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Controversial Muslim preacher to face trial

From Swiss info

Abu Ramadan will have to stand trial in a district court, the Bern cantonal prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

The controversial imam of a mosque in the town of Biel/Bienne is accused of inciting hatred against people from other religious groups and nationalities, notably Christians, Jews and Hindus as well as Russians.

In 2017 he was heard to have preached “Oh Allah, I beg you to destroy the enemies of our religion. Destroy the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Russians and the Shia,” he is heard saying. "He who befriends a disbeliever is cursed until the Day of Judgment.” The sermon was delivered at the Ar’Rahman mosque in canton Bern.

The 68-year-old Libyan national is also accused of claiming welfare payments despite having an income from organising pilgrimages for Muslims.

He reportedly received about CHF590,000 ($652,000) in benefits between 2003 and 2017. He was granted asylum in Switzerland in 1998 but lost that legal status after it was discovered that he received a valid Libyan passport in 2013.

Ramadan has denied any wrongdoing, saying his sermons have been misinterpreted. He faces deportation from Switzerland if found guilty. In 2017 Ramadan spoke out against the allegations against him, calling the interpreter who translated his sermons a “liar”.

"... I only ask Allah for justice. The translator is a liar. I will take this to court once my life quietens down,” he added.

 

 


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