(January 29, 2019 / MEMRI)
In lectures uploaded October 2016-December 2018 to the YouTube channel of the Nur Uz-Zamaan Institute in Pittsburgh, Pa., Pittsburgh-based Imam Naeem Abdullah focused on the subject of the Jews.
He said that the “American empire is often considered by many scholars to be … a continuation of the Roman Empire” and that the Jews are “running everything,” stating either “the real Jews, or the Ashkenazi [Jews].” He noted that the Koran states, in the opening chapter that “we are asking Allah to guide us on the straight path and [to not] make us like the Jews. … ‘And not like those who go astray’—the Christians.”
He added that Moses and Jesus and their true followers were Muslims, noting that “when you corrupt the religion that they came with … you come up with these other religions,” and went on to relate the well-known story, that he identified as from the Koran, about Allah transforming a group of Jews into apes and pigs.
Telling his audience that Muhammad’s expulsion of the Jews from Medina “is clearly and obviously relevant to our situation,” and that “we have to be the exact opposite” of those Jews, he noted that the latter “weren’t out organizing [because] they have all the money.” He also claimed that Judaism and Christianity had been co-opted by the “religion of white supremacy” and made into “white-supremacist religions.” Black people who consider themselves Jews, he said, are “not benefiting from Israel like everyone else.”
Steve Stalinksy, MEMRI’s executive director said, “The same vile words espoused weekly in the mosques in Friday sermons and in the media and school books of the Middle East about Jews are now being spread throughout the U.S. Through MEMRI’s sermon project we have identified and translated anti-Semitic sermons, some including calls for violence, in California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Delaware, Minnesota, Virginia, Illinois, and Michigan (as well as in Canada and Europe).”
Stalinsky added, “At a mosque less than 10 minutes away from Tree of Life shul in Pittsburgh, we have now identified sermons and lectures there referring to Jews as ‘apes and pigs,’ and to ‘Jews running everything’ and having ‘all the money.’ This issue needs to be addressed by the Jewish community – including synagogues and leading organizations devoted to fighting anti-Semitism. Since we began our project almost two years ago – many of them have failed to adequately address this anti-Semitism and have chosen to look the other way.”
Other videos uploaded to the Nur Uz-Zamaan Institute’s YouTube channel feature Imam Abdullah focusing on black people in the United States and Islam. In a sermon uploaded Jan. 22, 2018, he said that black Americans need to understand that they are “under occupation.” He compared the current situation of the black man in America to the situation of the Israelites under Pharaoh in biblical Egypt, saying that young Israelite men, and young black men today, are “public enemy No. 1.”
Black parents must teach this to their children, he said, and must also teach them that “the killing of black people didn’t stop” until the emergence of “groups like the Black Liberation Army,” whose mandate was “to retaliate against every officer that killed someone.”[i] Abdullah added: “You all need to think about that.” In a lecture uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 12, 2019, Abdullah said that “black nationalism, the way we defined it in the beginning, does not contradict Islam,” and that “in fact, black nationalism is a Sunnah.”
The Nur Uz-Zamaan Institute features on its home page a photo of Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, aka Malcolm X, and a quote by him about building “New Bridges” to “our African homeland.”[ii] It states that it is “an independent Islamic institution” that is “privately funded and committed to reviving the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad”[iii] and that it operates in partnership with the Masjid Al-Mu’min, where Naeem Abdullah serves as imam. The lectures and sermons in this clip were delivered at the Masjid Al-Mu’min mosque.
Masjid Al-Mu’min states on its website that its core mission “is to provide valuable services to the Muslims in the Pittsburgh area and members of the local community.”[iv] It is included in a list of “Spiritual and Interfaith Resources” on a “HELP Initiative” page of “spiritual and interfaith resources,”[v] including the Rodef Shalom Congregation, that states that it is “a comprehensive resident-driven initiative to protect, strengthen, and rebuild targeted East End communities.”
According to his personal website, Naeem Abdullah, originally from New York, became a Muslim in 1991, and “benefited from many scholars, teachers and leaders,” including Imam Siraj Wahhaj—an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who testified as a character witness for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh.”[vi] His website also states that he volunteered for several years delivering sermons and as a teacher, and counselor with the New York City Department of Corrections, and that he has lectured throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Sudan.[vii] He was featured in a June 2018 report on a local ‘Eid al Fitr celebration that was open to the general public.[viii]
[i] A prominent BLA member, Assata Shakur, remains an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist. Fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/joanne-deborah-chesimard, accessed January 22, 2019.
[ii] Nuruzzamaaninstitute.org, accessed January 22, 2019.
[iii] Nuruzzamaaninstitute.org/about-us, accessed January 22, 2019.
[iv] Masjidmuminpgh.blogspot.com, accessed January 22, 2019.
[v] Helppgh.org/spiritual-interfaith-resources, Helppgh.org/about-help, accessed January 22, 2019.
[vi] Cbsnews.com/news/siraj-wahhaj-arrested-amalia-new-mexico-father-imam-possible-link-1993-world-trade-center-bombing-court-documents, August 10, 2018.
[vii] Imamnaeem.weebly.com, accessed January 22, 2019.
[viii] Pittnews.com/article/132977/news/islamic-community-comes-together-to-celebrate-eid-al-fitr, June 20, 2018.