Here’s another story for you “Islamophobes” who dare to express concern over the potential threat of radical Islam, and it’s a good one, folks. A few days ago, footage surfaced of a group of Muslim kids singing a song about conquering Jerusalem and waging war against you-know-who.
The song was performed as part of an event hosted by the Muslim American Society (MAS) at their Islamic center in Philadelphia. The event was held to celebrate “Ummah Day” which is meant to place focus on the value of community. The organization has 42 chapters nationwide and one in the United Kingdom.
MAS later posted the video to its Facebook page where it was discovered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Fox News news reported that the children can be heard singing in Arabic: “The land of the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey is calling us. Our Palestine must return to us.”
Then, it gets worse. After the song, a group of girls recited a message indicating that they would be willing to sacrifice their lives to take over Jerusalem. “We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation,” she says. “We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling His promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture.”
Well, that’s a lovely sentiment to express on a day intended to honor community, right?
Needless to say, the video elicited criticism from many on social media, including other Muslims. Imam Tawhidi, an anti-extremist activist, tweeted: “We warn the West from what we fled from in the Middle East, but the West doesn’t want to listen. This is your next generation.”
After the video made its rounds on social media and in the news, MAS released a statement condemning its video. They wrote:
“The Muslim American Society rejects a statement made at an event held in April at a local community center in Philadelphia. The center celebrated “Ummah Day” where children sang songs from their cultural traditions. While we celebrate the coming together of different cultures and languages, not all songs were properly vetted. This was an unintended mistake and an oversight in which the center and the students are remorseful. MAS will conduct an internal investigation to ensure this does not occur again.”
The statement goes on to condemn “hate, bigotry, Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and all the illnesses of hate that plague our society.”
Despite the organization’s apology, it is not easy to believe their claims that the performance was a simple mistake. This is a song that would have had to be taught, memorized, and rehearsed multiple times. While we do not know if there have been other hints of radicalism coming from this particular group, MEMRI told Fox News that, “These are not isolated incidents; they are happening in major centers of the country – including in Pennsylvania.”
Of course, it is important to remember that the majority of Muslims living in the United States are not terrorists, nor do they support these groups. But it would be foolish to believe that there are not radicalized elements of extremism in the western world. We have already seen what has taken place in Europe as a result of the E.U.’s lax immigration policies, which is why the U.S. should be careful about the people we allow to enter the country.
Is the MAS chapter in Philadelphia disseminating radical extremism? Who knows? Perhaps this was done by a rogue member of the group. Maybe the organization did intend to perform the song and accidentally uploaded it to Facebook where it could be seen by the public. Either way, America needs to remain aware of the few bad actors who wish us harm. Otherwise, what’s happening in Europe will happen in the United States.