Mohamed Tatai, Imam of the new Grand Mosque of Toulouse and formerly Imam of the Mosquée Ennour in Toulouse, issued an apology in the wake of the public outcry that emerged following MEMRI's translation of a sermon, in which he cited the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad that says that on Judgment Day the Muslims would fight the Jews, that the latter would hide behind trees and stones, and that the trees and stones would turn them to the Muslims. Imam Tatai said that the hadith had been "taken out of context" and "falsified" by people who "fish in murky waters" and who "peddle in the blood and honor of others" and that the Prophet Muhammad was in fact referring to "the worst creatures of Allah at the end of times," as they would be the only ones who remained on Earth. This follows Imam Tatai's initial clarification that he had been talking about an end to Israel and not to Judaism or all the Jews in the sermon.
On screen: "Our sheikh Mohamed Tatai, the Imam of the Great Mosque of Toulouse, courageously mends what the falsifiers have tried to corrupt: public security."
Mohamed Tatai: "Why was that hadith chosen and taken out of context? Why was this hadith chosen these days in particular? Where were the security services for the past six months? Is it reasonable to think that they have been asleep or inattentive? No. Therefore, after apologizing before Allah and His Prophet, we say to all the people who understood the Prophet's hadith through the falsifiers: I cannot – and neither can you – interpret a text from the Torah without consulting scholars of the Torah. Similarly, neither I nor you can interpret a text from the New Testament without consulting scholars of the New Testament. Am I right or not? One cannot interpret a legal text or a text in physics without consulting the scholars of the field. But if I take a text from the Torah and interpret it the way I want, the Torah specialists would say: 'No, you are doing an injustice to our Torah and our Talmud, because these expressions have keys, basics, and terms.' When the Prophet Muhammad says: 'Judgment Day will not come,' 'Judgment Day will not come, 'Judgment Day will not come' – what is he talking about? About the worst creatures of Allah at the end of times.
"In another hadith, the Prophet Muhammad says: 'Judgment Day will come only for evil people.' In other words, the good people, the reasonable people, the wise people – all the good people of humanity – will be gone. Only the evil creatures of Allah will remain in the land. This is a hadith. Good people, these texts require specialists. Therefore, every Jewish family in this city, and in France in general, which hears of this disgusting falsification... These people peddle in the blood and honor of others, when they make their falsifications. So I apologize to any family that, as a result of this falsification, suffered anxiety, fear, horror, disgust, or apprehension. Allah be praised, the Jew who treats you at hospital, the Jew from whom you buy your products, the Jew who lives in your street or neighborhood, should feel safe and secure. Those who want to fish in murky waters are harming Islam and Judaism, are harming Muslims and Jews, and are harming public security. Therefore, I courageously extend my apologies to them. Do those who interpreted the hadith of the Prophet the way they wanted have the courage and the manliness to stand up and apologize?"
On screen: "He apologizes once more."
Mohamed Tatai: "Those who heard what they heard from others, not from us, those who heard the distortion and falsification of the words of the Prophet, words that were taken out of context – we apologize to them if this offended them."