The Demise of American Jewry: The Case of the California Imam (Part 2)

13 Av 5777

5 August 2017


The News on the Israel Street

Palestinian terror in the last week . . .

There have been more than 150 Palestinian terror attacks reported by Israeli citizens.

The weekly casualty report:

*A supermarket worker in Yavne was critically wounded by a Palestinian terrorist in a stabbing attack.

*A Border Policeman was wounded in a Palestinian “rock” attack at the Damascus Gate.

*A ten-year-old boy was wounded in a Palestinian “rock” attack on the bus on which he was riding near Shavei Shomron.

*A Border Policeman was wounded in the chest in the Hebron Hills.

*A Border Police soldier was wounded in Issawiya.

*An Israeli motorist was wounded by Palestinian terrorists near the Yakir Junction.

The IDF Military Advocate General defends terrorists, again . . .

After watching for the last year the viciousness and tenacity with which the Military Advocate General’s office went after Elor Azariya for shooting a wounded terrorist who posed an immediate danger, it was not surprising yesterday to hear Military Advocate General Sharon Afek say that she will not seek the death penalty for the Halamish butcherer.

A father (and grandfather), his daughter, and his son were slaughtered by a laughing Palestinian terrorist, and no death penalty will be sought.

Why not?

“Because this is the policy” according to Afek.

Why not really?

Because the IDF Military Advocate General’s office is so consumed by political correctness that it does all it can to protect captured terrorists.


Today’s Blog

The Demise of American Jewry:

The Case of the California Imam (Part 2)

The egregiously anti-Semitic Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis, California. Note the Hamas scarf he is wearing.

The egregiously anti-Semitic Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis, California. Note the Hamas scarf he is wearing.

Note: This is a continuation of yesterday’s blog which can be read here.

In Part 1, your humble servant noted how “progressivism” which includes the magic words of  “inclusiveness”, “coexistence”, “diversity”, and “interfaith-edness” is wiping American Jewry off the map.

Specifically, I pointed to the case of Imam Ammar Shahin, the egregiously anti-Semitic imam of the Islamic Center of Davis California. We saw how Shahin exhorted Allah to destroy the Jews and to make Palestine and Jerusalem the “graveyard of the Jews”, referenced the outcry over his sermon of July 21, and witnessed how local Rabbi Seth Castleman immediately began to engineer Shahin’s rehabilitation on the bases of “social justice, spiritual truth, and peace.”

The blog noted how Castleman is the perfect example of progressivism as defined above.

I ended yesterday’s blog with this: 

“What seems astonishing to many is, in the context of Reform and Conservative Jewish life in the United States, not astonishing at allit has become the norm and is symbolic of the devastating demise of American Jewry.” 

Part 2:

And so it was that one week after Shahin’s July 21 “sermon”, the interfaith community stood behind the anti-Semitic Shahin as he took the microphone in a “press conference” at a local community church, but not before Davis Mayor Robb Davis told the assembled that it would not really be a press conference after all; no questions would be allowed.

Here is Shahin’s “mea culpa” in its entirety:

Imam Ammar Shahin Statement, July 27 2017

“I have spent my entire time in religious service helping Muslims–especially young Muslims–have a healthy understanding of their faith. A healthy understanding of Islam that is free of extremism and hate. Our Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) was a man who acted out of wisdom, humility, compassion, and fairness to everyone he encountered.

I believe we all need to speak and act with wisdom, compassion and a sense of fairness toward everyone whether we agree with them or not.

Recently in my Sermons, I let my emotions get the best of me and cloud my better judgement. I said things that were hurtful to Jews. This was unacceptable.

To the Jewish community, here in Davis and beyond, I say this: I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused.The last thing I would do is intentionally hurt anyone, Muslim, Jewish, or otherwise. It is not in my heart, nor does my religion allow it.

I do understand how my words were hurtful, and I am sorry. I understand that speech like this can encourage others to do hateful and violent acts, for this I, truly apologize. Words matter and have consequences.

Over the past few days, I have had the opportunity to discuss the content of my sermon, with several individuals inside and outside the Muslim community and have come to realize the harm it has caused. Indeed, commitment to defending religious rights in Jerusalem should not cause division or fan the flames of anti-Semitism.

Today I commit to working harder and will join efforts for mutual understanding and building bridges. As a young religious leader, this has humbled me. I hope to grow and develop as a more worthy leader in the community and seek your support and  counsel in navigating the better path toward understanding and healing.

American Muslim and Jewish communities have made remarkable progress in recent years working together to address civil rights and social justice, I look forward to increasing my interfaith activity to create a deeper understanding and mutual respect, for the purpose of working to stop hate speech and violence.”

For the purposes of this blog, we will gloss over the utter nonsense about Mohammed’s wisdom, humility, compassion, and fairness to everyone he encountered except to say that he slaughtered everyone who refused to convert to Islam–particularly Jews.

But on the subject of apology, note how Shahin disingenuously says that he regrets that what he said was hurtful to Jews, regrets the pain that he has caused, realizes that speech matters, and realizes that speech can lead to violent acts.

What is missing from this babble?

Shahin never retracts one word that he spoke.  As an acquaintance of mine in Davis said about this so-called “apology”: “Shahin said he understood that his words were hurtful, not that they were wrong. What he did was comparable to someone who robs or shoots me, and then says I am sorry for your pain.”

