Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) said the “hateful, anti-Semitic” sermon delivered by Imam Ammar Shahin at the Islamic Center of Davis on Friday was “outrageous and unacceptable” in a statement on Wednesday.
The Islamic Center of Davis is located in Garamendi’s district, which also includes Fairfield and Yuba City Counties.
“The sermon apparently delivered on Friday by Imam Ammar Shahin is outrageous and unacceptable,” Garamendi said. “Hateful, anti-Semitic language has no place anywhere in America, and certainly not in Davis.”
Imam Shahin, who quoted an antisemitic text, prayed for Allah to “destroy” (or “annihilate”) the Jews “down to the very last one” during his Friday sermon.
Shahin’s sermon focused on the ongoing controversy at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where a terrorist murdered two Druze Israeli soldiers earlier this month, leading Israel to restrict access to the mosque and to install metal detectors temporarily.
“The Islamic Center of Davis has a long tradition of cooperation with other faith groups, and I am extremely disappointed that this tradition appears to have been flagrantly violated by this hateful rhetoric,” Garamendi said.
Rabbis and leaders of California’s Jewish community say they are “taking seriously” what they see as a threat from Imam Shahin.
According to a translation of Shahin’s prayer in Arabic, completed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), he said:
Oh Allah, support the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the Muslim lands. Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews. Oh Allah, destroy those who closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh Allah, show us the black day that You inflict upon them, and the wonders of Your ability. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.
The Islamic Center of Davis defended Imam Shahin and suggested to Breitbart News that his sermon was quoted out of context.