– ITALY TO EXPEL IMAM FOR CALLING TO KILL JEWS
A Muslim cleric, Abd Al-Barr Al-Rawdhi,,is set to be deported from Italy because of alleged hate speech against Jews, on 07/29/2014, the Italian authorities said on 08/05/2014. Abd Al-Barr Al-Rawdhi, an immigrant from Morocco, works as a preacher in San Donà di Piave, a small town about 30 kilometers north of Venice.
On Sunday 08/03/2014, the Middle East Media Research Institute, Memri, a watchdog against hate speech in the Arabic- and Farsi-language media, uploaded a video in which Rawdhi appears to be praising the killing of Jews, even though the word “Jew” is never mentioned, the authorities say.
“What can we possibly expect from people who lost all respect for Allah, saying to Moses: ‘Show us Allah outright?’” the preacher said, referring to a passage in the Koran in which the Jews challenge Moses. “What can we possibly expect from people who said ‘the hand of Allah is shackled?’ May their own hands be shackled, and may they be cursed for what they said.”
The Italian right-wing newspaper Libero reported on the issue Monday, quoting from Memri’s translation. The following, day Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, a hardliner on immigration policies, announced that Abd Al-Barr Al-Rawdhi,would be deported.
Abd Al-Barr Al-Rawdhi is currently (08/05/2014) being held by the military police, so he is unavailable for comment.
The planned deportation has received mixed reactions in Italy’s 1.5-million-strong Muslim community. “Those who preach hatred should be expelled from [Italy’s] mosques,” Bouchaib Tanji, president of the Islamic federation of the Venice area, told La Stampa, praising Alfano’s decision.
Others claimed thatAbd Al-Barr Al-Rawdhi, should have been granted the right to a trial. Mohammed Guerfi, the imam of Verona, described the decision to deport Rawdhi without trial as “shameful” and a sign of “disrespect to the Italian constitution.”
According to Guerfi, Rawdhi’s comments were directed at Israel, not the Jews. “What do the authorities expect from us – to keep quiet about the war in Gaza?” Guerfi said.
The mosque in San Donà di Piave has had problems with the law before. A preacher from that mosque, Ahmad Chaddad, was arrested on terror and illegal-immigration charges in 2012. A native of Syria, Ahmad Chaddad was accused of aiding illegal immigrants and recruiting volunteers for the fighting in Syria.
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