Houston Imam Who Cited Antisemitic Hadith in Sermon Apologizes to Anyone “Offended” or “Uncomfortable” by His Speech
On Friday, December 28, 2017, Sheikh Raed Saleh Al-Rousan, founder of the Tajweed Institute, posted a "statement and apology" on YouTube. Sheikh Al-Rousan was referring to his sermon from December 8, 2017, in which he cited an antisemitic hadith (see MEMRI TV clip no. 6326 Houston Imam Raed Saleh Al-Rousan: 'Good Tidings' – Muslims Will Kill Jews On Judgment Day; 'Do Not Tell Me That Palestine Is The Country Of The Jewish [People]'). Sheikh Al-Rousan apologized to anyone he had "offended" or made "uncomfortable" or "afraid" by his sermon. He stated that he has "been in touch with Islamic scholars and leaders who made me understand how my sermon could be understood as a call for violence against Jews" and concluded with hopes of finding "partnership in the Jewish community... [to] build meaningful relationships."
Sheikh Raed Saleh Al-Rousan: "I would like to address the controversy around my sermon from December 8. I must start by saying to anyone that I have offended or to whom I have caused to be uncomfortable or afraid, that I sincerely apologize without any qualification. I have been in touch with many Islamic scholars and Muslim leaders who have helped me understand me how my sermon can be seen as a call for violence against Jews. I must restate that I do not believe in violence, and will not allow any speech in my presence that threatens any group of people: Jews, Christian, or any other group. I also remain hopeful that I will find partners from the Jewish community and the larger faith community so that we can build meaningful relationships. Finally, myself and the Tajweed Institute will always be open to any ideas that bring the people together to benefit our society at large."