Recent news reports of two Imams in California (one in Davis, the other in Riverside) using anti-Jewish rhetoric in their weekly sermons is roundly condemned by the Islamic Center of Southern California. There is no space – either in the spirit of Islam or in general human relations – for such language targeting another faith or its followers.
Indeed Jews and other believers of God are spoken of in rewarding terms in the Holy Quran:
“Verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians – all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds – shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.” (Quran 2:62)
Undoubtedly, current events in Jerusalem have given rise to the legitimate emotion and anger amongst Muslims, and all people of conscience. Israeli hostility and violence toward Muslims at the Al-Aqsa Mosque has caused this outrage. Both Jews and Muslims of moral standing work and speak out against Israeli atrocities.
But the statements made by these Imams are more indicative of vitriol than of faith.
We pray these Imams realize the Islamic invalidity of condemning an entire faith or people, and the harm their words have caused. We pray that our nation takes a balanced stand toward peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and we pray that Jews and Muslims in Southern California grow together, working to better the community in which we both live.
May God guide us all as we strive only in His cause.
This is an official statement of the Islamic Center of Southern California.