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memri
December 14, 2017 No.
7229

Following 'Interfaith Gathering Of Unity' At Islamic Center Of Jersey City, New Jersey, Center's Imam, In Sermons, Accuses Jews Of Carrying Out Sinai Mosque Massacre, Prays To Be Martyred At 'Al-Aqsa Mosque, Which Is Under The Feet Of The Apes And Pigs'

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On November 12, 2017, the Islamic Center of Jersey City hosted the "Interfaith Gathering of Unity 2017," sponsored by the Hudson County Brotherhood/Sisterhood Association, which identifies itself as "an interfaith body for understanding and mutual support." The event was billed as "an Interfaith Gathering of Unity for Hudson County's diverse religious groups including Baha'i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities."[1]

It should be noted that the Islamic Center of New Jersey works with government agencies involved in counterterrorism and has in the past worked with the U.S. military.[2]

Islamic Center of New Jersey President Ahmed Shedeed

The interfaith event was hosted by the center's president, the Egyptian-born Ahmed Shedeed,[3] who had been honored by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker by being chosen to be his guest at President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in January 2016. According to a bio of him posted by Sen. Booker, Shedeed is not only president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, but also "a leader at the Al-Tahweed Islamic Center, one of the largest and oldest mosques in New Jersey. Mr. Shedeed also serves as Honorary Deputy Mayor for Arab Affairs in Jersey City... [and] also serves as a member of the FBI Newark Citizens Academy Alumni Association's Outreach Committee... He is a member of the New Jersey Attorney General's Muslim Outreach Committee, and serves on the Interfaith Advisory Council to the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security."[4]


Islamic Center of Jersey City President Ahmed Shedeed and Sen. Corey Booker. Source: Facebook.com/corybooker/photos, posted January 12, 2016.

In an announcement titled "My State of the Union Guest: Ahmed Shedeed," Sen. Booker wrote: "Because I believe in the boundless capacity of our country to rise above intolerance, fear and discrimination, and to celebrate the pluralism that makes us strong, I've invited New Jersey resident Ahmed Shedeed to be my guest at President Obama's final State of the Union address on Tuesday. Mr. Shedeed is the President of the Islamic Center of Jersey City and a leader at the Al-Tahweed Islamic Center, one of the largest and oldest mosques in New Jersey. Throughout his life Mr. Shedeed has spoken out for religious tolerance and mutual understanding. His life and his work are examples of how the diversity of America makes us all better." He also noted that that as president of the center, Shedeed "promotes inter-religious understanding and cultivates community involvement and enrichment for the region's Muslim community."[5]

The Interfaith Event

Speakers at the event included Janice Rufino of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security;[6] local Jewish community leaders, including Rabbi Brian Beal of Temple Beth El Jersey City;[7] Rabbi Naomi Kalish, who emceed the event,[8] and other Jewish representatives, in addition to a representative of the Bahai community of Jersey City,[9] and a priest from St. George and St. Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church of Jersey City.[10] Other participants included Rabbi Rob Scheinberg of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, who performed with the synagogue choir.[11] The welcoming committee on behalf of the center included Imams Aymen Elkasaby and Ali Farghal; Ahmed Shedeed thanked Imam Elkasaby personally for his efforts for the event.


Left: Ahmed Shedeed at the interfaith event; right: Shedeed with Imam Aymen Elkasaby at the event.


Rabbi Naomi Kalish (left) and Janice Rufino of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security at the event. Source: MEMRI TV, Youtube.com/watch?v=VD8cgk3W0dI&feature=youtu.be&t=817.

Imam Elkasaby's Sermons At The Center

However, following this event, Imam Elkasaby gave sermons in Arabic at the Islamic Center in which he made statements that sharply contrasted with the views expressed at the interfaith event. These included conspiracy theories against Jews, referring to Jews as "apes and pigs," praying for martyrdom, and more.

The following are MEMRI TV clips of two of those sermons, on November 24 and December 8, 2017.

Imam Aymen Elkasaby, November 24, 2017: Jews Carried Out Sinai Mosque Massacre; "Oh Allah, Count The Oppressors One By One, And Kill Them Down To The Very Last One"

On November 24, Imam Elkasaby condemned that day's terror attack at the Al-Rawdah mosque in Sinai, in which dozens of gunmen killed over 300 worshippers and wounded at least 122 others, saying: "Whose interests does this serve? For the sake of whose interests are Muslims being killed in Sinai and all over the Islamic world? For the sake of whose interests are the inhabitants of Sinai being driven out? For the sake of whose interests are Muslims killed in the middle of prayer?"

Calling "ridiculous" the claim that ISIS was responsible for the attack, he argued that it "could have only been done by the enemies of Islam – the Jews and their subordinates from among the Muslim rulers" since "it is inconceivable that a Muslim would blow up a church or a mosque." He continued: "Oh Allah, take revenge upon whoever has shed the blood of the Muslims... Allah, take revenge upon whoever killed the Muslims... Oh Allah, count the oppressors one by one, and kill them down to the very last one. Do not leave a single one upon the earth!"

Bemoaning the state of Islam today, he reminded his congregants of the hadith saying that "any nation that abandoned jihad was humiliated by Allah." The West, he added, had "made our nation abandon jihad and now it is at the tail end of all nations."

A video of Imam Elkasaby's sermon was posted on the YouTube channel of the Islamic Center of Jersey City.

To view this sermon on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

Following are excerpts from the sermon:

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "When the Muslims were praying the Friday prayer at the Al-Rawdah Mosque in Sinai, a terrible incident occurred and blood began to flow. There were over 250 martyrs in that Friday prayer, and more than 110 were wounded. These people had committed no crime or sin. The only thing they did was to come to the house of Allah.

[...]

