California Muslim Leader Apologizes for Remarks About Jews

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) -
A Palestinian walks in front of Israeli security force outside the Old City of Yerushalayim, Fdiday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

An imam in Northern California who gave a widely criticized sermon last week about tensions over Har HaBayis apologized Friday for his remarks.

Imam Ammar Shahin apologized during a news conference Friday in Davis, California, saying he let his emotions cloud his judgment, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In a July 21 sermon, Shahin condoned the annihilation of Jews and those restricting access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Shahin’s sermon to worshippers at the Islamic Center of Davis set off a firestorm of criticism after a videotaped excerpt was translated and distributed.

“I said things that were hurtful to Jews. This was unacceptable,” Shahin said, flanked by religious and community leaders during a news conference that was part of an effort to ease tensions.

“I hope to grow and develop as a more worthy leader in the community,” he added.