Dawud Walid, the Quran and Jews (FrontPageMagazine.com) by Daniel E. Rogell 06/05/12)
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Originally published by the Investigative Project on Terrorism
The Council of American Islamic Relations [CAIR] may tout itself as
an “organization that challenges stereotypes of Islam and Muslims,”
and as group that was formed “to challenge anti-Muslim discrimination
nationwide.” But in fighting the good fight against hate, at least
one of its regional leaders demonizes Jews as the source of Muslims’
“Who are those who incurred the wrath of Allah?” CAIR-Michigan
Executive Director Dawud Walid asked in a May 25 sermon at the
Islamic Organization of North America mosque in Warren, Mich. “They
are the Jews, they are the Jews,” he answered himself in Arabic.
Aside from being one of CAIR’s most visible spokesmen, Walid appears
frequently in the media and has traveled abroad at least twice on
trips paid by the State Department. During a 2010 trip to Mali, for
example, he criticized treatment of Muslim Americans after 9/11,
saying they “have been subjected to increased discrimination from
racial and religious profiling by law enforcement.” And he cast the
2009 shooting death of a Detroit imam as unjust, even though the imam
refused orders to lay down his weapon and surrender, and then opened
fire first after a police dog was sent in to subdue him.
If it isn’t the Jews incurring Allah’s wrath by disobeying him, the
hands of the pro-Israel lobby are undermining American Muslims and
Palestinians alike, Walid claimed in his sermon.
“One of the greatest social ills facing American today is
Islamophobia, and anti-Muslim bigotry. And if you trace the
organizations and the main advocates and activists in Islamophobia in
America, you will see that all those organizations are pro-Israeli
occupation organizations and activists,” Walid said. “You will see
every single last one. Do you know why? Because one of the leading
Islamophobes by the name of Daniel Pipes, said the political
empowerment of American Muslims is a direct threat to Israel.”
The “pro-Israeli occupation lobby that is connected to the
Islamophobia network” is the reason why America experiences “more
problems, more Islamophobia, more hate crimes, more desecration of
mosques, more anti-Muslim activity” than other countries in North and
South America, Walid said.
This Zionist lobby is also the biggest obstacle to
Muslims “liberating” Palestine, Jerusalem, and the al-Aqsa Mosque,
the heat of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, he said.
Walid isn’t alone blaming Jews for Palestinian problems or
Islamophobia. Conspiracies about a Jewish or Zionist lobby
controlling American foreign policy, especially towards a future
Palestinian state, are frequently repeated throughout Arabic and
Islamist media. Their champions include Hamas, Iranian news outlets,
and the Muslim Brotherhood.
For example, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh blasted the United
States as an “enemy of Islam” in 2006 in part because it
is “influenced by the Zionist lobby.”
Those same groups also argue that Jews are the main culprits behind
America’s supposed trend toward anti-Muslim hate, and link the ideas
“So this is why you see the Islamophobia network trying to gin up
negative information about Muslims and Islam. This is a direct
connection to the occupation of Palestine. It is a direct connection.
And [it is] because the strongest Israeli lobby in the world is in
America, because America is the sole patron of Israel,” Walid said.
He goes on to pray for the brothers in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and
Mali, all places with active Islamist insurgencies, as well as “the
Mujahideen in your way everywhere.”
As mentioned, the rhetoric is just the latest example of extremism
from one of CAIR’s highest profile directors. Yet, in addition to
government-financed trips abroad, Walid routinely meets with key
government decision makers. In October, he met with Detroit U.S.
Attorney Barbara McQuade seeking her help monitoring a local zoning
In January 2011, he joined imams from 20 local mosques in a meeting
with FBI officials to discuss their concerns over FBI surveillance
and training tactics. In 2009, he was among four dozen local faith
leaders to meet with Department of Homeland Security Assistant
Secretary of Intergovernmental Programs Juliette Kayyem.
The May 25 sermons isn’t the first time this year that Walid’s
sermons targeted Jews.
