A Southern California imam called Israelis “child killers” and urged Muslims to “sacrifice whatever resources we can in defense of that land,” in a talk live-streamed last Thursday on YouTube.
Sheikh Tarik Ata’s remarks came after Jews were targeted in at least two anti-Semitic attacks in Los Angeles. The video remains available on the Orange County Islamic Foundation‘s YouTube channel, called ShuraTV. Ata is a Foundation board member. He also serves on the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California‘s board. The Council includes 74 Southern California mosques and Islamist organizations, including local chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
“And so we see our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem defending [the Al Aqsa Mosque],” he said in the live-stream. “… They’re putting their life on the line, men and women. Standing, shielding [the Al Aqsa Mosque] from that apartheid regime. The Israeli soldiers. The IDF. The child killers. And they’re willing to sacrifice their blood.”
Ata claimed he was “not calling people to go and sacrifice themselves, spill their blood to attack anyone,” but he repeatedly demonized Israelis and their supporters, while offering some next-level fantasy talk painting Muslims as the only people who treat Jews well.
Ata never mentioned Hamas, nor uttered anything about the terrorist group and its cohorts firing 4,000 rockets toward Israeli civilian communities since May 10. Most of those rockets, as well as the launchers and other components of the Hamas arsenal, are stored or launched in neighborhoods, apartment buildings, schools, office buildings – including those where journalists work – placing every civilian in Gaza, including children, directly in harm’s way. Israel’s choice is either to retaliate and risk civilian casualties, or let the rocket fire continue, placing its own civilians in danger.
Using civilians as human shields is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.
The wisdom of firing at a better armed foe, knowing it would draw retaliatory strikes to take out those launchers, wasn’t discussed by Ata, either. He made no mention of the estimated 20 percent of Hamas rockets that fell short of its targets, causing an unknown number of the child casualties in Gaza.
Instead, he incited more hatred by referring to “this Nazi-like apartheid, racist, aggressive, tyrannical, vicious, child-killing Zionist entity.”
His language mirrors what attackers shouted when hunting down Jewish diners in Los Angeles last week.
“At one point before the attack, which later escalated to kicking and punching, a person can be heard yelling, ‘Israel kills children!’,” the Los Angeles Times reported. A witness said the attackers also shouted “Death to Jews” and “Free Palestine.”
In a separate incident Monday night, a man walking home from his synagogue was chased by men in two cars waving Palestinian flags and shouting Allahu Akhbar, Fox News reported.
Ata’s vision leaves little room for peaceful co-existence.
“And so we as Muslims see that land as an Islamic land,” he said, “as a land that is integral to our Islamic identity. And so, regardless of what your languages, what your ethnicity is, what your background is, what your culture is, what your heritage is – If you identify as a Muslim, then Jerusalem must be part of your hearts. There’s no way around it. And this is why we we’ll never give it up. This is why we will never forget about it. This is why we will sacrifice whatever resources we can in defense of that land.”
He also painted a patently false image of Jews finding protectors among Muslims, both historically and today.
“There’s only when the Muslims entered that land did you find Muslims, Jews and Christians with equal populations, populations equal in size,” Ata said. “Living there peacefully, each religion. Each member of that religion will go to their holy sites, worship in peace and tranquility without worry of oppression, and aggression from a tyrannical force. Only Muslims have done this.”
This is manifestly false. Israel agreed to allow the mosque to remain in the hands of the Islamic Waqf, an Islamic trust, run by Palestinian and Jordanian clerics. While there have been tensions and clashes there, it has remained open for prayer.
The Western Wall, revered by Jews worldwide as the only remaining part of the second Temple, was barred to Jews from 1948-67, when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem. The area in front of the Western Wall was used as a garbage dump to humiliate Jews.
Jews were treated relatively well for some major periods under Muslim rule. But they were officially designated as second-class citizens, subject to a dhimmi tax.
But Ata’s false history continued.
“Because again, history shows, history speaks,” he said. “Muslims, never oppressed Jews. Muslims never attacked Jews. Muslims were never uncomfortable with Jews. And it’s not just history that speaks. Current time speak. You know, there are Jews in Morocco, Jews in Yemen, Jews in Iraq. and Jews in Iran. Do you ever hear about Muslims oppressing them? You ever hear about Muslims attacking them? Not at all.”
This is pure historical fiction. According to a World Jewish Congress study, Jews living in Muslim countries were subject to murderous pogroms during the 20th century, along with massive wholesale confiscation of their properties, arbitrary arrests and expulsion. The Jewish population in Muslim-majority states like Iraq, Iran and Yemen dwindled from more than 1 million people in 1948 to less than 5,000 by 2012 because of massive Islamist anti-Semitism.
It is so safe and loving for Jews in Yemen that the Israeli government launched a secret operation in 2016 to sneak some of the few remaining Jews out of the country. A CNN report described Yemen as “increasingly hostile to the small Jewish population.”
