Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Sheikh Samir Aasi, Imam of the main mosque in the city of Akko (in above photo: front row, third from left), openly condemned the massacre that took place last week in a Har Nof synagogue. This terror attack was perpetuated by two Palestinian men, who entered during morning prayers and shot worshipers dead as well as stabbed them with meat cleavers.

Aasi made the trip from Akko to Har Nof to participate in a pluralistic faith assembly attended by clergy from all of Israel’s faiths. The assembly was held in the synagogue where the attack took place. Aasi spoke there, saying “I come here today to condemn this terrible act, which crossed all lines. The time has come that people of faith must ask themselves, how have we gotten to this point?”

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“I specifically made that trip to send a message to extremists,” Aasi explained to Tazpit News Agency. “There is a red line, and it is absolutely and utterly forbidden to cross – holy places are holy places, and you cannot attack holy places, no matter what.”

On Thursday, after his trip, his car was attacked with acid. “Every religion has its extremists”, Aasi asserted. “I was attacked because of what I stand for. These extremists don’t want relations between religions.”

‘But they are wrong, because attacks like this only make our resolve to continue working for peace and relations between our religions stronger.”

Sheikh Aasi has reason to believe Muslim extremists want to stop him, as he has been working for a long time alongside Akko’s Chief Rabbi Yosef Yashar to promote peace and understanding between Akko’s residents. Akko is a mixed city of 46,300 people, with Jews making up two thirds of the population and Arabs comprising a quarter of the city’s residents.

Chief Rabbi Yashar told Tazpit News Agency, “Akko is a mixed city, and [Sheikh Aasi and I] work together so that all who live here should live in peace. We are great friends.”

“Sheikh Aasi was my guest in my Sukkah this past chag Sukkot, to show everyone what a “Sukkat Shalom” is,” Rabbi Yashar added.

Rabbi Yashar and Sheikh Aasi regularly visit schools, both Jewish and Arab, across Akko to teach the students about both religions, and to promote understanding on both sides about their neighbors. “We discuss stories from both religions with the students, in order to teach both perspectives and help students understand their neighbors,” Imam Aasi said. “Thank G-d, Akko has wonderful leaders in all its religious institutions who work for peace.”

This is not the first time Muslim extremists have attacked people who work to promote peace amongst Jews and Muslims, or between Palestinians and Israelis. Mohammad Zoabi, the teenaged cousin of Arab member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi, was forced into hiding over the summer after his life was threatened by Arabs unhappy with his pro-Israel activism. Additionally, a few weeks ago, a brawl between Muslims supporting terrorists and Druze supporting Israel broke out in the mixed city of Abu Snan. Druze Ayoob Kara, a former member of Knesset, told Tazpit News Agency at the time that “Arabs want the Druze to be part of the Arab agenda, and the event in Abu Snan was a part of those efforts…the Druze see themselves as an integral part of Israel.”

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Thewre are still peopleof good faith and who see that coexistence and
    relations even friendships are possible, but those wise people are few, after the human waste of the 20th centure hardly anybody wants to live with other people. especially muslims can't toleraste anyone slightly different.That's why the end of Islam is near.Israel survives, because most Israelis are kindhearted and want friendly relationseven though attacked in the back.

  2. These radicals do not want to coexist with Jews or anyone else that are not extremist Muslims. That is why ISIS is exterminating all of the moderate Muslims as they advance in the region. If they gain control it will be a war of extermination. They must be halted in their tracks by any means possible. This is a fight to to the death!

  3. Moderates have had nothing to do with driving the agenda of history. This example of coexistence is an aberration that gives false hope & that will not stop the progress of the majority of Muslims supporting Islam's Prime Directive, making the world one Islamic nation through genocide of humanity, with, according to some, some exceptions.
    palwatch.org thereligionofpeace.com memritv.org inquiryintoislam.com are far more representative of reality & what matters than is this story or the few stories there are like it. A Jewish Rabbi doesn't need to go around promoting Islam. It isn't Jewish to do that & it isn't wise or safe, period.

  4. HEAVY STONE:
    ZECHARIAH 12:1-3;
    1; This is a message about Israel from
    the Lord, the Lord who spread out the
    skies, created the earth, and gave life
    to man. He says,
    2; I will make Jerusalem like a cup of
    wine; the nations around her will drink
    and stagger like drunken men. And
    when they besiege Jerusalem, the cities
    of the rest of Judah will also be
    besieged.
    3; But when that time comes, I will make
    Jerusalem like a heavy stone any nation
    that tries to lift it will be hurt. All the
    nations of the world will join forces to
    attack her.
    GNB 1994 EDITION…

  5. The moderate Muslims are not following the koran…
    EXTREMISAM IS THE KORAN. Research this for yourself if you don't believe it. Don't take my word for it…
    I applaud Muslims seeking peace with their neighbors. Wish there were more of them. At the same time, it's sad they do not know the TRUE CREATOR of the UNIVERSE.
    May CREATOR GOD open their spiritual eyes and reveal HIMSELF to all of them, AMEN!!!

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