"Oh Allah destroy them from within..."
Haideh Moghissi, professor of sociology at York University says, "this particular verse [enjoin good and forbid evil] has been used by Islamist radicals to stifle any debate and to attack the individual freedom and liberty of people living inside Muslim majority population countries. It is scary that they are now invoking this in Canada. The primary victims of this attack on personal liberties has been women and youth."
With an air of triumphalism, finger-waving cleric Said Rageah harkened his Toronto flock: "We have to establish Islam [in Canada]. I wanna see Islam in every single corner of the city; I would like to see niqabis, and hijabis [women wearing face masks and head covering] everywhere in the city. I want to see ‘brothers' [Muslim men] in beards everywhere in the city. Because when they see more of us, they will have more respect for us. They will say, ‘look they are everywhere...we cannot go against them'."
The Somali-born Saudi-trained cleric was taunting his congregation for what he said was their impotence in face of a call by the Muslim Canadian Congress to disallow any public dealings with any person wearing a facemask.
Urging his congregation to take 'action', the imam said:"Please brothers and sisters, please. Do not just sit 30 minutes listening to a khutba [sermon] and not do anything about it. Please take a stand. Take action against this." He then switched to Arabic to invoke a verse that has been used by Islamists and radical jihadis to intimidate and silence opponents.
"Aamr bi alma 'ruf wa nahi 'an almunkar" [enjoin good and forbid evil].
Like with so many other verses of the Koran, Islamists have usurped the inherent good faith of the word of God and turned it into an instrument of authoritarianism to spread fear among the faithful.
Haideh Moghissi, professor of sociology at York University says, "this particular verse [enjoin good and forbid evil] has been used by Islamist radicals to stifle any debate and to attack the individual freedom and liberty of people living inside Muslim majority populations. It is scary that they are now invoking this in Canada. The primary victims of this attack on personal liberties has been women and youth."
Across the pond, Ziauddin Sardar, the London-based Islamic scholar addressed the misuse of this Koranic verse in these words:
"Now, I must admit, that this is one of the most misused injunctions of the Koran. It is used as a charter by all self-appointed moral supervisors who think they know what is best for everyone else. In its worse forms, we have the state-sponsored moral police harassing the citizens for alleged moral shortcomings in Saudi Arabia and Iran. But the injunction has nothing to do with moral policing."
The Toronto imam made no secret about what ‘action' he wanted his congregation to take. His sermon ended with a rallying cry:
"Oh Allah protect us from the evil agenda of these people; Allah destroy them from within themselves, and do not allow them to raise their heads in destroying Islam."
Who were "these people"? Who did Imam Said Rageah wish to destroy? The answer lay in what the cleric had sneaked into his sermon in the Arabic language, which might have slipped unnoticed had I not noticed it when I heard it on a YouTube.
"Oh Allah, give victory to Muslims and Islam...Oh Allah, give defeat to the Kufaar and Mushriqeen," he prayed.
Every Friday, at almost every mosque in Canada, the clerics make this prayer at the end of their sermon and no one bothers to protest. My mistake was that I did.
Since the disclosure, there has been orchestrated campaign by the mosque establishment to deny that the word "Kufaar" means "Jews and Christians".
I have received dozens of e-mails, some threatening with intimidation, angry that I chose to blow the cover for this weekly supremacist sermon of hate.
One letter writer to the Post, Ibrahim Hayani, tried to spin the prayer asking God to defeat the Kuffar by arguing: " 'Kufr' is denying and rejecting faith with ingratitude toward God and negligence toward the duties conferred by God, such as telling the truth. It has little, if anything, to do with Christians and Jews."
What he failed to mention is that sharia law and all medieval and contemporary scholars of Islam agree that the word "kufaar" includes all people who reject the Koran as the word of God and deny Prophet Muhammad as God's final messenger. This of course includes not just Christians and Jews, but also Hindus, Buddhists, Bahais, Zoroastrians and atheists.
Perhaps we should hear it from the horse's mouth.
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Shinqiti is a Mauritanian-born Imam who is a Director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas and is a resident scholar on the IslamOnline website that issues fatwas on various issues raised by Muslims from around the world.
In 2005, Sheikh Al-Shinqti was asked by a Muslim woman, whether Muslims are "allowed to call a Christian person kafir? Who is, exactly, a kafir?"
The good Sheikh answered:
"Christians and Jews are kuffar because they rejected the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), but the Koran did not describe them as mushrikeen or polytheists."
Recently, praying for the defeat of Christians and Jews was brought up by a senior Saudi cleric. Sheikh Salman al Awdah told Dubai-based MBC Television channel, Muslims should avoid prayers that call for the destruction of non-Muslims.
Sheikh al-Awdah, who is director of the the website Islam Today, said:
"Praying for the ruin and the destruction of all infidels is not permitted because it goes against God's law to call upon them ... to take the righteous path."
Why then would so many Muslims in Canada be willing to whitewash the truth about the hateful sermons in almost every mosque in Canada? One would hope that by exposing one imam caught on video praying for the defeat of Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims, would spur ordinary Muslims to protest this type of bigotry.
However, it seems not only are ordinary Muslims too scared to take on their religious establishment, even the non-Muslim groups, specifically targeted in this hateful prayer, are too frightened to say, Stop this hurtful prayer.
The silence with which Imam Said Rageh's supremacist sermon was met sends a clear message to all other Islamist clerics in Canada. You are free to pray to God for the defeat of non-Muslims and the victory of Islam in Canada. You are free to spread this segregationist message to boys as young as five and to nurse in them the seeds of hatred towards Christians and Jews, while simultaneously saying with disarming smiles, "You are people of the book."