Imam recites verse of the Quran at Brussels parliament that call for the killing and kidnapping of Jews

An Imam at the Brussels parliament began reciting a verse from the Quran that explicitly calls on Muslims to kill and take Jews captive.

The Quran excerpt is verse 33:26 from the Al-Ahzab Surah (chapter). It translates to, “ And He brought down those from the People of the Book who supported the enemy alliance from their own strongholds, and cast horror into their hearts. You ‘believers’ killed some, and took others captive.”

Within the Quran, Jews are referred to as the “People of the Book.”

The event was not organized by the parliament, but rather at the initiative of Hasan Koyuncu, a member of parliament within the socialist party and vice president of the Francophone Parliament in Brussels, along with the Friends Of Brussels Association. 

The President of the parliament, Rachid Madrane, responded to the incident on X, saying, “Parliament is the temple of nothing other than democracy. I will remind the organizer of this visit and the group leaders of this, and I will propose explicitly integrating respect for neutrality into the [parliament] regulations.”

The Federal Deputy at the house of representatives, Ben Achour Malik, stated on X, “A parliament is a place of democracy. The place for a public debate where very different ideas confront each other. The perch of a parliament is not a place from which prayers can be recited, even during a chance visit.”

The Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB) issued a statement:

“The CCOJB expresses its deep indignation at the fact that a sura was sung on 13 January 2024 in the hemicycle of the Brussels Parliament, a place of democracy and religious neutrality, by Imam Muhammad Ansar Butt, on the occasion of the presentation by an association of integration prizes to members of the Pakistani community.

The CCOJB is calling for this event to be fully investigated and for the appropriate measures to be taken against its organisers, including the PS MP Hasan Koyuncu, who is also being considered for the PS list for the municipal elections in Saint-Josse-ten-Node.

The CCOJB notes that Imam Muhammad Ansar Butt is not an example of a ceremony honouring people for their integration.

In general, the CCOJB condemns any attempt by radical ideologies to break or influence the balance between the different communities in the country.

The CCOJB welcomes the initial reactions of disapproval from the President of the Brussels Parliament, Rachid Madrane, who has announced his intention to include in the Parliament’s rules of procedure that respect for neutrality is a categorical imperative, and calls on all parties to vote in favour of this text.”


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