Shaykh Asrar Rashid has denied allegations of racism after a pro-Israel newspaper accused him of making antisemitic comments on a 5Pillars platform during Ramadan.
The Jewish Chronicle reported that the Birmingham-based imam called on Muslim states to wage jihad on Israel.
The discussion on May 10 about Israel’s attacks on Palestinians covered the roles and responsibilities of Muslim majority states.
Shaykh Asrar’s full statement is below:
Comments by Zionist papers have been made based on remarks made in a recent panel discussion on the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians. The following is my response:
The context for all my remarks was a military one pertaining to the military strategies employed by the Zionist entity. Specifically, I qualified the use of the word ‘Jews’ by pointing out that it was employed in context of the occupying forces and settlers who happen to be Jewish and describe themselves as such.
The term “Jews” was therefore used in the same vain as mainstream media regularly employ ‘Muslim’, ‘Arabs’ or ‘Palestinian’ descriptors for those who perpetrate acts of political violence to denote members of those respective groups.
This context also reflects my statement that the “Jews are known as a cowardly nation”, pertaining to the State of Israel and its actions against the Palestinian where women and children are being indiscriminately killed. My statement is made in same vain as that of Tal Niv, the editor of Haaretz English Edition Magazine, who stated in 2014 that “all Israelis are cowards” for being indifferent to the norm of murderous acts (https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-why-all-israelis-are-cowards-1.5250333).
It is pertinent to note that the Zionist paper failed to highlight my statement that we as Muslims by definition can never be racist towards Jews because the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a Jewish wife. Muslims are also permitted to inter-marry Jews, eat their slaughtered meat, and we have extreme reverence for the Prophets of the Children of Israel as mentioned in the Torah. Supremacy based upon one’s lineage is impermissible in Islam.
I maintain that a call for Jihad – a just war – in the form of military intervention by Muslim majority states to avert the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Occupied Palestine, is the only solution. The Zionist state has repeatedly and flagrantly violated UN resolutions and taken all steps towards eradicating a peaceful solution. The West engages in “humanitarian interventions” to spread democracy in the Middle East in the name of peace and security. It is difficult to understand why anyone would have any moral concerns about a military intervention by Muslim-majority states against a belligerent, nuclear-armed state that has perpetrated, and continues to perpetrate, indiscriminate and disproportionate killing and transgressions against the people of Palestine and sacred sites central to Muslims.
The Jewish Chronicle, a pro-Israel, Zionist paper, in typical tabloid fashion has spun my statements through decontextualization. People should not be misled by what they have reported.