A Muslim Imam has come under fire for giving hate speech against Jews during one of his sermons. As the major hate crimes taking place against various religions and ethnicities see a spur, the speech from the religious head has come under criticism. Such speeches could lead to further disturbance.

What did the Imam say?

The man in question is Ammar Shanin, who is the Imam of the Islamic Centre at Davis, California. In July, during one of his 52-minute long sermon, he spoke to his disciples about how “Allah” should free the Al-Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews and annihilate the very last of them. Out of the 52–minute long khutbah or sermon, nearly two minutes were hinged on the above hateful words, which were directed toward the entire Jewish Community.

The incident that took place in Al-Aqsa mosque

The Al-Aqsa mosque is in East Jerusalem, Israel and is the holy site for both Muslims and Jews. The Israeli forces recently installed metal detectors at the mosque after the attack on two police officers who were shot dead by Arab forces. The Muslim leaders deemed this to be an insult and called for protests. The whole city of Jerusalem was taken over by protesters and the Israeli forces were forced to remove the metal detectors, which were installed in the first place to ensure the safety of anyone who visited the holy mosque.

There was a major outcry after the sermon and Muslims in the area feared for their safety. The Imam even posted a video of this particular sermon on the mosque’s Youtube channel and was criticized by everyone, including people from his own religion.

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As a religious leader, he should be more responsible for what comes out of his mouth as the disciples consider it to be the word of God himself.

Shanin later apologized to everyone for what he said during the sermon. He said he was apologetic to anyone whose sentiments he had hurt by using such hateful and unkind words. He also tried to cover up the incident by saying that his speech was just directed toward the Jews who were present at Al-Aqsa and not the whole community. There were people who supported the Imam’s remark and justified it by saying that the speech was made under circumstances when the Imam was infuriated because of the whole situation in the mosque. Others asserted that the remark was only made for the Jews in Israel and not the whole community. Irrespective, the incident has stirred a hornet's nest.