California Synagogue Leases Space to Mosque to ‘Ease Tensions,’ But a Lovefest Doesn’t Exactly Break Out

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File
Hamakom synagogue, a conservative congregation in Los Angeles, has just gotten a bracing introduction to the reality beneath the surface of efforts at “outreach” and “dialogue”: it leased its facility to a local Muslim group, only to have it host a viciously anti-Israel speaker who has refused to condemn Hamas and likened the Jewish state to National Socialist Germany. Yeah, tensions are really eased now. 

The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday that Hamakom “axed its leadership and is struggling to retain members” after leasing its main facility to the Islamic Society of the West Valley. The synagogue “entered into an agreement with the Islamic Society that allowed it to take over the synagogue’s main campus, pushing Jewish members onto a smaller satellite branch. "

The synagogue leadership did this in the hopes it would build bridges with Muslims in Los Angeles: “In this time of rising anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” synagogue leaders told the congregation, “it is incumbent upon us to reach out to strengthen the bonds between religious communities in our neighborhood, recognizing there is more that unites us than divides us.” Almost immediately, however, their starry-eyed hopes of bridging the gap of centuries of hatred and suspicion, and showing the Muslims of Los Angeles that Jews weren’t really “the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe,” as the Qur’an says (5:82), were dashed. 

Yet Hamakon gave its all to this effort. The synagogue leadership allowed the Muslims to use the building every night, while the Jews themselves “would only be allowed to worship in two rooms from 8 p.m. to midnight. Evening programs and Friday night Sabbath services were also relocated to a smaller site also owned by the synagogue.” Even worse, “in anticipation of the lease’s commencement, the synagogue’s leadership covered up pictures of Israeli hostages captured by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel.” 

Yes, you read that right. It wasn’t the mosque that covered up the pictures of Israeli hostages. It was the synagogue leadership, showing that they were so avid in building bridges with the Muslim group that they were willing to abandon their own principles and basic standards of human decency to do so. 

The Islamic Society of West Valley, in contrast, was not so eager to abandon its own beliefs in order to make friends with the Jews. “Soon after the Islamic Society began using Hamakom’s facility, it hosted anti-Israel activist Hussam Ayloush, who said last year that Israel did not have a right to defend itself following the Oct. 7 attack and compared Israel to Nazi Germany.” Even worse, years ago I myself was on a radio show with Ayloush, the top dog of the Los Angeles chapter of the the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). I repeatedly challenged him to condemn Hamas and Hizballah. He steadfastly refused.

Ayloush's appearance led to outrage among members of the synagogue, with the anger growing so great that Hamakom ultimately severed its arrangement with the Islamic Society. The leaders of the synagogue have resigned, and Hamakom is promising a “thorough internal review to understand the missteps taken and to implement corrective measures.” 

That’s great, but it’s unlikely that this internal review is going to be deep or honest enough to uncover the real problem. Jews in Los Angeles (and elsewhere, of course) have been reaching out to Muslims for years, without any reciprocal action from the Muslims. As far back as 2012, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles canceled a speech by human rights activist Pamela Geller; Geller remarked that the Federation had “cravenly submitted to Islamic supremacists who wanted to suppress free speech.”

Indeed. In its story on the cancellation, the Los Angeles Times quoted none other than Hussam Ayloush, who said all the things that he knew the leftist Times and its equally leftist audience would want to hear. Geller, he claimed, was a “fringe speaker.” He added: “We will not be affected by the noise of people who hopefully become more and more irrelevant." Unfortunately, outrageous rhetoric gets attention because it’s outrageous, and Pamela Geller knows that very well.”

The “outrageous rhetoric” to which Ayloush referred had to do with Geller sounding the alarm about the necessity of awakening to the reality of Islamic jihad. Meanwhile, here is some genuinely outrageous rhetoric: “For 75 years, every single day for the Palestinian people has been October 7.” Let’s see. In 1950, the population of Gaza was 63,444. Now it is estimated to be over 800,000. Have the Israelis really been going into Gaza and carrying out orgies of murder and rape every day for 75 years? Hamas jihadis murdered 1,200 people on Oct. 7, 2023. If Israel did the same thing every day in Gaza, 32,850,000 people would have been killed.

Who made this preposterous and incendiary claim? Hussam Ayloush. Ayloush was speaking at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, and clearly was trying to stir up his hearers to hate Israel and be willing to support the jihad against it. Ayloush isn’t interested in building bridges; he is interested in blowing them up (figuratively!).

       Related: As Biden Condemns 'Islamophobia,' U.S. Muslim Clerics Make Spine-Chilling Remarks About Jews

Or if he is interested in outreach, in order to bring people to Islam. “Building bridges” is also a frequently enunciated goal of CAIR. Such bridges, however, are really just proselytizing mechanisms to convert the Christians to Islam, not an attempt to engage in genuine dialogue — as the Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb explained: “The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.”

So on one side, we have a coarse and brutish propagandist spreading blood libel against the Jews. On the other hand, we have leftist Jews so anxious to be friendly to Muslims that they give over their premises to a mosque that brings in this same hateful propagandist to speak. What’s wrong with this picture? If leftist Jews in Los Angeles had listened to what Pamela Geller was trying to tell them in 2012, they wouldn’t be in this fix. 

Gavin Newsom gave millions in taxpayer money to pro-Hamas mosques that call for the annihilation of Jews


Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Of course. To do anything else would be “Islamophobic.”

“Gavin Newsom Gave Millions to Mosques that Cheer the Annihilation of Jews,” by Chuck Ross, Washington Free Beacon, November 16, 2023:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) has awarded millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to mosques whose leaders have preached anti-Semitic hate and called for violence against Israel.

