Interior minister expels imam for anti-Semitic Gaza sermon

Veneto Muslim community praises decision

05 August, 19:33

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, AUGUST 5 - Italy's Interior minister, Angelino Alfano, has ordered the immediate expulsion of the imam of the San Dona di Piave mosque, near Venice, the Moroccan Raoudi Albdelbar, due to ''serious disturbance of public order, danger to national security, and religion discrimination''. The imam, according to the Italian daily Libero, had incited hatred of Jews during a Friday sermon in late July. ''Oh Allah,'' he reportedly said in the sermon, a video of which the Israel-linked Middle East Media Research Institute published on its website, Memri.org. ''Do to them what will make us happy. Oh Allah, count them one by one and kill all of them to the very last. Do not spare a single one of them.'' ''It is unacceptable,'' Alfano said, ''that a clearly anti-Semitic sermon is held, with explicit incitement to violence and religious hatred. Let my decision stand as a warning to all those that think hatred can be preached in Italy.'' The measure, the interior ministry stated, was based on careful verification conducted by the anti-terrorism service, with assistance from the Venice special investigations unit and in agreement with the prosecutor's office. Both the Italian political world and the Muslim community of the Veneto region have praised the interior minister's decision to expel someone who ''preaches death''.

    ''Islam is a religion of peace. Those who preach death should be thrown out of mosques,'' said the head of the Islamic Federation of Veneto and the Assalam association of Annone Veneto, Bouchaib Tanji. ''We approve of the decision,'' he said, noting the support also from the Migranti della Venezia Orientale association. ''It is unacceptable that an imam, who has been tasked with preaching the Quran and prayers of the Muslim faithful, incites violence against someone and the killing of anyone. Even worse if he calls on God to exterminate an entire population. The killing of those of the Jewish faith does not make any other human happy, just as would be the case with the extermination of Muslims or Christians or any other population.'' (ANSAmed).

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