In July, Imam AhmedulHadi Sharif told his followers at the Islamic Center of Tennessee (ICT) that if the Muslim ummah loses the struggle over the al Aqsa mosque, the “enemies of Allah would come and try to destroy the ka’aba” (at 22:43 in the video below).
According to Muslims, the ka’aba is the building at Mecca that houses a sacred black stone.
Sharif’s sermon about Muslims’ claim to the al Aqsa mosque was given during the conflict surrounding the mosque after two Israeli police officers were killed by three Israeli Arabs who had smuggled weapons into the mosque. Subsequent security measures of metal detectors and security cameras undertaken by the Israeli government were ultimately withdrawn after Palestinians led violent protests and a terrorist killed three Israeli civilians during their Sabbath meal.
In his sermon, Sharif tries to differentiate between what he calls “ethnic” Jews and Zionist oppressors who he calls “the number one terrorists in the world,” but nonetheless, incites hatred against Jews who believe that Israel is the Jewish homeland saying:
We do not hate the ethnic Jewish rather we do hate the oppressors of this Zionist because the Prophets of Allah some of them were from Bani Isra’il so we do not have as a problem ethnically with them but politically the Zionist politic that they come and take the land of the people claiming that this is the Promised Land and they call themselves from all over the world, West and East so that they can take over people’s land and after that they say let us have the peace and still they blocking the roadway to the peace and this is what we are opposing my brothers in Islam.
Sermons by Islamic clerics translated by Palestinian Media Watch use the phrase “enemies of Allah” specifically in reference to Jews in the context of the al Aqsa.
The ICT’s first Imam Abdullah Al Ansari was recorded just one year after leaving ICT (at 5:07):
He [Allah] told us to fight the Jews and Christians. Fight them until they give jizya. They give this protective tax from their hands and they are humiliated and subdued. If Islam, true Islam and true Muslims do not rule there will never be justice. Don’t think that Barak Obama can give you justice. No one can give you justice except a just Muslim ruler.
Former board members of the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN), Awadh Binhazim and Kamel Daouk helped found the ICT; Binhazim served as Secretary of the Board and Daouk as Chairman.
Binhazim proselytized Islam in Nashville through his organization Olive Tree Education which served as the dawa program for the ICN (which was recently visited by Metro Nashville students), with lectures and classes at Vanderbilt, Tennessee State University and presentations to local civic groups and law enforcement. Daouk served as the treasurer of Olive Tree.
According to a Politico article, the Olive Tree Education website listed several lectures by al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki.
In 2010, a video of Binhazim at a Vanderbilt student program recorded him saying that Islamic law mandates capital punishment for homosexuality and that “as a Muslim he does not have a choice of whether to accept or reject what Islam teaches.”
Binhazim’s bio posted on Vanderbilt’s website notes that Binhazim held a variety of roles at the ICN including as Vice-President and Secretary of the ICN Board and as Director of Public Relations for the mosque. The ICN Imam during Binhazim’s tenure was Abdulhakim ali Mohamed who served the mosque from 1999-2007 and partnered in Olive Tree Education. This Imam came to Nashville from the radical Brooklyn Al Farooq mosque which had a documented history of raising money for terrorists and is the same mosque attended by the “blind sheik” who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
This ICN Imam also denigrated Jews (at 4:43):
The Jews believe that everyone that’s created on the face of earth was only created for their service…The true evil today is the existence of one state [Israel]…Aren’t we this near for a mass battle and war against the Jews?
The Islamic Center of Tennessee’s Imam Sharif may try to draw an imaginary line between his overt statement of hate for Zionists versus ethnic Jews, but Martin Luther King, Jr. explained that there is no line:
When people criticize Zionist, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.