"Whose interests does this serve? For the sake of whose interests are Muslims being killed in Sinai and all over the Islamic world? For the sake of whose interests are the inhabitants of Sinai being driven out? For the sake of whose interests are Muslims killed in the middle of prayer?

[...]

"Some people condemn the attack, saying that it was done by ISIS terrorists. Enough! Stop being ridiculous! They've made fools out of us with [stories] of ISIS and similar groups. By Allah, this could only have been done by the enemies of Islam – the Jews and their subordinates from among the Muslim rulers. What ISIS are they talking about? What groups are they referring to? What Muslims are they talking about? No Muslim who recites the two shahadas would ever do such a thing in Allah's house of prayer, in a Christian house, or even in a church. It is inconceivable that a Muslim would blow up a church or a mosque.

[...]

"Oh Allah, take revenge upon whoever has shed the blood of the Muslims!"

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Allah, take revenge upon whoever killed the Muslims!"

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Allah, take revenge upon whoever violated the sanctity of Allah's houses of worship."

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Oh Allah, hasten your revenge, or Lord of the Worlds!"

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Oh Allah, count the oppressors one by one, and kill them down to the very last one. Do not leave a single one upon the Earth."

[...]

"Look what has happened to the Islamic society. Look at the state of Islam in the Arab countries, when a country like the UAE is the biggest importer of alcohol in the world. Why has Islam reached the point where all the Islamic countries besiege one country [Qatar], just because it defends the Al-Aqsa Mosque? What is left to say about Islam and the Muslims? We have produced a generation of idiots who know nothing about Islam. [The Hadith says:] 'Any nation that abandoned Jihad was humiliated by Allah.'

[...]

"There is no separation of religion and state in Islam. Islam is justice, mercy, liberty, shura, jihad, and ideology. Islam is a message. Islam is an all-inclusive religion.

[...]

"What does the West want from the Muslims? They say that a certain Muslim country is a country of peace, and deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, and that another country is the best country in the world. They made our nation abandon jihad, and now it is at the tail end of all nations."

Imam Elkasaby, December 8, 2017: "So Long As The Al-Aqsa Mosque Remains Prisoner In The Hands Of The Jews… Under The Feet Of The Apes And Pigs, This Nation Will Remain Humiliated"

Imam Elkasaby dedicated his December 8 sermon to U.S. President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He challenged the assumption that Israel is invincible, quoting from the Quran to demonstrate that the Jews "are the most cowardly of nations," and adding, "So long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains prisoner in the hands of the Jews... so long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains under the feet of the apes and pigs, this nation will remain humiliated." After he prayed for Allah to grant him "martyrdom on the threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque" and to annihilate "the plundering oppressors" down to the very last one, one of the worshippers stood up and invited the congregation to a demonstration in Times Square to protest the announcement by the "lunatic" U.S. president. A video of this sermon too was posted on the YouTube channel of the Islamic Center of Jersey City.

To view this sermon on MEMRI TV, click here or below

Following are excerpts from the sermon:

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Don't tell me that Israel is a superpower. Don't tell me Israel has an army that cannot be defeated. Says who? Says who? [The Quran says:] 'They will not fight you all except within fortified cities or from behind walls.'

[...]

"They are the most cowardly of nations. They are the weakest of all peoples.

[...]

"Do not ever doubt Allah's support. Do not ever doubt Allah's ability to grant this nation victory. Allah will grant this nation victory, and the Al-Aqsa mosque will be regained.

[...]

"So long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains prisoner in the hands of the Jews, this nation will remain humiliated. So long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains under the feet of the apes and pigs, this nation will remain humiliated.

 

[...]

"This nation must know that supporting the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a religious obligation that you will be asked about when you face Allah. So long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains a humiliated prisoner under the oppression of the Jews, this nation will never prevail.

 [...]

"Oh Allah, bring Al-Aqsa back into the fold of Islam and the Muslims!"

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Allah, make us among Your armies."

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Allah, we ask You to grant us martyrdom on the threshold of Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Allah, we ask You to grant us martyrdom on the threshold of Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "We ask You to let us pray in [Al-Aqsa's] courts and to be martyred on its threshold."

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Allah, wreak vengeance upon the plundering oppressors!"

Congregation: "Amen."

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby: "Count them one by one, and kill them down to the very last one. Do not leave a single one on the face of the Earth."

 

[1] Facebook.com/events/883227411854304; Facebook.com/HudsonCountyNJInterfaith/?ref=page_internal, accessed December 11, 2017.

[2] In April 2008, West Point cadets taking a "Winning the Peace" course that involved a three-day field trip to Jersey City visited the center, and spent nights there. New York Times, April 6, 2008..

[3] Youtu.be/VD8cgk3W0dI?t=309, posted November 16, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017.

[4] Facebook.com/corybooker/photos/a.115558592227.120345.36872302227/10155112890687228/?type=3, posted January 12, 2016.

[5] Medium.com/@CoryBooker/my-state-of-the-union-guest-ahmed-shedeed-4d3cb97b809c, January 11, 2016.

[6] Youtu.be/VD8cgk3W0dI?t=817, posted November 16, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017.

[7] Youtu.be/VD8cgk3W0dI?t=2795, posted November 16, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017.

[8] Youtu.be/VD8cgk3W0dI?t=3084, Youtube.com/watch?v=VD8cgk3W0dI&feature=youtu.be&t=3084, posted November 16, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017.

[9] Youtu.be/VD8cgk3W0dI?t=3506, posted November 16, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017.

[10] Youtu.be/VD8cgk3W0dI?t=4593 posted November 16, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017.

[11] Youtu.be/VD8cgk3W0dI?t=3336 posted November 16, 2017, accessed December 13, 2017.