Radical Muslim leader’s anti-Semitic rants referred for criminal charges

From the Sydney Morning Herald

Two videos of anti-Semitic rants by a radical Muslim leader have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions and may become the first act of discrimination to attract a criminal charge in NSW.

Ismail al-Wahwah, the Sydney-based leader of fringe political group Hizb-ut Tahrir, was filmed in two sermons last year describing Jews as the “hidden evil” and calling for a “jihad against the Jews”.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies last month sent the videos to the Anti-Discrimination Board NSW, which forwarded them to the Director of Public Prosecutions because the alleged racism might be serious enough to incite violence or involve a threat of physical harm.

A successful prosecution will add further fuel to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s argument to ban Hizb-ut Tahrir for so-called hate preaching. However, Fairfax Media has learnt the Director of Public Prosecutions has never laid a charge under the Anti-Discrimination Act, let alone achieved a successful prosecution.

In one of Mr al-Wahwah’s videos, filmed on July 25 following a public rally in Sydney against Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip, he called for jihad against Jews to a large gathering in Lakemba, saying in Arabic: “The entire world suffers from the children of Israel today and complains about them.” 

The comments include calling Israelis infidels and that the entire world suffers because of them and their “hidden evil” and that “the embers of jihad against the Jews will continue to thrive”. There are also chants of “Khaybar Khaybar the armies of Muhammad will return, which is said to be a reference to the historic battle of Khaybar in which Jews were massacred.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies expressed concern the group’s hate speech could inspire the next Man Haron Monis. The Martin Place gunman was a regular attendee at Hizb-ut Tahrir events and was photographed with Mr al-Wahwah.

When a second video emerged last month, then minister for citizenship and communities Victor Dominello said he found it “deeply disturbing” and would ask the Anti-Discrimination Board to consider both videos “concurrently and expeditiously”.

A spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir, Uthman Badar, previously said Mr al-Wahwah’s comments were in response to Israel’s “brutal” attacks on the Gaza Strip and the resulting “cheap allegation of ‘hate speech’ is a McCarthyist attempt to silence dissent”.