Saudi Imam Issa Assiri justified the killing of 12 people at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris by Islamist gunmen this month, saying the killings are the only language Jews and Christians understand.
“This is the language these Jewish and Christian infidels understand. This is the only language they understand.
[After the attack] they changed their policy,” he said at a Friday sermon, according to a transcript provided by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute).
“When someone curses or mocks the Prophet Muhammad – what should be his punishment? Cursing or mocking the Prophet is an act of apostasy, as all scholars concur, whether it is done seriously or in jest. Anyone who does this, Muslim or infidel, must be killed, even if he repents,” said the imam in the video, posted online on January 9 and January 16.
The Saudi religious figure went on to claim that Muslims discovered America, echoing a statement made in November by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Dear believers, some notions require correction.
For example, what we learned in school about the discovery of America is a lie,” said Assiri, according to MEMRI.
The narrative that claims that Christopher Columbus discovered America is “a fabrication and a lie, which is as far removed from the truth as possible,” he said.
“The truth is that Columbus knew about the ‘new world’ even before he set sail. He also knew that there were Muslims there,” Assiri continued. “He received a personal commission to sail to America from a Crusader queen who hated Islam and the Muslims.”
This queen, Isabella, signed an agreement ending the Muslim presence in Andalusia in Spain “before this hateful Crusader [Isabella] turned to the American continent, in order to fight the Muslims there. The Muslims were there before Columbus and all the others,” he said.