Swiss public television SRF has obtained more footage of Swiss-based ‘hate preacher’ Abu Ramadan delivering controversial sermons – this time in Libya. Ramadan faces deportation, having claimed CHF600,000 ($620,000) in Swiss welfare payments whilst preaching such messages.
SRF and the Tages Anzeiger newspaper first reported on Ramadan’s sermons in August, having seen video footage of his preaching at the Ar’Rahman mosque in canton Bern. “Oh Allah, I beg you to destroy the enemies of our religion. Destroy the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Russians and the Shia,” he is heard saying.
Now, the same media have uncovered other sermons delivered in Tripoli in November 2016 in which he calls on God to “destroy” the enemies of Islam. “O God, grant your oppressed servants...victory in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Libya," he goes on to say.
In interviews, Ramadan has admitted to speaking out against Israel and Zionist ideology; however, he denies that his preaching incites Jihad, or attacks Switzerland and the western world. He insists that his words have been twisted in translation from Arabic. The federal prosecutor is currently examining whether he has violated Swiss laws.
Last month, the Federal Administrative Court in St Gallen revoked Ramadan’s asylum in Switzerland, after it emerged that he has travelled to Libya several times in the last years, including a month-long trip in 2017. The Swiss court argued that Ramadan made these journeys despite knowing that a recognised refugee must not return to his or her country of origin, as this is a violation of refugee status.
The Libyan obtained Swiss asylum in 1998 and has drawn regular social security benefits for the past 13 years. He currently resides in the town of Nidau in canton Bern. It is now up to the Bernese authorities to decide whether to deport the 64-year-old.