Imagine the embarrassment of Swiss authorities when they discover that what this cleric was preaching was not “extremist,” but was mainstream Islam as taught in many other mosques in Switzerland. But by that time they will have far larger problems to worry about, in large part because of this same willful ignorance.
A district court in canton Zurich has given a Muslim preacher, accused of promoting violence, an 18-month suspended prison sentence. It also ordered the 25-year-old Ethiopian to be deported and banned from re-entering Switzerland for 15 years.
The preacher was on trial for calling for the burning of Muslims who are not devout enough in their worship.
Police arrested the cleric in October of last year, after receiving reports of the controversial sermon delivered at the An’Nur mosque in Winterthur, in north-eastern Switzerland. The man is also charged with distributing pictures of executions online and of violating labour regulations by working without a permit.
“His religious views represent a danger to the public,” the prosecution told the court. But the defendent’s lawyer painted a different picture, saying: “He was merely an unsuspecting asylum seeker who had only been in Switzerland for three months. He is no fanatical Muslim.”
The An’Nur mosque has long been suspected of radicalizing youth, with media reports saying some worshippers had travelled to Syria to fight in jihad movements. A police raid on the mosque in November 2016 also uncovered four suspected illegal immigrants.
Three months later, ten people were arrested following allegations that they had attacked and imprisoned two other people in the mosque who they believed had spoken to journalists….
The mosque’s governors have repeatedly rejected allegations of radicalization and links to terrorist groups. An Islamic culture organisation criticised the media last year of “inciting hatred against the mosque”….