Danish prosecutors charged an imam with calling for the killing of Jews in the first case of its kind in the Nordic nation.
Imam Mundhir Abdallah, who preaches in the Copenhagen neighbourhood of Nørrebro at the Masjid Al-Faruq mosque, which media have linked to radical Islam, is accused of citing a hadith or koranic narrative calling for Muslims to rise up against Jews.
“Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them,” Abdallah said in a Facebook and YouTube video post in March.
“These are serious statements and I think it is right for the court to now have an opportunity to assess the case,” public prosecutor Eva Rønne said in a statement.
This is the first time the prosecution has raised such charges under a criminal code introduced January 1st 2017 on religious preaching.
Rønne said it’s legal to quote religious books like the Koran and the Bible, but that inciting or welcoming the killings of people could be punishable by up to three years in prison.
“It has always been illegal to accept killings of a certain group of people, but it’s new for us to target hate preachers,” she added.
Abdallah could face up to three years in prison if convicted under the hate speech law, Rønne told Ritzau.
The Jewish community, which in May filed a complaint over the imam’s speech, welcomed the prosecution’s decision to press charges.
The community’s head Dan Rosenberg Asmussen told TV2 that “there was no doubt about the intentions” of the imam’s statement.
“It was deeply worrying,” Rosenberg added.