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Muslim World League Head Denounces 'Anti-Semitic Rhetoric,' Condemns Public Figures for 'Indirect Incitement' of Pittsburgh Attack

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Mohammed Al-Issa addressed the Institute's May 2018 Barbi Weinberg Founders Conference. Credit: TWI/Lloyd Wolf. High resolution photo.

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Washington Institute executive director Dr. Robert Satloff received the following letter from Dr. Mohammed Abdelkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League.

In this unsolicited message, distributed with permission, Dr. Al-Issa not only affirms the public statement previously issued by the MWL condemning the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre as an act of terrorism but specifically denounces the “anti-Semitic rhetoric ... and hateful propaganda that drove [the perpetrator] to such a heinous act.” Moreover, his letter includes a powerful rebuke to politicians and public figures “whose racist slogans … are indirect incitement to such barbaric terrorist acts.”

Dear Rob,

I have received with great sadness the news of the heinous terrorist crime that claimed the lives of a number of innocent people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. This crime has shocked us all and awakened in us the need to unite our efforts to protect our freedoms and values from those evil people. Those who from time to time will find someone who supports their disregard towards others and incites hatred. There is no doubt that this terrorist crime was ordered by anti-Semitic rhetorics, and perpetrated by a criminal who is considered to be one of the evil remnants of Nazism.

Behind every criminal lies his upbringing, environment, collective mind, or a hateful propaganda that drove him to such a heinous act. This crime won't be the last unless there is a hard and honest review of the reasons that led this terrorist to perpetrate his crime. It is not enough to punish the criminal; the root causes must be addressed in a sincere and serious manner, away from mere promises. Such crimes with the hatred attached to them ought and must shake the world. Unfortunately, they will be soon forgotten within the folds of time, until another criminal comes along and reminds of the stark reality.

This crime with all of its heinous indications and messages will not defeat us and we will triumph over it, God willing. Faced with trials, the believers' trust in God increases with added patience, strength and hope, no matter how high the stakes of evil are. The racist slogans raised by some politicians and other celebrities around the world, albeit their indirect approach, are among the most important elements of the primary industry of hatred and the indirect incitement to such barbaric terrorist acts.

Dear brother,

Personally, and on behalf of the Muslim World League from Makka, where hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world follow us and on behalf of the World Organization of Muslim Scholars, we feel the pain of this terrorist incident and extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. We call on the free world to unite in confronting hatred with its evil and danger, and to destroy its malignant roots in order for our world to live in peace and security.

Accept my warmest greetings.
Dr. Mohammad Abdulkarim Al-Issa
Muslim World League
World Organization of Muslim Scholars

Watch: Mohammad Al-Issa's conversation with Robert Satloff at the Weinberg Founder's Conference in May 2018.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

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