A Jersey City imam has been suspended without pay after calling for the death of Jews, exclaiming for Allah to “kill them down to the very last one,” in a hate-filled sermon that took place earlier this month.
In a December 8th sermon, Aymen Elkasaby, the imam at the Islamic Center of Jersey City, said Jews “are the most cowardly of nations,” adding that “so long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains under the feet of the apes and pigs, this nation will remain humiliated.”
“Count them one by one, and kill them down to the very last one. Do not leave a single one on the face of the Earth,” he said, according to translations provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (who also provided an excerpt from their Facebook page, embedded above).
Elkasaby’s remarks came in response to President Donald Trump (R) recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Towards the end of the sermon, Elkasaby prayed for Allah to grant him “martyrdom on the threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and to annihilate “the plundering oppressors” down to the very last one.
ICJC President Ahmed Shedeed told Hudson County View that Elkasaby has been working with the organization for about six months and has been suspended without pay for at least one month as a result of the controversial sermon.
He added that he will face intensive retraining with Imans, rabbis and priests, making it clear the ICJC does not support a word that Elkasaby said.
“We condemn what he said, what he said was not right, it should be said and it should not be repeated again by anybody,” Shedeed told us over the phone.
In a lengthy emailed statement, Shedeed explained the incident and the reaction from the Islamic Center of Jersey City.
“We welcome all to the mosque to hear the Imam speak about how the Quran perceives prophet Abraham, the history of the children of Israel, Moses, Jesus, and Mary (of blessed memory; may God’s peace be upon them all).”
“With this background, the Imam whose Friday speech was quoted, could have spoken better. The Imam regrets the speech and the Islamic Center of Jersey City disavows unconditionally any insinuation that denigrates an entire people or that advocates violence against any innocent person.”
Shedeed further stated that the ICJC is “currently investigating this issue and other inflammatory statements” previously made by the imam.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), who personally invited Shedeed to his State of the Union address in 2016, wrote in a letter that “it is your responsibility to make clear that there is no room in your mosque for the hatred of Jews and for the incitement of violence against them.”
Booker, who has recently called for Trump’s resignation, also asked Shedeed to take “a firm and unequivocal stance against this hatred and bigotry” so that they can continue to work together.