The founder of an Islamic institute in Houston, Texas claimed that Judgment Day “will not start until Muslims fight the Jews … in Palestine,” during a sermon condemning the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month.
Sheikh Raed Saleh Al-Rousan of the Tajweed Institute suggested on Dec. 8th that Jews “killed the prophets and the messengers of Allah,” according to a video recording translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Al-Rousan cast doubt on claims that Jews “lived in Palestine for thousands of years,” alleging instead that Britain “brought Jewish [people] from different countries to live in Palestine. So do not tell me Palestine is the country of Jewish [people].”
These allegations contradict genetic and archaeological evidence linking Jewish populations to what is now modern-day Israel, where Jews have maintained a presence for centuries. Under British rule, Jewish immigration to the territory was at times limited, while Arab immigration faced no similar restrictions.
Al-Rousan — who studied in the Islamic University of Al-Madina in Saudia Arabia, and later received a master’s degree in Islamic Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana — also cited a saying attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, which claims that “Judgment day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews.”
“The Muslims will kill the Jews,” the imam preached in Arabic, “and the Jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, and the stones and the trees will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him, except for the Gharqad tree, which is one of their trees.”
Al-Rousan reiterated this message in English, saying, “The hour [i.e. Judgment Day] will not start until Muslims fight the Jews there, in Palestine. And they know that fact. And the Muslims will have the victory.”
Al-Rousan declined to clarify whether his views were reflective of the Tajweed Institute when speaking with The Algemeiner on Wednesday, explaining that he preferred to consult with his attorney first.
A native of Jordan, Al-Rousan arrived in the United States in 2007 and established the institute’s first branch in Florida in 2013, in order “to spread the skills of Tajweed [proper recitation of the Qur’an] to all Muslims, young and old.”
He is the latest imam in the United States to be caught making inflammatory remarks about Jews in response to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
Also on Dec. 8th, Imam Aymen Elkasaby of the Islamic Center of Jersey City called Jews “apes and pigs” and urged his followers to “count them one by one, and kill them down to the very last one.”
Elkasaby has since been suspended for one month, and will be required to train with Muslim leaders “with more interreligious experience,” Ahmed Shedeed, the president of the Islamic Center, told The Algemeiner on Monday.
The suspension announcement came days after New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D) — who had previously praised Shedeed’s interfaith work — expressed “anguish concerning the abhorrent remarks of Imam Aymen Elkasaby concerning our Jewish brothers and sisters.”