January 17, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 7851

Canadian Sheikh Younus Kathrada – Who Has Been Under Investigation For Hate Crimes Since 2005 – Responds To Media Reports On MEMRI TV Clip Of Him: The Media 'Want To Make Us Look Like Savages'; 'I Stand 100 Percent By My Words'; 'Insulting Allah, Attributing A Son To Him' Is 'Even Worse' Than Crimes For Which 'There Is The Death Penalty, There Is Amputations' In 'A Proper Islamic State'

January 17, 2019
Special Dispatch No. 7851

On January 5, 2019, the South African-born[1] Canadian cleric Younus Kathrada uploaded a video to the Muslim Youth of Victoria Facebook page in which he responded to the media backlash that followed the release of a MEMRI TV video documenting a sermon that was uploaded to the Internet on December 23, 2018 in which he stated that saying "merry Christmas" to Christians is worse than murder and adultery (see Canadian Cleric Younus Kathrada: Congratulating Christians for Christmas is Worse than Murder).

In the January 5 video, Sheikh Kathrada criticized a January 4, 2019 article in the Calgary Herald about the MEMRI TV clip of his sermon, and decrying the media silence about it and about Kathrada despite the hate crimes investigation against him that has been ongoing since 2004.[2] Claiming that he never has and never will encourage violence, he referred to the author of the article as "this moron, this imbecile, this sad excuse for a human being." He argued that Muslims "must be offended when people say that they worship Jesus or when they that Jesus is the son of God'" and added, "Guess what? I stand 100 percent by those words... [but] it does not then necessitate me being violent." He further criticized the media for depicting Muslims as savages, and said that "insulting God, insulting Allah, attributing a son to Him" is "even worse" than crimes for which "there is the death penalty, there is amputations" in "a proper Islamic state." He concluded by saying: "I'm not your lapdog and I'm not your puppet. So good luck next time."

Since October 2004, Kathrada has been under investigation for hate crimes; at that time, Vancouver police launched the investigation after he referred, in the spring of 2004, to Jews as "the brothers of monkeys and the swine" and saying, in lectures posted on the website of his mosque at the time, Dar Al-Madinah, that all Muslims, if given the chance, should want to become martyrs and that Islam supports a holy war to convert nonbelievers "so that the word of Allah will be the superior word." He claimed that his comments had been taken out of context.[3] At the time, Kathrada was condemned by a prominent British Columbia imam.[4]

Kathrada was first questioned by authorities after two young men who regularly attended his talks went missing on a trip to Azerbaijan in October 2004. One of them, Rudwan Khalil Abubaker, was believed to have been killed in a shootout with a Russian army patrol.[5]

In May 2018, it was reported that the investigation started by Vancouver police in 2005 had been turned over to the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, which combines the resources of the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and municipal police. An RCMP spokesman said that the enforcement team is looking at allegations and complaints about Kathrada's writings. Although the enforcement team also deals with terrorism, the spokesman cautioned against assuming that the investigation is dealing with anything more than the hate crimes allegations. "I am not saying they are looking at anything to do with terrorism," he said.[6]

View the January 5, 2019 MEMRI TV clip of Younus Kathrada's statements here or below:

The following is the transcript from the MEMRI TV clip:

"News Reporters And Media Outlets Have Nothing Better To Do Than Spread Lies And Inaccurate Reports"

Younus Kathrada: "Because we've seen that some news reporters and media outlets have nothing better to do than spread lies and inaccurate reports, I feel that it's important we clarify things, but on our terms.


"Tonight's session is neither a retraction nor an apology. If I had done something wrong, by all means, I would apologize and I would retract what I said.


"I have never – and I still do not – and I never will tell people to go out and kill people willy-nilly, and so on and so forth, of course. You know why I [gave that same disclaimer in the December sermon]? I said it because after I made the comments that I did, I anticipated that there may be some unintelligent people out there – not my audience but unintelligent people – who may come across this sermon and may accuse me of saying certain things that I did not say. So I thank God that He inspired me to say those words. But of course they're not enough for this moron, this imbecile, this sad excuse for a human being."


"I Said Those Words, And I Stand By Them 100 Percent"; Christmas "Is Based On What Islam Deems To Be Blasphemy"

"On the video it says that I also said, 'You know that you and I must be offended when people say that they worship Jesus or when they that Jesus is the son of God.' Guess what? I stand 100 percent by those words. I said those words, and I stand by them 100 percent.


"I can be offended. It does not then necessitate me being violent. So when I tell you that you should be offended by something, you know, that doesn't mean I'm telling you that you should go and act violently towards others and do crazy things.


"This is a Christian holiday and it is based on what Islam deems to be blasphemy.


"Don't tell me that we can be OK with saying 'Merry Christmas.' Prove to me how it can be OK. I know politeness... OK, so go and congratulate your other fornicators then. You won't do it unless you're one of them or you happen to have that mentality where you think it's OK, that there's nothing wrong with it. Or a rapist – an extreme example... No, not extreme. These are real examples.


"What I was saying is that some of our pious predecessors said this.


"For goodness sake, we live with non-Muslims. We have neighbors who are wonderful. When we see them, we greet them. If we knew that they had a child, for example, we would congratulate them. If we knew that they graduated from university, we would congratulate them."


The Media "Want To Make Us Look Like Savages"; "Insulting God, Insulting Allah, Attributing A Son To Him" Is "Even Worse" Than The Crimes For Which "There Is The Death Penalty, There Is Amputations" In "A Proper Islamic State"  

"I don't know where these people in the media are coming from. They want to make us look like savages.


"If you are now saying, 'Oh I'm just saying it to be polite,' that in and of itself is a mistake and it is wrong and it is a sin, because you are being hypocritical and it is you showing support for something that you're supposed to be offended by.


"If a non-Muslim were to say to me, 'Eid Mubarak,' for example, 'Happy Eid or Ramadhan' or whatever, if they were to say that to me...


"With all due respect... I know where you're coming from. You want to be polite, but you're not a principled individual. You don't believe in what my Eid is about. My Eid is about 'Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, there is no god but Allah'....


"People congratulate people when you don't even know what they're doing. You may be doing something pretty nasty or pretty horrible, right? And for us, this is a horrible thing.


"In a proper Islamic state – by the way, no proper Islamic state exists today – not that I'm aware of...


"In a proper Islamic state, for those crimes, there are severe punishments.


"There is the death penalty. There is amputations, right? There are different penalties for different crimes. So yes, we consider them all to be very serious and severe crimes. But morally speaking, and from a religious perspective, insulting God, insulting Allah, attributing a son to Him, attributing partners to Him is even worse. It is even worse. What good can come...? It does not mean that we encourage people to commit all those other crimes.


"I'm not your lapdog and I'm not your puppet. So good luck next time."


[1], August 14, 2005.

[2], January 4, 2019.

[3], August 14, 2005;, July 21, 2005;, October 28, 2004.

[4], July 21, 2005, updated May 2, 2018;, October 28, 2004.

[5], July 21, 2005.

[6], July 21, 2005, updated May 2, 2018.

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