“I will tell you the truth about the fight between us and Jews who are the enemies of God and the descendants of apes and pigs.” That is the correct translation of a statement the controversial British-Palestinian Muslim cleric Haitham al-Haddad made in 2001, Arabic-speaking journalists at Radio Netherlands Worldwide confirm.
The cleric, who is to participate in a public debate in Amsterdam on Friday evening, has repeatedly denied making the statement, which appeared in a sermon posted on the Islamic website al-Minbar.
There is some scope for interpretation, admits RNW’s Chaalan Charif. “Strikingly, the cleric omits the definite article “the” before “Jews”. In Arabic this could be taken to mean he is not speaking about Jews in general but only about those Jews who are enemies of God and descendants of apes and pigs.”