Israel Bars Terror-Praising Muslim Cleric From Temple Mount

Top Palestinian imam called terrorist beheading of French teacher a “great honor” for all Muslims

Palestinian Muslims atop the Temple Mount
Sliman Khader/Flash90

Islamic scholar Sheikh Issam Amira was issued a ban from the Temple Mount on Saturday after he called the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty last month by a Muslim terrorist a "great honor for all Muslims" during his weekly sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"When a Muslim of Chechen origin beheaded an infidel who slandered the Prophet Muhammad, people called this 'terrorism'… Well, it is a great honor for him and all Muslims that there was such a young man to defend the Prophet Muhammad. He is like the men and women who, throughout history, defended the Prophet Muhammad, his sanctity, and his honor. All these terms will be re-engineered, once the word of Allah reigns supreme over the word of the infidels," Amira declared.

The Jerusalem Police summoned Amira for investigation after he praised the terrorist who beheaded the French teacher. He was released at the end of the interrogation and was banned from the Temple Mount.

The police summoned the cleric following an official complaint submitted on Friday by the Arab Desk of the Zionist watchdog Im Tirtzu, which learned of Amira's remarks from the Middle East Media Research Institute that publicized a translation of the sermon the previous day.

Im Tirtzu also noted in its police complaint that Amira's presence on the Temple Mount was in violation of a six-month ban that was issued to him by the police in September.

Amira has a long history of inciting violence during his sermons at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which have included praise for the Islamic State (ISIS), encouragement of honor killings, and urging Jihad, Islamic holy war, against the Jews.

Amira is a leader of the extreme Tahrir movement which espouses ISIS-like ideas and has black ISIS-styled flags hanging in his office.

Amira has called for the establishment of a caliphate, a Muslim state ruled according to Sharia law, which would "deliver the call for Islam to the whole world," and said that the enemies of Islam are America and Europe.

The establishment of an Islamic state "requires destroying all the [foreign] entities in the Islamic world. Make no exception. Show no mercy or compassion to any of those entities," he stated during a sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in July 2015.

Amira has called for the killing of "anyone who is not Muslim and also a Muslim who does not adopt such an approach," and those who are not Muslim "do not deserve a comfortable life and we must kill them."

Im Tirtzu's Arab Desk called the cleric a "radical and dangerous person who regularly incites against Israel and against the free world."

"We welcome the response of the police and expect that this sheikh will be prosecuted and held accountable for his radical and illegal actions. The blood of the citizens of Israel is not cheap," added Im Tirtzu.

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