April 1, 2022 Special Announcements No. 1186

Remembering Muslim Reformist, Liberal Thinker, And MEMRI Board Of Advisors Member Prof. Khaleel Mohammed: His Speech At Capitol Hill Annual Commemoration Of Congressman Tom Lantos

April 1, 2022
Special Announcements No. 1186

With a heavy heart, MEMRI mourns the passing in January 2022 of Board of Advisors member Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, who passed away at the age of 66.

Dr. Mohammed was Professor of Islamic Studies at San Diego State University and Director of the university's  Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies.

In a speech at the third annual event of MEMRI's Tom Lantos Archives on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, which took place on July 27, 2011, Dr. Mohammed spoke about on the current state of antisemitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East.

Dr. Mohammed at the MEMRI Tom Lantos Archives on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial event, July 27, 2011.

Also speaking at the event, which took place in the Speaker's Dining Room of the U.S. Capitol, were Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Hannah Rosenthal, State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism; Sara J. Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; and MEMRI president Yigal Carmon.

In addition, letters from Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission co-chair Rep. Frank Wolf were read out.[1]

The following are the video and transcript of Dr. Mohammed's speech:

In his speech at the MEMRI event, Dr. Mohammed stressed that he felt "ashamed" as a Muslim because of the antisemitism that is rife in the Muslim world but that "not all Muslims share in this nonsense," reiterated Congressman Tom Lantos's statement that "the veneer of civilization is paper thin," and that antisemitism is "a social call we take up."

To view the video, click here or below:

Below is the transcript of Dr. Mohammed's speech:

I was extremely honored when [MEMRI President] Yigal [Carmon] asked me to be here, and I felt more honored when I saw in whose honor I was speaking. But then I looked at the clips this morning and I felt a deep sense of shame. And I happen to look across at Special Envoy Rosenthal and I could not meet her gaze, because of the shame. I have felt ashamed because I am Muslim and except for one of the [MEMRI compilation] clips you saw, everyone on there was a Muslim.

"You missed perhaps that in two of the most important clips, because the Archives represents that which is past or that which we hope will remain just a memory, but two of those presenters spoke of the future. In two religions, their folklore eschatology preaches that for the world to come to a successful end Jews must be annihilated. Two of them referred to that. And when Sara Bloomfield talked about technology, I want you to focus on [the fact] that because of that technology the eschatological lore that was forming in books that might have been inaccessible to the illiterate, [but that] with the TV media now, and with the supposed revolutions in the Middle East, one of the quickest ways to appeal to get the support of the masses is [to say] for the things to come and that all of the world's problems will be solved when the Jews are annihilated.

"So, ladies and gentlemen, please pay attention to that... Winston Churchill [said] we will never surrender. I'll take that quote and tell you, ladies and gentlemen, we must, we can't ever surrender. Tom Lantos said the veneer of civilization is paper thin. Well, hate and technology in the service of hate now made that veneer very, very porous. So, you're just not fighting to protect it but to understand what has already been done to it.

"Again, I don't know how to get the message across any stronger, but antisemitism is just not a matter of something, it's a social call we take up. It is something that is there, it is something that is gaining in momentum. [International Union of Muslim Scholars head Sheikh] Yousef Al-Qaradhawi spoke of the continued business to be finished with the annihilation of the Jews. I can't say more to you except that please let us not surrender, and to remember that not all Muslims share in this nonsense about annihilating the Jews. Thank you."

Hungarian Ambassador György Szapáry and  Dr. Khaleel Mohammed

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