Montreal police issue arrest warrant for imam who called for Jews to be killed in sermon

Quebec's Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions has confirmed an arrest warrant for Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al-Nasr was issued by a justice of the peace July 12.

Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al-Nasr, a citizen of Jordan, is wanted on charges of wilful promotion of hatred

Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr, a controversial imam seen here while giving a sermon at a Saint-Michel mosque, is wanted on charges of wilful promotion of hatred. (YouTube)

Montreal police have issued an arrest warrant for an imam who allegedly made hateful comments against Jews.

Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al-Nasr is wanted on charges of wilful promotion of hatred, which carries a prison term of up to two years.

Montreal police have refused to comment until the suspect appears in court, but Quebec's Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions confirmed a justice of the peace issued the arrest warrant July 12.

A cleric from Jordan, he was invited to Dar Al-Arqam Mosque in the city's Saint-Michel neighbourhood to give a sermon last December. The video was posted to the mosque's YouTube channel three days later.

In it, Muhammad bin Musa Al-Nasr recites the following verse in Arabic: "O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

CBC independently verified the speech and its translation. 

The Dar Al-Arqam Mosque has not returned CBC's calls.

Dar Al-Arqam is not a member of the Muslim Council of Montreal, which represents more than 40 Muslim institutions in the city, according to council president Salam Elmenyawi.

Elmenyawi says he spoke with member imams after first hearing about the sermon so they knew it was unacceptable. 

Inciting violence

When Harvey Levine, regional director of B'nai Brith in Quebec, first learned about the online video in March, he filed a complaint with police.

"It's just unacceptable for anybody to preach that kind of hate against Jews, especially when it involves expressions of a violent nature."

Harvey Levine, regional director of B'nai Brith in Quebec, said the imam needs to be held accountable for inciting violence against a community. (CBC)

"There were passages that called the Jews 'the worst of mankind' and expressed his hope, the imam, that Muslims would slaughter them on Judgement Day," he said. 

Nasr is a citizen of Jordan, and B'nai Brith is urging the federal government to locate and request extradition from whichever country he is currently based in.

The controversial verse comes from a religious text known as a hadith, which interprets the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. 

The hadith in question deals with the end times, and tells how stones and trees will ask Muslims to come and kill Jews hiding behind them.

With files from Steve Rukavina