Sheikh Issam Amira

Sheikh who praised murder of French teacher banned from Temple Mount.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Palestinian Sheikh Issam Amira, who gave a sermon praising the murder of a teacher in France, was banned by Israel’s police force from going to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, an Israeli watchdog group said Sunday.

Amira called the horrific beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamic terrorist a “great honor” for all Muslims during his weekly sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City.

“As for what people call ‘terrorism’… When a Muslim of Chechen origin beheaded an infidel who slandered the Prophet Muhammad, people called this ‘terrorism’,” Amira said in the sermon that was posted online.  “Well, it is a great honor for him and all Muslims that there was such a young man to defend the Prophet Muhammad.”

Arab Affairs expert Yoni Ben Menachem of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs tweeted that the sheikh had been called in by police for questioning, was released at the end of the interrogation, “and was banned from the Temple Mount.”

The police acted after a formal complaint was filed Friday by the Zionist watchdog organization Im Tirtzu. The organization said its Arabic desk learned of Amira’s remarks from a video posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) that monitors Arabic language broadcasts by Palestinians and translates them into English.

Im Tirtzu also noted in its police complaint that Amira should not have been on the Temple Mount in the first place because he was already under a six-month ban that was issued to him by the police in September.

The organization calls Amira a “radical and dangerous person who regularly incites against Israel and against the free world ” and who has a long history of inciting violence during his sermons at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including praise for ISIS terrorists, encouragement of honor killings, and holy war against the Jews.