'Fight Zionism,' says Sheikh at Calif. U's Anti-Oppression Week

The Anti-Oppression Week was an event organized by the Muslim Student Union at UCI, aimed at supporting the Palestinians against the state of Israel.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
May 12, 2019 04:12
2 minute read.
'Fight Zionism,' says Sheikh at Calif. U's Anti-Oppression Week

Anti-Israel students disrupt Reservists on Duty event at UC Irvine campus. (photo credit: RESERVISTS ON DUTY)

 
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A sermon to "fight Zionism" preached by Sheikh Osman Umarji concluded the Muslim Student Union's (MSU) Anti-Oppression Week event at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), according to a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Anti-Oppression Week was an event organized by the Muslim Student Union at UCI, aimed at supporting the Palestinians against the state of Israel.

Sheikh Osman Umarji concluded the week with a sermon entitled "the Oppression of Zionism." The week-long event included a long list of US-based imams and spiritual leaders who incite against Israelis.

"I ask Allah ... to give us the courage to fight Zionism. I ask Allah ... to free the Palestinians from the oppression," Umarji preached in a sermon broadcasted on Facebook.



"We are here as anti-Zionists, not as antisemites and not as anti-Jewish," Umarji continued in his speech. "Listen to me very clearly. We are against a foreign body, a foreign entity, coming into our land occupied by existing people ... We will fight you, we fill speak out against you, we will boycott you, and we will raise enough awareness until you will fall. So, first, we are anti-Zionist."


Umarji told the listeners: "Are we living in an alternate universe, where allegiance to a foreign entity is more important than allegiance to the country you live in? Wake up."

"IDF soldiers have the audacity to come here and pretend like they are protecting some innocent authority...Can you imagine if Hamas walked on the campus, the entire FBI would be here taking them out. You'd have snipers everywhere. If the IDF comes and everybody is silent, may Allah give us strength," Umarji added.

The NGO Reservists on Duty pushed back at Umarji's talk and made clear that the counter-protesters on campus are not active soldiers and have no direct contact with the IDF. Further, many of the organization's volunteers were never soldiers, but rather are Israeli minorities, such as Druze, Muslims and Christians who "want to refute the lies and plots that Umarji and his colleagues disseminate at UCI and other college campuses throughout the States," Reservists on Duty CEO Amit Deri told The Jerusalem Post.

"Despite what he says...we know very well that anti-Zionism is the new antisemitism," Deri continued. 

He noted that that at a time when some organizations on campus are working to delegitimize Israel, harassing Jewish and pro-Israel students, "we would be happy to stand by anyone who asks for our assistance, Jews and non-Jews alike."

Umarji also added a false and unsubstantiated claim that Israel's "military sprayed herbicides all over [Palestinian] plants before the harvest so the Palestinians when they grow their own land, because they cannot import because of sanctions, they have to throw away their entire crop."

Umarji is a Ph.D. student at UCI's School of Education featuring in the MSU's Anti-Oppression week along other prominent U.S.-based Islamists who have called for Israel's termination, including Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) figures Zahra Billoo and Hussam Ayloush.

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