MONTREAL (JTA) — Montreal police are investigating a three-year-old video that shows an imam, Sayyed al-Ghitaoui at a local mosque calling on Allah to “destroy the accursed Jews” and to kill them “one by one.”
The video, which went viral after being released Feb. 8 onto social media, appeared less than three weeks after six Muslim worshippers were gunned down in a Quebec City mosque and Jews across Canada rallied behind Muslims in a gesture of support and solidarity.
“We condemn these explicit calls for the death of Jews in the strongest possible terms,” Rabbi Reuben Poupko, co-chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told The Canadian Jewish News.
“We believe these declarations may be a violation of the criminal code,” he said.
The mosque that hosted the imam was the Al-Andalous Islamic Centre in the Montreal borough of St. Laurent, according to reports.
A spokesman for the center said the person speaking in the video was a “volunteer” imam.
The center also issued a “clarification” that the imam’s comments were made during Israel’s 2014 military incursion into Gaza.
But, if anything, “the attack on the Quebec City mosque should serve as a reminder to all that there can be no ‘context’ in our democracy that legitimizes calls for violence against any identifiable community,” Poupko said.