Imam Ammar Shahin has apologized for offending Jews with one of his sermons.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the apology of a California imam who, during a Friday sermon a week ago, had fervently prayed for the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque from “the filth of the Jews.”
Joined at a press conference by religious and community leaders, Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis apologized for the anti-Semitism in his sermon, 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 the following statement:
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. We further hope that he will be able to use his leadership role to speak out against anti-Semitism and work with others in the community to build bridges of mutual understanding and respect.
As a reminder, here is what he said:
“The last thing that I would do is intentionally hurt anyone, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise. It is not in my heart.” Really? Sounds to me like his heart is bursting with excitement at the prospect of Judgment Day when the Muslims are slaughtering us Jews – with the help of talking stones and trees (except for that one type of uncooperative, Jew-loving tree).
It is not like he inadvertently said all of these things in a moment of insensitivity. He really believes them. I’m guessing Shahin really does not like the idea of jail, so has made this feeble apology, while continuing to pray for our destruction – just without posting it on YouTube from now on.
Shame on the ADL for accepting this clearly not genuine apology, and not going after him for hate crimes.
I’d prefer he’d be making those high-pitched sounds from prison.