Someone recently sent me an Arabic video that juxtaposes snippets of sermons delivered by Christian and Muslim leaders in the Middle East. The Christian preachers offer up universal supplications that include phrases like “O lord, lover of all mankind and savior of all the world”; they quote biblical passages such as “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5: 44); they pray that God may “heal all people around the world of their diseases.”
While such prayers are familiar, taken for granted even, the supplications of the Muslim preachers may surprise some. Popular Egyptian preacher, Sheikh Muhammad al-Zoghbi, was taped invoking his god thusly:
May Allah cut your tongue out! May he freeze the blood in your veins! May he inflict you with cancer and allow you no reprieve… Allah, strike them with all sorts of disease, afflictions and pain! Allah, strike them with cancer! Allah, let your prophet overpower them! Allah destroy them! Allah destroy them! Allah destroy them! Allah destroy the criminals who challenge the noble prophet! [Then, very serenely addressing his Muslim viewers:] And peace upon you, and Allah’s mercy and blessings.
Likewise, Sheikh Abdullah Nihari supplicated Allah with outstretched arms accordingly:
Lord, Lord, we condemn them before you!! Freeze the blood in their veins!! Strike them with evil, or at the very least freeze the blood in their veins—until they pray for death, but do not receive it!! O lord! O lord! O lord!…
One need not understand Arabic to appreciate the intensity of Nihari’s hate: watch the 45 seconds starting at minute 2:15, and see the gesticulating cleric issue his curse—while striking the floor with a stick, hurling a picture, and pounding on the wall.
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