A Muslim religious leader who helped spearhead a push to get the National September 11 Memorial Museum to censor references to Islam and jihad in a short film about al-Qaeda has said Jews “killed the Prophets and Messengers” and are a “cancer … in every generation as they get in power.”
Algemeiner Mustafa Elazabawy, imam at Masjid Manhattan, made the remarks in a December 2008 khutbah, or sermon, called “Children of Israel.” A recording of the sermon remains on the mosque’s website.
Elazabawy wrote a letter to museum leadership last month, complaining that the 7-minute film about al-Qaeda’s rise “would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum,” if it is not changed. “Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.”
He also joined in a follow-up complaint sent to museum Director Alice Greenwald on behalf of New York Disaster Interfaith Services’ advisory group. Critics have taken issue with the film’s references to “jihad” and the hijackers’ Islamist ideology.
Similar complaints were issued by Islamist groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).