When the Quran describes a slaughter of Jews at the hands of
Muhammad’s army, it isn’t an indication of anti-Semitism, he said in
a Detroit speech in January.
The Jews had it coming.
“Did Muhammad order the killing of Jews?” Walid asked in a Twitter
post promoting the video. In response, an Islamist follower
wrote, “Yes he did and I agree with it…Well isn’t treason a sentence
Rather than oppose a hateful perspective, Walid merely corrected the
follower and reinforced the anti-Jewish sentiment. Muhammad “didn’t
order it. Sa’ad ibn Mu’aadh [one of his followers] ordered that
punishment. It was a correct one.”
The reference is to the Battle of the Trench in 627 AD involving
Muhammad’s army. “Zionists” use the event to attack the prophet,
Walid stated in his speech, by arguing that the Quran and the prophet
preached a hatred of Jews.
Jews there entered into an agreement to join with the prophet. But
the men “committed treason, [by sitting] with the polytheists against
the believers.” For this, all the men of the tribe were beheaded and
the women and children were sold into slavery.
“Is this just something that is in Islam for treason? Even for the
nations that came before, even in Torat [the Torah] according to what
the Jews had at that time, committing treason during a time of war is
punishable by death. Because their own book says an eye for an eye,
and a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life, and a breach for a
breach,” he added.
His endorsement of a mass murder of Jews, with the women and children
sold into slavery, and his suggestions that Muslims “shouldn’t be
shy” about defending it, reinforce significant concerns about his
attitude toward the Jewish community.
Walid’s comments are shocking, said Daniel Pipes, president of the
Middle East Forum.
“Here is a ranking official in an American organization that compares
itself to the NAACP, an organization respected by the mainstream
media, political leaders and law enforcement, and its staffer is
justifying the Islamic tradition of a cold-blooded massacre of Jews,”
Pipes said. “All ancient religions have legacies that are at times
problematic, that make people today feel ill at ease; the usual
response is, ‘that was then, this is now.’ But Walid’s not doing
this. He’s explaining away the report of an ancient atrocity.”
There is no parallel example of other faiths justifying a massacre in
their own histories. “This,” Pipes said, “is far outside the
mainstream American political life.”
In his speech about the Battle of the Trench, Walid also stated that
Muhammad was not anti-Jewish. Instead he “gave Jewish people their
rights.” He claimed that the evidence of Jews invoking God’s wrath is
mentioned both in the Torah and in the Christian Bible,
providing “proof against them and what they have done. So we
shouldn’t be shy about that at all, and we shouldn’t be shy about
defending our Prophet Muhammad.”
Nor should Muslims feel uncomfortable with these stories, but should
be proud of them because they have Quranic and ‘true’ historical
origins. He quoted that Quranic verses in Arabic, saying “Other than
those upon whom is wrath. They are the Jews. And those who go astray
are the Christians.”
Walid’s record shows that his sense of justice has often been erratic
and extreme. He championed the cause of a Detroit imam who died in a
hail of bullets in 2009 after opening fire first on FBI agents who
came to arrest him on a criminal complaint. He ignored the imam’s
history of advising followers never to surrender peacefully and the
series of investigations found the agents acted appropriately. He
also compared the use of informants in counter-terrorism sting
operations to Jim Crow segregation laws and claimed the FBI has
recruited more extremists than al-Qaida.
Walid’s account fits into a mentality that everything Islamic is good
and “there’s never any reason to apologize for anything,” Pipes said.
And that ignores Islamic imperialism, in which the faith is expanded
primarily through the sword. That is exemplified by Muslim attacks on
churches in Nigeria, Iran’s obsession with obtaining a nuclear weapon
and the 9/11 attacks.
“To Islamists these attacks are not imperialism,” Pipes said, “They
bring a higher civilization to the infidels and we should be thankful
for this. Such attitudes are not acceptable by today’s standards;
making changes to this supremacist mentality is part of the work that
Muslims need to do to modernize their religion.”
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