Steve Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, writes in FrontPage, “Incitement Official”
Under Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority sermons were filled with incitement, including calls to kill Jews and destroy America. Few in the West at the time understood the danger posed by these religious proclamations; those intimately involved in the peace process were often willing to overlook them.
The Khatibs, or preachers, who give such sermons, are paid employees of the PA. Their messages are broadcasted live every Friday at noon from mosques controlled by the PA and appear on official PA TV.
Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris was a favorite Khatib of Arafat. Mr. Mudeiris is based at the Sheikh ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza and makes regular appearances during the coveted Friday noon timeslot. One of his notable proclamations about America, from September 5, 2003, was, “America will collapse … we consider America to be our no. 1.” On May 21, 2004, Mr. Mudeiris made reference to America again: “the American dog, the Byzantine dog of our days … To the Byzantine dog, you son of a bitch, I have brought an enormous army upon you, that starts here and ends here.” In sermon from March 21, 2003, he said, “Allah will drown the little Pharaoh, the dwarf, the Pharaoh of all times, of our time, the American president. Allah will drown America in our seas, in our skies, in our land … America will be destroyed.”
When Abu Mazen came to power following Arafat’s death, he promised to end incitement. On December 3, 2004, he appeared live on PA TV at the President’s Mosque as an audience member of an exceptionally moderate sermon calling for Palestinians to recognize and tolerate others, and to avoid extremism. Mr. Mudeiris was notably absent at the President’s Mosque, but quietly reclaimed his pulpit and TV spot soon afterward.
Recent sermons by Mr. Mudeiris include one from April 15, 2005, in which he said that Muslims prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan were forced to convert to Christianity. In his sermon on February 4, 2005, he called for Palestinians to conquer Israel. This year’s New Year sermon was devoted to the destruction of America: “America has reached the top and we admit it, but it is headed for a bottomless pit, Allah willing. America, which is being led by its current president, to a bottomless pit. He leads it to death and destruction, Allah willing. America’s grave was dug by Bush the day he invaded Afghanistan. Bush prepared this grave on the day he invaded Iraq.”…