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RCMP Investigating Muslim Preacher’s Call for Allah to Eliminate ‘Zionist Aggressors’

The federal police force says it’s investigating a public speech by a Montreal Muslim preacher that called for Allah to exterminate “Zionist aggressors.”

Adil Charkaoui, imam at the Centre Islamique Assahaba, made a speech during a pro-Palestine rally on Oct. 28 and lashed out at Israel for its actions in Gaza following the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.

“Allah, destroy the Zionists aggressors … Allah, count every one of them, and kill them all, and do not exempt even one of them. Allah, bring upon them a black day,” he said to the crowd speaking in a microphone from a balcony.

Sgt. Charles Poirier told The Epoch Times in a statement that the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) is investigating Mr. Charkaoui’s speech. Sgt. Poirier said no arrests have been made in the case thus far.

In a Nov. 8 post on social media, Mr. Charkaoui defended his actions and said his speech “did not contain any hate or call to violence.”

“On the contrary, it was clear condemnation of the violence, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed by the Zionist army of occupation against the population of Gaza.”

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He also emphasized he had not uttered the word “Jew” and instead spoke of “Zionists.” The Anti-Defamation League calls “Zionism” the “movement for the self-determination and statehood for the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, the land of Israel.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said Mr. Charkaoui’s speech was a “call for violence against Jews.”

“Such hate has no place in Quebec, in Canada, nor anywhere. It contributes to rising anti-Semitism and must be condemned,” the advocacy group wrote on social media.

Mr. Charkaoui called CIJA a “Zionist” organization and said he is consulting with his lawyers whether to pursue libel charges against CIJA for saying he called for violence against Jews.

The imam says he has also been the object of false accusations from the political class.

Quebec Premier François Legault says Mr. Charkaoui has incited hatred and violence. “I count on police to do their work,” he said in early November. “I won’t tell them how to do their work, but inciting to violence, that’s not allowed.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also commented on the matter on Nov. 8 during question period in the House of Commons and said Mr. Charkaoui’s words were “unacceptable.”

“They are anti-Semitic. They are an insult to life and to the hopes of millions of people around the world, including millions of people who perished in the Holocaust because of their Jewish faith.”

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet pressed Mr. Trudeau on whether he believes Mr. Charkaoui committed a criminal offence.

“I publicly warned the Prime Minister three hours ago that I was going to ask this question so that he could have a clear and precise answer,” he said. “Is it a criminal act or not? Based on my understanding, it is criminal and warrants a reaction commensurate with a criminal act.”

Mr. Trudeau replied that “as far as criminal charges and prosecution are concerned, that is up to the police and the Public Prosecution Service, and I am counting on them to make the right decisions.”

Mr. Charkaoui has been embroiled in previous controversies, having been linked to young Canadians accused of seeking to join the Islamic State in Syria. El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djermane were found not guilty in 2017, but were given the condition to not visit Mr. Charkaoui’s Assahaba centre.
Mr. Charkaoui was deemed a threat to national security as an Al-Qaeda sympathizer and was arrested under a security certificate in 2003. He fought a judicial battle against the government and in 2009 a court ruled in his favour, quashing the certificate.
The investigation comes at a time when Montreal has been hit with serious anti-Semitism incidents. There have been three separate events of gunshots being directed at Jewish schools and arson attempts at a school and a federation in recent weeks.

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