Deputy head of the illegal Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, said in a Friday sermon that the West is behind religious wars in the world.
According to the video of the sermon posted by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), Khatib said of the Paris attacks: “What happened in Paris is not [proper] Muslim conduct, but still...120 [sic.] dead?! What are 120 dead compared to the 40,000 Protestants killed by Catholics in that very same Paris?” The West has “pitted the whole world against Islam, portraying the Muslims as criminals, as bloodsuckers.... Every Muslim living among you has become a target!” he said.
“Who is behind these religious wars? As I said at the beginning, when you look at the world today, you see that it is bracing itself for religious wars. But who is causing these wars? They are.”
“You dare to talk about human rights?! Who is behind these religious wars?” he added.
The sermon took place in the Omar Ibn al-Khattab Mosque in the northern Arab town of Kafr Kana.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended outlawing the group, headed by Raed Salah, by accusing it of seeking to undermine Israel, inciting violence, cooperating closely with Hamas and seeking to replace Israel with a caliphate.
Khatib used the example of the expulsion of Muslims from Spain to argue that the West has consistently been acting against Islam.
“What did they do to us in Andalusia [Spain]? What did they do to us there? We Muslims conquered Andalusia and lived there for 800 years alongside the Christians. Why did the Muslims leave Andalusia all of a sudden, in 1512? Not a single Muslim stayed there after that year,” he said. “They formed the famous Inquisition courts, in order to search for adherents of Islam, down to the very last one. They would look for homes in which the lights were on early in the morning, in order to check if people had gotten up to pray, or for people wearing clean clothes on Fridays, whom they suspected of honoring this day. They would search for anyone who kept torn bits of Koran pages in his home, or anyone whose name sounded Muslim.... They would kill them, burn them, slaughter them and drag their bodies through the streets. This is what they did to us.”
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.