The polemical preaching of the Imam of Toulouse

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INQUIRY - The official translation of his remarks, accused of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, could lead the religious to be prosecuted.

The case Mohammed Tataï could bounce back. This imam from Toulouse, an Algerian national, was accused on June 29 of uttering antisemitic and anti-Zionist remarks in a preach in Arabic dating back to December 2017. The official and sworn translation of the recording of the entire the incriminated preaching has just been delivered last Friday to the public prosecutor of the Pink City.

On this indisputable basis, justice can qualify the facts and take the necessary measures. "But not before the current of next August," according to the prosecutor's office of Toulouse. The judicial authority had been seized by the prefect of Haute-Garonne on the grounds of a possible "incitement to hatred". The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF), followed by the Licra (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism), had filed a complaint for "incitement to racial hatred".

Literal translation

Faced with the confusion that surrounded this case, Le Figaro had a literal translation of the video recording of December 15, 2017 at the Toulouse Mosque by an Arabizing university professor, undisputed specialist in Islam. The recording only includes the passage publicly available (subtitled in English, on the American site, specialized in antisemitic speech watch) where the Imam Tataï expresses himself in a classical Arabic and dialectal Maghreb.

"There will not be a Jew behind a tree or a stone without this tree or stone saying: O Muslim, O servant of God, this Jew is behind me, come and kill him"

Here is the first part: "[The Prophet] told us, during a deadly battle, a decisive battle:" The day of judgment will come only when the Muslims have fought the Jews, and there will not be a Jew behind a tree or a stone without this tree or this stone saying: O Muslim, oh servant of God, this Jew is behind me, come and kill him - except the tree of Gharad which is among the trees of the Jews "[eulogic formula ritual]. It is a hadeeth related by the beloved Imam Muslim. This prophecy is present among Christians and Jews. "

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The passage we are discussing here is what must be called a "classic" ... It is extracted from one of the six collections of hadiths actually attributed to Sahih Muslim, a world master of Islam. This imam lived between 821 and 875 - two centuries after the death of Mohammed in 632 - and did a compilation work in six volumes, which became one of the current references to the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad recounted by the hadith, to do not confuse with the Koran.

Confused joke

But Imam Tataï did not stop there. Commenting on the decision of US President Trump, announced on December 5, 2017, to transfer the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalemhe immediately added this sentence: "The Israeli prime minister at his home, the press reported that he said:" We will celebrate the Balfour agreement and in thirty-one years we will celebrate the centenary of the building the State of Israel. I promise you that we will always be here. "Then he said - and that's funny, it's funny - that he's afraid the state of Israel will not be over 76, which is said in their own prophecies. And so today, when their president died two years ago, one of their celebrities said, "People did not come for the burial of Peres, but for the burial of Israel."

Although confused, the joke clearly makes fun of the future of the State of Israel, which actually celebrated its 70th birthday last April. The two quotes, one evoking the end of the world, provided there is "not one Jew" on the earth, and the other on the life of the State of Israel, are related in preaching.

Mea culpa

Contacted five times, Imam Tataï has never responded to the solicitation of the Figaro. Residing in France for thirty years, he speaks poorly in French and uses a translator. On July 5, however, he gave an interview to The Dispatch of the Midi where he explained: "the Prophet warns the faithful facing a conflict against the Jewswhich is precisely a harbinger of the Apocalypse. As in the other hadiths that announce the end of the world, what is described is precisely what to avoid. "He then justified:" The extremists take extracts that arrange and use them out of context to serve their harmful intentions. It is therefore important to explain these texts well to prevent them from seizing them. My mission is to deal with these sensitive texts in a peaceful way and in the spirit of a moderate Islam. "

"In all the preaching, I repeat five times that this is not aimed at Judaism as a religion or the Jewish people"

And to make her mea culpa: "I apologize to anyone who may have been distressed by these words. Especially among our Israelite friends. "Adding this clarification that no one, for the time being, can verify, for lack of a complete registration, but which has been since last Friday in the hands of justice:" In all the preaches quoted, I repeat five times that this is not aimed at Judaism as a religion or the Jewish people. "

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To be continued. But Imam Tataï, trained at al-Azhar University in Egypt, who enjoyed a relatively good image in Toulouse, is now very isolated. His main support, the Mosque of Paris, now turns his back. On July 12, the rector, Dalil Boubakeur, published with a loud voice an unequivocal statement: "Given the extent taken by the controversy provoked by the words of Imam Tataï of Toulouse and misunderstandings about our position, we wish to reaffirm our firm and unequivocal condemnation of the terms used by this imam during his preaching held in December 2017. We strongly condemn his words concerning a hadeeth [...] A hadith that had no place to be exhumed of his forgetfulness. "A rector who was invited, the July 14, by President Macron, at the official stand of the parade.

Highly sensitive local context

"Misunderstandings" about the position of the Great Mosque did not fail, indeed. It turns out that the mosque of Toulouse, without being a member of the Federation of the Great Mosque of Paris, is "affiliated". Its new building (3000 seats) was inaugurated on June 23 under the official patronage (invitation cards and posters) of the Great Mosque of Paris. She was represented by Mohamed Ouanoughi, who greeted a mosque "symbol of tolerance", and by Abdallah Zekri. Abouabdallah Ghulam-Allah, President of the Higher Islamic Council of Algeria, was also present. A country that has participated in the 6 million euros needed for the construction of Imam Tataï's new Imalot mosque, whose logo displays the words "circle of civilizational dialogue".

Links actually confirmed by the "convocation" of Imam Tataï, July 2, by Dalil Boubakeur, to ask him to explain his preaching. At the end of the meeting, the rector of the mosque of Paris had, however, spurned the words of the imam in greeting his "sincerity" and gave him his support because "he has always called in his sermons for the respect of all the religious communities, and in particular of the Jewish community, which he constantly evokes in favorable terms and with whom he maintains excellent relations".

"He was one of my friends and it's a form of betrayal"

Which was true, but which is not. Frank Touboul, president of the representative council of the Jewish institutions of France (Crif) of Midi-Pyrenees, explains about Mohammed Tataï: "it was one of my friends and it is a form of treason. He even tried to exploit, at the beginning of the crisis, Rabbi Matusof, who has known him for thirty years, while the latter was not yet informed of the controversy. Myself, I was at the inauguration of the mosque, and I even defended it at the beginning of the controversy while waiting for the translations. "

A connoisseur of the religious situation in Toulouse concludes: "Five years after the killing, by Mohamed Merah, the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah, the local context is ultra-sensitive. With 40,000 Muslims, this community represents 10% of the population. The Jewish community is very well organized and will not let it go. Contrary to what he asserts, Imam Tataï is not used to dialogue. He never came, for example, to the council of laïcité of the town hall. He is of classical formation, but it is a closed identity. "

The editorial advises you:

Jean-Marie Guénois

Journalist - Editor-in-Chief of Religions

Source: © The polemical preaching of the Imam of Toulouse

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