Swedish Court Slaps Fine on Muslim Cleric Who Insulted Jews as ‘Apes and Pigs’
A Swedish imam has been fined the sum of $305 by a court in the town of Helsingborg for engaging in a public antisemitic rant in which he depicted Jews as the descendants of “apes and pigs.”
39-year-old Samir El Rifai received the conviction following a trial over his antisemitic incitement during an anti-Israel demonstration in Gustav Adolfs Square in Helsingborg in July 2017.
Speaking in Arabic in remarks that were filmed, El Rifai clamed that “the Jews are the offspring of the apes and pigs” — a common antisemitic trope among Islamists.
“There is no prophet against whom those who are the progeny of apes and pigs have not made evil plans against,” he told the rally, organized in support of Palestinian rioters at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. “They did it to all prophets and to all nations, this has also affected our prophet [Muhammad], peace be upon him.”
El Rifai’s subsequent attempt at an explanation — that he had been speaking about the State of Israel and not Jews in general — was rejected by the court.
“We think it is clear from the speech in its entirety that the statement referred to Jews with a view to their religion, not a government or military power,” the court’s chairman, Ylva Norling Jönsson, told Swedish news outlet Expressen.
In May this year, a woman who belongs to the tiny Jewish community in Helsingborg was knifed in a stabbing attack by an assailant who was later arrested by police across the border in Denmark.