The national Muslim American Society says it is investigating a disturbing video that surfaced online last week showing a handful of children at a Philadelphia Islamic center performing a song about decapitating their enemies and martyrs sacrificing their lives to reclaim Jerusalem.
The group is calling the video a "mistake" and an "oversight."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Muslim American Society believes the "Ummah Day" performances at the Muslim American Society Islamic Center in North Philadelphia were not “properly vetted,” and that the disturbing song was “an unintended mistake and an oversight.”
The Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra reported on the video late last week, which featured children dancing in unison and singing that they would "chop off...heads" for Allah.
"The Muslim American Society (MAS) Islamic Center in Philadelphia posted the video to its Facebook page celebrating 'Ummah Day' in which young children wearing Palestinian scarves sang and read poetry about killing for Allah and the mosque in Jerusalem," Fox News reported. "One girl talks about martyrs sacrificing their lives without hesitation to conquer Jerusalem."
"We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation," another girl says. "We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling His promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture."
The video, recorded and released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), has English subtitles, but some on social media questioned MEMRI's translation, suggesting that the children were singing an innocuous patrotic song rather than a horrifying musical celebration of Palestinian martyrdom.
On Saturday, however, the Muslim American Society appeared to confirm MEMRI's interpretation, claiming they should have been more vigilant about the Ummah Day performances.
“While we celebrate the coming together of different cultures and languages, not all songs were properly vetted,” the national Muslim American Society, which oversees MAS chapters like the one in Philly, said in a statement. “This was an unintended mistake and an oversight in which the center and the students are remorseful. MAS will conduct an internal investigation to ensure this does not occur again.”
“As a faith-based organization dedicated to moving people to strive for God-consciousness and a just and virtuous society, we affirm our long-standing position on our shared values of humanity. We stand resolutely in our condemnation of hate, bigotry, Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and all the illnesses of hate that plague our society,” MAS added, pointing to statements the organization released in response to recent terrorist attacks targeting Christans in Sri Lanka, and to the anti-Semitic synagogue shooting in San Diego, California.
They also posted the statement to their Facebook page.
A second statement issued late Saturday, also by national MAS, claims that “the person in charge” of the Ummah DAy event has been “dismissed” and that the Muslim American Society Islamic Center in Philadelphia “will form a local commission to aid in sensitivity training and proper oversight for future programs."