CHICAGO — Recently released video footage of a sermon delivered at the Chicago Islamic Center shows a local imam passionately urging Muslims to wage jihad against the nation of Israel “for the sake of Allah.”
The video, shared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), provides clips of the message delivered by Sheikh Mohamed Elimam in mid-July.
“Oh, those of you who want to wage jihad for the sake of Allah, Palestine is calling you and Gaza is crying out for your help,” he declares. “If you are true believers, real mujahideen, hasten to Palestine.”
“The enemy was planted in the midst of the Arab nation and they chose Jerusalem, Palestine—the most important area—in order to be a thorn in the side of the Arab and Islamic nations,” Elimam continues. “May Allah pull this thorn out and stick it down their throats. May they be sent back to their countries in shame and disgrace, Allah willing.”
The imam then tells those gathered that paradise is waiting for them if they lose their lives fighting for Allah.
“Know that ‘Paradise lies beneath the shade of the swords,”’ he cries out. “Paradise belongs to you, o martyrs, o fighters, o mujahideen, in our beloved Gaza and wounded Palestine. Stand fast in the face of this enemy.”
Elimam further quotes from the Koran.
“[The Koran says,] ‘Prepare for them what force and steeds of war you can to strike fear in the hearts of the enemy of Allah and of your own, and others besides them.’ How you do not know, but Allah knows,” he says. “All the Arabs have abandoned our brothers in Palestine and the Muslims are oblivious to them, but Allah supports them.”
“They have prepared for battle,” he continues. “Even if the resistance cannot match [Israel] in numbers and equipment, it does in spirit and steadfastness, as mothers sacrifice their sons and wives sacrifice their husbands for the sake of Allah.”
As previously reported, a similar message was delivered on the streets of Miami, Florida last month during a rally that was meant to show solidarity in urging an end to the war in Gaza.
“Allahu Akbar!” the group chanted, and “La illaha illallah,” meaning “Allah is great!” and “There is no god but Allah!”
“Jaysh Muhammad sa-ya ‘ud!” and “Wa’sh-shahid habib-ullah!” their voices rang out, declaring “Muhammad’s army will return” and “The martyr is Allah’s love.”
Other chants were in English, such as “We are jihad!” and “We are Hamas!”
But the son of Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, Mosab Hassan Yousef, now a professing Christian, recently appeared on CNN on to explain that Hamas is about about more than the destruction of Israel—it is about global Muslim domination.
“Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise,” Yousef said. “Hamas is seeking conquest and taking over.”
“[The] destruction of the state of Israel is not Hamas’ final destination,” he continued. “Hamas’ final destination is building the Islamic khilafah (caliphate), which means an Islamic state under the rubble of every other civilization. These are the ultimate goals of the movement.”