In an interview with the Moroccan Howiyapress online magazine, Moroccan Islamist preacher Hassan Kettani said that the Brussels attacks were the result of the oppression of Sunnis in the Middle East. Sheikh Kettani said that the West "has given the Rafidite Shi'ites a free hand against the Sunnis." He further attributed the bombings to "restrictions" imposed on Muslims in the West, and added that when terror strikes take place in Turkey, for example, nobody cares; hence, Western expectations for the whole world to sympathize with it when such bombings occur in Europe "nurture terrorism" and are "like pouring gasoline on the fire of extremism." Kettani was arrested in 2003 and was accused of being the ideological leader behind that year’" Casablanca Bombings. He was sentenced for 20 years in prison but was pardoned in 2012 by King Mohammed VI. The interview was posted on the website on March 28, 2016.
Following are excerpts:
Sheikh Hassan Kettani: "These bombings are repercussions of what is going on in the Mashriq. The oppression against the Sunnis in Syria and Iraq is no secret. The Rafidite Shi'ites exercise their tyranny against them, through massacres, arrests, terrorization, and so on, in addition to the bombings and destruction of the Sunni cities and villages in Syria.
"This has made many Muslims around the world feel injustice, especially since the West, instead of resolving the problem, only exacerbated it, standing by the oppressor against the oppressed. The West has given one sect a free hand against… It has given the Rafidite Shi'ites a free hand against the Sunnis, allowing them to kill, massacre, and flay people. This is horrific. And if the Sunnis so much as defend themselves, they are accused of terrorism, extremism, fanaticism, and so on. This is what caused the extremism to begin with.
"Many young Muslims in Europe feel oppressed because of their marginalization. This was made only worse by Europe's recent restriction on the Muslims, in matters pertaining to their religion, like the ban on the hijab, the ban on building minarets in Switzerland, and similar restriction on Muslims. Perhaps this is not the main reason for what is going on, but in the Islamic nation, what happens in one place affects others. When a young Muslim in Europe sees his brothers being oppressed and humiliated elsewhere in the world, he grows up with animosity towards the perpetrators.
"There is a mistaken global policy by the West which leads to this. This policy generates animosity and extremism among Muslim youth.
"The Islamic countries must achieve self-reconciliation. Instead of throwing themselves into the arms of secularism, obsessively avoiding the implementation of Allah's shari'a, and curbing the ulema, they should give the ulema the opportunity to speak up about Islam. Why muzzle them? These groups emerged only after the muzzling of the ulema who are trusted by the youth. The ulema who are known to be moderate and to follow the Sunna have been muzzled, imprisoned, and prevented from talking – so what do we expect? Who will talk? The lunatics on Facebook and Twitter.
"Whenever one of these operations takes place, [the Westerners] say: These people don't like our way of life and want to change it. These [Westerners] have a certain mentality. They believe that they are superior, while the others are worthless. They think that the whole world must unite in supporting them, in extending condolences, and in expressing friendship with them, but the rest of the world is worthless, especially if we talk about the Muslim world. There were three bombings in Turkey by ISIS and by the secular leftist Kurds, and we saw no condemnation and nobody talking about the dangerous leftist terrorism, which carries out bombings in Turkish cities. There were three bombings in Istanbul, Adana, and Ankara, and the world was not bothered by this, but when there is a bombing in Paris or Brussels, everybody must come to their support. This is what nurtures extremism. It's like pouring gasoline on the fire of extremism."