MAS said the video was not vetted by leadership and apologized

In a disturbing video posted to Muslim American Society’s Philadelphia chapter’s Facebook page, children were shown saying the heads of those who oppose their policies should be chopped off and subjected to eternal torture. Officials of the Muslim American Society (MAS) said the MAS leadership did not vet the program. The latter condemned the video on May 5, terming it “disturbing.” The organization said the video does not represent their understanding of Islam. According to MAS, the viewpoints expressed in the Facebook upload has nothing to do with the mainstream Muslim community.

The video shows many children having Palestinian scarves singing a song at the “Ummah Day” celebration which took place on April 17. The lyrics of the song mention the liberation of the holy Al-Aqsa mosque and chopping off heads of the enemies. Some lines speak about leading Allah’s army against Islam’s enemies and torturing them. The lines in question make a reference to Israel closing a Jerusalem building in February. The structure in question is known by multiple names to adherents of different religions. Jews call the structure the Temple Mount and Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. The area houses the Al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. The mosque is the third holiest place in Islam and is Judaism’s holiest site.

As per MAS, the offending video was done by a separate school unaffiliated with the organization’s Philadelphia chapter. It had organized the April event and had taken MAS’s North Philly facility on rent. The video was publicized by MEMRI which stands for Middle East Media Research Institute. The institute translated the spoken words and circulated it on May 3. The ostensible mission of MEMRI, as per its website, is to bridge the language gap presently existing between the West and South Asia and the Middle East.

The national leadership of MAS posted a clarification regarding the video on May 5 after it investigated the video. The content of the post was an apology, stating that the school video was uploaded to the MAS Philly chapter’s Facebook page sans verification of video content. The video, as per the organization, did not conform to its hate-free values and policy. The post mentioned that MAS had sacked the person responsible for this problem and a local commission will be formed to help in supervision and sensitivity training.

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