Newsom’s administration awarded $200,000 this year to the Sajjadia Islamic Society as part of its Nonprofit Security Grant program, which aims to help nonprofits protect against terrorist attacks. In a sermon at the mosque this month, the pro-Iran cleric Hamza Sodagar touted Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and said that Allah sent “the rockets from Hamas or Hezbollah” to strike Israel. Newsom has also awarded grants to mosques like the Islamic Center of Hawthorne and Islamic Center of Riverside, whose imams have decried the “malevolence of the Jews” and prayed for Allah to “destroy them.”

All told, the Newsom administration has given $40 million to California mosques whose leaders cheer the annihilation of Jews and Israel. Such rhetoric could fuel precisely the kind of violence the grants are meant to prevent. Newsom, considered a future Democratic presidential contender, said last month he will double funding in his state for its nonprofit security program, citing the “unconscionable terrorist attacks in Israel.” Funds will be awarded to both synagogues and mosques, Newsom’s office said.

A spokesman for California’s Office of Emergency Services, which administers the grants, said after a Washington Free Beacon inquiry that it is investigating whether any of the mosques have breached their grant requirements by facilitating hate speech.

“If it is determined they have, their funding will be immediately revoked,” said Brian Ferguson. “As a matter of principle, the State of California rejects hate speech and discrimination in all of its forms. Such speech is a menace to democratic values, social stability and peace.”

Newsom gave $200,000 last year to the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco, where preacher Hussam Ayloush asserted in a Nov. 3 sermon that it is a “lie” that Hamas’s invasion of Israel last month was an “unprovoked attack.”

“If I hear that term again, I’ll go crazy,” he said. “Unprovoked in what dictionary?”

At the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley, which received $200,000 this year, preacher Amir Mertaban expressed support for Iraqis who fought American forces and Palestinians currently fighting Israel.

“The Palestinian brothers and sisters that are fighting resistance, shame on you if you label them terrorists,” Mertaban said. He also disputed that Hamas fighters murdered innocent Israelis during the Oct. 7 invasion. “If you’re going to make a claim that Muslims killed innocent civilians, you better be able to prove it.”

Other grant recipients have served as breeding grounds for Islamist terrorists. Newsom’s office awarded $200,000 to the Islamic Center of San Diego, which served as the home mosque for two 9/11 hijackers. Its imam, Taha Hassane, said last month that “resistance [against Israel] is justified.”

“We cannot accuse somebody who is fighting for his life to be a terrorist. The terrorist is the one who started the occupation, not the one who is defending himself,” he said in an Oct. 20 sermon….

Biden regime doles out taxpayer money to mosques that pray for the annihilation of the Jews



Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

No surprise here. In the past, there might have been some perfunctory attempt to ensure that the recipients of this cash were “moderate,” but now any such inquiry would be “Islamophobic.”

“These Mosques Pray for the Annihilation of Jews. They Also Receive Money From the Biden Administration.,” by Chuck Ross, Washington Free Beacon, November 13, 2023:

A federal program to help nonprofit groups protect against terrorist attacks has given millions of dollars to mosques and Islamic groups that have praised terrorists and called for the destruction of Israel, according to a Washington Free Beacon review.

The Department of Homeland Security awarded the California-based Masjid al-Ansar mosque $100,000 on March 9 under the Nonprofit Security Grants Program. Moustafa Kamel, the imam at Masjid al-Ansar, earlier this year called Jews a “bigoted and arrogant breed of people” and prayed they “will be annihilated” in a war over the Holy Land, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Then there is the Islamic Center of Detroit, which received $150,000 on Oct. 12, 2022. Its head imam, Imran Salha, said at a pro-Palestinian rally days after Hamas’s invasion of Israel that Muslims have a “fire in our hearts that will burn that state until its demise.” During a sermon in March, he referred to the “sick, disgusting Zionist regime” and prayed: “May Allah eradicate them from existence.”

The rhetoric could fuel the sorts of hate and terrorist attacks that the Homeland Security grants aim to prevent. Anti-Semitic hate crimes have surged 400 percent since Hamas’s attack, in which 1,400 Israelis were slaughtered. A bipartisan group of senators called for additional funding under the program last month to protect against “a potential rise in anti-Semitic threats.”

There is little oversight over which organizations receive funding under the program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state agencies. A majority of the grants have gone to synagogues, churches, mosques, and temples that do not support violence or promote terrorist organizations.

But there are also grants to outfits like the Islamic Center of San Diego, a mosque best known as the home to two 9/11 hijackers. Days after the Hamas attack, Imam Taha Hassane defended the attack on Israel as an act of self-defense.

“When people are occupied, then the resistance is justified,” he said in an Oct. 20 sermon. “We cannot accuse somebody who is fighting for his life to be a terrorist. The terrorist is the one who started the occupation, not the one who is defending himself.”

The mosque received $150,000 under the grant program on Aug. 15, according to federal spending records.

At the Flint Islamic Center, which received $300,000 in grants on Oct. 12, 2022, an Islamic scholar asserted in a sermon last month that Jews “literally live for the purpose of genocide” of Palestinians.

“These people … their businesses have foundations just to serve their objectives. They literally live for a purpose of genocide in an occupation like this,” said Shaykh Adbullah Waheed.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group identified as a co-conspirator of Hamas, has mounted a public awareness campaign to urge mosques and Islamic nonprofits to apply for Homeland Security grants. CAIR noted that fewer than 50 Islamic organizations had received funding under the program, largely due to “concerns about the potential strings attached” to accepting the federal funds….