Mohammad al-Asi, a Muslim activist based in Washington DC, has made numerous anti-Semitic speeches around the country for several years.
Al-Asi is most often invited to speak to Muslim student groups in California and has made some of his more radical speeches at anti-Israel events organized by the Muslim Student Union at the University of California – Irvine. These events often feature a handful of radical anti-Semitic speakers, including Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali and Imam Abdul Alim Musa.
In the early 1980s Al-Asi served as the imam of the in Islamic Center in Washington DC, and although he was barred from holding a position in the center, he still presents himself as the legitimate elected leader of the mosque. He has led protest services on the sidewalk in front of the center every Friday afternoon since he was fired in 1983.
Al-Asi, who publicly swore allegiance to the Iranian Supreme Leader in 1994, is a research fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), a pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah Islamist think tank that distributes anti-Semitic propaganda in its magazine, Crescent International.
Al-Asi is also affiliated with the UK-based pro-Iranian Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). He coauthored the IHRC's "Charter for Muslim Unity" (or, Charter 3:103), which was presented as a manifesto against sectarian violence and extremism. The charter was in fact designed to attract Sunni support for the Iranian theocratic Shiah regime. In London IHRC organizes the annual commemoration of Jerusalem Day, which was established as part of the Muslim calendar by the Iranian regime and serves to call for the destruction of Israel.
Among al-Asi's associates is Ahmed Huber, a Swiss Nazi sympathizer who was implicated in laundering money for Al Qaeda, and Yaqub Zaki, a Holocaust denier associated with the Muslim Institute in London. Al-Asi has also joined with the leader of the anti-Semitic New Black Panther Party, Malik Zulu Shabazz, for several events in the Washington DC area.
Al-Asi's speeches and articles portray Israel and Zionism as the final stage in a long process of corruption of the Jewish people. Al-Asi's articles in Crescent International often refer to Jews, Zionists and Israel in the collective name Yahud, which is Arabic for "Jews." Al-Asi also justifies violence, writing in one of his articles: "The Israeli Zionist are [sic] the true and legitimate object of liquidation." He has also expressed his support for the Iranian religious edict calling for the death of British author Salman Rushdie.
Below is a sample of radical and anti-Semitic statements that Ali has made:
September 18, 2011: Mohammad al-Asi and Imam Abdul Alim Musa of the Sabiqun movement were interviewed on Press TV, a state-funded Iranian TV news channel, to discuss the latest developments in the Arab Spring. During the interview, al-Asi warned that popular uprisings and revolutions sweeping across Egypt and Tunisia are susceptible to being hijacked by foreign forces, most notably by the United States and Israel. "There has to be a leadership that gives direction to this movement [the Arab Spring], otherwise… the forces of imperialism and even Zionism will hijack these uprisings," al-Asi said.
August 26, 2011: Al-Asi gave a public sermon in front of the Washington DC Islamic Center to mark the occasion of Al Quds Day, an annual anti-Israel day of protests generally held on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan. Throughout his speech, al-Asi made several anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments, claiming Zionist control of the U.S. government and that Jews and Zionists have manipulated books and history to reflect pro-Israel narratives. Al-Asi also said that the Zionists only "understand the languages of explosions bombs," and spoke of the need for the community to take up arms against Zionists and Israel. Throughout al-Asi's 46-minute sermon, he also added:
- "Be assured that al Quds belongs to the history of prophets. It doesn't belong to racism and nationalist that comes from the Yahudi (Jewish) version of the narrative of Bani Isra'il (the people of Israel as mentioned in the Qur'an)."
- "You live in this city here. This is the second capital of Israel. Washington DC is the second capital of Israel."
- "Okay at a certain point we're going to have to buy weapons because these people don't understand the language of give and take. They [Zionists] understand the languages of explosions and bombs."
- "In the counter literature they call it 'Soloman's temple.' You hear any Muslim repeating this immediately know that he is under the trances of Yahudi propaganda and Yahudi public relations schemes.
- "It's true that it is going to take a military, a contusive military effort, to rid us of the Zionist and the U.S. supported and financed and militarized occupation of the holy land. That is true."
February 7, 2008: Al-Asi gave a presentation at an event organized by the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine entitled, "From Auschwitz to Gaza: The Politics of Genocide." During the presentation, al-Asi claimed that "Zionists or what some people call the Jewish lobby" have made the U.S. a "second fiddle to the Israeli government." He further claimed that the war in Iraq was fought for Israeli interests "lurking behind the scenes," and that "the pro-Zionist, Israeli crowd" is pushing the U.S. into a war with Iran. "It is the Israelis who are benefiting from the American blood that is shed in those lands," al-Asi added. Al-Asi also said:
- "It is bad enough that most of this world has been bought into a financial silence that you [Israel] are responsible for. And you think you are going to suffocate the conscience and the word of truth…?"
