Muslim site targets
rabbi radio host

By Jon Dougherty

A New York rabbi who hosts an internationally acclaimed radio program has attracted the attention of a pair of U.S. congressmen because of threats made against him on an Islamic website.

Tovia Singer, whose program is broadcast weekly throughout Israel and via the Internet on Paltalk.com, was threatened by Yousef al Khattab, who urged fellow Muslims on his website to “reach this man, and help him understand what it’s like to suffer.”

Khattab also calls Singer a “Jew liar” and “predator rabbi,” and included Singer’s home phone number, address, a map to his home, and numerous photos of the rabbi on the site.

Called “Jewish Converts to Islam,” Khattab’s site also features graphics of burning Israeli flags, an offer for a free Quran – the Islamic holy book – and lessons on how to pray like a Muslim.

“In addition,” says a statement released by Singer, Khattab’s site “contains shocking anti-Semitic ideas including the assertion that ‘Jews are the nation of pigs and monkeys, and are nothing but a source of evil, corruption, tribulation and war.’

“Morever, the site claims that Jews were behind the attack on the World Trade Center, and repeatedly urges ‘Muslims to make Orthodox Jews worldwide pay the price,'” said the statement.

Khattab, an American, grew up as Joseph Cohen in a secular Jewish home. Now living in East Jerusalem, he became Hasidic four years ago but converted to Islam last year. On his site, he says that he supports terror group Hamas.

Singer said trouble with Khattab began last week after he had exchanged postings with Khattab in a chat room discussion on Jews converting to Islam.

“During my conversation, Mr. Khattab ranted endlessly about ‘rabbis’ and insisted that they sent police to his home because of complaints that he was beating his wife and children,” said Singer. “You could only imagine how surprised I was to open his website 10 minutes after our troubling conversation ended to find that [he] had posted … the assertion that I was one of the ‘lying rabbis’ who sent the ‘Jew police’ to his home.”

“When you are dealing with fundamentalist Muslims who identify with Hamas, the leading terrorist organization, I have to be concerned,” he said.

The fracas has caught the attention of two congressmen from New York, U.S. Reps. Eliot Engel, a Democrat, and Benjamin Gilpin, a Republican, who sent a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft asking him to investigate the threat.

“His life and his family are in danger, and the attorney general should do everything in his power to take immediate legal action against those responsible for the threat to Rabbi Singer,” said Engel. “In this post-Sept. 11 world, we cannot ignore threats against Americans by radical Islamist groups.”

Gilpin added: “I am deeply saddened that someone or some group would intentionally target Rabbi Singer and his family.

“This is an incitement of the worst kind,” Gilpin continued. “I urge the attorney general to deal with this threat swiftly and decisively by removing the rabbi’s personal information from the Internet before an incident occurs.”

Singer says “numerous efforts” were made to take down Khattab’s site, none of them successfully. He said the Internet service provider CI Host – located in Bedford, Texas – has refused to remove the site “without a federal court order, citing freedom of speech issues.”

Ashcroft must decide whether the federal government can compel the provider to pull the offending information.

A federal court last year forced an anti-abortion website’s operator to remove the names of doctors who performed abortions and had been killed or wounded. The site had posted the names and address of doctors who did abortions.

Singer’s program, which airs Tuesdays, will feature Alan Keyes as his guest this week. Keyes, a former GOP presidential candidate and U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Social and Economics Council, is also a WorldNetDaily columnist.

Singer says despite Khattab’s threatening demeanor, he will continue to broadcast from “a remote studio.”

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