North Carolina Imam’s Sermon on Jerusalem Invokes ‘End of Time’ War Against Jews
A North Carolina imam is in the spotlight after a sermon he gave alleging that Jesus had been “saved from the Jews, who tried to crucify him” was unearthed this week on social media.
In the same sermon – delivered on December 8, during the week that US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – Imam Abdullah Khadra of Raleigh, NC cited a well-known hadith (a maxim attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) which holds that “at the End of Time, we will fight those Jews until the rocks and the trees will speak: ‘Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me’.”
The Syrian-born Khadra’s sermon was brought to light by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which has recently uncovered examples of similarly provocative sermons delivered on the same Friday in New Jersey and Houston, Texas.
Those sermons invoked the same millenarian hadith quoted by Khadra in his guest speaker address to the Muslim Youth and Community Center in Raleigh.
“We’re hearing this particular hadith a great deal now,” Mansour Al-Hadj – director of MEMRI’s Reform Project – told The Algemeiner.
Al-Hadj explained that the hadith “highlights the prophecy about the eternal enmity between Muslims and Jews.”
“It capitalizes on the notion that the current situation, in which the Jews are more powerful than the Muslims, will change,” Al-Hadj continued. “It is not acceptable to the Muslim world that Jews, or Israel, have any control of Jerusalem, and many Muslims do not accept that there is really a religious connection between Jews and Jerusalem, because they believe that it belongs to Muslims.”
Al-Hadj added that “this Hadith, along with other religious texts which demonize Jews, is also used as proof of Muslims’ divine ownership of Jerusalem.”
During his 32-minute sermon, Khadra also described Jerusalem as “the place where our Lord Jesus, the prophet that we all believe in and love – he was born there.”
“From there, from that spot, he was saved from the Jews, who tried to crucify him,” the imam said.
Responding to a query from The Algemeiner, Khadra said that he had seen “a lot of exaggeration and some misunderstanding” of his comments, and that he would address these in a separate email. Khadra stressed that he was “well known in my community for promoting peace and love among all people.”
Khadra added that he had been attacked by “some Muslims for being too tolerant towards non-Muslims.”
“I also would like you to know that we as Muslims never hate Jews or any other people,” Khadra said. “We rather hate aggression from any people including Muslims. This is why I gave many khutbahs (sermons) on ISIS and their heinous crimes against Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
Khadra pointed out that earlier in the same sermon, he had declared, “We cannot turn a blind eye to oppression on any person, even to a non-Muslim person. That is what Islam is.”
Jewish community organizations in Raleigh have yet to issue a response to the controversy around Khadra’s sermon.