SWITZERLAND: abu ramadan : Bern opens criminal proceedings in Muslim hate preacher case

mosque entrance in Biel
The entrance to the Ar’Rahman mosque in Biel, where Ramadan spoke.

(Keystone)

A judicial enquiry has been opened in Bern against the Muslim preacher Abu Ramadan, who allegedly delivered a sermon replete with hate speech in 2017. Ramadan continues to deny the allegations.

The imam, originally from Libya but residing in Biel (canton Bern), had faced the threat of deportation after last year’s comments emerged at the same time as revelations he had been living on Swiss welfare payments for years.

+ Read the background to the Abu Ramadan hate speech controversy

Now, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, Bernese prosecutors have opened an official case against Ramadan, accusing him of hate speech. The inquiry was opened on March 20 last, information confirmed to the newspaper by public prosecutor spokesman Christof Scheurer.

Initial investigations will centre on the translation of the speech in question, Scheurer said, and how Ramadan’s remarks should be understood in their Islamic context.

Interpretation difficulties

The comments, which Ramadan made in Arabic in the Ar’Rahman mosque in Biel, were said to have included remarks inciting Allah to destroy the enemies of Islam – Jews, Christians, Hindus, Russians, and the Shia.

Ramadan denied this interpretation of his comments, and called the person who translated his words for Swiss public broadcaster SRF a “liar”. SRF later said that they had showed the quote to a second Arabic speaker, who had confirmed it.

Ramadan also denied being an imam himself, saying he only stood in as a preacher when the regular imam at the Biel mosque was unavailable. He also said that he was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

He had his right to Swiss asylum status officially revoked in the initial aftermath of the controversy.

Categories: The Muslim Times

5 replies

  1. By the grace of Allah there has NEVER been reason for any allegations and prosecutions against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the Western Countries (I am writing ‘in the Western countries, as in Pakistan there may be ‘trumped up’ charges that according to international law have no basis what-so-ever).

  2. Once in Switzerland we invited a priest. Before accepting our invitation he made inquiries and was told: ‘no problem what-so-ever’ !

  3. Rafiq – Could you please tell me if yours is the Lahori Ahmadiyya group? My husband has spoken with someone at HQ here in London, and they say that they don’t know of The Muslim Times. It doesn’t make any difference to me at all, as I find the TMT quite interesting, I’m just curious. But it could be confusing for some. Of course, anyone who wants to know more can check it out on the internet.

    • No, we do not belong to the Lahori Ahmadiyya group. We are humble followers of the Khalifatul Masih. But, yes, The Muslim Times is not affiliated with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. We are a private and personal effort. However, we do try to promote interest in the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. Unfortunate, that some one in London does not yet know of us. Please tell them to subscribe and contribute ! Thanks.

    • The Muslim Times is based in the USA, with editors around the world. Consequently the top readership comes from USA, next, interestingly, is usually India. the UK comes a distant 3rd or 4th. This is of course not satisfactory, as I assume there are plenty of English speakers / readers in the UK. If you could help us to gain more readers in the UK that would be very much appreciated !!! Please circulate our ‘link’ to all your friends, real and virtual.

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