A Muslim cleric criticised for anti-Semitic speeches at an Auckland mosque has been permanently stood down from his role in the Federation of Islamic Associations.
The speeches made by Shaykh Dr Mohammed Anwar Sahib, at the Al-Taqwa mosque in Manukau have been widely condemned, but the cleric said he had been misinterpreted.
The Human Rights Commission is investigating the comments.
Dr Sahib was the secretary of one of the Federation’s committees, but he retains his role as the president of the Al-Taqwa mosque.
They emerged in video footage published on the blog Whale Oil, which Dr Sahib said had been compiled from several different sermons and taken out of context.
Earlier, the Federation of Islamic Associations said it was considering all options.President Hazim Arafeh said it had no tolerance for any kind of hate speech and it had raised the issue with Dr Sahib.
This time the FIANZ press release is unequivocal and avoids the victim-blaming of the previous release:
It is obvious that FIANZ has received professional advice. Their first press release was just dreadful.
Questions remain, though. Why is this guy still preaching at the mosque? Why after we have outlined this guy’s activities for years has it taken so long to act? How many other preachers, either resident or visiting, are making similar statements? If they are prepared to make these statements publicly then what on earth are they saying privately? How much government and/or council monies have been paid to this mosque and to the preacher directly?
One thing that has been overlooked is that the preacher was using The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fake and thoroughly discredited anti-Semitic treatise first published in Russia in 1903 to justify his views. Wikipedia explains:
The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion is an antisemitic fabricated text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. The forgery was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. According to the claims made by some of its publishers, the Protocols are the minutes of a late 19th-century meeting where Jewish leaders discussed their goal of global Jewish hegemony by subverting the morals of Gentiles, and by controlling the press and the world’s economies.
Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the U.S. in the 1920s. Adolf Hitler was a major proponent. It was studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazis came to power in 1933, despite having been exposed as fraudulent by The Times of London in 1921. It is still widely available today in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet, and continues to be presented by some proponents as a genuine document.
Instead the media focused on his misogyny.
At least we are starting to get the correct result here. A hate-speech preacher using a discredited forgery is still proselytising and preaching to adherents at his mosque though. We wouldn’t accept these attitudes and beliefs from Brian Tamaki and we should not accept them from Shaykh Dr Mohammed Anwar Sahib.