memri
July 9, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9437

Following MEMRI's 2018 Exposure Of Toulouse Imam Mohamed Tatai's Antisemitic Sermon, He Receives A Six Months' Suspended Prison Sentence

July 9, 2021
Special Dispatch No. 9437

Introduction 

On June 29, 2021, French media reported on the trial of Mohamed Tatai, imam of the Grand Mosque of Toulouse, France, whose antisemitic statements in a December 2017 sermon were exposed in June 2018 by MEMRI. The MEMRI TV clip of the sermon, delivered at the En Nour mosque in Toulouse, shows Tatai recounting the hadith about the End of Days, when the Muslims will fight and kill the Jews.[1]

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

About the trial, France 3 stated: "Mohamed Tataiat [aka Mohamed Tatai], the imam of the Empalot mosque in Toulouse [France], appeared on Tuesday, June 29, before the criminal court for 'incitement to racial hatred' – in the wake of his December 2017 sermon [exposed by MEMRI]... This has to do with a sermon delivered by a Toulouse Muslim cleric. In a video, dated December 15, 2017, and revealed by the MEMRI website (acronym for Middle East Media Research Institute), the imam of the Great Mosque of Toulouse reportedly referred in Arabic to a hadith – a word from the prophet Mohammad – which reportedly calls on Muslims to kill Jews: 'The Jews will hide behind the rocks and the trees and the rocks and the trees will say: Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.'... These images were denounced for their antisemitism in late June 2018. The prefect of Haute-Garonne then surprised the Toulouse public prosecutor's office, which, five months later, decided to open a judicial investigation. Civil parties in this case are CRIF [the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France], LICRA [France's International League against Racism and Antisemitism], the Office for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, and SOS Racisme..." are civil parties in this case... "[2]  

La Depeche reported that Tatai had received a six-month suspended sentence.[3] Other French media covering on the prosecution were Actu.fr[4] and 20Minutes.[5]


The Grand Mosque, Toulouse.( Source: 20minutes.fr/justice/3073647-20210629-toulouse-six-mois-sursis-requis-contre-imam-grande-mosquee-apres-preche-controvers, June 29, 2021)

In January 2021, Tatai's lawyers had told media that Tatai had "always been on good terms with representatives of the Jewish community [and] has largely explained the meaning of his preaching and the total exclusion of any incitement to hatred" in it. They added that the court case was politically motivated, saying that "the opportunist nature of such a referral to the criminal court will not escape anyone in an eminently political context" and indicating that they would plead for his release.[6]

Following MEMRI's 2018 Exposure French Imam Mohamed Tatai's Antisemitic Sermon, He Was Indicted For Provocation To Hatred

On December 21, 2018 the prosecutor of Toulouse, France announced that Mohamed Tatai, imam of the Grand Mosque of Toulouse, had been indicted for provocation to hatred or violence.[7] In September 2018, following MEMRI's June 2018 exposure of Tatai's antisemitic December 2017 sermon, a judiciary prosecuting case[8] was opened against him. The indictment was widely reported by leading French media, crediting MEMRI with the exposure: Le Monde,[9] Actu.fr,[10] Notretemps,[11] and Msn.com/fr.[12] The indictment was also reported, with credit to MEMRI, by Algemeiner,[13] which embedded the MEMRI TV clip; by Sputniknews in French[14]; by Times of Israel[15]; and by Bfmtv.com.[16]

In his December 2017 sermon, Tatai recounted the well-known hadith about the battle between the Muslims and the Jews at the end of time, when the stones and the trees "the Jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, and the stones and the trees will say: 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah, a Jew is hiding behind me, come and kill him,' except for the Gharqad tree, which is 'one of the trees of the Jews.'" He then stated that Israel would soon come to an end: "The Israeli prime minister... said that he was afraid that Israel would not live longer than 76 years – as is written in the prophecies of [the Jews]. Therefore, when their president died two years ago, and people came to pay their last respects, one of their well-known journalists said: 'People did not come today to the funeral of Peres, but to the funeral of Israel.'"[17]

This MEMRI TV clip was extensively covered by media in France and internationally, and numerous French politicians, public figures, and groups called for action to be taken against Tatai. French prosecutors launched an investigation into him for "possible incitement to hatred," and the Toulouse Public Prosecutor's Office opened a judicial investigation into him in September.

The investigation was covered by French and other international media, including in a September 2018 Le Parisien article[18] that cited MEMRI: "Following the stir caused by the broadcast of this video, the imam had invoked a 'not faithful translation' which 'is not the true meaning of the hadith,' the religious text he quotes in the video, on which appears the logo of the MEMRI TV network." The MEMRI TV clip was also covered at that time by Valeurs,[19] Ouest-France,[20] BFMTV,[21] Haaretz,[22] RT,[23] Times of Israel,[24] and i24 News,[25] among others.


The MEMRI tweet of the clip that appeared in media. Source: i24news.tv/fr/actu/france/184902-180925-preche-antisemite-ouverture-d-une-information-judiciaire-contre-l-imam-tatai-pour-provocation-a-la-haine, September 25, 2018.

MEMRI Reports About Imam Mohamed Tatai

MEMRI Special Announcement No. 706, Support MEMRI's Work Fighting Extremism: This Past Week, Extremist Imam Exposed By MEMRI In France Is Indicted For Provocation To Hatred, December 28, 2018.

