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December 21, 2017

Where’s the Coverage of New Jersey Imam’s Call for Genocide?

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On December 8, MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, translated a sermon given in a New Jersey mosque. The organization summarized as follows:

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby, imam of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, dedicated his Friday sermon on December 8 to U.S. President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Imam Elkasaby defied the assumption that Israel is invincible, quoting from the Quran to demonstrate that the Jews “are the most cowardly of nations.” “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,” he said. Towards the end of the sermon, Imam Elkasaby prayed for Allah to grant him “martyrdom on the threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and to annihilate “the plunderer oppressors” down to the very last one.

The video with subtitles is available for viewing here.

While one local news outlet originally reported on the antisemitic comments, the AP and several other local news outlets covered the story only after the Imam was suspended, over a week later.

By waiting until the Imam was suspended, these news outlets are able to turn the focus of the story away from the Imam’s call to “kill them down to the very last one.”

Instead of being a story about a call to genocide issued from within the US, the story is now about a mosque that is making amends for its misstep. Further, one wonders whether, if the Imam had not been suspended, these news organizations would have covered the story at all.

Other than local news and the brief AP story, Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby’s comments have been prominently reported only in Jewish, Middle East, and right-of-center news organizations.

Another sermon with similar themes, given last summer in a Northern California mosque, was prominently covered by mainstream media after that Imam apologized – again, after the focus was turned away from the original, hateful, content.

Meanwhile, similar comments made by Sheikh Raed Saleh Al-Rousan of the Tajweed Institute in Houston, Texas have also come to light. Al-Rousan recited the prediction that “the Muslims will kill the Jews, and the Jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, and the stones and the trees will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.” He then said “"All these games in the Muslim and Arab countries are from them. They do not want a Muslim leader.”

Will the media do better this time?

Posted by kabe at December 21, 2017 01:39 PM

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