The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) today echoed calls for a Department of Homeland Security investigation of Mr. Ammar Shahin and the Islamic Center of Davis, following Mr. Shahin’s sermon of July 21 in which he prayed for Allah to “annihilate” all Jews. The CJV commended House Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) for demanding Mr. Shahin’s employment be terminated, and that the University of California, Davis, bar Mr. Shahin and any representative of the Islamic Center of Davis from its campus.
As seen on video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Mr. Shahin on July 21 called for all Jews to be killed and even prayed “oh Allah, make this happen by our hands,” asking for his followers to participate in the slaughter. Mr. Shahin recently apologized for letting his emotions “cloud my better judgment,” but MEMRI then translated and published a transcript and video from Mr. Shahin’s July 14 sermon that similarly referred to “the filth of the Jews” and called for their eradication, “down to the very last one.”
“Refusal to tolerate advocacy of bloodshed, much less genocide, is a distinguishing feature of civilized nations,” said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Director of the CJV. “A priest, minister or rabbi who made similar statements would rightfully be removed and prosecuted for criminal incitement and hate crimes. To permit Mr. Shahin to apologize and move on after repeated calls for savagery creates an untenable double standard that nurtures anti-Semitism.”
The CJV further noted that Mr. Shahin previously delivered a course at the University of California, Davis, which is located directly across the street from the Islamic Center. The course was organized by the Muslim Students Association, which was identified by the NY Police Department as an “incubator for radicalization” and has been linked to numerous terror organizations.
UC Davis has been repeatedly identified by watchdog groups as one of the most anti-Semitic campuses in the country. When the student government passed a divestment resolution in 2015, students yelled “Allahu Akhbar” at Jewish students and their allies, and swastikas were painted on the Jewish fraternity the following week.
“We now know,” said Rabbi Menken, “that one of the nation’s universities most hostile towards Jews is located directly across the street from an Imam who has been fomenting anti-Jewish hostility. The cry of Islamic jihadis heard in the student council chambers would seem to indicate that this is no coincidence.”
Rabbi Dov Fischer, Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the CJV, concluded that “Rep. Brad Sherman has taken an important lead in demanding that the university and community address this outrageous and profoundly un-American incident, involving a call for physical violence here in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security needs to act immediately on this threat.”
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), directed by prominent rabbinic leaders and representing hundreds of rabbis across North America, articulates an authentic Jewish perspective on current events, and promotes Jewish values through writing and teaching derived from traditional Jewish thought.