The National Jewish Assembly is deeply troubled by a video released on October 21, 2023, by the Al-Rahmah Faith Centre based in Leeds, titled “The Message to the World on Gaza | Khutbah by Ustadh Umar Muqaddam.” In this video, Muqaddam makes statements that warrant serious concern and condemnation.
It is essential to address statements that explicitly or implicitly endorse violence and support for terrorism. In the video, Muqaddam justifies Hamas’s actions as “resistance” without acknowledging the group’s use of terrorism and violence against innocent Israeli civilians.
Furthermore, Muqaddam advises against criticising or blaming Palestinians for their actions during the conflict, alluding to Palestinian terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Equally troubling is Muqaddam’s statement that Muslims should never “apologise” for or feel the need to condemn acts of terrorism. Such a stance fails to recognise the importance of condemning terrorism, including that which is carried-out by a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK, Hamas.
Additionally, Muqaddam’s statement that Allah “will wipe out those disbelievers” is a dangerous and extremist rhetoric that has no place in responsible discourse, and only serves to offer religious justification for the wanton murder and harm of non-Muslims.
The NJA encourages individuals and organisations to engage in conversations that promote peace, understanding, and respect for human rights – rather than defences for terrorist organisations. The Met Police and other relevant authorities have been made aware of the sermon and must not be complacent on this issue.