An online video of an Australian Islamic cleric calling for Hindus and Buddhists to be killed is under investigation by South Australian police.
"The YouTube clip is an edited version of a longer sermon. Police will examine the entire content of the sermon to gain the full context and determine whether any crime has been committed," a statement said.
The video, published last week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), contains excerpts from a sermon by Australian cleric Sheikh Sharif Hussein. He attacks and curses Jews, Australian troops, former Prime Minister John Howard, and President Obama.
He calls Australian soldiers "crusader pigs" and accuses them of helping British and American troops rape women in Iraq, claiming that "The Australian participation in the Crusaders' war on Iraq is 6 per cent. This is out of approximately 365,000 Crusader pigs sent to Iraq, during the term of (Mr Howard), Allah's wrath be upon him."
He also threatens President Obama: "Listen, oh Obama, oh enemy of Allah, you who kiss the shoes and feet of the Jews. Listen! The day will come when you are trampled upon by the pure feet of the Muslims." Finally, he exhorts "Oh Allah, count the Buddhists and the Hindus one by one. Oh Allah, count them and kill them to the very last one."
The MEMRI clip is from a March 22 sermon, delivered during Friday prayers at the Islamic Da'wah Centre of South Australia. Wagdy Elgeezawy of the Da'wah center said Hussein's comments were not intended to incite violence but rather "were a call for Allah to exact revenge against those who commit war crimes against Muslims." He claims that the MEMRI video was "selectively edited by pro-Jewish elements and calculated to portray Islam in a bad light."
Hussein is certainly not the first Australian radical preacher to make such comments. Ibrahim Saddiq Conlan called for the overthrow of the Australian legal system, noting that "Democracy is evil, the parliament is evil and legislation is evil." Sheik Haron openly promoted jihad against the West and celebrated the deaths of Australians in war and in the Victorian bushfires. Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali claimed that women who do not wear the hijab are like "uncovered meat."
A 2007 report claimed that Australia had a larger percentage of Muslim youth at risk of turning to radical Islam than any other Western nation, noting that there were "3,000 in 'ideological sleeper cells' in Sydney alone."
Waleed Alkhazrajy, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of South Australia, added that he hopes the video does not provoke retribution. "We don't want people to misunderstood these remarks and believe this represents the wider Muslim community view, and then they start to attack members of our community…" In fact, the inevitable outcome is that the incitement issue is soon sidelined and the focus shifts to police fearing for Sheikh Sharif Hussein's safety.