Muslims say imam preached holy war
Muslims at New Zealand's largest mosque claim its Pakistani imam taught jihad or holy war and preached on the need for men to make as many babies as they could with burqa-wearing women.
Muslims involved claim imam or mufti Abdul Qadir Siddiquei preached jihad against members of Islamic sects he did not approve of and ran a madrasa or school for boys on jihad at the mosque.
The allegations of preaching jihad and of the madrasa emerged in speeches and pamphlets as around 200 Muslims gathered in thewomen's room at Auckland's Jamia Musjid Al-Mustafa mosque on Thursday night.
Police intervened amid tense scenes as members fronted up to each other and at times wrestled and abused one another.
The extremist claims were based on four YouTube video recordings of speeches that are now removed from the website.
The mosque, which has more than a 1000 followers, has united various Sunni sects and Pakistani and Indo-Fijian Muslims, who combined to pay for the building.
Also known as the South Auckland Islamic Centre, it is the most influential mainstream mosque in New Zealand and Fiji.
However, many followers now refuse to attend there and one leading member, Abdul Abbas Karim, originally of Fiji, confirmed he had yesterday filed a police claim of assault and threatening to kill against members following Thursday's meeting.
A person answering Mufti Siddiquei's telephone yesterday hung up, while other committee member referred calls to Manukau lawyer Mohammed Faiyan Khan. He said allegations of jihad and claims that the mufti had taken money, viewed pornography and been involved with women were "just wild propagation".
Mufti Siddiquei had applied for New Zealand residency, supported by the mosque, though that support had been withdrawn and he now has to leave the country.
Mr Khan said he had prayed at the mosque in the four years Mufti Siddiquei had been the imam.
"He has never preached jihad preaching. There is no evidence of any pornography at all.
"I stand on a pillar and say he has never preached jihad. These days it is very easy, especially with Muslims: somebody falls out of favour with you and you say he is a jihadist, he's preaching jihad and lo and behold the wrath of the law is upon that person."
Controversy had built around YouTube videos of some of the teaching.s
Mr Karim said he saw the videos and heard some teachings, calling them "half way to jihad". He claimed the imam wanted Muslims from other sects killed.
"He said people from Fiji were not knowledgeable, then he started saying get all the women who wear the burques, have sex with them and have babies with them."
At Thursday's meeting members claimed the imam had also tried to leave with $300,000 of mosque funds.
Businessman Israr Sheikh said that at the meeting the imam faced 32 allegations.
"The imam denied all allegations and he said he was forced to resign."
- The Dominion Post