The Electronic Intifada has collected evidence that identifies the individual who assaulted and battered a Jerusalem resident at al-Aqsa mosque on Monday evening as Mohammed Hameeduddin, the former mayor, and a current council member, of Teaneck, New Jersey.
As The Electronic Intifada previously reported, the incident occurred when a Jerusalem resident who uses the pseudonym Zalameh approached a delegation of US “Muslim leaders” and challenged them about their participation in a trip sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute.
The Jerusalem-based Shalom Hartman Institute receives millions of dollars from extreme anti-Muslim donors and is a major contractor to the Israeli military.
Participants in the institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) have been criticized for engaging in “faithwashing” of Israeli occupation and apartheid and of violating the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
One indication of the growing outrage is a public letter signed by dozens of US organizations and individuals calling on “the Muslim community in North America to eschew any and all participation, facilitation, or any form of legitimization for the Muslim Leadership Initiative of the Shalom Hartman Institute and its representatives or advocates.”
“We reject the notion that this program is an interfaith one and that there is the need for Muslim Americans to engage with the state of Israel or institutions complicit in its war crimes,” the letter states.
Another sign of the mounting pressure the program is under, is that the Shalom Hartman Institute appears to have removed from its website the page dedicated to the Muslim Leadership Initiative.
Identifying the assailant
This video shows the initial assault on Zalameh, which Zalameh says continued after the video ends.
Two individuals spoke to The Electronic Intifada and independently identified the assailant in the video as Mohammed Hameeduddin.
The individuals said they were familiar with Hameeduddin and identified him by both his voice and face after seeing the report of the incident on The Electronic Intifada.
Zalameh also identified the man who attacked him as Hameeduddin from photos.
Hameeduddin’s voice in the video above can be compared to his voice from numerous YouTube videos that identify him.
The still images below are extracted from the video of the al-Aqsa incident. They can be compared to published images of Hameeduddin taken from his Facebook page such as the one at the top of this post and the one further down below.
Celebrated as Muslim mayor
Hameeduddin served as mayor of Teaneck, a New Jersey town of about 40,000 people just west of New York City, from 2010-2014. He remains a member of the town council.
Hameeduddin’s election as mayor of Teaneck generated a great deal of media interest, not only because he is Muslim, but because Teaneck has a particularly diverse population, including a large Orthodox Jewish population.
The New York Times reported that Hameeduddin is the son of immigrants from Hyderabad, India, and that his father was a founding member of the Darul-Islah Mosque in Teaneck.
Hameeduddin “first became interested in public life after 9/11 when he decided to speak out about misperceptions of Muslim culture,” according to The Times.
Hameeduddin did not respond to emails sent to three addresses associated with him, and the voicemail box at his town council telephone number would not accept messages.
Khurrum Wahid, an MLI delegation member who witnessed the incident and spoke to The Electronic Intifada previously, also did not respond to contact requests.
This post will be updated if Hameeduddin responds to inquiries.