Jewish bodies have referred the leader of the Hizb ut-Tahrir group, Ismail al-Wahwah, to police after video surfaced of a speech he made calling for horrific violence.
Anna Caldwell, State Political Editor
The Daily Telegraph
September 7, 2020
YouTube videos depicting the incitement of horrific violence in a speech by Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Ismail al-Wahwah have been referred to police in what could be a stunning test case for NSW’s hate speech crime laws.
The videos depict al-Wahwah delivering a sermon at a public rally in which he warns the “entity of the Jews” that “the day will come when you will cry blood”, and calls for the beheading of Muslim leaders who recognise Israel
The speech was delivered in Sydney in 2017 following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but was published to YouTube in July this year.
Footage has emerged of Hizb ut-Tahrir spiritual leader Ismail Al-Wahwah giving a terrifying sermon in which he tells Jewish people that they will cry blood. Picture: YouTube
In the video, al-Wahwah says: “The very knife with which you cut Palestine is a criminal, infidel, hypocritical knife, and it will be turned against you and will cut your bodies and behead you. This knife will sever your heads from your bodies, just like you severed East Jerusalem from West Jerusalem.”
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman told The Daily Telegraph he was “horrified by the shocking statements of violence in these videos” and had referred a complaint to police for consideration.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief Vic Alhadeff raised alarm about the videos in a letter to Minister Speakman last week.
“No matter your religion, no matter your faith, no matter what you believe – there is never an excuse to incite violence against anyone in our community,” Mr Speakman said yesterday.
“NSW is a proudly multicultural and multi-faith society, and any encouragement of violence based on someone’s race or religion is totally unacceptable.”
“The investigation and enforcement of any potential criminal charges is a matter for the NSW Police Force. A copy of Mr Alhadeff’s letter is being referred to the Police for their consideration.”
Mr Alhadeff asked whether the videos could prove a possible test case for the new criminal laws.
“It is outrageous that the spiritual leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical group, can deliver such an inflammatory speech and publicly threaten violence with impunity,” Mr Alhadeff said.
“One hopes that the NSW Government and the authorities make it clear that there can be no tolerance for such bigotry in this country.”
The NSW Government introduced laws in 2018 making it a criminal offence to publicly threaten violence on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex or HIV/AIDS status, which attracts a maximum penalty of three years in prison.
Police have been contacted for comment.