Imam accused of spewing hate at a Toronto mosque…again
For the second time in 2017, the Jewish Defence League has filed a police complaint about an Imam prayer video inside a Toronto Mosque they believe spews hate and suggests violence.
“I talked with Toronto Police Friday,” said JDL National Co-ordinator Meir Weinstein.
The video is from a supplication at the Masjid Toronto mosque on Dundas St. W. recorded during Ramadan in 2016 where Imam Ayman Elkasrawy, who was leading a similar prayer in the first video taken to police, is again preaching words in Arabic being translated as offensive.
No charges have been laid but the original investigation remains open.
This video shows the imam chanting: “O Allah, whoever wishes ill for us and wishes ill for Islam and the Muslims, make his plot tied around his neck. O Allah, turn fate against them and annihilate them as you annihilated the peoples of Aad and Thamud.”
Defending his translation, former Israeli intelligence officer Jonathan Halevi says he “uses Islamic information sources” to backup his own knowledge of Arabic and explained the prayer can be translated as either “annihilated” or destroyed.”
Weinstein said it’s “outrageous” no matter how it’s interpreted or spun.
“This is very serious,” he said. “I am turning the tapes and information over to the police as an addition to my original complaint regarding the Imam from the Toronto Mosque.”
Weinstein said Det. Const. Nancy Girardi, of Toronto Police’s Intelligence Services/Security Section, told him his case number is 2017- 316359.
Meanwhile, in light of the evil, ISIS-inspired, New York terror attack, I sent the video to Muslim scholar and Toronto Sun columnist Tarek Fatah for review.
“It’s calling for annihilation and that’s unacceptable,” Fatah said.
To get another opinion Fatah sent it to Australian Imam Mohammad Tawhidi who believes it says “whoever wants bad to happen to Muslims return his plots to his neck and flip the plot onto him and punish them like you punished Aad and Thamud,” who Tawhidi calls an ancient people living during Prophet Mohammad’s time and as far back as the time of Moses.
For there to be wording or praying to annihilate or punish anybody is disturbing — especially since the first video calls to “destroy anyone who killed Muslims” and “slay them one by one” and “purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews!”
“I see a pattern here,” Weinstein said. “We have to stop sugar-coating this through political correctness.”
But Ahmad Attia, who is helping the downtown mosque and Elkasrawy with messaging, says the correct way to look at it is “Muslims don’t supplicate against disbelievers. They pray against injustice and oppressors.”
Some, he says, play the “translation game,” which can take things out of context.
Still Elkasrawy and the mosque did apologize for the wording found in the first video.
“Neither I, Masjid Toronto or the congregation harbour any form of hatred toward Jews and so I wish to apologize unreservedly for misspeaking during prayer last Ramadan,” wrote Elkasrawy. “I firmly believe that all human beings: Muslim, Jews and people of all and no faith deserve to live a life free of any threat to their safety.”
But even with that, in a column in the Toronto Star Oct. 30th, Elkasrawy claimed his words were “spliced” and twisted “into something ugly” to “make me seem like someone I am not.”
He says because of the first video his “mosque suspended” him and “Ryerson University fired me” and “Muslim groups cut me loose.”
This is all thanks to an ancient prayer.
“The combined effect of the mistranslated video and my wrong choice of words magnified the pain of the Jewish community,” he wrote, adding “(I) stand by my apology even though I knew then what everyone knows today because experts have now confirmed that my words were twisted.”
One person in his corner is Bernie Farber, who has been with the Canadian Jewish Congress for decades and fought against hate crimes.
“You have to be very careful with translating prayers” because “this type is said every day in a mosque” and no different from ones used in churches, temples and synagogues too.
“It’s not a battle of religions but a battle of centuries,” said Farber. “In my experience I can tell who’s an anti-Semite and Mr. Elkasrawy is not one. He is a fine young man.”
Still, Weinstein says in the interest of keeping hateful words away from those who could be radicalized, “anti-Semitism and incitement should not be tolerated in a house of worship.”
Fatah agrees: “That stuff should be taken out of Islamic prayers,” he said.