Imam Ahmed Alzaree Resigns from Islamic Center of Cleveland (with Links to Previous Posts; Update: AP Headline Hits Rock Bottom)
From the Plain Dealer’s blog, by David Briggs:
New Cleveland imam quits before he starts
Imam Ahmed Alzaree announced Monday, three days before he was to start work as the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, that he was resigning.
Alzaree said allegations by bloggers that he was anti-Semitic and was associated with individuals suspected of having terrorist ties so poisoned the atmosphere in Northeast Ohio that he and his wife, Marwa, decided to look elsewhere.
“Cleveland now is a nightmare for her,” Alzaree said. “It will never be a good start for me and the Jewish community.
The mosque has accepted Alzaree’s resignation, Zahid Siddiqi, general secretary of the mosque’s executive committee, said Monday afternoon.
“We certainly don’t want to impose on him and his family,” Siddiqi said.
Alzaree is the former spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Omaha.
UPDATES (exclusively at BizzyBlog):
Update 1: Don’t miss Patrick Poole’s post-departum on Alzaree. And this should have been said hours ago — intense appreciation is owed to Patrick for his lion’s share of the research.
Update 2: Briggs posted a much longer piece just after 5PM, apparently for the Metro section.
Update 2A: Here are the final five paragraphs from Briggs’s update:
As of Thursday afternoon, Alzaree had been planning to come to Cleveland, vowing to make an extra effort to reach out to Jewish and Christian leaders.
But as Web sites such as Central Ohioans Against Terrorism and Jihad Watch continued to probe, using such terms as “two-faced jihadist,” Alzaree said he and his wife concluded they could never have a good beginning in Northeast Ohio.
“I leave the field” to the bloggers, he said Monday. “I have peace now.”
Alzaree said he will decide among a half-dozen other job offers.
The Parma mosque will resume its search for an imam, said Zuhair Hasan, the new mosque president.
Apparently curiosity is still in short supply at the Plain Dealer. You would think inquiring minds would want to know what happened to extensively-quoted and now-former mosque president Dr. Jalal Abu-Shaweesh in the past few days. Abu-Shaweesh took over the mosque’s presidency in late 2005, and was interviewed in the December edition of the Cleveland Muslim (go to page 3 at the link). 22-23 months doesn’t seem like a normal presidential term (/understatement).
Update 4, Oct. 30: Still others — Right Wing Rebel, Eye on the World (“A good Muslim can’t even call for the death of the Jews? Oh, the humanity!”), zTruth (“What would he have been teaching? I think you know the answer.”), Jawa Report, Interested-Participant, The Path.
Update 5, Oct. 30, 1PM (this item is also noted at Wide Open and NewsBusters): Oh for cryin’ out loud, the Associated Press has found a way to simultaneously hit rock bottom and continue digging — “Blog critics force imam to resign at Ohio mosque.” And it’s all over the place — Ohio.com, MSNBC, JPost, IHT, with surely others to come.
Two words for AP: As if.
Update 6, Nov. 1: The UK Times Online’s Faith Central has a short post.
Update 7, Nov. 20: Andrew Bostom of the New English Review, and whose articles on Islam and jihad have appeared in Frontpage Magazine and The American Thinker, has this to say about Damra, Alzaree, and the Hadith:
And just this past October 30, 2007 it was announced that Imam Ahmed Alzareeâ€”the first permanent successor to Damraâ€”resigned as the new â€œspiritual leaderâ€ of the Islamic Center of Cleveland three days prior to officially beginning the job. Alzaree, who at one stage of the vetting process expressed the unusual reservation that â€œhe would not come to Cleveland because a reporter was inquiring about his background,â€ ostensibly accepted the position as noted on October 26, 2007, then pre-emptively resigned a few days later, after the contents of â€œkhutbahs â€ (sermons) he had delivered on March 7, 2003, were revealed.
Alzareeâ€™s March, 2003 sermons are in fact far worse than has been portrayed by the Cleveland media. One assumes that either they have not been read at all, or at best only perused, and those reading these sermons, by and large, have no idea about the virulently Antisemitic motifs in the Koran and hadith (i.e., the words, deeds, and even physical gestures of Muhammad as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters). Moreover, these sermons were also virulently Christianophobic, invoking combined anti-Christian/Jew-hating motifs from the Koran (for example, Koran 4:157-159), as well as anti-Christian eschatology (linked explicitly to Jew-hating eschatology) from the hadith, particularly with regard to â€œJesus,â€ or to be precise, the Muslim simulacrum of Jesus, â€œIsa,â€ as characterized in Islamâ€™s foundational texts. Alzaree simply recounts Islamic doctrine (as per the Koran and hadith) regarding â€œIsaâ€â€”the Muslim Jesusâ€”which emphasizes the Jews overall perfidy, especially their gloating (but unknowingly â€œfalseâ€) claim to have killed Isa.According to this sacralized Islamic narrative, Isa is merely a Muslim prophet whose ultimate â€œjob descriptionâ€ includes the destruction of Christianity. Thus Alzareeâ€™s sermon invokes the canonical hadith that this Muslim Jesusâ€”who was never crucifiedâ€”the perfidious Jews prodding the Romanâ€™s to kill Isaâ€™s â€œbody doubleâ€â€”will return as a full-throated Muslim to break the cross, kill the pig, and end the payment of the deliberately humiliating Koranic (9:29) poll-tax demanded of Christians (i.e., the jizya). This hadith states, â€œHe [Isa] will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyaâ€â€”because Christians will be converted to Islam (and thus exempt from the jizya), or eliminatedâ€”â€œAllah will perish all religions except Islam.â€ Alzaree concluded the second sermon with an apocalyptic canonical hadithâ€”repeated in the 1988 Hamas Charter (in article 7)â€”stating if a Jew seeks refuge under a tree or a stone, these objects will be able to speak to tell a Muslim: â€œThere is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!
- Sept. 25 — Meet the New Imam, Same as the Old Imam?
- Sept. 29 — Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up: Who WAS That Cleveland.com Blogger? (at the Plain Dealer’s Wide Open blog)
- Oct. 2 — COAT’s Imam Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up
- Oct. 25 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree and the Islamic Center of Cleveland Follow-up: Part 1
- Oct. 25 — Imam Ahmed Alzaree and the Islamic Center of Cleveland Follow-up: Part 2