It is true that you rarely hear about Jews in Iraq being attacked. There are four, literally, four Jews left in the country. During World War II, writes historian Edwin Black, “Iraq had distinguished itself throughout the Arab world as a top Nazi ally.”
He graphically describes a 1941 Nazi-inspired pogrom in Iraq:
“Hundreds of Jews were cut down by sword and rifle, some decapitated. Babies were sliced in half and thrown into the Tigris river,” Black writes. “Girls were raped in front of their parents. Parents were mercilessly killed in front of their children. Hundreds of Jewish homes and businesses were looted, then burned.”
Ata, therefore, is ignorant of history or is purposely spreading false information.
“So this isn’t an issue between Islam and Judaism,” he said. “It’s an issue between Muslims and this Zionist apartheid state, the child killers.”
Ata’s emphasis on “child killers” not only disregards the role Hamas plays in placing children at risk, it also ignores the extraordinary effort the IDF makes to avoid civilian casualties in the first place. Before a building is targeted, warning shots are fired to give people time to get out. Often, building owners and managers are called directly to give them a chance to get the people to safety.
It doesn’t always work, as this video shown by Australia’s Sky News shows.
“We want to die,” said a Palestinian after being warned this week about an impending bombing. “If the children need to die, then they’ll die. This is how we reveal your cruelty.”
It sure would be good if some religious leader spoke to that guy about the value of children’s lives.
Research Analyst Teri Blumenfeld contributed to this report.
Steve Emerson is the Executive Director at the Investigative Project on Terrorism and a Member of the Citizens Commission on National Security, and is considered one of the leading authorities on Islamic extremist networks, financing and operations.
This column was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The views expressed in CCNS member articles are not necessarily the views or positions of the entire CCNS. They are the views of the authors, who are members of the CCNS.
The word “Muslim” says it all. We have two of the in Congress who have no place there.
For years i’ve been saying our founders, should have included a paragraph in the constitution saying “ISLAM IS a direct threat to all sane nations and cultures, and as such, it will NEVER EVER be allowed to gain even just a foothold in this nation, let alone have anyone professing faith into its demonic cult, be allowed to serve in federal government. NOR will mosques, the Symbol of their conquests, be allowed to be built on US Soil”.
Sheikh Tarik Ata, you are an Imam, a so called religious leader? Sheikh Tarik Ata, you are an American citizen? You obviously hate America and Israel, so go back to where you came from!
Sheikh Tarik Ata is a true, faithful Democrat.
The dishonorable Democrat Party revolves around and its philosophy is based on
Control, Hate, Lies, Cons, Deceptions, Immorality and the lack of Integrity, Ethics or Honor.
You would have thought, that with the sheer # of imams who have said something like this, THAT FOLKS IN THE US would wize the hell up, and demand ALL OF ISLAM be booted out of the US…
Jewish citizens are the canary in the coal mine of western democratic nations that are being increasingly Islamized by leftist political leaders that endorse liberal immigration policies that allow immigration by strict, observant Muslims that have no intention of peacefully integrating into western societies and, instead, are committed to using deception and violence in order to establish an Islamic theocracy that observes some form of sharia law. Once the Jewish population has been subdued or exiled, the next targets will be Christians, then secularists. and eventually peaceful Muslims until the society has been cleansed of infidels.
Western civilization, which is based on Judeo-Christian values, is under attack by radical Islamists that come to us as wolves in sheep’s clothing. If we are to survive, we must have the courage to prevent these wolves from devouring us. Otherwise, western civilization will become an obscure footnote in history books written by future Islamic scholars.
_____ slave traders sold slaves to us. Fill in the blank. Who is now Kidnapping girls in africa.
Umm.. White supremacists, for 100??
Na.. Must be aliens from jupiter.
It is no small wonder that Muslims make such good Democrats! Lie, cheat, steal, rape, pillage, and burn, all the while blaming their opposition for doing it! Throughout history it has been the same story.
As a person that is very familiar with World History, it is a FACT, that when Muslims become the MAJORITY in ANY Country, all other Religions are completely eliminated ! They are eliminated either by MURDER or FORCED CONVERSION. The Religion of Islam is a violent, and barbaric religion, that does NOT BELONG in AMERICA. This man is obviously a LIAR, in regard to how Jews were treated, and is spreading completely FALSE information about the Hamas/Israel conflict !
Yup. Once they move in, its only a matter of time, before they take over..
thanks to barry sorero the mudslime population grew at substantial rate while he was dictator of america.
Like all psychopaths throughout history, the current Muslim militarists actually DO what they try to blame their opponents are doing. Who first started sending over the Iranian-supplied rockets into Israel? Hint: it wasn’t the IDF.
This syndrome is the core of the Democrats’ domestic (let’s be honest–terrorist) methodology we witness today in Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis and other Dem-controlled cities where chaos is considered a control device.
To me, mudslimes have been that ways, since they were founded.