Sheikh Ammar Shahin in action
Sheikh Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis, Northern California, who prayed that Allah “liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews” and “annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them,” has re-thought his communications with the Devine.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, at a press conference with other religious and community leaders, Imam Shahin apologized for his anti-Semitism, acknowledging that “I said things that were hurtful to Jews. This was unacceptable.”
He went on to say that, “I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused. The last thing that I would do is intentionally hurt anyone, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise. It is not in my heart.”
Seth Brysk, Director of ADL’s San Francisco Office, issued a statement saying, “We welcome Imam Shahin’s apology and his clear recognition that hateful words have consequences. This is an important first step, but it is only the beginning of a journey that he needs to make in restoring confidence in his religious leadership and his understanding of the roots of anti-Semitism. We hope that the imam will continue to learn from others about why his words were so dangerous.”
Meanwhile, no apologies yet from Imam Mahmoud Harmoush, of the Islamic Center of Riverside, near the University of California, Riverside, who told his flock about an international plot to steal the land of Palestine from Muslims through “killing, crime and massacres.”
Harmoush suggested Jews are extending the conflict to “most of the Middle East, and even […] Mecca and Medina.” He also prayed to Allah to “destroy them […] disperse them and rend them asunder. Turn them into booty in the hands of the Muslims.”
The ADL expressed its disappointment at Harmoush’s failure to see the light.