An American Muslim preacher has been calling for jihad against Israel, amid the Jewish state’s war with Hamas in Gaza, in his weekly Friday sermons at a Chicago mosque.
In a video clip released on Thursday, Sheik Mohamed Elimam can be seen declaring that “global Zionism is unadulterated evil besetting all people.”
The video, published by the Middle East Media Research Institute, features Elimam decrying the evils of Zionism and calling on his congregation to join the fight in Palestine.
“Oh, those of you who want to wage jihad for the sake of Allah, Palestine is calling you and Gaza is crying out for your help,” Elimam said, according to MEMRI’s translation. “If you are true believers, real mujahideen, hasten to Palestine.”
In comments made during two sermons, on July 18 and July 25 at the Chicago Islamic Center, Elimam appeared to call for the removal of the Jewish state from the Middle East.
“This enemy was planted in the midst of the Arab nation, and they chose Jerusalem, Palestine, the most important area – in order to be a thorn in the side of the Arab and Islamic nations,” he said. “May Allah pull this thorn out, and stick it down their [Western] throats. May they be sent back to their countries in shame and disgrace, Allah willing.”
The preacher also differentiated between Jews and “Zionist Israelis,” offering a bitter assessment of the latter.
“Global Zionism is unadulterated evil besetting all people,” he said. “The [Zionists] hide behind religion, but religion has nothing to do with them. They have no religion, no morals, and no humanity.”
Elimam criticized the Arab world for not doing more to intervene in the Gaza crisis.
“Where are the Muslim rulers? Where are all those deadbeat regimes? Where are all those stray [jihadi] groups?” he said. “Return to the battle of jihad in Palestine. Jerusalem is calling you. The children of Gaza are crying for your help.”
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to bring an end to rocket fire at Israel’s towns by Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists and to destroy a network of tunnels, dug by Hamas, that go under the border into Israel. Gunmen emerging from the tunnels have launched several attacks on Israeli forces in the area in recent weeks, killing several soldiers.
Palestinian sources report that over 1,400 people have been killed in Gaza so far. Israel says hundreds of those were armed combatants. Fifty-six IDF soldiers have been killed along with three civilians.