In an English-language sermon delivered on July 28 in Vancouver, Imam Tarek Ramadan of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) made a series of controversial statements supporting Palestinian violence against the State of Israel and the destruction of the Jewish state, which B’nai Brith is calling “an extremely serious development.”
The comments in question came during a speech the imam gave in support of Palestinian resistance against Israel, excerpts of which were published by the Middle East Media Research Institute on Oct. 30.
In the video, the imam can be seen beginning his speech with a story about early Zionist efforts to settle in Palestine, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire.
Ramadan spoke of the efforts of Theodore Herzl (who he incorrectly called Frank Herzl) to make Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II an ally of the Zionists, and how, when Hamid refused to meet with him, Herzl speculated (in his diary) about how to disempower, destabilize or remove Hamid from power.
The imam also claims that Zionists dressed as Muslims and infiltrated Turkish society, “putting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (the secular, nationalist ‘father of modern Turkey’) in power,” after which they revealed their true Jewish and Zionist identity.
Ramadan goes on to argue that Hamid’s disinterest in Herzl (he wrongly claims that Herzl and Hamid met) was based on Hamid’s belief – which the imam says he shares – that the land of Palestine is a waqf, a “trust for every Muslim.”
A waqf is a piece of land given in trust to Muslims for religious uses, which individuals cannot control or gain personal benefit from. The Temple Mount is a waqf, and the State of Israel allows the Muslim community to treat it as such. The imam’s claim, one that’s also advocated by Hamas, is that all of Palestine is a waqf and thus cannot be given over for non-Muslim uses.
Ramadan then goes on to say that the waqf of Palestine has been invaded by “an impure gang of Israelites,” who he called “a gang of the worst kind of mankind, if you can even call them mankind. They have no mercy, no respect, no holiness, no respect for anybody, for any humanity.”
The imam then states: “So our first duty towards this land, when we come to the understanding that it is a waqf and a trust is to fight along with our brothers and sisters by any means necessary. The United Nations declared that the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves, so we can give them any aid they want – weapons, money, expertise – we are not going to be shy about it.
“It is our duty, our individual duty, that we all share their jihad and their struggle against the Zionists by all means necessary, by all legal means and all Islamic means. We are not going to be shy about it, or wishy-washy about it.”
The video concludes with the imam saying that, “All of Palestine should only be in the custody of Muslims. It should not be in the custody of the Christians, or the Jews, or anybody else.”
As a result of the speech, B’nai Brith Canada is calling for the Vancouver imam to be dismissed. B’nai Brith is also demanding that an inquiry be held into the actions of the MAC and its Vancouver mosque, which promoted the imam’s remarks by sharing the sermon on its official YouTube channel.
B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn told The CJN that, “Raising funds for terrorist activities has no place in any house of worship and the MAC must move swiftly to dismiss this imam.”
Ramadan’s sermon, according to B’nai Brith, resembles other speeches delivered in mosques in Toronto and Montreal over the past year, one of which led to criminal charges.
B’nai Brith has filed a complaint against Ramadan with the Vancouver Police Department.
As of press time, the Muslim Association of Canada Vancouver had not responded to a request for comment.
Elsewhere in B.C., posters promoting anti-Semitism and white supremacy were discovered at the University of Victoria by a group called Anti-Racist Action Uvic.
The posters contained the phrase “(((Those))) who hate us will not replace us,” and provided links to white supremacist websites.
The parentheses are used on social media sites to identify Jews by placing the brackets around their names.
The poster is reminiscent of the chant, “Jews will not replace us,” that was heard at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
“This brazen outburst of far-right anti-Semitism at a Canadian university is a serious concern,” Mostyn said.
“It is imperative that university officials do whatever they can to identify and discipline the culprits.”