Imam expelled from Brussels because of anti-Zionist prayer

A Brussels-based imam was expelled from the country due to his remarks against Zionists from 2009, the news of which surfaced in 2019.

According to The Times of Israel, Imam Mohamed Toujgani, who was born in Morocco and had lived in Brussels, Belgium, for decades was expelled from the country in 2021 October. It was not immediately clear if the expulsion was directly due to his anti-Zionist remarks made during one of his sermons held in his mosque in Brussels.

The recorded sermon took place in 2009, but was only flagged on YouTube the Belgian League Against Antisemitism (LBCA). In the video, Imam Toujgani says “Lord, master of worlds, fill with fear the hearts of the Zionist oppressors. Lord, fill their hearts with fear. Lord, make the earth tremble beneath their feet. Lord, make the blood of the martyrs a weapon under the feet of the Zionists oppressors, and may this blood ignite a fire that burns them and start a wind that eviscerates them. […] O Lord, tear them down.”

Belgium’s Secretary of State, Sammy Mahdi said that Toujgani had called to “burn Jews”, to which the lawyer representing the imam replied that the statement was “a falsehood that incites hatred”.

Toujgani was nominated to become president of the conference of Belgian imams in 2019, and in recent years, he has spoken in favor of tolerance and against jihadism. When the 2009 video resurfaced, he apologised for his past anti-Zionist comments, explaining that he was infuriated by the Israeli strikes against Hamas in Gaza. He said that was the “geopolitical context for comments that I regret making.”

According to Toujgani’s lawyer, the imam will appeal the expulsion.