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Feb 04, 2019
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Pittsburgh Imam Naeem Abdullah Responds to Media Backlash Following MEMRI Report: Clips Taken Out of Context to Stitch False Narrative; I'm Not Antisemitic; MEMRI Are a "Bunch of Liars" Intent on Slandering Muslims

#6995 | 06:28
Source: The Internet

On February 4, 2019, Pittsburgh imam Naeem Abdullah uploaded a video titled "Setting the Record Straight and Addressing the Slanderous Attacks against Me!" in response to media backlash following MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7868, particularly a February 2 article by Peter Smith in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette titled "Report Denounces Remarks Of Leader at Small Larimer Mosque." Abdullah's response video had the text "#MEMRISlander" written in the bottom right corner. Addressing Muslims and "anyone who desires to arrive at the truth," Abdullah said that the MEMRI clip about him uses "cherry-picked" clips that are taken out of context in order to stitch together a false narrative that he teaches antisemitism, disrespect for law enforcement, and intolerance of non-Muslims. Abdullah said that it is un-Islamic to be antisemitic, and he explained that he uses the Quranic story about Allah turning some Jews into apes and pigs in order to teach Muslims about obedience to the law and about opposing evil acts. He also said that the Jewish tribes were expelled from Medina for treason, and not because they were Jewish. For Imam Abdullah's statements, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 6976 and No. 6978.

Following are excerpts:

 

Imam Naeem Abdullah: On January 30, 2019, a group calling itself MEMRI, which is an acronym standing for the Middle East Media Research Institute, published a slanderous attack piece on me with the following title: "Pittsburgh Imam Naeem Abdullah In Lectures And Sermons: Jews 'Run Everything,' 'Have All The Money,' And Are Cowards; Allah Changed Some Jews Into Apes And Pigs; White Supremacy Has Co-Opted Judaism And Christianity; 'Modern-Day Corrupt Scholars' Call Offensive Jihad Invalid; [U.S. National Who Pleaded Guilty On Al-Qaeda Charges] Tarik Shah Was My Housemate In NY And 'One Of My Wazirs [Deputies]'".

 

[…]

 

This published attack uses carefully selected clips of my words taken from about a dozen sermons, classes, radio programs and lectures to stitch together the false narrative that I teach hatred for the Jewish community, disrespect for law enforcement and intolerance of non-Muslims, among other things.

 

[…]

 

It is my intent to clarify these distortions. This is addressed to the Muslim community in general and to anyone else who sincerely desires to arrive at the truth.

 

[…]

 

All of the clips used have been taken out of their original context and reworked in order to support this antisemitic, anti-law enforcement, pro-violence false narrative. Anyone Muslim or [non-Muslim] who listens to the entirety – not the carefully selected clips – of any of these lectures would agree that they don’t promote any of the aforementioned negative stereotypes.

Issue number two: I am not antisemitic or anti-Jewish. Contrary to how they are trying to brand me, I do not personally hate, nor do I teach hate of, any faction of the Jewish community. I’ll go even further to say that it is un-Islamic to do so.

 

[…]

 

Issue number three: reference to some Jews being transformed into monkeys and pigs.

 

[…]

 

I’ve always used this Quranic story to highlight mainly two points. One, Muslims should not use the "letter of the law" to justify or to maneuver around the "spirit of the law." Two, in the face of evil or wrong-doing, Muslims should not participate in the act [or] remain silent or neutral.

 

[…]

 

The group of Jews who were not punished by this transformation were those who were steadfast in their adherence to the Sabbath, and I usually make a passing reference to some protestors who would refer to Jews as “sons of monkeys and pigs” and clarify that this is Islamically incorrect.

 

[…]

 

Issue number four: the reference to Jews getting expelled from Medina.

 

[…]

 

These three Jewish tribes were expelled on different occasions due to various acts of treason against the “state” – not because they were Jewish. Again, context is everything.

 

[…]

 

 “Black Nationalism” suggests that black people should control the economy, politics, politicians, et cetera in their communities. The definition was inspired by Malcolm X in his famous lecture called “The Ballot or the Bullet.”

 

[…]

 

There is nothing wrong, subversive or criminal about this. Almost every other community exercises this right, but somehow this becomes newsworthy when we express the same aspirations.

 

[…]

 

Number six: "living under occupation" and other related references. These comments were made after a young, unarmed boy named Antwon Rose [Jr.] was shot in the back.

 

[…]

 

As a Muslim imam who happens to be black and whose congregation is overwhelmingly black, it is my duty to provide textually-based spiritual guidance and context to the prevailing issues of the day. The extra-judicial murder of unarmed, non-threatening black people is one of those issues.

 

[…]

 

In an attempt, I believe, to rally the emotions of their readers behind this false narrative, they stooped so low as to mention one of the most disgusting attacks upon Jewish people in this country.

 

[…]

 

The one guilty of the October 27, 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue was Robert Bowers! He was not Muslim, not black, not a “Black Nationalist”, not “echoing rhetoric from the Middle East”, or any of that. He was slash is white, digested and espoused the rhetoric of white identity extremists, and this diet of real “hate speech” translated into the real deaths of 11 innocent people.

 

[…]

 

To my Muslim family, imams, scholars and leaders: If I have said anything that was Islamically incorrect, baseless, false or inciting to violence, I am more than willing to offer a retraction, correction and public apology.

 

[…]

 

Somebody asked a good question. Am I going to write to MEMRI, the organization that started this slander? The answer is no, because if you really take a look at all the gymnastics they had to do in order to create that slander, it's clear from the outset that they intended to distort my words.

 

[…]

 

They are a bunch of liars, and their only intent is to slander Muslims and try to target us for all types of smear campaigns and other nonsense. I'm not going to go to my oppressors and try to plead my case to them. That's ridiculous, that's nonsense.

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