The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations has launched an investigation into an event at the Muslim American Society’s local centre after a video, said to have been filmed during last month’s "Ummah Day" celebration, surfaced online.
The clip shows children in Palestinian scarves dancing and lip-syncing to a revolutionary song, which is often used by Islamist groups, according to The Times of Israel. According to the organisation MEMRI, which spread the video, the lyrics mention calls to “reach our shores and crush the treacherous ones” and lines like “Flow, oh rivers of martyrs!"
The clip also shows several girls chanting verses, including, “We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque [Jerusalem’s holy site, contested by Jews and Palestinians]”.
The video was first uploaded on MAS Philadelphia’s Facebook account, according to the reports, but taken down later. The Muslim organization has condemned its content and distanced itself from the controversial performance, voiced its zero-tolerance towards hate speech and insisted that a “separate entity”, renting the location, was behind the clip. The video from the school, said to be responsible for the performance, “was uploaded to the chapter’s Facebook page without verifying the content”, the statement says.
“The school board has informed us that it has taken immediate actions and dismissed the person in charge of the program. In addition, they will form a local commission to aid in sensitivity training and proper supervision for future programs”, MAS claimed.
The incident prompted condemnation from the local Anti-Defamation League, which slammed the indoctrination of children with a statement.
“Children should not be indoctrinated to hate. These young people should never have been asked to make speeches and dance and lip-sync to songs that glorify violence against Jews and the State of Israel”, it said, as cited by Philly Voice.