This is an apology with no apology.

Even more remarkably he still tries to explain away what he said by claiming that he was heroically “defending religious rights in Jerusalem.”

By calling on Allah to destroy the Jews–specifically Israeli Jews.

And then look at how cleverly Shahin uses the vocabulary of “progressivism” to explain away what he did. What we have in order are: “mutual understanding“; “building bridges“; “grow and develop“; “support and counsel“; “understanding and healing“; “civil rights and social justice“; “interfaith activity“; “deeper understanding and mutual respect“.

If it wasn’t such a serious subject, this list would be laughable.

Then he concludes with the outrageous statement that he wants to work to stop hate speech and violence. 

All hate speech and violence except that coming out of his own mouth and that directed at Israeli Jews. 

What followed in the “press conference” was the interfaith community including local government “leaders”, rushing to accept Shahin’s apology and participate in a series of photo ops. It was like a scene from some surreal Orwellian movie.

Shahin posing for photos after his "apology" with some of the local interfaith community (photo Greenwald: Vanguard)..

Shahin posing for photos after his “apology” with some of the local interfaith community (photo Greenwald: Vanguard).

Shortly thereafter, we had this outrageous written statement from the Jewish Federation in Sacramento:

“We formally accept Imam Ammar Shahin’s unequivocal apology. While we acknowledge that not everyone will accept what happened today, we hope that they will be open to strengthening our interfaith ties and understanding that we are, as faith communities, stronger together. The deep wounds which have occurred due to this incident will take time to heal, but we are committed to working together with the Muslim community to mend them.

We are humbly grateful to Rabbi Seth Castleman for bringing our Jewish community together with our Muslim colleagues and friends, to address the many emotions we have been feeling over the past week. Our sincere appreciation to Bruce Pomer, our JCRC Chair, and Basim Elkarra, Director of Sacramento chapter of CAIR, who worked diligently and thoughtfully to gain an apology and to find a way to move forward.”

Such is the state of Reform and Conservative Judaism. 

And then we had an unbelievable letter from a group of five Jewish students at UC-Davis (emphasis mine):

“We stand with all Jewish students who have been impacted by Imam Shahin’s statements in this way and here to denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms.  However, we also are here to recognize that the edited publication of Imam Shahin’s sermon was done with islamophobic intent.

We believe that the edited video of his sermon was published in part to exploit legitimate fears of anti-semitism within the Jewish Community and to exploit the unfortunate but common view in today’s world that Islam is an inherently violent religion in order to sow divisions within our community.

We are not going to let this video foment unnecessary fear and hatred of the other and take away from the relationships that the Davis community has worked so hard to build.  We know that showing compassion and working toward a common understanding are the only ways to end this cycle of hatred.

We are here to reaffirm our commitment to strengthening our relationship with the Davis Muslim community and the UC Davis Muslim student community and working to fight islamophobia and anti-Semitism together.”

Such is the state of Reform and Conservative Judaism. 

And then we had this . . . hold your breath . . . from Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis two days ago:

cbh logo

Kabbalat Shabbat Services –
Message from Local Muslim Community

TOMORROW, FRIDAY, August 4, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Congregation Bet Haverim Sanctuary
Rabbi Greg returns from vacation tomorrow night, and will wnelcome Davis Muslim Hands, a group of lay leaders led by Hamza El-Nakhal, who have asked to come with a message of remorse and compassion for Bet Haverim and the Davis Jewish community.  All are invited and encouraged to attend.


Here we have a Jewish congregation welcoming Muslim leaders who have sat through years of sermons from Imam Ammar Shahin and said nothing.

Not a word.

And would never have said a word had not the MEMRI recording been published on the internet.

But what’s wrong with inviting Davis Muslim Hands to Congregation Bet Haverim? Nothing. Nothing at all. After all, as the Islamic Center of Davis has clearly stated, Imam Shahin did not mean to destroy Jews in Davis; he was merely exhorting Allah to kill Israeli Jews. 

And certainly, Israeli Jews are not as important to Reform and Conservative American Jews as “inclusiveness”, “coexistence”, “diversity”, and “interfaith-edness.”

American Reform and Conservative Judaism are in the twilight of their lives as Jewish entities because they lost their way by trying to include everyone under their tents and by working to embrace those who want to eliminate us. Perhaps it was a natural evolution, but in a world of such creations as Bu-Jews (Buddhist Jews), they have forgotten what it means to be a Jew.

How long will it be until interfaith-edness produces Mu-Jews with imams substituting for rabbis and the Koran being taught in the synagogue? I would suggest if we are not already there, we soon will be. 



This entry was posted in News and tagged allah, apology with no apology, building bridges, civil rights and social justice, coexistence, compassion, davis california, death penalty, deeper understanding and mutual respect, diversity, exhorting, fairness, graveyard of the jews, greg wolfe, grow and develop, halamish, hamza el nakhal, hate speech, humility, IDF Military Advocate General, Imam Ammar Shahin, inclusiveness, interfaith activity, interfaith-edness, islamic center of davis, issawiya, Jerusalem, mayor robb davis, Mohammed’s wisdom, mutual understanding, orwellian movie, palestine, palestinian terror, progressivism, seth castleman, Sharon Afek, Shavei Shomron, support and counsel, surreal, understanding and healing, violence, yavne. Bookmark the permalink.

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