Several Muslim leaders in Philadelphia say their mosques have received threatening phone calls in response to a video posted Friday of children at a local mosque reciting poems and songs in Arabic about decapitating opponents of Islam and other violent declarations.
Philly.com said the threats reported by the mosques prompted the Philadelphia branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, to issue an advisory Monday urging all Islamic institutions to increase security precautions throughout the month.
CAIR, along with the overseer of the mosque where the children performed, the Muslim American Society, were formed by U.S. leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, the global movement that exists to help bring nations under the authority of Islamic law. CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-funding case and was designated by the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization.
WND reported the video of the children was uploaded to Facebook on April 17 by the Muslim American Society Islamic Center in North Philadelphia, the site of the “Ummah Day” event for which they performed. No one complained until the video was translated into English and posted last Friday by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
MEMRI is known for translating similar videos of children in the Palestinian territories who pine for “martyrdom” and vow to eliminate the Jews from the Holy Land, citing Islamic sacred texts.
Philly.com reported the Philadelphia CAIR office said it was threatened by a caller who complained about the “sick video,” telling a staff member “we will deal with you” if violence erupts.
Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, the outreach and education director for the local CAIR office, also said the caller warned “America won’t put up with that” and “We’re from here, you’re not” and “Bring it.”
Amir Qasim Rashad of the United Muslim Masjid in South Philadelphia, according to Philly.com, said his mosque received two threatening calls and he planned to meet with police.
“Places of worship used to be sacred, but now they are the target,” Rashad said. “And it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s a mosque or synagogue or church.”
‘We will chop off their heads’
One girl in the Philadelphia video, according to MEMRI’s translation, reads “we will chop off their heads” to “liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.
“We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation,” she reads. “We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling His promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture.”
Another girl reads: “We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling his promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture.”
MAS, which was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, insisted the video was not “properly vetted,” calling it “an unintended mistake and an oversight.”
“While we celebrate the coming together of different cultures and languages, not all songs were properly vetted,” MAS said.
“This was an unintended mistake and an oversight in which the center and the students are remorseful. MAS will conduct an internal investigation to ensure this does not occur again.”
MAS said the children were part of a school unaffiliated with the Philadelphia chapter that organized the April event and had rented the space at the center.
MAS issued a follow-up statement saying “the person in charge” of the event has been “dismissed.”
And the mosque “will form a local commission to aid in sensitivity training and proper oversight for future programs.”
FBI blacklisted Hamas-founded CAIR
Philly.com reported CAIR’s Philadelphia and Pennsylvania branches condemned anti-Semitism in a statement on CAIR-Philadelphia’s website.
“Islamic tradition categorically rejects either speech or actions that harm in any way our Jewish brothers and sisters,” said Iftekhar Hussain, chairman of CAIR-Pennsylvania.
CAIR said Tuesday it will host a series of free diversity training sessions at Philadelphia religious institutions in collaboration with government, religious and interfaith groups.
However, the FBI blacklisted CAIR from outreach programs after the Islamic organization in 2007 was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund Hamas, a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization.
During the trial, the FBI presented evidence CAIR was founded as a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group. More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.
While CAIR has complained of being named in the terror-funding trial, as WND reported in 2010, a federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate CAIR as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, affirming the Muslim group has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”
In addition, CAIR leaders have made statements affirming the aim of establishing Islamic rule in the United States.
The Islamic organization long had accused WND and others of “smearing” the Muslim group by citing a newspaper account of CAIR founder Omar Ahmad telling Muslims in Northern California in 1998 that they were in America not to assimilate but to help assert Islam’s rule over the country. But WND caught CAIR falsely claiming that it had contacted the paper and had “sought a retraction,” insisting Ahmad never made the statement. Three years later, the issue arose again, and WND found CAIR still had not contacted the paper.
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper also has expressed a desire to replace the U.S. system of government with an Islamic state.
“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”