(JTA) — Egypt’s minister of religious endowments quoted an Islamic Sunni verse about killing Jews.
The interview with Talaat Mohamed Afifi Salem was aired last month on Sada Al-Balad TV, according to the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute.
Asked by the interviewer whether he would “visit Israel with a Palestinian visa,” Salem said, “This is premature. Let’s wait until it happens. However, we hope that the words of the Prophet Muhammad will be fulfilled: Judgment Day will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews will hide behind the rocks and the trees, but the rocks and the trees will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him — except for the gharqad tree, which is one of the trees of the Jews.”
The verse is from Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa’ah — the 41st book of Sahih Muslim, which is one of the major texts of Sunni Islam.
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director of interfaith affairs, last year wrote a letter to Salem in which he expressed concern about “anti-Semitic calls for jihad” made by Mohammed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2010, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi referred to “Zionists” as “bloodsuckers” and “descendants of apes and pigs” in two filmed interviews. Morsi was elected to be the president of Egypt two years later.