Special Announcement No. 638, Support MEMRI's Work Fighting Extremism: Exposure Of Another Antisemitic Sermon By Imam Who Is An Interfaith Leader – This Time In France – Leads To Denunciation, Legal Measures; Muslim Leaders Support Him, But Then 'Strongly Condemn' Him, July 19, 2018

Special Announcement No. 664, Support MEMRI's Work Fighting Extremism: This Week In France, Public Prosecutor Opens Case Against Toulouse Imam For Sermon On Killing Jews Translated By MEMRI, September 28, 2018.

Special Dispatch No. 7587, Antisemitic Hadith: 'The Prophecy Of The Rock And The Tree' – MEMRI Clips And Reports, July 25, 2018.

MEMRI TV Clips About Imam Mohamed Tatai

No. 6665, Grand Mosque of Paris Denounces Toulouse Imam Tatai for Antisemitic Rhetoric, July 13, 2018.

No. 6664, Algerian Minister Mohamed Issa Supports Toulouse Imam Tatai, Accused of Antisemitism: We Hope the Extremist Media Will Cease Affronting Islam, July 7, 2018.

No. 6663, Toulouse Imam Tatai Apologizes to People Harmed by the Alleged Falsification of His Remarks in a Previous Sermon by People "Who Fish in Murky Waters", July 10, 2018.

No. 6656, Toulouse Imam Mohamed Tatai Following MEMRI's Translation of His Antisemitic Sermon: I Was Talking About an End to Israel, Not to Judaism or the Jews, July 5, 2018.

No. 6650, Toulouse Imam Mohamed Tatai on 9/11: "The Entire World Knows That There Were Fabrications", Archival, July 3, 2018.

No. 6637, Toulouse Imam Mohamed Tatai Recounts Antisemitic Hadith and Prophecies that Israel Will Soon Come to an End, December 16, 2017.

 

[2] France3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/occitanie/haute-garonne/toulouse/toulouse-l-imam-de-la-mosquee-d-empalot-mohamed-tataiat-devant-la-justice-pour-antisemitisme-2158402.html, June 29, 2021.

[3] Ladepeche.fr/2021/06/29/toulouse-entre-interpretation-et-analyse-un-imam-accuse-dantisemitisme-sous-pression-9640016.php, June 29, 2021.

[4] Actu.fr/occitanie/toulouse_31555/toulouse-l-imam-de-la-mosquee-d-empalot-mohamed-tatai-juge-pour-un-preche-tres-controverse_43055073.html, June 29, 2021.

[5] 20minutes.fr/justice/3073647-20210629-toulouse-six-mois-sursis-requis-contre-imam-grande-mosquee-apres-preche-controverse, June 29, 2021.

[6] Lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/un-imam-de-toulouse-sera-juge-pour-incitation-a-la-haine-raciale-20210105, Leparisien.fr/faits-divers/toulouse-un-imam-poursuivi-pour-incitation-a-la-haine-raciale-05-01-2021-8417384.php, Le360.ma/monde/france-a-toulouse-apres-des-propos-antisemites-un-imam-algerien-sera-juge-pour-incitation-a-la-haine-230798, January 5, 2021.

[9] Lemonde.fr/societe/article/2018/12/21/l-imam-de-la-grande-mosquee-de-toulouse-mis-en-examen_5400905_3224.html, December 21, 2018.

[10] Actu.fr/occitanie/toulouse_31555/mohamed-tatai-imam-grande-mosquee-toulouse-mis-examen-apres-preche-juifs_20447001.html, December 21, 2018.

[11] Notretemps.com/high-tech/actualites/l-imam-de-toulouse-mis-en-examen-apres-afp-201812,i184217, December 21, 2018.

[12] Msn.com/fr-fr/actualite/justice/l%e2%80%99imam-de-toulouse-mis-en-examen-pour-un-pr%c3%aache-jug%c3%a9-antis%c3%a9mite/ar-BBRhp9m?li=BBoJDO5, December 21, 2018.

[13] Algemeiner.com/2018/12/21/french-imam-indicted-over-antisemitic-sermon-in-which-he-cited-hadith-urging-violence-against-jews, December 21, 2018.

[14] Fr.sputniknews.com/france/201812221039397112-imam-toulouse-mis-examen-preche, December 22, 2018.

[15] Fr.timesofisrael.com/limam-de-toulouse-mis-en-examen-apres-un-preche-controverse, December 21, 2018.

[16] Bfmtv.com/police-justice/l-imam-de-toulouse-mis-en-examen-apres-son-preche-controverse-1593999.html, December 21, 2018.

[18] Leparisien.fr/faits-divers/l-imam-de-toulouse-mis-en-examen-pour-un-preche-juge-antisemite-21-12-2018-7974819.php, December 21, 2018,

[19] Valeursactuelles.com/societe/antisemitisme-limam-toulousain-tatai-en-proie-a-la-justice/, September 25, 2018.

[20] Ouest-france.fr/region-occitanie/toulouse-31000/toulouse-ouverture-d-une-information-judiciaire-pour-provocation-la-haine-apres-le-preche-d-un-imam-5984922, September 25, 2018.

[21] Bfmtv.com/police-justice/une-information-judiciaire-ouverte-apres-le-preche-controverse-de-l-imam-de-toulouse-1530155.html, September 25, 2018.

[22] Haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-france-investigates-imam-for-incitement-over-anti-semitic-anti-israel-sermon-1.6513461, September 28, 2018.

[23] Rt.com/news/439843-france-imam-jews-investigation/, September 28, 2018.

[24] Timesofisrael.com/french-imam-investigated-for-incitement-over-anti-semitic-sermon, September 27, 2018.

[25] I24news.tv/fr/actu/france/184902-180925-preche-antisemite-ouverture-d-une-information-judiciaire-contre-l-imam-tatai-pour-provocation-a-la-haine, September 25, 2018.

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