Muslim American Society Islamic Center in Philadelphia video. (MEMRI/screenshot) MEMRI/screenshot
Muslim American Society Islamic Center in Philadelphia video. (MEMRI/screenshot)

A video of children speaking in Arabic about chopping off heads wasn’t vetted before being posted on the Muslim American Society Philadelphia chapter’s Facebook page, the group’s executive director said Sunday.

By United with Israel Staff and AP

A video showing children speaking in Arabic about sacrifice and chopping off Jews’ heads wasn’t vetted before being posted on the Facebook page for the Muslim American Society’s Philadelphia chapter, and it does not represent their values, the executive director of the national group claimed on Sunday.

Executive Director Ayman Hammous said the Muslim American Society learned of the content of the video after the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) posted a translation Friday. The society issued a statement calling the video “disturbing” and condemning the words used in it.

Among the key passages from the video, which featured young children, were phrases such as: “We will chop off their heads,” “we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque,” “we will subject them to eternal torture,” and “we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation.”

According to Hammous, the video “does not represent our understanding of Islam, nor the understanding of the mainstream Muslim community.”

The video also shows children gesticulating to a song known as the “revolutionaries’ anthem,” often played by Islamic terror groups. The song says “the path to Al-Aqsa calls us,” a reference to the mosque that Muslims built on top of the Jewish Temple Mount after capturing the city.

An Islamic “trust” called the Waqf currently controls prayer on the Temple Mount, banning non-Muslims from praying there, entering the Dome of the Rock shrine, or gaining access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The ban is strictly enforced.

According to Hammous, the Muslim American Society has no organizational link to international groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which advocates violence.

The Philadelphia chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Anti-Defamation League also condemned the words used in the video. Iftekhar Hussain, chairman of the council chapter, claimed Islamic tradition “categorically rejects either speech or actions that harm in any way our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

The school that organized last month’s event is a separate entity that rents space, Hammous said. He said he couldn’t immediately recall the school’s name, referring to it as a local leaders’ academy.

The Muslim American Society asked the school board to dismiss the person in charge of the program, which it did, Hammous said. He said he’s “evaluating” the leadership of the Philadelphia chapter because they failed to provide proper oversight, but could not say yet whether anyone would be removed.

Hammous said he’s also reviewing the organization’s social media policies, which he says posting the video violated, and bolstering training in Philadelphia. Future events at the Philadelphia chapter will have strict oversight by the Muslim American Society, even when they’re organized by another entity, he added.


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