“I misunderstood this hadith. I did not know him. It was a mistake on my part to have published it. » The confession of the imam of Beaucaire was not enough to convince the court of the Nîmes judicial tribunal, this Thursday, November 2. On October 12, a few days after the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas, the imam of the Beaucaire mosque, in Gard, published on his Facebook account to 2,000 subscribers a “hadith of the end of times”, containing reported words of the Prophet Mohammed – with debated historical reliability: “You will fight the Jews and have the upper hand over them so that the stone will say: O Muslim! Here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come kill him. »
Accused of advocating terrorism in connection with an online communication service and of public provocation to hatred or violence because of race or religion, reported by the prefect of Gard under article 40 of penal code, the imam, aged 32, was sentenced to eight months in prison, is prohibited from exercising his function for one year and is now included in the file of perpetrators of terrorist offenses.
“How, after ten years of exercising your function as imam, do you not understand this hadith? “, asked the president. “I didn’t study it”replied the imam. “It’s a story, it’s a stone that speaks, Mr. President”he tried to defend himself. “And this is also the stone that posted on your account?” “, quipped the magistrate. Father of four children, Franco-Moroccan, imam for ten years successively in two mosques in Nîmes and in Beaucaire for three years, he had never been talked about before this publication.
An “awkwardness” of a “moderate” man, according to those close to him
Arrested at Marignane airport on Monday October 30, while returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca with other faithful, he was placed in police custody, then in pre-trial detention before his trial. For him it was about“a philosophical text”he had justified during his custody, not seeing there “no call for war”. Wrapped in a coat, his gaze still low, the imam tried to defend himself, alongside his lawyer, Saphia Boukhari-Faghar, who had pleaded for the nullity of the procedure, in vain. On the stand, four witnesses, mosque faithful or friends, defended the speeches usually “sensible”, “moderate” of the imam, narrated “preachs calling for appeasement all the time”.
In turn, however, they admitted that “this publication, in these times, is clumsy”. “I would not have published it if I had seen this ambiguity”added the imam, referring to this hadith. “It is nevertheless explicit”, swept the president. Noting a second publication by the accused, four days after the first, on which there appears a Palestinian flag overlooking the Jerusalem mosque, the representative of the public prosecutor, for his part, considered that the accused had “persevered” and had “materialized a position of taking territory at a time when there are abuses between Palestinians and Israelis”.
Formed as a civil party, the National Office for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA) and the European Jewish Organization (EJO), associations fighting against anti-Semitism, have let nothing go unnoticed, recalling the number of anti-Semitic acts growing since October 7 and the Hamas attack on Israel: “Don’t be fooled. Be lucid”, asked the court Master Andréa Assor-Doukhan, lawyer for the OJE. “A clumsiness, did you say?” »she got annoyed at the defendant: “In minds that are too malleable, these messages can be very poorly imprinted and lead to violent acts and terrorism. »