Islamic Society of Monmouth County

Clarion Project
Article Source: Clarion Project

Article Source: Clarion Project

Reda Shata, the current imam of the Islamic Society of Monmouth County (ISMC), was the imam of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge from 2002 to 2006. It is also called Masjid Al-Aman.

He originally came from Egypt. He taught Sharia law in Saudi Arabia from 1990 to 1995. His website says he is known for his “moderate” interpretation of Sharia.[1] He has said that he views the Saudi version of Sharia as too strict.

The New York Times reported in 2006 that Shata views Hamas “as a powerful symbol of resistance.”[2] He was under NYPD surveillance when he was in Bay Ridge as a “Tier One Person of Interest.” Those that qualify for this designation have a “threat potential based on their position at a particular location, links to an organization, overseas links and/or criminal history.”[3]

In June 2003, four suspected members of Hamas were arrested in front of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge. That same year, Mohammed El-Mezain spoke at the mosque under Shata’s leadership. A NYPD intelligence report describes El-Mezain as the “suspected North American leader of Hamas.”[4] He was convicted in 2008 for fundraising for Hamas.

In 2004, Shata described a Palestinian mother who carried out a suicide bombing as a “martyr.” The bombing killed four Israeli security personnel and injured Israeli and Palestinian civilians. He also spoke at a 2004 memorial service for Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a founder and spiritual leader of Hamas that was killed in an Israeli airstrike. He said the “lion of Palestine has been martyred.”[5]

In 2012, Shata “liked” a page on Facebook dedicated to Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the pro-Hamas spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He also enthusiastically supported the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate in Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, as expressed in multiple postings on Facebook. He even held a celebration of Morsi’s victory at the mosque.

[ad] Shata will not shake a woman’s hand and supports banning music that “encourages sexual desire.”[6] In a sermon on his website titled “Why They Hate Islam,” he preaches that Muslims “are prey for many predators” and “these animals” target Muslims even in their homes. He says that the enemies of Islam are influenced by Satan and that Allah created good and evil, with the good created in the East, and the struggle has not ended. This implies that the anti-Islam evil comes from the West.

He also says in the sermon that there are people in “high, influential positions” getting rich off of destroying Muslim lives and promoting segregation. He criticizes the “overwhelming fear” of “Islamic politics” and the belief that “a nation ruled by Islam” will be war-like. He also blames anti-Islamic sentiment on “cursed, strict ideals and stubbornness.”[7]

Shata’s website shows that he frequently guest lectures at the Islamic Center of Passaic County.[8]


[1] “Bio,” Sheikh Reda Shata website, https://www.redashata.com/English/index.php?page=bio

[2] “An Imam in America: To Lead the Faithful in a Faith Under Fire,” New York Times, March 6, 2006.  https://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/06/nyregion/06imam.html?pagewanted=all#

[3] Sullivan, Eileen. “NYPD Spied of City’s Muslim Anti-Terror Partners,” Associated Press, October 6, 2011. https://www.ap.org/Content/AP-In-The-News/2011/NYPD-spied-on-citys-Muslim-anti-terror-partners

[4] NYPD Intelligence Strategy Report,” May 15, 2006, obtained by the Associated Press, hosted at PrivacySOS.org, https://www.privacysos.org/sites/all/files/NYPD_racist.pdf.

[5] “An Imam in America.”

[6] “An Imam in America.”

[7] “Sermons,” Sheikh Reda Shata website, https://www.redashata.com/English/index.php?page=sermons.

[8] “News & Events,” Sheikh Reda Shata website, https://www.redashata.com/English/index.php.