Next To A Pregnant Woman... Then He Would Slit Her Belly Open, While She Was Still Alive, To See Whether It Is A Boy Or A Girl"
Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab: "We have many treasures. The mountains are full of treasures. The oceans are full of treasures. The belly of the Earth is filled with treasures. These treasures are available to no one but the Arabs and Muslims. Yet, [unintelligible] on us. Why? Because we are overcome by our spiritual defeat. It made us think that 99% of the cards are held by non-Muslims. The enemies of Allah are now freely touring the [Arab] capitals and they order the heads [of state] to come to the table at the Knesset. They sit there and plot against their people, according to what the others want.
"Remember Sabra and Shatila. Remember the wars of the past. Remember how [then-Israeli PM] Menachem Begin, that Polish crook, would stand next to a pregnant woman, and would make bets whether it is a boy or a girl. He would make bets, while the woman was still alive! Then he would slit her belly open, while she was still alive, to see whether it is a boy or a girl. Just like that. This happened. This happened.
"By Allah, if faith had taken root in our hearts, things would have been different. We would have imposed the word of Islam upon the world, like those before us did."
January 11, 2019: "The Propaganda And The Media Are Controlled By" The Jews; "They Make You Think" That They "Own And Control The Riches Of The World"
Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab: "The propaganda and the media are controlled by them. They make you see things in an altered and inflated way. They make you think that power lies in castles, fortresses, and weapons – that power lies with 15 million people who own and control the riches of the world.
"They say all over the world that Allah created the Muslims by mistake. Then they add: 'And we have come to correct Allah's mistake.' This is what they say: 'We have come to correct Allah's mistake of [creating] these Muslims.' Allah Akbar! This is their usual approach towards Allah. Have they not said: 'The hand of Allah is shackled?' Have they not said: 'Allah is poor and we are rich'?"
November 16, 2018: "The Rocks And The Trees Will Say: 'Oh Muslim, Oh Servant Of Allah, There Is A Jew Behind Me, Come And Kill Him'" – Israeli Prime Minister Said This "Hadith Is True"
Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab: "One day, the prime minister of the occupying entity was asked about the hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad said: 'You will fight the Jews – you to the east of the river, and they to the west.
"Then the rocks and the trees will say: "Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."' [The prime minister said:] 'The hadith is true, but we are doing our best to prevent this.'"
 Phillyvoice.com/nutter-interfaith-leaders-denounce-trump-comments-muslims, December 8, 2015; Arabamericancdc.org, accessed March 6, 2019.
 Patch-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/patch.com/pennsylvania/philadelphia/amp/27802151/summit-securing-religious-institutions-being-held-philly?amp_js_v=0.1&usqp=mq331AQECAEoAQ%3D%3D#origin=https%3A%2F%, November 12, 2018.
 Catholicphilly.com/2019/01/news/local-news/catholic-jewish-muslim-students-learn-together-in-catholic-school, January 28, 2019.
December 7, 2015; Philly.com/philly/news/20151208_Severed_pig_s_head_left_at_N__Phila__mosque.html, December 7, 2015.
 Phillyvoice.com/nutter-interfaith-leaders-denounce-trump-comments-muslims, December 8, 2015.
 Philly.com/philly/news/20160110_Interfaith_effort_works_to_beautify_Philadelphia_mosque.html, January 9, 2016.
 Alaqsaislamicacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Code-of-Conduct-2016.pdf, 2016; Youtube.com/watch?v=1G4kJ1m_Djw, March 20, 2012.