Indonesian-American Imam Mohamad Joban of Masjid Ar-Rahmah in Redmond, Wash., delivered a lecture recently focusing on the Quranic story of a town of Jews who were transformed into apes by Allah for having rebelled against Him. This story was never exposed, Joban told his congregants, because the Jews cover up bad stories about themselves. Laughing, he related how the Jews who had been transformed into apes cried because they couldn’t recognize one another. In another verse, said Joban, the violators were transformed into pigs. He discussed the question of whether the transformed Jews had offspring, saying that there are two cases, from Egypt and Malaysia, of newborns looking like apes and pigs. Joban and his congregation then chanted from the Quran responsively: “When [the Jews] rebelled against the commands to refrain, [Allah] said to them, ‘Be despicable apes.’”
Joban is a full-time Imam at Masjid Ar-Rahmah, which belongs to the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS). The lecture was uploaded to the MAPS Redmond YouTube channel on Dec. 17, 2019. In 2003, Joban led a prayer at the Washington State House of Representatives. He has previously served as the Imam of the Islamic Center of Olympia, in Olympia, Washington.