Stood-down Auckland Imam demands apology after accusations of hate speech


An Auckland Imam Dr Shaykh Mohammad Anwar Sahib has been accused of making anti-Semitic speeches but he says he has been falsely accused and deserves an apology.

Sahib was religious advisor for the New Zealand Federation of Islamic Association. But the Federation has stood him down.

The Federation said it vehemently opposes all teachings that promote intolerance, prejudice and discrimination.

The Administration Council of the Islamic Women’s Council has described Sahib’s comments as “totally inappropriate”.

The widely distributed video contains excerpts of a number Sahib’s sermons and lectures given between April 2014 and November 2016.

He repeatedly uses anti-Semitic slanders and libels and denigrates women. In one sermon, he calls Jews “the enemy of Muslims” and claims that “Jews are using everybody because their protocol is to rule the entire world”.

But Sahib insists “My intention was completely different from the reported distorted version conveyed by the bloggers by doing a “cut and paste.” I sincerely deserve an apology.

He claims the “cut and paste” video was taken out of context.

The Iman said he had been misrepresented as a scholar of Islam and his lectures, if watched in their entirety, would show he was simply discussing history.

He says he does “not hate any human being regardless of their faith, place of origin, race, colour and political affiliation”.

“I have always preached for peace and harmony in the society,” said Sahib.

“Those who have watched all the complete videos will find that I have not at all incited any hatred towards others.

“Nowhere in these videos have I asked anyone to attack or harm anyone.”

“In fact, in Islam, inciting hatred and promoting violence is sinful. Everyone has freedom of choice to believe in what they want. I personally hold no hatred towards anyone.”

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, Ethnic Communities Minister Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and the NZ Jewish Council have condemned Sahib’s comments.

Sahib suggested Lotu-Iiga and Devoy should view the whole video to get the complete story before reaching any decision.

“I have been accused of something of which I am not guilty.”


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