On Friday, December 8th, the Islamic Center of Jersey City featured a Friday khutbah (sermon) given by Imam Aymen Elkasaby. In it, he rages at Israel for its control over Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling the Jews "apes and pigs" and "the most cowardly of nations [and the] weakest of all peoples," and says that fighting to regain control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a religious obligation for all Muslims.
Elkasaby closes his sermon with the following charming prayer: "Allah, make us among your armies.... Allah, we ask you to grant us martyrdom on the threshold of Al-Aqsa Mosque.... Count them one by one, and kill them down to the very last one. Do not leave a single one on the face of the Earth."
Elkasaby is apparently new at the Center; the first video on ICJC's YouTube channel featuring him is from this August. And his rabid extremism seems out of place at a mosque which just last month was host to the second annual "Interfaith Gathering of Unity," sponsored by the Hudson County Brotherhood/Sisterhood Association.
Elkasaby's rabid extremism seems out of place at a mosque that hosts interfaith events.
Moreover, the president of the mosque, Ahmed Shedeed, is considered mainstream enough to be the invited guest of Cory Booker during President Obama's final State of the Union address in 2016. One might wonder why the mosque brought on such an extremist as Elkasaby.
Ironically enough, Imam Elkasaby was a featured participant in the abovementioned Interfaith Gathering of Unity. Perhaps its organizers should take better care to identify the extremists who feign tolerance, all the while calling for mass murder.
Oren Litwin is a research fellow for Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.