Imam recites Quran at Belgian parliament, calling for the killing of Jews

An Imam started to recite a verse from the Quran at the Belgian Parliament last week, explicitly calling on Muslims to kill and kidnap Jews.

Qari Muhammad Ansar Norani, an Imam attending an event at the Belgian Parliament, started to recite verse 33:26 from the Al-Ahzab Surah (chapter) of the Quran, which explicitly calls for the killing and kidnapping of Jews, reports The Jerusalem Post.

The verse translates to: „And He brought down those from the People of the Book [i.e. Jews] who supported the enemy alliance from their own strongholds and cast horror into their hearts. You ‘believers’ killed some and took others captive.”

The event was not organised by the Belgian Parliament but by Hasan Koyuncu, a member of Parliament within the socialist party and vice president of the Francophone Parliament in Brussels, along with the Friends Of Brussels Association.

The performance drew wide condemnation from MPs, Israeli officials and Jewish organisations alike regarding the imam and deputy speaker Hasan Koyuncu.

MP Theo Francken, critical of the event organiser, posted on X, formerly Twitter, „This man invited that imam. He is the deputy speaker of Parliament. Can he stay that way?”

Israel’s ambassador to Belgium, Idit Rosenzweig, commented on X that she is „absolutely horrified” over the incident. „He could have chosen anything else, not a frightening symbolic message to anyone who knows the Quran, straight from the parliament podium… in Brussels’ parliament, a city with 18,000 Jews who are already experiencing increased antisemitism and fear.”

The President of the Parliament, Rachid Madrane, responded to the incident on X, saying, „Parliament is the temple of nothing other than democracy. I will remind the organiser of this visit and the group leaders of this, and I will propose explicitly integrating respect for neutrality into the [Parliament] regulations.”

Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli noted that „Belgium, along with France, lead the most pro-Hamas and anti-Israel line in all of Europe, and it’s no wonder that with them, radical Islam is rampant.”

Between October 7 and December 7, Belgium’s anti-discrimination agency, UNIA, registered 91 reported incidents related to the conflict, far exceeding the 57 recorded for all of 2022. Of the 91 incidents, 66 were antisemitic in nature, and eight were anti-Islamic or anti-Arab.