(photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
A Jewish communal group has turned to the Australian government to complain about calls for jihad by a local Muslim leader during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff turned to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board Monday demanding action be taken against Ismail al-Wahwah, the head of the Australian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist organization, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
During an event protesting Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip last July, Wahwah lambasted the Jews, asserting that the “entire world suffers from the children of Israel today and complains about them.”
“Who will set the world free from the children of Israel so that the world will be able to say that it has rid itself of that hidden evil?” he asked.
“This mission will be accomplished by none but you, O Muslims… The ember of jihad against the Jews will continue to burn… Judgment day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews,” he said. “Tomorrow you Jews will see what will become of you – an eye for an eye, blood for blood, destruction for destruction.”
In a statement on the NSWJBD website, Alhadeff complained that such “unrestrained venom and hatred” could conceivably have “inspired another Mohammad Merah, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Mehdi Nemmouche, Said Kouachi, Amedy Coulibaly or Omar El-Hussein – the terrorists who murdered innocents in Toulouse, Boston, Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen.”
“The problem we face as Australians today is not just violent Islamic extremism, it is also nonviolent extremism. There are authorities tasked with recognizing and countering those who engage in violent extremism,” he stated.
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“His diatribe was not anti-Israel sentiment, as some supporters insist, but vile and crude Jew-hatred reminiscent of last year’s anti-Israel rallies that descended into blatant anti-Semitism, complete with Nazi swastikas and placards evoking racist images that had nothing to do with the Middle East,” he added.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is active internationally and has been banned by several countries. It supports the establishment of a global caliphate and, during a separate event last year in Australia, the group seemed to voice support for the practice of honor killings.
A spokesman for the group was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying that Hizb ut-Tahrir was protesting Israel’s “brutal” attack on Gaza and that allegations of anti-Semitism were “cheap allegation[s]” and a “McCarthyist attempt to silence dissent.”
The Australian Jewish community placed itself under lockdown last December after Islamist Man Haron Monis laid siege to a cafe in downtown Sydney.
While there was no indication that local Jews or the Jewish community were specifically targeted, Monis had a history of making anti-Semitic remarks.
Anti-Semitism is generally at a low level in Australia. According to the Anti-Defamation League, 14 percent of Australians harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, with 41 percent of those surveyed by the Jewish group agreeing that Jews are more loyal to Israel than their countries of residence.
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