- "And you [Israel] think, because you have nuclear weapons, that you're going to be able to defend yourselves…? Fine, six or 20 million of us go, four or six million of you go, if you use those nuclear weapons, and the issue is solved there is still tens of hundreds of millions of people around the holy land who will just step right into it and occupy the vacuum…"
- "It is sometimes consoling to hear that there are still some people who can see things as they are, they are not bought by the Zionists or what some people call the Jewish lobby here in the United States…"
- "How long are we going to take the Israeli dog wagging the American tail?...Now the pro-Zionist, Israeli crowd in the United States says the United States should go to war against Iran."
- "Whose interest are we…the United States, protecting, by following the Israeli policies to the grave, literally to our military grave…What are all of you going to do about this, continue down the same road of destruction, so that the head honchos in Tel Aviv, can laugh [at] you, laugh at us, all the way to our self-inflicted disaster. Is that what we want?"
- "[With regard to the Islamic saying] 'the stone and the tree will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' The context of this prophetic statement is speaking about the political, or the ideological, or the military Jew, which in the language of today turns out to be the Zionist Jew…Jew here means Zionist."
May 14, 2007: Al-Asi gave the opening speech at a three-day event organized by the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine, "Israel: apartheid resurrected," during which he argued that the U.S. is fighting the war in Iraq on behalf of Israel, stating: "You can't differentiate between Washington and Tel Aviv any longer." He also alleged that the U.S. knew about the plan to attack the World Trade Center before September 11. He said his positions were not anti-Semitic; adding that Jews should take the stand that "Zionism is one thing and Judaism is another thing." Later in the day, al-Asi spoke about Hamas.
February 2007: In an article al-Asi published in the Crescent, he described Jews as being on a slow process of breaking away from God and morality, what he calls "gradual kufr." He wrote: "Considering the sort of behavior and attitude coming from Jewish religious figures, it is rather less surprising to see the actions of a secular Jewish state. It is precisely what qualifies Yahud [Jews, in Arabic] for displacement, dispossession and depression. That is why they have been stamped with shame, mortification and the wrath of the Almighty."
February 2006: Al-Asi joined with the leader of the anti-Semitic New Black Panther Party, Malik Zulu Shabazz, and Imam Abdul Alim Musa for a rally outside the embassy of Denmark in DC to protest the publication of cartoons of the Islamic Prophet in European newspapers.
May 25, 2004: Al-Asi gave a speech at an event organized by the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine in which he blamed Israel for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, stating that : "the U.S. — lock, stock and barrel — is doing what Israelis want you to do." He urged the students to "tip the balance and recreate [America's] image-not in the image of Zionist Israel." Al-Asi also argued "Many of our [Muslims] innocents have been killed when we all believe 'an eye for an eye' and 'a soul for a soul.' We're lagging behind, but we have plenty of time to catch up."
November 2003: In an article posted one Muslim Student Association at the University of Missouri Web site, al-Asi justified murdering British author Salman Rushdie. He also wrote:
"The Israeli Zionist are [sic] the true and legitimate object of liquidation. A new generation of death-defying youth are motivated by Islam, and Islam alone, to challenge and destroy the racism and nationalism of Tel Aviv's politicians. Israel is running out of time and all the politicians know it."
October 31, 2001: Al-Asi joined Malik Zulu Shabazz and Imam Abdul Alim Musa, for a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC, where he stated:
- "The twin evils in this world are the decision makers in Washington and the decision makers in Tel Aviv….
- "Ever since you fabricated the racist state of Israel in our Holy Land, you have caused that intrusion to recruit millions of Muslims in the world against you…."
- "Why were people on Wall Street, why were those people frantically selling airline and insurance shares in the days before September 11?...[Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon] was supposed to come to the U.S. on September 11, and he didn't make his appearance here … . Did he know something the rest of us didn't know…?"
- "Where were the 4,000 to 5,000 Israeli Jews that were supposed to be in those two buildings on the 11th, and after the dust settled, why can they only confirm one dead and two injured? Did they know something we didn't know? Why didn't they go to work? Where were those 5,000 and why are you covering up these facts?"
February 21, 2001: During a speech at UC-Irvine, al-Asi said: "You have the Jews who are blind and deaf and dumb [for whom] discrimination, if it is against a gentile, is not objectionable; but anything that happens against a Jew becomes a Holocaust…Where is the courageous Jew who can come out and say Israel is as fascist as the most fascist of Europe? Israel is a racist as Apartheid could ever be…We have a psychosis in the Jewish community that is unable to co-exist equally and brotherly with other human beings."
1998: In an essay titled "The Koran Says: Zionist Israel Will Be Shattered," published on an ICIT affiliated Web site, al-Asi wrote about a final battle between Muslims and Jews in which "Muslims will deal the deathblow to Yahud."
March 9, 1989: Talking to the Muslim Student Association at Portland State University about the fatwa calling for the death of British author Salman Rushdie, which was issued by the Iranian supreme leader Khomeini, al-Asi said: "As far as Muslims are concerned, we have no choice but to apply God's law…Rushdie has renounced Islam and has insulted and lampooned the person of the prophet. Both carry the death penalty."