A Philadelphia Muslim group posted a video of children singing about chopping off heads, and now a New York lawmaker wants an investigation, Fox News reports.
Last week, as Fox News reported at the time, the Philadelphia chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS) posted a video on its Facebook page in celebration of “Ummah Day.” “Ummah” roughly translates to “community,” and refers to the entire community of Muslims, in a similar way to how the word “Christendom” refers to all of the world’s Christians.
The video featured young girls wearing Palestinian scarves while singing, reading poetry, and speaking — mostly in reference to Palestine and Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque. Specifically, they discussed being martyrs, and sacrificing their lives in order to reclaim Jerusalem.
“We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation. We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling His promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture.”
A watchdog group, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), became aware of the video and brought it to the attention of Fox News. MEMRI also provided the translation.
You can watch the video, subtitled in English via MEMRI, below.
New York Representative Lee Zeldin tells Fox News that he thinks a criminal investigation of the MAS in general — and the Philadelphia chapter specifically — is in order.
“[It is] infuriating to see U.S. children being radicalized on U.S. soil.”
In a statement made available by Philly Voice, the MAS says that the video was recorded by a group who rented space from them. The statement said that, moving forward, any such videos will be “properly vetted” before they’re posted to social media.
“Unfortunately, the video from the school was uploaded to the chapter’s Facebook page without verifying the content of the video for appropriateness and making sure it conforms to our hate-free policy and values. The chapter will take further steps in assuring strict adherence to publishing and posting policies.”
— EagleStar.NET (@EagleStarNET) May 1, 2019
Zeldin, for his part, isn’t buying the MAS’ explanation. Specifically, he complains that the MAS wasn’t sufficiently outraged by the video. He also finds it unsatisfactory that MAS is essentially investigating itself.
“That’s unacceptable and obviously unbelievable.”
Zeldin has also called for government monitoring of Palestinian textbooks, and suggests that the U.S. needs to be proactive in making sure those textbooks don’t contain messages of hate or radicalization.