A New Jersey imam has accused the chief rabbi of the Israeli army of condoning the rape of Palestinian women.
In a February sermon at the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson, NJ, Baker Assaf said Muslims should not direct their hatred at Jews but at Zionism.
“There is a statement that a lot of Arabs say: May Allah curse the Jewish people. Where does it come from? It is not in the Quran,” Assaf said, in comments provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “There is a misunderstanding of where to direct that hate, and it is towards Zionism — not the Jewish religion.”
He went on: “Just look at the quotes that you get from this kind of theology and practice. You have the chief rabbi of the IDF having a statement that says the following… He issued a religious verdict, a fatwa. He said that if you wanted to boost the morale of the soldiers… ‘have them rape the Palestinian women to boost morale.’ That is a fatwa from the high priest, the high rabbi.”
Assaf was referring to a controversy that came to light during the nomination process of current Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim, over comments he once made that appeared to condone soldiers’ rape of women during wartime.
New Jersey Imam Baker Assaf: IDF Chief Rabbi Called to Rape Palestinian Women to Boost Soldier Morale; We Will Never Accept Homosexuality but Must Not Throw Gays off Empire State Building pic.twitter.com/68oSfkCSB4
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) March 28, 2019
Karim’s appointment was green-lighted after he clarified that he had never condoned such action, but rather was attempting to explain why it was once permitted by religious texts. He said that in his view it was completely forbidden for a soldier to carry out such an act.
Assaf claimed that another rabbi at Ben-Gurion University had once said: “If you want to control the Palestinian people… Go after their women, because they are very sensitive to that… Rape their women.”
It was not clear which rabbi he was referring to and the quote could not be verified.
He went on to suggest that Muslims who carry out terror attacks were perhaps motivated by witnessing their “sister get gang-raped by 30 people.
“Couldn’t you ask: Maybe something is wrong with these people? Maybe you ought to ask that. What happened with them?”
At any rate, he said, “When you add up the people who are carrying out these plots and plans it doesn’t even hit a portion of a fraction” of all Muslims.
Assaf also said non-Muslims had asked him about the religion’s lack of acceptance of gay people. “I also heard that you Muslims hate gay people,” he quoted them as saying.” That you are supposed to take them to the Empire State Building, stone them, and then kick them off.”
While he said Islam would never accept homosexuality, he added that “we are not kicking anybody off the Empire State Building” because “we live in a non-Muslim country that does not practice sharia law, and Allah instructed us to follow the law of the country we live in.”