Abu Bilal Ismail's 'destroy the Zionist Jews' remarks in Berlin have now led to criminal charges. Photo: Brian Rasmussen/Scanpix
German officials have announced that they will press charges against Abu Bilal Ismail, the Danish imam who used an appearance at a Berlin mosque in July to call for the death of Jews.
According to a report from TV2 News, public prosecutors in Berlin will charge Ismail with incitement of hatred (Volksverhetzung).
Speaking at the Al Nusra mosque in Berlin on July 18th, Aba Bilal Ismail was caught on video calling for the death of Jews (see it below).
“Oh Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews. They are no challenge for you. Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them. Oh Lord, bring torment upon them,” Ismail said.
Ismail later attempted to clarify his remarks, telling BT "I don’t mean that all Jews should die.”
"I prayed for God to destroy those Jews who kill us. It’s not all Jews, because I know Jews who are good toward us," he said.
Ismail was also reported to Danish authorities by the chairwoman of the Danish Free Press Society (Trykkefrihedsselskabet) and the East Jutland Police initiated their own investigation into the imam’s remarks to determine if they should press charges. An East Jutland Police spokesperson told TV2 that now that charges have been filed in Germany, a Danish case is unlikely to move forward.
Ismail is a regular imam at the controversial Grimhøj Mosque in Aarhus, which has long been suspected of radicalizing young Muslim men. The mosque was also the subject of a documentary from broadcaster DR last month, in which mosque leaders said that they want to see an Islamic caliphate established, that they don’t believe in democracy and that a Danish convert who carried out a suicide bomb attack in Iraq is a hero.
Following that documentary, the mosque requested police assistance after receiving a number of threats.
Two week after that, Grimhøj Mosque received rare praise from police and Aarhus authorities, who said that the mosque’s leaders have helped to slow the stream of Danish Muslims who travel to Syria as foreign fighters.
East Jutland Police have previously said that around two dozen of the at least 110 individuals who have left Denmark to fight in Syria have come from Grimhøj Mosque. But a police spokesman said that only one person from the Aarhus area is thought to have gone to Syria in 2014 and that person had no association with the mosque.
Ismail's Berlin sermon can be seen here: