memri
December 1, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 9061

Palestinian Islamic Scholar Issam Amira: Following A MEMRI TV Clip, I Was Interrogated By Israeli Police For Praising The Beheading Of French Teacher Paty, Banned From Entering Al-Aqsa For Six Months; Nevertheless, Insulting Muhammad Is A Line That Must Not Be Crossed

December 1, 2020
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9061

Palestinian Islamic scholar Issam Amira said in a November 15, 2020 interview on Al-Waqiya TV (Lebanon) that after a clip of him praising the beheading of French schoolteacher Samuel Paty was published by MEMRI in October (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 8418), Israeli police summoned him for interrogation. He said that he has been banned from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for six months, and that Israel's adoption of European "behavior" is apparent. Amira said that he had been told that his statements were not protected as free speech, and he reiterated that insulting the honor of the Prophet Muhammad is a line that must not be crossed. Al-Waqiya TV is a Hizb ut-Tahrir affiliated channel. For more about Issam Amira, see MEMRI TV clips nos. 7244, 6789, 6114, 5626, 5175, 5041, 5001, 4991, 4901, and 4890.

To view the clip of Palestinian Islamic scholar Issam Amira on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

"[After My Interview] Was Published By The MEMRI Website... The Police Immediately Sent Someone To My Home To Summon Me For Interrogation"

Sheikh Issam Amira: "What was reported [about me] is correct. It happened about two weeks ago, when a video clip of a Q&A session from a lecture at the Al-Aqsa Mosque was published. It dealt with the issue of security and fear in the world from an Islamic perspective. I described the killing of the Frenchman who slandered the Prophet Muhammad. A young Muslim man killed and beheaded him.

"I said that this did not constitute terrorism, but rather a great honor, and an act of defending our [Islamic] nation's honor because the Prophet Muhammad is where we draw a line that must not be crossed. As soon as this excerpt was published, it was picked up by websites from the Jewish entity. It was published by the MEMRI website, to be precise.

"The police immediately sent someone to my home to summon me for interrogation. The interrogation was long, and it was a Friday, so the Friday prayer was denied from me. Then they decided to ban me from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for six months. This is what happened. This is what led to this decision.

[...]

"I Was Exercising My Right To Free Speech"; "Islam Has Red Lines"

"The Jewish entity reflects Europe's behavior. It has started to implement [this European policy], as I witnessed personally. I told the interrogator that by commenting on the incident in France, I was exercising my right to free speech. But he said: 'No, this is not freedom of expression.'

"I asked him: 'Does the cursing of the Prophet Muhammad and the other prophets constitute freedom of expression? Just like you have red lines, Islam has red lines.' The weak position of those who purport to advocate freedom is clear in this case."

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