VANCOUVER (CP) – The leader of a Vancouver mosque attended regularly by a local man reported killed in Chechnya (news – web sites) has preached the virtues of jihad and called Jews “the brothers of monkeys and swine.”
In a lecture posted on the mosque’s website, Sheik Younus Kathrada tells an audience all real Muslims want to be martyred. “It is inconceivable that a true believer will not desire martyrdom,” Kathrada says.
“When we hear of our fellow Muslims in Palestine and what they’re going through to try and defend that great land for us, the Muslims, that individual should wish that he was there.”
In a recording of another lecture obtained by The Canadian Press, Kathrada lashes out at Israelis for killing Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin late last March.
“We know what happened over the last week and how the brothers of the monkeys and the swine assassinated and murdered one of the heroes of Islam, the Salah al-Din of this day and age, Ahmed Yassin.”
Kathrada tells his audience the Qur’an and its accompanying writings view Jews as treacherous people with whom Muslims will engage in an apocalyptic battle.
“The prophet . . . said the final hour will not be established until such time as the Muslims will battle and will fight against the Jews,” Kathrada says.
“Then what will happen? Listen to the good news after that. The prophet . . . says that the stone and the tree will say ‘oh Muslim, oh slave of Allah, that verily behind me is a Jew. Then come and kill him.’ ”
Kathrada, who works out of the Dar al-Madinah Islamic Society mosque in east Vancouver, said Thursday he could not remember when he gave these talks.
“If it’s on there and my name is on it then I must have. I don’t recall the date,” he said.
Kathrada refused to explain the meaning behind the tirade against Jews.
“I guess if you heard the lecture then it should be clear to you,” he said.
But he defended his characterization of Jews as treacherous monkeys and pigs.
“I guess no rougher than what is used against us,” Kathrada said. “It’s in our Qur’an.”
Rudwan Khalil Abubaker, also known as Rudwan Khalil, regularly attended the Dar al-Madinah mosque along with his brother Amir.
Russian authorities identified Khalil as one of four men killed in a skirmish with Chechen rebels earlier this month. They displayed his Canadian passport and B.C. driver’s licence and claimed he was an explosives expert.
His family in Vancouver said they believed Khalil and his friend Kamal Elbahja of suburban Maple Ridge, B.C., were headed to a wedding in neighbouring Baku, Azarbaijan.
Elbahja has disappeared and the bridegroom, former Vancouver resident Azar Tagiev, has also not been seen.
The Foreign Affairs Department met Wednesday in Moscow with Russian officials who so far have not confirmed that one of the four men killed by special forces was Khalil.
Speaking to a reporter after the initial report of Khalil’s death, Kathrada said that while the plight of Muslims in Chechnya and other parts of the world was discussed at his mosque, no one talked about going to fight there.
Kathrada said Thursday he couldn’t add any more to what he’d said previously.
Sources who know the family say Khalil and his brother regularly sat in on Kathrada’s lectures, though none could say if they heard him expound on jihad or the Jews.
Kathrada, a native of South Africa’s Indian community, said he has been at Dar al-Madinah for about six years. Before that, he was a Muslim chaplain at the University of Victoria after studying in Saudi Arabia.
Other members of the Muslim community say Kathrada, a Sunni Muslim, was active in the Vancouver area’s interfaith movement.
“I’m told that he’s quite open,” said Aziz Khaki of the Committee for Racial Justice, who met him at the opening of a new mosque in suburban Port Coquitlam last year.
“He did speak there and he spoke in very good terms to say we should build bridges with the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Christianity and we should be open to dialogue and something like that.”
In his lecture on jihad, Kathrada says the term refers to physical fighting and includes the idea of offensive jihad.
“When the Muslims have a leader, when the Muslims have the strength and the ability to take on an enemy, then absolutely they call the other nations towards Islam,” he says.
“Should they reject the message then they will declare war upon them. That is what we know as the offensive jihad.
“There is a good reason for that. It is in order to establish security on this Earth. It is so that the word of Allah will be the superior word.”
Aziz said Kathrada is on the fringe when he espouses offensive jihad.
“He has not read the history,” he said. “The whole concept of Islam spread by sword is absolutely a myth.”
Kathrada’s view of Jewish treachery is apparently rooted in a seventh-century doublecross of Mohammed by Jewish residents of Medina.
But Aziz said it has no relevance to historic relations between Muslims and Jews, who lived peacefully in Moorish-controlled Spain and in Ottoman Turkey.
“God may forgive him (Kathrada),” he said.
“Where Muslims ruled for 700 years, Jews and Muslims worked together.”
The Vancouver area’s Muslim community numbers more than 60,000 and Aziz said such militant views don’t go deep.
“I don’t even waste time on such characters,” he said.
“We are trying to give that message of showing the human face of Islam, showing the dignity of the faith.”
Excerpts from recorded lectures give by Sheik Younus Kathrada, leader of the Dar al-Madinah Islamic Society of Vancouver:
On Jews after Israel assassinated Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin last March
“We know what happened over the last week and how the brothers of the monkeys and the swine assassinated and murdered one of the heroes of Islam, the Salah al-Din of this day and age, Ahmed Yassin.
“Once again they’ve shown their treachery; once again they’ve shown that they are cowards and that they cannot be trusted.”
On enmity between Jews and Muslims:
“Allah informs us in the Qur’an that you will never find people having such animosity towards the believers or such strong animosity towards the believers like the Jews and the mushrikeen (polytheists).
“All of these words we seem to have forgotten and the reason we like to remind ourselves of them is because today we hear from amongst those who claim to be Muslims, we hear them telling us that we must have love and we must live in peace with these Jews.
“And the reality is, like I said, there is never going to be peace with them.”
On the battle between Muslims and Jews:
“The prophet . . . said the final hour will not be established until such time as the Muslims will battle and will fight against the Jews.
“Then what will happen? Listen to the good news after that. The prophet . . . says that the stone and the tree will say ‘oh Muslim, oh slave of Allah, that verily behind me is a Jew. Then come and kill him.’ . . . It is not meant to be understood metaphorically but rather literally.
“Unfortunately we hear too many people saying we must build bridges with them. No. They understand one language. It is the language of the sword and it is the only language they understand.”
On offensive jihad:
“When the Muslims have a leader, when the Muslims have the strength and the ability to take on an enemy, then absolutely they call the other nations towards Islam. Should they reject the message then they will declare war upon them.
“That is what we know as the offensive jihad. There is a good reason for that. It is in order to establish security on this earth. It is so that the word of Allah will be the superior word.”
On kuffar or unbelievers:
“I have no problem with calling the Christians and the Jews and those who are not Muslims kuffar. They are kuffar and if they die in that state they will abide in the hellfire forever. I don’t care what anyone else says.”
Comparing jihad to U.S. policies:
“When we hear the kuffar today and they start attacking the Muslims . . . you think immediately of their double standard.
“When the United States, for example, sees a land that poses a threat to them, what do they do? Don’t they attack that land? And what is their justification? That they want to establish peace on Earth . . .
“I ask you by Allah, will peace and security ever be established if Islam is not the religion that is practised? It will never be established.”
“I mentioned to you a while ago that it should be all of our intentions that one day we be martyred. If it is not I say revise yourself. Look deep into your heart because there is some hypocrisy in it.
“It is inconceivable that a true believer will not desire martyrdom.”
Invocation ending the jihad lecture:
“That he (Allah) place us amongst those who will, God willing, be martyred.”