In a January 19, 2018 Friday sermon at the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada, Imam Munir Elkassem said that "jihad is not fighting," but is "a very noble principle where we exert energy to effect goodness." Complaining that MEMRI had taken "cuts and pastes" of his December 15, 2017 sermon – in which he underlined that "whatever was taken by force... will be restored by force alone," he added that he would not be surprised if MEMRI excerpted and posted today's statements on jihad. Elkassem's sermon was posted on the ICSWO YouTube channel.
Imam Elkassem has also said that "attacking civilians, no matter where they are – this is a crime against humanity" and "a crime against Allah." In a March 27, 2017 Friday sermon following the Westminster Bridge terror attack in London, he said that the attacker "has nothing to do with Islam," and added, "Islam is not only for Jamal, Islam is not only for Ahmad. Islam is for Joe, and Islam is for Mike."
To view the January 19 clip of Imam Munir Elkassem's sermon on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
"A Group That Produces Something Called Middle East Media Research Institute – MEMRI TV – Took Cuts And Pastes Of My Sermon, And They Put It Throughout The World"
Munir Elkassem: "How would you feel if you became politically embarrassed to use the word Jihad? By the way, you know that a month ago, when I was talking about Jerusalem... You know, a group that produces something called Middle East Media Research Institute – MEMRI TV – took cuts and pastes of my sermon, and they put it throughout the world, saying...
"Because I was saying – look at this – that our dignity is not open for negotiation, they wrote underneath it that the imam of the Islamic Centre is saying: No negotiation, but he is calling for violence and he is advocating terrorism."
"Let The World Know That Jihad Is Not Fighting; Jihad Is A Very Noble Principle, Where We Exert Energy To Effect Goodness"
"The use of the word Jihad now is something that we should hide from. And the Prophet is saying: 'How would you feel when the time will come when this noble principle will be abandoned?' I won't be surprised if this part of the sermon will be taken and will be placed on that [website], so let it be, Allah be praised.
"Let the world know that Jihad is not fighting. Jihad is a very noble principle, where we exert energy to effect goodness. This is what Jihad is all about. Why do we have to shy away from sharing our religion with others? Why do we want others to tell us how to speak? We are not going to do that.
"When we will stop enjoining goodness and forbidding evil, our global community will cease to exist."