The Dom Post editorial:
A senior Muslim cleric in Auckland has been preaching hate, to judge by videos of his lectures.
“Jews are using everybody because they think that their protocol is to rule the entire world,” says Mohammad Anwar Sahib in one such clip. Sahib was until this week secretary of the religious advisory board of FIANZ, the largest Islamic body in New Zealand, and head of Manukau’s at-Taqwa mosque.
There’s more in the same vein, across multiple lectures – paranoid anti-semitism of the sort that has infected the world for centuries.
Sahib denies spreading hate and says his comments have been taken out of context. Videos of his full lectures have been taken down from public view, but this seems highly unlikely. What context could excuse such dangerous and contemptible talk?
No, the preacher is wrong to deny responsibility and deeply wrong to have spoken like this. He is also wrong to say that criticising him is an attack “on all Muslims in New Zealand”.
That is completely backward. The comments are outrageous and deserving of the wide censure they have received (including the stripping of his FIANZ post), but they do not reflect on the tens of thousands of Muslims who live in New Zealand and reject such ugly sentiments. They are his responsibility alone.
They are his responsibility. But what does it mean that all those who heard him preach never complained? If a Catholic priest got up and said Jews are using everyone to control the world, I suspect the Catholic parishioners would be in an uproar, and would complain about him to the local Bishop.