An imam who was to become the new spiritual leader of Ohio's largest mosque resigned because of allegations by bloggers that he is anti-Semitic, he said.
Imam Ahmed Alzaree said the Web postings so poisoned the atmosphere in the community that he and his wife, Marwa, decided to look elsewhere.
"Cleveland now is a nightmare for her," Alzaree said Monday, three days before he was to start at the Islamic Center of Cleveland in suburban Parma. "It will never be a good start for me and the Jewish community."
Alzaree, 38, an Egyptian-born cleric, was to be the mosque's first permanent imam since Fawaz Damra, who was deported in January after a 1991 videotape surfaced showing him disparaging Jews and raising money for the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.
Damra apologized and said his views had changed but he was shunned by the interfaith leaders who once worked with him.
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