Montreal, QC – On Monday, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs condemned calls for the destruction of Jews by an imam officiating in Montreal’s Islamic Centre Al-Andalus.
In at least two sermons distributed on Youtube, Sayyid al-Ghitaoui called for Allah to “destroy the accursed Jews”, to “kill them one by one” and to “make their children orphans and their women widows”.
Today, the Al-Andalus Mosque distributed a “clarification” claiming that the calls for the death of all Jews were taken out of their “real context”. The statement also admits that the mosque was aware that these sermons were being distributed online and invokes the deadly terrorist attack last month against a Quebec City mosque to avoid taking responsibility.
In response, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, Co-Chair of CIJA-Quebec issued the following statement:
“It is deeply disturbing that the leadership of the Al-Andalus Islamic Centre failed to explicitly condemn repeated calls in its mosque for the destruction of Jews. Particularly unconscionable is the fact that the mosque, in full knowledge of the violent and hateful content of these sermons, allowed them to be distributed online until they were brought to the attention of the public and the police.“We are very concerned by the lack of leadership on the part of the mosque’s administrators, who not only tolerated but defended the iman who was openly calling for violence against Jews. If anything, the attack on the Quebec City mosque should serve as a reminder to all that there can be no ‘context’ in our democracy that legitimizes calls for violence against any identifiable group.“We cannot afford to ignore that radical Islamist ideologies vilify Jews as symbols of modernity and liberal democratic values, which they view as an existential threat. When radical Islamists target Jews for violence, they target our society as a whole.”
Background: To view the video of the sermon in the mosque, click here.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.
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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)