Media watchdog MEMRI has called out German Imam Said Abu Hafs over his public talk that was uploaded online, in which he claimed that Jews are greedy. The lecture from the Islamic Centre of Kaiserlautern was uploaded on its YouTube channel in March. In it, the Muslim cleric is seen laughing and saying that Jesus called on Jews to leave their money and follow him, which was “pointless”, as the imam put it, according to the translation by MEMRI. He reportedly suggested that this was the reason why Jews turned against Jesus, as they could not “benefit” from it.
“Since ancient times, [Jews] have loved money. [The Quran says:] you will surely find them, of all people, the greediest for life. They are enamoured with gold”, the imam claimed, according to the translation.
He is also reported to have called Jews, and especially their rabbis and leaders, “arrogant” and “looking down to other people”. He suggested that they enslaved people, and went on to reprimand Jews for calling themselves “God’s chosen people”.
He also accused Jews of undermining Muslim unity.
“One of their wicked ways to fight Islam was to tear apart the unity of the Muslims, to sever the bonds of love between Muslims and to ignite civil strife among them by using pre-Islamic slogans. This is still happening today”, Said Abu Hafs said, according to the translation.
The video was brought into the public spotlight hot on the heels of uproar over statements by the country's commissioner on anti-Semitism, Felix Klein. The commissioner said that he “cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere, all the time in Germany” due to spiralling anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish attacks in the country.
He later urged people to wear the traditional Jewish skullcaps in a show of solidarity with Jews before the upcoming anti-Israel Al-Quds Day protest, set for Saturday, and take to the streets in pro-Israel rallies instead.
Al-Quds Day is an annual event held at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 in support of Palestinians and in opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The event is often accompanied by a range of anti-Israeli rallies.
Klein’s call came amid a spike in anti-Jewish attacks in Germany. According to official figures, there were 1,646 anti-Semitic crimes in Germany in 2018, marking a rise of 10 percent compared with the previous year.