While waiting at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, following a trip to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, California imam Ahmed Billoo (also known as Ahmed Ibn Aslam), wrote on his private Facebook account that he was "feeling annoyed" about his location. He offered a prayer to deal with the surfeit of Jews in the building:
"Oh God, reduce their numbers, exterminate them, and don't leave a single one alive."
He added the hashtag "Zionists."
He seemed palpably relieved to arrive in Istanbul the next day, writing "So good to be in a Muslim country" and "#TiredofSeeingZionists."
Billoo is a prominent cleric in California, and part of a prominent Islamist family. He works as the religious director at the Islamic Center of Cypress, serves as a "professor" at California Islamic University, and is a teacher at the Institute of Knowledge, a seminary that offers religious advice to Muslim students and trains the next generation of imams. Its faculty includes prominent clerics from the hardline Salafi and Deobandi strains of Islam.
A 2007 article in the Jewish Journal refers to an Ahmed Billoo (also from Alhambra, home of the Billoo family) as the then-President of Cal State Long Beach's Muslim Student Association, and quotes him expressing support for suicide bombings in Palestine, adding that "Islam justifies" such attacks.
But Ahmed Billoo is a lesser-known Billoo. His sister, Zahra Billoo, is director of the San Francisco branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and an important figure in the Women's March movement. Zahra Billoo, who is also not shy about anti-Jewish sentiments and support for terror, frequently appears alongside her brother at events across California.
Ahmed Billoo is tasked with teaching young Muslims about Islam and training the next generation of American Muslim clerics. Some might consider it rather alarming, then, that someone in such a position of responsibility is also calling for the mass extermination of Jews.
So how did prominent activists and clerics respond to Billoo's murderous wishes?
It appears no one objected.
Faisal Ahmad, who heads another religious training organization in New York named the Fiqh Institute, wrote: "Ameen!!! Wow you were at the place where Eesa [Jesus] will slay the Dajjal [Anti-Christ]! Oh Allah make it happen soon make it happen soon. Destroy the forces of kufr [non-Muslims] and cause Emaan [faith] in you to spread throughout the earth Ameen!"
Nasreen Khan, a colleague of Billoo at the California Islamic University simply wrote "Ameen."
Others who appeared to praise the call for genocide by 'liking' the post include:
- Taher Herzallah, a senior official of American Muslims for Palestine;
- Farhan Abdul Azeez, an instructor at the AlMaghrib Institute, a Salafi seminary, and a regular speaker at Islamist conferences;
- Mohammad Omair Siddiqui, a former official at the Muslim American Society and now Billoo's colleague at the Institute of Knowledge;
- Abdelhamead Ibrahim, a board member of CAIR's California chapter and an activist with its San Francisco branch (run by Zahra Billoo);
- Ahmad Almutawa, the administrator of a prominent Los Angeles Islamic school closely tied to the Turkish regime;
- Dalen Carter, who refers to himself as the "Events & Outreach Assistant" at the CAIR's Los Angeles branch.
Many of these officials and the groups they represent have long proclaimed dedication to liberal values and interfaith dialogue. Once again, these public commitments are shown to be a mere facade, designed to cover up absolute hatreds.